Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Performances

'Secrets and Lies': a terrific double bill at Opera Holland Park

If you need a sweet bonbon to accompany the canapés and champagne on a sparkling summer evening, then Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s one-act trifle is a safe bet, especially if presented, as at Opera Holland Park by director John Wilkie and designer takis, as a confection of pink and purple, and performed by two splendid singing actors.

The 2019 Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance

This year’s Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance offered a veritable operatic smörgåsbord, presenting sizable excerpts from operas ranging from Gluck to Saint-Saëns, from Mozart to Debussy, by way of some Italian masterpieces, courtesy of Rossini and Verdi.

Cilea's L'arlesiana at Opera Holland Park

In a rank order of suicidal depressives, Federico - the Provençal peasant besotted with ‘the woman from Arles’, L’arlesiana, who yearns to break free from his mother’s claustrophobic grasp, who seeks solace from betrayal and disillusionment in the arms of a patient childhood sweetheart, but who is ultimately broken by deluded dreams and unrequited passion - would surely give many a Thomas Hardy protagonist a run for their money.

Prom 1: Karina Canellakis makes history on the opening night of the Proms 2019

The young American conductor Karina Canellakis made history as the first woman to conduct the First Night of the Proms last night (19 July 2019) as she conducted the BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall with soloists Asmik Grigorian (soprano), Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Ladislav Elgr (tenor), Jan Martiník (bass) and Peter Holder (organ) in Zosha Di Castri's Long is the Journey, Short Is the Memory (the world premiere of a BBC commission), Antonin Dvořák’s The Golden Spinning Wheel and Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass.

Barbe & Doucet's new production of Die Zauberflöte at Glyndebourne

No one would pretend that Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto for Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte would go down well with the #MeToo generation. Or with first, second or third wave feminists for that matter.

Three Chamber Operas at the Aix Festival

Along with the celestial Mozart Requiem, a doomed Tosca and a gloriously witty Mahagonny the Aix Festival’s new artistic director Pierre Audi regaled us with three chamber operas — the premiere of a brilliant Les Mille Endormis, the technically playful Blank Out (on a turgid subject), and a heavy-duty Jakob Lenz.

Laurent Pelly's production of La Fille du régiment returns to Covent Garden

French soprano Sabine Devieilhe seems to find feisty adolescence a neat fit. I first encountered her when she assumed the role of a pill-popping nightclubbing ‘Beauty’ - raced from ecstasy-induced wonder to emergency ward - when I reviewed the DVD of Krzysztof Warlikowski’s production of Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno at Aix-en-Provence in 2016.

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Aix

Make no mistake, this is about you! Jim laid-out dead on the stage floor, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen brought his very loud orchestra (London’s Philharmonia) to an abrupt halt. Black out. The maestro then turned his spotlighted face to confront us and he held his stare. There was no mistake, the music was about us.

Mozart's Travels: Classical Opera and The Mozartists at Wigmore Hall

There was a full house at Wigmore Hall for Classical Opera’s/The Mozartists’ final concert of the 2018-19 season: a musical paysage which chartered, largely chronologically, Mozart’s youthful travels from London to The Hague, on to Paris, then Rome, concluding - following stop-overs in European cultural cities such as Munich and Vienna - with an arrival at his final destination, Prague.

Tosca in Aix

From the sublime — the Mozart Requiem — to the ridiculous, namely stage director Christophe Honoré's Tosca. A ridiculous waste of operatic resources.

A terrific, and terrifying, The Turn of the Screw at Garsington

One might describe Christopher Oram’s set for Louisa Muller’s new production of The Turn of the Screw at Garsington as ‘shabby chic’ … if it wasn’t so sinister.

Mozart Requiem in Aix

Pierre Audi, now the directeur général of the Festival d’Aix as well as the artistic director of New York City’s Park Avenue Armory opens a new era for this distinguished opera festival in the south of France with a new work by the Festival’s signature composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

A Rachmaninov Drama at Middle Temple Hall

It is Rachmaninov’s major works for orchestra - the Second and Third Piano Concertos, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the Symphonic Dances - alongside the All-Night Vespers and the music for solo piano, which have earned the composer a permanent place in the concert repertoire today.

Fun, Frothy, and Frivolous: L’elisir d’amore at Las Vegas

There are a dizzying array of choices for music entertainment in Las Vegas ranging from Celine Dion and Cher to Paul McCartney and Aerosmith. Admittedly, these performers are a far cry from opera, but the point is that Las Vegas residents have many options when it comes to live music.

McVicar's production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro returns to the Royal Opera House

David McVicar's production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, has been a remarkable success since it debuted in 2006. Set with the Count of Almaviva's fearfully grand household in 1830, McVicar's trick is to surround the principals by servants in a supra-naturalistic production which emphasises how privacy is at a premium.

