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  • La Cieca: Other cost saving measures are not directly relevant to the current negotiations, which are... 11:53 PM
  • Satisfied: Rumored for awhile now….apparen tly she’ll perform Elsa first in Dresden with... 11:42 PM
  • Henry Holland: Here’s an example of why I think the house is too damn big. I went to a Parsifal at the... 11:40 PM
  • coloraturafan: Yes, I have the video, however uploading anything from Munich onto YouTube is a risk. They... 11:30 PM
  • kashania: Also Norma and I don’t mind at all. 11:09 PM
  • Krunoslav: “To elaborate further, it’s Hector Berlioz’s 1859 version, with material added to entice... 11:03 PM
  • CwbyLA: Oh my! I really liked the Rodelinda production. I thought it was very suitable for such a static... 10:57 PM
  • phoenix: So did I. And it doesn’t make any sense. 10:54 PM
  • Leontynes Weave: And once again, not a single syllable about what other cost saving measures are necessary... 10:46 PM
  • Krunoslav: Sorry, but if it’s not made with Salad Cream, it’s *not* Krunoslaw. 10:38 PM

We have always slept in the castle

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 »

Auto-da-fair

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. Tickets are notoriously expensive and hard to get. Expectations are thus always extremely high for any Salzburg Festival performance and production. A performance can’t simply be “nice.” It has to be out of this world. A production can’t simply be a solid repertory utility production. It has to be for the ages, such a great production that opera houses all over the world will clamor for that production. In recent years, the Willy Decker Traviata started at Salzburg Festival 2005 and traveled to New York and now is a Met staple. Last year’s big hit was the Herheim Meistersinger.    Read more »

Project runway

Some ideas are so absurd that the only way to describe them is to simply use the liner notes: “On 26 August 2013, Hangar-7 of Salzburg Airport was transformed into a vibrant cultural venue for a special live broadcast of Mozart’s Enführung aus dem Serail in a coproduction for television with ServusTV. Amidst the historic collection of Flying Bulls aerobatic aircraft and Formula One racing cars, and making full use of the area set aside for art exhibitions, the Ikarus Restaurant, the Outdoor Lounge bars and cafe, Hangar-7 was turned into an opera stage for the evening.”    Read more »

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Gelt trip

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.

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The beautiful rooms are empty

It appears that Mariame Clément’s conception of Don Pasquale is that the opera should be retitled Malatesta.

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Fatal attraction

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.

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A tsar is torn

In Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all the Russian people starve and suffer, but none has suffering like the mental agonies of Tsar Boris.

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Heartbreak fridge

Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

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Porgy on the bay

A new DVD of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess features an enjoyable live performance from the San Francisco Opera from June of 2009.

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Red queen

Joyce DiDonato is taking her Mary Stuart on the road, so to speak.

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