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 Performances

ETO Autumn 2020 Season Announcement: Lyric Solitude

English Touring Opera are delighted to announce a season of lyric monodramas to tour nationally from October to December. The season features music for solo singer and piano by Argento, Britten, Tippett and Shostakovich with a bold and inventive approach to making opera during social distancing.

Love, always: Chanticleer, Live from London … via San Francisco

This tenth of ten Live from London concerts was in fact a recorded live performance from California. It was no less enjoyable for that, and it was also uplifting to learn that this wasn’t in fact the ‘last’ LfL event that we will be able to enjoy, courtesy of VOCES8 and their fellow vocal ensembles (more below …).

Dreams and delusions from Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper at Wigmore Hall

Ever since Wigmore Hall announced their superb series of autumn concerts, all streamed live and available free of charge, I’d been looking forward to this song recital by Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper.

Treasures of the English Renaissance: Stile Antico, Live from London

Although Stile Antico’s programme article for their Live from London recital introduced their selection from the many treasures of the English Renaissance in the context of the theological debates and upheavals of the Tudor and Elizabethan years, their performance was more evocative of private chamber music than of public liturgy.

A wonderful Wigmore Hall debut by Elizabeth Llewellyn

Evidently, face masks don’t stifle appreciative “Bravo!”s. And, reducing audience numbers doesn’t lower the volume of such acclamations. For, the audience at Wigmore Hall gave soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn and pianist Simon Lepper a greatly deserved warm reception and hearty response following this lunchtime recital of late-Romantic song.

The Sixteen: Music for Reflection, live from Kings Place

For this week’s Live from London vocal recital we moved from the home of VOCES8, St Anne and St Agnes in the City of London, to Kings Place, where The Sixteen - who have been associate artists at the venue for some time - presented a programme of music and words bound together by the theme of ‘reflection’.

Iestyn Davies and Elizabeth Kenny explore Dowland's directness and darkness at Hatfield House

'Such is your divine Disposation that both you excellently understand, and royally entertaine the Exercise of Musicke.’

Paradise Lost: Tête-à-Tête 2020

‘And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven … that old serpent … Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.’

Joyce DiDonato: Met Stars Live in Concert

There was never any doubt that the fifth of the twelve Met Stars Live in Concert broadcasts was going to be a palpably intense and vivid event, as well as a musically stunning and theatrically enervating experience.

‘Where All Roses Go’: Apollo5, Live from London

‘Love’ was the theme for this Live from London performance by Apollo5. Given the complexity and diversity of that human emotion, and Apollo5’s reputation for versatility and diverse repertoire, ranging from Renaissance choral music to jazz, from contemporary classical works to popular song, it was no surprise that their programme spanned 500 years and several musical styles.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields 're-connect'

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields have titled their autumn series of eight concerts - which are taking place at 5pm and 7.30pm on two Saturdays each month at their home venue in Trafalgar Square, and being filmed for streaming the following Thursday - ‘re:connect’.

Lucy Crowe and Allan Clayton join Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO at St Luke's

The London Symphony Orchestra opened their Autumn 2020 season with a homage to Oliver Knussen, who died at the age of 66 in July 2018. The programme traced a national musical lineage through the twentieth century, from Britten to Knussen, on to Mark-Anthony Turnage, and entwining the LSO and Rattle too.

Choral Dances: VOCES8, Live from London

With the Live from London digital vocal festival entering the second half of the series, the festival’s host, VOCES8, returned to their home at St Annes and St Agnes in the City of London to present a sequence of ‘Choral Dances’ - vocal music inspired by dance, embracing diverse genres from the Renaissance madrigal to swing jazz.

Royal Opera House Gala Concert

Just a few unison string wriggles from the opening of Mozart’s overture to Le nozze di Figaro are enough to make any opera-lover perch on the edge of their seat, in excited anticipation of the drama in music to come, so there could be no other curtain-raiser for this Gala Concert at the Royal Opera House, the latest instalment from ‘their House’ to ‘our houses’.

Fading: The Gesualdo Six at Live from London

"Before the ending of the day, creator of all things, we pray that, with your accustomed mercy, you may watch over us."

Met Stars Live in Concert: Lise Davidsen at the Oscarshall Palace in Oslo

The doors at The Metropolitan Opera will not open to live audiences until 2021 at the earliest, and the likelihood of normal operatic life resuming in cities around the world looks but a distant dream at present. But, while we may not be invited from our homes into the opera house for some time yet, with its free daily screenings of past productions and its pay-per-view Met Stars Live in Concert series, the Met continues to bring opera into our homes.

Precipice: The Grange Festival

Music-making at this year’s Grange Festival Opera may have fallen silent in June and July, but the country house and extensive grounds of The Grange provided an ideal setting for a weekend of twelve specially conceived ‘promenade’ performances encompassing music and dance.

Monteverdi: The Ache of Love - Live from London

There’s a “slide of harmony” and “all the bones leave your body at that moment and you collapse to the floor, it’s so extraordinary.”

Music for a While: Rowan Pierce and Christopher Glynn at Ryedale Online

“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile.”

