BREAKING NEWS: Opera & Ballet http://feed.informer.com/digests/LGBZAJQZUY/feeder BREAKING NEWS: Opera & Ballet Respective post owners and feed distributors Tue, 06 May 2014 13:36:52 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Death and the maiden https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/death-and-the-maiden/ parterre box urn:uuid:a2e8307b-7125-1724-1e1b-a6fb2ff6267a Tue, 28 May 2024 14:00:20 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/death-and-the-maiden/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>“Sempre viva!”</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/death-and-the-maiden/">&lt;em&gt;Death&lt;/em&gt; and the maiden</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96017" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-05_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0306-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This drinking toast roughly translated as “Live Forever!” gets repeated throughout <em>Death Becomes Her</em>, a campy new musical adaptation of Universal Pictures&#8217; 1992 film comedy. This fantasy flick by director <strong>Robert Zemeckis</strong> famously deployed all kinds of Academy Award-winning special effects to transform Oscar-winners <strong>Meryl Streep</strong> and <strong>Goldie Hawn</strong> into rival Looney Tunes characters who did horrific bodily harm to each other after they both quaffed down an eternal life elixir.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Death Becomes Her</em> has been previewing in an out-of-town tryout at Chicago&#8217;s Cadillac Palace Theatre since April 30, and it features a savvy updated book by sitcom stalwart <strong>Marco Pennette</strong> (<em>Ugly Betty, Caroline in the City</em>) with a peppy, cinematic score by off-Broadway songwriters <strong>Julia Mattison</strong> and <strong>Noel Carey</strong> (<em>Is Anyone Alive Out There?</em>). The buzz around <em>Death Becomes Her </em>has been so positive that the show&#8217;s sole corporate producer, Universal Theatrical Group, <a href="https://playbill.com/article/death-becomes-her-musical-will-open-on-broadway-this-fall-starring-megan-hilty-and-jennifer-simard">announced</a> a fall New York transfer to Broadway&#8217;s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre nearly a week before Chicago theater critics could pass judgment at the musical&#8217;s official press opening on Sunday, March 19.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Now opera fans could easily mishear the <em>Death Becomes Her</em> exhalations of “Sempre viva!” as Violetta Valery&#8217;s Act I credo “Sempre libera!” (“Always Free”) from <strong>Verdi&#8217;s</strong> <em>La traviata</em>. And coincidentally, it&#8217;s another V-V named character in <em>Death Becomes Her </em>who is also the Faustian purveyor of the “Sempre viva!” toast: the scheming beauty Viola Van Horn who selectively shares her eternal life elixir to ensnare adherents into her elite undead cult.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">But for die-hard opera fans, <em>Death Becomes Her</em> will mostly bring to mind <strong>Leos Janacek&#8217;s</strong> 1926 operatic adaptation of <strong>Karel Capek&#8217;s</strong> 1922 play <em>Vec Makropulos </em>(often translated as <em>The Makropulos Case </em>or <em>The Makropulos Affair</em>). Both <em>Death Becomes Her </em>and <em>Vec Makropulos</em> explore fantastical what-if scenarios of stage divas who are blessed/cursed by a life-extending elixir.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Of the two, <em>Vec Makropulos </em>is understandably the more mysterious and intellectually serious. <em>Vec Makropulos</em> slowly reveals its details about a world-weary 337-year-old Greek opera diva who always goes by the initials E.M., but changes names as she disappears and reemerges throughout time.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Nearing the expiration date of her father&#8217;s death-defying formula, E.M. is forced to face up to her messy romantic past. In her wake, E.M. has created decades of bureaucratic inheritance litigation and uncomfortably experiences genealogical Oedipal Complex perplexities.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">By contrast, <em>Death Becomes Her </em>is far more concerned with slapstick Fun! Fun! Fun! and comic Camp! Camp! Camp! While <em>Vec Makropulos </em>becomes a tragic end-of-life rumination of a centuries-old singing survivor, <em>Death Becomes Her </em>is content just to be a surface farce of pettiness, jealousy and revenge among newly minted eternal divas locked in a love triangle.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=21JrgAkQ6Mg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=21JrgAkQ6Mg</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The musical opens with a prologue where a sexy and scantily-clad chorus introduces their leader: the statuesque Viola Van Horn (immortalized on screen by <strong>Isabella Rossellini</strong> and embodied onstage by <strong>Michelle Williams </strong>of <strong>Destiny&#8217;s Child </strong>girl group fame). Viola not only outlines the existence of her eternal life elixir with spooky music that wouldn&#8217;t feel out of place in <em>Kiss of the Spider Woman The Musical</em>, she also wears the first of many eye-popping bejeweled gowns by costume designer <strong>Paul Tazewell</strong> that would be the envy of any finalist on <strong>RuPaul&#8217;s Drag Race</strong>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">We then catch an over-the-top Broadway production number that in the film allowed <strong>Meryl Streep</strong> as the self-obsessed actress Madeline Ashton to sing a song called “Me<em>” </em>from an ill-conceived musical adaptation of <strong>Tennessee Williams</strong>&#8216;s <em>Sweet Bird of Youth</em>. Onstage, the show-within-a-show has been generically renamed <em>Me! Me! Me! </em>and it&#8217;s all blatant pandering to gay men as NBC-TV <em>Smash </em>star and <em>Noises Off! </em>Tony Award-nominee <strong>Megan Hilty </strong>gleefully assumes the shallow mantle of Madeline Ashton.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Singing a song with a repeated lyric along the lines of “I Do Anything for the Gays” (no song list was included in the tryout Playbill), Hilty then cycles through various 20<sup>th</sup> century Broadway and Hollywood divas and their iconic costumes. This number also introduces some body double trickery that not only allows for extra time to do costume changes, it also foreshadows an amazing Act I finale staircase falling effect that&#8217;s credited to the “Illusion Design” of <strong>Rob Lake</strong>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The show&#8217;s main romantic rivalry is spelled out next in Madeline&#8217;s dressing room. Her longtime friend/enemy is the writer Helen Sharp, initially played in deliberately dowdy mode in the film by <strong>Goldie Hawn</strong> and onstage by hilarious two-time Tony Award-nominee <strong>Jennifer Simard </strong>(<em>Company, Disaster!</em>).</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Helen thinks she can make Madeline jealous by showing off her virtuous fiance, a jet-setting plastic surgeon named Ernest Menville who specializes in repairing cleft palates and other charity medical work. <strong>Bruce Willis </strong>played Ernest in the film, while two-time Tony Award-nominee <strong>Christopher Sieber</strong> (<em>Spamalot, Shrek the Musical</em>) does great supporting work onstage.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Naturally, Madeline immediately sets her sights on stealing Ernest away from Helen. Not only will she spitefully cut down her less-famous friend, Madeline eagerly anticipates having discount in-house access to all of her future plastic surgery needs.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=90P8SvHCZxY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=90P8SvHCZxY</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Act I of <em>Death Becomes Her </em>is a rollicking delight thanks to such masterful musical comedy pros who can deliver both great comic timing and also sing up a storm with Mattison and Carey&#8217;s enjoyable score.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Simard&#8217;s deadpan delivery is perfect, especially when her Helen bitterly and sarcastically descends into obsessive vengeance mode. Hilty is also a consistent joy as she leans into Madeline&#8217;s gleeful superficiality and subsequent aging insecurities.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This is especially true when Simard&#8217;s Helen reemerges with a best-selling self-help book and a physical glow-up that threatens to eclipse Madeline&#8217;s starry self. Is it any wonder that Madeline seeks the supernatural quick-fix help offered up by the mysterious Viola?</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">In transforming the original <em>Death Becomes Her </em>screenplay by <strong>Martin Donovan</strong> and <strong>David Koepp</strong>, Pennette wisely creates many of his own comic zingers instead of just stealing what was laid down on celluloid. But Pennette knows to keep a few choice cinematic one-liners, especially after Madeline gulps down Viola&#8217;s eternal elixir and proclaims: “Now A Warning!?” (this line appears on select <em>Death Becomes Her </em>souvenir T-shirts).</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Yet, Act II of <em>Death Becomes Her </em>is a much bumpier ride. That&#8217;s despite several clever violent visual gags as Madeline and Helen wage physical war on each other. It&#8217;s all a great team effort of designers Tazewell, Lake, lighting designer <strong>Justin Townsend </strong>and scenic designer <strong>Derek McLane </strong>(who uses an elegant mix of Egyptian/Gothic physical scenery with perfectly timed projections).</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Despite their acknowledgment of their very violent actions, the quick Act II reconciliation between Madeline and Helen felt far too rushed. And I also missed all the macabre film humor of Ernest becoming California&#8217;s top mortician rather than just staying a plastic surgeon in the musical.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96019" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/02_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0307.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/02_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0307.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/02_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0307-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/02_DEATH_BECOMES_HER_CHICAGO_0307-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This career switch removes one of the film&#8217;s juicier plot revelations. That&#8217;s when Viola acknowledges that the only reason she allowed Madeline and Helen to join her eternal fold was so that they all could benefit from the upkeep of Ernest&#8217;s artistic expertise at making the dead appear lifelike. Without this scheming motivation for Viola, there isn&#8217;t much for Williams to dramatically do with Pennette&#8217;s script other than to look fabulous and to sing the hell out of her songs.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Though Sieber doesn&#8217;t get as much stage time as his leading ladies, he does get a big Act II motivational (and hallucinatory) number as Ernest tipsily steels up his courage to help Madeline and Helen to become whole again. There&#8217;s a surprising visual button for this number, but it feels like songwriters Mattison and Carey need to fine-tune it even more to get the maximum comedy mileage out of the song.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">With <em>Death Becomes Her, </em>Tony Award-winning choreographer <strong>Christopher Gattelli </strong>(<em>Newsies</em>) is adding on the title of first-time Broadway director on top of all his duties in designing the show&#8217;s many dances. What Gattelli accomplishes is all very respectable and fast-paced, though there are moments in Act II where it&#8217;s clear that the chorus is dancing as vamping to cover for the next complicated scenic or costume change.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Though its transformation from screen to stage isn&#8217;t perfect just yet, <em>Death Becomes Her </em>certainly can be celebrated for all of its campy humor. And it&#8217;s also heartening to see how the musical is unabashedly acknowledging the many LGBTQ+ audiences who will likely lap it all up.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As a contemporary stage comedy in the tradition of <em>The Producers </em>and <em>Urinetown, Death Becomes Her </em>fits into the category of musicals brazenly operating in a self-aware mode. Not that there&#8217;s inherently anything wrong with that, but perhaps the <em>Death Becomes Her </em>writing team could inject just a tad more deep questioning around the consequences of eternal life like in <em>Vec Makropulos </em>before their show hits Broadway. Not that the dueling heroines of <em>Death Becomes Her </em>need any significant depth to succeed and survive on stage. After all, Madeline Ashton and Helen Sharp have always been captivating cartoons since their origins on the silver screen.</p> <p><em>Photos: Matthew Murphy &amp; Evan Zimmerman, 2024</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/death-and-the-maiden/">&lt;em&gt;Death&lt;/em&gt; and the maiden</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> The red attachment of women https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/the-red-attachment-of-women/ parterre box urn:uuid:6de8df1a-9224-30b7-922c-dde7c31fd3ef Tue, 28 May 2024 13:00:04 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/the-red-attachment-of-women/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Washington National Opera’s final production of the season, seen May 22, is also its high point: a new <em>Turandot </em>directed by <strong>Francesca Zambello</strong>, updated to the 20<sup>th</sup> century and featuring the world premiere of a completion of Puccini’s score by composer <strong>Christopher Tin</strong> and playwright and screenwriter <strong>Susan Soon He Stanton</strong>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/the-red-attachment-of-women/">The red attachment of women</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96117" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-with-Ewa-Plonka-as-Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">After an uneven record this past year—deeply misguided Met co-production <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2023/10/31/soar-losers/">Grounded</a></em>, a serviceable <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2023/11/07/that-which-we-call-a-rosa/">Romeo et Juliette</a></em>, and marginal <strong>Offenbach</strong> remix <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/03/13/bird-brain/">Songbird</a></em>—this was a reminder of the kind of well-cast and thoughtful production of the standard rep the company is capable of.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Polish soprano <strong>Ewa Plonka</strong>’s appearances in the U.S. have been limited so far (most recently a Dallas Tosca) but she has become a steady presence on major European stages in the heavy Verdi and <strong>Puccini</strong> repertoire, with her Turandot appearing in Berlin and Madrid and coming next year to Covent Garden. Her pure, focused soprano is most at home in the role’s stratospheric confines, offering perhaps a lighter timbre than usually heard in this role, with minimal dramatic coloring.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Yet the voice has a tremendous cutting power that focuses your attention and thrillingly pops through the most punishing full orchestra and chorus onslaught like the Act II finale. Her sound seemed less interesting in the occasional foray down the staff, but that is not much of a distraction in <em>Turandot</em>. Her take on the princess in Act II was confident and worldly, in line with the updated staging, and almost diabolical in the riddle scene, a middle-kingdom Ortrud.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96120" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Masabane-Cecilia-Rangwanasha-Liu_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Masabane-Cecilia-Rangwanasha-Liu_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Masabane-Cecilia-Rangwanasha-Liu_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Masabane-Cecilia-Rangwanasha-Liu_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Calaf was sung by the American tenor <strong>Jonathan Burton</strong> at this performance, standing in for an indisposed <strong>Yonghoon Lee</strong>. Burton brought a pleasing warmth and musicality to the role, his voice blooming into a satisfying top able to bring off the part’s signature moments. Yet it lacked that passionate edge that usually allows tenors to cut through the work’s substantial forces and was sometimes at the mercy of the orchestra. Dramatically, Burton was largely limited to off-the-shelf tenor gesturing, though he revealed some deeper insights in Calaf’s expanded material in the new ending.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The most memorable singing of the evening was reserved for <strong>Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha</strong>’s Liu. Winner of the Cardiff song prize and an overall finalist in 2021, Liu is one of her few staged roles as Rangwanasha spends much of her time concertizing. Her smoky soprano was a beautiful fit for this music, reserved and poignant in a controlled reading of “Signore, Ascolta!” with delicate, chill-inducing high notes. “Tu, che di gel sei cinta” in Act III was likewise devastating, the opening seeming to unfold in one long unbroken phrase.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Highlights of a strong supporting cast included veteran <strong>Neil Shicoff</strong>’s thoughtful Emperor, bass <strong>Peixin Chen</strong>’s affecting Timur, and an imposing opening to the evening from bass-baritone <strong>Le Bu</strong>’s Mandarin. The trio of advisors (<strong>Ehan Vincent, Sahel Salam</strong>, and <strong>Jonathan Pierce Rhodes</strong>), thankfully renamed in this production, made much of the opening of Act II especially in the wistful bureaucrats’ daydream section, though some coordination problems with the pit marred their Act I interjections.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96119" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Ethan-Vincent-Chancellor_-Jonathan-Pierce-Rhodes-Head-Chef_Sahel-Salam-Majordomo_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Ethan-Vincent-Chancellor_-Jonathan-Pierce-Rhodes-Head-Chef_Sahel-Salam-Majordomo_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Ethan-Vincent-Chancellor_-Jonathan-Pierce-Rhodes-Head-Chef_Sahel-Salam-Majordomo_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Ethan-Vincent-Chancellor_-Jonathan-Pierce-Rhodes-Head-Chef_Sahel-Salam-Majordomo_WNO_Turandot_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Maestro <strong>Speranza Scapucci</strong> led a strong performance in the pit, setting an urgent, relentless pace in the extended Act I orchestra and chorus sequence and nicely highlighting inventive details in Puccini’s score with excellent support from the band’s winds and brass. The Washington National Opera chorus turned in a vital reading of Puccini’s extensive choral material, with some standout work by the tenor section in exposed passages.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Zambello’s update puts the action in a 20<sup>th</sup> century regime loosely inspired by communist China (nevermind the princess). It’s an effective choice, quickly telegraphing the degree to which Turandot’s kingdom has been degraded by constant violence, a point that is harder to make with glittery papier-mâché dragon heads everywhere. Factory-like catwalk structures dominate the stage (set design by <strong>Wilson Chin</strong>) while the throne room is set against a backdrop of large industrial fans. Costumes (by <strong>Linda Cho</strong>) place the kingdom’s wretched as displaced peoples and mark the militaristic nature of the elite in this society. Uniform-clad women from the Washington National Opera Corps Dancers, perhaps on loan from Act II of <em>Nixon in China</em>, added visual interest to the transitions in choreography by <strong>Jessica Lang</strong> and <strong>Kanji Segawa</strong>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Now about that ending. The collaborators’ take on the typically heard “<strong>Alfano</strong> II” ending is that 1) Turandot’s change of heart is not rooted in a sufficiently developed sense of her character and 2) Calaf’s forced kiss as the trigger of that change is an offensive trope and not believable. To address these issues, Turandot gets a lot more to say after “Principessa di Morte,” providing more back story about sexual violence that she suffered herself and emphasizing how her ruthlessness has grown out of concerns for her kingdom. In lieu of the kiss, Calaf spends time making his case to the princess that mercy is a better policy than constant executions.</p> <p><a href=" <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRnSNpfwN1c&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRnSNpfwN1c</a></p> <p></a></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Musically, Tin incorporates the same fragments Puccini left at his death, though often in novel ways—for instance, the tune for “Mio Fiore,” usually Calaf’s insistent love song, becomes a part of Turandot’s memory of her assault. The neo-romantic mode of Tin’s orchestration feels broadly continuous with the main score, though Tin adds some interesting details from traditional Chinese music and instrumentation. The seams are more visible in the vocal writing, which becomes decidedly fussier and less direct in the new material.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">On paper, this is certainly a more thorough justification for the happy ending than we get usually get, but the dramatic payoff feels no less abrupt and unearned, if by different means. Turandot’s additional exposition is thoughtfully revealed in the moment, but can’t help but feel like a bit of ungainly fanfic appended at the 11<sup>th</sup> hour. Moreover, watching Calaf assume the role of life coach guiding Turandot to better decisions comes is perhaps too sympathetic a turn and rankles after all of his terrible, myopic behavior.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Once Turandot turns the corner, the usual ending at least gets to the curtain quickly before the audience has too much time to nitpick the outcome. Tin and Stanton’s completion seems to put a happy bow on every loose end, including some belated justice for Liu. Some of Tin’s original themes, introduced as we shift into the happy ending, exacerbate that disconnect, with a cloying modern affect that too neatly wipes away all the night and horror we’ve just witnessed.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96121" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-3_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-3_photo-by-Cory-Weaver.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-3_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Scene-from-WNO-Turandot-3_photo-by-Cory-Weaver-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As a quarter hour of music taken on its own terms there are moments to enjoy here, but this does not feel like a significantly more successful “solution” to the ending. Indeed, it may be further from that goal than the Alfano, as the glorious conclusion is easier to buy under a continuation of the libretto’s fairy-tale adjacent logic than reliance on Calaf’s powers of persuasion alone. These are not very nice characters (characters in a fairy tale often aren’t) but the new libretto seems to want us to better understand their actions <em>and</em> like them more, a tall order with such limited real estate.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Or perhaps Alfano’s detractors should agree that the happy ending can never really satisfy, abandon the original material and give us something in a tragic vein: Calaf’s reckless horniness finally catches up to him as Turandot reveals that she has tricked him into revealing his name, cackling manically upstage as he is led away to the chopping block to a minor-key “Nessun Dorma” reprise. Curtain.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Photos: Cory Weaver</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/the-red-attachment-of-women/">The red attachment of women</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Wird’s nicht eine schöne Welt? https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/wirds-nicht-eine-schone-welt/ parterre box urn:uuid:f730c85b-4f6d-49e8-3cb2-4e21ce69bb58 Tue, 28 May 2024 10:00:15 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/wirds-nicht-eine-schone-welt/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dietrich-fischer-dieskau-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dietrich-fischer-dieskau-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dietrich-fischer-dieskau-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dietrich-fischer-dieskau-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dietrich-fischer-dieskau-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dietrich-fischer-dieskau-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1925 baritone <strong>Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/wirds-nicht-eine-schone-welt/">Wird’s nicht eine schöne Welt?</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf4nGR_9xdQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf4nGR_9xdQ</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Born on this day in 1943 soprano <strong>Elena Souliotis</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhjXeW-5BxA&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhjXeW-5BxA</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries composers <strong>Thomas Moore</strong> (1779),<strong> Léon Vasseur</strong> (1844), <strong>Riccardo Zandonai </strong>(1883), <strong>José Padilla</strong> (1889), <strong>György Ligeti</strong> (1923), and <strong>Peter Westergaard</strong> (1931),<br /> baritone <strong>Sándor Svéd</strong> (1904),<br /> conductor <strong>Nicola Rescigno</strong> (1916),<br /> opera record and video producer <strong>John Culshaw</strong> (1924),<br /> and bass <strong>Richard Van Allan</strong> (1935)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 89th birthday soprano <strong>Franca Fabbri</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/28/wirds-nicht-eine-schone-welt/">Wird’s nicht eine schöne Welt?</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Revolutionary Fervour: Tosca at the Bayerische Staatsoper https://operatraveller.com/2024/05/27/revolutionary-fervour-tosca-at-the-bayerische-staatsoper/ operatraveller urn:uuid:215989d1-7e15-fda4-e7e7-763fb20f7ac0 Mon, 27 May 2024 18:47:16 +0000 Puccini – Tosca Floria Tosca – Eleonora BurattoMario Cavaradossi – Charles CastronovoIl barone Scarpia – Ludovic TézierCesare Angelotti – Milan SiljanovIl sagrestano – Martin SnellSciarrone – Christian RiegerSpoletta – Tansel AkzeybekUn carciere – Paweł HorodyskiUn pastore – Soloist from the Tölzer Knabenchor Kinderchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Münchner Knabenchor, Bayerischer Staatsopernchor, Bayerisches Staatsorchester / Andrea Battistoni.Stage [&#8230;] <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Puccini – <em>Tosca</em></strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Floria Tosca – Eleonora Buratto<br>Mario Cavaradossi – Charles Castronovo<br>Il barone Scarpia – Ludovic Tézier<br>Cesare Angelotti – Milan Siljanov<br>Il sagrestano – Martin Snell<br>Sciarrone – Christian Rieger<br>Spoletta – Tansel Akzeybek<br>Un carciere – Paweł Horodyski<br>Un pastore – Soloist from the Tölzer Knabenchor</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Kinderchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Münchner Knabenchor, Bayerischer Staatsopernchor, Bayerisches Staatsorchester / Andrea Battistoni.<br>Stage director – Kornél Mundruczó.</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Bayerische Staatsoper, Nationaltheater, Munich, Germany.&nbsp; Sunday, May 26th, 2024.</strong></p> <p>I’m often surprised by how many people go to the opera for a pleasant and relaxing evening and choose to see <em>Tosca.</em>&nbsp; A work that contains torture, sexual assault, and the oppressive power of a clerical dictatorship.&nbsp; For this new production at the Bayerische Staatsoper, stage director Kornél Mundruczó and conductor Andrea Battistoni certainly don’t shy away from the violence in this score and libretto.&nbsp; This run is also notable for two significant role debuts, Eleonora Buratto in the title role and Charles Castronovo as Cavaradossi.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__308456ce59.jpg"><img width="683" height="1024" data-attachment-id="7891" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_c-castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__308456ce59/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__308456ce59.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,2880" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2__308456ce59" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__308456ce59.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__308456ce59.jpg?w=683" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__308456ce59.jpg?w=683" alt="" class="wp-image-7891" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>I have to admit to some, what the Germans call, ‘Vorfreude’ when I saw the trailer the house put up online prior to the opening.&nbsp; The 1970s setting, with costumes and sets by Monika Pormale, looked terrific and promised a cogent updating to an era when clerical dictatorships still existed in Europe.&nbsp; Sadly, that initial excitement was somewhat mitigated.&nbsp; Mundruczó’s Act 1 is a mess, frankly.&nbsp; Rather than giving us a logical updating, Mundruczó presents the action as Cavaradossi incarnating Pier Paolo Pasolini in his final days, filming his controversial movie <em>Salò</em>.&nbsp; We see Cavaradossi directing images from the film in front of us, with actors in various states of undress.&nbsp; Making Cavaradossi a filmmaker is quite an intelligent idea.&nbsp; Yet here, it’s rendered illogical since it made no sense that the Sagrestano would be an actor reading his lines, while later celebrating the upcoming concert by Floria Tosca.&nbsp; The act ends with a shocking image, a crowd of revolutionaries being beaten by Scarpia’s police.&nbsp; It was exceptionally powerful to see and in a different context would have been extremely potent.&nbsp; But it made no sense that this would take place under a huge statue of the Madonna that had been brought in by a group of monks showing up at the film set.&nbsp; Does Scarpia walk around with an entourage of Madonna-carrying monks?</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_45a4b4d568.jpg"><img width="683" height="1024" data-attachment-id="7897" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_e-buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_45a4b4d568/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_45a4b4d568.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,2880" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_c_Wilfried_Hoesl_45a4b4d568" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_45a4b4d568.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_45a4b4d568.jpg?w=683" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_45a4b4d568.jpg?w=683" alt="" class="wp-image-7897" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>Fortunately, things improved enormously in Acts 2 and 3.&nbsp; The shepherd’s song was accompanied by images of Pasolini’s earlier movies, as was ‘E lucevan le stelle’ and it felt fitting with that introspective and wistful moment.&nbsp; More successful still was Act 2.&nbsp; Taking place in a lavish yet claustrophobic home, with a torture chamber in the basement that the stage rose to reveal, the concentrated claustrophobic violence of the drama was inescapable.&nbsp; The torture of Cavaradossi was horrifyingly brought to life in front of us, Castronovo was physically fearless here, while Tosca’s journey from bejewelled diva, to victim of sexual assault, to self-defence was also played out for us with unbearable intensity.&nbsp; Mundruczó has a group of women join Tosca after the murder.&nbsp; I’m not sure here if he’s saying that Tosca was just one of many, or drawing parallels with Pasolini’s treatment of his actors in Salò.&nbsp; Still, the final moments of Act 3 were appropriately gruesome.&nbsp; At its best, Mundruczó’s staging felt that it stripped away the years of tradition from this oft-performed work and presented us with the shock and horror within as new to us.&nbsp; Which makes it all the more frustrating that Act 1 was such an illogical mess.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__b830005ee5.jpg"><img width="723" height="482" data-attachment-id="7896" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_e-buratto_c-castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__b830005ee5/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__b830005ee5.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,1280" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2__b830005ee5" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__b830005ee5.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__b830005ee5.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__2__b830005ee5.