The experience of watching Wagner’s final opera Parsifal is frequently elevated to a spiritual occurrence, and productions have historically emphasized the religious dimension of the opera’s core themes of redemption and the dangers of temptation. Two recent productions, both mounted in recognition of Wagner’s bicentenary, offer a departure from such heady pseudo-sacred conventions, and allow the piece to stand on its own as a challenging, yet rewarding musical journey about the power of one young man—who does not even know his own name—to save a kingdom. Read more »
Sleep soundly tonight, Kasper Holten: your Vêpres Siciliennes casting problem has just been solved! 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]
La Cieca’s old, old, old friend Intermezzo (not pictured) reacts to last night’s prima of Manon at the Royal Opera: Anna Netrebko “sang strongly, the voice fuller and darker than ever before, looking gorgeous” and Vittorio Grigolo‘s “technique and stamina were truly spectacular.” The pair “were, deservedly, a huge hit with the audience…. authentic and vital.” The Laurent Pelly production offers “some stylish stage pictures, but his storytelling doesn’t hang together.” [Intermezzo]