The month of March 2017 on parterre box can be summed up in three topics: Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann and religious Cretans. Read more »
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is first among equals in a spectacular cast when she sings the title role of Ariodante in this season’s installment of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed cycle of Handel’s operas in concert. A brilliantly melodic work, the opera features outstanding arias for each of the principal singers, including Ariodante’s melancholy “Scherza infida” and show-stopping “Doppo note.” Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera. (Photo: Simon Pauly) Get tickets. Read more »
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 »
The opening night of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s new production 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.
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.
The studio opera recording is a rare beast these days and its arrival always a cause for celebration.
“Jonas Kaufmann, the German singer who performed Rule Britannia, looked delighted as he was pelted with lacey undergarments from female fans.”
Jonas Kaufmann’s new Puccini album (the new one on Sony, not the repackaged one on Decca) is being previewed by NPR.
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.