Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

Mark Padmore reflects on Britten's Death in Venice

“At the start, one knows ‘bits’ of it,” says tenor Mark Padmore, somewhat wryly, when I meet him at the Stage Door of the Royal Opera House where the tenor has just begun rehearsals for David McVicar’s new production of Death in Venice, which in November will return Britten’s opera to the ROH stage for the first time since 1992.

Annilese Miskimmon appointed as English National Opera’s Artistic Director

English National Opera has appointed Annilese Miskimmon as Artistic Director.

An interview with Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Oxford Lieder Festival's first Associate Composer

“Trust me, I’m telling you stories …”

GSMD and ROH announce Oliver Leith as new Doctoral Composer-in-Residence 2019-2022

Guildhall School of Music & Drama in association with The Royal Opera today announces Oliver Leith as the fourth Doctoral Composer-in-Residence, starting in September 2019. Launched in 2013, the collaboration between Guildhall School and The Royal Opera is one...

In conversation with Nina Brazier

When British opera director Nina Brazier tries to telephone me from Frankfurt, where she is in the middle of rehearsals for a revival of Florentine Klepper’s 2015 production of Martinů’s Julietta, she finds herself - to my embarrassment - ‘blocked’ by my telephone preference settings. The technical hitch is soon solved; but doors, in the UK and Europe, are certainly very much wide open for Nina, who has been described by The Observer as ‘one of Britain’s leading young directors of opera’.

2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition

Russian bass-baritone Mikhail Timoshenko has won the top prize at the 2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition.

An Englishman in Vienna: Stephen Storace

When his first opera, Gli sposi malcontenti, premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1st June 1985, the 23-year-old Stephen Storace must have been confident that his future fame and fortune were assured.

Stendhal on the Rossini Revolution

Some Details concerning the Revolution inaugurated by Rossini

Louise Jeffreys to become Deputy Chair of ENO

English National Opera (ENO) is pleased to announce that Louise Jeffreys is to become Deputy Chair of English National Opera and the London Coliseum. She replaces Nicholas Allan. Louise is currently Artistic Director of the Barbican where she leads...

Verdi Treasures from Milan’s Ricordi Archive make US debut

Rare testimonies to the history of Italian opera from the Milan-based, Bertelsmann-owned Ricordi Archive will now be shown in the United States for the first time. Fans of classical music and literature can look forward to the exhibition “Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff - Highlights from the Ricordi Archive”, which will be on view at the renowned Morgan Library & Museum in New York from September 6, 2019 to January 5, 2020.

Odyssey Opera Resurrects Henry VIII

BOSTON, MA (For Release 07.18.19) — One of the nation’s most adventurous opera companies, Odyssey Opera, begins its seventh season with a concert performance of Henry VIII (1883) by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns based on El cisma en Inglaterra (The schism in England) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

Glyndebourne Announces the Return of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2020

Glyndebourne’s major new international singing competition returns in 2020 with a renewed commitment to supporting diversity in opera. The Glyndebourne Opera Cup - the international competition for opera singers is designed to discover and spotlight the best young singers around the world, offering a top prize of £15,000 and a guaranteed role at a leading international opera house. The final will once again be broadcast live on Sky Arts on 7 March 2020 and the series is produced by Factory Films.

Garsington Opera: Five Young Singers Win Prestigious Awards

Winners of this year’s prestigious Leonard Ingrams Foundation awards are mezzo-soprano Bianca Andrew and tenor Oliver Johnston. These awards support, encourage and nurture the best young artists involved in the creative process of bringing opera to the stage, and are made in memory of Garsington Opera’s founder Leonard Ingrams, to ensure the continuity of his vision.

Bill Bankes-Jones on the twelfth Tête à Tête Opera Festival

“We need to stop talking about ‘diversity’ and think instead about ‘inclusivity’,” says Bill Bankes-Jones, when we meet to talk about the forthcoming twelfth Tête à Tête Opera Festival which runs from 24th July to 10th August.

The Italian Opera Connection at ‘The English Versailles’: The Duchess of Buccleuch and the Georgian Stage at Boughton House

As part of its annual programme of events, Boughton House in Northamptonshire hosts ‘A Passion for Opera’, a rare exhibition portraying the musical life of Lady Elizabeth Montagu (1743–1827) and the world of Georgian operatic culture.

An interview with composer Dani Howard

The young Hong Kong-born British composer Dani Howard is having quite a busy year.

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycle

Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced both schedules and cast-lists for is Spring 2020 performances of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Given the series of individual productions already staged by the company since Fall 2016, that pave the way for the complete cycle, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s complete production should affirm the artistic might of the great composer.

Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy on Salzburg, Sellars and Singing

For Peter Sellars, Mozart’s Idomeneo is a ‘visionary’ work, a utopian opera centred on a classic struggle between a father and a son written by an angry 25-year-old composer who wanted to show the musical establishment what a new generation could do.

London Bel Canto Festival 2019: an interview with Ken Querns-Langley

“Physiognomy, psychology and technique.” These are the three things that determine the way a singer’s sound is produced, so Ken Querns-Langley explains when we meet in the genteel surroundings of the National Liberal Club, where the training programmes, open masterclasses and performances which will form part the third London Bel Canto Festival will be held from 5th-24th August.

The Royal Opera Tours to Japan in September 2019

The Royal Opera is delighted to be returning to Japan in September 2019 as part of an exciting year of UK-Japan exchanges, titled UK in Japan 2019-20, following the Company’s hugely successful tour in autumn 2015.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

26 Dec 2013

Season 2014 at San Diego Opera

On Saturday evening January 25, San Diego Opera opens its 2014 season with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s verismo blockbuster Pagliacci (Clowns).

