The highlight of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s 2014-2015 season is a new production of Manon Lescaut featuring Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann, directed by Hans Neuenfels. (And perhaps the most delightful part of this announcement is that Richard Eyre is not involved in any way at all.)
Even after more than 30 years as a die-hard opera fan there are still parts of the repertoire I haven’t embraced. Benjamin Britten and myself are really only acquaintances and I’ve met Alban Berg but fear we shall never be friends. I really became an opera fan chronologically backwards starting with Puccini and ending, essentially, with Mozart and Handel. Only then came Wagner.
After distilling all those different musical styles and traditions, Wagner wasn’t really that difficult to wrap my head around, with the exception of Parsifal. I would check the score out from the library and follow along dutifully to the broadcasts waiting for the penny to drop. It was years before I finally understood the lengths of its constructive elements and how broad the expanses of melody and leitmotif were within that structure. Read more »
“The last place you’d expect to find opera at all, let alone good, exciting opera, is in still-scrappy Bushwick, Brooklyn. But that’s where a new and vital company called LoftOpera has popped up for a two-weekend run of Puccini’s La Bohème in a performance that is as true and moving as any I can remember in 40 years of opera-going.” [New York Observer]
Cher public, I give a photograph of Jonas Kaufmann in a hoodie with a teeny birdie on his shoulder.
The experience of watching Wagner’s final opera Parsifal is frequently elevated to a spiritual occurrence, and productions have historically emphasized the religious dimension of the opera’s core themes of redemption and the dangers of temptation.
La Cieca is going to go out on a not very long limb here and say that Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West is a great role for Jonas Kaufmann and may well turn out to be one of his three or four greatest.
La Cieca has been wining, dining and otherwise wooing her Met connection (pictured above) and he (or is it she?) has come across with some tidbits about upcoming seasons at Casa Gelb.
In a starling last-minute change of programming, the Salzburg Festival has canceled all further performances of the critically-reviled Peter Stein production of Don Carlos. Weltstars Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann will instead perform My Fair Lady (pictured).
We waited eagerly to hear the Munich-born Jonas Kaufmann make his role debut as Manrico at the Bavarian State Opera as well the German-Greek soprano Anja Harteros take on Leonora’s bravura difficult arias.