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The Barber of Seville, ENO London

This may be the twelfth revival of Jonathan Miller’s 1987 production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for English National Opera, but the ready laughter from the auditorium and the fresh musical and dramatic responses from the stage suggest that it will continue to amuse audiences and serve the house well for some time to come.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Bostridge, Barbican London

The third and final instalment of the Academy of Ancient Music’s survey of Monteverdi’s operas at the Barbican began and ended in darkness; the red glow of the single candle was an apt visual frame for a performance which was dedicated to the memory of the late Andrew Porter, the music critic and writer whose learned, pertinent and eloquent words did so much to restore Monteverdi, Cavalli and other neglected music-dramatists to the operatic stage.

English Touring Opera - Debussy, Massenet and Offenbach

English Touring Opera’s recent programming has been ambitious and inventive, and the results have been rewarding. We had two little-known Donizetti operas, The Siege of Calais and The Wild Man of the West Indies, in spring 2015, while autumn 2014 saw the company stage comedy by Haydn (Il mondo della luna) and romantic history by Handel (Ottone).

Boesch and Martineau Schubert Complete Songs, Wigmore Hall, London

The Wigmore Hall's complete Schubert Songs series of 40 concerts began with a recital by Florian Boesch and Graham Johnson. (Read my review here). If anything, though, the second concert, where Boesch was accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, was even better. The programme was beautifully planned, and the performance exceptional, even by the very high standards of the Wigmore Hall.

Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk - ENO London

It took artistic courage to choose Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtensk to start the ENO's 2015-2016 season. Shostakovich isn't an easy sell, and so full of sex and violence that some minds - like Josef Stalin - would be aghast. But Mark Wigglesworth is passionate about Shostakovich , and as new Music Director of the ENO, he's making a point. Good opera needs artistic vision.

Berg Wozzeck Fabio Luisi Zurich Opera

Zurich Opera brought Alban Berg Wozzeck to the Royal Festival Hall, London . Fabio Luisi conducted Philharmonia Zurich and a very good cast in a concert performance. With all pretence at staging removed (apart from natural good acting) we could focus on the sheer musical audacity of Berg's writing, and pick up on the processes the music employs to create the drama.

“Nessun Dorma — The Puccini Album”

Sounds swirl with an urgent emotionality and meandering virtuosity on Jonas Kaufmann’s new Puccini album—the “real one”, according to Kaufmann, whose works were also released earlier this year on Decca records, allegedly without his approval.

Verismo Double Header in Los Angeles

LA Opera got its season off to an auspicious beginning with starry revivals of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci.

Viva Verdi at Opera Las Vegas

On September 9, 2015, Opera Las Vegas presented James Sohre’s production of Viva Verdi at the Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz. It was a delightful evening of arias, duets and ensembles by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). The program included many of the composer’s blockbuster arias and scenes from famous operas such as Aida, La traviata, and Macbeth.

Barbera Sings a Fascinating Recital in San Diego

On Saturday, September 19, San Diego Opera opened its 2015-2016 season with a recital by tenor René Barbera. This was the first Polly Puterbaugh Emerging Artist Award Recital and no artist could have been more deserving than the immensely talented Barbera.

Sweeney Todd at the San Francisco Opera

Did the iconic “off-beat” and “serious” American musical hold the stage of the War Memorial Opera House? The excited audience (standees three deep) thought so and roared their appreciation.

Sondra Radvanovsky Stars in the Title Role of Anna Bolena

The First of Three Donizetti Queens She Will Sing at the Met This Season

Wigmore Hall Complete Schubert Song Series begins with Boesch and Johnson

The Wigmore Hall, London, has launched Schubert : The Complete Songs, a 40-concert series to run through the 2015 and 2016 seasons. There have been Schubert marathons before, like BBC Radio 3's all-Schubert week and The Oxford Lieder Festival's Schubert series last year, but the Wigmore Hall series will be a major landmark because the Wigmore Hall is the Wigmore Hall, the epitome of excellence.

Honegger: Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher

Marion Cotillard and Marc Soustrot bring the drama to the sweeping score of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne dArc au bûcher, an adaptation of the Trial of Joan of Arc

Luisa Miller in San Francisco

Luisa Miller sits on the fringes of the repertory, and since its introduction into the modern repertory in the 1970’s it comes around every 15 or so years. Unfortunately this 2015 San Francisco occasion has not bothered to rethink this remarkable opera.

Salieri: La grotta di Trofonio (Trofonio’s Cave)

Demonised by Pushkin and Peter Shaffer, Antonio Salieri lives in the public imagination as the embittered rival of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — whose genius he lamented and revered in equal measure, and against whom he schemed and plotted at the Emperor Joseph II’s Viennese court.

Chicago Lyric’s Stars Shine at Millennium Park

The annual concert given by Lyric Opera of Chicago as an outdoor event previewing the forthcoming season took place on 11 September 2015 at Millennium Park.

Far in the Heavens — Choral Music of Stephen Paulus

Stephen Paulus provided the musical world, and particularly the choral world, with music both provocative and pleasing through a combination of lyricism and a modern-Romantic tonal palette.

