Dulce Rosa, a brand new opera, had its world premiere Friday night, May 17, 2013 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. It was produced by Los Angeles Opera, but staged in the smaller theater.
Richard Jones’ 2009 production of Verdi’s Falstaff translates the action from the first Elizabethan age to the start of the second.
Baritone Gareth John is rapidly accumulating a war-chest of honours. Winner of the 2013 Kathleen Ferrier Award, he recently won the Royal Academy of Music Patrons’ Award and was presented the Silver Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
This second revival of Jonathan Miller’s La bohème was the first time I had caught the production.
It’s Verdi’s bicentenary year and Rolando Villazón has two new CDs to plug — titled somewhat confusingly, ‘Villazón: Verdi’ and ‘Villazón’s Verdi’, the latter a ‘personal selection’ of favourite numbers performed by stars of the past and present.
Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra climbed out of the War Memorial pit, braved the wind whipped bay and held spellbound an audience at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Auditorium at UC Berkeley.
Paul Dukas’ Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, first heard in 1907, once seemed important. Arturo Toscanini conducted the Met premiere in 1911 with Farrar and later arranged some of its music for a 1947 recording with his NBC Symphony.
Utterly mad but absolutely right — Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos started the Glyndebourne 2013 season with an explosion. Strauss could hardly have made his intentions more clear. Ariadne auf Naxos is not “about” Greek myth so much as a satire on art and the way art is made.
Rossini’s La donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House boasts a superstar cast. Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez are perhaps the best in these roles in the business at this time. Yet the conductor Michele Mariotti is also hot news.
Opera in three acts. Words and music by Richard Wagner.
Parsifal. Bühnenweihfestspiel (“stage dedication play”) in three acts.
“Man is an abyss. It makes one dizzy to look into it.” So utters Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck, repeating what was also a recurring motif in the playwright’s own letters.
National Opera Company of the Rhine has marked this year’s Benjamin Britten celebration with a remarkably compelling, often gripping new production of the seldom-seen Owen Wingrave.
Once upon a time, Frankfurt Opera had the baddest ass reputation in Germany as “the” cutting edge producer of must-see opera.
Productions of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto can serve as a vehicle for individual singers to make a strong impression and become afterward associated with specific roles in the opera.
Just in case we were not aware that the evening’s programme was ‘themed’, the Britten Sinfonia designed a visual accompaniment to their musical exploration of night, sleep and dreams.
Poor Aida! She never seems to have anything go her way.
Is it possible to upstage Jonas Kaufmann? Kaufmann was brilliant in this Verdi Don Carlo at the Royal Opera House, London, but the rest of the cast was so good that he was but first among equals. Don Carlo is a vehicle for stars, but this time the stars were everyone on stage and in the pit. Even the solo arias, glorious as they are, grow organically out of perfect ensemble. This was a performance that brought out the true beauty of Verdi's music.
The big names were absent: Duparc, D’Indy, Debussy, Ravel and while Fauré, Chausson, Roussel and several members of Les Six put in an appearance, in less than familiar guises, this survey of French song of the early 20th century and interwar years deliberately took us on a journey through infrequently travelled terrain.
Composed between 1718 and 1720, Handel’s Esther is sometimes described as the ‘first English Oratorio’, but is in fact a hybrid form, mixing elements of oratorio, masque, pastoral and opera.
Mary-Jean O'Doherty is the 1st Prize Winner--Paris Opera Awards 2013. The jury included Sherrill Milnes, Martina Arroyo and Daniel Lipton.
This is a part of the series of lectures and concerts, European Capitals of Music. Famous musical capitals provide the framework for this series of lectures with live music.
[The Telegraph, 15 April 2013]
Sir Colin Davis, who has died aged 85, was one of the grand and cerebral orchestral conductors of the English tradition. He inherited his baton directly from Sir Thomas Beecham and, regardless of fashion or popularity, stuck resolutely to understated elegance both on and off the concert platform.
