On Monday, the Met kicks off its 132nd season with a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde by Mariusz Trelinski, with Sir Simon Rattle leading a premiere cast of Nina Stemme, Ekaterina Gubanova, Stuart Skelton, Evgeny Nikitin and René Pape (not pictured). Read more »
Zachary Woolfe (not pictured) makes his way to Bayreuth to try to unravel the Evgeny Nikitin mystery. Though many questions remain unanswered, it’s still a compelling read. (Don’t miss the Christian Thielemann pullquote near the end!) [New York Times]
Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is opera on the grand scale with mellifluous arias and breathtaking duets that tell a tale of ancient Roman political machinations, adultery, and murder in which there is no true protagonist. This stunningly expressive music is performed by an all-star cast. Soprano Miah Persson, praised by The New York Times for her “sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism,” is joined by singers who have all won worldwide critical acclaim for their mastery of this beautiful repertoire. The Guardian wrote that “there are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano.” Alessandrini and company anchor a performance that promises to be one of the season’s most thrilling nights of opera.
Evgeny Nikitin‘s controversial tattoos have left many people puzzled and given rise to a good deal of speculation. In June 2008, Nikitin wrote an autobiographical essay for the St. Petersburg magazine “Dog” (Sobaka) which sheds further light on the Russian singer’s body art and world-view. I’ve provided a rough translation below and will let readers draw their own conclusions. Read more »