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.
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.