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7896" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>Battistoni led a reading that was bold and extrovert.&nbsp; He was unafraid to let the Bayerisches Staatsorchester rip, who responded with significant volume.&nbsp; By and large he let the singers through, but Scarpia’s murder could have had some reduced decibels in the orchestra and been kinder to the singers.&nbsp; Battistoni built up the ‘Te deum’ masterfully and Scarpia’s entrance prior to that was utterly terrifying in its brassy percussiveness.&nbsp; Just as with Mundruczó’s staging, the way that Battistoni brought out the richness and modernity of the harmonies, it frequently felt that we were hearing this familiar score for the first time.&nbsp; His tempi felt utterly right throughout, with Act 2 growing in inexorable tension.&nbsp; The Staatsorchester gave us a more than decent simulation of an Italian band, the strings with long, cantabile lines, and the brass was excellent.&nbsp; The choruses were unanimous in approach in their brief interjections.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_l.tezier_c_wilfried_hoesl_72f3c257f3.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="682" height="1023" data-attachment-id="7898" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_e-buratto_l-tezier_c_wilfried_hoesl_72f3c257f3/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_l.tezier_c_wilfried_hoesl_72f3c257f3.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,2881" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_L.Tezier_c_Wilfried_Hoesl_72f3c257f3" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_l.tezier_c_wilfried_hoesl_72f3c257f3.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_l.tezier_c_wilfried_hoesl_72f3c257f3.jpg?w=682" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_e.buratto_l.tezier_c_wilfried_hoesl_72f3c257f3.jpg?w=682" alt="" class="wp-image-7898" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>I must admit to a little skepticism when I saw that Buratto had replaced Anja Harteros in the title role for this new production.&nbsp; I feared it was too early for this fabulous singer to take the next step into this role.&nbsp; I needn’t have worried.&nbsp; Right from her opening phrases, it was clear that Buratto was born to sing this role.&nbsp; You could hear the hours of work in the studio that had gone into preparing this debut, as she negotiated the tessitura with fluent ease.&nbsp; Her diction and ability to colour the text gave so much pleasure.&nbsp; Perhaps with a more sensitive conductor, she could pull back a little more and find more introspection in the line ‘sempre con fé sincera’ in her ‘Vissi d’arte’.&nbsp; That celebrated aria was filled with so much meaning, however, and her ‘Questo è il bacio di Tosca’ was genuinely thrilling – and gloriously Italian.&nbsp; Yes, her final ‘Dio’ was a bit sharp, but the sheer strength she brought to it had me on the edge of my seat.&nbsp; Tonight, Buratto moved and thrilled me in equal measure.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__3__6a27e7014a.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="682" height="1023" data-attachment-id="7892" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_c-castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__3__6a27e7014a/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__3__6a27e7014a.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,2881" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__3__6a27e7014a" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__3__6a27e7014a.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__3__6a27e7014a.jpg?w=682" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_c_wilfried_hoesl__3__6a27e7014a.jpg?w=682" alt="" class="wp-image-7892" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>Castronvo is a singer who has judged and paced his career superbly, taking on the right roles at the right time.&nbsp; Having given us so many memorable Rodolfos and Ruggeros over the years, Cavaradossi is a natural next step for Castronovo to take in this, his forty-ninth year.&nbsp; He gave us a generously sung ‘Recondita armonia’, perhaps too generous as there was a little pressure on the tone and the vibrations started to widen.&nbsp; Then, Castronovo hit his stride and gave us a Cavaradossi of such romantic ardour in his characteristically warm and handsome tenor.&nbsp; His ode to Tosca’s brown eyes was sung with real poetry, and he allowed the voice to ring out thrillingly in his ‘vittoria’s, holding them for just the right length to be exciting rather than gratuitous.&nbsp; But it was his ‘E lucevan le stelle’ that will stay with me.&nbsp; He sang it with genuine introspection, endlessly long phrases showing masterful breath control, the support superb giving him the ability modulate the dynamics with great poetry.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__5__17dbbf9612.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="723" height="482" data-attachment-id="7894" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__5__17dbbf9612/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__5__17dbbf9612.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,1281" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__5__17dbbf9612" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__5__17dbbf9612.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__5__17dbbf9612.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__5__17dbbf9612.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7894" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>Ludovic Tézier’s Scarpia was sung in a massive column of sound.&nbsp; He was unphased by the tumult emerging from the pit in the ‘Te deum’, ringing out thrillingly over the noise below.&nbsp; Yet, as with the best Scarpias, Tézier was frighteningly quotidian in his evil.&nbsp; The way he seemed to show pride in his sadism, singing with such firmness of tone and clarity of text was horrifying.&nbsp; The voice sounded utterly healthy throughout.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__7__e812d8cf6c.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="723" height="482" data-attachment-id="7895" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__7__e812d8cf6c/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__7__e812d8cf6c.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,1280" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__7__e812d8cf6c" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__7__e812d8cf6c.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__7__e812d8cf6c.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c_wilfried_hoesl__7__e812d8cf6c.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7895" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>The remaining cast reflected the excellent standards of the house.&nbsp; Martin Snell gave us an appropriately world-weary Sagrestano.&nbsp; Milan Siljanov was a big-voiced Angelotti, sung in a handsome bass.&nbsp; Tansel Akzeybek was an extrovert Spoletta, with a fetish for Tosca’s scarf, while Paweł Horodyski made much of little as the Carciere.&nbsp; The Pastore, a member of the Tölzer Knabenchor, sang confidently.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_aa88443fc8.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="682" height="1023" data-attachment-id="7893" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/csm_tosca_2024_c-castronovo_e-buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_aa88443fc8/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_aa88443fc8.jpg" data-orig-size="1920,2881" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="csm_Tosca_2024_C.Castronovo_E.Buratto_c_Wilfried_Hoesl_aa88443fc8" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Wilfried Hösl&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_aa88443fc8.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_aa88443fc8.jpg?w=682" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/csm_tosca_2024_c.castronovo_e.buratto_c_wilfried_hoesl_aa88443fc8.jpg?w=682" alt="" class="wp-image-7893" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Wilfried Hösl</figcaption></figure> <p>I left the theatre tonight thrilled after a terrific evening of opera.&nbsp; The overall impression of the evening was very positive.&nbsp; Mundruczó’s staging really hits the mark in Acts 2 and 3, while Act 1 is an incoherent mess.&nbsp; Battistoni’s conducting felt revolutionary, even if he could have pulled back on the decibels.&nbsp; But it was the performances of the principal trio that will stay with me.&nbsp; Each giving such convincing musical and dramatic performances.&nbsp; The end of Act 1 saw some boors booing.&nbsp; But I guess they then went home, since the final curtain was met with huge ovations for the cast from the Munich pub The Wrong Bashir https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/ operaramblings urn:uuid:4e427662-23e8-1694-5978-ae7674d0144d Mon, 27 May 2024 16:10:22 +0000 The Wrong Bashir by Zahida Rahemtulla is currently playing at Crow&#8217;s Theatre in a production directed by Paolo Santalucia.  The story is set in the Isma&#8217;ili community in Toronto and all the families concerned were among those kicked out of &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><em>The Wrong Bashir</em> by Zahida Rahemtulla is currently playing at Crow&#8217;s Theatre in a production directed by Paolo Santalucia.  The story is set in the Isma&#8217;ili community in Toronto and all the families concerned were among those kicked out of Uganda by Idi Amin.  Quite a lot of the story concerns Isma&#8217;ili religious institutions and practices about which I am woefully ignorant.  Not knowing doesn&#8217;t detract from the experience of seeing the play and I have used circumlocutions below rather than try and figure out the technical terms used in the play</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38093" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/twb1/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb1.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716137955&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;35&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1250&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="twb1" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb1.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38093 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb1.jpg" alt="twb1" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p><span id="more-38088"></span>So, Bashir is a student who has yet to find his &#8220;path&#8221;.  Nominally at least he&#8217;s studying philosophy but he seems to spend most of his time hawking &#8220;podcasts&#8221; on cassette tapes around trendy cafes.  His podcasts are based on a jumbled mixture of Nihilism and Existentialism (didn&#8217;t we all have a go at those along with Marxism?).  He&#8217;s now living at home again because he&#8217;s run out of money.  He has a younger sister and parents who have all the usual aspirations that first generation immigrants have for their kids along with a keen desire to be respected in their own community.  There&#8217;s also a grandfather with dementia, his wife and her nosy/gossipy friend.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38094" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/twb2/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb2.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716138690&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;900&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.004&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="twb2" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb2.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb2.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38094 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb2.jpg" alt="twb2" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>The fun starts when two members of &#8220;the committee&#8221; arrive to tell Bashir&#8217;s parents that he has been appointed as some kind of very prestigious student religious leader despite not going to prayers or engaging with the religious community in any way.  He could, of course, just refuse but that would devastate his parents; especially since, although it&#8217;s supposed to be a secret, everybody already knows.  It&#8217;s obvious very early on what has happened but it isn&#8217;t formally revealed until the end.  meanwhile all sorts of shenanigans of a largely predictable sort go on.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38095" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/twb3/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb3.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716139147&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;52&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;720&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="twb3" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb3.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb3.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38095 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb3.jpg" alt="twb3" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>It&#8217;s very much of the inter-generational immigrant family genre but distinctly at the comically absurd end of the spectrum.  Tight direction and some excellent comic acting generate lots of laughs, even if some of the comedy is a bit cringy (and how you relate to Alzheimer&#8217;s jokes may also play a part).</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38096" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/twb4/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb4.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716139471&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;36&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1250&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="twb4" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb4.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb4.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38096 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb4.jpg" alt="twb4" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>There are some excellent performances.  I particularly liked Sharjil Rasool as Bashir and Bren Eastcott as his sister.  They both play much younger characters convincingly.  There&#8217;s a sympathetic portrayal of the father by Sugith Varughese.  Vijay Mehta and Parm Soor spark off each other nicely as the committee men trying to find their way out of a whole.  Salim Rahemtulla plays the difficult part of the grandfather most sympathetically.  There&#8217;s a sense in which the three adult women characters are all stereotypes but Nimet Kanji, as the mother, Zaittun Esmail as the grandmother and Pamela Mala Sinha as the gossipy Gulzar make the most of what they have to work with.  The set and lighting, by Ken Mackenzie, cleverly allow for some sense of separate spaces.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38097" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/twb5/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb5.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716140397&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;27&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="twb5" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb5.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb5.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38097 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb5.jpg" alt="twb5" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>It&#8217;s a first play and like many first plays/novels there are both autobiographical and &#8220;coming of age&#8221; elements that sometimes feel a bit clichéd but, helped by excellent work from director and cast, it still manages to be a very funny, enjoyable and, occasionally, thought provoking couple of hours of theatre.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38098" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/twb6/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb6.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716140671&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;48&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;500&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="twb6" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb6.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb6.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38098 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb6.jpg" alt="twb6" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p><em>The Wrong Bashir</em> runs at Crow&#8217;s theatre until June 9th.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38099" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/27/the-wrong-bashir/twb7/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb7.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716144692&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;43&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;500&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="twb7" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb7.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb7.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38099 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/twb7.jpg" alt="twb7" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>Photo credits: Dahlia Katz.</p> Monuments man https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/monuments-man/ parterre box urn:uuid:e83ce205-5e16-b91c-4e6d-882181691419 Mon, 27 May 2024 13:00:16 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/monuments-man/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>It has been a great season for prolific Bay Area composer <strong>Jake Heggie</strong>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/monuments-man/">Monuments man</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96095" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-main.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-main.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-main-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-main-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Shortly after his first opera <em>Dead Man Walking</em> <a href="https://parterre.com/2023/09/28/nun-of-a-kind/">opened</a> the Metropolitan Opera’s season last September in a brand-new production, his latest <em>Intelligence</em> – inspired by the true story of two Civil War spies <strong>Elizabeth Van Lew</strong> and <strong>Mary Jane Bowser</strong> – graced Brown Theater to start Houston Grand Opera’s 2023-24 season. Next year, a new mounting of his much-acclaimed 2010 <em>Moby Dick</em> is scheduled to set sail at the Metropolitan Opera with a great cast led by <strong>Brandon Jovanovich</strong> as Captain Ahab.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Seemingly unfazed by all those big shows, last week Heggie, with his frequent collaborator, librettist <strong>Gene Scheer</strong>, unveiled a new one-act opera titled <em>Before It All Goes Dark</em> (shortened <em>Dark</em>, subsequently) with a three-city world premiere tour that started in Seattle on May 19, followed by San Francisco (seen on May 22) and ended in Chicago on May 25 and 26. <em>Dark</em> was commissioned by <a href="https://musicofremembrance.org/">Music of Remembrance</a>, a Seattle-based performing arts organization “focused on human rights and social justice … evolved from an initial focus on Holocaust remembrance to honoring the resilience of all people excluded or persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, gender or sexuality” as part of their 25<sup>th</sup>anniversary milestone. In fact, <em>Dark</em> marked Heggie’s fifth commission from Music of Remembrance, the first three being one-act operas on themes of persecution during the Holocaust, namely <em>For a Look or a Touch</em> (2007), <em>Another Sunrise</em> (2012), and <em>Farewell, Auschwitz</em> (2013). Heggie incorporated all three into a full-length opera <em>Out of Darkness </em>(2013), which Music of Remembrance premiered in 2016 and can be heard on <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/0heeb4hnJCs4ngMb6zkg20">Naxos recording</a>. As a sidenote, Heggie extensively revised the work further and renamed it <em>Two Remain</em>, and the final work premiered at the Atlanta Opera in 2018.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96097" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-mckinny.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-mckinny.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-mckinny-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-mckinny-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Dark</em> told the tragic real-life story of Gerald “Mac” McDonald, “a troubled and aging Vietnam veteran who learned that he was the sole heir to a priceless art collection stolen by the Nazis from a great-great uncle whom he’d never even heard of.” It was based on an article by Chicago Tribune journalist <strong>Howard Reich</strong> titled <em>Mac’s Journey</em>, which was published as two parts: “<a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/2002/10/17/confronting-the-ghosts-of-a-looted-past/">Confronting the ghosts of a looted past</a>” and “<a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/2002/10/18/retracing-a-tragic-course-2/">Retracing a tragic course</a>.” In the program, Music of Remembrance Artistic Director <strong>Mina Miller</strong> detailed the opera further, saying, “[the] opera takes us along on his arduous journey to Prague and beyond in search of this inheritance. We’re with him on a voyage of self-discovery as he absorbs the transformative power of art itself, and as he finds identity in the Jewish heritage that had been hidden from him.”</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">On Wednesday May 22, the presentation began with conversation among Heggie, Reich and Miller, discussing the creative process of creating the opera and its source. Reich was literally the person that discovered that Mac was the sole living descendent of <strong>Emil Freund</strong>, a prominent Jewish businessman killed by the Nazis in 1942. He even traveled with Mac to Prague and Lódz to chronicle the event – essentially living the scenes of the opera – and witnessed first-hand the transformative effects of encountering Freund’s 30 paintings and learning of his life and death. In fact, in the <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/classical-music/vietnam-war-vet-discovers-hes-heir-to-art-stolen-by-nazis-now-its-an-opera/">interview</a> with <strong>Thomas May</strong> published by Seattle Times, Reich said: “This opened the door for me the next year to pursue the truth of my own family in ‘Prisoner of Her Past.’ So this experience changed both our lives.” (<em>Prisoner of Her Past</em> was the title of Reich’s memoir recounting his mother’s struggle with PTSD as a Holocaust survivor.)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpRgXukEkeQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpRgXukEkeQ</a></p> <p>?si=vK0WhX_ogN8NEHJI</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">On the creative side, Heggie explained that while <em>Dark</em> was based on <em>Mac’s Journey</em>, Scheer concocted the libretto from what made sense story-wise, including adding characters in the form of a concerned neighbor Sally, a curator at the Jewish Museum Misha, and, in the final scene, a personification of Freund himself; all of which were sang by the only other singer in the opera, a mezzo-soprano. Scheer himself appeared to agree with this point, as he mentioned in the interview above: “In this art form, we want to try to explore what something <em>felt</em> like. We’re really in the business of emotional archaeology.”</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The need for a dramatic arc also resulted in one major shift in the timeline. Three weeks after Reich’s articles broke out, the Czech Republic decided to declare Freund’s art collection a national treasure that would not be allowed to leave the country. The real-life Mac found out about this prior to his journey, while in the opera Mac heard the news after he was transfixed by the paintings and transformed by the experience, making the almost wordless final scene between him and the ghost of his great-great uncle even more poignant and justifying the title of the opera. Mac himself passed away three years after his trip, at the age of 55.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Scheer’s libretto was truly a great asset in this one-act opera with five interconnected scenes. Given the nature of the story, it was definitely easy to turn the narrative into one soliloquy after another, as the opera almost entirely took the point of view of Mac’s inner thoughts and reactions. Nevertheless, one of the most heartbreaking monologues was surprisingly assigned to Misha when she was describing why she stayed in Prague. The tender tone and the economy of words – just in a couple short sentences – really opened the eyes of not just Mac but also the audience to the idea of belonging and it strongly marked the turning point of the opera.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Miller had the brilliant idea to pair <em>Dark</em> with “chamber music salon in Freund’s lavish apartment”, which prefaced the opera during Wednesday’s presentation. She curated a program by a few Czech composers who would ultimately perish in the camps, including a piece each by <strong>David Beigelman</strong> and <strong>Robert Dauber</strong> (his sole surviving composition <em>Serenata for Violin and Piano</em>) and five short excerpts from various pieces by <strong>Erwin Schulhoff</strong>, played gloriously by the members of the instrumental ensemble drawn from the Seattle Symphony; some had even performed with Music of Remembrance since its founding. This was such a great idea, for not only it set the mood for the audience, but, in a way, also foretold the conclusion of the opera, where it all went dark for both Mac and Freund.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96098" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-2.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-2.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-2-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mckinny-marino-2-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The “chamber music salon” part (especially Schulhoff’s pieces) also served another purpose, giving the audience a taste of the sound world of Heggie’s score. <strong>Peter Demetz</strong> in his book <em>Prague in Danger: The Years of German Occupation, 1939–45</em> called Schulhoff as “one of the first generation of classical composers to find inspiration in the rhythms of jazz music.” (In fact, one of the excerpts was the “Tango” movement of his <em>Suite dansate en jazz</em> for piano.) Heggie seemed to be inspired by the music of that era, and similarly he interpolated many jazz elements in his scoring for the seven instruments, particularly in the jaggedly syncopated opening theme (Heggie’s operatic adaptation of Mac’s heavy metal music) that permeated the score from time to time, while retaining his distinguishable soaring vocal lines. Heggie himself seemed to agree, as he said in the interview above: “<em>Before It All Goes Dark</em> is not like anything I’ve ever done. It starts off with this very aggressive musical texture but then is overcome by the world of art Mac discovers and his sense of identity and connection.”</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Unlike the first four of Music of Remembrance’s commissions, the idea of <em>Dark</em> as an opera didn’t come from Miller. It was not hard to see why the plight of Mac’s circumstances appeal to Heggie; his operatic oeuvre was filled with characters on a self-discovery journey, from Joseph de Rocher in <em>Dead Man Walking</em>, Arden Scott in 2015 <em>Great Scott</em>, all the way to George Bailey in his 2016 adaptation of <strong>Frank Capra</strong>’s <em>It’s a Wonderful Life</em>. The character Mac was a fine addition to the list, as his spiritual quest once again reemphasized what often attributed to <strong>Ralph Waldo Emerson</strong> that “life is a journey, not a destination.”</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Given the long history of association between Heggie/Scheer and Music of Remembrance, it was not surprising that the creative team for this world premiere tour was assembled among friends, all of which were veterans of their operas and familiar with their idioms. Conductor <strong>Joseph Mechavich</strong>, who has conducted most of Heggie’s operas, led the instrumentalists in a reading full of excitement and clarity, making sure each instrument was fully heard while keeping the story moving forward. In his reading, the score wasn’t simply just background music, but it played an active role in the drama, especially in the instrumental parts that connected the scenes. One of the most astonishing such moments was the instrumental played after Mac visited Freund’s house, where the music, coupled with the visuals of inside a train, chillingly demonstrated the horrors of being transported to camps!</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking of visuals, director <strong>Erich Parce</strong> and media designer <strong>Peter Crompton</strong> staged the opera delightfully and respectfully using the simplest means, just some rows of chairs and some empty frames, while relying heavily on the projected visuals. But what a marvel Crompton’s projections were… from Freund’s salon adorned with said paintings to Mac’s decaying apartment, all the way to the Jewish Museum in Prague. The presentation of the paintings was nothing short of pure genius: one by one the paintings were presented with a bright yellow glow in the background, as if the audience was seeing them through Mac’s eyes and equally transformed! Meanwhile, Parce directed the movement naturally and sensitively, nothing felt forced and exaggerated. The clever ways of the rows of chairs being used throughout were a sight to behold, a true testament of how much thought was put in designing the stage.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-96099" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-scheer-curtain-call.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-scheer-curtain-call.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-scheer-curtain-call-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/heggie-scheer-curtain-call-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Nevertheless, the greatest contributions to the success of this premiere tour were the two soloists, both of whom gave their heart and soul to bring the story to life. Heggie wrote the role of Mac for bass-baritone <strong>Ryan McKinny</strong>, who had tremendous success as Joseph de Rocher in the Met production of <em>Dead Man Walking</em> and brought that same ferocious intensity to his role here, portraying Mac as a tough and proud down-on-his-luck guy. Clad in a Judas Priest T-shirt throughout, his voice sounded round and sonorous, and he enunciated the words clearly. Most importantly, McKinny treated the role with respect and dignity; he refused to turn it into caricature of self-pity and despair. McKinny’s reading also was full of nuances, from sweet and heartbreaking in the scene with Misha, to full-blown anger when he found out that he was being looted (again)!</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Equally impressive was mezzo-soprano <strong>Megan Marino</strong>, who portrayed three different roles Sally, Misha and Emil Freund. With her acting and her voice, she successfully gave each role an identity; brash and concerned as Sally, sympathetic and caring as Misha, and almost playful as Emil (she played Emil Freund twice actually, as a host during the “chamber music salon” part, and at the very end of the opera). As mentioned before, her monologue about her mother and why she stayed was truly heartbreaking, as Marino herself was close to tears performing it. Moreover, the roles were pretty physical for her as she even had to change clothes and adjust her appearance towards the back of the stage between the scenes!</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This was truly a tremendous achievement for Heggie, Scheer, Music of Remembrance and all the people involved. I could only wish that the opera would reach a bigger audience in the future, for it not only teaches the dangers of letting history repeating itself, but also it demonstrates the transformative power of Art, right at the time when the Art world around the globe is in crisis and needs much support!