“The Met’s revival of Verdi’s Ernani Friday night was every inch a tragic opera, though without being grand in any way. Its grisliest calamity was not the one the composer devised but rather one the production’s star, Plácido Domingo, brought on himself.” [New York Observer]
If works like Salome and Erwartung defined modernism in the first decades of the 20th century, Die Tote Stadt and Palestrina represented the regressive avant garde. Though they had tormented protagonists, themes of death and other ingredients for a frenzied geschrei, neither could break free of the Romantic era’s pull, instead inhabiting a netherworld that’s sometimes described as “post-Wagnerian” or “Straussian.” Read more »
The opening night of the Metropolitan Opera of September 1972 was supposed to be the dawn of a new era. Sir Rudolf Bing, General Manager, had two years previously ceded to his successor the head of the Royal Swedish Opera Göran Gentele. Bing had made major inroads in his attempts to have opera presented as musical theatre by hiring nearly every prominent stage director who was willing and even some who weren’t. Gentele already had a reputation as a very forward-thinking man of the theatre and his appointment was a profoundly optimistic choice. Read more »
“’They’re young… they’re in love… and they kill people’ goes the tagline for the 1968 film Bonnie and Clyde, but the slogan could apply almost as well to the outlaw pair at the center of the Metropolitan Opera’s white-hot revival of Massenet’s Manon.”
“Michael Volle is not into bling,” begins an article in ACT-O, the glossy magazine of the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
A confession: I have a real love/ hate relationship with Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.
Donkey dick and other Asian Fusion vaudeville acts arouse “The BAM Effect” at Handel’s Semele.
Christian Thielemann’s spirited, precise conducting and the superb, sumptuous playing of the Staatskapelle Dresden are the finest features of this strongly cast performance of Strauss’s Arabella.