Recently in Commentary
San Diego Opera, the company that General Manager Ian Campbell had scheduled for demolition, proved that it is alive and singing as beautifully as ever. Its 2015 season was cut back slightly and management has become a bit leaner, but the company celebrated its fiftieth season in fine style with a concert that included many of the greatest arias ever written.
Kathleen Ferrier may have been one of the world’s finest contraltos but this year’s Kathleen Ferrier Awards Final, held at the Wigmore Hall, was all about lyric sopranos.
East Coast Premiere at Opera Philadelphia next season. Performances from Cold Mountain at the Guggenheim in New York this Monday, March 30.
Five Young Singers Named Winners of the 2015 Met National Council Auditions, America’s Most Prestigious Vocal Competition
Julia Noulin-Mérat is the principal designer for the Noulin-Merat Studio, an intrepid New York City production design firm that works in theater, film, and television, but emphasizes opera and immersive site-specific theatre.
A brand new opera — especially one that is groundbreaking— can really put an opera company on the map. British composer Barry Seaman’s stunning new work, Mirabai, which explores the story of the free thinking, mystic
16th century Hindu princess, Mira, is ambitious on many levels —
artistically, technically and creatively.
Bampton Classical Opera has announced that applications are now open for the
company’s Young Singers’ Competition 2015. This biennial competition was
first launched in 2013 to celebrate Bampton Classical Opera’s 20th
birthday, and is aimed at identifying the finest emerging young opera singers
currently working in the UK.
Anita Rachvelishvili recently performed the title role in Carmen broadcast by The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Here she drops by for a little chat with our Maria Nockin.
This is a revised version of my review of the Sept 5th
1991American premiere of The Death of Klinghoffer, at the
Brooklyn Academy of Music. The opera was first performed at Brussels’ La
Monnaie the previous spring.
"Although there are now more people on this planet than there have ever been before, there are fewer dramatic voices. Something is wrong with that equation. I thought there needs to be some sort of helping hand so that dramatic voices don’t fall through the cracks in the system as they advance through their various stages of development."
Anna Prohaska sings Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des
Carmélites at the Royal Opera House. In the same month, she’s also in
London to sing a recital with Eric Schneider at the Wigmore Hall, and to sing
Henze with Sir Simon Rattle at the Barbican Hall.
Garsington Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Baritone Brandon Coleman’s mother, Linda, knew that 3-year old Brandon
would be a great singer when a stranger who had heard him, predicted it.
Professional opera returns to the Las Vegas Valley June 6th and 8th with performances of one of the best-known comic operas of all time, Gioachino Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
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.
Maria Nockin interviews tenor Saimir Pirgu.
Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, has died aged 80
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”.
On Saturday evening January 25, San Diego Opera opens its 2014 season with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s verismo blockbuster Pagliacci (Clowns).
21 Feb 2012
Victoires de la Musique Classique 2012
Last night’s French classical music awards show, the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2012, awarded the “Best Composer of the Year” honors to Philippe Manoury, 59, for his opera, “La Nuit de Gutenberg” (“The Night of Gutenberg”).
Manoury, also on the faculty at the University of California,
San Diego, was influenced by Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen and is one
of France’s most respected composers.
The opera’s world premiere, on September 24 at the Opera National du Rhin
in Strasbourg, was well received by the audience and critics. It is a story of
an old derelict who lives on the streets of modern day Strasbourg and calls
himself Gutenberg. Could he be the same Johannes Gutenberg whose invention of
movable type changed the world more than 500 years earlier in this very same
This writer was also there that evening and can report that the opera is
based on late 20th Century composition techniques but always includes emotion,
elegance and momentum. A young people’s chorus, with kids listening, talking
or texting with their phones, was only one of the musical highlights. With
flashbacks, it told the story of Gutenberg and his struggles in life. The opera
was at once engaging as storytelling and powerful as music. Staged sparsely and
effectively by Yoshi Oida and conducted by Daniel Klajner it was an evening of
splendid vocal accomplishment. Bass Nicolas Cavallier sang the title role with
Eve-Maud Hubeaux as his new friend and the fine coloratura of Mélanie Boisvert
as the provocative “Hostess” of an internet cafe. Click
here for a report (in French) on television channel Arte gives samples of the
The Victoires de la Musique Classique, an awards show similar to the
Classical Grammy Awards, features Renée Fleming as honored guest and
spotlighted such singers as soprano Natalie Dessay, countertenor Philippe
Jaroussky, soprano Nathalie Manfrino, contralto Nathalie Stutzmann, soprano
Julia Lezhneva along with other classical artists. It is
available for internet viewing this week here.