“After putting off for a week trying to make some sense of the horrific mess that is the Met’s new Faust, I’m finally just going to give up. There are some disasters that bear writing about as what you might call teaching opportunities: this season’s Don Giovanni, for example, as a cautionary tale about the perils of timid conservatism. But there’s nothing to be learned from this Faust besides, perhaps, ‘never hire Des McAnuff to direct another opera under any circumstances’.” [Musical America]
Gone (from the Met’s Faust) but not forgotten diva Angela Gheorghiu claims that Jonas Kaufmann has expressed to her his dissatisfaction with Des McAnuff‘s direction—which reportedly included an injunction to the tenor to do as he was told and not to question anything. She adds that Kaufmann has assured her she was right to cancel when she did. Yes, in this interview with Naomi Lewin, the word “fiasco” gets thrown around a lot. [WQXR]
Lincoln Center’s Great Performers presents Diana Damrau on Saturday, December 10th, joined by Xavier de Maistre on harp, performing works by Debussy, Strauss, Fauré, and more. A regular at the Met Opera, Damrau has been called “a soprano of matchless intelligence” (Guardian).
“One of the greatest proponents of the German lied tradition” (New York Times), baritone Christian Gerhaher performs an all-Mahler program on Saturday, December 17th, featuring Gerold Huber on piano. The Telegraph calls him “the most moving singer in the world.”
Both performances are at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
A press release just received from the Met ends with what feels like a SAT question that didn’t quite make it out of the gate. The background on the company’s impending HD of Faust includes the following tantalizing paragraph: “The traditional setting for Faust is 16th-century Germany, a time when alchemists and philosophers were familiar characters in real life. Des McAnuff’s new Met production places the action in the first half of the 20th century.” Read more »
Leave it to those Torontonians to blow the lid off an opera story happening in New York! (Goodness knows the local journalists don’t bother.)