Cher Public

  • Will: I prefer the rear orchestra, nicely raised above the crowd and relatively easy to get out of the theater at the end or during... 8:02 AM
  • gustave of montreal: Beautiful, thanks for posting this. 6:15 AM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: Two singers and a twit httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=fRQJ aKOkAus 2:35 AM
  • NPW-Paris: Surprisingly, in Paris, at the Châtelet, we had Nikolai Schukoff. Perhaps you’d have liked him. 1:56 AM
  • Greg.Freed: Glad to hear Halfvarson’s still doing good work. I must have heard him do Ochs (in Houston) over 20 years ago. And... 1:45 AM
  • Salomanda: Also, having just heard Goerke in the HGO Siegfried, I’m excited that we’ll have moved back to Houston in time for... 1:13 AM
  • Salomanda: It was lovely, the Immolation Scene was the best of the evening. The whole thing was quite thrilling, although the orchestra... 1:11 AM
  • Krunoslav: Meanwhile , I am praying that One of Our Merry Band was at Carnegie Hall tonight for the thrilling RING excerpts with Goerke... 12:29 AM

La farsa del destino

There might be nothing in the world as joyous as a Rossini overture. Il Signor Bruschino is considered one of Rossini’s minor works but about 30 seconds into the overture you are officially in “Rossiniland” (the theme of this new video staged by the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival in 2012). The violins tap the orchestra stands in a persistent knocking sound and the piece just bubbles along until its inevitable accelerating crescendo.
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Battle of the network tsars

For all their orchestral and vocal attractions, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s 15 operas are rarities in the West. If The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh is staged in an upcoming Met season as rumored, it will be the theater’s first representation of the composer’s music since 1945 (The Golden Cockerel), and it took The Tsar’s Bride 112 years to make it to Covent Garden.

Bel Air Classiques’ DVD documents Dmitri Tcherniakov’s 2013 production of the latter opera, with Daniel Barenboim leading the Berlin premiere cast. Read more »

Money on the dresser

“Hailed ‘the Meryl Streep of opera’…” begins one sentence of a promotional piece for a Diana Damrau recording of another opera, reproduced on the soprano’s website. This is a lofty claim, but I considered it as I watched Erato’s DVD memorializing the last of five 2013-14 Traviata productions (New York, Zurich, Munich, London, and Paris) in which Damrau sang her first Violettas.

There is, of course, a superficial similarity. Both women are attractive, refined blondes with German roots, and both can appear elegant or plain as a role requires. Both impress offstage as merry women and good storytellers, engaging in conversation and interview (I remember years ago hearing Damrau talk about the role of Strauss’s Sophie, and although she joked and laughed a lot, there was nothing frivolous about her insights). Both are admired technicians and hard workers. Read more »

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Slash by night

Enthusiasts of Janácek’s opera will want to pick up this video immediately.

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Poor wan Rusalka

The winter 2014 final run of the Met’s first/only Rusalka production (a new one is scheduled in a few seasons) seemed both a nod to the theater’s past and a hint of its future.

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Tanks a lot, but no tanks

The production by Sebastian Baumgarten is the type of regietheater that’s not a rethinking or reconstruction, but just a hot mess.

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Rolling along

You might be surprised, though, when that title turns out to be Show Boat.

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d’Arc victory

Tonight’s program at the New York Philharmonic, Arthur Honegger’s massive oratorio dramatique Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, has been an occasional visitor to the orchestra’s repertoire starting with the performance conducted by Charles Munch in January of 1948.

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Haunted mountain

Beginning with the dark, ominous music of the prelude of Charles Wuorinen and Annie Proulx’s opera Brokeback Mountain, we know we are in for a very different and far less sentimental version of the work than was had with Ang Lee’s iconic 2005 film.

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Grail mix

Contemporary stagings of Parsifal tend to be spare, abstract affairs scrubbed of religious associations, knights in armor and, sometimes, a grail.

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