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?”
04 Jul 2012
Honors for Bayreuth’s “other” house
Bayreuth’s opera house has been awarded the honor of UNESCO World Heritage status. If you think that means Wagner’s festival house in the same city, with its excellent acoustics and uncomfortable seats, you will be mistaken.
Only a few of Wagner’s acolytes who flock to Bayreuth every summer take the time to see the Italian Baroque architectural wonder that is the Margrave Opera House. With the awarding of the UNESCO honor, one of only 37 in Germany, it recognizes one of the most elegantly breathtaking theaters in Europe.
Wilhelmine, a daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm I, was married off to an unimportant aristocrat living in the dreary provincial town. A town today of still around 70,000 inhabitants, the theater was her idea and construction started in 1748. It was recognized, even during her lifetime, as a masterpiece.
“Bayreuth will now be known the world over, not just for Richard Wagner and his Festival, but also for its opera house,” Bayreuth’s Mayor Brigitte Merk-Erbe said. The awarding of the UNESCO World Heritage status inevitably results in increased tourism. Maybe some of the thousands who fill the town every summer for the Bayreuth Wagner Festival will now plan an afternoon to see the Margrave Opera House.