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Elsewhere

Kathleen Ferrier Remembered

Kathleen Ferrier Remembered, from SOMM Recordings, makes available on CD archive broadcasts of British and German song. All come from BBC broadcasts made between 1947 and 1952. Of the 26 tracks in this collection, 19 are "new", not having been commercially released. The remaining seven have been remastered by sound restoration engineer Ted Kendall. Something here even for those who already own the complete recordings.

Saint Louis Butterfly Soars

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis knew to trust the surefire potential of Madame Butterfly, and pretty much stayed out of its way.

Saint Louis: Gordon’s Revised Grapes

If opera is to remain a viable, accessible 21st century art form, it will be largely owing to the commitment of visionary companies like Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Titus Lightens Up in Saint Louis

Mozart’s opera seria, La Clemenza di Tito, performed in English at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis did something I did not think possible.

Il turco in Italia: Garsington Opera

Martin Duncan's production of Rossini's Il turco in Italia debuted in 2011, only the second production to be performed in Garsington Opera's then new home at Wormsley. Revived for the first time on 25 June 2017, David Parry was again conducting with Quirijn de Lang as Selim, Geoffrey Dolton as Don Geronio and Mark Stone as Prosdocimo returning to their roles, plus Sarah Tynan as Fiorilla, Katie Bray as Zaide, Luciano Botelho as Narciso and Jack Swanson as Albazar. Designs were by Francis O'Connor, with lighting by Mark Jonathan and movement by Nick Winston.

Glyndebourne's wartime Ariadne auf Naxos

It’s country-house opera season, and Glyndebourne have decided it’s time for a return of Katharina Thoma’s country-house-set Ariadne auf Naxos, first seen in 2013. Thoma locates Strauss’s opera-about-opera in a 1940s manor house which has been sequestered as a military hospital, neatly alluding to Glyndebourne’s own history when it transformed itself into a centre for evacuees from east London and the Christie children’s nursery became a sick bay.

On Trial in Saint Louis

That Opera Theatre of Saint Louis fearlessly embraces the cutting edge is once again evidenced by their compelling American premiere of The Trial.

A Traditional Rigoletto in Las Vegas

On June 9, 2017, Opera Las Vegas presented a traditional production of Verdi’s Rigoletto conducted by Music Director Gregory Buchalter with a cast headed by veteran baritone Michael Chioldi. A most convincing Rigoletto, Chioldi was a man in psychological pain from the begining of the opera. His fear and his vulnerability to the whims of the nobility were evident in every meaty, well-colored phrase he sang.

Thumbprint, An Amazing Woman Leaves an Indelible Mark

Thumbprint is the story of the young, innocent and illiterate Mukhtar Mai who was assaulted by a group of powerful men. Following the attack, Mukhtar, having supposedly been disgraced, was expected to commit suicide. Instead, she amazed everyone who knew her by going to the police and calling for the arrest of her attackers.

Kaufmann's first Otello: Royal Opera House, London

Out of the blackness, Keith Warner’s new production of Verdi’s Otello explodes into being with a violent gesture of fury. Not the tempest raging in the pit - though Antonio Pappano conjures a terrifying maelstrom from the ROH Orchestra and the enlarged ROH Chorus hurls a blood-curdling battering-ram of sound into the auditorium. Rather, Warner offers a spot-lit emblem of frustrated malice and wrath, as a lone soldier fiercely hurls a Venetian mask to the ground.

Don Carlo in Marseille

First mounted in 2015 at the Opéra National de Bordeaux this splendid Don Carlo production took stage just now at the Opéra de Marseille with a completely different cast and conductor. This Marseille edition achieved an artistic stature rarely found hereabouts, or anywhere.

Diamanda Galás: Savagery and Opulence

Unconventional to the last, Diamanda Galás tore through her Barbican concert on Monday evening with a torrential force that shattered the inertia and passivity of the modern song recital. This was operatic activism, pure and simple. Dressed in metallic, shimmering black she moved rather stately across the stage to her piano - but there was nothing stately about what unfolded during the next 90 minutes.

