After a long summer drought, suddenly new Blu-ray and DVD releases are falling, as it were, from the sky. La Cieca invites the cher public to peruse a gaggle of operatic offerings after the jump. Read more »
It’s rare to encounter a video of an opera that has zero redeeming qualities, but I think I might have found it: the latest Arena di Verona La Traviata. It’s truly awful from every perspective: singing, acting, production, musical values. There’s really just no reason it’s on the market. The liner notes say that the performance took place in 2011. It should have stayed in the vaults. Read more »
For those of you still queasy after Mary Zimmerman’s sophomoric snarknado attack on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, the new DVD of the Stuttgart Opera production by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito should provide a bracing restorative. Here is a production that takes the work very, very seriously. This is La Sonnambula via Shirley Jackson—a ghost story with an overlay of communal guilt and hints of cycles of abuse and abandonment.
The curtain rises on the common room on the ground floor of Lisa’s inn; no rustic mill, but there is a gently flowing stream visible through a rear window. It’s an ominous space lined with locked wardrobes and a heavy scattering of votive candles. Mail overflows the mailboxes and the tables are scattered about as if the previous occupants had fled in a hurry. It’s easy to believe this place is haunted. Read more »
The Salzburg Festival has long had the image of this place where for a little over a month, the very best singers are brought together with the very best conductors and the very best directors to create the very best productions the opera world has to offer.
Some ideas are so absurd that the only way to describe them is to simply use the liner notes.
With the help of our friends at ArtHaus Musik, the Deutsche Oper Berlin have really been emptying out their archives and that’s certainly all for the good.
It appears that Mariame Clément’s conception of Don Pasquale is that the opera should be retitled Malatesta.
Benjamin Britten’s final opera Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, is given a lush and quite beautiful production from stage director Deborah Warner for the English National Opera.
In Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all the Russian people starve and suffer, but none has suffering like the mental agonies of Tsar Boris.
Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.