Recently in Commentary
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).
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.
The Royal Opera House has its own DVD arm, Opus Arte, and is developing quite a global
following with its cinema broadcasts.
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.
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.
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 caused a sensation at Covent Garden in London five years ago, when she took over Violetta at short notice from Anna Netrebko.
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 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).
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.
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.
09 Jun 2012
Duisburg Petition Drive Proves Strong Support for Local Opera
Amidst crucial, ongoing financial concerns about future funding for opera
and ballet throughout Germany’s highly populous North Rhein-Westphalia
region, a diverse gathering at the Duisburg Theatre verified sincere grassroots
support for Deutsche Oper Am Rhein and the current partnership with nearby
The primary issue of governmental monetary support reached a crisis point on
May 2nd, when Duisburg’s administrative board recommended terminating a
partnership that has been in place since 1956 with the Dusseldorf company. It
was publicized that approximately one hundred Duisburg performances per year
would be cancelled, starting in the summer of 2014.
Primary concerns voiced in regarding to the potential cuts ranged from the
huge impact on Duisburg’s Philharmonic Orchestra to a loss of numerous
student or youth based programs, and the general decline of the community’s
A packed performance hall included a range of patrons from well heeled
season ticket subscribers to cheap seat, student rush types. Cultural Experts
on hand to present and discuss information included Professor Werner Lohmann,
President of the NRW National Music Council, and Dr. Christian Esch, Director
of NRW Cultural Affairs.
A petition drive to save and continue current production schedules has
reportedly gathered over 28,000 signatures in four weeks. At that rate, the
entire city may have signed by the next “commission for culture” meeting,
set for June 25th. This is still, indeed, a developing story.
Ideally, the many supportive voices raised will prevail as clearly and true
as those regularly heard on the dual stages of Deutsche Oper am Rhein. It is
sometimes difficult to remain optimistic under current budgetary conditions and
it seems like all bets are off these days in EU financial projections.
Hopefully, this musical tale of two cities will conclude without dramatic
losses for either performers or their audience.
By Phillip Woolever
For related stories, see:
Berlin's Struggling Artists Demand Share of the Pie
Uwe Eric Laufenberg Resigns
Photo by Frank Heller