Since neither my forays into obscure Dvorák and Leoncavallo were very successful (Vanda actually had more “listens” than La bohème!), I think the sturdier of you will enjoy Nina Stemme’s Elektra from Saturday night at Wiener Staatsoper. Unfortunately, Anne Schwanewilms cancelled the entire run, so Ricarda Merbeth stepped into her puffy white dress. Read more »
At the Opernhaus Zürich, the coat check is not optional. A collective hush extends throughout the hall just before the dimming of the lights. And it may be the last opera house in the world where the overwhelming majority of patrons still dress in formal attire; I have never felt like such a slob in my khakis and untucked shirt. Yet the pomp is not without reason; I do not believe there is another opera company in the world that maintains such impressively high musical values while performing in a fairly intimate space with stellar acoustics. Read more »
Has it really been nine years? Well, apparently it has, because the winners of the ninth annual F. Paul Driscoll Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence (or, as they are colloquially known, the “Opera News Awards”) have been revealed. Congratulations to director Patrice Chéreau, tenor Juan Diego Flórez, mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, bass-baritone James Morris and soprano Nina Stemme (not pictured)! Read more »
La Cieca celebrates (if that is the word) the first snowfall of the season in New York in the traditional manner.