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Elsewhere

Temple Winter Festival: the Gesualdo Six

‘Gaudete, gaudete!’ - Rejoice, rejoice! - was certainly the underlying spirit of this lunchtime concert at Temple Church, part of the 5th Temple Winter Festival. Whether it was vigorous joy or peaceful contemplation, the Gesualdo Six communicate a reassuring and affirmative celebration of Christ’s birth in a concert which fused medieval and modern concerns, illuminating surprising affinities.

Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida at the Wigmore Hall

The journey is always the same, and never the same. As Ian Bostridge remarks, at the end of his prize-winning book Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession, when the wanderer asks Der Leiermann, “Will you play your hurdy-gurdy to my songs?”, in the final song of Winterreise, the ‘crazy but logical procedure would be to go right back to the beginning of the whole cycle and start all over again’.

Turandot in San Francisco

San Francisco Opera wrapped up its 95th fall opera season just now with a bang up Turandot. It has been a season of hopeful hints that this venerable company may regain some of its former luster.

Daniel Michieletto's Cav and Pag returns to Covent Garden

It felt rather decadent to be sitting in an opera house at 12pm. Even more so given the passion-fuelled excesses of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, which might seem rather too sensual and savage for mid-day consumption.

Manitoba Opera: Madama Butterfly

Manitoba Opera opened its 45th season with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly proving that the aching heart as expressed through art knows no racial or cultural divide, with the Italian composer’s self-avowed favourite opera still able to spread its poetic wings across time and space since its Milan premiere in 1904.

Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake celebrate 25 years of music-making

In 1992, concert promoter Heinz Liebrecht introduced pianist Julius Drake to tenor Ian Bostridge and an acclaimed, inspiring musical partnership was born. On Wenlock Edge formed part of their first programme, at Holkham Hall in Norfolk; and, so, in this recital at Middle Temple Hall, celebrating their 25 years of music-making, the duo included Vaughan Williams’ Housman settings for tenor, piano and string quartet alongside works with a seventeenth-century origin or flavour.

Girls of the Golden West in San Francisco

Not many (maybe any) of the new operas presented by San Francisco Opera over the past 10 years would lure me to the War Memorial Opera House a second time around. But for Girls of the Golden West just now I would be there again tomorrow night and the next, and I am eagerly awaiting all future productions.

DiDonato is superb in Semiramide at Covent Garden

It’s taken a while for Rossini’s Semiramide to reach the Covent Garden stage. The last of the operas which Rossini composed for Italian theatres between 1810-1823, Semiramide has had only one outing at the Royal Opera House since 1887, and that was a concert version in 1986.

Hans Werner Henze Choral Music

Hans Werner Henze works for mixed voice and chamber orchestra with SWR Vokalensemble and Ensemble Modern, conducted by Marcus Creed. Welcome new recordings of important pieces like Lieder von einer Insel (1964), Orpheus Behind the Wire (1984) plus Fünf Madrigale (1947).

Philippe Jaroussky and Ensemble Artaserse at the Wigmore Hall

‘His master’s masterpiece, the work of heaven’: ‘a common fountain’ from which flow ‘pure silver drops’. At the risk of effulgent hyperbole, I’d suggest that Antonio’s image of the blessed governance and purifying power of the French court - in the opening scene of Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi - is also a perfect metaphor for the voice of French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, as it slips through Handel’s roulades like a silken ribbon.

La Rondine Takes Flight in San Jose

Kudos to San Jose Opera for offering up a wholly winning, consistently captivating new production of Puccini’s seldom performed La Rondine.

Bettina Smith, Norwegian Mezzo, in Songs by Fauré and Debussy

Here are five complete song sets by two of the greatest masters of French song. The performers are highly competent. I should have known, given the rave reviews that their 2015 recording of modern Norwegian songs received.

Clonter Opera Gala

Clonter’s Opera Gala in the breath-taking beautiful ball-room at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair was a glamorously glittering smattering of opera – which made me want to run out to every opera in town.  

Étienne-Nicolas Méhul: Uthal

The opera world barely knows how to handle works that have significant amounts of spoken dialogue. Conductors and stage directors will often trim the dialogue to a bare minimum (Magic Flute), have it rendered as sung recitative (Carmen), or have it spoken in the vernacular though the sung numbers may often be performed in the original language (Die Fledermaus).

A New Anna Moffo?: The Debut Disc of Aida Garifullina

Here is the latest CD from a major label promoting a major new soprano. Aida Garifullina is utterly remarkable: a lyric soprano who also can handle coloratura with ease. Her tone has a constant shimmer, with a touch of quick, narrow vibrato even on short notes.

A New Die Walküre at Lyric Opera of Chicago

From the start of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s splendid, new production of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre conflict and resolution are portrayed throughout with moving intensity. The central character Brünnhilde is sung by Christine Goerke and her father Wotan by Eric Owens.

