“Merry Widow final dress rehearsal was a big success! Renée is simply to die for!” [Facebook]
Christian Thielemann’s spirited, precise conducting and the superb, sumptuous playing of the Staatskapelle Dresden are the finest features of this strongly cast performance of Strauss’s Arabella, given a new staging for the 2014 Salzburg Easter Festival and released here on DVD by Unitel Classica. The production also celebrated Strauss’s 150th anniversary.
Arabella, the sixth and final collaboration of Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, is frequently considered the stepchild of Strauss’ wildly popular Der Rosenkavalier, and indeed it contains many similar elements—Viennese setting, instantaneous passion, a specific courtship ritual. Read more »
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is first among equals in a spectacular cast when she sings the title role of Ariodante in this season’s installment of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed cycle of Handel’s operas in concert. A brilliantly melodic work, the opera features outstanding arias for each of the principal singers, including Ariodante’s melancholy “Scherza infida” and show-stopping “Doppo note.” Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera. (Photo: Simon Pauly) Get tickets. Read more »
Cast changes (already) for San Francisco Opera: Ukrainian baritone Vitaliy Bilyy will sing Miller in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Luisa Miller opening Friday, September 11, replacing Thomas Hampson, “who after careful consideration has decided not to add this particular Verdi role to his repertoire prompting his withdrawal from the season opening production.” But wait, there’s more. Read more »
Vittorio Grigolo in the title role of the Met’s revival of Les Contes d’Hoffman is the opera version of the charming homeless drunk.
“I think a lot of his hallucinations can be compared to ultra-sensitivities and hallucinations of extremely gifted people,” Mr. Hampson said.
La Cieca has obtained this photo of Thomas Hampson headlining Camouflage Night at Powerhouse, uh, rehearsing for Heart of a Soldier at the San Francisco Opera. You can tell the scene is Northern Rhodesia in 1962, because that is where the British military first started offering complimentary personal training packages to their troops.