Cher Public

  • Camille: Oops sorry. I got so excited I sent this twice. Can’t wait to read it! Un bacio ancora! Un’altra!! 11:28 PM
  • LT: Christians do not follow any dietary (or dress, lifestyle, etc)rules as those were “cancelled&# 8221; by Jesus and the New... 11:17 PM
  • Camille: Oh Maestro QPF–thank you so very much! I could just kiss you if I could! Yes, it was primarily the Paris version in its... 11:17 PM
  • Camille: Oh Maestro QPF–thank you so very much! I could just kiss you if I could! Yes, it was primarily the Paris version in its... 11:02 PM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: The Wolfgang Wagner is not Wieland’s brother. Far from it. He is primarily a typographer with the middle... 10:43 PM
  • Operngasse: It used to be. However, for a large percentage of Christians areas of this country, the Bible starts at Matthew. Otherwise,... 10:38 PM
  • Camille: Ça ne fait rien! N’importe! Jes’ fuhgeddabboudit! 10:30 PM
  • Camille: Thank you very much for your response and this information. One of the problems I was concerned with was thatp of the... 10:25 PM

Slash by night

There aren’t many opera video releases that can be recommended without reservation. There’s always an “on the other hand.” Beautiful, intelligent productions are often hampered by a weak or so-so cast. Or wonderful singers are hampered by a nonsensical, boring, incoherent and/or turgid production. The Deutsche Oper Berlin’s new release of Janácek’s Jenufa is that rare combination of a video release that combines excellent musical values, detailed acting, and a thoughtful production. Enthusiasts of Janácek’s opera will want to pick up this video immediately.

Christof Loy’s production takes a fairly non-interventionist approach to the opera. He begins by having Kostelnicka led onstage into what looks like a jail cell, with stark white walls. The opera is her flashback. The same white room is the unit set for the entire opera, but there is a back panel that opens up to reveal cornfields.   Read more »

Tanks a lot, but no tanks

Bayreuth’s most recent production of Tannhäuser was set to be retired. So of course they captured the 2014 performances for posterity and released it on video. The DVD has the typical Bayreuth package—it’s well-filmed, with a fairly steady camera that often pans out to full-stage shots instead of the using the new HD technique of constant close-ups. Good job, Bayreuth film crew.

The production by Sebastian Baumgarten is however the type of regietheater that’s not a rethinking or reconstruction, but just a hot mess. The first clue that the director might have been a little too high on his own ideas is the fact that the pre-curtain time AND intermissions are staged. Yes, that’s right, Baumgarten apparently thought his ideas were such treasures that he expected the audiences to not pee during a five-hour opera. I have no idea how this actually played in the house and whether everyone really stayed put during intermissions but this is how it’s presented in the video. Read more »

Shave and a haircut

It’s fun to wonder what might have happened if Rossini had never composed Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Would Giovanni Paisiello’s earlier adaptation of the work be a repertory favorite? Or would it have faded into obscurity with an occasional revival here and there?  Read more »


Paris original

Another month, another La Traviata release on video.

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Met Auditions

All futures great and small

The Metropolitan Opera yesterday afternoon was an uncommonly cozy place, as the auditorium was packed to the rafters with friends and family members of the nine National Council Audition Finalists.

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The devil is in the details

Certain operas are better in theory than practice.

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Star, crossed

The key to enjoying Bellini’s I Capuleti e Montechi is to do a hard factory reset and reformat your brain to forget all other works based on Romeo and Juliet.

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Table bodied

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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Door to door

The Met’s planned premiere of Iolanta/Bluebeard’s Castle was cancelled due to the Great Blizzard That Wasn’t.

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A wasted time

Vittorio Grigolo in the title role of the Met’s revival of Les Contes d’Hoffman is the opera version of the charming homeless drunk.

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