By the time Nina Stemme and Esa-Pekka Salonen reached the thrilling climax of Elektra’s grimly determined opening monologue Thursday evening, no one in the Met audience was thinking about that afternoon’s startling retirement news. The haunted Mycenae of Patrice Chéreau’s enthralling production of Richard Strauss’s Elektra had seized its viewers in an unrelenting vise that never relaxed even at its quietly shattering conclusion. Read more »
“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 »
Othello in the Seraglio is the rather unfortunate title bestowed by the ensemble Dünya on its “coffeehouse opera,” ossia The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch, presented Friday night at the National Sawdust concert space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, following a brief run in Boston, where Dünya is based. Read more »
The original conductor of Nielsen’s opera summed the piece up well I think…
That Placido Domingo and James Levine, the Met’s inexorable septuagenarians, would team up yet again—on April Fools’ Day, no less—for a revival of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra occasioned an uncomfortable degree of doubt and dread.
Javier Camarena offered a performance carefully calibrated to a more intimate venue that nonetheless offered emotionally potent results.
Los Angeles first saw Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly presented at the Mason Opera House downtown in 1908 by the English Grand Opera Company. Rumors that LA Opera Artistic Director Placido Domingo portrayed Cio-Cio San’s little boy in that production remain unsubstantiated.
During its first-ever Roberto Devereux Thursday evening one felt transported back to the Volpe years: four of the Met’s biggest stars shining in an opulent (if occasionally perverse) but reassuringly non-challenging production paid for by Sybil B. Harrington.
What is an Orphic moment? A song so sweet that even Hades must release the dead back to the living?
With recent events in politics, it is becoming ever clearer that humankind hasn’t evolved much since the Enlightenment.