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.

I’ll have to say I love you in a song I’ll have to say I love you in a song

Starting March 19, Vocal Arts DC’s latest virtual concert lavishes listeners with a sumptuous recital of art songs from the Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen.

on March 19, 2021 at 9:30 AM
‘Tristan’ minus one ‘Tristan’ minus one

Imagine my surprise then when I discovered a new recording of Tristan und Isolde released by Navona Records, a small label based in New Hampshire that primarily focuses on recitals of chamber music, solo works, and smaller ensemble pieces.

on November 25, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Talking to Tanja Ariane Baumgartner Talking to Tanja Ariane Baumgartner

The first part of a chat with the dramatic mezzo-soprano.

on April 06, 2020 at 2:50 PM
Anna Bellezza Anna Bellezza

Anna Netrebko’s voice to me sounds like a very expensive chocolate covered strawberry.

on November 01, 2019 at 11:10 AM
Raspberry bouquet Raspberry bouquet

Lise Davidsen, who makes her role debut tonight as Leonore in Fidelio, is still very early in what appears to be a most promising career.

on October 25, 2019 at 2:36 PM
Ha! Diese Stemme! Seine Stemme! Ha! Diese Stemme! Seine Stemme!

When I think of Nina Stemme’s voice, I think of gianduja, Armagnac soaked dark cherries, and chestnuts.

on October 17, 2019 at 4:01 PM
Killer queen Killer queen

Rossini’s Semiramide is a highly original and imaginative work of theater that impresses for its creative and beautifully scored orchestration, incisive recitatives and ensembles, and theatrically intriguing characters.

on October 08, 2019 at 9:00 AM
“I am finding my way as I go” “I am finding my way as I go”

The musical director of the Opera Royal de Wallonie at Liege is currently experiencing the early phase of a promising international career in music.

on September 16, 2019 at 9:30 AM
Wien disposition Wien disposition

Following classic recordings documenting the work of Karl Böhm and Herbert von Karajan. Orfeo’s 150 Years Wiener Staatsoper box moves on to new releases that are seeing their first incarnation on an officially available disc.

on August 24, 2019 at 12:03 PM
Wien to me Wien to me

Orfeo’s 150 Years box chronologically documents some of the finest nights of live opera from the Wiener Staatsoper in the years following its restoration in 1955.

on August 23, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Eventide Eventide

David Alden’s acclaimed production of Leos Janácek’s Jenufa was mounted for its final performance of the season during the evening that I experienced my first opera at Santa Fe.

on August 19, 2019 at 11:12 AM
The journey is the destination The journey is the destination

In this recital, the Polish bass-baritone Tomasz Konieczny and his pianist Lech Napierala present the world premiere recording of Stanislaw Baranczak‘s Podróz Zimowa (Winter’s Journey), which weds the poet’s meticulously crafted poetry to the music of Franz Schubert.

on July 23, 2019 at 9:49 AM
It’s the Minnesinger not the song It’s the Minnesinger not the song

Tannhäuser pales beside the other great Wagnerian operas in the degree to which it has innovated the Regisseur’s vocabulary for set design and dramaturgy.

on July 16, 2019 at 10:24 AM
Putting it together Putting it together

Riccardo Muti’s vision of Aida’s score largely emerged as one of subtlety, musicality, and restraint.

on June 25, 2019 at 11:13 AM
What we do in the shadows 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.

on June 04, 2019 at 10:00 AM
Upon arrival 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.

on June 02, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Revolution blues 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.

on May 30, 2019 at 2:03 PM
Something With a ‘Ring’ to It Something With a ‘Ring’ to It

Cycle II represented an embarrassment of musical riches.

on May 06, 2019 at 6:24 PM
Der Meisterdirigent Der Meisterdirigent

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

on April 15, 2019 at 1:36 PM
Meaty content Meaty content

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

on April 01, 2019 at 9:24 AM
Get in the ‘Ring’ Get in the ‘Ring’

Wagner’s Ring is an artistic masterpiece that is peerless in its ability to continually reveal layers of musical, theatrical, and philosophical insight

on March 18, 2019 at 4:09 PM
After the Fach After the Fach

I thought it would be a great exercise for commenters to organize something of a Parterre Fachbuch.

on February 25, 2019 at 10:00 AM
General Elektra General Elektra

Nina Stemme’s Elektra is familiar to me in three different incarnations.

on February 11, 2019 at 5:05 PM
The octogenarian muse The octogenarian muse

Helga Dernesch is the singer whom I largely credit for rekindling my love for opera.

on February 04, 2019 at 4:34 PM
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