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Elsewhere

Prom 9: Fidelio lives by its Florestan

The last time Beethoven’s sole opera, Fidelio, was performed at the Proms, in 2009, Daniel Barenboim was making a somewhat belated London opera debut with his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

The Merchant of Venice: WNO at Covent Garden

In Out of Africa, her account of her Kenyan life, Karen Blixen relates an anecdote, ‘Farah and The Merchant of Venice’. When Blixen told Farah Aden, her Somali butler, the story of Shakespeare’s play, he was disappointed and surprised by the denouement: surely, he argued, the Jew Shylock could have succeeded in his bond if he had used a red-hot knife? As an African, Farah expected a different narrative, demonstrating that our reception of art depends so much on our assumptions and preconceptions.

Leoncavallo's Zazà at Investec Opera Holland Park

The make-up is slapped on thickly in this new production of Leoncavallo’s Zazà by director Marie Lambert and designer Alyson Cummings at Investec Opera Holland Park.

McVicar’s Enchanting but Caliginous Rigoletto in Castle Olavinlinna at Savonlinna Opera Festival

David McVicar’s thrilling take on Verdi’s Rigoletto premiered as the first international production of this Summer’s Savonlinna Opera Festival. The scouts for the festival made the smart decision to let McVicar adapt his 2001 Covent Garden staging to the unique locale of Castle Olavinlinna.

Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance at Covent Garden

The end of the ROH’s summer season was marked as usual by the Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance but this year’s showcase was a little lacklustre at times.

A Falstaff Opera in Shakespeare’s Words: Sir John in Love

Only one Shakespeare play has resulted in three operas that get performed today (whether internationally or primarily in one language-region). Perhaps surprisingly, the play in question is a comedy that is sometimes considered a lesser work by the Bard: The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Sallinen’s Kullervo is Brutal and Spectacular Finnish Opera at Savonlinna Opera Festival

For the centenary of Finland’s Independence, the Savonlinna Opera Festival brought back Kari Heiskanen’s spectacular 1992 production of Aulis Salinen’s Kullervo. The excellent Finnish soloists and glorious choir unflinchingly offered this opera of vocal blood and guts. Conductor Hannu Lintu fired up the Savonlinna Opera Festival Orchestra in Sallinen’s thrilling music.

Kát’a Kabanová at Investec Opera Holland Park

If there was any doubt of the insignificance of mankind in the face of the forces of Nature, then Yannis Thavoris’ design for Olivia Fuchs production of Janáček’s Kát’a Kabanová - first seen at Investec Opera Holland Park in 2009 - would puncture it in a flash, figuratively and literally.

A bel canto feast at Cadogan Hall

The bel canto repertoire requires stylish singing, with beautiful tone and elegant phrasing. Strength must be allied with grace in order to coast the vocal peaks with unflawed legato; flexibility blended with accuracy ensures the most bravura passages are negotiated with apparent ease.

Don Pasquale: a cold-hearted comedy at Glyndebourne

Director Mariame Clément’s Don Pasquale, first seen during the 2011 tour and staged in the house in 2013, treads a fine line between realism and artifice.

Billy Budd Indomitable in Des Moines

It is hard to know where to begin to praise the peerless accomplishment that is Des Moines Metro Opera’s staggeringly powerful Billy Budd.

Tannhäuser at Munich

Romeo Castellucci’s aesthetic — if one may speak in the singular — is very different from almost anything else on show in the opera house at the moment. That, I have no doubt, is unquestionably a good thing. Castellucci is a serious artist and it is all too easy for any of us to become stuck in an artistic rut, congratulating ourselves not only on our understanding but also,  may God help us, our ‘taste’ — as if so trivial a notion had something to do with anything other than ourselves.

Des Moines Answers Turandot’s Riddles

With Turandot, Des Moines Metro Opera operated from the premise of prima la voce, and if the no-holds-barred singing and rhapsodic playing didn’t send shivers down your spine, well, you were at the wrong address.

Maria Visits Des Moines

With an atmospheric, crackling performance of Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires, Des Moines Metro Opera once again set off creative sparks with its Second Stage concept.

