There is a self-effacing quality to Jonas Kaufmann’s concert film An Evening with Puccini, filmed at La Scala, Milan, in June 2015 and described here in its February 23 cinema broadcast (consult local listings; a Sony DVD is scheduled for release on April 1). 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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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.