Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Performances

Manon Lescaut, Munich

Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich. Some will scream in rage but in its austerity it reaches to the heart of the opera.

Proms Saturday Matinée 1

It might seem churlish to complain about the BBC Proms coverage of Pierre Boulez’s 90th anniversary. After all, there are a few performances dotted around — although some seem rather oddly programmed, as if embarrassed at the presence of new or newish music. (That could certainly not be claimed in the present case.)

The Maid of Pskov (Pskovityanka) , St. Petersburg

I recently spent four days in St. Petersburg, timed to coincide with the annual Stars of the White Nights Festival. Yet the most memorable singing I heard was neither at the Mariinsky Theater nor any other performance hall. It was in the small, nearly empty church built for the last Tsar, Nicholas II, at Tsarskoye Selo.

Prom 11 — Grange Park Opera: Fiddler on the Roof

As I walked up Exhibition Road on my way to the Royal Albert Hall, I passed a busking tuba player whose fairground ditties were enlivened by bursts of flame which shot skyward from the bell of his instrument, to the amusement and bemusement of a rapidly gathering pavement audience.

Saul, Glyndebourne

A brilliant theatrical event, bringing Handel’s theatre of the mind to life on stage

Roberta Invernizzi, Wigmore Hall

‘Here, thanks be to God, my opera is praised to the skies and there is nothing in it which does not please greatly.’ So wrote Antonio Vivaldi to Marchese Guido Bentivoglio d’Aragona in Ferrara in 1737.

Montemezzi: L’amore dei tre Re

Asphyxiations, atrophy by poison, assassination: in Italo Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre Re (The Love of the Three Kings, 1913) foul deed follows foul deed until the corpses are piled high. 

Prom 4: Andris Nelsons

The precision of attack in the opening to Beethoven’s Creatures of Prometheus Overture signalled thoroughgoing excellence in the contribution of the CBSO to this concert.

BBC Proms: The Cardinall’s Musick

When he was skilfully negotiating the not inconsiderable complexities, upheavals and strife of musical and religious life at the English royal court during the Reformation, Thomas Tallis (c.1505-85) could hardly have imagined that more than 450 years later people would be queuing round the block for the opportunity spend their lunch-hour listening to the music that he composed in service of his God and his monarch.

Oberon, Persephone and Iolanta at the Aix Festival

Two of the important late twentieth century stage directors, Robert Carsen and Peter Sellars, returned to the Aix Festival this summer. Carsen’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a masterpiece, Sellars’ strange Tchaikovsky/Stravinsky double bill is simply bizarre.

Betrothal and Betrayal : JPYA at the ROH

The annual celebration of young talent at the Royal Opera House is a magnificent showcase, and it was good to see such a healthy audience turnout.

Jenůfa Packs a Wallop at DMMO

There are few operas that can rival the visceral impact of a well-staged Jenůfa and Des Moines Metro Opera has emphatically delivered the goods.

Des Moines Fanciulla a Minnie-Triumph

The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West) often gets eclipsed when compared to the rest of the mature Puccini canon.

First Night of the BBC Proms 2015

First Night of the BBC Proms 2015 with Sakari Oramo in exuberant form, pulling off William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the theatrical flair it deserves.

Monsters and Marriage at the Aix Festival

Plus an evening by the superb Modigliani Quartet that complimented the brief (55 minutes) a cappella opera for six female voices Svadba (2013) by Serbian composer Ana Sokolovic (b. 1968). She lives in Canada.

Des Moines: A Whole Other Secret Garden

With its revelatory production of Rappaccini’s Daughter performed outdoors in the city’s refurbished Botanical Gardens, Des Moines Metro Opera has unlocked the gate to a mysterious, challenging landscape of musical delights.

Seductive Abduction in Iowa

Des Moines Metro Opera has quite a crowd-pleasing production of The Abduction from the Seraglio on its hands.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Garsington Opera

Even by Shakespeare’s standards A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of his earlier plays, boasts a particularly fantastical plot involving a bunch of aristocrats (the Athenian Court of Theseus), feuding gods and goddesses (Oberon and Titania), ‘Rude Mechanicals’ (Bottom, Quince et al) and assorted faeries and spirits (such as Puck).

Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

What do we call Tristan und Isolde? That may seem a silly question. Tristan und Isolde, surely, and Tristan for short, although already we come to the exquisite difficulty, as Tristan and Isolde themselves partly seem (though do they only seem?) to recognise of that celebrated ‘und’.

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

So this was it, the Pelléas which had apparently repelled critics and other members of the audience on the opening night. Perhaps that had been exaggeration; I avoided reading anything substantive — and still have yet to do so.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

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

Shows:

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.

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):