</p> <p><em>Photos: Music of Remembrance <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MusicofRemembrance">Facebook Page</a></em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/monuments-man/">Monuments man</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> High flying, adored https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/high-flying-adored-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:772d62e5-b309-3ee5-91bf-1f0a802cdca3 Mon, 27 May 2024 10:00:00 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/high-flying-adored-2/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lina-pagliughi-featured-720x245.png" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lina-pagliughi-featured-720x245.png 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lina-pagliughi-featured-300x102.png 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lina-pagliughi-featured-768x262.png 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lina-pagliughi-featured-210x72.png 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lina-pagliughi-featured.png 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1907 sopranos <strong>Lina Pagliughi</strong>…</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/high-flying-adored-2/">High flying, adored</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAVu02bWyeg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAVu02bWyeg</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">… and in 1938, <strong>Elizabeth Harwood</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFNhyAoZTVw&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFNhyAoZTVw</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Born on this day in 1799 composer <strong>Fromental Halévy</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlVeCb3CTsY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlVeCb3CTsY</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 96th birthday composer <strong>Thea Musgrave</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-3VbWz6f_c&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-3VbWz6f_c</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 79th birthday tenor <strong>Thomas Moser</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy Memorial Day, US Paterrians!</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/27/high-flying-adored-2/">High flying, adored</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Mimì è Tanto Malata! https://medicine-opera.com/2024/05/mimi-e-tanto-malata/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:67036ba7-cad2-d4fb-fdd2-f73b36e0b053 Sun, 26 May 2024 17:14:53 +0000 The title translates to &#8220;Mimì is very sick.&#8221; It&#8217;s from Act 3 of Puccini&#8217;s La Bohème. The outline of the episode is below. Mimì is dying from tuberculosis and her lover Rodolfo is too poor to help and wants her to leave him for another man who will better care for her. The scene represents... <p>The title translates to &#8220;Mimì is very sick.&#8221; It&#8217;s from Act 3 of Puccini&#8217;s <em>La Bohème</em>. The outline of the episode is below. Mimì is dying from tuberculosis and her lover Rodolfo is too poor to help and wants her to leave him for another man who will better care for her. The scene represents Puccini&#8217;s extraordinary ability to set ordinary conversation to the most beautiful music. It&#8217;s a rare gift possessed by the barest handful of operatic composers &#8211; all who had were at the top of the art. Puccini&#8217;s music goes directly to the heart, capturing the core of one&#8217;s emotional center.</p> <p><em>Rodolfo wakes up and comes out looking for Marcello. Mimì hides and overhears Rodolfo first telling Marcello that he left Mimì because of her coquettishness, but finally confessing that his jealousy is a sham: he fears she is slowly being consumed by a deadly illness (most likely tuberculosis, known by the catchall name &#8220;consumption&#8221; in the nineteenth century). Rodolfo, in his poverty, can do little to help Mimì and hopes that his pretended unkindness will inspire her to seek another, wealthier suitor. Out of kindness towards Mimì, Marcello tries to silence him, but she has already heard all. Her weeping and coughing reveal her presence, and Rodolfo hurries to her. Musetta&#8217;s laughter is heard and Marcello goes to find out what has happened.</em></p> <p>The tenor takes the lead in this brief bit of stage business. The lovely and poignant music is rarely played outside of a staged performance, but it is so good that it deserves a separate platform. Below are seven takes on the episode that only a supreme master could conjure.</p> <p>First <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/x30i8n5j2vnpom17mlbny/Gigli-Mimi-E-Tanto-Malata.mp3?rlkey=a1qbms8er1nfnltchfclph470&amp;dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Beniamino Gigli&#8217;s reading</a>. The great lyric tenor had the perfect voice for this part. </p> <p>Giuseppe Di Stefano had an even richer lyric tenor than Gigli and was unqiuely able to impart emotional content into his singing that still defies analysis. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/gw53a3ltkgwbjb8smsh98/Di-Stefano-Mimi-e-tanto-malata.mp3?rlkey=ptttmj5kb8rddu47bpxhi2e21&amp;dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Di Stefano Mimì è Tanto Malata!</a></p> <p>Jussi Björling had one of the most beautiful tenor voices of the last century. If he lacked anything it was deep emotional committment. His complete recording to the opera is one of the best yet made. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/3xo8wfm1348aacdn2l7jg/Bjorling-Mimi-e-tanto-malata.mp3?rlkey=7h2e92n9ss40t4k0px54v647w&amp;dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Björling Mimì è Tanto Malata!</a></p> <p><em>La Bohème</em> was at the center of Luciano Pavarotti&#8217;s repertoire. Accordingly, he delivers the lines in exemplary fashion. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/mbjiuq9knll3ipnw5li8t/Pavarotti-Mim-tanto-malata.mp3?rlkey=t8gjs1uj1oi5pcky45lgtsdbg&amp;dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Pavarotti Mimì è Tanto Malata!</a></p> <p>Giuseppe Di Stefano much influenced Jose Carreras. Like the Sicilian tenor, he had a beautiful voice which didn&#8217;t last too long. Partly as the result of overly heavy use and also as the consequence of the acute luekemia he suffered, and was cured of, in the late eighties. His singing is first class as it always was in his too brief prime. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/ga3c1q3503688acms9oq9/Carreras-Mim-tanto-malata.mp3?rlkey=agdoq233sdeak980age5c4gdy&amp;dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Carreras Mimì è Tanto Malata!</a></p> <p>Rolando Villazon had one of the most beautiful tenor voices of the first decade of the 21 century. For reasons still mysterious it just vanished one day. He seemed headed to being the next Placido Domingo, but alas it was not to be. Still we have his recordings from before the vocal retirerment. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/knh67ivu73o0cmkgunxcp/Villazon-Mimi-e-tanto-malata.mp3?rlkey=144gw7gbmln8now7ja16zgq02&amp;dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Villazon Mimì è Tanto Malata!</a></p> <p>Andrea Bocelli&#8217;s opera recording have not been among his most successful outtings. His problem has been faulty intonation. But in this selection he does very well. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/5d01vygiulvpb8ae5pd69/Bocelli-Mim-tanto-malata.mp3?rlkey=ndct9wv0o1quvp9fm85lxgvjk&amp;dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Bocelli Mimì è Tanto Malata!</a></p> <p>Well, this bit of Puccinian genius speaks volumes about the immense talent the composer from Lucca was gifted with. We have not seen his like since his demise on Nov 29, 1924. I hope the Met and La Scala have appropriate commemorative events schedule to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the last great Italian composer of operas.</p> Visuals Reborn: Götterdämmerung at Finnish National Opera https://operatraveller.com/2024/05/26/visuals-reborn-gotterdammerung-at-finnish-national-opera/ operatraveller urn:uuid:fdcdae06-29c0-846f-9b7a-d31120c62383 Sun, 26 May 2024 10:53:49 +0000 Wagner – Götterdämmerung Siegfried – Daniel BrennaGunther – Tuomas PursioAlberich – Jukka RasilainenHagen – Rúni BrattabergBrünnhilde – Johanna RusanenGutrune – Reeta HaavistoWaltraute – Tuija KnihtiläErste Norn – Maiju VaahtoluotoZweite Norn – Jenny CarlstedtDritte Norn – Sonja HerranenWoglinde – Marjukka TepponenWellgunde – Mari PaloFlosshilde – Jeni Packalen Finlands nationaloperas kör, Suomen kansallisoopperan orkesteri / Hannu Lintu.Stage [&#8230;] <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Wagner – <em>Götterdämmerung</em></strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Siegfried – Daniel Brenna<br>Gunther – Tuomas Pursio<br>Alberich – Jukka Rasilainen<br>Hagen – Rúni Brattaberg<br>Brünnhilde – Johanna Rusanen<br>Gutrune – Reeta Haavisto<br>Waltraute – Tuija Knihtilä<br>Erste Norn – Maiju Vaahtoluoto<br>Zweite Norn – Jenny Carlstedt<br>Dritte Norn – Sonja Herranen<br>Woglinde – Marjukka Tepponen<br>Wellgunde – Mari Palo<br>Flosshilde – Jeni Packalen</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Finlands nationaloperas kör, Suomen kansallisoopperan orkesteri / Hannu Lintu.<br>Stage director – Anna Kelo.</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Suomen kansallisooppera ja -baletti – Finlands nationalopera och -balett, Helsinki, Finland.&nbsp; Saturday, May 25th, 2023.</strong></p> <p>This <em>Götterdämmerung</em> has been a long time coming.&nbsp; <em>Das Rheingold</em> was premiered in the fall of 2019 with <em>Walküre</em>, originally planned for spring 2020, finally premiered in fall 2022, and <em>Siegfried</em> following in the spring of 2023.&nbsp; The cycle was originally due to be conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, but following the delay due to the plague, conducting duties were taken over for the final three instalments by house music director, Hannu Lintu.&nbsp; It’s fascinating to wonder what Salonen would have done with the score, given his long experience of conducting the music of today.&nbsp; But, like so many things over the past four years, it was not to be.&nbsp; It has been a privilege to visit this beautiful house and city for each instalment, and I must admit to a little sadness heading in for Act 3 today, at the thought that we have finally come to the end of the cycle.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4709_leikattu-2048x1152-1.jpg"><img width="723" height="406" data-attachment-id="7877" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/l4a4709_leikattu-2048x1152/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4709_leikattu-2048x1152-1.jpg" data-orig-size="2048,1152" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS R5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1714987590&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="L4A4709_leikattu-2048&#215;1152" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Stefan Bremer&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4709_leikattu-2048x1152-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4709_leikattu-2048x1152-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4709_leikattu-2048x1152-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7877" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Stefan Bremer</figcaption></figure> <p>In the previous instalments of this cycle, I found Anna Kelo’s direction to be rather prosaic, sitting on the surface of the narrative rather than giving us a deeper view of it.&nbsp; Illustrating the basics of the narrative, rather than attempting to explain it.&nbsp; What’s notable in this <em>Götterdämmerung</em> is how much Kelo has grown as a director since that <em>Rheingold</em> five years ago.&nbsp; Back then, I found the personenregie perfunctory, with lots of standing and delivering.&nbsp; Today, while there was still too much of singers being parked to gesture to the front, there seemed to be much more engagement between the characters than was the case at the start of the cycle.&nbsp; That said, Waltraute was parked on the stage to gesture in her big scene and the chorus was parked and moved off again.&nbsp; However, there was much more of a sense of us seeing concrete characters who really engaged with each other.&nbsp; This could certainly have also been due to Johanna Rusanen’s Brünnhilde, who is such an honest and genuine stage presence, her every move filled with emotion and meaning.&nbsp; Similarly, Daniel Brenna’s Siegfried was a playful, almost immature character – a continuation of his incarnation in the previous opera, rather than a mature hero.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4907-2048x1366-1.jpg"><img width="723" height="482" data-attachment-id="7878" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/l4a4907-2048x1366/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4907-2048x1366-1.jpg" data-orig-size="2048,1366" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS R5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1714991548&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;160&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.033333333333333&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="L4A4907-2048&#215;1366" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Stefan Bremer&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4907-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4907-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4907-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7878" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Stefan Bremer</figcaption></figure> <p>Kelo sets the action in a timeless way.&nbsp; The costumes, by Erika Turunen, seem to reflect a future, sci-fi environment, with long shiny coats for the chorus.&nbsp; Much of the visual interest comes from Mikki Kunttu’s sets, lighting and video.&nbsp; He gives us some striking images – whether the Norns towering over the stage weaving their rope, or a mausoleum for Siegfried that looks vaguely fascist in its imposing structures.&nbsp; The lighting design, in particular, is extremely well done, the fluency with which the lighting is used to change scenes and add atmosphere is particularly striking.&nbsp; That said, I did wonder whether Rusanen was given adequate acoustic support for her immolation scene, set as it was on a bare stage.&nbsp; Fortunately, Kelo brought her to the front of the stage so that she could optimally be heard.&nbsp; The flames that accompanied an enormous burning suspended ring as Brünnhilde called for the end, were seriously impressive.&nbsp; Kelo gives us an intriguing view of the end of the gods, as figures representing Wotan, Fricka, Donner, and Loge appear in those tumultuous closing pages and are promptly dragged below the stage.&nbsp; Again, visually it was impressive.&nbsp; There was a clarity of storytelling here that was respectable.&nbsp; Indeed, Siegfried/Gunther’s abduction of Brünnhilde in Act 1 was horrifying in its brutality.&nbsp; Yet, I left the theatre wishing Kelo had asked more of the work, had taken us deeper into its psychology, rather than leaving us on the surface.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4945-2048x1366-1.jpg"><img width="723" height="482" data-attachment-id="7879" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/l4a4945-2048x1366/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4945-2048x1366-1.jpg" data-orig-size="2048,1366" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS R5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1714991826&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;75&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.0125&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="L4A4945-2048&#215;1366" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Stefan Bremer&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4945-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4945-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a4945-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7879" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Stefan Bremer</figcaption></figure> <p>Musically, there was much to enjoy.&nbsp; The consistent pleasure of this cycle has been the playing of the house orchestra.&nbsp; Today, they were on glorious form.&nbsp; I heard just one single split note from the brass during the entire evening.&nbsp; Indeed, the brass playing was absolutely superb in its sheer discipline – the way that they voiced those dark, nocturnal chords, the fluency with which they negotiated the long, tricky passages in Act 2.&nbsp; This was brass playing of real distinction.&nbsp; The strings played throughout with intonation of the utmost accuracy, giving us both a carpet of deep-pile sound and bringing out those muted half-lights of the opening scene with haunting brittleness.&nbsp; As for Lintu’s conducting, I found it again to be inconsistent.&nbsp; His Act 1 came in at a pretty standard two hours – but it felt much longer.&nbsp; Time seemed to stop still in the Norns scene, with no sense of forward articulation, the sound instead hovering in the air.&nbsp; The gear changes in the opening Brünnhilde/Siegfried duet felt jerky.&nbsp; That said, the tempo he chose for the Hagen/Alberich scene seemed rushed.&nbsp; He did also give us a Trauermarsch of real power.&nbsp; As in the <em>Walküre</em>, his reading felt rather micro-managed.&nbsp; The house chorus, prepared by Marge Mehilane, was phenomenal.&nbsp; The noise the tenors, baritones and basses made as the vassals was enormous, blasting me and the rest of the audience out of our seats.&nbsp; The sound was so focused, no war of vibratos here, just a pure burst of sound as fresh as a Finnish lake, with some particularly impressive tenors.&nbsp; I very much hope to return to see a more choral opera here soon.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5061-2048x1185-1.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="723" height="418" data-attachment-id="7880" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/l4a5061-2048x1185/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5061-2048x1185-1.jpg" data-orig-size="2048,1185" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS R5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1714993695&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;45&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.025&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="L4A5061-2048&#215;1185" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Stefan Bremer&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5061-2048x1185-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5061-2048x1185-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5061-2048x1185-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7880" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Stefan Bremer</figcaption></figure> <p>Rusanen was the glue that kept this evening together.&nbsp; Her Brünnhilde was so human, so genuine.&nbsp; She had a very brief memory lapse in the closing pages, perhaps just as a result of getting so caught up in the emotion of it, and her high C in that opening duet was a little bit further south than desirable, but these just served to remind us of how fallible this character is.&nbsp; Her soprano has generous amplitude, filling the house with ease, and in its slight chalkiness, occasional swooping and womanly generosity reminds one of Dame Jones – although Rusanen is much steadier in tone than the Celtic diva.&nbsp; Despite the length of the evening, Rusanen was tireless, pouring out streams of ecstatic tone in her immolation scene and dominating the vengeance trio through sheer power.&nbsp; She used the text well, making the words count.&nbsp; I must admit that Rusanen was a lot more satisfactory than many sopranos I’ve heard in this role over the years and would be at home in any major lyric theatre.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5621-2048x1366-1.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="723" height="482" data-attachment-id="7881" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/l4a5621-2048x1366/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5621-2048x1366-1.jpg" data-orig-size="2048,1366" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS R5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715163834&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;168&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.02&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="L4A5621-2048&#215;1366" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Stefan Bremer&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5621-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5621-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5621-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7881" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Stefan Bremer</figcaption></figure> <p>Brenna’s Siegfried is a known quantity, having seen him in the role in San Francisco back in 2018.&nbsp; Back then, the voice showed a certain graininess and signs of fatigue that weren’t apparent this evening.&nbsp; Today, the voice was firm, if not the most glamorous or largest in tone.&nbsp; His narrative in Act 3, did show some sketchiness in tuning however, and the uppermost reaches were hit more with enthusiasm than accuracy.&nbsp; Still, he made it to the end, which in this role is something of an achievement.&nbsp; Rúni Brattaberg sang Hagen in a big, cavernous bass.&nbsp; The voice is warm and rich, even if the top is now receding and thinning out.&nbsp; He was unfortunately rather under-directed, frequently resorting to stock gestures and outstretched arms.&nbsp; Jukka Rasilainen’s Alberich was sung in an appropriately acidic baritone, seemingly able to defy gravity in his short scene.&nbsp; Tuomas Pursio’s Gunther was sung in a firm baritone, although the vibrations had a tendency to loosen somewhat on top.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5671-2048x1366-1.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="723" height="482" data-attachment-id="7882" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/l4a5671-2048x1366/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5671-2048x1366-1.jpg" data-orig-size="2048,1366" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS R5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715164416&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;165&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.033333333333333&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="L4A5671-2048&#215;1366" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Stefan Bremer&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5671-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5671-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5671-2048x1366-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7882" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Stefan Bremer</figcaption></figure> <p>Reetta Haavisto was a very pleasant surprise as Gutrune.&nbsp; She surely has a very bright future in the lyric Strauss and Wagner roles.&nbsp; The voice has a delightful steeliness at the core, founded on a rich and generous chestiness.&nbsp; Her diction needs a little work, that ability to draw meaning from the text isn’t quite there yet, but this is a very exciting voice and talent.&nbsp; I would very much like to hear her Salome.&nbsp; Tuija Knihtilä gave us a Waltraute sung with real authority.&nbsp; As with Brattaberg, she was rather under-directed, but she negotiated the tessitura with ease, the registers integrated.&nbsp; Both the Norns and the Rhinemaidens were taken by very attractive and mellifluous voices, demonstrating the excellent quality one has come to expect during the course of the cycle.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5825-1-1626x2048-1.jpg"><img loading="lazy" width="723" height="910" data-attachment-id="7883" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/l4a5825-1-1626x2048/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5825-1-1626x2048-1.jpg" data-orig-size="1626,2048" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS R5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715166263&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;110&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.0125&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="L4A5825-1-1626&#215;2048" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Stefan Bremer&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5825-1-1626x2048-1.jpg?w=238" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5825-1-1626x2048-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/l4a5825-1-1626x2048-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-7883" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Photo: © Stefan Bremer</figcaption></figure> <p>Today’s <em>Götterdämmerung</em> gave so much to enjoy.&nbsp; The singing was, by and large, excellent – Rusanen and Haavisto in particular – reminding us that one of the consistent pleasures of this <em>Ring</em> has been the quality of the singing from an almost entirely local cast.&nbsp; The future of Wagner singing in Finland is clearly very bright.&nbsp; The orchestral playing was again superb and the choral singing was spectacular.&nbsp; Kelo’s staging was visually interesting, with the sets and lighting particularly effective.&nbsp; As the redemption through love motif rang out at the close, it was impossible to fight back the tears.&nbsp; Not just for that magnificent music, but also the fact that this <em>Ring</em> has seen us through a time when the world has changed so much more than we could have imagined back in 2019 when it began.&nbsp; That message of a world reborn is one that most definitely gave us hope as we headed out into a bright, Finnish summer evening.&nbsp; The audience responded at the close with an extremely generous ovation.&nbsp;</p> Götterdämmerung https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/gotterdammerung-10/ parterre box urn:uuid:5b1af0ef-9948-5e07-70a7-8b9751f52a79 Sun, 26 May 2024 10:00:24 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/gotterdammerung-10/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Gianandrea Noseda</strong> conducts a live broadcast from Zurich of <strong>Andreas Homoki</strong>&#8216;s production featuring <strong>Klaus Florian Vogt, Wolfram Schneider-Lastin, Christopher Purves, David Leigh</strong>, and <strong>Camilla Nylund</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/gotterdammerung-10/">Götterdämmerung</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95248" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-goetterdaemmerung_ah_c_monika_rittershaus_388-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion begin at <strong><a href="https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/2324/ring-fuer-alle/">10:00 AM EDT.</a></strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/gotterdammerung-10/">Götterdämmerung</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Upper stratasphere https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/upper-stratasphere/ parterre box urn:uuid:6ca40270-48de-ae46-a1da-f6c81e2d78a9 Sun, 26 May 2024 10:00:20 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/upper-stratasphere/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/stratas-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/stratas-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/stratas-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/stratas-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/stratas-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/stratas-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 86th birthday soprano <strong>Teresa Stratas</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/upper-stratasphere/">Upper stratasphere</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4YTnT8VT9c&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4YTnT8VT9c</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Born on this day in 1917 soprano <strong>Inge Borkh</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mbiZtCDnuo&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mbiZtCDnuo</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of composer and conductor <strong>Eugene Goossens</strong> (1893),<br /> tenor and conductor <strong>Herbert Handt</strong> (1926),<br /> and baritone <strong>Kari Nurmela</strong> (1933)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 86th birthday composer <strong>William Bolcom</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/26/upper-stratasphere/">Upper stratasphere</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Gory Guelphs and Ghibellines https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/ operaramblings urn:uuid:f037977e-282d-b6ea-658c-5b47e7965dbc Sat, 25 May 2024 16:04:57 +0000 Throughout the history of Italian opera the long running feud between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines has provided composers and librettists with endless opportunities for pointless revenge killings and other assorted mayhem.  They werer still doing it in 1907 when &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Throughout the history of Italian opera the long running feud between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines has provided composers and librettists with endless opportunities for pointless revenge killings and other assorted mayhem.  They werer still doing it in 1907 when Frencesco Cilea premiered his short three act opera <em>Gloria</em>.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38070" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/1-fountain/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.fountain.png" data-orig-size="1160,655" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="1.fountain" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.fountain.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.fountain.png?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38070 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.fountain.png" alt="1.fountain" width="1160" height="655" /></p> <p><span id="more-38065"></span>So here&#8217;s the scoop. To celebrate the commissioning of a fountain, the Guelph management of Siena, in the person of Acquilante de&#8217; Bardi, has decalred a one day amnesty for the other lot so they can join in the fun.  Lionetto de&#8217; Ricci, whose family has been slaughtered by the Bardis, shows up and recognises Gloria de&#8217; Bardi as his childhood sweetheart.  He reveals himself as the Ghibelline captain Fortebrando and runs off with Gloria.  She agrees to marry him as as long as he calls off the war though not before her brother Bardo has revealed that their father has been killed in battle.  In true operatic style he veers backwards and forwards between calling her an angelic heroine and a complete slut while trying to persuade her to stab or poison Fortebrando.  Gloria and Fortebrando marry (in the chapel where Acquilante is married&#8230; natch) but Bardo, who really is a piece of work, waits until Lionetto greets him as a brother before stabbing him.  Gloria does a bit of fairly useless dabbling with holy water when a bandage might be more use so, predictably, Lionetto dies and she stabs herself too.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38071" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/2-escape/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.escape.png" data-orig-size="1160,653" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="2.escape" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.escape.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.escape.png?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38071 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.escape.png" alt="2.escape" width="1160" height="653" /></p> <p>For the production in Cagliari in 2023, director Antonio Albanese, set designer Leila Fleita and costume designer Carola Fenocchio decided to set the whole thing in a sort of amphitheatre (slightly different for each act) with everything in. grey and browns.  The men look they are wearing bedspreads or maybe plaster casts.  The only touch of colour is Gloria&#8217;s wedding dress in Act 3.  And basically the amphitheatre set up forces everyone to stand and deliver in a very static way.  The wooden acting that results is complemented, for the most part, by rather unsubtle declamatory singing.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38072" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/3-bardogloria/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.bardogloria.png" data-orig-size="1160,660" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="3.bardogloria" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.bardogloria.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.bardogloria.png?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38072 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.bardogloria.png" alt="3.bardogloria" width="1160" height="660" /></p> <p>Musically the piece is as retro as the libretto.  It premiered in 1907 and was revised in 1932 (the version used here) but if there&#8217;s just maybe a touch of French influence in the orchestration anything else that was going on musically north of the Alps in this period, or for some time before, is entirely ignored.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38073" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/4-gloriafortebrando/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.gloriafortebrando.png" data-orig-size="1160,653" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="4.gloriafortebrando" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.gloriafortebrando.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.gloriafortebrando.png?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38073 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.gloriafortebrando.png" alt="4.gloriafortebrando" width="1160" height="653" /></p> <p>All that said, Carlo Ventre, as Fortebrando sings with proper heroic tenor high notes and loads of power; if not a whole lot of subtlety, and Anastasia Bartoli makes a pretty good fist of Gloria.  She&#8217;s a Puccini type soprano with a rich tone and plenty of oomph.  On odd occasions she even acts quite well but she&#8217;s not required to very often!  Franco Vassallo is solid enough vocally as Bardo and twirls a mean moustache.  Everybody else sings and acts pretty much like an oratorio.  Francesco Cilluffo, conducting, gets a full blooded Italianate sound from the orchestra but in the last analysis it&#8217;s not a very interesting score.