Recently in Performances
On August 9, 2014, Santa Fe Opera presented a new updated production of Don Pasquale that set the action in the 1950s. Chantal Thomas’s Act I scenery showed the Don’s furnishing as somewhat worn and decidedly dowdy. Later, she literally turned the Don’s home upside down!
At a concert in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in San Jose, California, on August 22, 2014, a few selections preceded the piece the audience had been waiting for: the world premiere of Dolora Zajick’s brand new composition, an opera scene entitled Roads to Zion.
By emphasizing the love between Sun Yat-sen and Soong Ching-ling, Ruo showed us the human side of this universally revered modern Chinese leader. Writer Lindsley Miyoshi has quoted the composer as saying that the opera is “about four kinds of love.” It speaks of affection between friends, between parents and children, between lovers, and between patriots and their country.
In light of the 2012 half-centenary of the premiere in the newly re-built Coventry Cathedral of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, the 2013 centennial celebrations of the composer’s own birth, and this year’s commemorations of the commencement of WW1, it is perhaps not surprising that the War Requiem - a work which was long in gestation and which might be seen as a summation of the composer’s musical, political and personal concerns - has been fairly frequently programmed of late. And, given the large, multifarious forces required, the potent juxtaposition of searing English poetry and liturgical Latin, and the profound resonances of the circumstances of the work’s commission and premiere, it would be hard to find a performance, as William Mann declared following the premiere, which was not a ‘momentous occasion’.
Santa Fe opera has presented Carmen in various productions since 1961. This year’s version by Stephen Lawless takes place during the recent past in Northern Mexico near the United States border. The performance on August 6, 2014, featured Ana Maria Martinez as a monumentally sexy Gypsy who was part of a drug smuggling group.
Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra persuasively balanced passion and poetry in this absorbing Promenade concert. Elder’s tempi were fairly relaxed but the result was spaciousness rather than ponderousness, with phrases given breadth and substance, and rich orchestral colours permitted to make startling dramatic impact.
Although far from perfect, the performance of Berio’s Sinfonia in the first half of this concert was certainly its high-point; indeed, I rather wish that I had left at the interval, given the tedium induced by Shostakovich’s interminable Fourth Symphony. Still, such was the programme Semyon Bychkov had been intended to conduct. Alas, illness had forced him to withdraw, to be replaced at short notice by Vasily Petrenko.
Handel's Rinaldo was first performed in 1711 at London's King's Theatre. Handel's first opera for London was designed to delight and entertain, combining good tunes, great singing with a rollicking good story. Robert Carsen's 2011 production of the opera for Glyndebourne reflected this with its tongue-in-cheek Harry Potter meets St Trinian's staging.
On August 7, 2014, the Santa Fe Opera presented a double bill of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Impresario and Igor Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol (The Nightingale). The Impresario deals with the casting of an opera and Le Rossignol tells the well-known fairy tale about the plain gray bird with an exquisite song.
Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre has gifted opera enthusiasts with a thrilling Barber, and I don’t mean . . . of Seville.
In typical Proms fashion, BBC Prom 28 saw Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex performed in an eclectic programme which started with Beethoven's Egmont Overture and also featured Electric Preludes by the contemporary Australian composer Brett Dean. Sakari Oramo,was making the first of his Proms appearances this year, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Chorus.
Santa Fe Opera presented Beethoven’s Fidelio for the first time in 2014. Since the sides of the opera house are open, the audience watched the sun redden the low hanging clouds and set below the Sangre de Cristo mountains while Chief Conductor Harry Bicket led the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra in the rousing overture. At the same time, Alex Penda as the title character readied herself for the ordeal to come as she endeavored to rescue her unjustly imprisoned husband.
Best of the season so far! William Christie and Les Arts Florissants performed Rameau Grand Motets at late night Prom 17.
Twelve years after Opera Holland Park's first production of Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, the opera made a welcome return.
The Italianate cloister setting at Iford chimes neatly with Monteverdi’s penultimate opera The Return of Ulysses, as the setting cannot but bring to mind those early days of the musical genre.
Once again, we find ourselves thanking an unrepresentable being for Welsh National Opera’s commitment to its mission.
If you don’t have the means to get to the Rossini festival in Pesaro, you would do just as well to come to Indianola, Iowa, where Des Moines Metro Opera festival has devised a heady production of Le Comte Ory that is as long on belly laughs as it is on musical fireworks.
