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Elsewhere

Dolora Zajick about her Institute for Young Dramatic Voices

"Although there are now more people on this planet than there have ever been before, there are fewer dramatic voices. Something is wrong with that equation. I thought there needs to be some sort of helping hand so that dramatic voices don’t fall through the cracks in the system as they advance through their various stages of development."

Dolora Zajick Premieres Composition

At a concert in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in San Jose, California, on August 22, 2014, a few selections preceded the piece the audience had been waiting for: the world premiere of Dolora Zajick’s brand new composition, an opera scene entitled Roads to Zion.

Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice

This elegant, smartly-paced film turns Gluck’s Orfeo into a Dostoevskian study of a guilt-wracked misanthrope, portrayed by American countertenor Bejun Mehta.

Aureliano in Palmira in Pesaro

Ossia Il barbiere di Siviglia. Why waste a good tune.

Santa Fe Opera Presents Huang Ruo's Sun Yat-sen

By emphasizing the love between Sun Yat-sen and Soong Ching-ling, Ruo showed us the human side of this universally revered modern Chinese leader. Writer Lindsley Miyoshi has quoted the composer as saying that the opera is “about four kinds of love.” It speaks of affection between friends, between parents and children, between lovers, and between patriots and their country.

Britten War Requiem - Andris Nelsons, CBSO, BBC Prom 47

In light of the 2012 half-centenary of the premiere in the newly re-built Coventry Cathedral of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, the 2013 centennial celebrations of the composer’s own birth, and this year’s commemorations of the commencement of WW1, it is perhaps not surprising that the War Requiem - a work which was long in gestation and which might be seen as a summation of the composer’s musical, political and personal concerns - has been fairly frequently programmed of late. And, given the large, multifarious forces required, the potent juxtaposition of searing English poetry and liturgical Latin, and the profound resonances of the circumstances of the work’s commission and premiere, it would be hard to find a performance, as William Mann declared following the premiere, which was not a ‘momentous occasion’.

Il barbiere di Siviglia in Pesaro

Both by default and by merit Il barbiere di Siviglia is the hit of the thirty-fifth Rossini Opera Festival. But did anyone really want, and did the world really need yet another production of this old warhorse?

Armida in Pesaro

Armida (1817) is the third of Rossini’s nine operas for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, all serious. The first was Elisabetta, regina di Inghilterra (1815), the second was Otello (1816), the last was Zelmira (1822).

Santa Fe Opera Presents an Imaginative Carmen

Santa Fe opera has presented Carmen in various productions since 1961. This year’s version by Stephen Lawless takes place during the recent past in Northern Mexico near the United States border. The performance on August 6, 2014, featured Ana Maria Martinez as a monumentally sexy Gypsy who was part of a drug smuggling group.

Elgar Sea Pictures : Alice Coote, Mark Elder Prom 31

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra persuasively balanced passion and poetry in this absorbing Promenade concert. Elder’s tempi were fairly relaxed but the result was spaciousness rather than ponderousness, with phrases given breadth and substance, and rich orchestral colours permitted to make startling dramatic impact.

Berio Sinfonia, Shostakovich, BBC Proms

Although far from perfect, the performance of Berio’s Sinfonia in the first half of this concert was certainly its high-point; indeed, I rather wish that I had left at the interval, given the tedium induced by Shostakovich’s interminable Fourth Symphony. Still, such was the programme Semyon Bychkov had been intended to conduct. Alas, illness had forced him to withdraw, to be replaced at short notice by Vasily Petrenko.

Four countertenors : Handel Rinaldo Glyndebourne

Handel's Rinaldo was first performed in 1711 at London's King's Theatre. Handel's first opera for London was designed to delight and entertain, combining good tunes, great singing with a rollicking good story. Robert Carsen's 2011 production of the opera for Glyndebourne reflected this with its tongue-in-cheek Harry Potter meets St Trinian's staging.

Santa Fe Opera Presents The Impresario and Le Rossignol

On August 7, 2014, the Santa Fe Opera presented a double bill of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Impresario and Igor Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol (The Nightingale). The Impresario deals with the casting of an opera and Le Rossignol tells the well-known fairy tale about the plain gray bird with an exquisite song.

Barber in the Beehive State

Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre has gifted opera enthusiasts with a thrilling Barber, and I don’t mean . . . of Seville.

Stravinsky : Oedipus Rex, BBC Proms

In typical Proms fashion, BBC Prom 28 saw Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex performed in an eclectic programme which started with Beethoven's Egmont Overture and also featured Electric Preludes by the contemporary Australian composer Brett Dean. Sakari Oramo,was making the first of his Proms appearances this year, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Chorus.

Santa Fe Opera Presents a Passionate Fidelio

Santa Fe Opera presented Beethoven’s Fidelio for the first time in 2014. Since the sides of the opera house are open, the audience watched the sun redden the low hanging clouds and set below the Sangre de Cristo mountains while Chief Conductor Harry Bicket led the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra in the rousing overture. At the same time, Alex Penda as the title character readied herself for the ordeal to come as she endeavored to rescue her unjustly imprisoned husband.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail @ Hangar-7

We see the characters first in two boxes at an opera house. The five singers share a box and stare at the stage. But Konstanze’s eye is caught by a man in a box opposite: Bassa Selim (actor Tobias Moretti), who stares steadily at her and broods in voiceover at having lost her, his inspiration.

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.

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.


OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

News

29 Aug 2014

Museum of the future

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26 Jun 2005

A New Mariinsky

http://www.sptimesrussia.com/archive/times/1081/features/a_16107.htm »

26 Jun 2005

Merkur Interviews Diana Damrau

Wo sie auftritt, bezaubert sie das Publikum. So auch das Münchner Opernpublikum und unsere Leser, die Diana Damrau in diesem Jahr den Merkur-Theaterpreis zugesprochen haben. Eine Sängerin der Extraklasse. Auch ohne gigantische Vermarktungsmaschinerie hat sich die Günzburgerin an die internationale Spitze gesungen. »

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. »