A Musical Reunion at Garsington Opera

The hum of bees rising from myriad scented blooms; gentle strains of birdsong; the cheerful chatter of picnickers beside a still lake; decorous thwacks of leather on willow; song and music floating through the warm evening air.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

Arizona Lady Poster
19 Oct 2015

Arizona Opera Premieres Kálmán’s Arizona Lady

Arizona Lady is the last operetta that Hungarian Jewish composer Emmerich Kálmán (1882-1953) wrote. A student at the Budapest Academy of Music, he learned from the same teachers as Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. After successfully staging an operetta in Budapest, Kálmán moved to Vienna.

Arizona Opera Premieres Kálmán’s Arizona Lady

A review by Maria Nockin

Poster for Arizona Lady

 

There his operettas, which featured a combination of the Viennese waltz with his native csárdás, competed successfully with those of Franz Lehár. His Jewish origin did not come into the question until the rise of the Third Reich. He moved to Paris in 1938. In 1940, he established residence in the United States where he remained for the duration of the war.

Arizona Lady is an operetta in two acts with an original German libretto by Alfred Grünwald and Gustav Beer. Left unfinished at the time of the composer’s death, his son Charles Kálmán completed the score. The music was broadcast from Munich on New Year’s Day, 1954. A month later the Stadttheater in Bern, Switzerland, staged the piece. In July, 2010, Chicago Folks Operetta premiered it in an English translation by Gerald Frantzen and Hersh Glagov. Kathleen Kelly and Alberto Rios constructed the new German, English, and Spanish version seen at Arizona Opera’s 2015 West Coast premiere of the work.



I saw the performance of Arizona Lady on October 10 at the Tucson Convention Center. In the tradition of musical comedy, Mark Halpin’s scenery was theatrical and amusing rather than realistic and it included a beautifully stylized Arizona sunset that profited from Douglas Provost’s imaginative lighting. Kathleen Trott’s costumes and Slawomir Wozniak’s inventive choreography placed the action firmly in the nineteen-twenties. Director Matthew Ozawa told the story in a straightforward manner that helped to clarify the complicated libretto.

Arizona Lady is a horse that can save her owner’s ranch if she wins the Kentucky Derby. The story begins on a Tucson ranch owned by Lona, an immigrant whose native language is German and who remembers how to waltz. Her culture mixes surprising well with a charming Mexican ranchero, and a barbershop quartet that might have come from English speakers in Tucson. Lona, who insists she is a businesswoman rather than a mere marriage prospect, needs to find a qualified rider. As a result of the search, she eventually finds her true love.

As Lona, Angela Fout was a rough and ready Lona with strong high notes. Tenor Joshua Dennis who sang Ray Dennis had a captivating lyrical voice and his singing was absolutely enchanting. Veteran Robert Orth was a commanding Sheriff. He wanted to marry Lona and had trouble understanding that she would never fall in love with him.

Soprano Sarah Tucker is a member of Arizona Opera’s Young Artist Program who already showed some serious talent in last year’s Magic Flute. She sang Nelly Nettleton with pure, clear tones and danced like a flapper. She is already a most useful artist. As Lopez Ibañez, one of Lona’s unsuccessful suitors, Octavio Moreno sang a delightful Mexican song that won considerable favor with the audience.

Maria Dominique Lopez was a sexy Bonita. Francisco Renteria as Hector, Sergio Celis as Tomás, and James Mendola as Esteban completed the able bilingual Spanish-English contingent. Also contributing multiple talents to this excellent performance were: tenors Andrew Penning, Kevin Newell, and Paul Nicosia; baritone Joseph Lattanzi; and bass-baritone Calvin Griffin; along with actors Ian Christiansen and Dale Dreyfoos.

Soundclip from Arizona Lady, Act 1

Chorus Master Henri Venanzi’s ensemble sang their multiple harmonies with gusto in all three languages. Conductor Kathleen Kelly, who together with Alberto Rios translated the libretto, did a great deal of work on the score. At this performance, she gave a rousing rendition of this effervescent music that put smiles on the faces of the audience. Arizona Lady is a fine evening’s entertainment and I hope many more American opera companies will stage it.

Maria Nockin


Cast and production information:

Lona Farrell, Angela Fout; Sherriff Harry Sulivan, Robert Orth; Ray Dexter, Joshua Dennis; Chester Kingsbury, Andrew Penning; Nelly Nettleton, Sarah Tucker; Lopez Ibañez, Octavio Moreno; Jim Slaughter, Ian Christiansen; Bill Sanders, Joseph Lattanzi; Rex, Kevin Newell; Danny, Paul Nicosia; Algernon Benchley, Calvin Griffin; Peligreen, Dale Dreyfoos; Magnolia, Alyssa Martin; Bonita, Maria Dominique Lopez; Hector, Francisco Renteria; Tomás, Sergio Celis; Esteban, James Mendola. Rodeo Judges: Jonathan Gott, Dennis Tamblyn. Conductor, Kathleen Kelly; Director, Matthew Ozawa; Lighting Design, Douglas Provost; Scenic Design, Mark Halpin; Costume Design, Kathleen Trott; Chorus Master, Henri Venanzi; Choreographer, Slawomir Wozniak.

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):