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38074" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/5-weddingf/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/5.weddingf.png" data-orig-size="1160,657" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="5.weddingf" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/5.weddingf.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/5.weddingf.png?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38074 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/5.weddingf.png" alt="5.weddingf" width="1160" height="657" /></p> <p>Matteo Richetti directed for video and this one is a doddle to direct,  One really only needs two shots; the serried ranks on the amphitheatre steps and  close up on the principals.  The sound (DTS-HD-MA and PCM stereo) on Blu-ray is excellent as is the picture.  Besides a synopsis the booklet contains an OK interview with the conductor where he shows a lot more enthusiasm for the piece than I can muster.  Subtitle options are Italian, English, French, German, Korean and Japanese.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38075" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/25/gory-guelphs-and-ghibellines/6-stabbed/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/6.stabbed.png" data-orig-size="1160,650" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="6.stabbed" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/6.stabbed.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/6.stabbed.png?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38075 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/6.stabbed.png" alt="6.stabbed" width="1160" height="650" /></p> <p>It seems to be very much the done thing in Italy right now to resurrect mostly forgotten operas.  I get the idea but there are some that deserve to be forgotten.</p> <p>Catalogue information: Dynamic Blu-ray DYN 58004</p> La fanciulla del west https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/la-fanciulla-del-west-11/ parterre box urn:uuid:c78e813a-4f0c-b7bd-9af1-4c41b1567740 Sat, 25 May 2024 13:00:38 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/la-fanciulla-del-west-11/"><img width="720" height="247" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-header-720x247.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-header-720x247.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-header-300x103.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-header-768x263.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Marco Armiliato</strong> conducts a 2018 performance with <strong>Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jonas Kaufmann</strong>, and <strong>Zeljko Lucic</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/la-fanciulla-del-west-11/">La fanciulla del west</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-71100" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/fanciulla-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion begin at <strong><a href="https://www.wqxr.org">1:00 PM EST</a></strong>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/la-fanciulla-del-west-11/">La fanciulla del west</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Bubbles and squeak https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/bubbles-and-squeak/ parterre box urn:uuid:be0a8cfe-a7c7-a42d-a1c6-eb8b5c86f93d Sat, 25 May 2024 10:00:41 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/bubbles-and-squeak/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/sills-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/sills-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/sills-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/sills-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/sills-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/sills-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1929 soprano and administrator <strong>Beverly Sills</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/bubbles-and-squeak/">Bubbles and squeak</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ivvlAqhwHY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ivvlAqhwHY</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Born on this day in 1937 tenor <strong>Franco Bonisolli</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp9uqE7hUlI&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp9uqE7hUlI</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">On this day in 1878 <strong>Gilbert</strong> <em>and Sullivan</em>&#8216;s <em>HMS Pinafore</em> premiered in London</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of bass-baritone <strong>Heinz Rehfuss</strong> (1917) and tenor <strong>Franco Bonisolli</strong> (1937)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 84th birthday soprano <strong>Maria Slatinaru</strong><br /> Happy 47th birthday soprano <strong>Liudmyla Monastyrska</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/25/bubbles-and-squeak/">Bubbles and squeak</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Händel - Berenice, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2024/05/handel-berenice-at-theatre-des-champs.html We left at the interval... urn:uuid:9f2f4567-86ff-37c1-5ac4-e19b0dd9a61d Sat, 25 May 2024 08:35:00 +0000 <span style="font-family: arial;">Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Tuesday May 21, 2024</span><div><span style="font-size: xx-small;">(In concert)</span></div><div><br /></div><div><span style="font-size: x-small;">Conductor: Francesco Corti. Berenice: Sandrine Piau. Selene: Ann Hallenberg. Alessandro: Arianna Vendittelli. Demetrio: Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian. Arsace: Rémy Brès-Feuillet. Fabio: Matthew Newlin. Aristobolo: John Chest. Il Pomo d’Oro.</span></div><div><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjivrtWB7JSK4EJxNlfVMHBARxztZ9s9NdQ1EHCOw3mzo8ccLSeD3N1WpGg909ERLXF6MW_HobN0eUy7yRZu9PYeQGkz4RZqwvJBrqaf4l0AbB18bIVOj7PqW_JGm1RiFcg_8YgXjgN6WEFjZhWEjD4rx7IZueKTstd2eHsza76b-7d5GDzciRXlkhXTDQ7/s1500/be93f08f-6f17-4db7-8d55-8d3b5894b914.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1125" data-original-width="1500" height="480" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjivrtWB7JSK4EJxNlfVMHBARxztZ9s9NdQ1EHCOw3mzo8ccLSeD3N1WpGg909ERLXF6MW_HobN0eUy7yRZu9PYeQGkz4RZqwvJBrqaf4l0AbB18bIVOj7PqW_JGm1RiFcg_8YgXjgN6WEFjZhWEjD4rx7IZueKTstd2eHsza76b-7d5GDzciRXlkhXTDQ7/w640-h480/be93f08f-6f17-4db7-8d55-8d3b5894b914.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i><b><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Photo: Stéphane Asseline, Région Ile-de-France</span></b></i><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div><div>This concert performance of&nbsp;<i>Berenice,</i> with Il Pomo d'Oro under Francesco Corti, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées last Tuesday was outstanding - in a way, unexpectedly so, as it seems to be assumed that because the work is now rare, it must be because it's weak. Is it dogged by its poor initial reception? It turns out (I'd never heard it before) there's absolutely nothing wrong with the score: a string of beautifully-crafted arias, as skilful, imaginative and varied as you'd expect from mature Händel, from the outset. For example, Berenice's first aria has an intriguing, 'shifting' accompaniment, and next thing you know, Fabio's '<i>Vedi l’ape che ingegnosa</i>' has the strings evoking the darting about of gently-buzzing bees. It reminded me of a <a href="http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2007/01/hndel-tamerlano.html" target="_blank"><i>post I wrote, years ago, about a performance of Tamerlano</i></a>, in which I likened Händel's arias to the <i>objets d'art</i> on display in the Galerie d'Apollon at the Louvre, each aria 'a miniature masterpiece in which motifs, melody and rhythm are expertly and imaginatively wrought into a coherent, deeply satisfying form.' Perhaps the slightly daft libretto, which has people falling in and out of love at the drop of a hat, holds <i>Berenice</i> back?</div><div><br /></div><div>The artistry and experience of 'veteran' principals Sandrine Piau and Ann Hallenberg - what my neighbour admiringly called their supreme and obvious '<i>métier</i>' - were well supported by an evenly-matched group of younger singers. Sandrine Piau's voice doesn't seem to have altered at all. I can't remember when or in what I first saw her. It must, however, have been way back in the 90s. What 'JdB' has posted on <a href="https://odb-opera.com/" target="_blank"><i>the French forum ODB Opéra</i></a> about Piau's remarkable vocal freshness, impeccable sense of style, a thousand and one nuances and 'incredible alacrity' apply just as well to Ann Hallenberg. Although, as 'JdB' also notes, Selene isn't a long or spectacular role*, there were cries of '<i>brava</i>' (or more often '<i>bravo</i>' - audiences aren't too fussy about Italian gender) after every aria.<br /></div><div><br /></div><div>Among the younger singers was a remarkable Italian soprano, Arianna Vendittelli, new to me if to nobody else, whose singing was bright, firm and accurate. (I notice this brightness can sound hard and/or pinched in <i>YouTube</i> clips, but that wasn't noticeable in the house, so perhaps hers is a voice, like Dessay's, that needs to be heard live.) Her vocal production is strikingly even throughout her considerable range, and she has a strong presence and acts convincingly. And while we're on the subject of acting, I'll mention here that, despite this being a 'plain' concert performance, not even semi-staged, everyone acted excellently with their eyes and movements of the head. Ann Hallenberg is great at this kind of thing; I remember her perfect comic timing in <i>Agrippina</i> from Drottningholm, also incidentally under Corti. And Sandrine Piau is equally expressive with a fluttering hand, or just an airy wave of her specs.<br /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Countertenor Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian (Demetrio) has come along fast, rapidly achieving star quality. I first saw him as Didymus in <a href="http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2021/11/handel-theodora.html" target="_blank"><i>the 2021 Theodora (with Lisette Oropesa)</i></a>, then as Nireno in <a href="http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2022/05/handel-giulio-cesare.html" target="_blank"><i>the Cesare conducted by Jaroussky</i></a>, by which time I was already writing:<br /><br />'<i><span style="font-size: x-small;">Of the three countertenors, my personal vote (this weekend Ukraine won Eurovision) went to Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, who was already very promising when I heard him in </span></i><span style="font-size: x-small;">Theodora</span><i><span style="font-size: x-small;">, also at the TCE, and here was still more assured. A pity we didn't hear more of him and less of... er...</span></i>'</div><div><br /></div><div>His furious '<i>Su, Megera, Tisifone, Aletto !</i>' was, as <i>ODB</i>'s 'JdB' also rightly noted, one of the evening's highlights, 'breathtaking in its expressive virtuosity and utterly moving.'<br /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This time, it was the 'second' countertenor, Rémy Brès-Feuillet who showed promise - more than in <i><a href="http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2024/02/handel-giulio-cesare-jules-cesar-julius.html" target="_blank">the recent revival, at Garnier, of Pelly's production of Giulio Cesare</a></i>, which reduced Nireno to a silly caricature. I was told he was nervous, having learnt the part in just a few days (perhaps as few as two?) to step in at the last minute in Madrid on Sunday. Yet it didn't show. He did a very fair job, with good coloratura, already, that will be better still when he gets better at pacing his breathing over long runs (he should perhaps consult Ann Hallenberg on that, now he knows her), and 'hoots' less in the middle-to-lower range.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I've seen the American tenor Matthew Newlin a number of times, once remarking that 'whisked in from singing Lully in Versailles only the night before to replace Tansel Akzeybek, (he) seemed even more at home as a last-minute Andres' (i.e. in <i>Wozzeck</i>), 'than as Atys.' His Fabio was strong, even resounding, perhaps a touch hard at the top. John Chest, also American and also now quite familiar, is an equally sound Händelian baritone, with striking stage presence.</div><div><br /></div><div>Seeing at the start that the orchestra was going to be mainly strings, I was afraid things might end up sounding dull, monotonous... But not at all. Francesco Corti's conducting turned out to be an object lesson in carefully-crafted spontaneity: totally under control, calibrated, yet seemingly free and easy, all bouncing rhythms, contrasting colours, delightful surprises, plus a bit of roughing-up now and again (didn't he work with Minkowski?), all in the service of the text. 'The most eloquent imagination and sincerest musicality,' as <a href="https://www.opera-online.com/fr/columns/thibaultv/berenice-de-haendel-consistante-et-rayonnante-au-theatre-des-champs-elysees" target="_blank"><i>Opera Online</i></a> cleverly put it. The principal oboist was rightly cheered for the beautiful <i>obbligato</i> in Berenice's '<i>Chi t’intende</i>', for which he'd joined Sandrine Piau at the front.<br /></div><div><br /></div><div>If we're lucky, this performance might eventually be made available. There were microphones suspended over the stage. The theatre is busily plugging its replay 'channel', <a href="http://theatrechampselysees.fr/medias-hors-champs"><i>theatrechampselysees.fr/medias-hors-champs</i></a>, so maybe one day on there? This really was a recording-quality performance (though trimmed to two-and-a-half-hours of music), and warmly applauded. With <i>Berenice</i> being so rare, it would be a shame if it went to waste…</div></div><div><br /></div><div><span style="font-size: x-small;">*I actually took the opportunity, not so long ago, to ask Ann Hallenberg in person how long she expected to go on 'yodelling' these 18th-century <i>coloratura</i> roles. Her answer, unsurprisingly I guess, was 'As long as I can.'</span><br /></div> Siegfried https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/siegfried-9/ parterre box urn:uuid:a65479d1-1803-c36d-9f20-d16bc268bc85 Fri, 24 May 2024 13:00:33 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/siegfried-9/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Gianandrea Noseda</strong> conducts a live broadcast from Zurich of <strong>Andreas Homoki</strong>&#8216;s production featuring <strong>Klaus Florian Vogt, Tomasz Konieczny, Christopher Purves, David Leigh</strong>, and <strong>Camilla Nylund</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/siegfried-9/">Siegfried</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95244" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-main.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-main.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-main-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/homoki-siegfried-main-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion begin at <strong><a href="https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/2324/ring-fuer-alle/">11:30 AM EDT.</a></strong></p> <div class="item"> <div class="name"></div> </div> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/siegfried-9/">Siegfried</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Love wins https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/love-wins/ parterre box urn:uuid:f5e763dc-a24d-bb1f-850c-37ae1eb8a8e3 Fri, 24 May 2024 13:00:16 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/love-wins/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-orfeo-ORF24_3883b-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-orfeo-ORF24_3883b-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-orfeo-ORF24_3883b-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-orfeo-ORF24_3883b-768x261.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-orfeo-ORF24_3883b-210x71.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-orfeo-ORF24_3883b.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Opera has always been Orpheus-obsessed.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/love-wins/">Love wins</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95991" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-orfeo-ORF24_3883b.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="404" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-orfeo-ORF24_3883b.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-orfeo-ORF24_3883b-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-orfeo-ORF24_3883b-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Orphean_operas">Wikipedia</a> lists 75 Orphic operas. And <strong><a href="https://www.mdw.ac.at/upload/MDWeb/iatgm/downloads/Orpheus-Verz.Forts.II_gesch.pdf">Reinhard Kapp</a></strong> has a 100-page chronology of them.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">There’s <strong>Jacopo Peri</strong>’s <em>Euridice</em>, the first surviving opera, from 1600. <strong>Claudio Monteverdi</strong>’s <em>Orfeo</em>, considered the first operatic masterpiece, from 1607. And most recently, there’s <strong>Matthew Aucoin</strong>’s <em>Eurydice, </em>which the Met <a href="https://parterre.com/2021/11/24/in-my-very-own-private-hell/">put on</a> in 2021.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Somewhere in the middle, there’s <strong>Christoph Willibald Gluck</strong>’s<em> Orfeo ed Euridice, </em>from 1762, which is running at the Metropolitan Opera through June 8. Gluck’s is the most performed Orphic opera, partly because it’s only 90 minutes long.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Why this Orpheus obsession? He is, after all, is the “first musician.” But Aucoin also proposes, in his book <em>The </em><em>Impossible Art,</em> that composers have been drawn to the <em>impossibility</em> of bringing someone back from the dead — comparing it to the mammoth task of mounting an opera.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This season’s <em>Orfeo</em> is sung by countertenor <strong>Anthony Roth Costanzo</strong> — who is having something of a <em>moment</em>, being recently <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/04/25/arc-de-triomphe/">named</a> the artistic director of Opera Philadelphia, and presenting his “Myths” series across boroughs.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95992" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_0446a.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_0446a.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_0446a-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_0446a-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">On opening night, Costanzo had no trouble being heard, with clarion high notes, as the “echo,” in his act-one aria, as well as a welcome huskiness in his lower register.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Originally written for a castrato (and revised in 1774 for <em>haut-contre</em> to suit Parisian tastes), the role is, today, performed by either a countertenor, or mezzo-soprano <em>en travesti</em>. The <a href="https://parterre.com/2019/10/21/drag-me-to-hell/">last time</a> this <strong>Mark Morris</strong> production graced the Met’s stage, <em>Orfeo</em> was sung by mezzo <strong>Jamie Barton</strong> in drag makeup.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Whether mezzo or countertenor, however, there’s something queer about this <em>Orfeo</em>. Let’s not forget that, in the original <strong>Ovid</strong>, Orpheus consoles himself after Eurydice’s (second) death in the arms of some Thracian boys, having “fled completely from the love of women.”</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Costanzo is known to bring this viewpoint to his roles — such as in <strong>Philip Glass</strong>’s <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2019/11/09/a-place-in-the-sun/">Akhnaten</a></em>— which comes naturally with having a voice type “at odds” with his appearance. But this “queer reading” is subtler. This isn’t a case of the obviously gay student cast as the heartthrob lead in the school musical.</p> <p><a href=" <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUwIaE26Gmc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUwIaE26Gmc</a></p> <p></a></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Orfeo’s love for Euridice, sung by soprano <strong>Ying Fang</strong>, is believable. Maybe even queer? (Though he’s clearly in love with himself, too.) Perhaps it’s because, when Fang <em>finally </em>appears in the third act, she is positively glowing — with a gorgeous, buttercream voice.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">It doesn’t hurt, in terms of a “queer reading,” that this production, which debuted in 2007, features costumes by <strong>Isaac Mizrahi</strong> alongside Morris’s campy choreography.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The dancers, wearing color-coded spring linens — grey in the first act, white in the second, pastels in the third — reminded me a bit too much of Mizrahi’s early aughts Target collection.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The worst costume, though, was for Amore, sung by puckish soprano <strong>Elena Villalón</strong>. In a pink polo and khakis, she was lowered from the ceiling like Peter Pan. It felt almost lesbo-phobic.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95993" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_1596a.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_1596a.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_1596a-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ORF24_1596a-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">In the second act, the chorus — dressed as long-dead historical personages such as Einstein, Abe Lincoln, Marie Antoinette, and Jesus — sing “Chi mai dell’ Erebo” from brutalist stadium seats. The Furies dance, zombie-like, swatting themselves, as if attacked by mosquitos.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The sad-boy Orfeo, forgoing the lyre for a guitar (played in the orchestra by a harp), pleads to be let through the gates of Hades: “Mille pene, ombre sdegnose, come voi sopporto anch’io.” (“My own hell I carry in me, blazing deep in my heart.”)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Surrounded by sparkling stalactites, the lovers are reunited. Euridice is characterized as a feminist, suspecting infidelity. Reversing gendered stereotypes, Orfeo is the irrational and impulsive one.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">In duet, Costanzo’s and Fang’s ranges are touching distance (even though they can’t look at each other). And when Costanzo chokingly sings “Che farò senza Euridice?” it’s heartbreaking, despite the major key.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Unlike the Greek myth, Gluck’s <em>Orfeo ed Euridice</em> has a happy ending. (This is because it was written for a joyous occasion: <strong>Emperor Francis I</strong>’s name-day celebrations.)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">When Euridice is revived (again) by Amore, it feels almost too easy. As Morris’s dancers cavort, in couples and throuples, making heart shapes with their arms, the chorus sings, “Trionfi Amore!” Love wins.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Photos: Ken Howard</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/love-wins/">Love wins</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Iron Chef d’Orchestre https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/24/iron-chef-dorchestre/ operaramblings urn:uuid:f95dc646-3f5a-8928-041e-b60bdbf3fb8c Fri, 24 May 2024 12:45:49 +0000 The second Tapestry show this week which played Wednesday night at Theatre Passe Muraille was Jennifer Tung&#8217;s Iron Chef d&#8217;Orchestre.  Knowing Jennifer&#8217;s kitchen prowess I expected this to be at least as food inspired as the previous night&#8217;s Le Kitchen &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/24/iron-chef-dorchestre/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>The second Tapestry show this week which played Wednesday night at Theatre Passe Muraille was Jennifer Tung&#8217;s <em>Iron Chef d&#8217;Orchestre</em>.  Knowing Jennifer&#8217;s kitchen prowess I expected this to be at least as food inspired as the previous night&#8217;s <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/"><em>Le Kitchen Party</em></a> but it wasn&#8217;t.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38078" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/24/iron-chef-dorchestre/1-keith-randy/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.keith-randy.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716399490&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="1.keith-randy" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.keith-randy.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.keith-randy.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38078 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/1.keith-randy.jpg" alt="1.keith-randy" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p><span id="more-38060"></span>We did get to hear Jennifer sing as well as play piano and we heard a lot about her journey as a conductor.  But that aside, mostly it felt like the Keith Klassen Show.  There was Keith with (actually without) his ventriloquist&#8217;s dummy Randy egging the audience on to provide themes for a short piece by Donna-Michelle St.Bernard and Ivan Barbotin (à la LibLab) that Krisztina Szabó performed at the end of the show.  There was Keith and Randy doing &#8220;knock knock&#8221; jokes.  There was Keith with a tortuous panel game vaguely reminiscent of that old Monty Python sketch with Lenin, Marx and Mao Zedong.  There was Keith and Krisztina playing a weird version of &#8220;Chinese Whispers&#8221; with an apparently dragooned Peter McGillivray.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38079" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/24/iron-chef-dorchestre/2-suggestions/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.suggestions.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716399959&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;32&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1250&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.016666666666667&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="2.suggestions" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.suggestions.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.suggestions.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38079 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2.suggestions.jpg" alt="2.suggestions" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>And there was more Keith with a fake AI based film/adventure game based on the &#8220;artificial artificial intelligence&#8221; agent ShatGPT.  Also Keith on film in a strange wig riding around with someone in his car trunk largely failing to find cookies (the only food reference I caught all night).</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38080" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/24/iron-chef-dorchestre/3-chinesewhispers/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.chinesewhispers.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716400634&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;46&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;400&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.02&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="3.chinesewhispers" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.chinesewhispers.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.chinesewhispers.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38080 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/3.chinesewhispers.jpg" alt="3.chinesewhispers" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>Now I like Keith&#8217;s weird, surreal humour well enough in small doses but I&#8217;m not sure it really stretches to a 75 minute show and I&#8217;m not sure I got the &#8220;Iron Chef&#8221; thing at all.  It was quite fun in its way but not at all what I was expecting and not nearly as much fun as <em>Le Kitchen Party</em>.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38081" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/24/iron-chef-dorchestre/4-szabo/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.szabo_.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716403109&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;120&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;800&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="4.szabo" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.szabo_.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.szabo_.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38081 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/4.szabo_.jpg" alt="4.szabo" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>Photo credits: Dahlia Katz</p> Rebel in her manner and her speech https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/rebel-in-her-manner-and-her-speech/ parterre box urn:uuid:03098c1f-e8f1-b6a1-6d02-a8ba56f90acc Fri, 24 May 2024 10:00:26 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/rebel-in-her-manner-and-her-speech/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/mame-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/mame-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/mame-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/mame-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/mame-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/mame-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>On this day in 1966 <strong>Jerry Herman</strong>&#8216;s <em>Mame</em> opened on Broadway</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/rebel-in-her-manner-and-her-speech/">Rebel in her manner and her speech</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6jvMXzcPk&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6jvMXzcPk</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 72nd birthday mezzo-soprano <strong>Fiona Kimm</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEIhfo1d_PU&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEIhfo1d_PU</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of soprano <strong>Joan Hammond</strong> (1912),<br /> baritone <strong>Giuseppe Valdengo</strong> (1914),<br /> and conductor <strong>András Kórodi</strong> (1922)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/24/rebel-in-her-manner-and-her-speech/">Rebel in her manner and her speech</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Malaria Prophylaxis with Subcutaneous Monoclonal Antibody https://medicine-opera.com/2024/05/malaria-prophyolaxis-with-subcutaneous-monoclonal-antibody/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:75fb1f6b-2a59-8a1f-abe1-9e59773db3a8 Thu, 23 May 2024 18:30:08 +0000 Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects vertebrates. Human malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it can cause jaundice, seizures, coma, or death.Symptoms usually begin 10 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected Anopheles mosquito. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of... <p>Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects vertebrates. Human malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it can cause jaundice, seizures, coma, or death.Symptoms usually begin 10 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected Anopheles mosquito. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.</p> <p>Human malaria is caused by single-celled microorganisms of the Plasmodium group. It is spread exclusively through bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.The mosquito bite introduces the parasites from the mosquito&#8217;s saliva into a person&#8217;s blood. parasites travel to the liver, where they mature and reproduce. Five species of Plasmodium commonly infect humans. The three species associated with more severe cases are P. falciparum (which is responsible for the vast majority of malaria deaths), P. vivax, and P. knowlesi (a simian malaria that spills over into thousands of people a year). e and P. malariae generally cause a milder form of malaria. Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films, or with antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests. Methods that use the polymerase chain reaction to detect the parasite&#8217;s DNA have been developed, but they are not widely used in areas where malaria is common, due to their cost and complexity.</p> <p>The risk of disease can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents or with mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water. Several medications are available to prevent malaria for travellers in areas where the disease is common. Occasional doses of the combination medication sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine are recommended in infants and after the first trimester of pregnancy in areas with high rates of malaria. As of 2023, two malaria vaccines have been endorsed by the World Health Organization.The recommended treatment for malaria is a combination of antimalarial medications that includes artemisinin. The second medication may be either mefloquine, lumefantrine, or sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine. Quinine, along with doxycycline, may be used if artemisinin is not available. In areas where the disease is common, malaria should be confirmed if possible before treatment is started due to concerns of increasing drug resistance. Resistance among the parasites has developed to several antimalarial medications; for example, chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum has spread to most malarial areas, and resistance to artemisinin has become a problem in some parts of Southeast Asia.