I vividly remember being scared to death as a child watching the Vincent Price horror film House of Wax on television. Perhaps because of that trauma I had avoided visiting any waxworks establishment until On Site Opera’s lively production of Rameau’s one-act Pygmalion summoned me Tuesday evening to Madame Tussauds just off New York City’s Times Square. Read more »
For those of you still queasy after Mary Zimmerman’s sophomoric snarknado attack on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, the new DVD of the Stuttgart Opera production by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito should provide a bracing restorative. Here is a production that takes the work very, very seriously. This is La Sonnambula via Shirley Jackson—a ghost story with an overlay of communal guilt and hints of cycles of abuse and abandonment.
The curtain rises on the common room on the ground floor of Lisa’s inn; no rustic mill, but there is a gently flowing stream visible through a rear window. It’s an ominous space lined with locked wardrobes and a heavy scattering of votive candles. Mail overflows the mailboxes and the tables are scattered about as if the previous occupants had fled in a hurry. It’s easy to believe this place is haunted. Read more »
The Salzburg Festival has long had the image of this place where for a little over a month, the very best singers are brought together with the very best conductors and the very best directors to create the very best productions the opera world has to offer. Tickets are notoriously expensive and hard to get. Expectations are thus always extremely high for any Salzburg Festival performance and production. A performance can’t simply be “nice.” It has to be out of this world. A production can’t simply be a solid repertory utility production. It has to be for the ages, such a great production that opera houses all over the world will clamor for that production. In recent years, the Willy Decker Traviata started at Salzburg Festival 2005 and traveled to New York and now is a Met staple. Last year’s big hit was the Herheim Meistersinger. Read more »
Vienna never really forgave Erich Wolfgang Korngold for going to work in the movies.
The NY Phil Biennial, a new music festival that is dedicated to new music, kicked off its first season at a drowsy time on the performing arts calendar, the week after Memorial Day.
Some ideas are so absurd that the only way to describe them is to simply use the liner notes.
Once upon a time, a man and a woman met. He could sing, she could sing. They fell in love, got married, and became a power couple to rival Billary.
It appears that Mariame Clément’s conception of Don Pasquale is that the opera should be retitled Malatesta.
I am certain that we Parterrians are a very literate, even literary, group.
To some, Anne Schwanewilms will always be the soprano in the slinky black dress who replaced Deborah Voigt at Covent Garden a decade ago.