Recently in Commentary
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.
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.
“Aim for excellence”, says Douglas Boyd, new Artistic Director of Garsington Opera at Wormsley, “and the audience will follow you”.
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.
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).
When the soprano Jessica Pratt first arrived in Italy, she had yet to learn the language or sing in a staged opera.
On Wednesday evening, February 20, Los Angeles Opera gave a press conference at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion featuring Music Director James Conlon.
It is another “What Could Have Been” moment. The debut of Brokeback
Mountain by Charles Wuorinen is part of Madridʼs Teatro Real coming
Plans for July’s Aix-en-Provence Festival were announced and opera is, of course, at the center of the program with a particularly noteworthy Richard Strauss production.
Amsterdam enjoys a rare visit from Moscow’s Stanislavski Opera at the landmark Koninklijk Carre Theater, for three performances of Tchaikovski’s Eugene Onegin and a Sunday morning opera concert, on February 1st-3rd.
A new festival hall has been inaugurated in the small town of Erl in the Tyrolean mountains.
Yesterday, Conductor Riccardo Muti opened the Rome Opera, where he is “honorary conductor for life,” with a gala presentation of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.
When tenor Michael Spyres takes the stage at Carnegie Hall on December 5th, he will be in heady company.
One of the most noteworthy and controversial productions in recent memory
arrived in Belgium with hurricane force as Director Terry Gilliam’s inaugural
opera, an inspired interpretation of Hector Berlioz’s Le Damnation de
Faust, blasted into Ghent, followed by a run in Antwerp.
Florian Boesch is singing Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin at the Oxford Lieder Festival on Sunday 14th October. This won’t be routine. Radically challenging conventional interpretation, Boesch says “I don’t believe it ends in suicide”
Exciting developments at Glyndebourne ! Many new initiatives which could transform Glyndebourne from a summer festival to a truly international, year-round opera experience.
The recently released numbers for the past season at Barcelona’s opera Liceu gives some hope for the future.
A record 278,978 people attended events of the 2012 edition of the famed Salzburg Festival in Austria, the largest number since its founding 92 years ago.
Just after things were settling after the scandal of baritone Evgeny Nitikin supposed swastika tattoo at the Bayreuth Festival, another one seems likely to take its place.
Three quarters of the way through this discussion, a question that inhabits the mind of anyone putting any thought to the subject — but no one dare ask — was rhetoricised, “what is opera?”
30 May 2012
Thunder Storm at the Theater an der Wien
Conflicts like this usually remain inside opera house walls. The three Viennese daily newspapers carried headlines reporting that Oscar-winning director William Friedkin called the intendant of the Theater an der Wien a “liar.”
He was reacting to comments of Roland Geyer, chief of Vienna’s second opera, who, in July, is returning the Friedkin production of Jacques Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann to his Theater an der Wien for a second run. Geyer maintained that this revival, with important changes, was known to Friedkin. Geyer also explained that these modifications to the production made him the new stage director.
Geyer explained last week that he had added some material and made some cuts to the opera resulting in a new staging shorter by “almost half an hour.” Friedkin suggested that this was like a “dog peeing on a tree” and claiming ownership. He also asserts that he was never told of the Theater’s dissatisfaction with the March production and had intended to return to Vienna to direct a new cast.
The performing version used at the Theater an der Wien was based on the recent integral edition of the opera, considered by many to be definitive, edited by Michael Kaye and Jean-Christophe Keck. Kaye supported Friedkin’s work in this production. This edition, including material the composer was working on when he died, ran three and a half hours (with one intermission) in March.