As One a Haunting Success in San Diego

San Diego Opera has mined solid gold with its mesmerizing and affecting production of As One, a part of their innovative ‘Detour Series.’

OLF: Songs by Tchaikovsky, Anton Rubinstein, Rachmaninov and Georgy Sviridov

Compared to the oft-explored world of German lieder and French chansons, the songs of Russia are unfairly neglected in recordings and in the concert hall. The raw emotion and expansive lyricism present in much of this repertoire was clearly in evidence at the Holywell Music Room for the penultimate day of the celebrated Oxford Lieder Festival.

Stockhausen’s STIMMUNG and COSMIC PULSES at the Barbican.

This concert was an event on several levels - marking a decade since the death of Stockhausen, the fortieth anniversary (almost to the day) since Singcircle first performed STIMMUNG (at the Round House), and their final public performance of the piece. It was also a rare opportunity to hear (and see) Stockhausen’s last completed purely electronic work, COSMIC PULSES - an overwhelming visual and aural experience that anyone who was at this concert will long remember.

Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017 - Winner Announced

Bampton Classical Opera is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 Young Singers’ Competition is mezzo-soprano Emma Stannard and the runner-up is tenor Wagner Moreira. The winner of the accompanists’ prize, a new category this year, is Keval Shah.


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Reviews

<em>Gesualdo Six</em> at Temple Church (Temple Winter Festival)
15 Dec 2017

Temple Winter Festival: the Gesualdo Six

‘Gaudete, gaudete!’ - Rejoice, rejoice! - was certainly the underlying spirit of this lunchtime concert at Temple Church, part of the 5th Temple Winter Festival. Whether it was vigorous joy or peaceful contemplation, the Gesualdo Six communicate a reassuring and affirmative celebration of Christ’s birth in a concert which fused medieval and modern concerns, illuminating surprising affinities. »

Recently in Reviews

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14 Nov 2004

Myto Releases Otello

VERDI: Otello Mario del Monaco (Otello), Renata Tebaldi (Desdemona), Leonard Warren (Iago); La Scala/ Antonio Votto Myto 41083 [2CD] 140 minutes Tebaldi and Del Monaco twice recorded Otello together in the studio, and we've reviewed a number of bootlegs starring... »

14 Nov 2004

SFO Presents The Flying Dutchman

With a ghoulishly murky 'Dutchman,' Opera puts on a truly grim production Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic Friday, November 12, 2004 It was, yes, a dark and stormy night as the San Francisco Opera unveiled its new production of "The... »

13 Nov 2004

ARG Reviews Mercadante's Emma d'Antiochia

MERCADANTE: Emma d'Antiochia Nelly Miricioiu (Emma), Maria Costanza Nocentini (Adelia), Bruce Ford (Ruggiero), Roberto Servile (Corrado); Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London Philharmonic/ David Parry Opera Rara 26 [3CD] 183 minutes I have long been on a campaign to revive the works... »

05 Nov 2004

Fanfare Reviews Jenufa

JANáCEK Jenufa * Charles Mackerras, cond; Janice Watson (Jenufa), Josephine Barstow (The Kostelnicka), Nigel Robson (Laca), Peter Wedd (Steva), Neale Davies (Foreman); Welsh Natl Op O & Ch * CHANDOS 3106 (2 CDs: 121: 11) There is so much to... »

04 Nov 2004

RICE: Empress Marie Therese and Music at the Viennese Court, 1792-1807

John A. Rice's detailed account of the musical life of the Empress Marie Therese portrays a flourishing world of imperial patronage in its final years. The second wife of Emperor Franz II and namesake of her more famous grandmother Empress Maria Theresa, Marie Therese lived just long enough to see the collapse of the Empire before Napoleon's troops. »

04 Nov 2004

FT Reviews Kát'a Kabanová

Kát'a Kabanová, Paris Opéra (Garnier) By Francis Carlin Published: November 4 2004 02:00 | Last updated: November 4 2004 02:00 After Salzburg, Brussels, Barcelona, Toulouse and several showings on TV, Christophe Marthaler's Kát'a Kabanova has at last turned up in... »

02 Nov 2004

Le Figaro Reviews Don Carlos at Wiener Staatsoper

Hommage à l'opéra français Christian Merlin [02 novembre 2004] Merci à l'Opéra de Vienne d'avoir osé ce à quoi Paris ne s'est pas encore risqué : ressusciter Don Carlos dans sa version originale archicomplète, en cinq actes et en français.... »

01 Nov 2004

FT Reviews Handel's Guilio Cesare in Egitto

Guilio Cesare in Egitto, Boston Baroque By George Loomis Published: November 1 2004 02:00 | Last updated: November 1 2004 02:00 One of the many virtues of Handel's Guilio Cesare in Egitto is that the roles of Caesar and Cleopatra... »

