“Paul Appleby will sing the role of Don Ottavio in this season’s September and October performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, replacing Rolando Villazón, who has withdrawn due to illness,” the Met’s press department tells us.
When Norman Lebrecht is declaring on an almost daily basis that classical music is dead, it’s perhaps heartening that four of today’s prominent tenors have recently recorded what might be called fluff/vanity albums.
Joseph Calleja released an album of eclectic love songs, named (what else?) Amore. Hot on its heels is Vittorio Grigolo’s foray into an equally eclectic mix of religious songs, Ave Maria. On a slightly less fluffy level are Rolando Villazón’s album of Mozart concert arias, intriguingly entitled Mozart, and Juan Diego Flórez’s foray into the French spinto/heroic repertoire, named, naturellement, L’amour. Read more »
Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is opera on the grand scale with mellifluous arias and breathtaking duets that tell a tale of ancient Roman political machinations, adultery, and murder in which there is no true protagonist. This stunningly expressive music is performed by an all-star cast. Soprano Miah Persson, praised by The New York Times for her “sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism,” is joined by singers who have all won worldwide critical acclaim for their mastery of this beautiful repertoire. The Guardian wrote that “there are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano.” Alessandrini and company anchor a performance that promises to be one of the season’s most thrilling nights of opera.
UPDATE, Tuesday, 7:45 AM: The Met sent out a press release at 1:27 AM New York time today announcing major changes to its roster for the tour of Japan this month. La Cieca has revised the following gossip item (which appeared at 11 PM last night) to reflect the Met’s confirmations. Read more »
“Rolando Villazon brought in renowned mime and clown Nola Rae to help out with his directorial debut, Werther, which opened tonight in Lyon.” [Nouvel Observateur via Intermezzo]
As we look forward to New Year’s Eve and to the gala opening of Willy Decker’s La Traviata at the Met, it seems fitting to look back—by way of the official, live, DVD recording of the production’s sensational world premiere at the Salzburg Festival in 2005—to get some sense of what’s behind all the hype. Released in 2005 by Deutsche Grammophon, this recording promises an exciting evening for the Met’s audience on December 31st, but also raises the question of whether the New York premiere will live up to the high expectations set in Salzburg.
Congratulations to tenor Stephen Costello, who today was officially awarded the ceremonial title of Villazóneinspringer at the Vienna State Opera. No, actually, he’s jumping into two performances of La boheme, replacing Rolando Villazón, on September 6 and 9.
Every time La Cieca says she’s through once and for all reading Norman Lebrecht, that middlebrow minstrel of the maestro myth soars to new heights of noisomeness. This time (yet again) it’s about how utterly callous those silly opera singers are for canceling (imagine!) when they’re too sick to sing.
“Mexikanische Startenor” Rolando Villazón has canceled tomorrow night’s performance of L’elisir d’amore at the Munich Opera Festival due to an “acute infection.” Speaking of “a cute,” substituting in the role of Nemorino will be puppylicious Pavol Breslik. [via]