Ambiguity. That’s the theme of the operas of Benjamin Britten (ennobled as Baron Britten of Aldeburgh). Another theme is the corruption of innocence, always present, from Paul Bunyan (those innocent trees, who dream of becoming furniture) to Death in Venice (Aschenbach, who dreams that death will cure him of writer’s block). Read more »
We don’t go to Teatro Grattacielo’s annual concert opera to hear the rare (often unknown) Verismo opera that’s been dug up for the occasion, though sometimes these scores are surprisingly entertaining—surprising because you wonder how a score like Montemezzi’s La Nave or Zandonai’s I Cavalieri di Ekebu ever got lost. On other occasions, you’re not surprised at all. Read more »
The simple fable at the heart of Die Frau ohne Schatten shouldn’t be difficult to parse, but Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s libretto juggles its vaguely Jungian, vaguely Arabian Nights symbolitry as if with intent to mystify and bewilder. He never could explain, for instance, even to Richard Strauss, why the fish dinner in the frying pan sing with the voices of the Dyer’s unborn children, except that it was a nifty effect, which it is. Read more »
Whenever I encounter Eric Owens, he’s plotting to conquer the universe.
Baden-Baden 1927 is the title Gotham Chamber Opera has given to its evening of four brief operas that premiered together at a festival in, yes, Baden-Baden on July 17, 1927.
An impresario with a hit on his hands—Emanuel Schikaneder, for instance, after the initial run of Die Zauberflöte—will crave nothing so much as an opportunity to hit the same bell.
Last night, the Met opened the 2013-14 season with a handsome, fairly conservative new production of Eugene Onegin by Deborah Warner that replaces the handsome, fairly conservative one by Robert Carsen. (The trend is clear.)
In the program for Opera Omnia’s production of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno di Ulisse, Crystal Manich, the company’s stage director, speaks of producing “baroque works in non-traditional ways.”