Cher Public

  • chicagoing: There is an Anthony Tommasini review of Dialogues of the Carmelites this morning in the New York Times. I have not been... 9:10 AM
  • DellaCasaFan: On his official Facebook page, Jonas Kaufmann warns us about the upcoming Decca album of his Puccini arias “The Age of... 8:33 AM
  • tiger1: I wondered the same thing. But it is far from the first baritone role sung by Mr Owens. A few years back he was Sharpless in Los... 8:10 AM
  • brooklynpunk: Many thanks, Camille…!! 9:17 PM
  • Camille: Hope you haven’t neglected to include some hatpins for those hats for they also come in so handy with fresh young men.... 8:56 PM
  • Camille: hello brooklyn p. — I was wondering about how you were just the other day, while I was tooling around in the archives.... 8:50 PM
  • Camille: Mille grazie, Milly! You’ve saved me a lot of heartbreak as I shall not be schlepping up country to see this, one of my... 8:49 PM
  • JohninSeattle: armer, ROFL Do the badly sung cabalettas count? It’s *very* Florence Foster Jenkins around here…. 7:32 PM

Fou fighter

It is easy to become overly identified with opera—as a cleverer friend of mine once noted: being a sports fan is an interest, but if you like opera, everyone thinks of it as a crippling obsession. Les Troyens doesn’t help matters; “I’m going to a four hour opera,” you tell someone, trying to convey the magnitude of Troyens, but somehow it seems not to hint at the right degree of lunacy, so the next time, you include intermissions and say “I’m going to a five hour opera” and up and up it goes until you admit, between puffs on your gauloise, that everyone was right and you must be tres fou.   Read more »

Crown jewel

I’m a long-time fan of the Opera in English series funded by The Peter Moores Foundation that started, fittingly enough, with conductor Reginald Goodall’s performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle recorded live from the London Coliseum and released by EMI. Cast from strength with a team of British singers that included the likes of Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios, Norman Bailey and Derek Hammond-Stroud. Many of whom never found the kind of recognition they deserved outside of England for one reason or another and it stands alone today as a unique achievement of its era.   Read more »

Haunted mountain

Beginning with the dark, ominous music of the prelude of Charles Wuorinen and Annie Proulx’s opera Brokeback Mountain, we know we are in for a very different and far less sentimental version of the work than was had with Ang Lee’s iconic 2005 film.  This 2014 Teatro Real Madrid production (dedicated to the late Gerard Mortier), with sensitive and incisive stage direction by Ivo van Hove, has been released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques.

This opera brings about a third major character to go with the expected herders Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar: the mountain itself.  It is a mysterious and forbidding place.  We learn in the first scene that the Boss Aguirre is worried that his expected workers are late or not coming because they’ve “heard something about the mountain.”  He describes the mountain as “a knife blade rising from the earth”, a place of “dark power” and “an evil place that kills men.”   Read more »

Fidelio

I wake up screaming

Töt erst sein Weib!” shrieks Anja Kampe as Leonore during the very first moments of Andreas Homoki’s ingenious production of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, at Opernhaus Zürich.

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Between the dragon and his wrath

Aribert Reimann’s 1978 opera Lear, based of course on Shakespeare’s titanic tragedy King Lear, is a major achievement in modern operatic scoring.

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Getting to know jews, getting to know all about jews

The creation of Kurt Weill’s The Eternal Road and its lately remodeled avatar, The Road of Promise, boiled down and premiered at Carnegie Hall Wednesday night by the Collegiate Chorale and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, was an intricate process, far more interesting than the work itself.

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Bum’s rush

Our Own JJ reviews Orlando and Early Shaker Spirituals in the Observer.

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The blue dream

It will come to no surprise to followers of the direction of Stefan Herheim (or to readers of La Cieca’s gushing fangirl appreciations of his work) that his Stuttgart production of Der Rosenkavalier was as “delightfully busy” as we have come to expect.

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Bare de Lia

On Saturday, a new company called Bare Opera gave its first performance, a double bill of Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, at the Robert Miller Gallery in Chelsea.

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Orlando Finale

Notes from the underground

Director R.B. Schlather and his team explored Handel’s Orlando and the results, as seen at Monday night’s final presentation, proved uncommonly stimulating.

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