Cher Public

  • gustave of montreal: You think Pons could have vocalised Zerbinetta ? 6:42 AM
  • gustave of montreal: Très drôle, beurrrkkk, mais l’anglo n’est pas ma première langue. Alors je demande ce qui semble... 6:40 AM
  • manou: I have found that small children can be entertained during car journeys by listening to various operas – although I once... 6:39 AM
  • gustave of montreal: Poor Dima, so sad, so cruel 6:32 AM
  • NPW-Paris: I wasn’t suggesting I sang Salome myself! 6:28 AM
  • Cicciabella: Also, I discovered while baby-sitting that Condotta ell’era in ceppi makes a great lullaby, provided you go easy on the... 5:05 AM
  • Howling in Tune: For that trip, Bolt/Megabus/Greyh ound/Chinatown is really better – unless there’s serious traffic,... 2:16 AM
  • NPW-Paris: Salome is great for ironing. Seriously. 2:06 AM

Tanks a lot, but no tanks

Bayreuth’s most recent production of Tannhäuser was set to be retired. So of course they captured the 2014 performances for posterity and released it on video. The DVD has the typical Bayreuth package—it’s well-filmed, with a fairly steady camera that often pans out to full-stage shots instead of the using the new HD technique of constant close-ups. Good job, Bayreuth film crew.

The production by Sebastian Baumgarten is however the type of regietheater that’s not a rethinking or reconstruction, but just a hot mess. The first clue that the director might have been a little too high on his own ideas is the fact that the pre-curtain time AND intermissions are staged. Yes, that’s right, Baumgarten apparently thought his ideas were such treasures that he expected the audiences to not pee during a five-hour opera. I have no idea how this actually played in the house and whether everyone really stayed put during intermissions but this is how it’s presented in the video. Read more »

Cherubino jumps the shark

Homer, inspired by many a muse, sang not of sequels to his Iliad, and his own, the Odyssey, is so different in focus that many readers, then and now, have suspected another author of being responsible. But many other poets wrote sequels to Homer, and their addenda filled many a volume, most of them (perhaps happily) lost. As long as copyright laws were in their infancy, the ailment of other authors trying to expand upon unforgettable inspirations was endless.   Read more »

Summer of love

In just two years, Brooklyn’s LoftOpera has rapidly established itself as a bracing, essential addition to New York City’s musical life. While some can’t imagine opera existing outside Lincoln Center and, perhaps, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, many others hunger for alternatives and hundreds of them converged Friday evening at The Muse, a cavernous circus school, to savor Loft’s latest endeavor, a provocative staging of Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.   Read more »

Written Hannigan

Everything is illuminated

Few new operas have received the near-unanimous acclaim that has greeted Written on Skin since its first performance at the 2012 Aix-en-Provence Festival.

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A fjord in her future

Anja Silja staked a claim as a leading Senta of her era with a series of searing performances of Der Fliegende Holländer while in her early twenties.

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Show Boat amazon

Rolling along

You might be surprised, though, when that title turns out to be Show Boat.

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traviata_amazon

Paris original

Another month, another La Traviata release on video.

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Lincoln Center Festival 2015

Blow a kiss, take a bough

Richard Strauss’s many one-act operas make excellent concert programs, both for their length (usually under two hours) and the primary place each gives the orchestration, a specialty where Strauss’s brilliance seldom deserted him.

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solti amazon

A ‘Ring’ for the rest of us

I was once accused—by my own mother, mind you!—of having too many recordings of Verdi’s Aida.  The blistering audacity of that recrimination did get me to thinking: How many recordings of Aida is too many? I mean, you’ve got the old classic you cut your teeth on. Then there’s he one where the tenor and the mezzo are really the only good thing going. And, of course, the one with your favorite soprano in the title role, the remake when she switched labels, and then the four pirates. Don’t forget the one with another favorite soprano, but this time she’s [...]

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Two Women

Warhorse

Three blocks from the opera house is a terrible time to realize there was homework.

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