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

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.

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.

Longborough Festival Opera announces collaboration with The Academy of Ancient Music in 2020

Longborough Festival Opera will collaborate with the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) for its production of Monteverdi The Return of Ulysses in 2020. Robert Howarth will conduct Monteverdi’s beautiful, compassionate drama, with Tom Randle in the title role.

Glyndebourne’s first production of Dialogues des Carmélites to open Glyndebourne Festival 2020

Glyndebourne’s first production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites will open Glyndebourne Festival 2020, it was announced today. The opera house unveiled its 2020 plans at an event in its recently built Production Hub, hosted by Glyndebourne’s new senior leadership team, Artistic Director Stephen Langridge and Managing Director Sarah Hopwood, who jointly replace the former position of General Director.

Garsington Opera Announces 2020 season and 2019 Paris Performance

Garsington Opera is delighted to announce the 2020 season that will open on 28 May, featuring three new productions - Verdi’s Un giorno di regno, Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto, Dvořák’s Rusalka and a revival of John Cox’s legendary production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

Un ballo in maschera at Investec Opera Holland Park: in conversation with Alison Langer

“Sop. Page, attendant on the King.” So, reads a typical character description of the loyal page Oscar, whose actions, in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, unintentionally lead to his monarch’s death. He reveals the costume that King Gustavo is wearing at the masked ball, thus enabling the monarch’s secretary, Anckarstroem, to shoot him. The dying King falls into the faithful Oscar’s arms.

Martin Duncan directs the first UK staging of Offenbach's Fantasio at Garsington

A mournful Princess forced by her father into an arranged marriage. A Prince who laments that no-one loves him for himself, and so exchanges places with his aide-de-camp. A melancholy dreamer who dons a deceased jester’s motley and finds himself imprisoned for impertinence.

Thomas Larcher's The Hunting Gun at the Aldeburgh Festival: in conversation with Peter Schöne

‘Aloneness’ does not immediately seem a likely or fruitful subject for an opera. But, loneliness and isolation - an individual’s inner sphere, which no other human can truly know or enter - are at the core of Yasushi Inoue’s creative expression.

The London Handel Festival and The Royal Opera announce a co-production of Handel’s Susanna starring members of The Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme

The London Handel Festival and The Royal Opera today [14 May 2019] announced a co-production of Handel’s oratorio Susanna as part of the 2020 London Handel Festival. The new production, performed in English in the Linbury Theatre [5 - 14 March 2020], will star members and Link Artists from The Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. Handel’s Susanna was written for Covent Garden and had its premiere on the site in 1749, but has not been performed at Covent Garden since.

Royal Opera House announces 17 new productions for its 2019/20 Season

The Royal Opera House today launches its 2019/20 Season, unveiling an exciting range of new commissions, world premieres and much-loved revivals, supported by a diverse range of ticketed and free daytime events, activities and festivals for people of all ages. In the first full Season since the completion of the Royal Opera House’s three-year Open Up renovation, The Royal Opera Company unveils a host of innovative new work, with 13 new productions, including two world premieres, in the Season ahead.

In interview with Polly Graham, Artistic Director of Longborough Festival Opera

What links Wagner’s Das Rheingold, Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Cavalli’s La Calisto? It sounds like the sort of question Paul Gambaccini might pose to contestants on BBC Radio 4’s music quiz, Counterpoint.

Carlo Diacono: L’Alpino

“Diacono himself does not know what musical talent he possesses” – Mascagni

Daniel Kramer to step down as English National Opera’s Artistic Director

Daniel Kramer is to step down as ENO’s Artistic Director at the end of July 2019 in order to focus on directing more opera and theatre full time.

Wexford Festival Opera's award-winning Il bravo to be streamed on ARTE.tv

From 7 pm (CEST), this Sunday 21 April, ARTE, the European public service broadcaster, will stream one of last year’s Wexford Festival Opera productions, Saverio Mercadante’s Il bravo, which was recently named ‘Best Opera Production’ at The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. Il bravo will be freely available worldwide on ARTE’s digital on-demand culture channel, Arte Concert, as part of ARTE’s 2019 Opera Season, a special online service for lovers of classical music. The opera will subtitled in English, German and French.

Bampton Classical Opera 2019: Stephen Storace - Bride & Gloom (Gli sposi malcontenti)

Newly-wed Casimiro and Eginia hardly seem to be enjoying a state of marital bliss. Why does Eginia sleep on her own, and why is her ex, Artidoro, still hanging around? He now seems to have an eye for the undoubted charms of Casimiro’s sister, Enrichetta - but she’s also attracted the lustful interest of dull and dusty Dr Valente, a man likely to turn nasty if thwarted …

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

Image by  Lyric Opera of Chicago
24 Jun 2019

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.

