Many large opera companies these days host valuable young artist programs dedicated to helping singers negotiate the difficult transition between leaving the conservatory and becoming full-time performing artists. Yet few independent organizations have the resources to do the same; however, the French Early Music ensemble Les Arts Florissants has since 2002 been regularly convening an acclaimed “baroque academy,” and the laureates of its seventh edition arrived at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday with an enchanting entertainment called “In an Italian Garden.” Read more »
Although she began her career nearly 25 years ago recording and performing lots of baroque music, I was surprised to see German soprano Dorothea Röschmann promoted as the star attraction of an all-Purcell concert Sunday at Carnegie Hall by Les Violons du Roy and La Chappelle de Québec. Read more »
In the April 1 issue of The International New York Times David Belcher persuasively argues the considerable artistic and economic merits to performing opera in concert. On Thursday evening Amanda Forsythe and David Hansen in evening dress sighing, swooning, conniving and triumphing as Poppea and Nerone with the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble at the Morgan Library proved his points in a deliciously involving musical and dramatic experience. Who needs sets and costumes anyway? Read more »
The last day of December a parcel arrived in the mail containing an absolute delight: “Semiramide—La Signora Regale.” One of best vocal recordings of 2014, this sumptuous 2-CD set on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi features the marvelous Italian mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus and includes 90 minutes of rarely-heard music written for the legendary Babylonian queen.
His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt.
For many in New York and around the world, if the name William Christie appears on a concert or opera program, it’s a must-attend.
Whenever opera-lovers are canvassed about what neglected operas they hunger to see revived, the resulting lists inevitably feature a goodly number of grand operas, those once wildly popular monstrosities–particularly by Meyerbeer–written primarily for Paris in the mid-19th century.