Cher Public

Christian Ocier

Christian Ocier emerged fully formed one eros-filled evening from the nocturnal thrum of Tristan und Isolde’s Liebesnacht. During the Tag half of his life’s equation, he doubles as a pâtissier and a nanophotonic materials science Ph.D. student, a degree which he will soon complete at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Christian’s serious love for opera was sparked during his mid-teens after listening to Carlo Maria Giulini’s 5-Act Don Carlo. Eventually, his tastes gravitated to the dramas of Wagner, Strauss, Bartok, Janacek and Berg. To him few things make Nacht more transcendent than great performances of Tristan, Die Frau Ohne Schatten or Lulu—the trifecta of operas he adores the most. His tortes, entremets, and entrées honoring great musicians include La Stemme Divine (Nina Stemme), Le Grande Lise (Lise Davidsen), and Ravioli all’Ambrogio Maestri.

It’s the Minnesinger not the song

Until Tobias Kratzer’s new production of Tannhäuser opens this summer, the second of Wagner’s canonical dramas had been directed only six times since the Bayreuth Festival’s reinauguration in 1951. As a centerpiece of Wagner’s theatrically inclined institution, this makes Tannhäuser lag behind the Ring (seen in 11 different incarnations since Wieland’s revolutionary Neo-Bayreuth production), Lohengrin (eight productions, the most recent of which was spearheaded by Yuval Sharon last summer), and all the other operas (each having been directed seven times) in directorial novelty. Read more »

Putting it together

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra continued its storied tradition of presenting operas in concert with a luxuriously cast and immaculately played reading of  Aida, led in these June 2019 concerts by CSO music director Riccardo Muti. Read more »

What we do in the shadows

The Wiener Staatsoper commemorated its 150th anniversary with a musically sensational presentation of Richard Strauss’ Die Frau Ohne Schatten—an opera that incidentally celebrates its centenary later this October.  Read more »

Upon arrival

Lise Davidsen, the young Norwegian soprano who won the Operalia competition in 2015, makes her debut as a recording artist with the Decca label in a new recital of Wagner and Strauss arias and orchestral songs.  Read more »

Revolution blues

The opera proved somewhat puzzling—the score representing more a collage of fragmented and incidental musical ideas, and the libretto a turgid, slow-moving mass of purple prose.

Read more »

Something With a ‘Ring’ to It

Cycle II represented an embarrassment of musical riches.

Read more »

Der Meisterdirigent

Christian Thielemann is widely regarded as our time’s preeminent master of the Austro-German symphonic ensemble.

Read more »

Meaty content

I’d like to create a pasta dish in honor of Ambrogio Maestri’s art.

Read more »