The Deutsche Opera an Rhein production of Handel’s Xerxes (which is shared with the Berlin Komische Oper), though I saw it three nights ago, has taken a while to settle down in my brain. That’s not because the Stefan Herheim production is particularly abstruse but rather, on the contrary, because at least at first viewing it seemed relatively straightforward. On the night, I was a little disappointed because I expected something more challenging. Read more »
My first experience with John Corigliano’s music was in high school with the ear and mind blowing score he wrote for Ken Russell’s film Altered States. It was nominated for an Academy Award that year alongside John Williams’ orchestral battalions for The Empire Strikes Back, the gentle humanity John Morris brought to The Elephant Man and Phillipe Sarde’s high romance for Tess. All were estimable examples in their own genres, and yet the brass ring that year went to Michael Gore’s disco gyrations for Fame. Sometimes, considering the company, the greater honor is to stand next to those passed over. Read more »
When Mike Nichols was honored at the Kennedy Center, Elaine May said of his work: “Mike has chosen to do things that are really meaningful, and that have real impact, and real relevance, but he makes them so entertaining and exciting that they’re as much fun as if they were trash.” Christopher Alden has pulled the same bit of trickery at the San Francisco Opera with a production of Handel’s Partenope that is so erudite and theatrically audacious and also such a rollicking ride, it’s hard to believe it isn’t crap. Read more »
“I didn’t think anything could be campier than Adriana. But this is nothing but camp. Adriana at least has tunes.”
Your doyenne La Cieca (not pictured) invites you to our weekly discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.
Unconcealed by the voluminous folds of this Jessyesqe muumuu is queen-sized talent Jeffery Roberson (also known as Varla Jean Merman.)
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.