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycle

By Salvatore Calomino

Above image courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago

 

By the start of next spring’s cycles, the team of singers, musicians, and production staff will have worked together for an extensive period of four seasons, sufficient time to yield a collaborative effort of exciting potential. The Lyric Opera Orchestra will be led throughout by Its music director, Sir Andrew Davis, whose commitment to the works of Wagner has contributed markedly to the reception of the first three operas to date.

While the individual operas of the cycle have generated enthusiasm based on their specific artistic merits in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s recent productions, the opportunity to experience the totality of the Ring as a unified, continuous series will offer a rare event of collaborative forces. In Das Rheingold, the first opera or essentially the prologue to the following three operas, both devices and personalities forge a path into the forthcoming stories of love, power, and loyalties. The structural use of elevation, both mobile and stationary, has a binding effect that distinguishes specific scenes yet prompts the viewer to appreciate thematic and musical ties existing with the following operas. The Rhinemaidens hover aloft on mechanical lifts raised and lowered or propelled by supernumeraries as the maidens sing of the sun and gold. Their gracefully produced music undulates with the mechanized flow of the crane-like lifts. In subsequent scenes the giants emit their menacing bluster from atop moving towers. such a placement effectively emphasizing their power and size. Comparable yet stationary towering structures flank the stage in the following opera, Die Walküre, here used to indicate an oppositional relationship between the warriors Siegmund and Hunding. Once the identity of Siegmund becomes apparent in the first act, each warrior appears seated at the base of one of the opposing towers, each of these figures staring forward grimly in anticipation of future conflict. This battle takes place at the conclusion of the following act with either warrior positioned midway upon the respective, elevated structure, the gods and their kin intervening in the remaining space. In Siegfried the locale of the smithy in the forest is fashioned appropriately with flat lines, yet the development of the protagonist must transcend the realm of Mime and Alberich. In response to the elevated, coaxing calls of the Forest Bird, sung in last season’s new production with thrush-like intonations by Diana Newman, Siegfried, as performed by the impressive Burkhard Fritz, indeed follows an upward path until he reaches the sleeping Brunnhilde. Their joyous scene of burgeoning emotions is then celebrated on this raised portion of the stage. It will be exciting to trace further structural parallels in next season’s new production of Götterdämmerung and to anticipate comparable insights in the complete Ring cycles beginning in April 2020.

 

Lyric Opera of Chicago has assembled a superlative cast for this project, a team of singing performers associated both nationally and internationally with their respective roles. Perhaps most striking thus far has been the depth of character that the singers bring to their roles. Christine Goerke’s definitive Brunnhilde captures the excited involvement of a battle-maiden when assisting Siegmund, the wounded penitence of a disobedient daughter in her in her extended dialogues with Wotan, and the boundless promise of romantic love when awakened by the hero Siegfried. Likewise, the Wotan of Eric Owens moves from his adventurous complicity in Das Rheingold to the part of defensive mate and angry parent in Die Walküre, before taking an integral hand in Siegfried’s development in the following opera. Also returning in the complete cycle is the incomparable Stefan Margita, whose Loge in Das Rheingold propels the action and prepares the stage for subsequent confrontations in the following operas of the cycle. Tanya Ariane Baumgartner reprises her imperious Fricka in an elegantly idiomatic interpretation. Elisabeth Strid and Brandon Jovanovich create an unforgettably lyrical pair of siblings. Mathias Klink makes a tour de force of acting and singing as Mime, and Ronita Miller will perform her deeply felt and pivotal depiction of Erda.

Performances of the complete Ring cycle will take place in successive weeks with following schedule:

Cycle 1
Das Rheingold, Monday 4/13/20, 7:30 p.m.
Die Walküre, Tuesday, 4/14/20, 6:00 p.m.
Siegfried, Thursday, 4/16/20, 6:00 p.m.
Götterdämmerung, Saturday, 4/18/20, 5:30 p.m.

Cycle 2
Das Rheingold, Monday 4/20/20, 7:30 p.m.
Die Walküre, Tuesday, 4/21/20, 6:00 p.m.
Siegfried, Thursday, 4/23/20, 6:00 p.m.
Götterdämmerung, Saturday, 4/25/20, 5:30 p.m.

Cycle 3
Das Rheingold, Monday 4/27/20, 2:00 p.m.
Die Walküre, Wednesday, 4/29/20, 2:00 p.m.
Siegfried, Friday, 5/1/20, 2:00 p.m.
Götterdämmerung, Sunday, 5/3/20, 2:30 p.m.

Click here for additional information.

Click here for the text of Richard Wagner’s The Nibelungen-Myth. As Sketch for a Drama.

Salvatore Calomino

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):