Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Elsewhere

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.

The Turn of the Screw, Holland Park

‘Only make the reader’s general vision of evil intense enough … and his own experience, his own imagination, his own sympathy … will supply him quite sufficiently with all the particulars.


OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Recently in News

All Pages |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23 
26 Jun 2005

Tan Dun Arrives at the Met

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/arts/music/26lips.html »

24 Jun 2005

40th Season at Saratoga Performing Arts Center

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/arts/dance/24sara.html »

24 Jun 2005

A Profile of James Conlon

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0624/p12s02-almp.html »

19 Jun 2005

Cabell Wins Cardiff Singer of the World 2005

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/broadband/mediawrapper/consoles/wales_singer05?redirect=console.shtml&nbram=1&bbram=1 »

19 Jun 2005

Renata Scotto — Teacher

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/19/arts/music/19gure.html »

16 Jun 2005

David Gockley on Selling Tickets

When David Gockley became business manager at the Houston Grand Opera in 1970, the company, like most regional troupes in the U.S. at the time, was doing “instant opera.” “There was a guy in north Jersey who had acquired all these old painted drops from Europe,” Mr. Gockley recalls. “He would rent out a generic ‘Tosca’ or ‘Trovatore.’ They came in bags — you stretched the drops on frames.” There was no rehearsal period — singers arrived, performed and left. Mr. Gockley became HGO’s general director in 1972 and immediately changed all that. One of his first productions was “The Marriage of Figaro,” with specially designed sets, a director, and a three-week rehearsal period. “We had a nice cast, including the young Frederica von Stade as Cherubino,” says Mr. Gockley. It cost more than instant opera, but it paid off. »

14 Jun 2005

Vivaldi's Motezuma Restored

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands, June 12 – Antonio Vivaldi returned to his hometown, Venice, early in 1733, eager to reclaim his place as the Venetian republic’s most popular composer. During his five-year absence, younger Naples-trained musicians had come to the fore with their own “dramas with music,” but now, at 55, Vivaldi was ready to take them on with a daringly modern opera inspired by Hernán Cortés’s conquest of the Aztecs. »

13 Jun 2005

The Fanny-Hensel-Festival 2005

Sie war begabt und privilegiert wie ihr Bruder Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Sie schuf in ihrem kurzen Leben weit über 400 Werke. Die Universität der Künste feiert nun den 200. Geburtstag von Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn. »

12 Jun 2005

Don Carlos and Don Carlo at the Wiener Staatsoper

Selbst Giuseppe Verdi hat nie eine Realisierung seiner Vertonung von Schillers “Don Carlos” in ihrer Gesamtheit erleben dürfen. Bereits vor der Generalprobe zur Uraufführung in Paris musste er aus banalem Grund – die Gäste sollten die nächtlichen Züge noch erreichen – Teile seines Werkes streichen, vor der Premiere setzte er noch einmal der Rotstift an. »

12 Jun 2005

Mattheson's Boris Goudenow in Boston

AN early-music festival might not seem the likeliest place to witness a world premiere. But that is what the audience at the Cutler Majestic Theater on the campus of Emerson College will do this week when, after a 295-year delay, the Boston Early Music Festival presents the first fully staged production of the opera “Boris Goudenow, or The Throne Attained Through Cunning, or Honor Joined Happily With Affection,” by the German Baroque composer Johann Mattheson. »

11 Jun 2005

The Midnight Court Premieres in Toronto

Banned in Ireland. The phrase still has some weight, at a time when talking about banning anything is to align yourself with dogmatic mullahs and evangelists. It’s hard to imagine how Brian Merriman, living in an Irish hamlet in the late 18th century, managed to write a literary work shocking enough to be untouchable for nearly two centuries. But the satiric bite of his 1,000-line Gaelic poem The Midnight Court is still something to wonder at, and thanks to Toronto’s Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, something to sing about as well. »

