Recently in Performances
Impresario Boris Goldovsky famously referred to La finta giardiniera as The Phony Farmerette.
At Santa Fe Opera, Donizetti’s effervescent The Daughter of the Regiment can’t quite decide what it wants to be when it grows up.
Santa Fe Opera noted a landmark two-thousandth performance in their distinguished history with a stylish new production of Rigoletto.
Why did Jean Sibelius suppress Kullervo (Op7, 1892)? There are many theories why he didn't allow it to be heard after its initial performance, though he referred to it fondly in private.
Most opera professionals, including the individuals who do the casting for
major houses, despair of finding performers who can match historical standards
of singing in operas such as Aïda. Yet a concert performance in Aspen
gives a glimmer of hope. It was led by four younger singers who may be part of
the future of Verdi singing in America and the world.
One might have been forgiven for thinking that both biology and chronology had gone askew at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday evening.
Three years ago I made what may have been my single worst decision in a half
century of attending opera. I wasn’t paying close attention when some
conference organizers in Aix-en-Provence offered me two tickets to the premiere
of a new opera. I opted instead for what seemed like a sure thing:
William Christie conducting some Charpentier.
Advertised in the program as the first opera written in the New World,
La Púrpura de la Rosa (PR) was premiered in 1701 in Lima
(Peru), but more than the historical feat, true or not, accounts for the
The 36th Rossini Opera Festival in Rossini’s Pesaro! La gazza ladra (1817), La gazzetta (1816) and L'inganno felice (1812) — the little opera that made Rossini famous.
Unlike the brush fire in a distant neighborhood of the John Crosby Theatre, Santa Fe Opera’s Salome stubbornly failed to ignite.
As part of a concerted effort to incorporate local color and resonance into its annual festival, Glimmerglass has re-imagined The Magic Flute in a transformative woodland setting.
Bravura singing and vibrant instrumental playing were on ample display in Glimmerglass Festival’s riveting Cato in Utica.
Bernstein’s Candide seems to have more performance versions than Tales of Hoffmann.
That’s The Conquest of Mexico, an historical music drama composed in 1991 by German composer Wolfgang Rihm (b. 1952). But wait. Wolfgang Rihm construed a few sentences of Artaud’s La Conquête du Mexique (1932) mixed up with bits of Aztec chant and bits of poem(s) by Mexico’s Octavio Paz (d. 1998) to make a libretto.
Glimmerglass is celebrating its 40th Festival season with a stylish new production of Verdi’s Macbeth.
This Salzburg Norma is not new news. This superb production was first seen at the Salzburg Festival’s springtime Whitsun Festival in 2013 with this same cast. It will now travel to a few major European cities.
John Eliot Gardiner conducted a much anticipated performance of Monteverdi’s first opera L’Orfeo at the BBC Proms on 4 August 2015, with his own Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists.
On August 1, 2015, Santa Fe Opera presented the world premiere of Cold Mountain, a brand new opera composed by Pulizer Prize and Grammy winner Jennifer Higdon.
Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich. Some will scream in rage but in its austerity it reaches to the heart of the opera.
It might seem churlish to complain about the BBC Proms coverage of Pierre
Boulez’s 90th anniversary. After all, there are a few performances
dotted around — although some seem rather oddly programmed, as if embarrassed
at the presence of new or newish music. (That could certainly not be claimed in
the present case.)
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