Recently in Commentary
Last year’s Strauss anniversary year — 150 years since his birth —
offered, at least in the United Kingdom, a typical number of opportunities and
On 6 June, Jonathan Dove’s Flight touches down in Kensington,
west London. Opera Holland Park is to stage the first London production of
Dove’s operatic presentation of the real-life story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri,
the Iranian exile who, lacking residency rights or refugee status, was forced
to live in the departure lounge of Terminal One at Charles de Gaulle Airport
for 18 years.
San Diego Opera, the company that General Manager Ian Campbell had scheduled for demolition, proved that it is alive and singing as beautifully as ever. Its 2015 season was cut back slightly and management has become a bit leaner, but the company celebrated its fiftieth season in fine style with a concert that included many of the greatest arias ever written.
Kathleen Ferrier may have been one of the world’s finest contraltos but this year’s Kathleen Ferrier Awards Final, held at the Wigmore Hall, was all about lyric sopranos.
East Coast Premiere at Opera Philadelphia next season. Performances from Cold Mountain at the Guggenheim in New York this Monday, March 30.
Five Young Singers Named Winners of the 2015 Met National Council Auditions, America’s Most Prestigious Vocal Competition
Julia Noulin-Mérat is the principal designer for the Noulin-Merat Studio, an intrepid New York City production design firm that works in theater, film, and television, but emphasizes opera and immersive site-specific theatre.
A brand new opera — especially one that is groundbreaking— can really put an opera company on the map. British composer Barry Seaman’s stunning new work, Mirabai, which explores the story of the free thinking, mystic
16th century Hindu princess, Mira, is ambitious on many levels —
artistically, technically and creatively.
Bampton Classical Opera has announced that applications are now open for the
company’s Young Singers’ Competition 2015. This biennial competition was
first launched in 2013 to celebrate Bampton Classical Opera’s 20th
birthday, and is aimed at identifying the finest emerging young opera singers
currently working in the UK.
Anita Rachvelishvili recently performed the title role in Carmen broadcast by The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Here she drops by for a little chat with our Maria Nockin.
This is a revised version of my review of the Sept 5th
1991American premiere of The Death of Klinghoffer, at the
Brooklyn Academy of Music. The opera was first performed at Brussels’ La
Monnaie the previous spring.
"Although there are now more people on this planet than there have ever been before, there are fewer dramatic voices. Something is wrong with that equation. I thought there needs to be some sort of helping hand so that dramatic voices don’t fall through the cracks in the system as they advance through their various stages of development."
Anna Prohaska sings Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des
Carmélites at the Royal Opera House. In the same month, she’s also in
London to sing a recital with Eric Schneider at the Wigmore Hall, and to sing
Henze with Sir Simon Rattle at the Barbican Hall.
Garsington Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Baritone Brandon Coleman’s mother, Linda, knew that 3-year old Brandon
would be a great singer when a stranger who had heard him, predicted it.
Professional opera returns to the Las Vegas Valley June 6th and 8th with performances of one of the best-known comic operas of all time, Gioachino Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
I met with the embattled artistic director of the Opéra et Orchestre National de Montepellier not to talk about his battles. I simply wanted to know the man who had cast and staged a truly extraordinary Mozart/DaPonte trilogy.
Maria Nockin interviews tenor Saimir Pirgu.
Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, has died aged 80
02 Nov 2004
Peter Gelb and the Met
In today's Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson opines on the future of the Met under Peter Gelb's leadership. She maintains that, given his background with Sony, this is a radical choice. Comparing his work at Sony with the Met, she...
In today's Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson opines on the future of the Met under Peter Gelb's leadership. She maintains that, given his background with Sony, this is a radical choice. Comparing his work at Sony with the Met, she contends that "[l]ike a classical-record company, a big opera house like the Met relies heavily on its 'back catalog,' but its new headliner productions are what create the buzz."
Mr. Gelb has spoken about the need for originality and creativity in music, and in a for-profit environment he sought creativity that had popular appeal. Some of his projects, like Richard Einhorn's haunting score "Voices of Light," created for the silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc," were artistically successful. And director Julie Taymor, creator of the Met's new "Magic Flute," which sold out all its performances this fall and is one of the company's biggest hits in years, has a history with Mr. Gelb, who produced her "Oedipus Rex" in Japan in 1992.
At Sony, Mr. Gelb was smart enough to reorient the company for survival by taking the resources available and using his considerable marketing and packaging skills to sell them. The Met's resources and challenges are different. But thanks to Mr. Volpe and James Levine, it is a solid organization, well-positioned for some out-of-the-box thinking. For example, Ms. Taymor aside, attention to theatrical values has been sorely lacking in recent Met seasons. Before he turned to the record business, Mr. Gelb was a film and television producer. While his reputation may be colored by the purely commercial quality of some of his Sony creations, in the bastion of high art he may be just the person to revitalize the company's neglected stage, and give the Battleship Met a lively new face for the coming years.
For the complete article, click here (subscription to Wall Street Journal Online required).
Ms. Waleson's analysis may all be true. But, the real test for Mr. Gelb will be the future of the Met broadcasts, the Met's public face to the world. The Met is looking to raise $150 million in a 6-year campaign. In the first eight months of the campaign, it raised a paltry $11 million, $7 million of which is attributable to two foundations. This is hardly a groundswell of public support and strongly suggests that the campaign is doomed to failure. Without the broadcasts, the Met becomes just another local institution that has a great reputation but has little direct impact on operalovers living outside the Big Apple. Here is where Mr. Gelb can best use his experience in the business world to supply a product in high demand at a low cost.