Cher Public

  • Camille: Genevieve’s Roadhouse Roadkill. That’s all. 12:55 PM
  • messa di voce: A simple meal for a man with simple tastes: Pimento cheese on a ritz (Showboat) Cuisse de poulet ecrasse (Dolores... 12:10 PM
  • kashania: OK, mine is hopelessly literal but I had fun. Course 1 Chilled zucchini soup in a shot glass, accompanied by Cold Mountain... 11:59 AM
  • rapt: Elektra is just what I thought of, too. Maybe all those sacrificed animals could be of use… 11:52 AM
  • kashania: Gockley: Gockley is unconvinced by the popularity of Written on Skin. “It’s a connoisseur’ s piece,” he... 11:43 AM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: Écrevisse à la bord de l’EST 11:25 AM
  • kashania: LOL httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=Lr32 xLNr1qk&start= 64 11:14 AM
  • armerjacquino: I totally lack the expertise for this, so I’ll just provide the canapés: Baby Doe Balls, The First Empanadas and... 11:13 AM

Rolling along

When the Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera announce they’re going to grubstake a production, you wouldn’t be at all  surprised that they have chosen a classic American work. You might be surprised, though, when that title turns out to be Show Boat.

Although HGO does have a history with a touring production back in the 80’s, the other companies involved had only dipped that particular toe in the water up to Porgy and Bess. But Show Boat, while not an opera by any means, could definitely qualify as an operetta based on the quality of its music and the size of the forces it requires to do it justice. This new release from Euroarts is the whistle stop of the show boat Cotton Blossom at the San Francisco Opera filmed in June of last year. The production is directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by John DeMain and is available on both on DVD and Blu-ray disc.   Read more »

A ‘Ring’ for the rest of us

I was once accused—by my own mother, mind you!—of having too many recordings of Verdi’s Aida.  The blistering audacity of that recrimination did get me to thinking: How many recordings of Aida is too many?

I mean, you’ve got the old classic you cut your teeth on. Then there’s he one where the tenor and the mezzo are really the only good thing going. And, of course, the one with your favorite soprano in the title role, the remake when she switched labels, and then the four pirates. Don’t forget the one with another favorite soprano, but this time she’s Amneris and it’s awesome.   Read more »

d’Arc victory

Tonight’s program at the New York Philharmonic, Arthur Honegger’s massive oratorio dramatique Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, has been an occasional visitor to the orchestra’s repertoire starting with the performance conducted by Charles Munch in January of 1948.  Despite its slight 70 minute running time, it’s a vast polyphonic work that attracts that certain species of conductor who enjoys showing off the adroit command of large forces both orchestral and choral. As well one can hardly imagine the near electro-magnetic tug actresses must feel at the opportunity of playing one of the most mythic women of the middle ages and not get scorched by the process.   Read more »

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Crown jewel

I’m a long-time fan of the Opera in English series funded by The Peter Moores Foundation that started, fittingly enough, with conductor Reginald Goodall’s performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle recorded live from the London Coliseum and released by EMI

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Mais nous voyons à nouveau La Carmencita

The opening night of the Metropolitan Opera of September 1972 was supposed to be the dawn of a new era.

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Fireworks

As I leaned forward the woman in front of me turned to her seatmate and very quietly, in a voice thick with emotion and not a few tears, said, “it’s so beautiful.”

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My name is Barbiere

James Conlon, Music Director for the LA Opera, often does the pre-game lecture in the huge open space on the second floor lobby of the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion and it’s almost always a standing room only crowd.

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Fresh princes

Imagine two tenors releasing French opera aria collections at the same time without duplicating a single track!

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Drop dead diva

My first experience with John Corigliano’s music was in high school with the ear and mind blowing score he wrote for Ken Russell’s film Altered States.

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Pazzo son, guardate!

Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s first big international success. His publisher, Giulio Ricordi, tried to put him off the project by citing Jules Massenet’s very successful adaptation just nine years previously. Puccini was intent on making the story his own, insisting, “A woman like Manon can have more than one lover… I shall feel it like an Italian, with desperate passion.” Desperation is certainly the feeling this reviewer got from a new recording of Manon Lescaut from our friends at Decca Classics, but I’m also quite certain it’s not the same type that the Maestro had for his subject.

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