“Has anyone ever seen a truly great production of this opera?” asked Parterre’s Jungfer Marianne Leizmetzerin last November, in the course of sharing audio from an excellent 1974 Vienna Forza del destino. Marianne received few nominations in follow-up comments. When we talk of great Traviatas and great Falstaffs, it is likely we mean the direction and design teams contributed to the greatness. When we talk of great Forzas, we usually mean they did not get in the way. There was great singing, perhaps great conducting, and what was framing the musical performance was not ruinously bad. Read more »
The studio opera recording is a rare beast these days and its arrival always a cause for celebration. Its rarity also raises the stakes and invites scorn when the casting is dubious. Few things strike greater fear in the heart of an opera lover than the dreaded Andrea Bocelli announcement as part of a recording project. (What’s the point of getting Fleming, Borodina, and D’Arcangelo into the recording studio, putting up with Gergiev’s body odour, only to have the whole project doomed from the start?) Read more »
Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is opera on the grand scale with mellifluous arias and breathtaking duets that tell a tale of ancient Roman political machinations, adultery, and murder in which there is no true protagonist. This stunningly expressive music is performed by an all-star cast. Soprano Miah Persson, praised by The New York Times for her “sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism,” is joined by singers who have all won worldwide critical acclaim for their mastery of this beautiful repertoire. The Guardian wrote that “there are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano.” Alessandrini and company anchor a performance that promises to be one of the season’s most thrilling nights of opera.
Given that Jonas Kaufmann just canceled half his Met season and Anja Harteros is, well, Anja Harteros, La Cieca thought it would be interesting for us hinterlanders to hear what this duo sounds like when both show up to sing. Read more »
The Salzburg Festival has long had the image of this place where for a little over a month, the very best singers are brought together with the very best conductors and the very best directors to create the very best productions the opera world has to offer.
Another season opens this weekend, the much-admired series of livestreams from the Bayerische Staatsoper.
In a starling last-minute change of programming, the Salzburg Festival has canceled all further performances of the critically-reviled Peter Stein production of Don Carlos. Weltstars Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann will instead perform My Fair Lady (pictured).
We waited eagerly to hear the Munich-born Jonas Kaufmann make his role debut as Manrico at the Bavarian State Opera as well the German-Greek soprano Anja Harteros take on Leonora’s bravura difficult arias.
Kate Royal withdrew as Mozart’s Contessa the other night (May 3) in Munich and we were forced to accept as substitute—gosh!—Anja Harteros
Since you so adroitly identified the voice of the mystery Leonora as Anja Harteros, La Cieca thought you might like to hear the soprano in the complete Act 4, Scene 1 of Il trovatore.