31 Oct 2004

Mefistofele in Amsterdam

by Jan Neckers Let's start with the main assets of the new Mefistofele in Amsterdam: the singers. Gidon Saks has one of the biggest booming bass voices that ever sounded in an opera house (yes, I heard Ghiaurov but Saks... »

28 Oct 2004

L'Incoronazione di Poppea at the Barbican

L'Incoronazione di Poppea Barbican Hall, London By David Murray Published: October 28 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 28 2004 03:00 This was the third glorious concert-performance of a Monteverdi opera at the Barbican - his 1643 Coronation of Poppea... »

25 Oct 2004

FT Reviews Mercadante's La vestale

La vestale, Wexford Festival By Andrew Clark Published: October 25 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 25 2004 03:00 The compacting of operatic history into a performable repertoire leads us to make all kinds of false assumptions. One is that... »

22 Oct 2004

FT Reviews Don Carlos at the Vienna State Opera

Don Carlos, Vienna State Opera By Larry L Lash Published: October 22 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 22 2004 03:00 Despite character motivation and plot development of revelatory clarity and depth, top-notch singing, gorgeous orchestral playing and insightful conducting,... »

22 Oct 2004

Four Reviews of Die Zauberflöte at the Met

Julie Taymor -- and Mozart Too By HEIDI WALESON [Wall Street Journal] October 14, 2004; Page D7 New York The Metropolitan Opera usually showcases singers, not star directors, but the Met's newest production is most definitely the "Julie Taymor 'Zauberflote'"... »

22 Oct 2004

Thomas Quasthoff Sings Sacred Cantatas by Bach

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE Thomas Quasthoff Sings Sacred Cantatas by Bach by Jürgen Otten It would be easy to describe or appraise the art of bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff by evoking the title of an exquisite lied by the Romantic... »

15 Oct 2004

Two Reviews of "The Dialogues of the Carmelites"

Unbearably Good Classical Music BY JAY NORDLINGER [New York Sun] October 14, 2004 Is there any opera more shattering than "The Dialogues of the Carmelites," when it's done well? On Tuesday night, City Opera did it well. It was... »

15 Oct 2004

FT Reviews L'Incoronazione di Poppeia

L'Incoronazione di Poppeia, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris By Francis Carlin [Financial Times] Published: October 15 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 15 2004 03:00 If you liked David McVicar's staging of Agrippina, you may like his new Poppeia. Or... »

14 Oct 2004

A Review of Pelléas et Mélisande at Berlin

Pelléas et Mélisande, Deutsche Oper, Berlin By Shirley Apthorp [Financial Times] Published: October 14 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 14 2004 03:00 Yniold wants to know why these sheep huddle together and why they are so silent. We know... »

14 Oct 2004

Two Reviews of Rolando Villazón's New York Recital Debut

An Introduction in 5 Languages By ANNE MIDGETTE [New York Times] The powers that be in the opera world are desperate to discover the next hot male phenomenon. On Monday, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur, Rolando... »

12 Oct 2004

FT Reviews Elektra At Frankfurt Opera

Elektra, Frankfurt Opera By Shirley Apthorp Published: October 12 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 12 2004 03:00 "Everywhere, in all the courts, there are dead bodies, all who are alive are smeared with blood, yet all are smiling," sings... »

11 Oct 2004

FT Reviews La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein

La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein, Châtelet, Paris By Francis Carlin Published: October 11 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 11 2004 03:00 Were the Brits in the audience the only ones to get the allusion? Felicity Lott's Grand Duchess is... »

10 Oct 2004

Cecilia Bartoli at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris

La réhabilitation pour Salieri Au TCE, Cecilia Bartoli se fait l'éblouissante avocate d'un musicien dont la postérité retiendra avant tout les soupçons d'empoisonnement sur la personne de Mozart : Antonio Salieri. Elle consacre l'intégralité d'un récital à celui que Gluck... »

10 Oct 2004

Le Monde Reviews Messiaen's "Saint François d'Assise"

La mise en apesanteur divine de "Saint François d'Assise", SDF de la foi LE MONDE | 08.10.04 | 15h02 A l'Opéra Bastille, les tableaux franciscains d'Olivier Messiaen par Stanislas Nordey. Avec cette nouvelle production du Saint-François d'Assise de Messiaen -... »

09 Oct 2004

"La Voix Humaine" at Vremena Goda Festival

Voznesenskaya - only too human by Neil McGowan La Voix Humaine (concert performance) Vremena Goda Festival Vremena Goda Orchestra/Bulakhov 29 September 2004 Bringing down the curtain on the Vremena Goda Festival this year was the Festival's first-ever operatic offering -... »

