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Florilegium, Wigmore Hall

During this exploration of music from the Austro-German Baroque, Florilegium were joined by the baritone Roderick Williams in a programme of music which placed the music and career of J.S. Bach in the context of three older contemporaries: Franz Tunder (1614-67), Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1701) and Heinrich Biber (1644-1704). The work of these three composers may be less familiar to listeners, but Florilegium revealed the musical sophistication - under the increasing influence of the Italian style - and emotional range of this music which was composed during the second half of the seventeenth century.

Leoncavallo: Zazà - Opera Rara

Charismatic charm, vivacious insouciance, fervent passion, dejected self-pity, blazing anger and stoic selflessness: Zazà - a chanteuse raised from the backstreets to the bright lights - is a walking compendium of emotions. Ruggero Leoncavallo’s eponymous opera lives by its heroine. Tackling this exhausting, and perilous, role at the Barbican Hall, The soprano Ermonela Jaho gave an absolutely fabulous performance, her range, warmth and total commitment ensuring that the hooker’s heart of gold shone winningly.

L'ospedale - an anonymous opera rediscovered

‘Stay away from doctors; they are bad for your health.’ This seems to be the central message of L’Ospedale - a one-hour opera by an unknown seventeenth-century composer, with a libretto by Antonio Abati which presents a satirical critique of the medical profession of the day and those who had the misfortune to need curative treatment for their physical and mental ills.

Šimon Voseček : Beidermann and the Arsonists

‘In these times of heightened security … we are listening, watching …’

René Pape, Joseph Calleja, Kristine Opolais, Boito Mefistofele, Munich

Arrigo Boito Mefistofele was broadcast livestream from the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich last night. What a spectacle !

Calixto Bieito’s The Force of Destiny

The monochrome palette of Picasso’s Guernica and the mural’s anti-war images of suffering dominate Calixto Bieito’s new production of Verdi’s The Force of Destiny for English National Opera.

Morgen und Abend — World Premiere, Royal Opera House

The world premiere of Morgen und Abend by Georg Friedrich Haas at the Royal Opera House, London — so conceptually unique and so unusual that its originality will confound many.

Company XIV Combines Classic and Chic in an Exquisite Cinderella

Company XIV’s production of Cinderella is New York City theater at its finest. With a nod to the court of Louis the XIV and the grandiosity of Lully’s opera theater, Company XIV manages to preserve elements of the French Baroque while remaining totally innovative, and never—in fact, not once for the entire two and a half hour show—falls prey to the predictable. Not one detail is left to chance in this finely manicured yet earthily raw production of Cinderella.

Monteverdi by The Sixteen at Wigmore Hall

This was a concert where immense satisfaction was derived equally from the quality of musicianship displayed and the coherence and resourcefulness of the programme presented. In 1610, Claudio Monteverdi published his Vespro della Beata Vergine for soloists, chorus, and orchestra.

Dialogues des Carmélites Revival at Dutch National Opera

If not timeless, Robert Carsen’s production of Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites is highly age-resistant.

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: Le donne curiose

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari was one of the Italian composers of the post-Puccini generation (which included Licinio Refice, Riccardo Zandonai, Umberto Giordano and Franco Leoni) who struggled to prolong the verismo tradition in the early years of the twentieth century.

Moby-Dick Surfaces in the City of Angels

On Saturday evening October 31, 2015, the Nantucket whaling ship Pequod journeyed to Los Angeles Opera and began its sixth voyage in the attempt to kill the elusive whale called Moby-Dick.

Great Scott at the Dallas Opera

Great Scott is a combination of a parody of bel canto opera and an operatic version of All About Eve. Beloved American diva Arden Scott (Joyce DiDonato), has discovered the score to a long-lost opera “Rosa Dolorosa, Figlia di Pompeii” and has become committed to getting the work revived as a vehicle for her. “Rosa Dolorosa” has grand musical moments and a hilariously absurd plot.

Schubert and Debussy at Wigmore Hall

The most recent instalment of the Wigmore Hall’s ambitious series, ‘Schubert: The Complete Songs’, was presented by soprano Lucy Crowe, pianist Malcolm Martineau and harpist Lucy Wakeford.

A Bright and Accomplished Cenerentola at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola has returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago in a production new to this venue and one notable for several significant debuts along with roles taken by accomplished, familiar performers.

La Bohème, ENO

Back in 2000, Glyndebourne Touring Opera dragged Puccini’s sentimental tale of suffering bohemian artists into the ‘modern urban age’, when director David McVicar ditched the Parisian garrets and nineteenth-century frock coats in favour of a squalid bedsit in which Rodolfo and painter Marcello shared a line of cocaine under the grim glare of naked light bulbs and the clientele at Café Momus included a couple of gaudily attired transvestites.

