The impression was sure to be tested by the last two installments in the series, Siegfriedand Götterdämmerung, which Janowski and the Berlin Radio Symphony and Chorus recorded in concert performances two weeks apart last March. Though the vocal and orchestral forces remain highly attentive to the veteran maestro’s wishes and the super audio sound vividly captures the acoustics of Berlin’s Philharmonie, the results are a bit of a let down, with overtaxed principals, occasionally underwhelming climaxes and wayward tempi. Read more »
When Winston Churchill was First Sea Lord, the story goes, an indignant admiral accused him of violating British naval tradition, to which Churchill replied that the only traditions of the British Navy were rum, sodomy and the lash. Churchill later denied he’d ever said this; he did say he wished he had. Certainly that had been the tradition of the navy in 1797, as depicted by Benjamin Britten in Billy Budd, his opera of 1951, now being superbly performed (twice more: Tuesday and Thursday) at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House in a snappy Michael Grandage production touring from the Glyndebourne Festival. Read more »
Verdi’s Macbeth poses a challenge to any company with the audacity to mount it. It’s layered and fascinating, but it needs a strong cast of singers and a director with a clear-cut purpose to do justice to Verdi, Shakespeare, and convey the deep-seated drama in the music and libretto. In another installment of the Teatro Regio di Parma’s “Tutto Verdi” series, the small, ambitious house gives a performance that almost perfectly achieves those goals. Read more »
Mr. Ian Rosenblatt is a London solicitor and patron of charitable causes in Britain primarily focused on classical music.
While many performing arts organizations have been reducing their schedules or even closing, Opera Lafayette, a Washington DC-based group dedicated primarily to 17th and 18th century opera, has proven remarkably prosperous.
The legend of the mermaid is ancient, and recently scientists have theorized that these legends might have arisen when humans encountered marine mammals such as whales, seals, or sea lions.
Having recently reviewed Glass’s The Perfect American on this site and participated in spirited discussions about the film Saving Mr. Banks, it is perhaps not surprising that Walt Disney should spring to my mind as I watched the Unitel Classica video of Die Zauberflote from the floating stage of the Bregenzer Festspiele.
I’ve always had a fondness for Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and apparently so did he since he often referred to it as, “among the finest of my children.”
The internecine machinations of those who ruled—or sought to rule—the Roman Empire have long provided rich material for writers and composers, and on Thursday evening operamission continued its ambitious plan to stage in chronological order all of Handel’s operas by presenting one of the most delicious of those Roman-based works, Agrippina which premiered in Venice in 1709.