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Elsewhere

Rameau Grand Motets, BBC Proms

Best of the season so far! William Christie and Les Arts Florissants performed Rameau Grand Motets at late night Prom 17. Perfection, as one would expect from arguably the finest Rameau interpreters in the business, and that's saying a lot, given the exceptionally high quality of French baroque performance in the last 40 years.

Adriana Lecouvreur Opera Holland Park

Twelve years after Opera Holland Park's first production of Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, the opera made a welcome return.

Back to the Beginnings: Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria at Iford Opera.

The Italianate cloister setting at Iford chimes neatly with Monteverdi’s penultimate opera The Return of Ulysses, as the setting cannot but bring to mind those early days of the musical genre. The world of commercial public opera had only just dawned with the opening of the Teatro San Cassiano in Venice in 1637 and for the first time opera became open to all who could afford a ticket, rather than beholden to the patronage of generous princes. Monteverdi took full advantage of the new stage and at the age of 73 brought all his experience of more than 30 years of opera-writing since his ground-breaking L’Orfeo (what a pity we have lost all those works) to the creation of two of his greatest pieces, Ulysses and then his final masterpiece, Poppea.

Schoenberg : Moses und Aron, Welsh National Opera, London

Once again, we find ourselves thanking an unrepresentable being for Welsh National Opera’s commitment to its mission. It is a sad state of affairs when a season that includes both Boulevard Solitude and Moses und Aron is considered exceptional, but it is - and is all the more so when one contrasts such seriousness of purpose with the endless revivals of La traviata which, Die Frau ohne Schatten notwithstanding, seem to occupy so much of the Royal Opera’s effort. That said, if the Royal Opera has not undertaken what would be only its second ever staging of Schoenberg’s masterpiece - the first and last was in 1965, long before most of us were born! - then at least it has engaged in a very welcome ‘WNO at the Royal Opera House’ relationship, in which we in London shall have the opportunity to see some of the fruits of the more adventurous company’s endeavours.

Rossini is Alive and Well and Living in Iowa

If you don’t have the means to get to the Rossini festival in Pesaro, you would do just as well to come to Indianola, Iowa, where Des Moines Metro Opera festival has devised a heady production of Le Comte Ory that is as long on belly laughs as it is on musical fireworks.

Gergiev : Janáček Glagolitic Mass, BBC Proms

Composed during just a few weeks of the summer of 1926, Janáček’s Slavonic-text Glagolitic Mass was first performed in Brno in December 1927. During the rehearsals for the premiere - just 3 for the orchestra and one 3-hour rehearsal for the whole ensemble - the composer made many changes, and such alterations continued so that by the time of the only other performance during Janáček’s lifetime, in Prague in April 1928, many of the instrumental (especially brass) lines had been doubled, complex rhythmic patterns had been ‘ironed-out’ (the Kyrie was originally in 5/4 time), a passage for 3 off-stage clarinets had been cut along with music for 3 sets of pedal timpani, and choral passages were also excised.

Donizetti and Mozart, Jette Parker Young Artists Royal Opera House, London

With the conclusion of the ROH 2013-14 season on Saturday evening - John Copley’s 40-year old production of La Bohème bringing down the summer curtain - the sun pouring through the gleaming windows of the Floral Hall was a welcome invitation to enjoy a final treat. The Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Showcase offered singers whom we have admired in minor and supporting roles during the past year the opportunity to step into the spotlight.

Glyndebourne's Strauss Der Rosenkavalier, BBC Proms

Many words have already been spent - not all of them on musical matters - on Richard Jones’s Glyndebourne production of Der Rosenkavalier, which last night was transported to the Royal Albert Hall. This was the first time at the Proms that Richard Strauss’s most popular opera had been heard in its entirety and, despite losing two of its principals in transit from Sussex to SW1, this semi-staged performance offered little to fault and much to admire.

