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 »
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 »
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. What we have here is a real curate’s egg however in a DVD of Boris Blacher’s opera 200 000 Taler. Blacher, who was born in 1903, initially studied architecture and mathematics before turning his attentions to composition and teaching. He lost his first professorship in Dresden after being pronounced a composer of “degenerate” music by the National Socialist Party (damn those Nazis!) He took up teaching again after the war in 1945 as the Director of the Music Academy of Berlin. Read more »
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.
A new DVD of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess features an enjoyable live performance from the San Francisco Opera from June of 2009.
George Benjamin’s 2012 opera Written on Skin received great acclaim at its opening at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and the Royal Opera quickly mounted it in March 2013.