On Monday, the Met kicks off its 132nd season with a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde by Mariusz Trelinski, with Sir Simon Rattle leading a premiere cast of Nina Stemme, Ekaterina Gubanova, Stuart Skelton, Evgeny Nikitin and René Pape (not pictured). Read more »
I’m giving my age away here by saying that I am unfortunate enough to remember how Rudy Giuliani would sometimes drop by the Met airwaves and claim he was a “huge” opera fan. The most mild inquiries revealed that his knowledge of opera started at La traviata and ended at La bohème. But there is a sizable portion of opera audiences who only like the bread and butter Italian operas, and the annual Richard Tucker Gala is probably the event of the year to indulge your love of verismo staples and can belto screaming. 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.
Conceived to showcase homegrown star soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, the Metropolitan Opera’s much vaunted so-called “Tudor Ring” of three royal operas by Donizetti got off to a bumpy start Saturday afternoon with a revival of Anna Bolena that stubbornly refused to cohere either musically or dramatically. Read more »
Even before Italian diva Mariella Devia had completed the stunning high D natural that capped her miraculous portrayal of Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux Thursday evening at Carnegie Hall, tens, then hundreds of those in attendance leapt to their feet to shout their acclaim.
It appears that tenor Stephen Costello, whom some of you guessed was a subject of a recent blind item, is not so centrally involved in the controversy as was imagined.
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.
La Cieca just heard that Stephen Costello goes on tonight (i.e., in just a few hours) in Roméo et Juliette at the Salzburg Festival opposite Anna Netrebko. He’s jumping in for Piotr Beczala, who, if you ask Norman Lebrecht, is probably malingering with a South Seas cutie.
“Director Manfred Schweigkofler conceives a new production that pits the Capulets and Montagues against one another as dueling fashion houses. Against a backdrop of models, paparazzi and high style, Romeo and Juliet’s love for each other unfolds to its deadly conclusion.” [Opera Company of Philadelphia]
La Cieca has just heard that Stephen Costello is the 2009 Richard Tucker Award Winner.
In today’s Dallas Morning News, Scott Cantrell explains how Stephen Costello “steals [an] aging queen’s heart.”