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Elsewhere

Gluck and Bertoni at Bampton

Bampton Classical Opera’s 2014 double bill neatly balanced drollery and gravity. Rectifying the apparent prevailing indifference to the 300th centenary of Christoph Willibald Gluck birth, Bampton offered a sharp, witty production of the composer’s Il Parnaso confuso, pairing this ‘festa teatrale’ with Ferdinando Bertoni’s more sombre Orfeo.

Purcell: A Retrospective

Harry Christophers and The Sixteen Choir and Orchestra launched the Wigmore Hall’s two-year series, ‘Purcell: A Retrospective’, in splendid style. Flexibility, buoyancy and transparency were the watchwords.

Mahler: Symphony no.3 — Prom 73

It would be unfair, but one could summarise this concert with the words, ‘Senator, you’re no Leonard Bernstein.’

Los Angeles Opera Opens with La traviata

On September 13, Los Angeles Opera opened its 2014-2015 season with a revival of Marta Domingo’s updated, Art Deco staging of Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata. It starred Nino Machaidze as Violetta, Arturo Chácon-Cruz as Alfredo, and Plácido Domingo as Giorgio Germont. The conductor was Music Director James Conlon.

Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park, 2014

In its annual concert previewing the forthcoming season Lyric Opera of Chicago presented its “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” during the past weekend to a large audience of enthusiastic listeners.

Susannah in San Francisco

Come to think of it the 1950‘s were operatically rich years in America compared to other decades in the recent past. Just now the San Francisco Opera laid bare an example, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.

Xerxes, ENO

Nicholas Hytner’s production of Handel’s Xerxes (Serse) at English National Opera (ENO) is nearly 30 years old, and is the oldest production in ENO’s stable.

San Diego Opera Opens 2014-2015 Season

On Friday evening September 5, 2014, tenor Stephen Costello and soprano Ailyn Pérez gave a recital to open the San Diego Opera season. After all the threats to close the company down, it was a great joy to great San Diego Opera in its new vibrant, if slightly slimmed down form.

Otello at ENO

English National Opera’s 2014-15 season kicked off with an ear-piercing orchestral thunderbolt. Brilliant lightning spears sliced through the thick black night, fitfully illuminating the Mediterranean garret-town square where an expectant crowd gather to welcome home their conquering hero.

Anna Nicole, back with a bang!

It is now three and a half years since Anna Nicole was unleashed on the world at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Norma in San Francisco

It was a Druid orgy that overtook the War Memorial. Magnificent singing, revelatory conducting, off-the-wall staging (a compliment, sort of).

Joyce DiDonato starts Wigmore Hall new season

There was a quasi-party atmosphere at the Wigmore Hall on Monday evening, when Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano reprised the recital that had kicked off the Hall’s 2014-15 season with reported panache and vim two nights previously. It was standing room only, and although this was a repeat performance there certainly was no lack of freshness and spontaneity: both the American mezzo-soprano and her accompanist know how to communicate and entertain.

Aida at Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival

In strict architectural terms, the stupendous 2nd century Roman theatre of Aspendos near Antalya in southern Turkey is not an arena or amphitheatre at all, so there are not nearly as many ghosts of gored gladiators or dismembered Christians to disturb the contemporary feng shui as in other ancient loci of Imperial amusement.

St Matthew Passion, Prom 66

Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra brought their staging of Bach's St Matthew Passion to the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, 6 September 2014.

Glimmerglass: Butterfly Leads the Pack

Every so often an opera fan is treated to a minor miracle, a revelatory performance of a familiar favorite that immediately sweeps all other versions before it.

Operalia, the World Opera Competition, Showcases 2014 Winners

On August 30, Los Angeles Opera presented the finals concert of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, the world opera competition. Founded in 1993, the contest endeavors to discover and help launch the careers of the most promising young opera singers of today. Thousands of applicants send in recordings from which forty singers are chosen to perform live in the city where the contest is being held. Last year it was Verona, Italy, this year Los Angeles, next year London.

Elektra at Prom 59

The second day of the Richard Strauss weekend at the BBC Proms saw Richard Strauss's Elektra performed at the Royal Albert Hall on 31 August 2014 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, with Christine Goerke in the title role.

Powerful Mahler Symphony no 2 Harding, BBC Proms London

Triumphant! An exceptionally stimulating Mahler Symphony No 2 from Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Prom 57 at the Royal Albert Hall. Harding's Mahler Tenth performances (especially with the Berliner Philharmoniker) are pretty much the benchmark by which all other performances are assessed. Harding's Mahler Second is informed by such an intuitive insight into the whole traverse of the composer's work that, should he get around to doing all ten together, he'll fulfil the long-held dream of "One Grand Symphony", all ten symphonies understood as a coherent progression of developing ideas.

Nina Stemme's stunning Strauss Salome, BBC Proms London

The BBC Proms continued its Richard Strauss celebrations with a performance of his first major operatic success Salome. Nina Stemme led forces from the Deutsche Oper, Berlin,at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 30 August 2014,the first of a remarkable pair of Proms which sees Salome and Elektra performed on successive evenings

Santa Fe Opera Presents Updated, at One Point Up-ended, Don Pasquale

On August 9, 2014, Santa Fe Opera presented a new updated production of Don Pasquale that set the action in the 1950s. Chantal Thomas’s Act I scenery showed the Don’s furnishing as somewhat worn and decidedly dowdy. Later, she literally turned the Don’s home upside down!


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19 Sep 2014

Vienna State Opera live at home

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04 Jul 2005

Conti's Don Quichotte at Festival de Musique Baroque de Beaune

Ouvert vendredi soir par l’Alcina de Haendel, le festival de Beaune, qui accueille la crème des ensembles baroques jusqu’à la fin du mois, fait événement samedi avec la création française du Don Chisciotte signé, en 1719 à Vienne, par le Florentin Francesco Bartolomeo Conti, virtuose du théorbe et compositeur attitré de la cour de Charles-VI de Habsbourg. Le chef et musicologue René Jacobs a découvert cette partition il y a quinze ans, et l’a déjà donnée à Innsbruck il y a douze ans, dans des décors de Roland Topor. Il fait le point sur la version du concert qu’il dirige dans la cour des Hospices de Beaune, prélude à une nouvelle production au festival d’Innsbruck en août. »

04 Jul 2005

CNN Interviews Tony Hall

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/BUSINESS/07/01/boardroom.hall »

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. »