Die schöne Müllerin: Davies and Drake provoke fresh thoughts at Middle Temple Hall

Schubert wrote Die schöne Müllerin (1824) for a tenor (or soprano) range - that of his own voice. Wilhelm Müller’s poems depict the youthful unsophistication of a country lad who, wandering with carefree unworldliness besides a burbling stream, comes upon a watermill, espies the miller’s fetching daughter and promptly falls in love - only to be disillusioned when she spurns him for a virile hunter. So, perhaps the tenor voice possesses the requisite combination of lightness and yearning to convey this trajectory from guileless innocence to disenchantment and dejection.

World Premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Castle in the Water Savonlinna Opera Festival

For my first trip to Finland, I flew from Helsinki to the east, close to the border of Russia near St. Petersburg over many of Suomi’s thousand lakes, where the summer getaway Savonlinna lays. Right after the solstice during July and early August, the town’s opera festival offers high quality productions. In this enchanting locale in the midst of peaceful nature, the sky at dusk after the mesmerising sunset fades away is worth the trip alone!

Mozart and Stravinsky in Aix

Bathed in Mediterranean light, basking in enlightenment Aix found two famous classical works, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in its famous festival’s open air Théâtre de l’Archevêche. But were we enlightened?

Des Moines: Nothing ‘Little’ About Night Music

Des Moines Metro Opera’s richly detailed production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music left an appreciative audience to waltz home on air, and has prompted this viewer to search for adequate superlatives.

Longborough Festival Opera: A World Class Tristan und Isolde in a Barn Shed

Of all the places, I did not expect a sublime Tristan und Isolde in a repurposed barn in the Cotswolds. Don’t be fooled by Longborough’s stage without lavish red curtains to open and close each act. Any opera house would envy the riveting chemistry between Peter Wedd and Lee Bisset in this intimate, 500 seat setting. Conductor Anthony Negus proved himself a master at Wagner’s emotional depth. Epic drama in minimalistic elegance: who needs a big budget when you have talent and drama this passionate?

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra throws a glossy Bernstein party

For almost thirty years, summer at the Concertgebouw has been synonymous with Robeco SummerNights. This popular series expands the classical concert formula with pop, film music, jazz and more, served straight up or mixed together. Composer Leonard Bernstein’s versatility makes his oeuvre, ranging from Broadway to opera, prime SummerNight fare.


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News

11 Jul 2017

Savonlinna Opera Festival (I): World Premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Castle in the Water

For my first trip to Finland, I flew from Helsinki to the east, close to the border of Russia near St. Petersburg over many of Suomi’s thousand lakes, where the summer getaway Savonlinna lays. Right after the solstice during July and early August, the town’s opera festival offers high quality productions. In this enchanting locale in the midst of peaceful nature, the sky at dusk after the mesmerising sunset fades away is worth the trip alone! »

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29 Dec 2004

Egypt and Opera at the Museum

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

Der Besuch der alten Dame at TheaterLübeck

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

Changes at the Chicago Lyric

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

NY TIMES: 2004 in Retrospect

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... »

20 Dec 2004

Miah Persson Replaces Natalie Dessay in Mahler's Fourth

Fi de Natalie Dessay et des Brentano-Lieder de Strauss (dont le dernier, Amor, donne le titre de son dernier album, chroniqué sur ResMusica). Qu’importe, le public s’est pressé ce soir là, comme à chacun des concerts de cette intégrale Mahler (lire le compte rendu de la symphonie n°3 et de ce même concert, deux jours plus tôt, à Dijon). Composée lors de son dernier séjour en Italie la symphonie n°29 d’un Mozart d’à peine 18 ans est créée en 1774 à Salzbourg, qui connaît depuis deux ans le règne du Prince-Archevêque Colloredo. Myung Whun Chung a choisi de réduire son orchestre en « formation Mannheim » (moins de trente cordes) pour servir cette œuvre avec la légèreté et la fluidité nécessaire. L’ensemble est très énergique et homogène, et accentue le coté brillant de cette symphonie par le parti pris de tempi plutôt allant, malgré quelques fluctuations dans les départs de mouvements. »

20 Dec 2004

Once More, With Feeling

Recorded music has benefited from the digital revolution, with lifelike reproduction possible in a variety of formats. That’s not always a good thing, because professional musicians find themselves competing for work with a device known as Sinfonia. The introduction of this “virtual orchestra” into opera and Broadway pits has stirred resentment, lawsuits and countersuits. Even the definition of what it is has generated heated debate. »

