I suspect most New York City opera-lovers had long since given up hope that the fascinating soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci would ever return to their city. But in the spring of 2102 after an absence of over 13 years, she presented a rapturously received recital of Italian songs at Alice Tully Hall. Wasting no time, Lincoln Center invited her to bring her one-woman performance piece Era la notte to this year’s White Light Festival which presented the US premiere Wednesday evening at the Rose Theater. Conceived and directed by Juliette Deschamps, it featured Antonacci performing four challenging monologues by early-to-mid-17th century Italian composers accompanied by seven members of the French period orchestra Les Siécles. Read more »
The curious things about accepted wisdom is that sometimes it’s correct. Take the case of Herbert von Karajan, a conductor whose early work is often considered more powerful and spontaneous (and less self-indulgent) than the stuff on his later recordings. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in his 1952 live Tristan und Isolde from Bayreuth, a bracing account with Ramon Vinay and Martha Mödl that in almost every way surpasses his widely praised 1972 studio version with Jon Vickers and Helga Dernesch. Read more »
Say what you will about Naxos, but this company has created a sizeable number of recordings of works on the periphery of the standard repertory and have managed to document quite a few interesting singers in the bargain-and at bargain prices. Such is the case with this very enjoyable recording of Semiramide from the Wildbad festival in Germany captured in July of last year and culled from three of the performances. Read more »
Vanity project or not, these albums present a sensitive and talented artist showing off two little-seen sides of himself.
Marek Janowski’s second recorded Ring cycle began on an off note, with a Rheingold that was fleet and lucid but failed to impress in the important musical moments.
The 19th century could not cope with Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers) with a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte and music by Mozart, first presented in Vienna in 1790.