08 Oct 2004

Moscow Times: Entering the Ring

George Loomis reports on Wagner opera, Russian-style. By George Loomis Published: October 8, 2004 Last spring the Metropolitan Opera gave three complete cycles of Richard Wagner's four-opera saga, "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (The Ring of the Nibelung). It was business... »

08 Oct 2004

Roger Pines on historic recorded performances of Bizet

Georges Bizet’s Carmen has a distinguished recording history in both complete performances and excerpts. From this ever-popular work, as well as the composer’s Les pêcheurs de perles, there are considerable lessons to be learned from the early decades of recording in terms of balancing dramatic urgency with the needs of the drama. Many singers have gotten by in Bizet with beauty at the expense of text, but a Solange Michel or a Charles Dalmorès demonstrates indisputably that Bizet does not come alive unless the text is commanded in depth. »

07 Oct 2004

FIEDLER: Molto Agitato

I well remember my first performance at the Met. It was a not very distinguished La Bohème with Malfitano and Lima, Domingo conducting, in the winter of 1985. But at last I had made it to the Met. This was the company of Caruso, Gigli, Ponselle, Tibbett and Melchior. This was the house where Corelli and Price had given of their best. So in a sense this is my house too, because the Met is too big, too important to belong to the New Yorkers alone, witness the overwhelming majority of the subscribers to Opera News (circulation around 120,000) who are living elsewhere, a lot of them people in Europe like myself. Therefore anything concerning the Met concerns all opera lovers. »

06 Oct 2004

FT Reviews Tamerlano

Tamerlano, Opéra de Lille By Francis Carlin Published: October 6 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 6 2004 03:00 There should be a golden rule for producers: don't make life difficult for yourself and the audience. In Lille's magnificently restored... »

30 Sep 2004

Le Figaro on Charpentier Festival

FESTIVAL Marc-Antoine Charpentier à Ambronay Triomphe de la jeunesse Gérard Corneloup [30 septembre 2004] En cette année du bicentenaire de la mort de Marc-Antoine Charpentier, occasion unique de le sortir de l'ombre que lui fait encore Lully, le festival d'Ambronay... »

30 Sep 2004

FROSCH at Innsbruck

Die Frau ohne Schatten, Tiroler Landstheater, Innsbruck By Larry L Lash Published: September 29 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 29 2004 03:00 It was a strange match: Richard Strauss's hugest, most difficult opera - with one of the largest... »

30 Sep 2004

King's Music Reviews New Recordings of Works by Rameau

Rameau : Platée Paul Agnew Platée, Mireille Delunsch La Folie & Thalie, Yann Beuron Thespis & Mercure, Vincent Le Texier Jupiter, Doris Lamprecht Junon, Laurent Naouri Cithéron & a Satyr, Valérie Gabail L'Amour & Clarine, Franck Leguerinel Momus, Orchestra and... »

28 Sep 2004

Die Walküre at the Met

Die Walküre, Metropolitan Opera, New York By Martin Bernheimer Published: September 28 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 28 2004 03:00 For the past couple of decades at the Metropolitan Opera, Die Walküre was the exclusive property of James Levine,... »

27 Sep 2004

FT Reviews La Rondine

La Rondine, New York City Opera By Martin Bernheimer Published: September 27 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 27 2004 03:00 La Rondine certainly isn't Puccini's easiest or most successful opera. Completed in 1917, it flutters - sometimes elegantly, sometimes... »

21 Sep 2004

Andrew Patner Reviews Don Giovanni at the Lyric Opera

Don Giovanni, Lyric Opera, Chicago By Andrew Patner Published: September 21 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 21 2004 03:00 A half century ago, a trio of twentysomething operaphiles offered Chicago what they dubbed a "calling card" production of Mozart's... »

20 Sep 2004

Faust in Hong Kong

Faust, Hong Kong Cultural Centre By Ken Smith Published: September 20 2004 13:25 | Last updated: September 20 2004 13:25 Hong Kong's opera lovers, lacking a full-time opera house and gaining a standing company only in the past year, have... »

17 Sep 2004

FT Reviews The Greek Passion

The Greek Passion, Royal Opera House, London By Andrew Clark Published: September 17 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 17 2004 03:00 All human life is here: prayer and pageant, self-sacrifice and self-righteousness, humour and hypocrisy, feast and famine. Opera... »

16 Sep 2004

FT Reviews Tobias and the Angel

Tobias and the Angel, English Touring Opera, St John's Church, London By David Murray Published: September 16 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 16 2004 03:00 The composer Jonathan Dove may have called his Tobias, now touring cathedrals and churches,... »

15 Sep 2004

FT Reviews LA Opera's Ariadne auf Naxos

Ariadne auf Naxos Music Center, Los Angeles By Allan Ulrich Published: September 15 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 15 2004 03:00 William Friedkin's mounting of the Strauss-von Hoffmannsthal comedy handsomely and wittily confirms the general director Plácido Domingo's belief... »