For Odyssey Opera, No Operatic Challenge is Too Great

For a company founded in 2013, Odyssey Opera has an astounding track record. To take on Korngold’s Die tote Stadt is ambitious enough, but to do so within only a year of the company’s founding seems almost single-minded.

Gluck: Orphée et Eurydice

Orpheus — that Greek hero whose songs could enchant both deities and beasts, whose lyre has become a metaphor for the power of music itself, and whose journey to the Underworld to rescue his wife, Eurydice, kick-started the art of opera in Mantua in 1607 — has been travelling far and wide around the UK in 2015.



03 Jul 2015

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23 Nov 2004

Opera Orchestra of New York Opens 2004-2005 Season

On Monday, 22 November, Opera Orchestra of New York opened its 2004-2005 season with La Fanciulla del West. According to its website: The OONY season kicks off with Puccini's "horse opera," arguably the greatest opera ever created in New York... »

23 Nov 2004

L'Opéra-Comique Named as National Theater

Le Figaro is reporting that L'Opéra-Comique has been decreed an "établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial" under French law. Its charter is to provide a broad diversity of "expressions" from Baroque to contemporary creations. This decree goes into effect... »

22 Nov 2004

La Scala Readies for Opening Night on December 7

'Beautiful lady' regains her looks and rediscovers her voice John Hooper in Milan Saturday November 20, 2004 The Guardian Mauro Meli, the artistic director of the world's most famous opera house, raised the lapel of his jacket, buried his head... »

19 Nov 2004

Thomas Quasthoff Releases Autobiography

Quasthoff, der Grosse Der Bariton hat in einer aufwühlenden Biographie aufgeschrieben, wie er trotz seiner Behinderung zum Weltstar wurde "Rechts, links, rechts, links, rechts, links metronomt mein Kopf auf dem Laken. Ich liege halb nackt da, Hüfte und Beine festgeklemmt... »

19 Nov 2004

Lady Macbeth at the Bolshoi

Dangerous Music When Stalin pulled Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth" from the Soviet stage, the composer had good reason to fear for his life. By Raymond Stults Published: November 19, 2004 Widely considered the greatest Russian opera -- and perhaps even... »

19 Nov 2004

The Cost of Doing Business

Opera House faces price scrutiny Arts organisations such as the Royal Opera House face the risk of losing their charitable status over ticket prices under a proposed bill. According to the draft charities bill, organisations granted charitable status will have... »

18 Nov 2004

Merkur Interviews Edita Gruberova and Friedrich Haider on the Dissolution of the Rundfunkorchester

Von Gefühl und Geist keine Ahnung Edita Gruberova und Friedrich Haider zur Auflösung des Rundfunkorchesters Für den Bayerischen Rundfunk mit Intendant Thomas Gruber an der Spitze mag das Münchner Rundfunkorchester bald Geschichte sein, für viele Künstler ist es das allerdings... »

17 Nov 2004

Wiener Staatsoper Announces Program Remembering 50th Anniversary of Rebuilding of Opera House

On 5 November 2005, the Wiener Staatsoper will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the rebuilding of the opera house, which had been destroyed near the end of World War II. The program will include: Leonore Overture No. 3, Seiji... »

17 Nov 2004

More on the Reopening of La Fenice and La Scala

Opera house rises from the ashes -- again After fire and years of controversial renovations, Venice's La Fenice and Milan's La Scala raise the curtains By PAUL FRENCH Special to The Globe and Mail Wednesday, Nov 17, 2004 VENICE --... »

17 Nov 2004

Pro Ópera on Daniel Catán's Salsipuedes at HGO

Salsipuedes ha llegado a buen puerto Modelo que muestra a Ulises y Chucho a bordo de "El invencible" Dentro de la presente temporada de la Gran ópera de Houston, se llevará a cabo el estreno mundial de la ópera Salsipuedes,... »

15 Nov 2004

Phoenix Rising

Venetian Phoenix Rises Operatically From the Ashes By ALAN RIDING [NY Times] VENICE, Nov. 14 - Destroyed by fire on the night of Jan. 29, 1996, and rebuilt during eight years of noisy scandals, lawsuits and delays, Venice's legendary Teatro... »

14 Nov 2004

Bodies Beautiful?

Should the Fat Lady Diet Before She Sings? By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times] THE dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt returns to the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday as Elisabeth in Wagner's "Tannhäuser," and opera buffs are abuzz with anticipation over this popular... »

12 Nov 2004

Northern Virginia to Have New Performing Arts Center

Concert Hall to Rise Near Manassas GMU, Pr. William To Share Funding By Eric M. Weiss and Michele Clock Washington Post Staff Writers Friday, November 12, 2004; Page A01 Prince William County and George Mason University have agreed to help... »

12 Nov 2004

Separating the Men from the Boys

Who wears the pants in this opera? By Mark Kanny TRIBUNE-REVIEW CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC Thursday, November 11, 2004 Perhaps the most novel aspect of Pittsburgh Opera's upcoming production of "The Marriage of Figaro" will be Michael Maniaci's portrayal of Cherubino... »

