Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

Jean-Paul Scarpitta in Montpellier

I met with the embattled artistic director of the Opéra et Orchestre National de Montepellier not to talk about his battles. I simply wanted to know the man who had cast and staged a truly extraordinary Mozart/DaPonte trilogy.

Interview: Tenor Saimir Pirgu — From Albania to Italy to LA

Maria Nockin interviews tenor Saimir Pirgu.

Claudio Abbado, Italian conductor, dies aged 80

Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, has died aged 80

Matthew Polenzani — Des Grieux, Manon, Royal Opera House

Matthew Polenzani reprises the role of the Chevalier des Grieux in Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Royal Opera House. “I love coming back to London”, he says, “It’s a very good house and they take care of you as a singer. And the level of music making is unbelievably high”.

Season 2014 at San Diego Opera

On Saturday evening January 25, San Diego Opera opens its 2014 season with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s verismo blockbuster Pagliacci (Clowns).

Maestro Joseph Rescigno Discusses The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman is a transitional piece because Wagner was only beginning to establish his style. He took some aspects from Carl Maria von Weber and others from Italian composers like Vincenzo Bellini.

Royal Opera House Announces Digital Theatre

The Royal Opera House has its own DVD arm, Opus Arte, and is developing quite a global following with its cinema broadcasts.

Patricia Racette on Dolores Claiborne

On a personal level, I feel that Dolores is almost like Emmeline grown up. Their circumstances are not exactly parallel, but they are both women at very different points in their lives whose stories involve dilemmas with life-changing outcomes.

Tobias Picker Talks About His New Opera Dolores Claiborne

With the help of Andrew Welch, a London theatrical producer who had adapted several of King’s works for the stage, including this one, I got the rights to both Dolores Claiborne and Misery.

Dolora Zajick on New Opera Written for Her

On September 18, 2013, San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s opera, Dolores Claiborne, which has a libretto by J. D. McClatchy based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.

Ermonela Jaho — Singing and Character

Ermonela Jaho caused a sensation at Covent Garden in London five years ago, when she took over Violetta at short notice from Anna Netrebko.

Ignite at Wigmore Hall

What do you get if you cross Benjamin Britten, ‘one-page scores’, an innovative performing ensemble and ‘Wigmore Learning’ — the Wigmore Hall’s imaginative outreach programme which aims to provide access to chamber music and song through innovative creative programmes, online resources and events?

Marseille, Capital of European Culture

Marseille woke up this past January 11 stunned to find itself number two on the New York Times list of 46 places you should visit in 2013 (Rio was number one, Paris just made the list at number 46).

Rossini Maometto Secondo at Garsington Opera - David Parry speaks

Garsington Opera at Wormsley is producing the British premiere of Giacomo Rossini´s Maometto Secondo. Garsington Opera is well-known for its role in reviving Rossini rarities in Britain. Since 1994, there have been 14 productions of 12 Rossini operas, and David Parry has conducted eleven since 2002. He´s very enthusiastic about Maometto Secondo.

Michele Mariotti conducts La donna del lago

Rossini’s La donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House boasts a superstar cast. Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez are perhaps the best in these roles in the business at this time. Yet the conductor Michele Mariotti is also hot news.

Kate Lindsey at Glyndebourne

It would seem a logical step for the mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey to take on the role of the Composer in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

Douglas Boyd on Garsington Opera at Wormsley

“Aim for excellence”, says Douglas Boyd, new Artistic Director of Garsington Opera at Wormsley, “and the audience will follow you”.

A Chat with Aida Designer Zandra Rhodes

When I spoke with Zandra Rhodes, she was in her large San Diego workspace, which she described as having walls decorated with her own huge black and white drawings.

An Interview with Virginia Zeani

Palm Beach audiences are famous for their glamour, but in recent years a special star has sparkled amid the jewels, sequins, feathers and furs (whatever the weather).

Bel Canto Queen Jessica Pratt

When the soprano Jessica Pratt first arrived in Italy, she had yet to learn the language or sing in a staged opera.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

A scene from Elektra [Photo courtesy of Tiroler Festspiele Erl]
12 May 2009

The Tuscan Convent Where Wagnerian Singers Are Trained

In a convent in the lovely Tuscan country side, near Lucca (Giacomo Puccini’s birthplace) there is the Mount Graal.

The Tuscan Convent Where Wagnerian Singers Are Trained

Above: A scene from Elektra [Photo courtesy of Tiroler Festspiele Erl]

 

As a matter of fact, if you go there you not meet neither Amfortas nor Gurmenanz , but young singers studying Wagnerian roles in the “Accademia di Montegral”. The Academy was established some 22 years ago by Gustav Kuhn (a very well-known Austrian conductor who specialized in Wagner and Strauss, but not disdain Mozart and Verdi). Kuhn also loves Italy where has been Artistic Director of the Rome Opera House, the Sferisterio Festival and a star of the Rossini Opera Festival and of the San Carlo Theatre in Naples. The Academy is financed by a local savings and loans association and by a number if Austrian firms. In the Convento dell’Angelo , both an impressive monastery built by the Padri Passionisti and a pleasant and peaceful environment in which the artists can concentrate on their work, there also an annual chamber music festival , organized with the support of Col-Legno records (www.col-kegno.com). The next festival runs from May 14 to May 18; it offers a combination of classical music (from Bach to Puccini) and contemporary authors (Eggert, Ligeti): on Sunday May 18th, the Holy Mass will be accompanied by Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle; for information, www.montegral.com. In the Summer, there is a Festival in Tyrol, in the spectacular Passion Music Center of the small town of Erl (80 km from Munich and also, but in a different direction, 80 km from Salzburg). For several year the main feature has been a low cost but good quality production of Wagner’s Ring (www.tiroler-festpiele.at) . Next July, the Gods and the Nibelungs will take a rest, but there will be an exciting new production of Strauss’ Elektra which, for the first time in years, will be performed without the usual deletions and abbreviations.

The other new production is Meistersinger von Nürnberg, directed and conducted by Kuhn The costumes will be designed by the artistic manager of the costume manufacturing Lenka Radecky A new member of the team is the international sought-after architect and stage designer Jaafar Chalabi whose works for the Company of Nacho Duato in Madrid, Paris and Moscow. Matthew Best, a Heldenbariton for the great Wagner and Strauss operas, will give his first Hans Sachs. Michael Baba will be heard as Walther von Stolzing. The cast of another leading part means a connection to Erl: the international acting singer Martin Kronthaler will return to his hometown and perform Sixtus Beckmesser in Wagner’s opera.

Giuseppe Pennisi

Passionsspielhaus-Erl.gifPassionsspielhaus Erl [Photo © TFE]

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):