The Cunning Little Vixen at the Barbican Hall

The presence of a large cast of ‘animals’ in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen can encourage directors and designers to create costume-confections ranging from Disney-esque schmaltz to grim naturalism.

Barbe-Bleue in Lyon

Stage director Laurent Pelly is famed for his Offenbach stagings, above all others his masterful rendering of Les Contes d’Hoffmann as a nightmare. Mr. Pelly has staged eleven of Offenbach’s ninety-nine operettas over the years (coincidently this production of Barbe-Bleue is Mr. Pelly’s ninety-eighth opera staging).

The Princeton Festival Presents Nixon in China

The Princeton Festival has adopted a successful and sophisticated operatic programming strategy, whereby the annual opera alternates between a standard warhorse and a less known, more challenging work. Last year Princeton presented Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. This year the choice is Nixon in China by modern American composer John Adams, which opened before a nearly full house of appreciative listeners.

Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel at Grange Park Opera

When Engelbert Humperdinck's sister, Adelheid Wette, wrote the libretto to Hansel and Gretel the idea of a poor family living in a hut near the woods, on the bread-line, would have had an element of realism to it despite the sentimental layers which Wette adds to the tale.

Handel’s Belshazzar at The Grange Festival

What a treat to see members of The Sixteen letting their hair down. This was no strait-laced post-concert knees-up, but a full on, drunken orgy at the court of the most hedonistic ruler in the Old Testament.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

30 Sep 2004

Le Figaro on Charpentier Festival

FESTIVAL Marc-Antoine Charpentier à Ambronay Triomphe de la jeunesse Gérard Corneloup [30 septembre 2004] En cette année du bicentenaire de la mort de Marc-Antoine Charpentier, occasion unique de le sortir de l'ombre que lui fait encore Lully, le festival d'Ambronay...

FESTIVAL Marc-Antoine Charpentier à Ambronay

Triomphe de la jeunesse

Gérard Corneloup
[30 septembre 2004]

En cette année du bicentenaire de la mort de Marc-Antoine Charpentier, occasion unique de le sortir de l'ombre que lui fait encore Lully, le festival d'Ambronay et son Académie baroque européenne ne pouvaient pas rester en dehors du mouvement. Ils y participent brillamment avec deux petits ouvrages pleins de charme - Actéon et Les Arts florissants - confiés aux 52 jeunes artistes, chanteurs, instrumentistes et danseurs recrutés pour moitié en France et dans la Communauté européenne, mais aussi en Russie, au Brésil et en Corée. Le maître d'oeuvre en est Christophe Rousset, grand spécialiste de la chose baroque, et le cadre idéal en a été le théâtre de Bourg-en-Bresse.

Le résultat dépasse encore les qualités qu'on avait remarquées lors des dix précédentes éditions, en particulier avec le superbe Cadmus et Hermione de Lully présenté il y a deux ans. Frappé au sceau de la jeunesse et de la justesse, le cru 2004 se révèle un modèle en la matière, à partir de deux composantes solidement bâties : osmose parfaite entre la partie musicale et la partie visuelle, d'une part, cohésion vivifiante entre le chant et la partie instrumentale, d'autre part.

Les Arts Florissants sont une allégorie plaisante chantant la place des Arts dans le monde... et accessoirement la gloire du Roi-Soleil. Actéon est un divertissement mythologique doux-amer puisé chez Ovide. Avec beaucoup d'à-propos, surtout pour le second ouvrage, le metteur en scène Ludovic Lagarde divise l'espace en deux zones, l'une, largement ouverte sur le proscenium, l'autre en fond de scène avec un grand cube clos, délimitant ainsi deux mondes, celui des dieux et celui des mortels.

Les costumes de Jean-Jacques et Virginie Weil, montrant une nudité feinte des nymphes de Diane plus vraie que nature, les éclairages bien maîtrisés de Sébastien Michaud et les sobres décors d'Antoine Vasseur, sans oublier une chorégraphie d'Odile Duboc très en situation, scellent un travail d'équipe particulièrement réussi.

La meme cohésion triomphe parmi les jeunes chanteurs possédant parfaitement le style baroque. Choristes ou solistes, tous seraient à citer tandis que la fosse résonne de sonorités riches et fluides sous la direction à la fois précise et lyrique de Christophe Rousset qui a l'oeil à tout. Avec une telle jeunesse, le baroque a encore de beaux jours devant lui !

Calendrier de la tournée : Chambéry le 30 septembre, Vichy le 2 octobre, Versailles le 5 octobre, Villefranche- sur-Saone le 9 octobre, Rennes les 12, 14 et 15 octobre, Besançon le 17 octobre, Reims le 19 octobre, Metz le 21 octobre, Roanne le 23 octobre.

Recommended recording:

cover

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):