Season 2014 at San Diego Opera

A commentary by Marie Nockin

 

Other performances of this work are on January 28, 31, and February 2. Leoncavallo, who wrote both the text and the music, claimed that he based his story on a murder investigation that his father, a magistrate, had presided over many years earlier. San Diego Opera will present this tightly wound tale of love and sudden violent death in a new production by Andrew Sinclair who directed the company’s Aida last year.

On Saturday evening January 25, San Diego Opera opens its 2014 season with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s verismo blockbuster Pagliacci (Clowns). Other performances of this work are on January 28, 31, and February 2. The opera tells the story of an unhappy marriage, an unfaithful wife and a double murder. Leoncavallo, who wrote both the text and the music, claimed that he based his story on a criminal investigation that his father, a magistrate, had presided over many years earlier. French author Catulle Mendès sued him for plagiarizing his 1874 play, La Femme de Tabarin in which a clown murders his wife, but eventually dropped the charges.

San Diego Opera will present this tightly wound tale of love and sudden violent death in a new production by Andrew Sinclair who directed Verdi’s Aida for the company last year. Dramatic tenor Frank Poretta will be the clown, Canio, an older husband whose wife has a young lover. Romanian soprano Adina Nitescu will portray his trophy wife, Nedda. Baritone Stephen Powell will play Tonio, a misshapen, vicious clown who, having been rejected by Nedda, plots her downfall. It’s a fascinating story for which Leoncavallo wrote memorable arias.

Renowned conductor Yves Abel who will lead the performance writes: “Pagliacci is the most Italian of Italian operas. In addition to the Commedia dell'Arte comedy on a stage within the stage, there is the violent, lethal story behind the scenes, which culminates in one of the most famous arias, “Vesti la Giubba,” sung by the clown Canio, whose wife has cheated on him. This aria of uncommon beauty and sadness was made famous by Caruso and used in countless movies. Conducting the comedy while tragedy lurks close by makes this short opera a challenge for any conductor.”

Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) opens on Saturday evening February 15, and continues on the 18, 21, and 23. This bel canto work requires the type of excellent cast that Ian Campbell of San Diego Opera so often brings from various corners of the earth. It features Tatiana Lisnic as the wealthy young Adina, Giuseppe Filianoti as the poor but good hearted Nemorino, Malcolm MacKenzie as the attractive military man, and John Del Carlo as the traveling patent medicine salesman who has an elixir for every problem. Making her San Diego debut is conductor Karen Kamensek, General Music Director of the Hannover Staatsoper.

Director Stephen Lawless writes: “I have directed this production of Donizetti's comic masterpiece L’elisir d’amore many times both in America and around the world. It is always a pleasure to return to this piece. The opera is an humane and affectionate comedy examining the tribulations strewn along the path to true love. It is funny to those observing, but heartbreaking for those involved. Our production is set in Italy in the middle of the nineteenth century, at roughly the time of composition. It portrays a small rural community, in which everybody knows everybody else, and everybody else's business. It shows the chaos that ensues when a platoon of soldiers is billeted upon them. It contrasts the undying love of the shy peasant Nemorino for the local landowner Adina with her seeming inability to see the emotion in her own heart. Donizetti's score is suffused with Italianate warmth and understanding.”

San Diego Opera’s March presentations include of two works by Giuseppe Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) on March 8, 11, 14, and 16, and a single performance of his Manzoni Requiem on March 20. The opera’s cast includes tenor Piotr Beczala who is remembered for his exquisite rendition of Rodolfo in La bohème. He will sing Gustav III of Sweden and Krassimira Stoiyanova will be his wife, Amelia, who is thought to be unfaithful with Count Anckerström. Making his United States debut, Greek baritone Aris Argiris will sing the part of the Count who is Gustav’s best friend. Stephanie Blythe will be the sorceress Madame Arvidson and Kathleen Kim will sing the coloratura trouser role of Oscar. The performances will be directed by Lesley Koenig and conducted by Massimo Zanetti. Powerful, threatening, dangerous and romantic, this production promises to be one of the most visually exciting and musically moving ever to have graced the San Diego Opera stage.

Written in memory of Verdi’s literary contemporary, Alessandro Manzoni, the Requiem is sometimes called his greatest opera. Capitalizing on the casts of Un ballo in maschera and the opera that follows it, Jules Massenet’s Don Quixote, San Diego Opera’s Requiem will showcase the best of the best: soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, mezzo Stephanie Blythe, tenor Piotr Beczala, and bass Ferruccio Furlanetto.

Furlanetto writes: “There are few roles or vocal parts that could give an interpreter a total accomplishment, Verdi’s Requiem is certainly one of these. Every time it is a new emotion. To be in San Diego also for this event is a tremendous joy that I am happy to share with colleagues that I admire very much and with an audience that has given me so much since my debut in 1985.” Massimo Zanetti will conduct the San Diego Opera Orchestra and a double chorus consisting of the opera chorus and the Master Chorale. There is only one performance of this gem and no serious San Diego opera lover should miss it.

Don Quixote, the last opera of the season, was written for the great bass of the early twentieth century, Fyodor Chaliapin. Thus, it is a most fitting role for the great bass of our time, Ferruccio Furlanetto. He writes: “I will keep going doing the role of Don Quixote for the rest of my career because it is without any doubt a wonderfully accomplished character. Vocally it is just a splendid promenade. As a character it is basically impossible to find a more involving one, the satisfaction that comes from it is overwhelming. It is a role that gives me a few hours of total happiness, quite a privilege in these times.” Others in the cast are Eduardo Chama as Sancho Panza, and Anke Vondung as Dulcinea. The director is Keturah Stickann and the conductor Karen Keltner.

Maria Nockin

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):