Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 207683 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Anne

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1269
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #340 on: April 08, 2009, 02:37:43 PM »
More Met News:

http://www.popeater.com/article/brewer-withdraws-from-ring-villazon/400801?icid=sphere_newsaol_inpage_popeater


Related Articles:
Villazon cancels remaining Met performances

Imported Bruennhilde has some success in Met debut

Gheorghiu shines in Met’s `The Elixir of Love’

NY City Opera returns to stage in November

Cura follows Alagna in both `Cav’ and `Pag’ at Met

See More Related Articles and Blog Posts
 
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 02:41:12 PM by Anne »

Offline Wendell_E

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1074
  • Location: Mobile, AL, USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    mostly opera and chamber music
Opera singers walk off the job at violent Cologne production
« Reply #341 on: April 19, 2009, 01:18:22 AM »
Our friend Nigel posted this at another board:

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4187930,00.html

Quote
The staging includes a bloody machinegun battle and a gang rape....

Apparently some people weren't accustomed to this sort of thing, said [opera spokesman Johannes] Wunderlich, adding that other theaters were doing more shocking things, like the production of Macbeth in Duesseldorf, where actors throw real feces around the stage.

Throwing real feces is more shocking than a bloody machinegun battle and a gang rape? 

“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9838
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #342 on: April 19, 2009, 03:14:58 AM »
Whereas the feces were said to be real; I assume the gang rape and machine gun battle were simulated; otherwise the numbers calling in sick would probably have been a bit higher.

In the latter; possibly pertinent points were to be made, but I cannot think of any justification for the Real Thing in terms of the fecal episode.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Anne

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1269

Offline Gabriel

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 489
  • A Chilean in Santiago (Vivat Haydn!)
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #344 on: May 25, 2009, 02:28:51 PM »
(Also in the concerts thread)

I came back a couple of hours ago from the Théâtre du Châtelet, where I attended Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac with Plácido Domingo in the title role. It was really an incredible evening. It was the first time I listened to Plácido Domingo directly, and I was really impressed how he has managed to keep his voice young; if I had closed my eyes, it would have been perfectly possible that I was listening to a performance of the 1980s. Luckily I didn't close my eyes, because Roxana was sung by Nathalie Manfrino, whose voice is as marvelous as her physical beauty ;D: her performance was memorable, to the point that in my view she matched Domingo's excellence on the stage. The mise en scène was really formidable and unfortunately I wasn't able from my position in the orchestre to listen in the best conditions the excellent playing of the Orchestre Symphonique de Navarre.

At the end there was a most moving ovation from all the theatre, that stood up for clapping the wonderful production.

Conclusion: if somebody from GMG, by any reason, would be around Paris on May 28th or 31st, I would very seriously advice not to miss this spectacle.

Brünnhilde forever

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #345 on: May 25, 2009, 02:39:01 PM »
Thank you, Gabriel for your glowing review of your experience at the Châtelet; happy for you! I shall look forward to the review written by our former GMG member Nigel, then I have two interesting opinions to enjoy.

Agree with your opinion of Domingo's phenomenal artistry. I saw it on the DVD of Tamerlano!

Offline Gabriel

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 489
  • A Chilean in Santiago (Vivat Haydn!)
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #346 on: May 25, 2009, 02:45:44 PM »
Thank you, Gabriel for your glowing review of your experience at the Châtelet; happy for you! I shall look forward to the review written by our former GMG member Nigel, then I have two interesting opinions to enjoy.

Agree with your opinion of Domingo's phenomenal artistry. I saw it on the DVD of Tamerlano!

It is incredible not just how magnificently he sings his roles, but also the incredible variety of roles he sings. I had read comments on how he keeps his voice, but now I witnessed it by myself. I hope he will be singing for as many years as possible! (One day... perhaps... an opera by Cherubini or Méhul? :D). (I think the stupendous main role of Cherubini's Les Abencérages would fit him very well...)