Schubert Wanderer Songs - Florian Boesch, Wigmore Hall

A summit reached at the end of a long journey: Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau at the Wigmore Hall, as the two-year Complete Schubert Song series draws to a close. Unmistakably a high point in the whole traverse. A well-planned programme of much-loved songs performed exceptionally well, with less well known repertoire presented with intelligent flourish.

La Bohème in San Francisco

In 2008 it was the electrifying conducting of Nicola Luisotti and the famed Mimì of Angela Gheorghiu, in 2014 it was the riveting portrayals of Michael Fabbiano’s Rodolfo and Alexey Markov’s Marcelo. Now, in 2017, it is the high Italian style of Erika Grimaldi’s Mimì — and just about everything else!

A heart-rending Jenůfa at Grange Park Opera

Katie Mitchell’s 1998 Welsh National Opera production of Janáček’s first mature opera, Jenůfa, is a good choice for Grange Park Opera’s first season at its new home, West Horsley Place. Revived by Robin Tebbutt, Mitchell and designer Vicki Mortimer’s 1930s urban setting emphasises the opera’s lack of sentimentality and subjectivism, and this stark realism is further enhanced by the narrow horseshoe design of architect Wasfi Kani’s ‘Theatre in the Woods’ whose towering walls and narrow width seem to add further to the weight of oppression which constricts the lives of the inhabitants.

Pelléas et Mélisande at Garsington Opera

“I am nearer to the greatest secrets of the next world than I am to the smallest secrets of those eyes!” So despairs Golaud, enflamed by jealousy, suspicious of his mysterious wife Mélisande’s love for his half-brother Pelléas. Michael Boyd’s thought-provoking new production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at Garsington Opera certainly ponders plentiful secrets: of the conscience, of the subconscious, of the soul. But, with his designer Tom Piper, Boyd brings the opera’s dreams and mysteries into landscapes that are lit, symbolically and figuratively, with precision.

Carmen: The Grange Festival

The Grange Festival, artistic director Michael Chance, has opened at Northington Grange giving everyone a chance to see what changes have arisen from this change of festival at the old location. For our first visit we caught the opening night of Annabel Arden's new production of Bizet's Carmen on Sunday 11 June 2017. Conducted by Jean-Luc Tingaud with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the pit, the cast included Na'ama Goldman as Carmen, Leonardo Capalbo as Don Jose, Shelley Jackson as Micaela and Phillip Rhodes as Escamillo. There were also two extra characters, Aicha Kossoko and Tonderai Munyevu as Commere and Compere. Designs were by Joanna Parker (costume co-designer Ilona Karas) with video by Dick Straker, lighting by Peter Mumford. Thankfully, the opera comique version of the opera was used, with dialogue by Meredith Oakes.

Don Giovanni in San Francisco

San Francisco Opera revved up its 2011 production of Don Giovanni with a new directorial team and a new conductor. And a blue-chip cast.

Dutch National Opera puts on a spellbinding Marian Vespers

A body lies in half-shadow, surrounded by an expectant gathering. Our Father is intoned in Gregorian chant. The solo voices bloom into a chorus with a joyful flourish of brass.

Into the Wood: A Midsummer Night's Dream at Snape Maltings

‘I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where Oxlips and the nodding Violet grows.’ In her new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Netia Jones takes us deep into the canopied groves of Oberon’s forest, luring us into the nocturnal embrace of the wood with a heady ‘physick’ of disorientating visual charms.


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News

14 Apr 2017

Extravagant Line-up 2017-18 at Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany

The town’s name itself “Baden-Baden” (named after Count Baden) sounds already enticing. Built against the old railway station, its Festspielhaus programs the biggest stars in opera for Germany’s largest auditorium. A Mecca for music lovers, this festival house doesn’t have its own ensemble, but through its generous sponsoring brings the great productions to the dreamy idylle.  »

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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 TechNews.com on the iPod

iMac, iPod, iConquered By Cynthia L. Webb washingtonpost.com 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 washingtonpost.com 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 washingtonpost.com 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

SFCV.org 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... »