“After five flops in a row, Mr. McVicar continues to win new assignments from the Met: in the 2017-2018 season alone, he’s booked for Bellini’s Norma and Puccini’s Tosca, with Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur down the line.” [Observer]
Certain operas are better in theory than practice. Boito’s Mefistofele has some undoubtedly fine tunes, and is perhaps neck-and-neck with Boris Godunov as a top bass star vehicle. But as an opera, it only works in fits and starts. For one, the fidelity to Goethe’s Faust gives the libretto a rather episodic, detached feel.
Gounod’s Faust might be a lot cheesier but it’s also more tightly focused and thus better theater. Boito’s opera has some some stunning choral work in the Prologue and Epilogue, a famous tune in Margherita’s lament “La altra notte” and an extremely enjoyable “Walpurgis Nacht” act but also a lot of filler. It’s not a long opera but it feels endless. Read more »
An intimate concert on June 2 features highlights from little OPERA’s recent production of Slow Dusk & Markheim, along with other selections from composer Carlisle Floyd‘s remarkable body of work, including Willie Stark, Of Mice and Men and a glimpse at Prince of Players, Floyd’s new opera which recently premiered at the Houston Grand Opera. Read more »
“Oubliez le XVIIIè siècle. A l’Opéra Comique, Platée s’installe sur les podiums d’une fashion week parisienne!” Unfortunately, the video of this performance is not available in the US: La Cieca will keep you updated. Meanwhile, take a look at DeCaffarrelli’s review of last night’s concert performance.
“German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is a household name; 18th-century French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau isn’t.”
How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return?
What better way to spend a lazy Friday afternoon in midsummer than watching a webcast of Rigoletto?
It was indeed a curious sensation making a late morning trek to East 59th Street, a block devoted to showro0ms for bizarre upscale furniture and lighting fixtures, and then to enter a boutique cinema specializing in Hindi films (the big coming attraction right now is Desi Boyz) — and all this before sitting down in an auditiorium half- full of retirees to see a live performance of Don Giovanni from La Scala. That it worked as a Mozart experience I think can be chalked up to two factors: Robert Carsen‘s production and the constantly improving (if still imperfect) HD technology.
La Cieca is just back from the HD of Don Giovanni from La Scala: excellent singing through the whole cast, strong conducting (if tending to the slow side) by Daniel Barenboim, and a smart, chic production from Robert Carsen that frankly makes Michael Grandage look like an utter bumpkin. The presentation will repeat here in New York (and elsewhere) in coming days.