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

Loge and Mime. Rodell Rosel and Dennis Petersen [Photo © Tim Trumble]
18 Apr 2018

Arizona Opera Presents a Glittering Rheingold

On April 6, 2018, Arizona Opera presented an uncut performance of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold. It was the first time in two decades that this company had staged a Ring opera.

Arizona Opera Presents a Glittering Rheingold

A review by Maria Nockin

Above: Loge and Mime (Rodell Rosel and Dennis Petersen)

Photos© Tim Trumble

 

Director Brian Staufenbiel’s production was first seen two years ago at Minnesota Opera. He placed the orchestra on stage with platforms for the singing actors in front of the instrumental musicians.

Rheinmaidens Katrina Galka as Woglinde, Lacy Sauter as Welgunde, and Stephanie Sanchez as Flosshilde, swam in and out of the otherwise-empty orchestra pit. They could not always be seen, but if they were in real water they would sometimes have been invisible as well. As the overture began, projections by David Murakami sprayed across a scrim that provided a background for the Rheinmaidens and Alberich. Water poured down from every angle and Lighting Designer Nicole Pearce’s reflections of sunlight pointed out the precious gold. Costumer Designer Matthew LeFebvre dressed the women in light colors and the men in dark leather.

The green-clad Rheinmaidens worked hard at appearing to swim and dive in the water while singing in exquisite harmony and bantering with Alberich. High soprano Galka is fast becoming a leading lady, and it will be interesting to follow her career. The Alberich, Richard Paul Fink, has been a star performer for many years and it was a joy to watch his keenly-honed interpretation of the dwarf, one of the few creatures who may live on at the end of the final Ring opera, Götterdämerung. Fink sang with dark chocolate tones that made his character seem the embodiment of greed.

Rheinmaidens.pngThe Rheinmaidens

Onstage almost the entire evening, was Rodell Rosel as the tricky fire demigod, Loge. Like fire itself, Loge never stopped moving, changing, and jumping from one place to another. Even his fingers were constantly in motion. A visual artist as well as a fine character tenor, Rosel was a Loge to remember.

Daveda Karanas was a velvet-voiced, soft-edged Fricka who admitted wanting the new castle to bind Wotan closer to her. I wanted to see her ride in her ram-drawn cart, but she did not have one in this production. As the bass-voiced giants, Fasolt and Fafner, Harold Wilson and Zachary James filled the hall with their deep, cavernous sounds. As Erda, Dana Beth Miller did not have the plum-colored low notes often associated with her role, but she got her point of view across to a troubled Wotan.

Mark Delavan’s Wotan is a well known interpretation. He is much more human than any god should be and we love him for it. As the dwarf, Mime, Dennis Petersen was a conniving creature who would never be trustworthy. Bass-baritone Craig Colclough and tenor John Robert Lindsay as Donner and Froh added vocal pizzaz to the gods’ entrance into Valhalla.

The most interesting new voice in this production belonged to Laura Wilde who sang Freia. There is some history behind her role, too. Caroline Whisnant, who sang Freia in the Flagstaff Ring performances, has gone on to a major career singing leading roles in important European houses. Perhaps something like that will happen to Wilde.

Maestro Joseph Rescigno conducted the Arizona Opera Orchestra using the Gotthold Ephraim Lessing orchestral reduction of Wagner’s immense score and the overall sound was magnificent. Occasionally, there was a blip from a horn or a tuba, but these musicians who normally play Verdi, Puccini and Donizetti, rendered Wagner’s dense score with red-hot passion and constant emotional tension. I do hope this entree into the Ring will bring us other Wagner operas in the near future. There is an audience for them in Arizona.

Maria Nockin


Cast and production information:

Wotan, Mark Delavan; Loge, Rodell Rosel; Alberich, Richard Paul Fink; Mime, Dennis Petersen; Fricka, Daveda Karanas; Erda, Dana Beth Miller; Fasolt, Harold Wilson; Fafner, Zachary James; Donner, Craig Colclough; Froh, John Robert Lindsay; Freia, Laura Wilde; Woglinde, Katrina Galka; Welgunde, Lacy Sauter; Flosshilde, Stephanie Sanchez; Conductor, Joseph Rescigno; Stage Director and Designer, Brian Staufenbiel; Projection Designer, David Murakami; Costume Designer, Matthew LeFebvre; Lighting Designer, Nicole Pearce.

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):