Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Reviews

Elizabeth Llewellyn: Investec Opera Holland Park stages Puccini's La Rondine

It’s six or so years ago since soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn appeared as an exciting and highly acclaimed new voice on the UK operatic stage, with critics praising her ‘ravishing account’ (The Stage) of Mozart’s Countess in Investec Opera Holland Park’s 2011 Le nozze di Figaro in which ‘Porgi, amor’ was a ‘highlight of the evening’.

Sukanya: Ravi Shankar's posthumous opera

What links Franz Xaver Süssmayr, Brian Newbould and Anthony Payne? A hypothetical question for University Challenge contestants elicits the response that they all ‘completed’ composer’s last words: Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert’s Symphony No.8 in B minor (the Unfinished) and Edward Elgar’s Third Symphony, respectively.

Cavalli's Hipermestra at Glyndebourne

‘Make war not love’, might be a fitting subtitle for Francesco Cavalli’s opera Hipermestra in which the eponymous princess chooses matrimonial loyalty over filial duty and so triggers a war which brings about the destruction of Argos and the deaths of its inhabitants.

Dougie Boyd, Artistic Director of Garsington Opera: in conversation

One year ago, tens of millions of Britons voted for isolation rather than for cooperation, but Douglas (Dougie) Boyd, Artistic Director of Garsington Opera, is an energetic one-man counterforce with a dynamic conviction that art and culture are strengthened by participation and collaboration; values which, alongside excellence and a spirit of adventure, have seen Garsington Opera acquire increasing renown and esteem on the international stage during his tenure, since 2012.

I Fagiolini's Orfeo: London Festival of Baroque Music

This year’s London Festival of Baroque Music is titled Baroque at the Edge and celebrates Monteverdi’s 450th birthday and the 250th anniversary of Telemann’s death. Monteverdi and Telemann do in some ways represent the ‘edges’ of the Baroque, their music signalling a transition from Renaissance to Baroque and from Baroque to Classical respectively, though as this performance of Monteverdi’s Orfeo by I Fagiolini and The English Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble confirmed such boundaries are blurred and frequently broken.

The English Concert: a marvellous Ariodante at the Barbican Hall

I’ve been thinking about jealousy a lot of late, as I put the finishing touches to a programme article for Bampton Classical Opera’s summer production of Salieri’s La scuola de' gelosi. In placing the green-eyed monster centre-stage, Handel’s Ariodante surely rivals Shakespeare’s Othello in dramatic clarity and concision, as this terrifically animated and musically intense performance by The English Concert at the Barbican Hall confirmed.

Riel Deal in Toronto

With its new production of Harry Somers’ Louis Riel, Canadian Opera Company has covered itself in resplendent glory.

Concert Introduces Fine Dramatic Tenor

On May 4, 2017, Los Angeles Opera presented a concert starring Russian soprano Anna Netrebko and her husband, Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazev. Led by Italian conductor Jader Bignamini, members of the orchestra showed their abilities, too, with a variety of instrumental selections played between the singers’ arias and duets.

COC: Tosca’s Cautious Leap

Considering the high caliber of the amassed talent, Canadian Opera Company’s Tosca is a curiously muted affair.

Matthias Goerne - late Schumann songs, revealed

Matthias Goerne Schumann Lieder, with Markus Hinterhäuser, a new recording from Harmonia Mundi. Singers, especially baritones, often come into their prime as they approach 50, and Goerne, who has been a star since his 20's is now formidably impressive. The colours in his voice have matured, with even greater richness and depth than before.

Schubert's 'swan-song': Ian Bostridge at the Wigmore Hall

No song in this wonderful performance by Ian Bostridge and Lars Vogt at the Wigmore Hall epitomised more powerfully, and astonishingly, what a remarkable lieder singer Bostridge is, than Schubert’s Rellstab setting, ‘In der Ferne’ (In the distance).

Baritone Josep-Ramon Olivé wins the 2017 Guildhall School Gold Medal

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama has announced baritone Josep-Ramon Olivé as the winner of this year’s Gold Medal, the School’s most prestigious prize for outstanding soloists. The prize is awarded to singers and instrumentalists in alternate years and this year was the turn of the singers.

Stunning power and presence from Lise Davidsen

For Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen this has been an exciting season, one which has seen her make several role and house debuts in Europe and beyond, including Agathe (Der Freischutz) at Opernhaus Zürich, Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana) Norwegian National Opera and, just last month, Isabella (Liebesverbot) at Teatro Colón. This Rosenblatt Recital brought her to the Wigmore Hall for her UK recital debut and if the stunning power, shining colour and absolute ease that she demonstrated in a well-chosen programme of song and opera are anything to judge by, Glyndebourne audiences are in for a tremendous treat this summer, when Davidsen appears in the title role of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

LALO and COQUARD: La Jacquerie

La Jacquerie—here recorded for the first time—proves to be a wonderful opera, bringing delight upon delight.

Three Rossini Operas Serias

Rossini’s serious operas once dominated opera houses across the Western world. In their librettos, the great French author Stendahl—then a diplomat in Italy and the composer’s first biographer—saw a post-Napoleonic “martial vigor” that could spark a liberal revolution. In their vocal and instrumental innovations, he discerned a similar revolution in music.

Urania Remasters Marriage of Figaro

Good news for lovers of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro: the famous Living Stereo recording, a co-production of RCA Victor and English Decca, is now available again, well remastered, on Urania.