Il turco in Italia at the Aix Festival

Twenty years ago stage director Christopher Alden introduced Rossini’s then forgotten comedy to Southern California audiences in a production that is still remembered. In Aix Alden has revisited this complex work that many critics now consider Rossini’s greatest comedy.

First Night of the BBC Proms : Elgar The Kingdom

The BBC Proms 2014 season began with Sir Edward Elgars The Kingdom (1903-6). It was a good start to the season,which commemorates the start of the First World War. From that perspective Sir Andrew Davis's The Kingdom moved me deeply.

Le nozze di Figaro, Munich

One is unlikely to come across a cast of Figaro principals much better than this today, and the virtues of this performance indeed proved to be primarily vocal.

Winterreise and Trauernacht at the Aix Festival

That’s A Winter’s Journey and A Night of Mourning for metteurs-en-scène William Kentridge (South Africa) and Katie Mitchell (Great Britain), completing the clean sweep of English language stage directors for the Aix Festival productions this year.

James Gilchrist at Wigmore Hall

Assured elegance, care and thoughtfulness characterised tenor James Gilchrist’s performance of Schubert’s Schwanengesang at the Wigmore Hall, the cycles’ two poets framing a compelling interpretation of Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte.

Music for a While: Improvisations on Henry Purcell

‘Music for a while shall all your cares beguile.’ Dryden’s words have never seemed as apt as at the conclusion of this wonderful sequence of improvisations on Purcell’s songs and arias, interspersed with instrumental chaconnes and toccatas, by L’Arpeggiata.

Nabucco at Orange

The acoustic of the gigantic Théâtre Antique Romain at Orange cannot but astonish its nine thousand spectators, the nearly one hundred meter breadth of the its proscenium inspires awe. There was excited anticipation for this performance of Verdi’s first masterpiece.

Richard Strauss: Notturno

Richard Strauss may be most closely associated with the soprano voice but this recording of a selection of the composer’s lieder by baritone Thomas Hampson is a welcome reminder that the rapt lyricism of Strauss’s settings can be rendered with equal beauty and character by the low male voice.

Saint Louis: A Hit is a Hit is a Hit

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has once again staked claim to being the summer festival “of choice” in the US, not least of all for having mounted another superlative world premiere.

La Flûte Enchantée (2e Acte)
at the Aix Festival

In past years the operas of the Aix Festival that took place in the Grand Théâtre de Provence began at 8 pm. The Magic Flute began at 7 pm, or would have had not the infamous intermittents (seasonal theatrical employees) demanded to speak to the audience.

Ariodante at the Aix Festival

High drama in Aix. Three scenarios in conflict — those of G.F. Handel, Richard Jones and the intermittents (disgruntled seasonal theatrical employees). Make that four — mother nature.

Lucy Crowe, Wigmore Hall

The programme declared that ‘music, water and night’ was the connecting thread running through this diverse collection of songs, performed by soprano Lucy Crowe and pianist Anna Tilbrook, but in fact there was little need to seek a unifying element for these eclectic works allowed Crowe to demonstrate her expressive range — and offered the audience the opportunity to hear some interesting rarities.


OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

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30 Nov 2009

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15 Nov 2009

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18 Oct 2009

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Béatrice et Bénédict: Opéra comique in two acts »

11 Oct 2009

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Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), a comical-fantastical opera in three acts with dance. »

29 Sep 2009

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Otello: Dramma lirico in four acts.Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito after The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice by William Shakespeare. »

06 Sep 2009

MASSENET: Werther — Vienna 2000

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23 Aug 2009

THOMAS: Mignon — New York 2005

Mignon: Opéra comique in three acts. »

26 Jul 2009

GOUNOD: Faust — Vienna 2008

Faust, Opéra en cinq actes. »

12 Jul 2009

GOUNOD: Faust — 1953

Faust, Opéra en cinq actes. »

