Cher Public

  • La Cieca: And when I was born the most popular film of the year was White Christmas. What’s your point? Attendance at the Met has... 2:11 AM
  • erricco: That was an outstanding production…& #8230;…and Ottawa had many others in those years 12:34 AM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: On the other side of town an old man is screaming for Stella by starlight httpv://www.youtub 12:23 AM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: Looks like Roberto is feeling chipper for the second Vasco da Gama (lots more out there) httpv:// 12:15 AM
  • Bill: Bronzino – yes when I was young and my great aunt had 4 subscription tickets for every Met matinee in the first row of the... 11:43 PM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: Here it is! httpv://www.youtub i7_aW3I httpv://www.youtub ZSTjYUs 11:32 PM
  • willym: Yes back in the days when we had an summer opera festival that was worthy of the name “festival 221;. Golden days. 11:27 PM
  • SilvestriWoman: No offense taken here in Chicago! When he led the CSO, as soon as a concert ended, he couldn’t get out of town fast... 10:51 PM

A fjord in her future

Anja Silja staked a claim as a leading Senta of her era with a series of searing performances of Der Fliegende Holländer while in her early twenties, including a much-praised 1961 Bayreuth outing opposite Franz Crass conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. Now, Andromeda is offering an intriguing side-by-side comparison with a performance from that run featuring an identical cast, save for George London in the title role.
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“Less filling”

“Disciplined and intelligent.” “Clean and transparent.” “Fleet and lithe.” Though Fabio Luisi’s Wagner performances draw frequent praise for their tidy professionalism, there’s often an undercurrent of frustration with the Genoese maestro for not wringing a little more blood out of the scores, or putting a personal stamp on them. Frequent work in the house where James Levine reigns has a way of creating invidious distinctions, even when clear vision and tasteful restraint can be welcome virtues.   Read more »

Grail mix

Contemporary stagings of Parsifal tend to be spare, abstract affairs scrubbed of religious associations, knights in armor and, sometimes, a grail. Modern dress, stylized gestures and suggestive symbols are supposed to help audiences navigate Wagner’s mystifying tale of redemption.  Stephen Langridge’s 2013 take for Royal Opera, now available on Opus Arte, is an especially grim, heavy handed specimen that doesn’t show a great deal of confidence in the music or the audience.   There’s misery at nearly every turn, with the music functioning for long stretches as accompaniment to an almost cinematic treatment of suffering and fear. While some of the imagery may be riveting, there is little sense of the hero’s spiritual development, or what makes the Grail brotherhood tick. Read more »


Between two worlds

If works like Salome and Erwartung defined modernism in the first decades of the 20th century, Die Tote Stadt and Palestrina represented the regressive avant garde.

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Prison riot

Herbert von Karajan once said listening to some of his old recordings made him envy painters who could simply burn the pictures they disliked.

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No such Gluck

When Richard Wagner reached into the past and revised Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, he went beyond the accepted boundaries of tinkering and more or less created a new work that’s fomented aesthetic debates ever since.

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Speer pressure

One of the things that made François Girard’s 2013 production of Parsifal at the Met so compelling was the way he tried to make the tale of suffering and temptation relevant to a contemporary audience.

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Bomb squad

Vienna never really forgave Erich Wolfgang Korngold for going to work in the movies.

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Hothouse flower

To some, Anne Schwanewilms will always be the soprano in the slinky black dress who replaced Deborah Voigt at Covent Garden a decade ago.

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Blinded item

His 75-minute setting of Oedipus in Kolonos, heard in a live 2009 performance on MDR Klassik, illustrates how Mendelssohn tried to link ancient forms with Romantic-era sensibilities by fashioning harmonically adventurous chorales and believable characters instead of abstract musical representations of mythical figures.

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