Adroit, awesome, autononomous Anne Midgette nominates her Top 10 Classical and Opera Releases of 2010 over at Soundcheck, and, La Cieca thinks to herself, why should Anne have all the fun? What are your favorite opera CDs and DVDs of the year, cher public? (Here are a few reviews to jog your memory.)
Placido Domingo will not renew his Washington National Opera contract when it expires in June 2011. Anne Midgette has the story! [Washington Post]
Once again it takes an out-of-towner to write sensibly about Peter Gelb and the Met, though the “out of town” here refers only to geography: Anne Midgette is at heart and soul a New York newshen. [The Classical Beat]
“I agree that Gelb has had problems actually identifying what’s going to make a successful production. But I submit that the real problem is exactly the same problem the Met had under Gelb’s predecessor, Joe Volpe: not that the company engages unusual directors, but that it doesn’t let them actually do what they’re good at. Gelb seems to me to have the same micromanaging side that Volpe did: the side that would see something unusual in a new production, get nervous about it, and try to rein it in.” [The Classical Beat]
According to Anne Midgette, baritone Carlos Alvarez has withdrawn from Washington National Opera’s production of Hamlet, to be replaced by Michael Chioldi and Liam Bonner, with their individual dates TBA. [The Classical Beat]
“Why can’t a general director with the fame, charm and ability of Domingo roll up his sleeves and work to realize his vision, rather than distancing himself from the results? The answer: because he isn’t actually there, running the company. He’s conducting Stiffelio, or singing Simone Boccanegra, or trying to keep up with his other company, the Los Angeles Opera (with equally dicey results) instead.”
Thrill to double-barreled diva excitement as that most regal of Kennedy Center honorees Grace Bumbry converses with always awesome Anne Midgette! [Washington Post]
Classical Beatnik Anne Midgette, obviously still reeling from the experience of The Letter in Santa Fe, addresses a problem we’ve been seeing more and more of in opera: even those who supposedly love the art form, and who are involved in putting it on, are increasingly laboring under the delusion that it is inherently over-the-top, overblown, ridiculous, and, well, drivel.