Cher Public

  • Gualtier M: This the rest of the cast: Conductor Ferdinand Leitner – Stuttgart 1968 Orchestra – Württembergische Staatsoper;... 12:03 PM
  • PCally: This was the video I was talking about. Is the whole thing worth purchasing? 11:47 AM
  • ducadiposa: Well, she’s scheduled to give a recital here in Toronto this fall on Friday, November 11 singing Bach, Strauss,... 11:34 AM
  • Gualtier M: Tiny Tim is no Nick Lucas who introduced “Tiptoe through the Tulips” in 1929 in “Gold Diggers of... 11:34 AM
  • Gualtier M: This was filmed in Stuttgart in 1968 with Silja: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=40V5 P5iTs4Q Silja always needed to be seen... 10:03 AM
  • PCally: She was such strange and contradictory person, who led a pretty depressing life. 8:47 AM
  • NPW-Paris: I got a great deal of pleasure out of their issue of Herculanum, so in the hope of pleasing myself again I’ve ordered... 6:01 AM
  • kraneled: Please Could anybody explain to me what happened to Netrebkos voice? FRÜHLING is a desaster(was she nervous???)ABENDRO T better... 12:59 AM

No contest

tannhauser amazonRichard Wagner viewed dance as an essential element of art, though he used it sparingly in his operas. The bacchanal he put in the 1861 Paris version of Tännhauser was supposed to depart from classical ballet and serve up an orgy of motion, with figures assembling and reordering themselves, not unlike the physical manifestation of a symphonic poem.

One wonders what he’d make of Staatskapelle Berlin’s 2014 production, now on BelAir Classiques. Director Sasha Waltz’s sweaty pileup of writhing bodies in the opening tableau serves as the jumping off point for a fully choreographed opera in which dancers weave around and through the scenes with sweeping gestures, arresting poses and sometimes sophomoric mimed responses to what’s being sung.  Read more »

Cross purposes

forza_amazon“Has anyone ever seen a truly great production of this opera?” asked Parterre’s Jungfer Marianne Leizmetzerin last November, in the course of sharing audio from an excellent 1974 Vienna Forza del destino. Marianne received few nominations in follow-up comments. When we talk of great Traviatas and great Falstaffs, it is likely we mean the direction and design teams contributed to the greatness. When we talk of great Forzas, we usually mean they did not get in the way. There was great singing, perhaps great conducting, and what was framing the musical performance was not ruinously bad.  Read more »

Shooting in low light

FreischeutzEvery so often, the topic of the stale and predictable standard repertoire is broached, usually when some theater announces another season of warhorses: Don Giovanni, Traviata, Carmen, Bohème. Opera buffs plead for reconsideration of the once popular and the never truly popular. Bring back Meyerbeer, Flowtow, Glinka, Ponchielli, Rubinstein, Thomas. Peer into neglected corners of Donizetti and Rossini. Give us obscure Massenet, galley-years Verdi, Wagner’s first three operas. What we really need, some seem to believe, is fuller representation of the 19th century.  Read more »

giovanna amazon

Site unseen

Giuseppe Verdi was so unhappy with the first production of his Giovanna d’Arco at La Scala in 1845 that he swore an oath to himself that he would never entrust that theatre with a prima again.

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Saul

Sybil, shepherd

The original conductor of Nielsen’s opera summed the piece up well I think…

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Jonas in Fanciulla

Hello from the other side

A woman reads from the Bible. There is a dance scene in a tavern. The discovery of blood gives away the protagonist.

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Don Giovanni amazon

After dark

The Canadian Robert Carsen would appear to love the theater to the point of fixation.

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Manon Lescaut Amazon

The rules of attraction

Is Manon Lescaut a cold, clinical tale of the splendors and pitfalls of transactional sex, or is it a romantic Italian opera at its most lush and melodic?

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passenger

And never brought to mind

It would be generous to say that history comes alive on the operatic stage.

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Roger amazon

A Pole in the head

Enthusiasm is contagious–you have to cover up carefully lest it make you sick.

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