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).
03 Jul 2012
Lots of Loose Ends in Cologne
The fall-out from the very public display of anger on both sides continues in Cologne. Uwe Erich Laufenberg, 51, director of the city’s opera, one of the leading operas in Germany, was fired with immediate effect on June 22.
The Cultural Affairs deputy, Georg Quander, the subject of biting attacks by Laufenberg, made the announcement of the city council’s vote after a month long public dispute over the financing of the upcoming season. Council members of the opposing political party criticized the action.
Laufenberg, whose employment contract included the next season, was to direct three of the new productions announced plus sing the role of Henry Higgins in the production of Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady.” He is still listed in those roles on the opera’s website however a local press report only just today has indicated that unnamed new directors will take over the new productions of “Parsifal” and “Marriage of Figaro” and an unnamed vocalist will sing the role of Professor Higgins. Laufenberg’s production of “Cosi fan Tutti,” scheduled in the Fall, is essentially complete and will be staged by assistants. Laufenberg had raised the possibility of court action against the city.
Laufenberg’s behavior, according to the mayor, Jürgen Roters, was “disgraceful and unacceptable.” Laufenberg did make a public apology in the press: “Of course I accept what the city requires of its opera director and that they do not want me to refer to city managers as scheming, incompetent and irresponsible.” Quander criticized the apology as “half-hearted.”
The vacant intendant’s seat, temporarily filled now by Karin Baier, will soon again become vacant as she is leaving for another theater position in Hamburg in 2013. In addition, the respected director of the city’s orchestra, Markus Stenz, announced he will be leaving at the end of the 2013/14 season. Most expected him to exercise the two year renewal option in his contract. Since 2003, Stenz has been the artistic director of the Gürzenich Orchester and also holds the title of Generalmusikdirektor for the city of Cologne.
Click here for our earlier report on this controversy.