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Elsewhere

Will Don Quichotte Be the Last Production at San Diego Opera?

This quotation from Cervantes was displayed before the opening of the opera’s final scene:

“The greatest madness a man can commit in this life is to let himself die, just like that, without anybody killing him or any other hands ending his life except those of melancholy.”

Gound Faust - Calleja and Terfel, Royal Opera House London

Gounod's Faust makes a much welcomed return to the Royal Opera House. With each new cast, the dynamic changes as the balance between singers shifts and brings out new insights. In that sense, every revival is an opportunity to revisit from new perspectives. This time Bryn Terfel sang Méphistophélès, with Joseph Calleja as Faust - stars whose allure certainly helped fill the hall to capacity. And the audience enjoyed a very good show.

Syracuse Opera’s Porgy and Bess
Got Plenty O’ Plenty

The company ends its 2013-14 season on a high note with a staged performance of Gershwin’s theatrical masterpiece

A New Rusalka in Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Antonin Dvorak’s Rusalka is visually impressive and fulfills all possible expectations musically with unquestioned excitement.

Karlsruhe’s Mixed Blessing Ballo

The reliable Badisches Staatstheater has assembled plenty of talent for its new Un Ballo in Maschera.

Louise Alder, Wigmore Hall

This varied, demanding programme indisputably marked soprano Louise Alder as a name to watch.

Luke Bedford: Through His Teeth, Linbury, Royal Opera House

Can this be the best British opera in years? Luke Bedford’s Through His Teeth at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre is exceptional. Drop everything and go.

Powder Her Face, ENO

As one descends the steel steps into the cavernous bunker of Ambika P3, one seems about to enter rather insalubrious realms — just right one might imagine, then, for an opera which delves into the depths of the seedier side of celebrity life.

Iphigénie Fascinates in the Pfalz

Kaiserslautern’s Pfalztheater has produced a tantalizing realization of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, characterized by intriguing staging, appealing designs, and best of all, superlative musical standards.

ROH presents Cavalli’s L’Ormindo at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London

Never thought I’d say it but......

Harrison Birtwistle, Elliott Carter, Wigmore Hall, London

Celebrating the 80th birthday of one of the UK's greatest composers (if not the greatest), this concert was an intriguing, and not always stimulating, mix. Birtwistle with Carter makes sense, but Birtwistle with Adams does not - or at least only within the remit of the concert series. The concert was actually entitled “Nash Inventions: American and British Masterworks, including an 80th Birthday Tribute to Sir Harrison Birtwistle” and was the final concert in the “Inventions” series.

Requiem for a Lost Opera Company

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, General Director Ian Campbell of San Diego Opera announced that the company would go out of business at the end of this season. The next day the company performed their long-planned Verdi Requiem with a stellar cast including soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, tenor Piotr Beczala, and bass Ferruccio Furlanetto.

The Met’s Werther a tasty mix of singing, staging, acting and orchestral splendor

Visual elements in Richard Eyre’s striking production offset Massenet’s melodic shortcomings

Chicago’s New Barber of Seville

New productions of repertoire staples such as Gioachino Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia bear much anticipation for both performers and staging.

Lucia in LA: A Performance to Remember

On March 15, 2014, Los Angeles Opera presented Elkhanah Pulitzer’s production of the opera, which she set in 1885 when women were beginning to be recognized as persons separate from their fathers, brothers and husbands. At that time many European countries were beginning to allow women to own property, obtain higher education, and choose their husbands.

San Diego Opera Presents an All Star Ballo in Maschera

On March 11, 2014, San Diego Opera presented Verdi’s A Masked Ball in a traditional production by Leslie Koenig. Metropolitan Opera star tenor Piotr Beczala was Gustav III, the king of Sweden, and Krassimira Stoyanova gave an insightful portrayal of Amelia, his troubled but innocent love interest.

Anne Schwanewilms, Wigmore Hall

From the moment she walked, resplendent in red, onto the Wigmore Hall platform, Anne Schwanewilms radiated a captivating presence — one that kept the audience enthralled throughout this magnificent programme of Romantic song.

Die Frau ohne Schatten, Royal Opera

Magnificent! Following the first night of this new production of Die Frau ohne Schatten, I quipped that I could forgive an opera house anything for musical performance at this level, whether orchestral, vocal, or, in this case, both.

Jean-Paul Scarpitta in Montpellier

I met with the embattled artistic director of the Opéra et Orchestre National de Montepellier not to talk about his battles. I simply wanted to know the man who had cast and staged a truly extraordinary Mozart/DaPonte trilogy.

Interview: Tenor Saimir Pirgu — From Albania to Italy to LA

Maria Nockin interviews tenor Saimir Pirgu.


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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. »

05 May 2005

In the News: Future of La Scala; Die Fledermaus in Philly; La Clemenza di Tito in London; Reinaldo Arenas as Opera; The Undiscovered

PARIS For all the poison and politics that accompanied the recent management meltdown at La Scala, Stéphane Lissner never hesitated last month when he was invited to become the first non-Italian in 227 years to run the legendary Milan opera house. Before accepting the job, though, he did call one old friend, the French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez. »

03 May 2005

An Interview with Angela Brown

Plunged in the deep waters of a serious opera career, Angela Brown is ready for the challenge. “It happened when it needed to…it’s God’s time; any earlier I wouldn’t be prepared.” After her pivotal substitution as Aida for the Metropolitan this fall, more companies and directors are taking notice. She now takes on the role of Cilla in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner, premiering at the Michigan Opera Theater this May. Brown admits the increase in attention has been an adjustment, but her full schedule is old hat. “I have always been a very busy singer,” says Brown, “I’ve been concentrating on covering [roles] a lot, but now I get to really do it!” »

01 May 2005

Pope Benedict XVI on Music and Liturgy

Pope Benedict XVI is a pianist with a penchant for Mozart, which he is said to find more manageable than Brahms, given the limited amount of time he has to practice. (Until his election, he was one of the busiest cardinals in his role as chief interpreter and enforcer of doctrine.) His brother, a priest, was a church Kapellmeister. The Ratzinger boys were born in the part of Bavaria long under the influence of Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace. »

28 Apr 2005

A Profile of Corrado Rovaris

Peering out onto Broad Street from a poster in front of the Academy of Music, conductor Corrado Rovaris seems too young to be so intense. At almost 40, his face is boyish, his hairline unreceded. But the eyes behind the glasses are penetrating. »