15 Jun 2009

PUCCINI: Turandot — Buenos Aires 1965

Turandot, dramma lirico in three acts. »

10 Jun 2009

VERDI: I masnadieri — Baden-Baden 1998

I masnadieri [The bandits]: Melodramma in four parts  »

17 May 2009

TCHAIKOVSKY: The Maid of Orléans — Moscow 1971

The Maid of Orléans: [Orleanskaya deva]: Opera in four acts »

11 May 2009

ROSSINI: Guglielmo Tell — Rome 1954

Guglielmo Tell: Melodramma tragico in four acts »

03 May 2009

DONIZETTI: Maria Stuarda — Paris 1972

Maria Stuarda: Tragedia lirica in two or three acts. »

26 Apr 2009

VERDI: Don Carlo — Rome 1954

Don Carlo: Opera in four acts.  »

19 Apr 2009

VERDI: Luisa Miller — Reggio Emilia 1976

Luisa Miller: Melodramma tragico in three acts. »

12 Apr 2009

WAGNER: Götterdämmerung — Rome 1968

Götterdämmerung: Third day of Der Ring des Nibelungen in a prologue and three acts. »

06 Apr 2009

WAGNER: Siegfried — Rome 1968

Siegfried: Second day of Der Ring des Nibelungen in three acts. »

29 Mar 2009

WAGNER: Die Walküre — Rome 1968

Die Walküre: First day of Der Ring des Nibelungen in three acts.  »

22 Mar 2009

WAGNER: Das Rheingold — Rome 1968

Vorabend (preliminary evening) of Der Ring des Nibelungen, in four scenes. »

15 Mar 2009

ROSSINI: Il Barbiere di Siviglia — La Scala 1956

Il Barbiere di Siviglia [Almaviva, ossia L’inutile precauzione (‘Almaviva, or The Useless Precaution’)]: Commedia in two acts. »

08 Mar 2009

CHERUBINI: Medea — La Scala 1961

Medea (Médée): Opéra comique in three acts. »

01 Mar 2009

BELLINI: La sonnambula — La Scala 1957

La sonnambula, Melodramma in due atti »

22 Feb 2009

PUCCINI: Tosca — Mexico City 1952

Tosca: A melodrama in three acts. »

15 Feb 2009

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Armida, Dramma per musica in tre atti. »

08 Feb 2009

VERDI: La Traviata — Lisbon 1958

La Traviata: Melodramma in three acts.  »

01 Feb 2009

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Un ballo in maschera: Melodramma in three acts »

25 Jan 2009

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Il Pirata: Melodramma in two acts. »

18 Jan 2009

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Norma: Tragedia lirica in two acts. »

11 Jan 2009

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04 Jan 2009

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Turandot, dramma lirico in three acts. »

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21 Dec 2008

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14 Dec 2008

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23 Nov 2008

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20 Oct 2008

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Arabella: Lyrische Komödie in three acts »

14 Sep 2008

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07 Sep 2008

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Die Frau ohne Schatten: Oper in three acts »

17 Aug 2008

STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier — Hamburg 1992

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10 Aug 2008

STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier — Wien 1987

Der Rosenkavalier (‘The Knight of the Rose’): Komödie für Musik in 3 acts. »

04 Aug 2008

MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail — Salzburg 1997

Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Singspiel in 3 Acts. »

27 Jul 2008

MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail — Salzburg 1975

Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Singspiel in 3 Acts. »

20 Jul 2008

MOZART: Idomeneo — Munich 2008

Idomeneo, rè di Creta: Dramma per musica in tre atti (K. 366). »

13 Jul 2008

MOZART: Idomeneo (Britten ed.)