Lilas Pastia

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #347 on: May 25, 2009, 03:04:07 PM »
A most improbable venture for Domingo would be to sing Gerontius in Elgar's masterpiece.  I sense he's right there now vocally. But I don't think it will happen.

Brünnhilde forever

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #348 on: May 25, 2009, 06:29:24 PM »
You have read or heard about Carreras retiring? A another source lists his age at 68.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8039853.stm

Brünnhilde ewig

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #349 on: June 10, 2009, 07:10:16 PM »
Because there is no video nor audio recording available on the open market, it might fit here.

A friend taped a Così fan tutti off a TV broadcast and loaned it to me. I am enthralled by this production! It's from 1998 from the Nuovo Piccolo Teatro, Milano, with Ion Marin conducting. He was unknown to me but when I googled for him I was impressed by his career. Anybody know him? There is a DVD available of him conducting at the ROH a recital of opera arias by Gheorghiu.

The drawing point to this performance is Jonas Kaufmann as Ferrando, ten years before his stupendous Carmen at the ROH with Pappano on the podium. Those ten years made quite a difference in Kaufmann's stage presence and singing. In 1998 frequent glimpses for the conductor's directions and his acting a bit insecure, voice not as full and powerfull. This outstanding tenor has come a long way in ten years and I look forward to hearing and watching him for a many, many years to come.


Lilas Pastia

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #350 on: June 11, 2009, 07:20:30 PM »
Jose Cura was last week's Met Don José. He is the tenor Kaufman reminds me most of (in that role at least). This is a whale of a role that many lyric tenors have broken their front teeth on. Kaufman would certainly be a prime candidate for a great modern recording of the work. He has the same kind of 'back of the throat' vocal production as Rolando Villazon's, which favours a startlingly dark colouring of the middle range - but although Rolando's vocal production is still unmistakably tenorish, Jonas' is almost baritonal.

Case in point: this Youtube extract of the immortal Pourquoi me réveiller from Werther:

Although this gives the illusion of vocal weigth, it is no substitute for the real thing and it tends to cloud the high notes and deprive them of real projection and 'ring'. Time will tell if Kaufmann will survive these hurdles.

Kaufman is a really likeable artist and has a startingly individual voice. I hope the lad will keep it up. BTW his French pronunciation is excellent, and his Italian is better than Corelli's (not difficult: Franco was lousy with texts  :P). Rushing fences is a no-no in the operatic world.  

Meanwhile, check out the Youtube extracts from a now totally unknown singer, Pedro Lavirgen. Here is a large, ringing tenor voice that seems to have been quite active and popular 1965-1975, but whose reputation doesn't seem to have crossed the times and european boundaries. IMO there's no doubt Kaufmann is the better artist, but Lavirgen beats him square in vocal terms. Make sure to listen to his Nessun dorma and E Lucevan le stelle, but most of all to his Pollione (to Caballé's heart-stopping Norma) in this 1978 Normathis extract.

Brünnhilde ewig

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #351 on: June 12, 2009, 09:51:49 AM »
André, have you seen the Carmen with Kaufmann? I was reluctant to even buy the DVD, 'yuk, another Carmen? Believe me, in spite of the production being 'costume', with all the normal flouncy dresses, torrero glittery outfits, Escamillo astride a well behaved horse and a cute live donkey mingling with the crowd, it is a stunning, awesome performance. Kaufmann can't be bettered, in his voice and his acting.

I have not seen nor heard Cura lately, but I do remember him from a very early DVD which must have been put together by his very eager PR man. Awful! Cura sings while accompanying himself on the piano, he sings with a chorus, he sings alone, he even conducts and sings all at the same time, a total turn-off. If he has improved and made up his mind what he wants to be and be good at it, my congratulations.

Kaufmann has been a regular vacation visitor to Italy with his parents and picked up the language as a child; his French he learned in school, same as his English. I fear maybe in the future he will 'go down' to being a true baritone, but as long as he can trumpet his high Cs with such perfection, I hope nobody will talk him into changing.

