Recently in Performances
Dulce Rosa, a brand new opera, had its world premiere Friday night, May 17, 2013 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. It was produced by Los Angeles Opera, but staged in the smaller theater.
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National Opera Company of the Rhine has marked this year’s Benjamin Britten celebration with a remarkably compelling, often gripping new production of the seldom-seen Owen Wingrave.
Once upon a time, Frankfurt Opera had the baddest ass reputation in Germany as “the” cutting edge producer of must-see opera.
Productions of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto can serve as a vehicle for individual singers to make a strong impression and become afterward associated with specific roles in the opera.
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Poor Aida! She never seems to have anything go her way.
Is it possible to upstage Jonas Kaufmann? Kaufmann was brilliant in this Verdi Don Carlo at the Royal Opera House, London, but the rest of the cast was so good that he was but first among equals. Don Carlo is a vehicle for stars, but this time the stars were everyone on stage and in the pit. Even the solo arias, glorious as they are, grow organically out of perfect ensemble. This was a performance that brought out the true beauty of Verdi's music.
The big names were absent: Duparc, D’Indy, Debussy, Ravel
and while Fauré, Chausson, Roussel and several members of Les Six put in an appearance, in less than familiar guises, this survey of French song of the early 20th century and interwar years deliberately took us on a journey through infrequently travelled terrain.
Composed between 1718 and 1720, Handel’s Esther is sometimes described as the ‘first English Oratorio’, but is in fact a hybrid form, mixing elements of oratorio, masque, pastoral and opera.
Hector Berlioz's légende dramatique, La Damnation de Faust, exists somewhere between cantata and opera. Berlioz's flexible attitude to dramatic form made the piece unworkable on the stages of early 19th century Paris and his music is so vivid that you wonder whether the piece needs staging at all.
St. John’s Smith Square was the site of Elizabeth Connell’s final London concert, intended as a farewell to London on her moving to Australia. It was rendered ultimately final by her unexpected death.
With the building of the Suez Canal, Egypt became more interesting to Western Europeans. Khedive Ismail Pasha wanted a hymn by Verdi for the opening of a new opera house in Cairo, but the composer said he did not write occasional pieces.
Back for its fourth revival, David McVicar’s 2003 production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte has much charm, beauty and artistry.
27 Nov 2004
LA Opera Presents Vanessa
A fully American grand opera Los Angeles Opera stages the seldom-produced "Vanessa" By John Farrell Special to U-Entertainment Thursday, November 25, 2004 - Los Angeles Opera has been steering its productions the last few months right down the middle of...
A fully American grand opera
Los Angeles Opera stages the seldom-produced "Vanessa"
By John Farrell
Special to U-Entertainment
Thursday, November 25, 2004 - Los Angeles Opera has been steering its productions the last few months right down the middle of the operatic road.
With productions of Bizet's "Carmen' last month and Puccini's "La Boheme," which opened last weekend, the company has been reaching for an audience which knows what it wants, and what it wants isn't anything new and different.
On Saturday, however, when the company opens its first-ever production of Samuel Barber's 1958 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera "Vanessa," with superstar Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role, it veers far from the norm.
"Vanessa' was a big hit when it premiered at the Metropolitan Opera, earned the Pulitzer and was revived for several seasons at the Met. It was also the first American opera to be performed at the Salzburg Festival. Gian Carlo Menotti, one of the 20th century's most successful opera composers (his opera "The Saint of Bleecker Street' won the Pulitzer in 1954), wrote the libretto for "Vanessa."
But after that original notice, it hasn't been heard from often. One reason lies in what Dimitri Mitropoulos, who conducted the premiere of the opera, said: "At last, a fully American grand opera!'
And that it is. The scale of "Vanessa," with an on-stage orchestra as well as that in the pit, and an unseen chorus, makes the work difficult and expensive to perform.
[Click here for remainder of article.]
Kiri Te Kanawa — VANESSA
Lucy Schaufer — ERIKA
Rosalind Elias — BARONESS
John Matz — ANATOL
David Evitts — DOCTOR
David Babinet — NICHOLAS, THE MAJOR-DOMO
Peter Nathan Foltz — A FOOTMAN
Synopsis of Vanessa