20 Dec 2004

A Day in the Life of an Opera Student

At Juilliard, Students Learn That Opera Is Both Craft and Commodity By BLAIR TINDALL The Juilliard School in New York City has trained some of the world's most prominent singers since opening its opera department in 1930, including Leontyne Price,... »

19 Dec 2004

The Oxford History of Western Music

A History of Western Music? Well, It's a Long Story By JAMES R. OESTREICH OXFORD HISTORY OF WESTERN MUSIC By Richard Taruskin Illustrated. 4,272 pages. Oxford University Press. $500 until Dec. 31; then $699. The Oxford History of Western Music... »

17 Dec 2004

Philip Gossett Receives Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award

Philip Gossett, one of the world's foremost experts on Italian opera, will receive one of four Mellon Distinguished Achievement Awards, an honor that carries with it a $1.5 million prize. Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in... »

16 Dec 2004

Major Losses at the Berlin Opera Houses

Berliner Opernhäuser haben Millionenverluste gemacht 19:45 Uhr Die Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin - Die drei Berliner Opernhäuser haben im ersten Jahr der gemeinsamen Opernstiftung weniger Besucher als erwartet gehabt und damit Millionenverluste gemacht. Insgesamt kamen in diesem Jahr in... »

16 Dec 2004

Trouble Down Under

Discord rings out as new opera director takes up the baton By Sharon Verghis December 16, 2004 Richard Hickox barely had time to adjust to the time difference before he walked into his first industry controversy. "I'm sorry that I... »

15 Dec 2004

Journal of Musicological Research

The Journal of Musicological Research has announced the release of Volume 23, Issue 3-4. The following is the table of contents from this issue: Paul Christiansen: "The Meaning of Speech Melody for Leos Janácek" Nathan Hesselink and Jonathan Christian... »

13 Dec 2004

Troubles at the Münchener Bach-Chor

Riss im Ensemble Bach-Chor ins Schlingern geraten Es schien perfekt eingefädelt: ein Konzert zum 50-jährigen Jubiläum, dann sogar mit dem künftigen Chef am Pult. Doch Ralf Otto, der charismatische Wunschkandidat aus Mainz, gab dem Münchener Bach-Chor kurz vor dem Weihnachtsoratorium... »

10 Dec 2004

An Invitation to the Opera

A Night At The Opera Dec. 10, 2004 - That's the title of a very famous Marx Brothers movie--a movie that makes fun of all sorts of opera stereotypes. But you might be surprised to hear that the number of... »

09 Dec 2004

Musicians Unite!

New, Musician-Run FM Station Plans Music Radio Revival A group led by two nationally known musicians has been awarded a contract to operate the Milwaukee Public Schools' FM station, WYMS-FM (88.9), and is developing a format to support musicians and... »

08 Dec 2004

The Guardian Reports on the Reopening of La Scala

Photo: AP/ Silvia Lelli/ Teatro Alla Scala. Glitz and clamour mark La Scala's reopening night John Hooper in Rome Wednesday December 8, 2004 The Guardian Decked out in red roses and surrounded by riot police, Milan's expanded and refurbished La... »

08 Dec 2004

Di Stefano Recovering

Opera singer recovering after stabbing Doctors 'hopeful' about Giuseppe Di Stefano ROME, Italy (AP) -- Italian tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano was being taken off sedatives and doctors were hopeful about his recovery from injuries sustained in an attack at his... »

07 Dec 2004

Grammy Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 47th annual Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday in Los Angeles. The following were the nominees for opera and classical vocal performance recordings: Opera Recording: Monteverdi: L'Orfeo Emmanuelle Haim,conductor/harpsichord/organ; Ian Bostridge, Patrizia Ciofi and Natalie Dessay; Daniel... »

07 Dec 2004

Elena Souliotis

MUSICA: E' MORTA SOPRANO ELENA SOULIOTIS 04/12/2004 - (ANSA) FIRENZE, 4 DIC E' morta improvvisamente oggi pomeriggio a Firenze la soprano drammatico Elena Souliotis, nota cantante lirica, amica di Fedora Barbieri e di Maria Callas. Aveva 61 anni e si... »

07 Dec 2004

Music in the Making of Europe 1000-1300

Royal Holloway-British Library Lectures in Musicology Christopher Page, the founder and director of the ensemble Gothic Voices, will give a series of one-hour lectures at the British Library Conference Centre on Music in the Making of Europe 1000-1300. The first... »