</p> <p>The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator. This includes much of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In 2022, some 249 million cases of malaria worldwide resulted in an estimated 608000 deaths, with 80 percent being five years old or less. Around 95% of the cases and deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Rates of disease decreased from 2010 to 2014, but increased from 2015 to 2021. According to UNICEF, nearly every minute, a child under five died of malaria in 2021, and &#8220;many of these deaths are preventable and treatable&#8221;.Malaria is commonly associated with poverty and has a significant negative effect on economic development. In Africa, it is estimated to result in losses of US$12 billion a year due to increased healthcare costs, lost ability to work, and adverse effects on tourism. <em>[From Wikinpedia article on Malaria]</em></p> <p>A previous phase 1 trial showed that the use of a monoclonal antibody against <em>Pasmodium falcparum</em>. The May 2 issue of the <em>NEJM</em> <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2312775" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Subcutaneous Administration of a Monoclonal Antibody to Prevent Malaria</a> presents the result of a phase 2 study of the same antibody. Go <a href="https://med.uc.edu/depart/psychiatry/research/clinical-research/crm/trial-phases-1-2-3-defined" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">here </a>for definitions of of the three phases of drug testing.</p> <p>The phase 2 trial was conducted in Mali to assess the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous administration of L9LS in children 6 to 10 years of age over a 6-month malaria season. In part A of the trial, safety was assessed at three dose levels in adults, followed by assessment at two dose levels in children. In part B of the trial, children were randomly assigned, in a 1:1:1 ratio, to receive 150 mg of L9LS, 300 mg of L9LS, or placebo. The primary efficacy end point, assessed in a time-to-event analysis, was the first&nbsp;<em>P. falciparum</em>&nbsp;infection, as detected on blood smear performed at least every 2 weeks for 24 weeks. A secondary efficacy end point was the first episode of clinical malaria, as assessed in a time-to-event analysis.</p> <p>No safety concerns were identified in the dose-escalation part of the trial (part A). In part B, 225 children underwent randomization, with 75 children assigned to each group. No safety concerns were identified in part B.&nbsp;<em>P. falciparum</em>&nbsp;infection occurred in 36 participants (48%) in the 150-mg group, in 30 (40%) in the 300-mg group, and in 61 (81%) in the placebo group. The efficacy of L9LS against&nbsp;<em>P. falciparum</em>&nbsp;infection, as compared with placebo, was 66% (adjusted confidence interval [95% CI], 45 to 79) with the 150-mg dose and 70% (adjusted 95% CI, 50 to 82) with the 300-mg dose (P&lt;0.001 for both comparisons). Efficacy against clinical malaria was 67% (adjusted 95% CI, 39 to 82) with the 150-mg dose and 77% (adjusted 95% CI, 55 to 89) with the 300-mg dose (P&lt;0.001 for both comparisons).</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-full is-resized"><a href="https://i0.wp.com/medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Incidence-of-P-falciparum.jpg?ssl=1"><img fetchpriority="high" decoding="async" width="749" height="720" src="https://i0.wp.com/medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Incidence-of-P-falciparum.jpg?resize=749%2C720&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-30281" style="width:500px;height:auto" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Incidence-of-P-falciparum.jpg?w=749&amp;ssl=1 749w, https://i0.wp.com/medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Incidence-of-P-falciparum.jpg?resize=300%2C288&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Incidence-of-P-falciparum.jpg?resize=570%2C548&amp;ssl=1 570w" sizes="(max-width: 749px) 100vw, 749px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption"> <em>Incidence of P falciparum</em></figcaption></figure> <p>The authors conclude that subcutaneous administration of L9LS to children was protective against&nbsp;<em>P. falciparum</em>&nbsp;infection and clinical malaria over a period of 6 months and that this trial provides evidence to support the continued development of monoclonal antibodies as an additional tool to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality. Given the widespread morbidity and mortality of this scourge we can hope for its elimination before the last of those now alive passs from tthe scene. The comp[lete article is below.</p> <div class="wp-block-file"><a id="wp-block-file--media-98d1de19-b84f-478b-9d08-7560e43d2557" href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Subcutaneous-Administration-of-a-Monoclonal-Antibody.pdf">Subcutaneous-Administration-of-a-Monoclonal-Antibody</a></div> <p></p> <p></p> Le Kitchen Party https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/ operaramblings urn:uuid:49176edf-e36e-19d0-bd55-63d68bb4a10e Thu, 23 May 2024 13:56:28 +0000 On Tuesday night Theatre Passe Muraille hosted the first of two &#8220;music and food&#8221; shows curated by members of the Women in Musical Leadership programme under the auspices of Tapestry Opera.  Juliane Gallant trawled her Acadian roots to create Le &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>On Tuesday night Theatre Passe Muraille hosted the first of two &#8220;music and food&#8221; shows curated by members of the Women in Musical Leadership programme under the auspices of Tapestry Opera.  Juliane Gallant trawled her Acadian roots to create <em>Le Kitchen Party</em>.fun.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38054" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-4942/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-4942.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716313291&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;125&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1400&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-4942" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-4942.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-4942.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38054 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-4942.jpg" alt="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-4942" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p><span id="more-38046"></span>It was fun.  The serious side of Acadian culture and (rather grim) history was handled with a light touch and some humour.  The music was varied.  There were French mélodies; largely on the theme of the ocean and its simultaneous allure and deadliness.  That&#8217;s something that anyone from a maritime culture will relate to.  They were sung stylishly by Jacques Arsenault with Pierre-André Doucet at the piano.  There was more popular material; old and new, with Jacques often accompanying himself on accordion.  Since most of this material was in dialect I suspect that even fluent French speakers will have appreciated the surtitles (interleaved with gorgeous photographs).</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38055" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5044/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5044.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716314706&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5044" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5044.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5044.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38055 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5044.jpg" alt="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5044" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>There were tunes.  Jacques was joined by the extremely engaging violinist Marie Andrée Gaudet.  She showed what a really good violinist who is also steeped in tradition can do with what are essentially dance tunes.  There was a lot of foot stomping.  There was also a very good new composition; <em>Un autre 15 août</em>.  Sophie Dupuis set words by Pierre-André.  The text celebrates la Fête nationale de l&#8217;Acadie (quinze août) from the perspective of one who is rarely &#8220;at home&#8221; for the holiday but still feels deeply connected to the culture.  The music dflirted (maybe a little more than flirted) with Acadian folk roots while remaining very much a composed piece.  Scored for tenor, piano and violin, it was beautifully sung/played by Jacques, Pierre-André and Marie Andrée.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38056" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5137/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5137.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716315956&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5137" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5137.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5137.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38056 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5137.jpg" alt="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5137" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>And while all this was going. on Juliane was stuck in the kitchen preparing Fricot; a traditional soup/stew of chicken and vegetables infused with savory and served with dumplings.  We didn&#8217;t get to taste her efforts (elf and safety) but a catered version was provided.  The fact that the national dish of (largely) fisher folk features chicken maybe says a lot about the checkered history of l&#8217;Acadie.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38057" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5323/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5323.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716319448&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;52&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1400&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5323" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5323.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5323.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38057 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5323.jpg" alt="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5323" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>So, lots of fun and some fine music making.  And just enough thought provoking stuff.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38058" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/23/le-kitchen-party/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5335/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5335.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1716319495&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5335" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5335.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5335.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38058 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/taplekitchenparty-photobydahliakatz-5335.jpg" alt="TapLeKitchenParty-photobyDahliaKatz-5335" width="1160" height="773" /></p> <p>Photo credit: Dahlia Katz</p> A mouth so fair it must be kissed https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/a-mouth-so-fair-it-must-be-kissed/ parterre box urn:uuid:a3db367d-b44d-d4f3-a731-6e4864830bbb Thu, 23 May 2024 13:00:38 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/a-mouth-so-fair-it-must-be-kissed/"><img width="720" height="246" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-featured-720x246.png" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-featured-720x246.png 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-featured-300x103.png 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-featured-768x263.png 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-featured-210x72.png 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-featured.png 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>“What a day, what a day for an <em>Auto-da-fe!”</em> and it’s also always a good day for <em>Candide</em>, so Chris’s Cache presents a pirate recording of a 1971 staging starring <strong>Mary Costa</strong>, <strong>Frank Porretta</strong>, and <strong>William Lewis</strong>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/a-mouth-so-fair-it-must-be-kissed/">A mouth so fair it must be kissed</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95868" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-main.png" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-main.png 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-main-300x169.png 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/mary-costa-main-210x118.png 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As we were going through <a href="https://parterre.com/tag/our-own-jj/"><strong>James Jorden</strong></a>’s things at his Sunnyside apartment, I came across a large brown envelope postmarked 2008 containing a collection of glamourous black-and-white photos of Costa, two or three you’ll see here. That discovery prompted me to pull out this recording featuring Costa, still very much with us at 94 and a particular favorite of numerous <em>parterre box </em>readers<em>.</em></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The recording originates from a touring production that hoped to end up on Broadway. That, alas, was not to be. My understanding is that the edition was similar to the one used three years earlier at a Philharmonic Hall concert with <strong>Madeline Kahn</strong> as Cunegonde. Tinkering with the book during the tour ultimately led to <strong>Hellman</strong>’s demanding that her name be taken off the credits. Readers may be able to fill in more details about the aborted tour.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95867" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/costa-2.png" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/costa-2.png 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/costa-2-300x169.png 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/costa-2-210x118.png 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">I have hopes that Bard Summerscape might do <em>Candide </em>as its maverick theater director <strong>Daniel Fish</strong> (responsible for the dark <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2019/07/26/sweeping-down-the-plains/">Oklahoma</a> </em>that came to Broadway after its premiere at Bard) mounted the problematic work in late 2022 at the Opéra de Lyon. Though I only heard a radio broadcast, it succeeded for me by jettisoning all dialogue. One glorious number followed another linked only by spoken, very Panglossian aphorisms. It’s a <em>Candide </em>concept I’d very much like to experience in person.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The Netflix biopic <a href="https://parterre.com/2023/12/29/for-so-our-master-said/">misfire</a> <em>Maestro </em>included surprisingly few references to/or examples of <strong>Leonard Bernstein</strong>’s compositions. But it did feature a scene of <strong>Bradley Cooper</strong> conducting a chorus in the great <em>Candide </em>finale “Make our Garden Grow,” but I don’t believe the title of the show (my very favorite Bernstein) was even mentioned.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Bernstein: <em>Candide</em></strong></p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" title="Embed Player" src="https://play.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/31382577/height/192/theme/modern/size/large/thumbnail/yes/custom-color/4a3b2a/time-start/00:00:00/hide-playlist/yes/download/yes/font-color/FFFFFF" width="100%" height="192" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Cunegonde: Mary Costa<br /> The Old Lady: Rae Allen<br /> Candide: Frank Porretta<br /> Pangloss/ Martin: Douglas Campbell<br /> The Governor &amp; others: William Lewis<br /> Maximilian &amp; others: Joshua Hecht</p> <p>Conductor: Ross Reimuller<br /> San Francisco Light Opera<br /> July 1971<br /> In-house recording</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Candide </em>can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a cloud with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Never miss an episode of Chris’s Cache! Subscribe to this podcast via <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/chriss-cache/id1039652739">Apple Podcasts</a> or <a href="https://feeds.libsyn.com/18682/rss">RSS</a>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/a-mouth-so-fair-it-must-be-kissed/">A mouth so fair it must be kissed</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> High drama https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/high-drama/ parterre box urn:uuid:8c26540b-0e23-6a20-7a11-383d2ef7940d Thu, 23 May 2024 10:00:25 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/high-drama/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ingeborg-hallstein-720x245.png" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ingeborg-hallstein-720x245.png 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ingeborg-hallstein-300x102.png 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ingeborg-hallstein-768x262.png 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ingeborg-hallstein-210x72.png 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ingeborg-hallstein.png 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 88th birthday soprano <strong>Ingeborg Hallstein</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/high-drama/">High drama</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoPsHWPIxp0&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoPsHWPIxp0</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of sopranos <strong>Rosa Raisa</strong> (1893) and <strong>Ilva Ligabue</strong> (1932),<br /> baritones <strong>Heinrich Rehkemper</strong> (1894) and <strong>Horst Günter</strong> (1913)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 96th birthday conductor <strong>Günther Wich</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/23/high-drama/">High drama</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> What’s on in June? https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/22/whats-on-in-june/ operaramblings urn:uuid:676feb0e-e968-12d7-e6da-d862a2a5a1ec Wed, 22 May 2024 18:54:19 +0000 Here&#8217;s an events listing for June as it currently stands: Canadian Children&#8217;s Opera Company are doing Dean Burry&#8217;s The Hobbit at Harbourfront Centre on May 31st through June 2nd. June 6th at 7.30pm at Arrayspace there&#8217;s Echoes of Bi-Sotoon; short &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/22/whats-on-in-june/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><img data-attachment-id="38051" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/22/whats-on-in-june/junebug/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/junebug.png" data-orig-size="290,215" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="junebug" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/junebug.png?w=290" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/junebug.png?w=290" class="size-full wp-image-38051 alignleft" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/junebug.png" alt="junebug" width="290" height="215" />Here&#8217;s an events listing for June as it currently stands:</p> <ul> <li>Canadian Children&#8217;s Opera Company are doing Dean Burry&#8217;s <em>The Hobbit</em> at Harbourfront Centre on May 31st through June 2nd.</li> <li>June 6th at 7.30pm at Arrayspace there&#8217;s <em>Echoes of Bi-Sotoon</em>; short operatic works by seven composers inspired by the ancient site of Bi-Sotoon (which) means the place of the gods).</li> </ul> <p><span id="more-38034"></span></p> <ul> <li>Tafelmusik have free concerts at various venues on the 10th, 15th, 19th and 22nd,  Details <a href="https://tafelmusik.org/concerts-events/concerts/toronto-baroque-summer-festival-2024/">here</a>.</li> <li>June 11th is opening night for <em>The Caged Bird Sings</em> at the Aga Khan Museum.  It&#8217;s a reimagining of Rumi’s <em>Masnavi </em>by Rouvan Silogix, Rafeh Mahmud, and Ahad Lakhani presented by Modern Times Stage Company and Theatre ARTaud.  Preview on the 10th and shows running various dates/times until the 22nd.</li> <li>Opera 5 are back live with Benjamin Britten&#8217;s <em>The Turn the Scre</em>w with proper sized chamber orchestra.  That runs at Theatre Passe Muraille from June 12th-15th.</li> <li>June 14th to 16th the COC are presenting <a href="https://www.coc.ca/productions/24407"><em>Aportia Chryptych: A Black Opera for Portia</em> <em>White</em></a> by Sean Mayes and HAUI at the COC Theatre.  Tickets are pretty hard to come by but there is <a href="https://form.jotform.com/240956386849273">a free livestream</a> on the afternoon of the 15th.</li> <li>On June 15th there&#8217;s a chance to see the film of <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2017/07/17/sweat/"><em>Sweat</em></a>; created by Jenn Nicholls and Bicycle Opera during the pandemic following the live show that toured in 2017.  It&#8217;s at 6.30pm at the revue Cinema.</li> </ul> <p>So, as usual, June is a bit thin (though no doubt I&#8217;ve missed stuff) but come July and <em>Toronto Summer Music</em> it will be super busy again.</p> Carmen https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/carmen-15/ parterre box urn:uuid:4d765603-01d5-d88d-9468-4d16c00160b5 Wed, 22 May 2024 16:00:38 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/carmen-15/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Diego Matheuz</strong> conducts <strong>Clémentine Margaine, Michael Fabiano, Ailyn Pérez</strong> and <strong>Ryan Speedo Green</strong> in a broadcast from New York</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/carmen-15/">Carmen</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95430" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-main.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-main.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-main-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/met-carmen-main-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion start at <strong><a href="https://www.metopera.org/season/radio/free-live-audio-streams/">6:55 PM EDT</a></strong>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/carmen-15/">Carmen</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> On the Silk Road again https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/on-the-silk-road-again/ parterre box urn:uuid:c182e5a6-8aeb-12ed-0f2f-864191a4cc22 Wed, 22 May 2024 13:00:38 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/on-the-silk-road-again/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>The melodrama was fabulous.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/on-the-silk-road-again/">On the Silk Road again</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95852" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="403" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A6424_PR-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">How long have I waited since the season announcement last year saying LA Opera was finally (finally, finally) mounting </span><b>David Hockney</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">’s production of </span><b>Giacomo Puccini</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">’s </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Turandot</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">, co-produced by Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera? It debuted way back in 1992 in the Windy City, was then filmed from Baghdad by the Bay in 1993, and I’ve been clutching the DVD (in spite of its middling cast) ever since. Hockney’s stark lines and primary colors magically combine to create a seemingly acid-induced mash-up of Imperial China and Who-ville. Also proving the near perfect antidote to all that Zeffirellian chinoiserie and incense they’re burning over at The Met.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The production history of </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Turandot</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> at LA Opera is sparse, to put it mildly. One other production in 2002, designed by </span><b>Michael Scott</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, featured an Act II set so deep and steeply raked that the soprano singing the title role got spontaneous applause half way through the riddle scene when she finally came into view for the majority of those watching. Her father, the Emperor, was seated so far back and on high that his identity still remains a mystery to many. </span><b>Giancarlo Del Monaco</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> directed and I heard stories about things being thrown at people in rehearsal (fun). The only one who made it out alive (ironically) and unscathed was the masterful Liu of </span><b>Hei-Kyung Hong</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> who literally stopped time every time she sang. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The majority of the excitement was generated by the US debut of the new ending to Act III commissioned by the Puccini Foundation and written by </span><b>Luciano Berio</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that had been performed in concert in Las Palmas (of all places) but was staged first in Los Angeles, then Amsterdam and finally Salzburg where it was filmed. Yours truly bought tickets in the very front row of the orchestra (I’d have volunteered to turn pages for conductor </span><b>Kent Nagano</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> if I could have) just to see first-hand what was going on. When the curtain finally came down I will never forget the reaction of the gentleman sitting to my left who turned to his seatmate and said, in a perfectly projected stage whisper, “What the </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">HELL</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> was that?” My sentiments exactly. In spite of Puccini archeologist </span><b>Riccardo Chailly</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> presenting it at La Scala as recently as 2015, it never stuck. If I had my druthers we’d all be listening to </span><b>Franco Alfano</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">’s first version of the finale before Maestro </span><b>Toscanini</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> cut over 100 bars of music from it, but no one consults me on these matters. </span></p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95856" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A5772_PR.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A5772_PR.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A5772_PR-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_75A5772_PR-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles stands at the corners of “1st”, “Hope,”’ and “Grand,” which wholly captured my nervous expectation as I approached for Saturday night’s performance at the Music Center.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">My first grand hope was centered on the premiere performance of </span><b>Angela Meade</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the title role. I missed her debut here as </span><b>Mozart’</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">s Donna Anna in 2012 but she was an impassioned </span><a href="https://parterre.com/2015/12/08/the-rite-stuff/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Norma</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the </span><b>Bellini</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> here in 2015. Plus she rode to our rescue in 2020 when the soprano singing Queen Elizabeth in our </span><a href="https://parterre.com/2020/02/25/roberto-dangerous/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Roberto Devereux</span></i></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">canceled at the very last moment. I’ve naturally followed her career at the Metropolitan Opera closely via the On Demand app since its inception. LA Opera is a great place for an out-of-town tryout since the international press rarely pays any attention to us. The problem with Angela Meade’s career is that she started at the very top, making her professional debut at the Metropolitan Opera as a formidable Elvira in Verdi’s </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ernani</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in 2008, so there’s nowhere to go from there but down. She’s maintained a fairly steady diet of Bel Canto and </span><b>Verdi</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and I’d read positive things about some </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Walküre</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Sieglinde&#8217;s not too long ago (he said with one eyebrow raised). Still Puccini’s ‘Gong with the Wind’ is a whole other matter. It carries a formidable reputation as a voice killer. She doesn’t show up till Act II, however, so gather ‘round, beloveds.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Maestro </span><b>James Conlon</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> walked into the pit positively brimming with players (86 to be exact) and gave the down beat for those famous tonic chords that immediately transport us into Puccini’s exotic conjuring of ancient China. Things got off to a good start with the Mandarin of </span><b>Alan Williams</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> who was stentorian in all the right places as Beijing’s town crier.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Things hotted up considerably with the appearance of the Timur of </span><b>Morris Robinson</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> being led by the Liu of </span><b>Guanqun Yu</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> calling for help and then suddenly being reunited with his son, </span><b>the </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">Calaf of </span><b>Russell Thomas</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">. It was immediately apparent that everyone showed up for work and then some. To hear a voice the stature of Mr. Robinson’s in the role of Timur, one usually has to turn on a </span><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/10/come-to-the-record-store-in-old-peking/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">recording</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and sometimes you’re not even that lucky. Ms. Yu capped her first phrases with such a lovely, poised, ‘sorriso’ it was goose-flesh time. Mr. Thomas started singing at such a level of fervor from the first, I was stunned and secretly wondered to myself if he could sustain it for the rest of the evening.</span></p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95857" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_credit_Cory_Weaver_74A0782_PR.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="404" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_credit_Cory_Weaver_74A0782_PR.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_credit_Cory_Weaver_74A0782_PR-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_credit_Cory_Weaver_74A0782_PR-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the chorus in Act I is almost the main character and I would be remiss not to mention that we had a bumpy start to the evening in their big set piece ‘Gira la cote!’ Frankly both the chorus and orchestra sounded under-rehearsed. I recognize this is an extraordinarily difficult piece to pull off in the theater&#8211;the rhythms are tricky, no doubt&#8211;but there were serious disconnects between pit and stage and to my ear the tenors whiffed at least two entrances during the hymn to the moon, which is the slow part. It’s hard to place a finger on what went wrong but things certainly improved as the evening progressed. Still there were continuing, if only occasional, ill-timed or missed entrances from the orchestra all evening. Too many players new to the group? I’m sure things will be put to rights, but it did make me look around for my seat belt. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Shortly thereafter Mr. Thomas continued covering himself with glory. Starting with “O divina bellezza,” he made a habit of alternating a potent </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">mezza voce</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> with taking two phrases in one breath when he wanted. To my ear I can’t recall a better or more viscerally sung Calaf that I’ve heard live. And this was just the beginning of his evening.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Our three masks showed up trying to dissuade our tenor from throwing his life away in the personas of baritone </span><b>Ryan Wolfe</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as Ping, and tenors </span><b>Terrence Chin-Loy</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as Pang and </span><b>Julius Ahn</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as Pong (the Italian opera equivalent of a barbershop quartet who have to dance and chew gum at the same time). They remained on point all evening long, flawlessly harmonizing and keeping up with their complicated choreography and fan snapping. The opening of the second act is my favorite part of the score and I’m happy to say that we got the entire scene in full (you’ll never get me to understand why the Met, of all places, takes a cut in this scene to this day). Mr. Chin-Loy had the sweetest voice of the three, but Mr. Ahn had the audience in the palm of his hand with his deft timing and comic business. The audience openly enjoyed them from the first and they even got spontaneous applause at the end of Act II, Scene 1.