Luigi Rossi: Orpheus

Just as Orpheus embarks on a quest for his beloved Eurydice, so the Royal Opera House seems to be in pursuit of the mythical music-maker himself: this year the house has presented Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Camden Roundhouse (with the Early Opera Company in January), Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice on the main stage (September), and, in the Linbury Studio Theatre, both Birtwistle’s The Corridor (June) and the Paris-music-hall style Little Lightbulb Theatre/Battersea Arts Centre co-production, Orpheus (September).

64th Wexford Festival Opera

Wexford Festival Opera has served up another thought-provoking and musically rewarding trio of opera rarities — neglected, forgotten or seldom performed — in 2015.

Christoph Prégardien, Schubert, Wigmore Hall London

Another highlight of the Wigmore Hall complete Schubert Song series - Christoph Prégardien and Christoph Schnackertz. The core Wigmore Hall Lieder audience were out in force. These days, though, there are young people among the regulars : a sign that appreciation of Lieder excellence is most certainly alive and well at the Wigmore Hall. .

The Magic Flute in San Francisco

How did it go? Reactions of my neighbors varied. Some left at the intermission, others remarked that they thought the singing was good.



10 Dec 2004

Don Carlo at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

With all of the festivities surrounding the reopening of La Scala, the production of Don Carlo at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was left in the shadows. The company is producing both the four-act and five-act editions, the latter being...

With all of the festivities surrounding the reopening of La Scala, the production of Don Carlo at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was left in the shadows. The company is producing both the four-act and five-act editions, the latter being in the original French language. The following is a report by Elisabetta Torselli of Il giornale della musica:

Si dà a Firenze un bel Don Carlo che recupera le celebri messinscene di Visconti, qui riprese da Joseph Franconi Lee: spettacolo di affascinante inattualità, oramai fissato e forse irrigidito in una serie di magnifici e foschi quadri spagnoleschi, alcuni dei quali peraltro molto ben resistono all'usura del tempo (e inattesa e ben orchestrata citazione dal viscontiano "Senso" quando il pubblico, parte del quale aveva male accolto la lettura di un comunicato dei lavoratori del Teatro del Maggio, è stato poi sommerso da una pioggia di volantini bianchi, rossi e verdi, Viva Verdi ossia Vogliamo una Economia di Rilancio Delle Istituzioni liriche). Lo si dà in due versioni alternate in cinque e in quattro atti: è sostanzialmente l'edizione di Modena del 1886 che reintegra l'atto di Fontainebleau (ma con altre significative aggiunte dalla versione parigina 1867); per cui l'edizione in quattro atti non è affatto la ben nota versione milanese, bensì Modena senza Fontainebleau. Mehta si gode questa partitura straordinaria in tutti i suoi aspetti, quello disinibitamente Grand-Opéra e quello dei colori crepuscolari, luttuosi (impressionante il preludio del quinto atto), arditissimi, con sonorità come sempre sontuose e calde, talora, come nella scena Filippo-Grande Inquisitore, quasi sublimando in lenta e metafisica delibazione le vibrazioni del dramma. Con i suoi centri rigidi e inamabili Fabio Armiliato è purtroppo un Carlo esposto alle contestazioni del pubblico; Barbara Frittoli è un'Elisabetta nobile e struggente ma di talora insufficiente peso drammatico, al contrario della potente Eboli di Violeta Urmana, trionfatrice della prima; Roberto Scandiuzzi, Carlo Guelfi, Paata Burchuladze e Ayk Martirossian si spendono con partecipazione nei ruoli di Filippo, Rodrigo, del Grande Inquisitore e del Frate. Successo vivissimo.

Cast information:

Filippo II — Roberto Scandiuzzi / René Pape [5, 10, 14, 18]

Don Carlo — Fabio Armiliato / Marcus Haddock [5, 10, 14, 18]

Rodrigo, Marchese di Posa — Carlo Guelfi / Lucio Gallo [5, 10, 14, 18]

l Grande Inquisitore — Paata Burchuladze / Ayk Martirossian [18]

Un frate — Ayk Martirossian / Enrico Turco [10, 14, 18]

Elisabetta di Valois — Barbara Frittoli / Adrianne Pieczonka [5, 10, 14, 18]

La Principessa Eboli — Violeta Urmana / Dolora Zajick [10, 14, 18]

Tebaldo — Gemma Bertagnolli

Il Conte di Lerma — Enrico Cossutta

Un araldo reale — Carlo Bosi

Voce dal cielo — Alessandra Marianelli

Deputati fiamminghi — Franco Boscolo, Alessandro Calamai, Calogero Andolina, Joseph Song Chi, Jin Hwan Hyun, Sungil Kim, Evgeny Stavinskiy

Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Direttore — Zubin Mehta

Regia — Alberto Fassini

Scene e costumi — Luchino Visconti


Edition in five acts:
03-12-2004, h 19
07-12-2004, h 19
12-12-2004, h 15.30
16-12-2004, h 19

Edition in four acts:
05-12-2004, h 15.30
10-12-2004, h 19
14-12-2004, h 19
18-12-2004, h 19

Don Carlo will be broadcast by Radio 3 on 16 December at 1800 GMT. Click here for details.

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