Cher Public

  • cgambol: Re: the Denishawn trained spear carrier. He delivers, he holds the delivery pose and exuent omnes. Is it high art or vaudeville?... 3:24 PM
  • Cicciabella: As NPW-Paris says, “going down” in European opera houses is the new mass orgy. 3:16 PM
  • RosinaLeckermaul: She gave some wonderful performances at the Met. I have particularly fond memories of her Suor Angelica. 3:16 PM
  • PCally: I have read it, I owned a used copy that recently fell apart. Soderstrom is really one of my all time favorites, I simply find her... 3:02 PM
  • figaroindy: The author says that happened “in later years” – the reference to 1896 was for a production of Faust with... 1:49 PM
  • JohninSeattle: What a great clip from Irene. Thanks Windy! Ms Cruz-Romo is a current point of some fascination for me… Time to check... 1:23 PM
  • NPW-Paris: It’s very popular in European productions, especially for coloratura passages. 1:22 PM
  • marshiemarkII: Messa you have a point there :-) Actually NPW you also have a point, there is a lot of it in this production, as even... 1:18 PM

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? Actually, it’s both.  There’s always been a disconnect between Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica’s adaptation of the Prévost novel and Puccini’s music. The libretto is episodic, with the title character portrayed as a calculating courtesan who abandons her lover des Grieux “without even a kiss goodbye.” This is however Puccini’s most romantic score. It swells with romantic ardor at every moment.

The director of a new DVD of this opera, Jonathan Kent, favors the transnational, exploitative aspects of the opera. His production is updated to modern times, and the opera begins at a seedy red light hotel. Manon Lescaut moves from a quick initiation into the sex trafficking world to being a spoiled porn star.  Read more »

Arms and the man I sing

The opening night of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s new production revival of Aïda, featuring Jonas Kaufmann in his staged role debut as Radamès, was captured informally on audio, and can be heard in full after the jump.   Read more »

Awakenings

There is a simple elegance to the single-composer recital album format. For the listener in the mood for, say, Puccini, it’s a chance to delve into his music without any pesky interruptions by those other guys like Verdi or Massenet. And if one is also in the mood for a particular singer’s art, then the choice is even more straightforward.

For the singer, it is an opportunity to showcase and explore the variety and nuance that a single composer offers to his/her voice type, while also displaying his/her own skill at presenting a varied recital experience within narrow confines.   Read more »

aida_amazon

A desert breeze whispering a lullaby

The studio opera recording is a rare beast these days and its arrival always a cause for celebration.

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Kaufmann Proms

Der Höschenkavalier

Jonas Kaufmann, the German singer who performed Rule Britannia, looked delighted as he was pelted with lacey undergarments from female fans.”

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kaufmann_puccini

True verismo

Jonas Kaufmann’s new Puccini album (the new one on Sony, not the repackaged one on Decca) is being previewed by NPR.

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Cavalleria

The Rusticana at the end of the universe

Jonas Kaufmann in a wifebeater is but one of the attractions of the Salzburg Festival production of Cavalleria rusticana, a telecast of which you can peruse after the jump.

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Jonas Tisi

Hustle & flu

Jonas Kaufmann has canceled his performance as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen this Saturday, March 7 matinee, as he is still ill with the flu and unable to travel to New York.

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Aida Rome

Rome invasion

Given that Jonas Kaufmann just canceled half his Met season and Anja Harteros is, well, Anja Harteros, La Cieca thought it would be interesting for us hinterlanders to hear what this duo sounds like when both show up to sing.

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strait-jacket

Twenty years of pure hell!

“Speaking on Desert Island Discs, the German opera singer said that he and his colleagues felt as though they were in ‘straight-jackets,’ having to make diary commitments years in advance.”

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