</span></p> <p><a href=" <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb0qBDjaWbY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb0qBDjaWbY</a></p> <p></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I’ve enjoyed Ms. Yu here in all of her roles from Mozart’s Vitellia to Verdi’s </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Trovatore</span></i> <a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/20/uncloistered/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Leonora</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Her soft-grained soprano and easy top are particularly suited to Puccini’s heartbroken, enslaved youth. She made a very special moment of “Signore, ascolta” with a stunning </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">messa di voce</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> effect on the final B-flat that she should patent. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I cut my teeth on David Hockney’s </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tristan und Isolde</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> here at LA Opera on its first run and caught his </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Frau ohne Schatten </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">on its second revival. To finally see this production live was a real treat and in spite of its age, LA Opera did it proud. </span><b>Gary Marder</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> did an excellent job working off of </span><b>Thomas J. Munn</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">’s original lighting plot and there are so many moments here where the lighting, that Hockney himself helped design, turns the sets into theatrical magic. The moon light hitting the stylized tiled roofs in Act One and the shifting perspectives in the opening of Act Three in the garden were just two standout moments. </span></p> <p><b>Ian Falconer</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">’s costumes are gorgeous and rich in detail, some so heavy with trapunto quilting (especially for the trio of Ping, Pang, and Pong) they almost resemble snowsuits. The colors, true to Mr. Hockney’s eye, always offer maximum relief from one another and keep his stylized line.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Then, with much laying on of offstage brass (12 of them, I counted, who never put a foot wrong all night, thank you) and some pretty good acrobatics featuring ribbon flags, the moment finally arrived. </span></p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95855" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A7155_PR-1.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="402" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A7155_PR-1.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A7155_PR-1-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A7155_PR-1-210x117.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here’s the thing about singing Puccini’s </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Turandot,</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> you spend an entire act and a half backstage cooling your heels with just a brief peek onstage halfway through Act I. Meanwhile, you are the only topic of conversation for every character on stage. Then you’re supposed to saunter on to all that fanfare and advance press halfway through the opera, while everyone else has had plenty of time to warm up, and deliver like a boss. Which is exactly what Ms. Angela Meade did. She was literally ferocious from the first. The voice was perfectly placed with none of that tentative reaching for high notes (which start coming pretty fast). Plus, the bottom of that voice has filled out considerably to juicy effect. She literally sailed through “In questa reggia.” She was also determined to involve the audience in her story&#8211; she was so completely committed to the text you could have taken dictation from her. How many sopranos have I heard who started so tentatively that they didn’t actually start ‘singing’ until halfway through Act III, almost afraid to pronounce the words? The result is some weird combination of solfège with consonants.   </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the conclusion of the aria, Mr. Thomas joined in for the bit with ‘anything you can sing I can sing higher’ and they both ended up on the ‘C’ in alt and, children, it was g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s. Just as things quieted down, a single person in the back broke into the most rabid applause for a hot second. I felt it, but the rest of us were too stunned to move. Then she unleashed one of the most titanic “Straniero, Ascolta!”s I’ve ever heard (in one breath mind you) and I was afraid the oxygen mask over my seat was going to deploy.   </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">My favorite moment was after the second riddle when the Emperor called out for Calaf to have courage and she gave her dad some atomic side-eye. Then when he got the answer right, she marched over to the three wise men, grabbed the scroll, and flung it out of sight like, “these riddles are crap.” The melodrama was fabulous. When Mr. Thomas triumphed, and she was begging daddy not to marry her off, she did some very nifty dominating of the ensemble, climbing the hill up to the high C’s and blazing out over the top of the entire chorus and orchestra not once, but twice. At this point I was pretty certain the first three rows of the audience were suffering from tinnitus. Not to be outdone, Mr. Thomas took the optional high C in ‘ardente’ because it was that kind of evening.</span></p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95858" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A8218_PR.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A8218_PR.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A8218_PR-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Turandot_LA_Opera_2024_photo_by_Cory_Weaver_74A8218_PR-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The opening of Act III was magic with Mr. Thomas giving us the most heroic version of the Operatic National Anthem I’ve heard (and ‘heroic’ is the adjective I’ve been searching for as I have been writing all day). For once, the dancing girls and casket of jewels was so well staged and choreographed it wasn’t embarrassing. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms. Yu and Mr. Robinson were dragged on and I don’t want to spoil it for the newbies but Ms. Yu was positively heartbreaking in the double-barrelled suicide aria. I appreciated how they kept a number of choristers onstage just on the periphery so that pitch didn’t stray as they all exited. I tip my hat to whomever came up with that idea. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Then we were back at “Clash of the Titans,” except Ms. Meade literally melted during her “Del primo pianto.” She intentionally and deliberately softened the top of her voice so it was all warmth and started really leaning into her bel canto training. Then, Mr. Thomas revealed his name and we were back with ‘anything you can sing I can sing louder’ and my ears were literally ringing in my seat (no joke). </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I don’t know where the final set comes from. It just drops out of the flies and appears in front of you like magic. Plus, after all of that, it’s dazzling to look at in-person. When the curtain came down, it was the first time in LA I’ve seen a standing ovation start before there were any performers back on stage for the calls. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I’m sorry I wasn’t out on the plaza to see the white smoke puff out of chimney from the top of the Dorothy Chandler for Ms. Meade. If you were even slightly on the fence to see this, move fast because I’m planning on going again and there are hardly any seats available for the remaining five </span><a href="https://www.laopera.org/performances/202324-season/turandot/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">performances</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> through June 8th.</span></p> <p><em>Photos: Cory Weaver</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/on-the-silk-road-again/">On the Silk Road again</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> O hehrstes Wunder! https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/o-hehrstes-wunder/ parterre box urn:uuid:7e45ba2a-5001-1a71-8b63-4d55888f771a Wed, 22 May 2024 10:00:31 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/o-hehrstes-wunder/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/wagner-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/wagner-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/wagner-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/wagner-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/wagner-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/wagner-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1813 composer <strong>Richard Wagner</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/o-hehrstes-wunder/">O hehrstes Wunder!</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeRwBiu4wfQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeRwBiu4wfQ</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of soprano <strong>Vina Bovy</strong> (1900),<br /> conductor <strong>Frantisek Jílek</strong> (1913),<br /> and tenor <strong>James King</strong> (1925)</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/22/o-hehrstes-wunder/">O hehrstes Wunder!</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Roméo et Juliette https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/romeo-et-juliette-8/ parterre box urn:uuid:416ecf7a-23a4-2e2e-4f14-85b5c29b23b5 Tue, 21 May 2024 13:00:56 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/romeo-et-juliette-8/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-bernheim-romeo-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-bernheim-romeo-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-bernheim-romeo-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-bernheim-romeo-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-bernheim-romeo-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-bernheim-romeo.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><b>Carlo Rizzi </b>conducts<b> Elsa Dreisig, Benjamin Bernheim, Lea Desandre,<br /> Huw Montague Rendall, </b>and <b>Jean Teitgen </b>in a performance from Paris recorded last spring</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/romeo-et-juliette-8/">Roméo et Juliette</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="size-full wp-image-95829" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-bernheim-romeo.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="407" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-bernheim-romeo.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-bernheim-romeo-300x170.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-bernheim-romeo-210x119.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion begin at <strong><a href="https://mediaklikk.hu/bartok#">1:30 PM EDT</a></strong>.</p> <p><em>Photo: Vincent Pontet</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/romeo-et-juliette-8/">Roméo et Juliette</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Everything the light touches https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/everything-the-light-touches/ parterre box urn:uuid:c5ad2dfd-991a-e345-3b98-5a9ed75c8ccc Tue, 21 May 2024 13:00:24 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/everything-the-light-touches/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-768x261.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-210x71.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Like Emily discovering her gift in <em>The Weight of Light</em>, Vanguard fellows (ideally) come through a process of intense multivocality with a stronger sense of their own individual voice.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/everything-the-light-touches/">Everything the light touches</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95807" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Gillian-Rae-Perry-and-Alexandra-Enyart_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Talking chairs, loving ghosts, attentive friends—all central components of <em>The Weight of Light</em> by <strong>Gillian Rae Perry</strong>, a sweet and sensitive new opera presented in concert form by the Chicago Opera Theater<strong>. </strong>Although she has worked extensively as a composer and singer-songwriter, <em>The Weight of Light</em> is Gillian Rae Perry’s first opera. These are precisely the artists that the Chicago Opera Theatre’s <a href="https://www.chicagooperatheater.org/the-vanguard-initiative">Vanguard Initiative</a> exists to support: experienced composers looking to apply their skills to a new medium.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Artists spend two years in residence with the Chicago Opera Theater to build the opera composer’s unique skill set: vocal scoring; dramatic pace; instrumentation; working with singers, directors, conductors; the administrative logistics of music publishing and industry networking. By the end of this mentorship process, Vanguard composers have produced a full-length operatic work for the Chicago Opera Theater to present as a concert performance. Complete but minimally staged, the works are then ready to be snapped up and fully staged by any opera company looking to premier new works.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em>The Weight of Light </em>traces the life of Emily (<strong>Hayley Fox</strong>), a young girl who discovers that she can do more than just see and interact with objects—she can hear them, too. Emily’s mother, Dawn (<strong>Michelle Mariposa</strong>), shares her gift. While Emily and Dawn delight in the vitality of things, finding new pleasures in the dishabituated world around them, they also become frustrated by warring sensory inputs; heavy is the head that communes with windows and chairs.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95808" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/The-cast-of-The-Weight-of-Light-_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="402" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/The-cast-of-The-Weight-of-Light-_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/The-cast-of-The-Weight-of-Light-_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/The-cast-of-The-Weight-of-Light-_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-210x117.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Enter <em>The Weight of Light</em>’s chorus of three (<strong>Karlos Pinero-Mercado, Louise Floyd, Leah Dexter</strong>) echoing behind Emily and Dawn as the objects themselves. These harmonies—sometimes honeyed, sometimes discordant—interrupt the “main” dialogue with an eager line of questioning: <em>I am the chair. Can you hear me? </em>Seeking respite, Emily tries to tell her friend, Trevor (<strong>Karlos Pinero-Mercado</strong>); a scared Dawn instructs her to keep their secret no matter what. After Dawn’s death, Emily begins to hear her mother in those same windows and chairs, realizing that her extraordinary connectedness to things can facilitate her ordinary connectedness to people.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Perry has taken up this coming of age story—expressed in a conversational, somewhat unfocused libretto by <strong>Marcus Amaker</strong>—and set it to music with buoyant sensitivity. Her score, gracefully conducted by <strong>Alexandra Enyart</strong>, features sinuous lines for the clarinet and warm ripples of harp that brush smoothly against the sung melody. Vocally, Michelle Mariposa stood out as Dawn. Dawn’s aria was some of the opera’s most beautiful music: a meditation on the burden of silence passed from mother to daughter; the plot’s emotional core, particularly as rendered by Mariposa’s rich, powerful mezzo.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Pinero-Mercado, Dexter, and Floyd’s deconstructed chorus of objects was another musical highlight. Imagine: three overlapping vocal lines, consonants separated from vowels, words shared by singers, ideas conveyed only by careful attentiveness to all three voices at once. The diva brashness of all three singers’ stage presences made their demands to be heard as charming as they were surreal; when the chair asked to be heard, Emily—and the audience in turn—had no choice but to hear it.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95809" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Karlos-Pinero-Mercado_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-2.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Karlos-Pinero-Mercado_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-2.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Karlos-Pinero-Mercado_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-2-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Karlos-Pinero-Mercado_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-2-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">By contrast, in their other role as Trevor, Pinero-Mercado’s strong, clear tenor was all sensitivity and earnestness. They made an effective foil for <strong>Hayley Fox</strong>, whose sweet and grounded soprano voice convincingly took Emily from childhood to adulthood.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Talking to some of the key figures involved in bringing <em>The Weight of Light</em> to life, the piece’s interest in community and communication seems like a natural reflection of its own composition process. Rooms where everyone present gets to have their say (despite the challenge of sorting through competing voices) were the sites for not only <em>Light</em>, but also <em>Light</em>’s creative method. In our conversations, composer Gillian Rae Perry, Vanguard Initiative Program Director <strong>Lidiya Yankovskaya</strong>, and singer Karlos Pinero-Mercado all praised Vanguard as a highly collaborative operation.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Yankovskaya, in particular, stressed Vanguard’s focus on teaching budding opera composers the skill of juggling collaborators—librettists, directors, conductors, singers—and weighing external contributions against their personal point of view. As Yankovskaya told us, “composers have to assert what <em>their</em> vision is,” even as they incorporate generative feedback from a wide range of opinionated artists. Like Emily discovering her gift, Vanguard fellows (ideally) come through a process of intense multivocality with a stronger sense of their own individual voice.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95810" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Michelle-Mariposa_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Michelle-Mariposa_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Michelle-Mariposa_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Hayley-Fox-and-Michelle-Mariposa_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This was a sentiment echoed by Perry, who kept returning to the effects of Yankovskaya’s mentorship on her composition. For her, the art form itself was an inevitability: “As soon as I knew about opera,” she asserted, “I was like, I’ll do that one day!” In a college assignment to make a ten-year year plan, in fact, Perry included: “Write an opera in the next ten years.” She turned in that assignment as a freshman, age seventeen; <em>The Weight of Light</em> premiered two months after her twenty-eighth birthday.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As confident as Perry was at seventeen, making the jump from composing shorter works to full-length dramatic pieces is never easy. It requires the luxury of time and space for experimentation. As Yankovskaya observed, this luxury is becoming rarer and rarer to find. With footage from new operas being disseminated widely and immediately on social media, composers are less able to transform their works in response to feedback. To put it another way: public response “freezes” new works in earlier and earlier phases of their creative processes.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The Vanguard Initiative, then, aims to carve out for its fellows some of the luxuries—time, money, support, feedback—available to an earlier generation of composers, resources that were once the standard rewards of the patronage model. Vanguard, however, offers these opportunities to composers whose backgrounds are more diverse than the opera industry standard—which, where composers are concerned, is still weighted heavily towards the white and male. Perry relayed, for example, that she knew Vanguard was a good fit when her interview for the program was conducted by a room full of women.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95811" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Marcus-Amaker-Hayley-Fox-Michelle-Mariposa-Alexandra-Enyart-and-Gillian-Rae-Perry_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Marcus-Amaker-Hayley-Fox-Michelle-Mariposa-Alexandra-Enyart-and-Gillian-Rae-Perry_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Marcus-Amaker-Hayley-Fox-Michelle-Mariposa-Alexandra-Enyart-and-Gillian-Rae-Perry_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Marcus-Amaker-Hayley-Fox-Michelle-Mariposa-Alexandra-Enyart-and-Gillian-Rae-Perry_-photo-by-Michael-Brosilow-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Karlos Pinero-Mercado, for their part, described a similar feeling of exceptional support in a rehearsal room full of queer and trans artists. Modeled on Pinero-Mercado, the character of Trevor is also non-binary—or, as a pleased Pinero-Mercado put it: “I played myself!”</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">If the Vanguard Initiative, as its name implies, exists to develop new frontiers of operatic composition, it is clear that a key part of that development will involve filling production teams and rehearsal rooms with diverse, collaborative artists. Why?Lidiya Yankovskaya sums it up: “If we stagnate, there’s not going to be a future for opera.”</p> <p><em>Photos: Michael Brosilow</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/everything-the-light-touches/">Everything the light touches</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Götterdämmerung, Deutsche Oper, 20 May 2024 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2024/05/gotterdammerung-deutsche-oper-20-may.html Boulezian urn:uuid:58a25e46-a540-988c-9bf2-1172fdb15d98 Tue, 21 May 2024 10:19:01 +0000 <p><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjiC7g4e9S4XANNx-bATU2hpOywOqWhBIUz1-0Ip9zgNNXIkEZof_xvXlFnyY26-jtbcvPdYTbvop0ZPYQdUzE00DEcCzgtKKkhZA8QkspSMPGrFaWXCmIbw6KvQLy5-mqadM5FH8FsPS53XNnp9BmSNFotsCf7e5bJvpBi-TctIlbp59jnU44e_yNiHjPc/s4253/GoetterdaemmerungB2_16Pesendorfer.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4253" height="426" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjiC7g4e9S4XANNx-bATU2hpOywOqWhBIUz1-0Ip9zgNNXIkEZof_xvXlFnyY26-jtbcvPdYTbvop0ZPYQdUzE00DEcCzgtKKkhZA8QkspSMPGrFaWXCmIbw6KvQLy5-mqadM5FH8FsPS53XNnp9BmSNFotsCf7e5bJvpBi-TctIlbp59jnU44e_yNiHjPc/w640-h426/GoetterdaemmerungB2_16Pesendorfer.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Bernd Uhlig (from 2021 premiere, with a considerably different cast)<br />Hagen (Albert Pesendorfer)</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div><br /></div><div>Siegfried - Clay Hilley<div>Brünnhilde – Ricarda Merbeth<br />Hagen – Albert Pesendorfer<br />Gunther – Thomas Lehman<br />Gutrune, Third Norn – Felicia Moore<br />Alberich – Jordan Shanahan<br />Waltraute – Annika Schlicht<br />First Norn, Floßhilde – Lindsay Ammann<br />Second Norn, Wellgunde – Karis Tucker<br />Woglinde – Lee-ann Dunbar <br /><br />Director – Stefan Herheim <br />Revival directors – Eva-Maria Abelein, Silke Sense <br />Set designs – Stefan Herheim, Silke Bauer <br />Costumes – Uta Heiseke <br />Video – Torge Møller <br />Lighting – Ulrich Niepel <br />Dramaturgy – Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach, Jörg Königsdorf <br /><br />Chorus and Additional Chorus of the Deutsche Oper (chorus director: Jeremy Bines)</div><div>Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper</div><div>Nicholas Carter (conductor)</div><div><br /> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">All things, good, bad, and indifferent, must come to an end; or must they? The idea that Wagner’s <i>Ring</i> is cyclical is widespread – many routinely refer to attending a ‘cycle’ – but it is at least open to criticism. More on that later, but this Deutsche Oper <i>Ring</i> has certainly come to an end with performances of great distinction, perhaps the most uniformly well cast I have ever seen, and with astonishing conducting from Nicholas Carter, certainly the best I have heard since <a href="https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2013/07/prom-20-staatskapelle-berlinbarenboim.html">Daniel Barenboim in 2013</a>. Not, of course, to forget the superlative playing given throughout by the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper, showing itself once again to be the match of any (Wagner) orchestra in the world, the Staatskapelle across town included. No <i>Ring</i> would be anything at all without Wagner’s reimagined Greek Chorus, leading, commenting, questioning, seducing, thrilling, and chilling; this one, as translucent as it was darkly malevolent, as weighty as it was agile, did all that and more. Only now, in the final instalment, it was joined by Wagner’s actual chorus, those of the Deutsche Oper as seemingly always excelling not only vocally but as dramatic participants onstage.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">A <i>Ring</i> in the theatre is, of course, its production too; this marked the end of Stefan Herheim’s memorable staging. No <i>Ring</i> is perfect: it is not, should never be, that sort of work. It is too big, too unmanageable, too much a ‘world’ for that. This has contributed much, though, not least from its insistence on Wagner’s ‘three days with preliminary evening’ as a musically driven drama that navigates between the concerns of an ongoing rite and something explicitly contemporary. In that, at its best, it has penetrated to Wagner’s own mythological practice, doing what it has shown and what it has suggested to us. If the final scene of <i><a href="https://seenandheard-international.com/2024/05/stefan-herheims-siegfried-at-berlins-deutsche-oper-berlin-is-fine-despite-a-problematic-third-act/">Siegfried</a></i> proved for me a rare disappointment, it also gained from what happened next—though I still think it would have benefited from heightened attention to the drama of Siegfried and Brünnhilde and less to the crowd of copulating extras around them. Here, though, at the onset of the Prologue to <i>Götterdämmerung</i>, the generational shift (which has already, strictly, been accomplished) is accompanied by a scenic one; or rather, the action passes between two basic settings throughout, the old one of the rehearsal room and piano, and the new one of the Deutsche Oper itself.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEiAZK0TJCjJle0CGR2RRZySmfvWu3lAgeBTXg0V7VNQr8J-6j382-yhGMT-yvcT_8r2K5n3RdCi8RcmSH_t-oJFnhzn4bCfmvQppY92-IQZclodISvg7LKjXGjy_nYzQde7M2mn0tVmQFg3E-K7T4Bg-mOJKYunjWsf4z8PpKevyWtHziq2v2ZKVROfHeXU/s4353/Goetterdaemmerung_063HilleyAsszonyi.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4353" height="416" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEiAZK0TJCjJle0CGR2RRZySmfvWu3lAgeBTXg0V7VNQr8J-6j382-yhGMT-yvcT_8r2K5n3RdCi8RcmSH_t-oJFnhzn4bCfmvQppY92-IQZclodISvg7LKjXGjy_nYzQde7M2mn0tVmQFg3E-K7T4Bg-mOJKYunjWsf4z8PpKevyWtHziq2v2ZKVROfHeXU/w640-h416/Goetterdaemmerung_063HilleyAsszonyi.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">We probably should not make too much of a distinction, or maybe we should, between actors and chorus. Perhaps some have gone on to be audience members, whilst some continue in their movement and ‘extra’ roles. The more important thing, I think, is that two related worlds less collide than interact. There is, after all, little point in telling a story if no one is there to listen. In any case, the actors surround blindfolded Norns (echoing the state at one point of the treble Woodbird), choreographically heightening the drama just as they did to form the Rhine in the first scene of <i>Das Rheingold</i>—and just as they will in the final scene of <i>Götterdämmerung</i> to form the fire, aided by striking red lighting. Again, some of the most powerful effects are the simplest and, as Wagner put it, the most ‘purely human’. Meyerbeer’s ‘effects without cause’ are neither his business nor ours, whatever the (exaggerated) claims that have been made for the elder composer’s influence on this drama. A degree of <i>grand opéra</i>, yes, but other composers in that genre, the creator of <i>Rienzi</i> included, loom larger, which is not to say that a blazing account of the second act trio – courtesy of the orchestra, Carter, Ricarda Merbeth, Albert Pesendorfer, and Thomas Lehman did not thrill – for it very much did.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Back for now, though, to Herheim. (In a sense, the distinction is false, albeit necessary to say anything at all.) The theatrical ‘business’ of dressing up continues to loom large, enabling characters to become – perhaps even to leave behind – ‘themselves’, as well as actors to become characters. White sheets become improbably large wedding dresses for Brünnhilde and Gutrune, their entanglements, their allure, and their physical dangers offering visual metaphors aplenty. Rhinemaidens, in losing their external trappings, become Norn-like, hieratic, in their warnings to Siegfried, Carter’s quasi-liturgical handling of the score both reflecting and leading that. Hagen assumes Siegfried’s heroic costume, whereas Siegfried fatally loses his. Gunther is likewise transformed from initial silliness (not a criticism, but rather a commendation of Lehman’s alert performance) into something more. The white tie of an ‘artist’ is the key, or at least it seems to be, as it is for Siegfried’s transformation (as well, undoubtedly, as whatever it is Hagen slips into his drink). Their scene on Brünnhilde’s rock is very well handled, both initially equals, sharing the lines, before Gunther fails and Siegfried must take over ‘as’ Gunther—before, of course, returning to the Gibichung Hall, where the sleep into which he keeps falling (Hagen’s doing?) overcomes him. It seems also to overwhelm during his final scene, staggering about, not ‘himself’—until he can finally become himself at his death, fully in keeping with Wagner.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhnIAsniMWyLO8d6lG1Pp5jor-glM6mYbfRJDASdMppOGlU-5cG-tPvAPz6Wqle198NK_8FqnSudYLwSEWvXPrzyPtDWJf-pCnQ2fSAt85gqwBXiE4NT0_AZ8E5zjOoxG1w2Jv8g8DTbCwn30vTC8eH9m2l9epa6kWiUqX3mo2mL5T2OJVk78D_vTOhbp3z/s4396/Goetterdaemmerung_089hf_LehmanHilley.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4396" height="412" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhnIAsniMWyLO8d6lG1Pp5jor-glM6mYbfRJDASdMppOGlU-5cG-tPvAPz6Wqle198NK_8FqnSudYLwSEWvXPrzyPtDWJf-pCnQ2fSAt85gqwBXiE4NT0_AZ8E5zjOoxG1w2Jv8g8DTbCwn30vTC8eH9m2l9epa6kWiUqX3mo2mL5T2OJVk78D_vTOhbp3z/w640-h412/Goetterdaemmerung_089hf_LehmanHilley.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Gunther (Thomas Lehman), Siegfried (Clay Hilley)</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">In the meantime, Hagen’s departure into the audience for his watch proves, with further Brechtian use of house lights at critical moments, a telling and striking <i>coup de théâtre</i>. First he finds Waltraute there, his intimidation a prod to the mission she undertakes to her sister. Then he conducts the dialogue with Alberich from there, his father on stage, Siegfried sleeping. Alberich’s presence as clown of death, spying the action, even trying to force the ring from the sleeping Siegfried’s hand, visually informs not only his son’s appearance but that of zombie guests to the abortive weddings. As we hear the Nibelung and his ring musically envelop the action, so does he colour the participants too. Not for nothing does he manically play the piano at the end of the first act and resume his performance at the beginning of the second. His longtime antagonist appears too, actors assembling to show, first during Waltraute’s narration and on occasion thereafter, Valhalla’s throng of gods and heroes, a weary Walvater finally descending to the piano to receive Brünnhilde’s ultimate judgement.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEiVK1jH6DjtlfSWW6T71tWe9zx-S8jZF3_pvQUEPESNHqoMbpchGDCHkNXBrgNIaPN5mOuoA_9LI3HhnWNB9Wtff8Q0nmg_2XsiLb5NI53M-jP7u28AoOiYFDPAxKXZVQmPO-zhqXowBmbY0nvEJvvUvxpYDYLwZFS8OvPouXmEZUUXLKyNmDCclgFt2vSF/s4348/Goetterdaemmerung_127HilleyLapkovskajaTuckerMarrero.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4348" height="418" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEiVK1jH6DjtlfSWW6T71tWe9zx-S8jZF3_pvQUEPESNHqoMbpchGDCHkNXBrgNIaPN5mOuoA_9LI3HhnWNB9Wtff8Q0nmg_2XsiLb5NI53M-jP7u28AoOiYFDPAxKXZVQmPO-zhqXowBmbY0nvEJvvUvxpYDYLwZFS8OvPouXmEZUUXLKyNmDCclgFt2vSF/w640-h418/Goetterdaemmerung_127HilleyLapkovskajaTuckerMarrero.