07 Jun 2005

Works of Bach and Handel Discovered

BERLIN (AFP) – Des partitions jusqu’ici inédites des compositeurs allemands Jean-Sébastien Bach (1685-1750) et Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1750) ont été découvertes dans des archives à Weimar et Munich, selon les archives de Bavière et de la Fondation Bach. »

05 Jun 2005

The State of Online Audio Services

Every few decades, audio formats change, and libraries rebuild their music collections. We’ve gone from 78s to LPs, then from LPs to CDs. While CDs stand to be produced for quite some time, it’s not clear how long large library CD collections—with many recordings going back to the mid-1980s—will last. Today, the format shift is on again as librarians attempt to offer patrons what they really want: online audio. »

04 Jun 2005

Rupert Christiansen Interviews Gerald Finley

Before he jets off to take the lead in John Adams’s new opera, Gerald Finley faces a challenge nearer home. He talks to Rupert Christiansen »

29 May 2005

Replacing David Gockley

Edward G. Wallace Jr., an oilman, has observed and supported the arts in Houston for several decades. His great passion is opera, especially bel canto opera. »

28 May 2005

Alberto Vilar Arrested

Alberto Vilar, a hotshot millionaire money manager and the Metropolitan Opera’s largest benefactor, was hauled before a federal judge yesterday on charges he stole $5 million from a client — and then used part of the money to make a donation to his alma mater. »

28 May 2005

Teatro Colon — Where The House Is The Show

Most people go to the opera to see the show. In Buenos Aires, many go just to see the opera house. Recently refurbished, the Teatro Colon offers guided tours through what is one of the world’s truly great houses of music. These tours are a hot attraction, especially for the tourists flooding the Argentine capital these days, where the dollar still has muscle. The tours are in Spanish, English, Portuguese and other languages. »

28 May 2005

A Profile of Valery Gergiev

What makes Valery Gergiev run? When the announcement came last week that he was to take over from Sir Colin Davis as principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, it was obvious what the LSO got from the deal. It confirmed them as one of the world’s leading orchestras, able to attract (Sir Simon Rattle possibly excepted) the most talented and charismatic conductor of his generation. For Gergiev, however, it was just another high-profile post to add to his already prodigious workload. »

28 May 2005

García Opera Buffa Found

Una ópera bufa sobre Don Quijote, escrita hace 180 años, ha sido redescubierta en España el año del IV Centenario de la obra que la inspiró y posiblemente sea reestrenada, afirmó a EFE el director musical Juan de Udaeta. »

26 May 2005

Paul Kildea Resigns from Wigmore Hall

Having successfully completed the transition since William Lyne’s retirement, Paul Kildea has decided to concentrate on his freelance career as a conductor. Over the past two years Paul has combined his musical career with his artistic role at Wigmore Hall, devoting nine months of the year to planning and attending the Hall’s concerts and the remainder to his own performing »

26 May 2005

Internationales Schubert Festival Steyr Begins

Die Festspielzeit beginnt. Besonders liebevoll programmiert ist das Schubert-Festival im zauberhaften Ambiente von Steyr. Intendantin Elke Albrecht setzte zur Eröffnung auf Musik, die Schubert in Steyr oder für Auftraggeber aus der Stadt geschrieben hat. Ergebnis: eine rechte Schubertiade. Wann hört man schon Klaviersonaten, Lieder und Kammermusik in sinnvoller Abfolge nebeneinander? Ellen van Lier war sogar bereit, den Lieder-Teil des Konzerts in der Schlossgalerie unterbrechen zu lassen, um vor der Aufführung des “Forellenquintetts” noch das entsprechende Lied zu singen. »

26 May 2005

Maximillian Schell Directs Der Rosenkavalier at LA

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 – Comparing Maximilian Schell to one of those purportedly extinct jungle species makes perfect sense. Those who have never observed Schell working will be forgiven doubting the continued existence of such a creature. And those who have are unlikely ever to forget it. »