It would be interesting to have Jlaurson join in this thread, living in Kaufmann's home town he must have seen him in live performances, maybe at the Staatsoper or in recitals and maybe had a chance to interview him, giving us his opinion of this great tenor.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 10:10:33 AM by Brünnhilde ewig »

Henk

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #352 on: June 25, 2009, 07:01:48 AM »
For the Dutch people here: this evening Carmen on Dutch tv (channel two, at 19:20). I'm going to see it.

Henk

Brünnhilde ewig

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #353 on: June 25, 2009, 07:11:16 AM »
Will this be the Carmen with Jonas Kaufmann? Please do tell us tomorrow what you think of it! Enjoy!  8)

Henk

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #354 on: June 25, 2009, 07:32:36 AM »
Nope. It's performed by the Dutch Opera, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conductor Marc Albrecht and solists Nadia Krasteva, Yonghoon Lee, Roberto Accurs among others.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 10:26:46 AM by Henk »

Elgarian

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #355 on: June 27, 2009, 12:11:31 PM »
Manon at Edinburgh Festival Theatre 24 June (Scottish Opera)

I've never seen a live performance of Massenet's masterpiece; it's such a favourite of mine, and I had such high hopes of it, that it was surely likely to fail to live up to them. It didn't.

Anne Sophie Duprels was Manon, who is not only French (a good start), an excellent actress, but also a wonderfully sensitive soprano. There were times when it seemed impossible that so diminutive a figure could possibly generate the soaring notes that rose above the orchestral climaxes to fill the whole theatre. Not that it was just a matter of volume; she sang so sensitively as to be completely convincing - and captivating. The rest of the cast were good enough to pass muster, but she shone like a star; Paul Charles Clarke was a solid and worthy des Grieux, if not an exciting one.
 
The sets were exquisite. No silly experiments. The whole production was traditional 18th century as per Massenet's original setting, with the exception that the backdrops consisted of large mirrors that at various stages were broken in different degrees. So everything seen on stage was reflected in these, and fragmented. Since what was in front of them was ravishingly beautiful, it became effectively doubled up in the mirrors - but with a difference because of the fragmentation. The colours were amazing. All the movements were beautifully choreographed, so that although the stage was often crowded, any movement in one part of it was countered and balanced by movement somewhere else - so there was a constant sense of an ever changing dynamic visual harmony on stage. One very effective touch was the use of an enormous ornate rococo picture frame that descended from time to time at the front of the stage to give a 'snapshot' of Manon at certain key moments. The whole opera began with her standing in the frame as a young, innocent girl, saying goodbye to her parents, and we get to see her in this frame as she progresses through the rise to her peak, and the descent to the tragic conclusion. Manon through the broken looking glass.

It was so good that during the performance I began to be afraid that I wouldn't remember it all well enough; and felt little pangs of sadness that I was never going to be able to see it again.

Photos here:

http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/manon-photo-gallery

Offline jhar26

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 264
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #356 on: June 27, 2009, 11:58:21 PM »
Sounds like a great production, Alan. No surprise appearances from Superman and Wonderwoman like in Die Entfuhrung. ;) I hope to live to see the day when they get rid of that type of nonsense for good.
Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips.

Elgarian

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #357 on: June 28, 2009, 12:16:40 AM »
No surprise appearances from Superman and Wonderwoman like in Die Entfuhrung.

My future criteria for excellence in opera productions will include the absence of Wonder Woman and Superman. (For those lucky enough to have missed the experience, and who are wondering what we're talking about, the reference here is to the recent production of Seraglio by Opera North, in which they did appear.)

Brünnhilde ewig

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #358 on: June 28, 2009, 02:03:28 AM »
Jhar: Could you please disclose the name of the director of the reviewed Manon?

Elgarian

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #359 on: June 28, 2009, 02:25:47 AM »
Jhar: Could you please disclose the name of the director of the reviewed Manon?

I think you mean me, not jhar.
Director: Renaud Doucet
Designer: André Barbe

More details here: http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/our-operas/08-09/manon