Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Performances

J. C. Bach: Adriano in Siria

At this start of the year, Classical Opera embarked upon an ambitious project. MOZART 250 will see the company devote part of its programme each season during the next 27 years to exploring the music by Mozart and his contemporaries which was being written and performed exactly 250 years previously.

Bethan Langford, Wigmore Hall

The Concordia Foundation was founded in the early 1990s by international singer and broadcaster Gillian Humphreys, out of her ‘real concern for building bridges of friendship and excellence through music and the arts’.

Tansy Davies: Between Worlds (world premiere)

An opera dealing with — or at least claiming to deal with — the events of 11 September 2001? I suppose it had to come, but that does not necessarily make it any more necessary.

Arizona Opera Ends Season in Fine Style with Fille du Régiment

On April 10, 2015, Arizona Opera ended its season with La Fille du Régiment at Phoenix Symphony Hall. A passionate Marie, Susannah Biller was a veritable energizer bunny onstage. Her voice is bright and flexible with a good bloom on top and a tiny bit of steel in it. Having created an exciting character, she sang with agility as well as passion.

Il turco in Italia, Royal Opera

This second revival of Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser’s 2005 production of Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia seems to have every going for it: excellent principals comprising experienced old-hands and exciting new voices, infinite gags and japes, and the visual éclat of Agostino Cavalca’s colour-bursting costumes and Christian Fenouillat’s sunny sets which evoke the style, glamour and ease of La Dolce Vita.

The Siege of Calais
——
The Wild Man of the West Indies

English Touring Opera’s 2015 Spring Tour is audacious and thought-provoking. Alongside La Bohème the company have programmed a revival of their acclaimed 2013 production of Donizetti’s The Siege of Calais (L’assedio di Calais) and the composer’s equally rare The Wild Man of the West Indies (Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo).

The Met’s Lucia di Lammermoor

Mary Zimmerman’s still-fresh production is made fresher still by Shagimuratova’s glimmering voice, but the acting disappoints

Voices, voices in space, and spaces: Thoughts on 50 years of Meredith Monk

When WNYC’s John Schaefer introduced Meredith Monk’s beloved Panda Chant II, which concluded the four-and-a-half hour Meredith Monk & Friends celebration at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, he described it as “an expression of joy and musicality” before lamenting the fact that playing it on his radio show could never quite compete with a live performance.

St. John Passion by Soli Deo Gloria, Chicago

This year’s concert of the Chicago Bach Project, under the aegis of the Soli Deo Gloria Music Foundation, was a presentation of the St. John Passion (BWV 245) at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park.

Fedora in Genoa

It is not an everyday opera. It is an opera that illuminates a larger verismo history.

The Marriage of Figaro, LA Opera

On March 26, 2015, Los Angeles Opera presented Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The Ian Judge production featured jewel-colored box sets by Tim Goodchild that threw the voices out into the hall. Only for the finale did the set open up on to a garden that filled the whole stage and at the very end featured actual fireworks.

The Tempest Songbook, Gotham Chamber Opera

Gotham Chamber Opera’s latest project, The Tempest Songbook, continues to explore the possibilities of unconventional spaces and unconventional programs that the company has made its hallmark. The results were musically and theatrically thought-provoking, and left me wanting more.

San Diego Opera presents Adams’ Riveting Nixon in China

Nixon in China is a three-act opera with a libretto by Alice Goodman and music by John Adams that was first seen at the Houston Grand Opera on October 22, 1987. It was the first of a notable line of operas by the composer.

Ars Minerva presents Castrovillari’s La Cleopatra in San Francisco

It is thanks to Céline Ricci, mezzo-soprano and director of Ars Minerva, that we have been able to again hear Daniele Castrovillari’s exquisite melodies because she is the musician who has brought his 1662 opera La Cleopatra to life.

An Ideal Cast in Chicago’s Tannhäuser

Lyric Opera of Chicago, in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, has staged a production of Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser with an estimable cast.

Madame Butterfly, Royal Opera

Puccini and his fellow verismo-ists are commonly associated with explosions of unbridled human passion and raw, violent pain, but in this revival (by Justin Way) of Moshe Leiser’s and Patrice Caurier’s 2003 production of Madame Butterfly, directorial understatement together with ravishing scenic beauty are shown to be more potent ways of enabling the sung voice to reveal the emotional depths of human tragedy.

Tosca in Marseille

Rarely, very rarely does a Tosca come around that you can get excited about. Sure, sometimes there is good singing, less often good conducting but rarely is there a mise en scène that goes beyond stock opera vocabulary.

