Recently in Performances
In its ongoing celebration of Verdi’s centennial year, the Los Angeles Opera offered a new production of Falstaff, the composer’s last and most brilliant opera — brilliant in every scintillating, sparkling sense of the word.
Poor Weber: opera companies, especially in England, do him anything but proud.
Acis and Galatea was one of Handel’s most popular works, frequently revived in his life time and beyond.
German tenor Werner Güra, who has made a speciality of the German lieder repertoire, opened this recital at the Wigmore Hall with Beethoven’s An Die Ferne Geliebte, the composer’s only song cycle and the first significant example of the form.
It’s been renamed “The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess,” it hails itself as “The American Musical” and further qualifies itself as “The Porgy and Bess for the Twenty-First Century.”
Richard Wagner wrote: "The voyage through the Norwegian reefs made a wonderful impression on my imagination; the legend of the Flying Dutchman, which the sailors verified, took on a distinctive, strange coloring that only my sea adventures could have given it.”
‘If she is adulterous, why is she praised? If chaste, why was she put to death?’
On Remembrance Sunday, Semyon Bychkov conducted Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall with Roderick Williams, Allan Clayton, Sabrina Cvilak, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Chorus, Crouch End Festival Chorus and choristers of Westminster Abbey.
The mantle of tenor Peter Pears’ legacy hung heavily over his immediate ‘successors’, as they performed music that had been composed by Benjamin Britten for the man to whom he avowed, ‘I write every note with your heavenly voice in my head’.
One year since the launch of their project to create a contemporary book of Italians madrigals, vocal ensemble Exaudi returned to the Wigmore Hall to present an intermingling of old and new madrigals which was typically inventive, virtuosic and compelling.
Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Coliseum could give the ENO a welcome boost.
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s current new production of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, an effort shared with Houston Grand Opera and the Grand Théâtre de Genève, tends to emphasize emotional involvements against a backdrop of spare sets.
Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, The Nose, based on Gogol’s short story of the same name, was a smash hit for the Metropolitan Opera company in 2010 and once again, this season.
There might not be much ‘Serenissima’ about Yoshi Oida’s 2007 production of Death in Venice — it’s more Japanese minimalism than Venetian splendour — but there is still plenty to admire, as this excellent revival by Opera North as part of its centennial celebration, Festival of Britten, underlines.
With an absorbing production of Peter Grimes and a freshly spontaneous La bohème, Canadian Opera Company has set the bar very high indeed for its current season.
Whatever you think of some of the Metropolitan Opera’s recent productions, you cannot fault the Gelb administration for fearing to take risks.
The lustreless white tiles of the laboratory which forms the set of Keith Warner’s pitiless staging of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck offer little respite — cold, hard, rigid and severe, they are a material embodiment of the bleakness and barrenness of the tragic events which will be played out within the workshop walls (sets by Stefanos Lazaridis).
At this year’s Wexford Festival — the 62nd operatic gathering in this small south-eastern Irish town - the trio of operas on show present many a wretched battle between duty and desire.
At the heart of this Wigmore Hall recital were two sacred vocal works for solo countertenor and small instrumental forces, recently recorded by Florilegium and Robin Blaze to considerable critical acclaim: J.S. Bach’s cantata ‘Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust’ and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s ‘Salve Regina’.
After the bitter disappointment of
27 Nov 2004
Eugene Onegin at SFO
Soaring Opera hits new heights in Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic Friday, November 26, 2004 Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" is a story of strong emotion accommodating itself, painfully but with resigned acceptance, to external reality. Dreams of romantic...
Soaring Opera hits new heights in Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin'
Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic
Friday, November 26, 2004
Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" is a story of strong emotion accommodating itself, painfully but with resigned acceptance, to external reality. Dreams of romantic love prove untenable, or merely mistimed; passionate friendship is fatally betrayed in a thoughtless instant.
The ache of that clash courses through the San Francisco Opera's superlative new production of the piece, which opened Wednesday at the War Memorial Opera House.
Boasting a first-rate cast and the most affectingly restrained work the company has yet offered from director Johannes Schaaf, this sumptuous and precisely etched production crowns a fall season that has truly been something close to miraculous -- the most consistently excellent lineup the company has assembled in many years.
One only has to think back to the drab and proudly unimaginative production that the company last offered in 1997 to grasp how far things have come. In this "Onegin," vocal splendor and theatrical resourcefulness work together at last to create a vividly compelling musical drama.
And Tchaikovsky's adaptation of Pushkin's novel in verse requires just such sensitivity to nuance on everyone's part. The plot, taken in isolation, traces a fitful and inconclusive path; what matters is the realistic musical exploration of the characters' inner lives, the tug of naive idealism against the forces of the external world.
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A Captain — Ricardo Herrera
Filipyevna — Annett Andriesen
Madame Larina — Susan Gorton
Monsieur Triquet — John Duykers
Prince Gremin — Gustav Andreassen
Eugene Onegin — Russell Braun
Tatyana — Elena Prokina
Olga — Allyson McHardy
Lensky — Piotr Beczala