26 May 2005

Valery Gergiev to Move to LSO

Could the conducting volcano that is Valery Gergiev be quieting down, at least in the near future? The London Symphony Orchestra announced yesterday that Mr. Gergiev will become its principal conductor in January 2007. Mr. Gergiev, famous for his intensely busy schedule, comes to the end of two major commitments the following season. »

22 May 2005

Caruso Love Letters To Become Public

More than a thousand previously unknown letters, said to have been written by the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso, are to be made available to the public next month, according to a report published yesterday. »

19 May 2005

Marilyn Horne Gives a Master Class

Soon after meeting opera diva Marilyn Horne before his big performance, Justin D. Gonzalez told her to spare him nothing. “Tear me to shreds. Do me the honor,” the 17-year-old Philadelphia high school senior invited before taking the stage Tuesday night at the Academy of Vocal Arts for his “master class” performance. »

19 May 2005

A Reunion at Cincinnati

For May Festival music director James Conlon, this season is all about old friends. The starry May Festival season, a two-week, five-concert festival opening tonight, includes a return of two of opera’s most celebrated singers, Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner, with whom Conlon has worked since the early 1990s. »

17 May 2005

Celebrating Mirella Freni

Sunday was Mirella Freni Day at the Metropolitan Opera. Fifty years ago, the Italian soprano made her operatic debut, and 40 years ago, she made her Met debut. The company celebrated these facts with a gala on Sunday afternoon, a fairly emotional show featuring six singers, plus Miss Freni herself. »

17 May 2005

Pavarotti Bids Adieu

Une page se tourne. Demain, à Bercy, la tournée d’adieux entreprise depuis quelques mois par Luciano Pavarotti permettra au public français d’entendre une dernière fois le tenorissimo. A une encablure de son soixante-dixième anniversaire, «Big Luciano», en choisissant de se retirer, clôt l’un des plus glorieux chapitres de l’histoire de l’opéra. Celui qui a grandi à Modène en buvant le lait de la même nourrice que Mirella Freni (leurs mères, collègues à la manufacture de tabac, ne pouvaient allaiter), avait pourtant de quoi être paralysé par l’enjeu : au moment où il fit ses débuts de ténor, la place était occupée par Corelli, del Monaco, di Stefano et Bergonzi ! Après ses débuts dans La Bohème à Reggio Emilia en 1961 (Rodolphe restera toujours l’un de ses rôles fétiches), les choses semblent s’emballer : il remplace di Stefano à Covent Garden en 1962, chante le Requiem de Verdi avec Karajan en 1964, débute à la Scala en 1965 et au Met en 1968. »

13 May 2005

The Future of Glyndebourne and Bayreuth

Glyndebourne and Bayreuth are the world’s two highest-profile private opera companies. Both are run by third-generation descendants of the founder. Each showcases the talents of well-known singers, conductors and directors. From the visionary template laid down by their founders, they have developed into complex modern organisms employing hundreds of people. Yet their character is defined by family: for these are still family businesses – the Christies at Glyndebourne, the Wagners at Bayreuth. »

12 May 2005

Koch Entertainment Acquired

ROW Entertainment Income Fund, the Canadian firm that owns the 100-unit CD Plus retail chain, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Koch Entertainment for about $80 million. ROW also owns wholesalers Record On wheels, Zing Distribution and Video One. »

12 May 2005

Opera North Triumphs Over ROH in Opera/Music Theater Category

Opera North triumphed over the Royal Opera House in the opera and music theatre category with Eight Little Greats, its series of short, rarely-staged operas. »

07 May 2005

Getting Steamy in LA

The ad campaign for the L.A. Opera’s upcoming Der Rosenkavalier has generated a lot of talk. Downtown artist Gottfried Helnwein, who is designing the production’s costumes and sets, also came up with the poster — using two models, a little makeup, and the power of suggestion. »