Cher Public

  • Big Finn: Isokoski has given her opera stage farewell, ir was in Vienna. She is quite active in giving recitals. I heard her in recital... 2:11 AM
  • danpatter: What a terrific video, and what a thrilling singer she was. Thanks for posting that. 12:27 AM
  • La Cieca: But he does all this while under the influence of nothing stronger than wine. The only “happy dust” Michele knows... 12:22 AM
  • mia apulia: too bad it’s been so long since Isokaski has sung at the Met–I see she’s still quite busy (http://www.ope... 12:11 AM
  • Krunoslav: The thread topic suits this: In a review of PORGY at Spoleto USA today, James Oestreich praises the Sportin’ Life of... 11:35 PM
  • La Cieca: Then again, in early April daytime temperatures in St Perersburg average around 5 to 8 degrees Celsius, I.e., low 40s F. As I... 11:06 PM
  • Signor Bruschino: I don’t know about Graham Vick. He seems to be the type of director who doesn’t read the libretto. His... 10:22 PM
  • Alex Baker: Ugh…managed not to screw up anyone’s name this time but failed to run a NornCheck (TM)… 9:34 PM

The hill is greener

Live recordings of Hans Knappertsbusch conducting Parsifal seem to proliferate like stairways in M.C. Escher prints. The high priest of the podium so owned this music in the 1950s and early 1960s that at least a half dozen transfers are in circulation, augmenting his gold standard 1962 Philips release and the historic 1951 reading that inaugurated the post-war Bayreuth Festival.

All share common characteristics: a spacious approach to Wagner’s musical line, great depth of expression and an unforced wash of sound that tenor Jess Thomas likened to a cloud cushioning the voices on stage.   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 »

Oh Angela Merkel we love you get up

There is no snow in Bayreuth. There is no rain in Oberfranken. I have been to lots of Festspiele and acted perfectly disgraceful, but I never actually collapsed. [International Business Times]

christian-thielemann

“Nun halt’ ich, was mich erhebt, der Mächtigen mächtigsten Herrn!”

In an unprecedented move, the Bayreuth Festival has named conductor Christian Thielemann official “Music Director.”

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Meese

Heil and farewell

The Bayreuth Festival has decided to walk away from a new Parsifal production directed by Jonathan Meese for 2016 because the budget has spiraled out of control. Andris Nelsons is still on board to conduct.

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Lohengrin

Seligsten Paar

Maestro Christian Thielemann has made his choice for Lohengrin casting in Dresden and, later, Bayreuth: “Anna Netrebko als Elsa und Piotr Beczala in der Titelpartie.”

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kratzer

Rough trade and regie

Meet Tobias Kratzer (left) who is scheduled to direct Tannhäuser for Bayreuth in 2019.

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38_cover

“I felt the hand of Death”

Oddly enough, Eva Marton‘s interpretation of the Kostelnicka (pictured) goes unmentioned in Issue #38.

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bayreuth_ticket

In Ring und Reih’ die Hall’ erfüllen die Helden

Our Own JJ has been thinking about Bayreuth some more, this time in the pages of Musical America.

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the_walkure_the

No one who speaks German could be an evil man

If Frank Castorf‘s work on Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth accomplishes nothing else, it should serve as a sort of loud disorganized reminder of the dangers of indulging in the intentional fallacy.

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