Composed during just a few weeks of the summer of 1926, Janáček’s Slavonic-text Glagolitic Mass was first performed in Brno in December 1927.
With the conclusion of the ROH 2013-14 season on Saturday evening - John Copley’s 40-year old production of La Bohème bringing down the summer curtain - the sun pouring through the gleaming windows of the Floral Hall was a welcome invitation to enjoy a final treat. The Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Showcase offered singers whom we have admired in minor and supporting roles during the past year the opportunity to step into the spotlight.
Many words have already been spent - not all of them on musical matters - on Richard Jones’s Glyndebourne production of Der Rosenkavalier, which last night was transported to the Royal Albert Hall. This was the first time at the Proms that Richard Strauss’s most popular opera had been heard in its entirety and, despite losing two of its principals in transit from Sussex to SW1, this semi-staged performance offered little to fault and much to admire.
13 Dec 2004
Lavinia fuggita at Modena
Lavinia la turca Lavinia fuggita Opera da camera in un atto di Matteo D'Amico libretto di Sandro Cappelletto, liberamente tratto dall'omonimo racconto di Anna Banti prima rappresentazione: Modena, Teatro Comunale 12 dicembre 2004 Teatro Comunale via del Teatro 8 Modena...
Lavinia la turca
Opera da camera in un atto
di Matteo D'Amico
libretto di Sandro Cappelletto, liberamente tratto dall'omonimo racconto di Anna Banti
prima rappresentazione: Modena, Teatro Comunale 12 dicembre 2004
via del Teatro 8
tel. 059.20 00 20 - fax 059.20 00 21 www.comune.modena.it/teatrocomunale/; firstname.lastname@example.org
13 dicembre 2004
Ancora una nuova opera commissionata dal Teatro Comunale di Modena, da offrire ai giovani delle scuole, sulla scia di una meritoria iniziativa avviata ormai da qualche anno. Questa volta il compositore coinvolto è Matteo D'Amico che, complice il "librettista" Sandro Cappelletto, ha realizzato "Lavinia fuggita", opera da camera in un prologo e sette scene dal racconto di Anna Banti, nel ventesimo anniversario della sua scomparsa. Tanti i punti a favore di questa impresa, dunque: opera nuova, contemporanea, realizzata per l'occasione - dato raro - che ricorda una scrittrice sensibile, colta e, possiamo dire, quasi dimenticata - altro merito - il tutto pensato per i giovani, che si trovano così a confrontarsi, nello stesso momento, con il teatro d'opera e con la musica contemporanea. Alla "prima" di domenica pomeriggio, colpevoli forse le spedizioni per regali natalizi, il teatro non era di certo esaurito, ma il calore del pubblico si è comunque fatto sentire alla fine dell'ora in cui sul palcoscenico è stata raccontata la storia di Lavinia. Orfana dell'Ospedale della Pietà veneziano, la protagonista condivide insofferente la condizione delle sue compagne, fatta di preghiera e canto, vivaldiano naturalemnte. Ma Lavinia ha il sangue che le parla della sua terra lontana, e anela alla libertà, al ritorno, che trova di tanto in tanto nella musica che compone di nascosto, e che Vivaldi - furbastro - fa sua. Un bel giorno, un misterioso marinaio turco che porta con se un piu che simbolico colore rosso, la porta via: Lavinia, così, fugge. I versi di Cappelletto sono ben confezionati, chiari e a tratti anche divertenti, la musica di D'Amico si nutre di palesi riferimenti al Prete Rosso ("Juditha Triumphans", l'"Inverno" delle "Stagioni") drammaturgicamente funzionali, su un impianto stilisticamente variegato, tenuto assieme da un univoco carattere timbrico della partitura. La messa in scena - regia Paola Viano, scene Antonella Conte - è essenziale ma funziona, con belle idee come la discesa dall'altro degli strumenti per il concerto delle "pute". Giovani ma generose d'impegno le interpreti, a partire da Ermonela Jaho nei panni di Lavinia. Aldo Sisillo alla guida dell'Orchestra da camera del Comunale ha seguito con precisione la trama musicale. Come detto, alla fine applausi per tutti.
[Source: Il giornale della musica]