12 Nov 2004

La Fenice Reopens on 12 November

Traviata at Theatre La Fenice by Gillian Price [LEO — LA RIVISTA DI VENEZIA] The excitement in the damp autumn air is palpable. Venice's beloved Fenice theatre is soon to be open for business and the city's faithful opera-going public... »

11 Nov 2004

Albany Records Announces New Recording by Angela Brown

On October 29, 2004, Angela Brown made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Aida in the great Verdi opera. Hailed in Opera News as "one of America's most promising Verdi sopranos," she was a National Metropolitan Opera Council Audition winner in... »

10 Nov 2004

Die Zauberflöte at Bayerische Staatsoper

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Emanuel Schikaneder Première on 30th October 1978 at the Nationaltheater Première of the Neu Einstudierung on 31st October 2004 at the Nationaltheater The Joy of Drawing Has Remained A Conversation with Jürgen... »

09 Nov 2004

Rigoletto at DNO Amsterdam

Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi 1813-1901 Rigoletto, together with Il trovatore and La traviata, laid the foundations for Verdi's worldwide renown; the latter two operas were composed shortly after Rigoletto. The opera is based upon Victor Hugo's play Le roi s'amuse, a... »

30 Oct 2004

MET Names New General Manager

PETER GELB CHOSEN TO SUCCEED JOSEPH VOLPE AS GENERAL MANAGER October 29, 2004 William C. Morris, president and chief executive officer of The Metropolitan Opera, announced today that Peter Gelb, president of Sony Classical, has been chosen to succeed Joseph... »

29 Oct 2004

NYCO Moving On?

New York City Opera in Talks to Build Its Own Home By ROBIN POGREBIN [NY Times] The New York City Opera is in negotiations to build a new opera house on the site of the former American Red Cross New... »

28 Oct 2004

NBR New Zealand Opera to Produce The Death of Klinghoffer

*New Zealand Opera's 2005 Season Will Include Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer* By Emily Quinn October 28, 2004 The NBR New Zealand Opera's 2005 season will include a production of John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer, the opera announced today.The... »

27 Oct 2004

Walt Mossberg on Challengers to the iPod

Three Challengers Take on the Mini Latest 'iPod Killers' Score On Style and Storage Space, But They Aren't Easy to Use October 27, 2004; Page D1 One of the key reasons for the continuing popularity of Apple Computer's line of... »

26 Oct 2004

Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne to Produce Auber's Haÿdée ou Le secret

*Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne will produce on 28 November Hayedée ou Le secret, a comic opera in three acts by Daniel François Auber.* Production Details Libretto by Eugène SCRIBE Music by Daniel François Esprit AUBER Musical direction by Michel SWIERCZEWSKI... »

22 Oct 2004

Opera Omaha to Present Copland's The Tender Land

Aaron Copland's The Tender Land: Opera About Midwestern Farm Family Opens Opera Omaha's Orpheum Season November 17, 19, 21 Omaha, NE--Opera Omaha will open its Orpheum season of performances with a new production of Aaron Copland's The Tender Land. Performances... »

14 Oct 2004

WP on the iPod

iMac, iPod, iConquered By Cynthia L. Webb Staff Writer Thursday, October 14, 2004; 9:50 AM For Apple Computer, will 2004 be remembered as a transformative year? Yes, according to The Wall Street Journal, which said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's... »

11 Oct 2004

Archiv Releases Andromeda Liberata

ANDROMEDA LIBERATA A VENETIAN MYSTERY By Ulrike Brenning With the recording of Andromeda liberata - their debut on Archiv Produktion - Andrea Marcon and the Venice Baroque Orchestra have scored a real coup. This is a newly rediscovered, full-concert-length work... »

11 Oct 2004

WP on the File-Sharing Wars

Downloading Justice By Cynthia L. Webb Staff Writer Monday, October 11, 2004; 9:36 AM The file-sharing wars could get even hotter if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to weighs in on whether "peer-to-peer" networks should be held responsible for... »

01 Oct 2004

The Mariinsky's New Season

Voice activated By Galina Stolyarova STAFF WRITER Photo by Meri Cyr / FOR SPT The Mariinsky theater, which opens its 2004-2005 season on Thursday, Oct. 7th with Glinka's "A Life For The Tsar," has tailored the forthcoming musical year for... »

28 Sep 2004

CDs Still Preferable to Downloads

Silicon Still Rocks the House By Cynthia L. Webb Staff Writer Tuesday, September 28, 2004; 9:38 AM The Internet may have forever changed the music business, but online downloads will keep playing second fiddle to compact discs for at... »

17 Sep 2004

Lyric Opera of Chicago's Jubilee

Jubilee of a profitable opera house By Jeremy Grant Published: September 17 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 17 2004 03:00 The Lyric Opera of Chicago is marking its 50th anniversary and new season with Christoph Eschenbach conducting Peter Stein's... »

07 Sep 2004 Previews SF Opera Fall Season

By Robert Commanday The opening of the season in San Francisco has always turned first thoughts to opera. The success of the San Francisco Symphony, its greater subscribership through Fall, Winter and Spring notwithstanding, opera has ruled here as an... »