Opera Europa - RESEO Spring Conference/Vienna [4 April 2013]
A strong statement for the support of culture was delivered by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the Opera Europa - RESEO Spring Conference at the Vienna State Opera. In a speech opening the conference, he declared that “Culture is the cement that binds Europe together.” He spoke of his particular affection for opera: “Opera is the illustration par excellence of the long dialogue between European cultures across national boundaries, across centuries. Opera is Verdi, whose bicentenary we celebrate this year, Verdi, drawing the inspiration for his libretti from Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, Dumas, Schiller or the Duque de Rivas. Opera is the distilled expression of fundamental European values. It is Beethoven’s Fidelio, for instance, giving us a matchless chorus of homage to liberty and fraternity and love.”
By Louise Jury [The Evening Standard, 13 February 2013]
A celebration of opera which aims to bring its biggest stars to a wider audience is announced today.
By Daniel J. Wakin [NY Times, 6 February 2013]
In the impossible search to know exactly what the face of musical genius looked like, researchers in Salzburg, Austria, have made progress. Their subject was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a local boy.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 1 January 2013]
A new festival hall has been inaugurated in the small town of Erl in the Tyrolean mountains. This opening, celebrated by Hans Peter Haselsteiner, the President of the festival, featured an concert on December 26 with bel canto arias, two world premieres and Bartok’s opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle both staged and conducted by the festival’s intendant, Gustav Kuhn.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 28 November 2012]
Yesterday, Conductor Riccardo Muti opened the Rome Opera, where he is “honorary conductor for life,” with a gala presentation of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. The country’s president and the city’s mayor were only some of the leading figures in attendance.
By Anne Ozorio [Opera Today, 5 Octtober 2012]
Exciting developments at Glyndebourne ! Many new initiatives which could transform Glyndebourne from a summer festival to a truly international, year-round opera experience.
“The Singer’s Appetite!,” created by Matthew Swensen and Paige Kiefner, is a food blogging website that publishes recipes (by Swensen himself or other credited individuals) of dishes inspired by the some of the most beloved singers of the past and present. Dishes include Chicken Tetrazzini, Bucatini di Caruso, and many others!
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 12 September 2012]
A record 278,978 people attended events of the 2012 edition of the famed Salzburg Festival in Austria, the largest number since its founding 92 years ago.
By Von Manuel Brug [Die Welt, 20 August 2012]
Die bekannteste Sopranistin der Gegenwart geht im Oktober auf eine Elf-Städte-Tour: Anna Netrebko über Paparazzi, schwierige deutsche Sätze und das Singen an der Wurstbude.
By Anthony Tommasini [NY Times, 17 August 2012]
Classical music institutions are usually quick to seize on major anniversaries of a composer’s birth or death as a convenient programming hook. Get ready for the Wagner and Verdi bicentennial celebrations next year.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 13 August 2012]
Just after things were settling after the scandal of baritone Evgeny Nitikin supposed swastika tattoo at the Bayreuth Festival, another one seems likely to take its place.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 18 July 2012]
Effective July 30, Cassidy E. Fitzpatrick will be the new artistic administrator of Florida Grand Opera. a position open since the dismissal of Kelly Anderson last year.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 7 July 2012]
A change of leadership has been announced today by Bratislava’s Slovak National Theatre. In the opera division, famed tenor Peter Dvorsky, the current artistic director, is to be replaced on August 1st by the Austrian conductor Friedrich Haider.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 4 July 2012]
Bayreuth’s opera house has been awarded the honor of UNESCO World Heritage status. If you think that means Wagner’s festival house in the same city, with its excellent acoustics and uncomfortable seats, you will be mistaken.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 4 July 2012]
In his second season, intendant Dominique Meyer has chalked up increases both in tickets sold and earnings at the Vienna State Opera. There were 588,990 attendees passing through the doors for some 360 performances of opera, ballet and children’s programs. The average capacity was above 98%. There is little evidence of Europe’s economic troubles in this Danube city.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 3 July 2012]
The fall-out from the very public display of anger on both sides continues in Cologne (see our earlier report of 24 April). Uwe Erich Laufenberg, 51, director of the city’s opera, one of the leading operas in Germany, was fired with immediate effect on June 22. The Cultural Affairs deputy, Georg Quander, the subject of biting attacks by Laufenberg, made the announcement of the city council’s vote after a month long public dispute over the financing of the upcoming season. Council members of the opposing political party criticized the action.
By Frank Cadenhead [Opera Today, 26 June 2012]
Nicolas Bachler, intendant of the Bavarian State Opera, has had his contract extended through August 2018.