Idomeneo, rè di Creta: Dramma per musica in tre atti (K. 366). »

06 Jul 2008

MOZART: Così fan tutte — Wien 2008

Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (K. 588). Opera buffa in two acts. »

30 Jun 2008

MOZART: Così fan tutte — Salzburg 2004

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22 Jun 2008

MOZART: Die Zauberflöte — Salzburg 2006

Die Zauberflöte: Singspiel in two acts, K. 620 »

15 Jun 2008

MOZART: Die Zauberflöte — Salzburg 2005

Die Zauberflöte: Singspiel in two acts, K. 620 »

08 Jun 2008

MOZART: La Clemenza di Tito — ENO 2007

La Clemenza di Tito: Opera seria in two acts, K621. »

01 Jun 2008

MOZART: La Clemenza di Tito — Covent Garden 1976

La Clemenza di Tito: Opera seria in two acts, K621. »

25 May 2008

MOZART: Le Nozze di Figaro — Vienna 2001

Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro): Opera buffa in four acts, K492 »

18 May 2008

MOZART: Le Nozze di Figaro — Salzburg 2001

Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro): Opera buffa in four acts, K492 »

11 May 2008

MOZART: Don Giovanni — Salzburg 2002

Il dissoluto punito ossia il Don Giovanni (K. 527): Drama giocoso in two acts »

04 May 2008

MOZART: Don Giovanni — Salzburg 1953

Il dissoluto punito ossia il Don Giovanni (K. 527): Dramma giocoso in two acts »

27 Apr 2008

MASSENET: Chérubin

Chérubin: Comédie chantée in three acts. »

21 Apr 2008

MASSENET: Marie-Magdeleine

Marie-Magdeleine: Drame sacré in three acts and four scenes »

13 Apr 2008

MASSENET: Le Cid

Le Cid: opéra in four acts and ten tableaux. »

06 Apr 2008

MASSENET: Esclarmonde

Esclarmonde: Opéra romanesque in four acts and eight tableaux. »

30 Mar 2008

MASSENET: Cendrillon

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16 Mar 2008

MASSENET: Manon

Manon: Opéra comique in 5 acts and 6 tableaux »

09 Mar 2008

MASSENET: Thaïs

Thaïs: Comédie lyrique in three acts and seven scenes. »

03 Mar 2008

JOMMELLI: Fetonte

Fetonte: Dramma per musica in three acts. »

25 Feb 2008

VINCI: La Partenope

La Partenope: Dramma per musica in three acts. »

19 Feb 2008

CHERUBINI: Medea

Medea (Médée): Opéra comique in three acts. »

10 Feb 2008

MARTÍN Y SOLER: Andromaca

Andromaca: Dramma per musica in three acts. »

03 Feb 2008

ROSSINI: Ermione

Ermione: Azione tragica in two acts. »

27 Jan 2008

TRAETTA: Ippolito ed Aricia

Ippolito ed Aricia: Tragedia in five acts. »

20 Jan 2008

MOZART/STRAUSS: Idomeneo

Idomeneo: Opera seria in three acts. »

13 Jan 2008

GLUCK: Paride ed Elena

Paride ed Elena: Dramma per musica in five acts. »

10 Jan 2008

GLUCK/BERLIOZ: Orphée

Orphée: Opera in four acts. Music composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck (arranged by Hector Berlioz, 1859). Libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi  »

26 Dec 2007

LULLY: Alceste, ou Le triomphe d’Alcide

Alceste, ou Le triomphe d’Alcide: Tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts. »

17 Dec 2007

GLUCK: Alceste

Alceste: Tragédie opéra in three acts. »

12 Dec 2007

PACINI: Medea

Medea: Melodramma tragico in three acts. »

06 Dec 2007

SACCHINI: Oedipe à Colone

Oedipe à Colone: Tragédie lyrique in three acts. »

27 Nov 2007

STRAUSS : Elektra

Elektra: Tragedy in one act. »

18 Nov 2007

PAISIELLO: Fedra

Fedra: Dramma per musica in two acts. »

11 Nov 2007

BERLIOZ: Les Troyens

Les Troyens: Grand opéra in five acts. »