Even before James Levine announced his retirement as Music Director, one of this week’s concerts by the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall had a valedictory feel having nothing to do with Levine. Although it was not announced as such, Sunday afternoon’s all-Richard Strauss concert served as a de facto commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the debut of Renée Fleming, long one of the house’s biggest stars. Read more »
The grand illusion is that we know it all. From four hundred years of opera, we’ve distilled the worthy survivors. There are opera lovers who believe that—there are certainly impresarios who believe it—in the teeth of all the evidence: the forgotten rep that is revived with astonishing success (baroque, bel canto, verismo). And then there are operas that were never part of the repertory, stuffed in a drawer and forgotten, today recovered and necessary: Les Troyens, Gezeichneten, Mitridate, Ermione, Maria Stuarda. Will Franco Faccio’s Amleto join them? Read more »
Los Angeles saw the first U.S. performance of Giacomo Puccini’s snow-dusted weeper in 1897 just a year after the young Toscanini led the prima in Turin. LA Opera in its unending, some might say hellbent, quest to engage the company town in the art of the lyric theatre invited film director, former Broadway choreographer and perennial Academy Award nominee Herbert Ross, of Turning Point and Steel Magnolias fame, to stage our latest production of La Bohème way back in 1993. Read more »
Regina Opera almost completely fulfilled its mission Saturday afternoon with their production of Manon Lescaut.
What we really need, some seem to believe, is fuller representation of the 19th century.
A biopic entitled Florence Foster Jenkins, marvelously directed by Stephen Frears of Philomena and The Queen fame, stars the actress that never ceases to amaze us all, Meryl Streep, as Mme. Jenkins.
WNO’s first complete Ring Cycle continued Monday evening with a revamped version of the Die Walküre first seen at the Kennedy Center in 2007.
Happily, this Rheingold, which returned to the Kennedy Center Saturday night to open the first of three complete cycles, has been shorn of its clumsier gestures.
Giuseppe Verdi was so unhappy with the first production of his Giovanna d’Arco at La Scala in 1845 that he swore an oath to himself that he would never entrust that theatre with a prima again.
This season’s Met Donizetti Tudor Trilogy concluded with Roberto Devereux, given its penultimate performance by HD transmission Saturday, April 16. It is good to see these works finally given here; they are too important, too crucial a part of the operatic repertory to have been ignored for as long as they have.