I am indebted to a young friend who summed up Francesca da Rimini tonight: “I didn’t think anything could be campier than Adriana. But this is nothing but camp. Adriana at least has tunes.” That’s succinct and, indeed, generous to Riccardo Zandonai’s chirpy score, which has tunes but not memorable ones. The opera has returned to the Met after 26 years. One is entitled to wonder why. Read more »
Unconcealed by the voluminous folds of this Jessyesqe muumuu is queen-sized talent Jeffery Roberson (also known as Varla Jean Merman), who will make his New York opera debut later this week, in, modestly enough, The Medium, everyone’s favorite supernatural Menotti Broadway slasher opera. Details for this event— which might have been genetically engineered to appeal to the mind of the average parterrian—follow the jump. Read more »
The Monday, 12th December, Weill Hall recital debut of Signora Chiara Taigi, a strikingly good looking Italian soprano, who had made her American operatic debut this past March, starring as Selika in the OONY production of Meyerbeer’s long-neglected L’Africaine, was something Your Own Camille had looked forward to with a high hopes and a faintly wondering glee, for several months now.
Like the double or triple negative (where theoretically pairs of “nots” cancel each other out, but in practice you can’t be so sure) this tidbit of news La Cieca just read has her confused and uncertain. It seems that at a recital in Tulsa last night, Dame Kiri te Kanawa sang as an encore a Jake Heggie setting of Maria Callas‘s final monologue from Terrence McNally‘s Master Class. You know, the one that McNally didn’t actually write but rather collated from some random remarks Callas made in an entirely different emotional context.
“It’s just that it seems rather perverse to have cast such opulent voices and then given them not much to sing…. the role of Anna Nicole would not stretch Danielle de Niese.” Loyal parterrian Jondrytay (not pictured) looked in on the Royal Opera’s Anna Nicole and shared this thoughts on his blog Not So Wunderbar.
“The L.A. Phil’s new season is up, too, and the big news there is (for me anyway) the premiere of a new sacred oratorio by John Adams, entitled The Gospel According to the Other Mary. Maybe he gave it that title to distinguish it from a forthcoming work by Mark Adamo. “What? No, I meant because Mark Adamo’s writing The Gospel of Mary Magdalene for the San Francisco Opera! Why, what ‘mary’ did YOU think I was referring to?” [Daniel Stephen Johnson]
Commenter emerita Poison Ivy (now a blogress in her own right) takes on the dark side of fandom over at Poison Ivy’s Wall of Text. Find out what the fan did!
Incredible, but true, I Puritani had not been performed in Great Britain since 1887 when Glyndebourne decided to stage it in 1960 with the main intention to showcase Joan Sutherland, who had been catapulted to international superstardom one year earlier in the legendary Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden. Furthermore, Vittorio Gui, who had already been introducing the Glyndebourne audiences to Rossini, was eager to add more belcanto works to the repertoire of that opera company. This effort is now documented on the CD just released on the Glyndebourne Enterprise label.
I attend the opera intent on enjoying myself. If the music is not my favorite, there is always something to like, be it a colleague’s individual performance, the discovery of a newcomer, nifty stagecraft or costumes, observing the movement skills of the various singers, or in worst-case scenarios, observing the audience’s boredom, carefully notating the point-of-no-more-patience. My critical eye and ear are well-known, so I try not to be cynical as I silence my smartphone and smile at the sextagenarians who own the subscription seats next to me.