A few months before I received for review the DVD of Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen‘s 2013 opera The Picture of Dorian Gray (not to be confused with Lowell Liebermann’s 1996 opera of that name), I watched something more commonplace: a broadcast from overseas of a standard-repertory opera with a well-known tenor star, who shall remain nameless.
The tenor, who can pretend insanity but probably has not tried Insanity, was doubled in one scene by an identically dressed dancer. The singer was obliged to stand, watch and react as his fit, graceful doppelganger went through choreographic foreshadowing business at some length. I joked to friends that I wonder if an opera singer in such situations ever thinks, “Ten years from now, that guy will act the whole part while I sing from the wings.” Read more »
With Christmas Eve 2016 falling on a Saturday, the Met offers contrasting orchestral splendors at noon and 6 p.m. Early birds will have another opportunity to catch the earnest performances of Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens, and the commanding one of Tamara Mumford, in Robert Lepage‘s Lite-Brite display of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin. A waning crescent will be overhead when the evening crowd files out of Strauss’s Salome, with its evocative moon talk. Patricia Racette‘s negotiation of the title role has been polarizing, but one acknowledges a game professional’s valor in covering several performances of a difficult role when a colleague withdrew. Read more »
When Sonja Frisell‘s Met production of Aïda was new and starred Oklahoma native Leona Mitchell, the similarly-intialled Latonia Moore was nine years old, singing in the choir of her pastor grandfather’s church.
>What does a great opera production do, and what does a bad production fail to do?
“Take a good deal of trouble with it, because it is a fine subject, delicate and full of pathos.”
Tristan has been the season-launching opera three times before now, but good luck finding someone to provide a firsthand account of the last time.
Now we have considered the three “winners” in the Tristan competition, let’s turn to the also-rans, or, to be more optimistic, the runners up.