Recently in Commentary
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
Matthew Polenzani reprises the role of the Chevalier des Grieux in Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Royal Opera House. “I love coming back to London”, he says, “It’s a very good house and they take care of you as a singer. And the level of music making is unbelievably high”.
On Saturday evening January 25, San Diego Opera opens its 2014 season with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s verismo blockbuster Pagliacci (Clowns).
The Flying Dutchman is a transitional piece because Wagner was only beginning to establish his style. He took some aspects from Carl Maria von Weber and others from Italian composers like Vincenzo Bellini.
The Royal Opera House has its own DVD arm, Opus Arte, and is developing quite a global
following with its cinema broadcasts.
On a personal level, I feel that Dolores is almost like Emmeline grown up. Their circumstances are not exactly parallel, but they are both women at very different points in their lives whose stories involve dilemmas with life-changing outcomes.
With the help of Andrew Welch, a London theatrical producer who had adapted several of King’s works for the stage, including this one, I got the rights to both Dolores Claiborne and Misery.
On September 18, 2013, San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s opera, Dolores Claiborne, which has a libretto by J. D. McClatchy based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.
Ermonela Jaho caused a sensation at Covent Garden in London five years ago, when she took over Violetta at short notice from Anna Netrebko.
What do you get if you cross Benjamin Britten, ‘one-page scores’, an innovative performing ensemble and ‘Wigmore Learning’ — the Wigmore Hall’s imaginative outreach programme which aims to provide access to chamber music and song through innovative creative programmes, online resources and events?
Marseille woke up this past January 11 stunned to find itself number two on the New York Times list of 46 places you should visit in 2013 (Rio was number one, Paris just made the list at number 46).
Garsington Opera at Wormsley is producing the British premiere of Giacomo Rossini´s Maometto Secondo. Garsington Opera is well-known for its role in reviving Rossini rarities in Britain. Since 1994, there have been 14 productions of 12 Rossini operas, and David Parry has
conducted eleven since 2002. He´s very enthusiastic about Maometto Secondo.
Rossini’s La donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House boasts a superstar cast. Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez are perhaps the best in these roles in the business at this time. Yet the conductor Michele Mariotti is also hot news.
It would seem a logical step for the mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey to take on
the role of the Composer in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
“Aim for excellence”, says Douglas Boyd, new Artistic Director of Garsington Opera at Wormsley, “and the audience will follow you”.
When I spoke with Zandra Rhodes, she was in her large San Diego workspace, which she described as having walls decorated with her own huge black and white drawings.
Palm Beach audiences are famous for their glamour, but in recent years a special star has sparkled amid the jewels, sequins, feathers and furs (whatever the weather).
When the soprano Jessica Pratt first arrived in Italy, she had yet to learn the language or sing in a staged opera.
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.