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21 Jan 2005
Here, indicates the maestro, is the “punto Callas”. Riccardo Muti and I are standing onstage at La Scala, Milan, where so many great operas have been premiered and countless distinguished singers have sung. Facing the deserted auditorium, he points to an unmarked spot on the floor, right of centre, which Maria Callas established as her sovereign territory. It is the punto, or position, which best showed off a singer’s voice in a theatre renowned for its acoustical quirks. “There was great competition for this point,” smiles Muti. “In a quartet you would have a tower of singers.”
Breaking the eerie stillness, the maestro claps his hands to show how much more flattering the acoustic has become since the great Milanese theatre reopened last month after a three-year renovation. Has La Scala ever resonated so crisply to the sound of one person’s applause? Muti’s point is that there is no longer any need for a “punto Callas”. »
20 Jan 2005
A San Diego Opera-San Diego Symphony agreement reached this week to share musicians signifies a new level of achievement for two arts organizations that have fought second-tier status for years.
It also ushers in unprecedented cooperation for these major arts organizations, which didn’t always work cooperatively or compatibly. »
20 Jan 2005
NEW YORK—The British are coming. So are the Russians, along with an Argentinean and the usual Austrians and Germans. Lincoln Center’s 2005-06 “Great Performers” lineup was announced Tuesday, and the 40th season of the multimedia series once again draws a multicultural mix of classical performers.
The opening events of “Great Performers,” Sept. 28-Oct. 2, bring the return of the virtuoso London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis in programs ranging from the Verdi Requiem to Sibelius and Vaughan Williams. That kicks off a season featuring visits from 10 international orchestras, plus 31 recitals and chamber concerts. »
20 Jan 2005
Washington DC (PRWEB) January 20, 2005—The National Theatre is a plethora of stars of the past, the present, and the future of the great American theatre. Almost every great stage performer over the past century has graced the stage of this historic theatre. The oldest cultural institution in the Nation’s capital, the National Theatre is one of the oldest continuously operating theatres in America.
The National Theatre, managed by the Shubert Organization, has presented numerous North American and World premieres of professional Broadway Class-A Legitimate Productions throughout its history. The National Theatre over looks the International Trade Center and Freedom Plaza on “The Avenue of the Presidents”. Since its inception, the National Theatre has been crowned “The Theatre of the Presidents” having performed for every American President and First Lady. »
20 Jan 2005
There was no scowling Simon Cowell, no one singing while holding a scooter and no William Hung.
But Cincinnati’s own classical version of “American Idol” auditions took place Friday and Saturday at Music Hall. Budding singers and classically trained performers sang with all the fervor of “Idol” winner Fantasia in an attempt to land a spot in one or more of Cincinnati Opera’s four summer productions. »
20 Jan 2005
Richard Bradshaw is finally ready to lift the curse and bring Carmen back to Toronto next fall as part of the Canadian Opera Company’s final season at the Hummingbird Centre.
Georges Bizet’s hot-blooded saga about the Spanish gypsy and jealous soldier is one of the greatest crowd-pleasers in the opera repertory, but at the COC a black cloud has been hanging over it for the past 12 years. »
20 Jan 2005
The premiere of “Margaret Garner,” plus a late Verdi masterpiece, and Figaro’s twin adventures as told by Rossini and Mozart make up the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 2005-2006 season.
For the second year, the company will present four operas with six Academy of Music performances each.
“We hope that we will be able to return to five productions in the 2006-2007 season,” said the company’s general and artistic director Robert Driver as the ‘05-’06 season was announced yesterday. »
14 Jan 2005
I HOPE you made the most of last year’s opera highlights because 2005 looks pretty dull by comparison. The resignation of Scottish Opera’s music director, Sir Richard Armstrong, has added to the company’s woes. With only three productions in the foreseeable future, the main risk is that the audience forgets the company exists.
The vanishing audience is a spectre that haunts other companies: ENO must be wondering what became of an audience that was more like a loyal football crowd. »
14 Jan 2005
Le premier temps fort de cette deuxième partie de saison lyrique sera La Flûte enchantée bientôt proposée par l’Opéra Bastille : on a déjà vu dans une halle d’usine de Bochum ce spectacle étonnant conçu par les Catalans de la Fura del Baus, à l’époque où Gérard Mortier dirigeait le Festival de la Ruhr. Comment les matelas gonflables et la science-fiction philosophique imaginés par ces plasticiens virtuoses passeront-ils à Paris, et comment Marc Minkowski, qui avait très bien dirigé l’oeuvre en Allemagne, sera-t-il reçu par l’Orchestre de l’Opéra ? On le saura à partir du 24 janvier. Deux jours après, on suivra aussi, à Garnier, le second Couronnement de Poppée de la saison, après celui de McVicar aux Champs-Elysées : le metteur en scène, David Alden, est aussi anglais, et la divine Antonacci ne sera plus Néron mais Poppée. »
12 Jan 2005
The main entrance of the War Memorial Opera House.Photo by Terrence McCarthy SAN FRANCISCO — General Director Pamela Rosenberg announced details of San Francisco Opera's 83rd Season during a press meeting at the Opera House on Wednesday, January 12.... »
12 Jan 2005
SAN FRANCISCO Opera director search adds Houston veteran Once not in running, David Gockley now a leading candidate Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic Tuesday, January 11, 2005 David Gockley, the visionary longtime general director of the Houston Grand Opera, has... »
09 Jan 2005
KAFKA and Kurtag. This natural coupling of writer and composer telegraphs with alliterative grace a century of modernism, a deeply felt spiritual condition and a grasping for genuine personal expression through violently impersonal times.
The Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag was born in 1926, two years after Kafka’s death, but their sensibilities are interwoven in one of Mr. Kurtag’s most effective works, “Kafka Fragments,” for soprano and violin. These settings of short excerpts from Kafka’s diaries, letters and notebooks will be performed this week by the soprano Dawn Upshaw and the violinist Geoff Nuttall, in a new staging directed by Peter Sellars, as part of Ms. Upshaw’s Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall. »
08 Jan 2005
The Knot Garden Sir Michael Tippett sung in English The Knot Garden, with a libretto by the composer, has a typically enigmatic title. The elaborate Elizabethan Knot Garden often resembled a maze - and the reference to Shakespeare's time is... »
07 Jan 2005
Lyric plays it safe with season schedule By John von Rhein Tribune music critic January 6, 2005 Now at the midpoint of its golden jubilee season, Lyric Opera of Chicago is faced with carrying its winning streak into the company's... »
06 Jan 2005
Franco Zeffirelli, one of the world’s best-known opera directors, yesterday branded the inaugural season of the newly refurbished La Scala opera house a disgrace.
Zeffirelli accused the opera house of inviting second-rate conductors to perform. Writing to a journalist on the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, who had written approvingly of the programme, he said the situation “risks becoming utterly absurd and developing into a scandal of truly international proportions because La Scala belongs to the whole world”. »
05 Jan 2005
Twilight of the CD Gods? A Studio 'Tristan' May Be the Last Ever By MICHAEL WHITE LONDON, Jan. 4 - The EMI recording studios at Abbey Road in north London are always a surprise when you walk through the modest... »
01 Jan 2005
A Year When Classical Labels Came Through By ANTHONY TOMMASINI In 2003, the problems affecting the classical recording business seemed daunting: markets flooded with multiple versions of the standard repertory; declining sales; widespread layoffs in the offices of the major... »
01 Jan 2005
Soprano Amanda Forsythe has sung so often with baritone David Kravitz that she was only mildly surprised recently when she Googled her name, and up popped a reference to “Amanda Kravitz.”
Tonight and tomorrow afternoon, Forsythe is paired with Kravitz again for Pergolesi’s delicious little opera “La Serva Padrona” (“The Maid as Mistress”), presented by Boston Baroque as part of its annual New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day gala at Sanders Theatre. »
30 Dec 2004
ST. PETERSBURG, December 29 (RIA Novosti) – The city’s Mariinka (Kirov) theater is to open its next season here today with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Tsar’s Bride” opera.
Talking to RIA Novosti, people at the Mariinka theater’s press center noted that this was a joint production involving the theater and Holland’s Diaghilev Festival Foundation. The new stage version of this opera was first performed December 10 in Groningen, Holland. »
29 Dec 2004
Spoleto Festival USA has announced the production of three operas for 2005. These are: Die Vögel (The Birds) Lost when Braunfels was blacklisted by the Nazis in the late 1930s, the work has never received a fully staged performance... »
29 Dec 2004
De l’Isis de Lully, en 1677, à l’Akhnaten de Philip Glass, en 1984, en passant par l’inoubliable Aïda de Verdi, pas moins de deux cents créations lyriques – cantates, oratorios, opéras et ballets – ont eu pour thème l’Egypte, dont la moitié exclusivement consacrées à Cléopâtre. C’est dire l’attirance que ce pays et ses mystères, réels ou supposées, ont exercée sur les compositeurs et les librettistes, toujours à la recherche d’un nouvel exotisme ou d’un romantisme déchirant.
«Avec la deuxième collection d’égyptologie après celle du Musée Guimet de Lyon, dit Brigitte Bouret, conservateur du musée et commissaire de l’exposition «L’Egypte et l’Opéra», il était légitime que nous nous intéressions à ce thème d’une grande richesse d’autant que j’ai pu travailler avec un égyptologue de renom, Michel Dewachter.» »
28 Dec 2004
Premièring 14 January, TheaterLübeck will present Der Besuch der alten Dame, a schauspiel written in 1956 by the Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990) under the original title Komödie der Hochkonjunktur (Comedy of Business Prosperity), with music by Dietmar Staskowiak. Der Besuch der alten Dame received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best foreign play in 1958-59. »
28 Dec 2004
No time for Lyric to play it safe Opera company loses Epstein's voice of innovation By John von Rhein Tribune music critic December 27, 2004 Matthew A. Epstein's recent departure as artistic director of Lyric Opera raises questions about whether... »
26 Dec 2004
The Voices That Carried the Year By ANNE MIDGETTE OPERA lovers do a fair amount of hand-wringing over the state of singing today. My own pet peeve has been the decline in big voices, especially Verdi singers. But 2004 had... »