Cher Public

Wunderbare Träume

waltraudYesterday we pondered two videos of Tristan und Isolde from the 20th century. Now let us move on to a performance that is definitively of the 21st. Patrice Chéreau, the humanist in provocateur’s clothing, returned to Wagner in 2007 at La Scala with Daniel Barenboim and Waltraud Meier. The three had first collaborated, memorably, on Berg’s Wozzeck more than a decade earlier.  Read more »

Not only with words, but with lively gestures

Elektra Marton“I will never sing the role again. It was frightful. We were a set of madwomen…There is nothing beyond Elektra. We have lived and reached the furthest boundaries in dramatic writing for the voice with Wagner. But Richard Strauss goes beyond him. His singing voices are lost. We have come to a full stop.”  Read more »

The chopping block?

Chopping block“After five flops in a row, Mr. McVicar continues to win new assignments from the Met: in the 2017-2018 season alone, he’s booked for Bellini’s Norma and Puccini’s Tosca, with Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur down the line.” [Observer]

Final chapter

None of my previous Elektra experiences prepared me for this stunning, overwhelming performance from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

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Patrice Chéreau, 1944-2013

The celebrated opera director and filmmaker died today of lung cancer in Paris. He was 68.

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Winged victors

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.

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Canard à la mode

When people talk about an opera “production,” they tend to mean “the sets and costumes,” that is, the physical production.

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Count the days

What seems to be the European opera event of the summer, Elektra from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, will be webcast just a little over 48 hours from now, starting at 2:00 PM EDT on Friday.

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From the House of Atreus

The team that made the Met’s 2009 production of From the House of the Dead one of the undisputed highlights of the Peter Gelb era will return five years from now to create a Richard Strauss tragedy.  According to Helsingin Sanomat, director Patrice Chéreau and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will collaborate on a new production of Elektra in 2016, to be shared between the Met and La Scala.

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Lock Up Raw

The Met’s new production of Janacek’s From the House of the Dead sets high standards for the company, but as an indicator of the Gelb Era, it may be too good to be true.

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