Sleep soundly tonight, Kasper Holten: your Vêpres Siciliennes casting problem has just been solved! Read more »
What we have here is the grandest opera never heard—in spite of the fact that Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable made, arguably, the most sensational debut of any in the history of the Paris Opéra. The massive work was hailed by nearly every composer of its day as a masterpiece, save a few bitter pill takers—Herrs Wagner and Mendelssohn I’m looking at you—and then transcribed into concert pieces by many of them.
Staging innovations for that first production included the first use in Paris of the English theatrical trap door. It even started trends in dance that live on to this day with the invention of the ur-tutu and the introduction of the “ballet blanc” genre with the ladies of the corps all in white. Being immortalized by Degas twice in paint and having the singular distinction of being the only 19th Century opera to have a rose named after it hardly even scratches the veneer of how wildly popular Robert was in its heyday. Read more »
Kasper Holten, director of the hunkalicious film Juan as well as current artistic director of Royal Danish Opera, will succeed Elaine Padmore as director of opera at the Royal Opera House starting next year. [The Stage]
I saw the final dress rehearsal of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera House on Monday this week, and I think I have never seen the place so crowded for such an event. No wonder, for here was a cast you might dream of, in a highly finished piece of work mounted by one of our finest directors, shown without any perceptible hitch.
Trash television gets the “royal” treatment. [Danny Knows Best]