Recently in Performances
In its ongoing celebration of Verdi’s centennial year, the Los Angeles Opera offered a new production of Falstaff, the composer’s last and most brilliant opera — brilliant in every scintillating, sparkling sense of the word.
Poor Weber: opera companies, especially in England, do him anything but proud.
Acis and Galatea was one of Handel’s most popular works, frequently revived in his life time and beyond.
German tenor Werner Güra, who has made a speciality of the German lieder repertoire, opened this recital at the Wigmore Hall with Beethoven’s An Die Ferne Geliebte, the composer’s only song cycle and the first significant example of the form.
It’s been renamed “The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess,” it hails itself as “The American Musical” and further qualifies itself as “The Porgy and Bess for the Twenty-First Century.”
Richard Wagner wrote: "The voyage through the Norwegian reefs made a wonderful impression on my imagination; the legend of the Flying Dutchman, which the sailors verified, took on a distinctive, strange coloring that only my sea adventures could have given it.”
‘If she is adulterous, why is she praised? If chaste, why was she put to death?’
On Remembrance Sunday, Semyon Bychkov conducted Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall with Roderick Williams, Allan Clayton, Sabrina Cvilak, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Chorus, Crouch End Festival Chorus and choristers of Westminster Abbey.
The mantle of tenor Peter Pears’ legacy hung heavily over his immediate ‘successors’, as they performed music that had been composed by Benjamin Britten for the man to whom he avowed, ‘I write every note with your heavenly voice in my head’.
One year since the launch of their project to create a contemporary book of Italians madrigals, vocal ensemble Exaudi returned to the Wigmore Hall to present an intermingling of old and new madrigals which was typically inventive, virtuosic and compelling.
Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Coliseum could give the ENO a welcome boost.
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s current new production of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, an effort shared with Houston Grand Opera and the Grand Théâtre de Genève, tends to emphasize emotional involvements against a backdrop of spare sets.
Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, The Nose, based on Gogol’s short story of the same name, was a smash hit for the Metropolitan Opera company in 2010 and once again, this season.
There might not be much ‘Serenissima’ about Yoshi Oida’s 2007 production of Death in Venice — it’s more Japanese minimalism than Venetian splendour — but there is still plenty to admire, as this excellent revival by Opera North as part of its centennial celebration, Festival of Britten, underlines.
With an absorbing production of Peter Grimes and a freshly spontaneous La bohème, Canadian Opera Company has set the bar very high indeed for its current season.
Whatever you think of some of the Metropolitan Opera’s recent productions, you cannot fault the Gelb administration for fearing to take risks.
The lustreless white tiles of the laboratory which forms the set of Keith Warner’s pitiless staging of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck offer little respite — cold, hard, rigid and severe, they are a material embodiment of the bleakness and barrenness of the tragic events which will be played out within the workshop walls (sets by Stefanos Lazaridis).
At this year’s Wexford Festival — the 62nd operatic gathering in this small south-eastern Irish town - the trio of operas on show present many a wretched battle between duty and desire.
At the heart of this Wigmore Hall recital were two sacred vocal works for solo countertenor and small instrumental forces, recently recorded by Florilegium and Robin Blaze to considerable critical acclaim: J.S. Bach’s cantata ‘Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust’ and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s ‘Salve Regina’.
After the bitter disappointment of
25 Jan 2005
Il Trovatore at Houston
The opening-night audience for Houston Grand Opera’s revival of Il Trovatore had one thing on its mind: grabbing every chance to cheer the familiar tunes that propel Verdi’s dramatically awkward piece.
As soon as soprano Sondra Radvanovsky finished Leonora’s first big aria, the bravos let loose — far more intensely than usual in the middle of a performance.
The ache to approve a style of music many people view as true “grand” opera continued right up to the curtain calls. Then, the crowd unleashed cascades of applause and yells.
Sondra Radvanovsky as Leonora in Il Trovatore
in Bilbao (February 2002)
Voices carry Il Trovatore in a crowd pleaser
By CHARLES WARD
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle [Jan. 24, 2005, 11:13AM]
The opening-night audience for Houston Grand Opera's revival of Il Trovatore had one thing on its mind: grabbing every chance to cheer the familiar tunes that propel Verdi's dramatically awkward piece.
As soon as soprano Sondra Radvanovsky finished Leonora's first big aria, the bravos let loose -- far more intensely than usual in the middle of a performance.
The ache to approve a style of music many people view as true "grand" opera continued right up to the curtain calls. Then, the crowd unleashed cascades of applause and yells.
That reaction should have made HGO general director David Gockley happy. His past productions of Il Trovatore have been plagued with troubles. While he did need to replace the mezzo-soprano for Azucena at the start of rehearsals, Friday's production at the Wortham Theater Center went on without hitch (save for a couple of off-stage clanks and sliding scenery that needed a shot of WD-40).
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