Poetry beyond words — Nash Ensemble, Wigmore Hall

The Nash Ensemble’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations at the Wigmore Hall were crowned by a recital that typifies the Nash’s visionary mission. Above, the dearly-loved founder, Amelia Freeman, a quietly revolutionary figure in her own way, who has immeasurably enriched the cultural life of this country.

Arizona Opera Presents Magritte Style Magic Flute

On March 7, 2015, Arizona Opera presented Dan Rigazzi’s production of Die Zauberflöte in Tucson. Inspired by the works of René Magritte, designer John Pollard filled the stage with various sizes of picture frames, windows, and portals from which he leads us into Mozart and Schikaneder’s dream world.

Henry Purcell: A Retrospective

There are some concert programmes which are not just wonderful in their execution but also delight and satisfy because of the ‘rightness’ of their composition. This Wigmore Hall recital by soprano Carolyn Sampson and three period-instrument experts of arias and instrumental pieces by Henry Purcell was one such occasion.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

30 Nov 2004

Pierre Jourdan Resurrects Haÿdée at Compiègne

OPéRA "Hayedée" à Compiègne Auber sort de l'oubli Jacques Doucelin [Le Figaro] [30 novembre 2004] Et de cinq ! Après Manon Lescaut, Gustave III, Le Domino noir et Les Diamants de la couronne entre 1990 et 1999, Pierre Jourdan vient...

OPéRA "Hayedée" à Compiègne
Auber sort de l'oubli

Jacques Doucelin [Le Figaro]
[30 novembre 2004]

Et de cinq ! Après Manon Lescaut, Gustave III, Le Domino noir et Les Diamants de la couronne entre 1990 et 1999, Pierre Jourdan vient de ressusciter un autre opéra oublié d'Auber, Hayedée ou le secret. Ce n'est point manie, mais respect d'une promesse faite voici quinze ans : défendre et illustrer le répertoire lyrique français par le Théâtre français pour la musique installé dans le Théâtre impérial de Compiègne lui-meme achevé et rendu à sa destination première grâce à l'acharnement du meme Pierre Jourdan. Un homme orchestre qui sait aussi bien gérer une salle, équilibrer une programmation qu'inculquer le beau style aux jeunes chanteurs dont il complète la formation.

Ajoutons que cet ancien réalisateur de télévision s'entend à assurer la rentabilité artistique de ses spectacles diffusés en DVD. Sans compter sa vocation d'ambassadeur du chant français à l'étranger par l'invitation de plusieurs productions au Covent Garden de Londres. On s'étonne qu'aucune synergie ne soit encore née avec l'Opéra-Comique dont Compiègne défend le répertoire de façon exemplaire. Favart ayant été promu Epic (Etablissement public à vocation industrielle et commerciale) et doté d'un budget artistique, les choses devraient changer.

Ce qui frappe dans Hayedée comme dans Noé de Bizet et d'Halévy (Le Figaro des 8 et 19 octobre) c'est l'homogénéité. Si Jourdan ne peut s'offrir Alagna ou Dessay, il compense par un travail de fond sur le style. A la tete du jeune et excellent orchestre Albéric Magnard. il a placé Michel Swierczewski qui ressuscita déjà Christophe Colomb pour le centenaire de Milhaud en 1992 avec pour héros un certain Laurent Naouri qui a fait son chemin depuis !

Ce chef d'expérience aime cette musique et sait la faire aimer. Ce qu'on voit est au diapason, des superbes toiles d'André Brasilier aux riches costumes de Pierre Capeyron. Isabelle Philippe campe une Hayedée à l'aigu facile au coté d'Anne-Sophie Schmidt plus à l'aise en Rafaela que dans Noé. Dans le role effroyable de Lorédan, le jeune ténor Bruno Comparetti témoigne d'un courage souvent récompensé et d'un vrai style. Il est bien entouré par le gentil ténor Mathias Vidal et la méchante basse Paul Medioni.

Comment sauver le livret aussi "tarte" de Scribe ? Du pire vaudeville qui ne prend pas la tete, mais exaspère : on se dit qu'il faudrait couper les dialogues parlés Pas d'originalité, mais des airs bien troussés comme celui dont on sait qu'il fera le tour des faubourgs et que sa partition se vendra dans les salons bourgeois : ainsi allait la publicité dans un siècle sans télévision et sans cinéma. Voilà qui explique l'énorme succès en Europe : 500 représentations rien qu'à Paris ! Pourquoi ? Le public a toujours préféré Salieri à Mozart.

[Click here for a related article.]

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):