04 Dec 2004

Teatro Colón Sings

Britten's Venice Is Eclipsed by the Wonders of Colón By BERNARD HOLLAND BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 29 - The Teatro Colón is grand opera all by itself. Enter its front door to an ensemble of Italian marbles singing to the eye... »

04 Dec 2004

Mozart's Lucio Silla

The teenage Mozart and the trinity By Shirley Apthorp Published: December 3 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 3 2004 02:00 The walls of the set model can be lifted out and swapped around, like a dolls' house for the... »

02 Dec 2004

Glimmerglass Opera 2005

GLIMMERGLASS OPERA ANNOUNCES 2005 FESTIVAL SEASON Four New Productions to Run in Repertory June 30 through August 23, 2005 COOPERSTOWN, NY. Glimmerglass Opera has announced the repertory for its 2005 Festival Season. Four new productions, of works by Mozart, Donizetti,... »

30 Nov 2004

Tristan und Isolde at LA Philharmonic

L.A. Phil: A 'fresh context' for 'Tristan und Isolde' By Valerie Scher UNION-TRIBUNE CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC November 28, 2004 Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" is an epic melodrama, a mythic love story about the doomed romance between a knight and a... »

30 Nov 2004

La Scala Resurrected

Milan's La Scala stands ready to reopen on Dec. 7 after a two-year makeover, which includes the latest in acoustics and stage mechanics, a revamped floor, and new rehearsal rooms and offices. (Luca Bruno -- AP) The Very Model... »

29 Nov 2004

Satellite Radio: The Future is Now

At XM, Boldly Going Under Hugh Panero, Satellite Radio Is a Hit. Just Ask Howard Stern And Mel Karmazin. By Annys Shin Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, November 29, 2004; Page E01 Hugh Panero has never had much patience for... »

29 Nov 2004

Visual Aids in Live Performances

Classical buffs wary of letting eyes have it By David Patrick Stearns Inquirer Music Critic In the anti-MTV world of classical music, there's rarely been a video screen that didn't make great music seem worse. Years ago, the Philadelphia Orchestra... »

29 Nov 2004

Sleepless in Seattle

Money woes prompt panic at Seattle opera, ballet By PEGGY ANDERSEN ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER SEATTLE -- With the local economy flying high with dot-com dollars and public and private money gushing, Seattle built a grand, airy new space in its... »

28 Nov 2004

Grand Théâtre de Genève to Present Isabelle Aboulker's Les Enfants du Levant

During its 2004-2005 season, the Grand Théâtre de Genève will present Les Enfants du Levant by Isabelle Aboulker. Performances will be at 1930 on 11, 14, 15 and 16 December 2004 and at 1430 on 12 December 2004. Synopsis... »

28 Nov 2004

An Overview of Salzburg Festival – Summer 2005

Artistic Director Peter Ruzicka and Director of Drama Martin Kusej presented the program for the 2005 Salzburg Festival at the annual press conference, which consists of 183 events. The following is an overview of opera productions and vocal recitals:... »

25 Nov 2004

On Opera in Berlin

The Real Drama of Berlin Opera Berlin's three opera houses are no strangers to eluding closure and nursing the wounds of financial incision. Although they are currently on safe ground, they're having to learn to sing for their supper in... »

25 Nov 2004

Viktoriya Dodoka Wins Lockwood Aria

Opera: A Russian opera star is born John Daly-Peoples [National Business Review] Lockwood Aria Rotorua Convention Centre The Lockwood Aria has become the major proving ground for emerging opera talent in New Zealand. Some of the previous winners have gone... »

25 Nov 2004

Baroque Opera in Sydney

Baroque opera gets a new lease of life Matthew Westwood [The Australian] 26nov04 LAST month, at the final performance of Madeline Lee - John Haddock and Michael Campbell's emotionally involving new opera - market researchers for Opera Australia were handing... »

25 Nov 2004

Changes at NYCO

New Director for City Opera The New York City Opera has appointed a new executive director, Jane M. Gullong, right, promoting her from the job of director of development. Ms. Gullong replaces Sherwin M. Goldman, who the opera said has... »

25 Nov 2004

Universal, Sony BMG and Warner Reach Pact

3 Music Companies Will Use Online File-Sharing Service By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24 (AP) - Three major recording companies have agreed to make their music available to be shared and sold over a new online file-swapping service... »