Tosca: Stark Drama at the Chandler Pavilion

On Thursday evening April 27, 2017, Los Angeles Opera presented a revival of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In 2013, director John Caird had given Angelinos a production that made Tosca a full-blooded, intense drama as well as a most popular aria-studded opera. His Floria was a dove among hawks.

Glyndebourne Festival 2018 programme announced

The UK’s first professional production of Samuel Barber’s Pulitzer prize-winning opera Vanessa takes place at Glyndebourne Festival 2018. One of the great American operas, Vanessa was hailed as a triumph at its premiere in 1958 but quickly fell out of the repertoire and has only been staged intermittently since.

Major new international singing competition launched by Glyndebourne

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup - the international competition for opera singers is designed to discover and spotlight the best young singers from around the world, offering a top prize of £15,000 and a platform for launching an international opera career.

Kathleen Ferrier Awards Final 2017, at the Wigmore Hall

The Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship Fund was founded in 1953 in memory of the much-loved contralto from Lancashire who died at the tragically young age of 41 and whose career as a singer lasted just 12 years. The purpose of the fund was to make an annual award to a young British singer sufficient to cover the cost of a year’s study and general support. The first competition was held in 1956 and it has continued to provide a few outstandingly talented young singers each year since then with the opportunity of making a start in what is a most difficult and demanding career.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Reviews

08 Apr 2017

The Royal Opera House announces its 2017/18 season

Details of the Royal Opera House's 2017/18 Season have been announced. Oliver Mears, who will begin his tenure as Director of Opera, comments: “I am delighted to introduce my first Season as Director of Opera for The Royal Opera House. As I begin this role, and as the world continues to reel from social and political tumult, it is reassuring to contemplate the talent and traditions that underpin this great building’s history. For centuries, a theatre on this site has welcomed all classes - even in times of revolution and war - to enjoy the most extraordinary combination of music and drama ever devised. Since the time of Handel, Covent Garden has been home to the most outstanding performers, composers and artists of every era. And for centuries, the joyous and often tragic art form of opera has offered a means by which we can be transported to another world, in all its wonderful excess and beauty.”

New productions:

The Royal Opera’s Season includes six new productions at the Royal Opera House.

A new production of La bohème will be directed by Richard Jones. David Alden will direct Semiramide and Lohengrin : the latter, which will be conducted by Andris Nelsons - returning to the House after his outstanding performances of Der Rosenkavalier earlier this season - is the first staging of the opera at the Royal Opera House since 1977. Barrie Kosky, returning to the House after his critically acclaimed 2016 production of The Nose will direct Carmen . One of the Season’s highlights’ will surely be From the House of the Dead directed by Polish theatre director Krzysztof Warlikowsi, making his UK debut - a production which will initiate a complete survey of Janáček’s operatic oeuvre during the next six years. The Season will also see the world premieres of George Benjamin ’s new opera, Lessons in Love and Violence directed by Katie Mitchell and Donizetti’s L’ange de Nisida , conducted by Mark Elder 179 years after it was completed.

Antonio Pappano will conduct two new productions as well as revivals of Macbeth (starring Serbian baritone Željko Lučić in the title role and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as his ambitious, scheming wife) and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

In La Bohème, Australian soprano Nicole Car and former Jette Parker Young Artist Romanian soprano Simona Mihai will share the role of Mimì, and American tenor Michael Fabiano will tackle the role of Rodolfo for the first time at Covent Garden, following his debut as Lensky in 2015. Joyce DiDonato will take the title role in Semiramide, which she created for Alden’s production when it was given its premiere by the Bavarian State Opera in February 2017. Semiramide was last seen at Covent Garden in 1885 when Adelina Patti sang the title role; a concert performance of the opera was given by the Royal Opera House in 1986.

Pappano, now in his 16th season with The Royal Opera, will also conduct the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a concert performance with baritone Christian Gerhaher, and give a recital with Joyce DiDonato.

Revivals:

The Season’s programme also includes first revivals of Olivier Award-winning Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci (Simon Keenlyside sings his first Tonio), the much-discussed Lucia di Lammermoor (Michele Mariotti conducts, American-Cuban soprano Lisette Oropesa debuts as Lucia), Les Vêpres siciliennes and Philip Venables’ UK Theatre Award-winning 4.48 Psychosis .

The Season will also see revivals of Rigoletto, Falstaff, Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni (as directed by Kaspar Holten, and featuring Mariusz Kwiecień in the title role, which he created in this production in 2014).

Outside the House:

The Season also includes four premieres away from the Royal Opera House in collaboration with a range of partners, co-producers and co-commissioners: the world premieres of Mark-Anthony Turnage ’s new opera Coraline at the Barbican Centre; Mamzer Bastard by Guildhall School of Music & Drama/Royal Opera Composer in Residence Na’ama Zisser; and a new work by Tansy Davies produced by London Sinfonietta in association with The Royal Opera.

The Return of Ulysses will be performed at theRoundhouse, andLa tragédie de Carmen will be performed at Wilton’s Music Hall by members of the Jette Parker Young Artist programme.

The Royal Opera will collaborate with the V&A for an exhibition covering almost 400 years of operatic history: Opera: Passion, Power and Politics , which opens in September 2017.

Looking ahead to the 2018/19 Season, four full cycles of Keith Warner’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen will be performed between September and November 2018; booking details will be available in autumn 2017.

During the 2017/18 Season, 12 productions — six from The Royal Opera and six from The Royal Ballet — will be relayed live from Covent Garden to cinemas around the world. The programme features a mixture of new productions and classic works. Find your nearest cinema.

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):