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Before (re-)turning to the close, I should add a little about the vocal performances. Merbeth combined the headstrong virtues of her <i>Walküre</i> Brünnhilde and the lyrical ones of her <i>Siegfried</i> performance into a memorable assumption of her role. Clay Hilley again proved tireless – as tireless as a Siegfried can ever really be – and committed as the doomed hero. Pesendorfer and Jordan Shanahan’s Hagen and Alberich cast spells both dark and magical through voice and stage presence alike. Lehman’s Gunther and Felicia Moore’s warmly sympathetic Gutrune captured the difficult, sometimes thankless essence of their characters, always alert to the particular demands of the staging. Annika Schlicht’s chalumeau-like Waltraute was as much of a vocal and dramatic joy as her Fricka. Norns and Rhinemaidens were uniformly excellent. This was, I am delighted to reiterate, at least the equal of any <i>Ring</i> I have heard in uniform excellence of casting, and perhaps more than that. There may have been starrier casts; there may have been individual performances ‘bettered’ in one way or another, for there always will be. Yet across the board, the Deutsche Oper’s strong sense of company will take some beating.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEiZsDTzdYkUVShQq4_tHKslqf1zfr_8ODhM8K874vk3HXlUY91iBlZAc8Uz-9s5gJk2I4eDk6robgCJ1MuA-gbT1NEUFUYPV4Z0bhcXTf0PpnpF16HX6sX3Ycas5t0984ba06JGElV9N32oxbTNa_BK2fJ8fSlAGdmjEgbud2e4ex7m0bEk2I0TMHuT4zVM/s4253/Goetterdaemmerung_165hf_NinaStemme.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4253" height="426" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEiZsDTzdYkUVShQq4_tHKslqf1zfr_8ODhM8K874vk3HXlUY91iBlZAc8Uz-9s5gJk2I4eDk6robgCJ1MuA-gbT1NEUFUYPV4Z0bhcXTf0PpnpF16HX6sX3Ycas5t0984ba06JGElV9N32oxbTNa_BK2fJ8fSlAGdmjEgbud2e4ex7m0bEk2I0TMHuT4zVM/w640-h426/Goetterdaemmerung_165hf_NinaStemme.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Following departure of all from the stage and a splendidly oracular image summoning up memories of Delphi, but also of Patrice Chéreau and Pierre Boulez revelling in Wagner’s own revisiting its prophetic indeterminacy, we return to where we began: rehearsal room with lights, emergency exit, and piano, no sign of suitcases, refugees, or anyone/-thing else we have seen in between. A cleaner (with a hint of Erda to her?) comes to check all is as it should be. All has been washed away, or has it? Others will doubtless come along to stage the work again. The question remains whether they will have learned anything. For Wagner’s ‘watchers’, those ‘men and women moved to the very depths of their being’ were all along intended to imply this was not entirely a return, that consciousness had been created or raised. The <i>Ring</i> ends not in E-flat-major, but in D-flat, the key of Valhalla. Over, then, to those who have made it, us included. Only, given the achievements to date of ‘human consciousness’, who would bet against catastrophic repetition?<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></p></div></div> Un grande spettacolo https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/un-grande-spettacolo/ parterre box urn:uuid:e0ba5f43-30b0-2508-2b24-6a17f2cd1bcb Tue, 21 May 2024 10:00:00 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/un-grande-spettacolo/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lego-pagliacci-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lego-pagliacci-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lego-pagliacci-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lego-pagliacci-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lego-pagliacci-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/lego-pagliacci-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>On this day in 1892 <strong>Leoncavallo</strong>&#8216;s <em>Pagliacci</em> premiered in Milan</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/un-grande-spettacolo/">Un grande spettacolo</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y31KS0Yq7Gk&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y31KS0Yq7Gk</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 75th birthday soprano <strong>Rosalind Plowright</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM3XVjGCzg0&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM3XVjGCzg0</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries composer <strong>Pablo Luna</strong> (1879)<br /> and basses <strong>Giulio Neri </strong>(1909) and <strong>Forbes Robinson</strong> (1926)</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/21/un-grande-spettacolo/">Un grande spettacolo</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Flower maiden https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/flower-maiden/ parterre box urn:uuid:83d27101-5520-08fb-41b7-ce229ae0e77d Mon, 20 May 2024 13:00:52 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/flower-maiden/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Erin Morley</strong> closed Vocal Arts DC’s season on May 13th with a recital in the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, partnered by pianist <strong>Gerald Martin Moore</strong>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/flower-maiden/">Flower maiden</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95802" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-main.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="404" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-main.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-main-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/erin-morley-main-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">A steady fixture at the Met over the past decade and a half, her recital coincided with and featured selections from her first solo recital disc, “<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Bloom-Erin-Morely/dp/B0CW6JY6BX">Rose In Bloom</a>,” also with Moore.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The wide-ranging program featured selections in five languages and far-flung styles and periods, loosely linked by imagery of flowers and nature. Yet this felt like something more holistic than the typical recital grab bag, Morley offering an unusually unified sonic and artistic vision for these songs. Her high lying lyric soprano retains a distinctive and consistent color across her focused range, with dignified, cool-hued shades punctuated by flashes of blinding white in her upper extension.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The color and altitude of the voice give an impression of clarity and delicacy that can lull one into thinking this is a modestly sized instrument, but that would be a mistake, as she easily summons the same power she uses to reach the back of the Family Circle when needed. The refined vocal presentation is enhanced by an elegant bearing and economy of gesture on the recital stage, channeling the same self-assured presence and stillness that draws one’s eye to her characters in the opera house.</p> <p><a href=" <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=T50DHpgulH4&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=T50DHpgulH4</a></p> <p></a></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The evening opened with the first complete performance of <em>Huit Chansons de Fleur</em>, a song cycle by <strong>Ricky Ian Gordon</strong> which anchors the new album, featuring emotionally precise settings of poems from <strong>Gordon, Emily Dickinson, Dorothy Parker</strong>, and others. Gordon’s skill with vocal writing, honed across his prolific career in opera and musical theater, was immediately evident here in the organic flow of the word setting and ability to engage the listener in the text. The score’s gently ambivalent harmonic language elaborated on the concealed and conflicted emotions in the selected poems, while Moore’s insightful and reserved handling of the piano writing enveloped the vocal line with transparent textures.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Morley’s performance eschewed extremes, prioritizing subdued vocal effects and subtle changes in the weight of her sound to realize the score’s incremental turns from light to dark. The flower motifs in these poems, triggering memories or representing beautiful but distant and unattainable objects, found urgent expression in Morley’s palette of austere colors, while her careful engagement with the text added depth and movement to Gordon’s finely wrought vocal lines. Just a few of the highlights included “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” on poetry of <strong>Wordsworth</strong>, the wistful “Her Garden” on a text by <strong>Donald Hall</strong>, and “The Tulips” set to Gordon’s own text.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The following set of French songs offered a glimpse of the technical prowess that has been a mainstay of Morley’s career, from liquid trills in <strong>Bizet</strong>’s “Ouvre ton coeur” to ecstatic high notes (a final high note generating audible commotion in the audience) in <strong>Saint-Saens</strong>’s showpiece “La Libellule” and a virtuoso tour of different bird sounds in the same composer’s wordless “Le Rossignol et la rose.” After the relative warmth of the Gordon songs, Morley’s voice assumed a steelier edge here, a gleaming scalpel to meet the precision demands of these selections.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Two Russian selections prompted an earthier turn in her sound, employed in a limpid “Lilacs” from <strong>Rachmaninov</strong>’s Op. 21 Romances, and a deeply felt rendition of <strong>Rimsky-Korsakov</strong>’s “The Rose Enslaves the Nightingale” (Morley as Fevronia in <em>Invisible City of Kitezh </em>when?).</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95803" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/NDR5786.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="404" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/NDR5786.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/NDR5786-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/NDR5786-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Richard Strauss</strong>’s “Ich wollt’ ein Sträußlein Binden” was a bit of an inert opening to the German set, but the follow up was a glowing take on <strong>Robert Schumann</strong>’s “Der Nussbaum,” with its familiar piano theme sensitively interjected by Moore. <strong>Zemlinsky</strong>’s “Voglein Schwermut” (one of the occasional detours from flowers to birds) was darkly foreboding, while Morley affected a heavier vocal weight for the hothouse late romanticism of <strong>Berg</strong>’s “Der Nachtigall.”</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The final set featured a series of encores favored by 19th and early 20th century progenitors of Morley’s fach, with Moore adding some delightful trivia about the warring divas of the “nightingale” genre from the piano. But Morley approached this lighter fare with the same detail and intensity that characterized the rest of the program. “Last Rose of Summer,” a <strong>Jenny Lind</strong> signature that could easily take a turn for the maudlin, was stately and disarmingly earnest, Morley affecting just a hint of stiffness in the spirit of the song’s arch romantic milieu.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The bravura capstone, “Neath my Lattice” from <strong>Arthur Sullivan</strong>’s 1899 light opera <em>The Rose of Persia</em> was a vehicle for <strong>Ellen Beach Yaw</strong>, nicknamed the “California Nightingale,” and was presented here in Yaw’s original key. If this began as a delightfully ridiculous relic, any chuckles were thoroughly silenced by ascending runs reaching up to a series of hypersonic G flats. A single encore, <strong>Ivor Novello</strong>’s “We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Spring,” the big hit from the 1945 musical <em>Perchance to Dream</em>, echoed Morley’s wistful affect from “Last of Rose of Summer,” closing with a delicate floated pianissimo that nicely summed up the graceful and superbly executed music-making that characterized the evening.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Photos: Vocal Arts DC</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/flower-maiden/">Flower maiden</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Tosca https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/tosca-27/ parterre box urn:uuid:9a30ec71-5772-a3a1-6ac7-83a7816e5e1e Mon, 20 May 2024 13:00:21 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/tosca-27/"><img width="720" height="246" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_-720x246.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_-720x246.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_-300x103.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_-768x263.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/featured-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Eleonora Burrato</strong> makes a role debut and <strong>Andrea Battistoni</strong> conducts a live opening night performance from Munich with <strong>Charles Castronovo</strong> and <strong>Ludovic Tezier</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/tosca-27/">Tosca</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95820" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/main-Tosca_2024_E.Buratto_C.Castronovo_c_Wilfried_Hoesl__2_-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion begin at <strong><a href="https://www.br-klassik.de/programm/radio/ausstrahlung-3485390.html">12:00 PM EDT</a></strong>.</p> <p><em>Photo: Wilfried Hoesl</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/tosca-27/">Tosca</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> BPO/Roth - Žuraj and Bruckner, 19 May 2024 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2024/05/bporoth-zuraj-and-bruckner-19-may-2024.html Boulezian urn:uuid:0203f8c4-a603-6a09-5ce7-2688fdb7009e Mon, 20 May 2024 10:23:28 +0000 <br />Philharmonie<br /> <br /><b> Vito Žuraj: </b><i>Anemoi </i><br /><b>Bruckner: </b>Symphony no.3 in D minor (first version, 1873)<br /><br />Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra<br />François-Xavier Roth (conductor) <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEg5xJU5YSApPij2tsk5xgPcxWY5BC5CplZi30SPtoUH-yy-IzW4GZNDSSyAIWYm3CbSY6L9daHMDrB2eVfRNI3FJI-AwF-WloSi8SsQs3TE_jG2FuunBSNRdKBKyC5JpAavdGda-7D-hN30JPDtFemP2QvuxEYyA_uPVxOwXMC5nyQq-S23A37DeL0T96lU/s8256/BPhil_F_X_Roth_180524_MR_005%20(1).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="5504" data-original-width="8256" height="426" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEg5xJU5YSApPij2tsk5xgPcxWY5BC5CplZi30SPtoUH-yy-IzW4GZNDSSyAIWYm3CbSY6L9daHMDrB2eVfRNI3FJI-AwF-WloSi8SsQs3TE_jG2FuunBSNRdKBKyC5JpAavdGda-7D-hN30JPDtFemP2QvuxEYyA_uPVxOwXMC5nyQq-S23A37DeL0T96lU/w640-h426/BPhil_F_X_Roth_180524_MR_005%20(1).jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Image: Monika Rittershaus</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">What to do on the evening between <i>Siegfried</i> and <i>Götterdämmerung</i>? Saner souls might take a night off. Yours truly opted for the light relief of heading to the Philharmonie in a new work by Vito Žuraj and Bruckner’s Third Symphony, in performances from the Berlin Philharmonic and François-Xavier Roth. I am glad I did so too, for those performances were excellent, introducing an excellent new work for large orchestra, commissioned by that orchestra, in only its second performance (the first having taken place the night before), alongside a reassessment of a (to me) flawed repertoire work that made more sense of it than any other I have heard.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Žuraj’s <i>Anemoi</i> takes its name and inspiration from the Greek wind gods, children of the dawn goddess Eos and the god of dusk, Astraeus. Over its roughly twenty-five minutes, what is effectively a modern tone-poem introduced us to these gods as winds: less, I think, their effect (though we felt that) as the winds themselves. It offered a master-class in use of every section of the orchestra, various combinations of instruments employed as if this were a concerto for orchestra, or perhaps a concerto grosso, unfurling power all the greater when they came together in a storm, gods at work in their usual battling. It felt almost as if we were the land, receiving due battering—and less often, due benefit (closing raindrops a case in point). Sheer busy-ness of trumpets in one section, multiple uses to which trombones might be put, lyra sounds such as I had never heard from the harp, and evocation of the aulos in the opening, microtonally fracturing unison of oboes, cor anglaise included: these and more were impressive in themselves, but more importantly conveyed a narrative of melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, counterpoint, and more. Fantastically assured, it was no mere ‘showpiece’. Roth’s precision and that of the orchestra were, properly, means to an ‘expressive’ end, not ends in themselves.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">I had more or less given up on Bruckner’s Third Symphony, whichever version it was presented in. Roth’s direction had me hooked from the truly <i>misterioso</i> opening of the first movement, solo trumpet and strangely translucent orchestra drawing one in. There was certainly all the orchestral depth one could wish for when called for; traditional orchestral ‘choirs’ were likewise present and correct. Nothing, though, was taken for granted. This felt like an exciting exploration, Mendelssohn and even Berlioz (perhaps via Liszt and Bruckner) behind, another world in front. If, sceptic that I partly remain, I do not always find the first movement material especially memorable, harmonically and even melodically, its presentation made good, even logical sense. And if I wished that Bruckner, however anachronistically, might have learned a little from Žuraj’s or even Wagner’s more varied use of brass, there was no doubting the excellence of the playing. A songful meeting of Schubert and Wagner – <i>Tristan</i> and <i>Tannhäuser</i> in particular – characterised the second movement, whose compelling performance had me almost forget its occasional melodic awkwardness.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Roth’s tempo for Bruckner’s scherzo proved a revelation. A faster pace again suggested roots in Mendelssohn. Of course, the latter composer rightly remained some way off; this is hardly fairy-land. But kinship was apparent and convincing. The trio’s good humour and grace were welcome; taken like this, there was never a suspicion of lumbering. With that in mind, the proportional tempo adopted for the beginning of the finale made excellent musical and dramatic sense. I confess to having failed – still – to comprehend the logic of where Bruckner takes us next. Perhaps I am still guilty of listening to this too much as if it were Brahms, and of holding it responsible for being something it does not aspire to be. Nonetheless, this excellent performance made me hear the score as never before, even revealing Bruckner who can dance rather than stomp. It also made me all the keener to hear Roth conduct Wagner.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> Die Walküre https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/die-walkure-17/ parterre box urn:uuid:f21384e1-ab88-f5d8-3381-268eff79f532 Mon, 20 May 2024 10:00:18 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/die-walkure-17/"><img width="720" height="244" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800-720x244.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800-720x244.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800-768x260.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800-210x71.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Gianandrea Noseda</strong> conducts a live broadcast of <strong>Andreas Homoki</strong>&#8216;s production from Zurich with <strong>Eric Cutler, Christof Fischesser, Tomasz Konieczny, Daniela Köhler</strong>, and <strong>Camilla Nylund</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/die-walkure-17/">Die Walküre</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95240" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-die_walkuere_333_c_monika_rittershaus.0x800-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion start at <strong><a href="https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/2324/ring-fuer-alle/">10:00 AM EDT</a></strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="item"> <div class="name"></div> </div> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/die-walkure-17/">Die Walküre</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Seville row https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/seville-row/ parterre box urn:uuid:24afd5a8-2cfa-89da-43be-4ee2cbf9193e Mon, 20 May 2024 10:00:10 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/seville-row/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/rockwell-blake-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/rockwell-blake-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/rockwell-blake-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/rockwell-blake-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/rockwell-blake-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/rockwell-blake-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>On this day in 1978, tenor <strong>Rockwell Blake</strong> made his Met debut on tour in Minneapolis as Don Ottavio</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/seville-row/">Seville row</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5uYKRyf7bs&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5uYKRyf7bs</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400">This series of tour <em>Giovanni</em>s were also all of soprano <strong>Joan Carden</strong>&#8216;s Met career (Anna), the last Met performances of sopranos <strong>Evelyn Mandac</strong> (Zerlina), <strong>Maralin Niska</strong>, and <strong>Elizabeth Harwood</strong> (Elvira), and the only two performances of conductor <strong>Theo Alcántara</strong>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400">Birthday anniversaries of bass-baritones <strong>Hans Hermann Nissen</strong> (1893) and Erich Kunz (1909),<br /> baritone <strong>Chester Ludgin</strong> (1925),<br /> and director <strong>Nikolaus Lehnhoff</strong> (1939)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400">Happy 86th birthday soprano <strong>Lone Koppel</strong><br /> Happy 74th birthday soprano <strong>Julie Kaufmann</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/20/seville-row/">Seville row</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Siegfried, Deutsche Oper, 18 May 2024 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2024/05/siegfried-deutsche-oper-18-may-2024.html Boulezian urn:uuid:8fb512b8-24f8-63e7-3ca7-0c783b36dad6 Mon, 20 May 2024 09:20:57 +0000 <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjX6t27qFWteTNl7MmZSNueBRE5igdvJNy7qgFEsmX5vQGJr2InOXvCl0VuvsTQbo-OCHGpjCJ1iMkr4LG7Zj9LBOPHdKFVYJUgI-ze3e03qmB6ZgasUCa3U-8TCydKt-faLEJ681_9SdWwLy4KFOPOail_zoLGxqdOwNJrtvOmEkH0dK7jBar8c3omtr-s/s4253/Siegfried%20B2_12PatersonShanahan.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4253" height="426" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjX6t27qFWteTNl7MmZSNueBRE5igdvJNy7qgFEsmX5vQGJr2InOXvCl0VuvsTQbo-OCHGpjCJ1iMkr4LG7Zj9LBOPHdKFVYJUgI-ze3e03qmB6ZgasUCa3U-8TCydKt-faLEJ681_9SdWwLy4KFOPOail_zoLGxqdOwNJrtvOmEkH0dK7jBar8c3omtr-s/w640-h426/Siegfried%20B2_12PatersonShanahan.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Bernd Uhlig (from 2021 premiere)<br />The Wanderer (Iain Paterson) and Alberich (Jordan Shanahan)</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div><br /></div><div>Siegfried – Clay Hilley<br />Mime – Ya-Chung Huang<br />The Wanderer – Iain Paterson<br />Alberich – Jordan Shanahan<br />Fafner – Tobias Kehrer<br />Woodbird – Nicolas Schröer<br />Erda – Lindsay Ammann<br />Brünnhilde – Ricarda Merbeth <br /><br />Director – Stefan Herheim <br />Revival director – Philine Tiezel <br />Set designs – Stefan Herheim, Silke Bauer <br />Costumes – Uta Heiseke <br />Video – Torge Møller <br />Lighting – Ulrich Niepel <br />Dramaturgy – Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach, Jörg Königsdorf <br /><br />Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper<div>Nicholas Carter (conductor)</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj4ZA_WEg1s9j8RBA9PG8m75dV7G8A1LFtpzld3ubMYfJaBZvZ72qGyCBeHQcUXXSlW9TYzgOZM-K4QGLmgJ3QpMlVmozPfVCz-y1w1dW-gMs0U5gcoW0iRpiYKrkB9iz7moXMlXLnUvtUBvvoXF_IdlgSDZgVBJ8AY-ld0wyb5WJSRc_-_1w3Mt9XdV5Ts/s4334/Siegfried_002hf_YaChungHuang.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4334" height="418" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj4ZA_WEg1s9j8RBA9PG8m75dV7G8A1LFtpzld3ubMYfJaBZvZ72qGyCBeHQcUXXSlW9TYzgOZM-K4QGLmgJ3QpMlVmozPfVCz-y1w1dW-gMs0U5gcoW0iRpiYKrkB9iz7moXMlXLnUvtUBvvoXF_IdlgSDZgVBJ8AY-ld0wyb5WJSRc_-_1w3Mt9XdV5Ts/w640-h418/Siegfried_002hf_YaChungHuang.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Mime (Ya-Chung Huang)</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Emblems of the refugees’ arrival but also perhaps of impending departure, suitcases once again form and delimit the set, the rehearsal piano at their centre once again omnipresent. Wagner’s life and work becomes their own, our own. It certainly has mine since I first fell under its spell, and despite occasional attempts to escape – or at least to take a break – it never works. This Deutsche Oper <i>Ring</i> is not helping in that vain attempt, a somewhat disappointing third act notwithstanding.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">A <i>Ring</i> mystery is what its ring actually does, what its powers actually are. They certainly do not tally with what the characters tell us about it. Must one in some sense believe? Is it a form of theology, as Wagner, keen student of Feuerbach, might understand it? Probably. At any rate, it notably does Alberich’s bidding at the start, its yellow light focused at the piano, opening its lid, and thus initiating the <i>Bühnenfestspiel</i>’s ‘second day’. He and Wotan, Schwarz-Alberich and Licht-Alberich, as Wotan-as-Wanderer will call them, watch and wander from the start. They are not always present, yet often they are. Tellingly, the Wanderer watches the whole first scene from above, and Alberich appears, to Mime’s anger, during the second. (Perhaps, again, his brother might actually have been able to help him, like Siegfried, like the Wanderer, but the clever craftsman does not want to know.) <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Their final confrontation, at least onstage, in the first scene of the second act attains a tragic magnificence and import such as rarely, if ever, have I encountered. That again, is surely in part Nicholas Carter’s doing, proportions of the act as a whole seemingly reconsidered, so that, like the final act of <i>Die Walküre</i>, thoughts of lopsidedness – the so-called ‘Forest Murmurs’ often overstay their welcome, but not here – never materialise. It is also surely that of Stefan Herheim’s staging; the two, along with vocal-dramatic performances proceed together, more or less indivisible (although for the purposes of writing, one must start somewhere). The two figures are, of course, themselves refugees here: they have stepped forward, assumed roles; yet, like the boys in <i>Lord of the Flies</i>, however changed, they must also remain who they were, albeit within a different, often Brechtian framework of storytelling.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjoeNZffRSle9vypgFuH4JLEalQJl_m6ximr2e6Nk81H4v3sy9Fpggrh8igclO2YYoZKIn_WmCg60J107EvzO0dESjl2T7IJUXWGB5bljKYMYW9XXHU9UMAWuIZj1PeKiZGVMW-orOHG9G7biiodyYNHCYwg1mAe-hU_UZGNOJUcMNslfKosylD98yp5Le_/s4311/Siegfried%20B2_33HilleyStemme.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4311" height="420" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjoeNZffRSle9vypgFuH4JLEalQJl_m6ximr2e6Nk81H4v3sy9Fpggrh8igclO2YYoZKIn_WmCg60J107EvzO0dESjl2T7IJUXWGB5bljKYMYW9XXHU9UMAWuIZj1PeKiZGVMW-orOHG9G7biiodyYNHCYwg1mAe-hU_UZGNOJUcMNslfKosylD98yp5Le_/w640-h420/Siegfried%20B2_33HilleyStemme.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">SIegfried (Clay Hilley), Br<span style="text-align: start;">ü</span>nnhilde (here Nina Stemme)</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Music continues to play its stage role. Where Alberich, in a sense, founded his enterprise on an instrument he had found, or perhaps brought with him, Mime has expanded his endeavours into a brass workshop, where instruments hang from the ceiling. It is a slightly odd assortment and that, presumably, is the point. Mime is not an ‘artist’, but a ‘craftsman’; Wagner always upheld that Romantic distinction, which directly colours his creation of Mime and Siegfried. An artist would doubtless have brought in some other instruments. Incapable of moving beyond his narrow, technical purview, Mime continues to do the same thing—as, of course, he does in attempts to reforge the sword. Not for nothing in Herheim’s cunning elision of Wagner and Mime (here, for better or worse, in striped top) is the ‘Wagner tuba’ a key exhibit. Dubious tendencies from Wagner reception –much as we might wish, we cannot always simply ignore them – resurface. Mime’s dwarf-like quality and large head surely offer a nod to strange claims made concerning Wagner’s height and (worse still) physiognomy. Nietzsche would have laughed; the Wanderer does.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">The craftsman’s resourcefulness is important, though, at least if it may be harnessed to something more. It is possible, at least for Siegfried, to have bellows created from what is available, in a splendid nod to the original steam technologies of Bayreuth. Fafner also emerges from the suitcases and instruments too, brass teeth fairly gleaming, basic sheet props and colourful lighting again working their wonders for the rest of his maw. For lighting (Ulrich Niepel) can accomplish so much, simply yet starkly, as in Mime’s silhouette of brief power, or its prospect, when he holds the Wanderer’s spear. A vision of the world, which Mime, like Alberich still would ‘win’, is unfurled, again using what has emerged from the refugees’ possessions.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj8C9EV2WS8HKUN8UTocpDfOyYKn1fV5MWZdTtgmoQyIeoJZuZQjlAEss32jzi-vRI6KDEE6EbgobNOFx_LpE85jAXBF4zYUrXlW_2UFaQ6gKJuR72YYe4ax_VC8fr4uTkLdZ2BBfxeK9tFHgZ_epN388BwBqlWNIk8bNu9yoARmW1JAau0kSIeUVbki026/s4331/Siegfried%20B2_06HuangHilley.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4331" height="418" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj8C9EV2WS8HKUN8UTocpDfOyYKn1fV5MWZdTtgmoQyIeoJZuZQjlAEss32jzi-vRI6KDEE6EbgobNOFx_LpE85jAXBF4zYUrXlW_2UFaQ6gKJuR72YYe4ax_VC8fr4uTkLdZ2BBfxeK9tFHgZ_epN388BwBqlWNIk8bNu9yoARmW1JAau0kSIeUVbki026/w640-h418/Siegfried%20B2_06HuangHilley.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Siegfried and Mime</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">It is a pity, perhaps, that Siegfried’s appearance – notably, like that of his father – is so ‘historically’ bound as (to us) to seem ridiculous, but that is surely deliberate, the flaws of ‘heroism’ present from the beginning. A striking innovation, though, is the return of Siegmund and Sieglinde in a <i>Hänsel und Gretel</i>-like ‘Dream Pantomime’. Siegmund may have rejected the immortality of Valhalla, but there are other ways to return, to guide (such as Mime never could). That the Woodbird, an excellent boy treble (Nicolas Schröer) emanates from this world – a very <i>junge Siegfried</i>, if you will – makes a significant contribution to the psychoanalytical framework. So too does the dragon’s blood in which he becomes mired and the pitching of appearance somewhere between clown (picking up from <i>Das Rheingold</i>) and (from <i>Die Walküre</i>) zombie, a disconcerting contrast with fresh youthfulness of voice.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Carter seemed to offer a presentiment in the first act, which (rather than <i>vice versa</i>) on one occasion seemed very much to approach Humperdinck’s score. Perhaps it was my imagination, but it struck me at the time and before I knew what was to come on stage. His direction of the once-again outstanding Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper remained deeply and consistently impressive, both tied to and leading the action onstage. So too did the cast’s performances. Iain Paterson proved a typically thoughtful Wotan, Jordan Shanahan making a welcome return as an ambiguous clown-Alberich, readable and ‘relatable’ on multiple levels, without forsaking the destructive impulse at his core.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgqGKsN5p-NQ7TE7h37OT2LpTLPtdGt0ObMvB71wwPZ7R0FDsvRoVzgUuLdTfbg9tkUmiqxhi6SmlQ5xNH-yMGVstqr0YQGxgxEVGzRcK6VPo648AUcYX46sG67UMW-A1la5ErmwMHQDU2oKKJeOrvacTBJ-rBXdBo_XpE1qVRL88mD5hMBQQ9Zr8NPh00S/s4253/Siegfried_005hf_HilleyHuang.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4253" height="426" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgqGKsN5p-NQ7TE7h37OT2LpTLPtdGt0ObMvB71wwPZ7R0FDsvRoVzgUuLdTfbg9tkUmiqxhi6SmlQ5xNH-yMGVstqr0YQGxgxEVGzRcK6VPo648AUcYX46sG67UMW-A1la5ErmwMHQDU2oKKJeOrvacTBJ-rBXdBo_XpE1qVRL88mD5hMBQQ9Zr8NPh00S/w640-h426/Siegfried_005hf_HilleyHuang.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Siegfried and Mime</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Ya-Chung Huang’s Mime was, quite simply, one of the best I have seen and heard, turning the Siegfried-Mime axis into a true battle of very different tenors, for which Clay Hilley’s tireless Siegfried should also receive due credit. Both learn to conduct, as to play the piano, to lead musically and seemingly according to the score, but do they bring it to life? That requires the return of the refugees—and discarding of the old (<i>Walküre</i>) score. Huang’s ability, doubtless enhanced yet only enhanced by make-up and costume, to play his role as if Mime were a puppet-clown, grotesque yet also human, captured so much of the role, its uncomfortable aspects included. Above all, it reminded us of Wagner’s great achievement in showing us, as the late, greatly lamented Michael Tanner pointed out, the sheer misery that it is to be Mime. Tobias Kehrer continued and extended his excellent work as Fafner, that extraordinary last gasp of recognition – ‘Siegfried!’ – given its proper, prophetic, yet chilling worth. I assume his return to ‘life’, or whatever it was, was as much a recognition of the underlying Brechtian ideas as it was of his acquiring zombie-status, though perhaps it was both. The Woodbird’s frustrated waving him away, getting in the way of the story, was a nice touch, but I did wonder whether it might have been better all round not to present the problem in the first place.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhQJeRTFv5_HOBxL774sn6RJSigbp6iohAuoiW0IVV1CkZrrLmT9dlD3_S7brTlAio9zbfjrdmqz-T07en9G9ll3aTJsYocPRFNZRWRv50BcZZQABNqzDI2-f1YZKmdsHj2VeMaaZ8oXfWg8uP80EeJugf8JoWH6CiSGqXRbj8OeugDvPacocimPM12M9EB/s4253/Siegfried%20B2_16Hilley.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2835" data-original-width="4253" height="426" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhQJeRTFv5_HOBxL774sn6RJSigbp6iohAuoiW0IVV1CkZrrLmT9dlD3_S7brTlAio9zbfjrdmqz-T07en9G9ll3aTJsYocPRFNZRWRv50BcZZQABNqzDI2-f1YZKmdsHj2VeMaaZ8oXfWg8uP80EeJugf8JoWH6CiSGqXRbj8OeugDvPacocimPM12M9EB/w640-h426/Siegfried%20B2_16Hilley.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The Woodbird, Siegfried</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">What, then, of the third act? Musically, again, there was much to admire, though even in that respect – and perhaps more on account of inextricable connection with stage action than any actual flaws – it held my attention less. There was certainly nothing to complain about in Lindsay Ammann’s return as Erda, beautifully sung and enunciated, the character, now more dishevelled, awakened from her sleep and emerging once again from the prompter’s box. Ricarda Merbeth’s surprise return, in place of the previously advertised Elisabeth Teige, as Brünnhilde will have disappointed no one either. Her radiant performance, quite an achievement given its notorious demands so late in the evening, was quite the tonic, insofar as one could avoid distraction, from the events around her. For whilst I can rationalise Herheim’s decisions here, for the first time I felt rather less than convinced.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">The first two scenes go mostly as they ‘should’. No harm in that, quite the contrary, and the third seems nicely set up by the now apparently proficient Siegfried summoning Brünnhilde’s mountain and fire from the piano. Unless, though, I was missing something – it would not be the first time – there is not much more to it then return of the refugees, their ‘identification’, first among straightforward traditional gender lines, with Siegfried and Brünnhilde, then, taught by the score (whose ubiquity becomes more than a little tedious) and, presumably, also by what the two principal characters sing, turning more fluid in orientation and staging an orgy around them. It is all very well done, to the extent of unfortunate distraction from the two singers, ‘parked and barking’. Again, I assume that to be the point, yet it ultimately seemed to me misguided. I doubt this was an attempt to hold up Wagner’s drama as insufficient, or intolerably Romantic. Frank Castorf did so in his <i>Walküre</i> and it proved the weakest part of his <i>Ring</i>. Yet Castorf arguably proved most compelling here <a href="https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2017/08/bayreuth-festival-4-siegfried-26-august.html">in <i>Siegfried</i></a>, when his conception found itself guided by the weight of Wagner’s drama, even perhaps by a mediated version of its Romanticism. Is a basic Brechtian point about storytelling, ‘enhanced’ by young people in white underwear doing their thing, enough? There are plenty of places one might go in Berlin to see the real thing, if that is what one is after.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">It might be tempting to see this ‘problem’, if problem it be, as mirroring Wagner’s own in completing the <i>Ring</i>. After all, it was at precisely the same place, the end of the second act, that he ceased his compositional work on it for twelve years. Turning instead to <i>Tristan </i>and <i>Die Meistersinger</i>, he wrote to Liszt<i> </i>that he had ‘led my young Siegfried into the beautiful forest solitude; there I have left him beneath a linden tree … he is better there than anywhere else. – If I am ever to take up this work again, it must either be made easier for me, or else I myself must in the meantime make it possible to <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">bestow</i> this work on the world in the fullest sense of the word.’ Yet when Wagner did return to his Siegfried, to the linden tree, or rather to the scene that followed in which all is both changed and resolved, it was still more under the spell of Schopenhauer and his musical aesthetics (as well as his broader philosophy). That, really, should have been right up Herheim’s street. I shall happily eat my words if all becomes clear in <i>Götterdämmerung</i>; for now, however, I register my first note of dissent.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p></div></div><br /> A life-long engagement with Tippett https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/19/a-life-long-engagement-with-tippett/ operaramblings urn:uuid:782c5a3f-9172-e9aa-b9f1-951d0e8f11e9 Sun, 19 May 2024 14:29:00 +0000 The late Sir Andrew Davis was a life-long advocate for the music of Sir Michael Tippett so it&#8217;s fitting that one of his last recordings (perhaps the last?) should be of that composer&#8217;s A Child of Our Time.  It&#8217;s an &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/19/a-life-long-engagement-with-tippett/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><img data-attachment-id="38025" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/19/a-life-long-engagement-with-tippett/childofourtime/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/childofourtime.png" data-orig-size="290,290" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="childofourtime" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/childofourtime.png?w=290" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/childofourtime.png?w=290" class="size-full wp-image-38025 alignleft" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/childofourtime.png" alt="childofourtime" width="290" height="290" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/childofourtime.png 290w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/childofourtime.png?w=150&amp;h=150 150w" sizes="(max-width: 290px) 100vw, 290px" />The late Sir Andrew Davis was a life-long advocate for the music of Sir Michael Tippett so it&#8217;s fitting that one of his last recordings (perhaps the last?) should be of that composer&#8217;s <em>A Child of Our Time</em>.  It&#8217;s an unusual piece in many ways.  It&#8217;s an oratorio for solo quartet, chorus and orchestra and its structure reflects both <em>Messiah</em> and the Bach <em>Passions.  </em>The subject matter is anti-Semitism in Germany as a specific example of &#8220;man&#8217;s inhumanity to man&#8221; more generally. </p> <p><span id="more-38021"></span>It&#8217;s built around the story of Herschel Grynzpan; a Jew who shot and killed a minor official; Ernst vom Rath, at the German embassy in Paris which was used as an excuse for Kristallnacht.  Ironically, it&#8217;s not clear that it was even a political act.  There&#8217;s some suggestion that Grynzpan and and vom Rath were lovers.  In any event, Tippett (who wrote the libretto himself) uses the story as a basis for a Messiah like three part structure.  Part 1 is in the style of prophecy and deals abstractly with &#8220;oppression&#8221;.  Part 2 is a narrative in which Grynzpan becomes the scapegoat for the Jews as a whole; the &#8220;Child of Our Time&#8221; in fact and then in Part 3 we get a series of philosophical reflections which seem, ultimately, to boil down to &#8220;this too shall pass&#8221;.  That last idea seems a bit jarring in the light of what we know now but the work was written in 1939-41 so well before the Wahnsee conference.  Even the first performance (19th March 1944) happened before all but a handful of people in official circles in Britain knew what was happening in Poland.</p> <p>The other interesting structural feature is that spirituals are used rather as Bach uses chorales in his sacred dramatic works.  It&#8217;s a form that wasn&#8217;t at all well known in Britain pre WW2 and Tippett, who had studied them intensively, chose to use melody and text but set it in a way that sounds distinctly odd today.  They don&#8217;t &#8220;swing&#8221;.  They are sung with rhythmic precision and the orchestration, a few diminished sevenths aside, is pretty conventional.  There&#8217;s also no deviation from standard British choral diction.  The orchestral music too shows little jazz influence.  Certainly less than in say his <em>Third Symphony</em>.</p> <p>Sir Andrew understands all this I think and conducts an idiomatic performance that combines emotional intensity with great precision.  He&#8217;s supported in this by a chorus (the BBC Symphony Chorus) and a fine quartet of soloists (Pumeza Matshikiza, Dame Sarah Connolly, Joshua Stewart and Ashley Riches) who take no liberties and sing strictly in the English oratorio tradition and with diction so perfect that the libretto in the booklet is essentially redundant.  Stewart is especially effective with simple, direct singing as the Christ-like &#8220;Child of Our Time&#8221;.  There&#8217;s fine playing too from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.</p> <p>The recording was made in Fairfield Halls in Croydon in May 2023 and it&#8217;s engineered to Chandos&#8217; usual high standards of wide frequency/dynamic range, precise placement and excellent balance.  I listened to the SACD multi track which is usually the best bet on these hybrid SACDs (which also include a high resolution stereo version playable on an SACD capable player and a standard CD layer playable on (most) any CD player).  It&#8217;s also available digitally as MP3 and FLAC in both CD quality and 96kHz/24 bit hi-res.  The booklet contains the libretto, a really useful essay and bios.</p> <p>There are quite a few recordings of <em>A Child of Our Time</em> in the catalogue, including several by Sir Colin Davis, and one with the composer at the helm (aged 87) but none of them are particularly recent or use the latest recording technology.  This one has that and concedes nothing musically.  So whether you want a first rate modern recording of the work or an example of Sir Andrew Davis as one of the premier conductors of 20th century British music this disk is well worth listening to.</p> <p>Catalogue information: Chandos CHSA 5341</p> <p>.</p> A peach of a girl https://parterre.com/2024/05/19/a-peach-of-a-girl/ parterre box urn:uuid:0cea421e-fc3d-9aa9-2363-344d05f32c2e Sun, 19 May 2024 10:00:29 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/19/a-peach-of-a-girl/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/melba-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/melba-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/melba-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/melba-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/melba-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/melba-header.jpg 1628w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1861 soprano <strong>Nellie Melba</strong></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/19/a-peach-of-a-girl/">A peach of a girl</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=66p4XCc7UQo&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=66p4XCc7UQo</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Happy 93rd birthday tenor <strong>Eric Tappy</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTidqmO6jSw&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTidqmO6jSw</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of soprano <strong>Rosina Storchio</strong> (the first Butterfly) (1872)<br /> and mezzo-soprano <strong>Kerstin Thorborg</strong> (1896)</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/19/a-peach-of-a-girl/">A peach of a girl</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> 2024 - 2025 Season http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2024/05/2024-2025.html We left at the interval... urn:uuid:bc28361e-8d97-e5d0-afd2-73ba9f6dd526 Sun, 19 May 2024 09:28:00 +0000 <p><span style="font-family: arial;"></span></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjyLQ3tvTr2q0ChhVuX4jR9EbbAlsEkeR1_pwSjT61mz5WoLVPTOJQ0iLrjGUhspxYECEIOzCQuVxauRu9fvuZpRLtAcGKT5X7kx8MQZ1G-wOiSeextE3svwMJTLIu1BgyTwbweHzfu5FcZLKCLT30gwbP-PskubUtWE5xZgVsKXXZfd5-XsoC2PxjaEawt/s720/29%20ACPerrot6.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="480" data-original-width="720" height="426" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEjyLQ3tvTr2q0ChhVuX4jR9EbbAlsEkeR1_pwSjT61mz5WoLVPTOJQ0iLrjGUhspxYECEIOzCQuVxauRu9fvuZpRLtAcGKT5X7kx8MQZ1G-wOiSeextE3svwMJTLIu1BgyTwbweHzfu5FcZLKCLT30gwbP-PskubUtWE5xZgVsKXXZfd5-XsoC2PxjaEawt/w640-h426/29%20ACPerrot6.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><p></p><p><span style="font-family: arial;">This is how my 2024 - 2025 season is shaping up so far. I may add one or two more, depending on where I travel during the year.<br /></span></p><p>Vitrifrigo Arena Pesaro - Rossini - <i>Ermione</i></p><p>La Monnaie - Wagner - <i>Siegfried</i></p><p>ONP Bastille - Puccini - <i>Madama Butterfly</i></p><p>La Monnaie - Kris Defoort - <i>The Time of our Singing</i></p><p>Opéra Comique - Benjamin - <i>Picture a day like this</i></p><p>La Monnaie - Mikael Karlsson - <i>Fanny and Alexander</i></p><p>ONP Garnier - Stravinsky - <i>The Rake's Progress</i></p><p>Opéra Comique - Rameau - <i>Les Fêtes d'Hébé&nbsp;</i></p><p>ONP Bastille - Janacek - <i>Příhody lišky Bystroušky</i></p><p>ONP Garnier - Rameau - <i>Castor et Pollux</i></p><p>Opéra Comique - Cherubini - <i>Médée</i></p><p>ONP Bastille - Wagner - <i>Das Rheingold</i></p><p>La Monnaie - Wagner - <i>Götterdämmerung</i></p><p>La Monnaie at Bozar<i> -&nbsp; </i>Mahler - <i>Symphony n° 8</i></p><p>Opéra Comique - Rameau - <i>Samson</i></p><p>ONP Garnier - Dusapin - <i>Il viaggio, Dante</i></p><p>ONP Bastille - Verdi - <i>Don Carlos</i></p><p>ONP Bastille - Puccini - <i>Il Trittico</i></p><p>La Monnaie - Bizet - <i>Carmen</i></p><p>ONP Garnier - Offenbach - <i>Les Brigands</i>. </p><p>&nbsp; <br /></p> Windows, windows, windows https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/18/windows-windows-windows/ operaramblings urn:uuid:17a47cc2-9020-2c69-2dbb-cd1bb960a28c Sat, 18 May 2024 21:08:38 +0000 Bygone Theatre&#8217;s production of The Rear Window; written and directed by Emily Dix, opened at Hart House Theatre on Friday night.  It riffs off the Hitchcock film, or rather its source material, but really doesn&#8217;t manage to create a sense &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/18/windows-windows-windows/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Bygone Theatre&#8217;s production of <em>The Rear Window;</em> written and directed by Emily Dix, opened at Hart House Theatre on Friday night.  It riffs off the Hitchcock film, or rather its source material, but really doesn&#8217;t manage to create a sense of menace or foreboding that would make such an adaptation worthwhile.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38042" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/18/windows-windows-windows/trw24_preview/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,870" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;DC-GH5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715819268&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;40&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;640&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.016666666666667&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TRW24_Preview" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38042 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg?w=584" alt="TRW24_Preview" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg?w=150&amp;h=113 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg?w=300&amp;h=225 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg?w=768&amp;h=576 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=768 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p><span id="more-38028"></span>The basic plot is that a photo-journalist; LB Jefferies, is stuck in his New York apartment with a broken leg.  Basically he&#8217;s bored and frustrated and is doing painkillers and whiskey on an epic scale while abusing his long suffering girlfriend and the office gofer and spying on the neighbours.  One night he sees, or more likely thinks he sees, one of the neighbours; Lars Thorvald, murder his wife.  Incoherent drunken calls to his friend in the police department and to the news desk at his paper pretty much destroy any credibility he has but he&#8217;s convinced and bullies girlfriend and gofer into helping with his &#8220;enquiries&#8221;. When these lead nowhere he gets increasingly abusive and paranoid and takes multiple steps to &#8220;out&#8221; Thorvald.  This finally leads to actual tragedy but by then it&#8217;s hard to care.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38039" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/18/windows-windows-windows/trw24_preview-1/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,870" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;DC-GH5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715820186&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;40&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;640&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.016666666666667&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TRW24_Preview-1" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38039 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg?w=584" alt="TRW24_Preview-1" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg?w=150&amp;h=113 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg?w=300&amp;h=225 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg?w=768&amp;h=576 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-1.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=768 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p>Jefferies is played by Oliver Georgiou who seems to have decided to play James Stewart playing Jefferies so his vocal delivery is an often incomprehensible drawl but at least he creates a character; albeit perhaps one of Tennessee Williams&#8217; less attractive drunks.  The rest of the cast seem to be drawn straight out of a 1950s TV soap.  I don&#8217;t think the problem with the girlfriend; Lena Hall, played by Kate McArthur is the acting.  It&#8217;s rather that she&#8217;s the cut-out 1950s woman looking after &#8220;her man&#8221; even when he&#8217;s utterly vile to her.  The sidekick played by Cayne Kitagawa suffers from a similar problem.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38040" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/18/windows-windows-windows/trw24_preview-2/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,870" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;DC-GH5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715804218&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;25&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;640&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.016666666666667&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TRW24_Preview-2" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38040 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg?w=584" alt="TRW24_Preview-2" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg?w=150&amp;h=113 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg?w=300&amp;h=225 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg?w=768&amp;h=576 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-2.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=768 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p>The most interesting thing about the show is how very effective use is made of relatively low tech projection technology.  Jefferies apartment is surrounded by the neighbours&#8217; windows and what goes on behind them is mostly conveyed by live projections; ie there are off stage actors being filmed live with the result projected onto &#8220;window&#8221; screens.  It&#8217;s pretty cool.  The only apartment that gets direct treatment is the Thorvalds&#8217;.  Elsewhere we just get glimpses of a newly married couple and a dancing girl and her male admirers but it&#8217;s a lot less exciting than that might suggest.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38041" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/18/windows-windows-windows/trw24_preview-3/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,870" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;DC-GH5&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715824071&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;40&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.02&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="TRW24_Preview-3" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38041 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg?w=584" alt="TRW24_Preview-3" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg?w=150&amp;h=113 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg?w=300&amp;h=225 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg?w=768&amp;h=576 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/trw24_preview-3.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=768 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p>All in all, what might work as a suspense thriller is neither suspenseful or thrilling which makes it rather disappointing.</p> <p><em>The Rear Window</em> runs at hart House Theatre until May 31st.</p> Das Rheingold https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/das-rheingold-12/ parterre box urn:uuid:e4bbf0ca-e898-b1c8-af65-c782a943b6d8 Sat, 18 May 2024 13:00:44 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/das-rheingold-12/"><img width="720" height="248" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-rheingold-zurigo-720x248.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-rheingold-zurigo-720x248.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-rheingold-zurigo-300x103.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-rheingold-zurigo-768x265.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-rheingold-zurigo-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/featured-rheingold-zurigo.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Gianandrea Noseda</strong> conducts <strong>Tomasz Konieczny, Matthias Klink, Claudia Mahnke</strong>, and <strong>Christopher Purves</strong> in a live broadcast of <strong>Andreas Homoki</strong>&#8216;s production from Zurich</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/das-rheingold-12/">Das Rheingold</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <div class="item"> <div class="name"></div> <div><img decoding="async" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-rheingold-zurigo.jpg" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95236" alt="" width="720" height="401" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-rheingold-zurigo.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-rheingold-zurigo-300x167.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/main-rheingold-zurigo-210x117.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></div> <div>Streaming and discussion begin at <strong><a href="https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/2324/ring-fuer-alle/">1:00 PM EDT</a></strong>.</div> </div> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/das-rheingold-12/">Das Rheingold</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> The Hours https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/the-hours-5/ parterre box urn:uuid:124dc797-5858-2b99-900d-83eaadeb9e32 Sat, 18 May 2024 13:00:33 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/the-hours-5/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Kensho Watanabe</strong> leads<strong> Renée Fleming, Kelli O&#8217;Hara, Joyce DiDonato,</strong> and <strong>Sean Panikkar </strong>in a broadcast from New York</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/the-hours-5/">The Hours</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-86744" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/hours-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion begin at <strong><a href="https://www.wqxr.org">1:00 PM EST</a></strong>.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/the-hours-5/">The Hours</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Once you have found him never let him go https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/once-you-have-found-him-never-let-him-go/ parterre box urn:uuid:d1081c0c-ede2-fc9b-d0d9-4407f9fcff97 Sat, 18 May 2024 10:00:14 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/once-you-have-found-him-never-let-him-go/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pinza-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pinza-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pinza-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pinza-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pinza-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pinza-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><em>Bassi Profondi</em> Day</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/once-you-have-found-him-never-let-him-go/">Once you have found him never let him go</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RyOAbKH8pE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RyOAbKH8pE</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Born on this day in 1892 bass <strong>Ezio Pinza</strong>…</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ht3eDUcn0s&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ht3eDUcn0s</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">&#8230; and in 1914 bass <strong>Boris Christoff</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of librettist <strong>Francesco Maria Piave</strong> (1810),<br /> composers <strong>Karl Goldmark</strong> (1830) and <strong>Henri Sauguet</strong> (1901),<br /> and musicologist and editor <strong>Fritz Oeser</strong> (1911)</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/18/once-you-have-found-him-never-let-him-go/">Once you have found him never let him go</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Karajan-Akademie/Petrenko - Mendelssohn and Widmann, 17 May 2024 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2024/05/karajan-akademiepetrenko-mendelssohn.html Boulezian urn:uuid:c7734682-98f3-6b43-d283-3fbfc2b6153e Sat, 18 May 2024 08:54:30 +0000 <br />Kammermusiksaal<br /> <br /><b> Mendelssohn:</b> String Octet in E-flat major, op.20 <br /><b>Widmann: </b>Quintet for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and piano <br /><b>Mendelssohn:</b> Symphony no.4 in A major, op.90, ‘Italian’ <br /><br />Karajan-Akademie<div>Kirill Petrenko (conductor)</div><div><br /> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">The Berlin Philharmonic’s <a href="https://www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/ueber-uns/karajan-akademie/">Karajan-Akademie</a>, founded on the initiative of the man himself in 1972, is perhaps the ultimate in orchestral scholarships. Its graduates are to be found in orchestras across the world. On the basis of this evening concert whose second part was conducted by Karajan’s successor but two, Kirill Petrenko, it would seem unwise to bet against that continuing. Any good orchestra will excel in chamber music playing too. The first part of the concert, offering a work for strings by Mendelssohn and one for wind and piano by Jörg Widmann confirmed much to admire in that respect as well.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Mendelssohn’s music nearly always lifts the spirits—unless played poorly (which does not bear thinking about). The Karajan-Akademie’s Octet offered no exception. From the off, the first movement had a sense of rightness that implied spontaneity, yet doubtless entailed much preparation. Tempo, balance, poise, and sheer élan characterised the performance that mirrored Mendelssohn’s own extraordinary combination of youth and maturity. Counterpoint was vividly present without congestion of textures. Not that sterner passages, for instance in the development, were undersold. The melancholy of exhaustion and its differentiation told its own tale, as did the revival of spirits for the return. Above all, it made me smile. If Beethoven’s inheritance was not absent in the first movement, it was immediately more apparent in the second. A keen architectural grasp was combined with moral seriousness and due sense of the sublime (without a hint of pomposity). The featherlight, fairytale fantasy of a Mendelssohn scherzo held no fears for these players; their relish proved properly infections. They stepped forward and blended in ensemble like musical actors in a play (<i>A Midsummer Night’s Dream</i> only just round the corner). Beethoven’s influence, worn ever so lightly, also characterised a finale of vigour, rigour, and release, which seemed to delight in the very essence of music. The players’ delight both in their performance and the warmth of its reception were palpable, and rightly so. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Next came Widmann’s Quintet for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and piano, a 2006 commission from the Karajan-Akademie. The combination of piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon has as its most celebrated, unmatchable example that of Mozart, although Beethoven’s early work is a fine example too. Schoenberg’s Wind Quintet, op.26, and Suite, op.29 between them contain the instruments, though neither of course matches directly. It was Schoenberg’s music and perhaps also that of his alleged antipode, Stravinsky, that seemed more to haunt on this occasion, for who would dare follow Mozart’s KV 452 directly? Widmann claims to have done so, but that was not so apparent to me, and more to the point, seemed to matter. His longstanding – even then, as the recipient of the Akademie’s Claudio Abbado Composition Prize – preoccupation with German Romanticism registered strongly: not only in its Second Viennese School culmination, but also in Schumannesque (at one remove) piano writing. There was humour; there were what once we might have called ‘extended techniques’; and there was a ‘lost waltz’ that seemed to have strayed from the Vienna of Schoenberg and Berg (perhaps the <i>Wozzeck</i> tavern). Eighteen miniature movements in not much more than twenty minutes offered a vivid, youthful conspectus that again seemed just the thing for outstanding young performers. They seemed to enjoy it too. Piano was exchanged for celesta in the final movement, ‘Flugtraum’, casting a spell of enchantment not only over what had gone before, but also over what was to come.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Petrenko joined a full chamber orchestra (strings 6.5.4.3.2) for the return of Mendelssohn in his <i>Italian</i> Symphony. Lessons of chamber-musicmaking seemed very much to have been learned, both for the players in their listening and sheer responsiveness, and also for the conductor, who in his wisdom – again, one could also see and hear his enjoyment – knew precisely when and when not to conduct. If one could hear, even in the excellent acoustic of the Kammermusiksaal, this was not an especially large string section, that did not matter in the slightest: it was different, neither better nor worse, and balance with wind was impeccable throughout. The first movement got off to a fine start, as well-judged as the Octet. Fine clarinet solos deserve special mention, though there was nothing approaching a weaker link. Petrenko likewise shaped the second movement well, crucially without giving much impression of doing so. His task was to draw out the musicianship of his players, a task accomplished to a tee. Line persisted, however much the scenery changed: the procession, after all, never stops. The Minuet again gained much from the sense of chamber playing writ large; it is not the only way, of course, but it worked well. Its trio seemed all the more to breathe the air of <i>A Midsummer Night’s Dream</i>. The <i>Presto </i>Saltarello danced on hot coals, infectious and cathartic as a summer night’s fever. Mendelssohn at last seemed to have turned bad; perhaps it was so, if only in the moment.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></p></div> Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/ operaramblings urn:uuid:a6209c82-644c-ae3d-6306-35d26cec9bd9 Fri, 17 May 2024 13:41:17 +0000 Apparently Kylie Jenner is one of those people who is famous for being famous which is usually a guarantee that I&#8217;ve never heard of him/her/they.  But she&#8217;s famous enough to have inspired Jasmine Lee-Jones use her as a hook for &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Apparently Kylie Jenner is one of those people who is famous for being famous which is usually a guarantee that I&#8217;ve never heard of him/her/they.  But she&#8217;s famous enough to have inspired Jasmine Lee-Jones use her as a hook for a play; <em>Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner,</em> that opened in the Studi Tneatre at Crow&#8217;s on Thursday night in a co-production between Crow&#8217;s and Obsidian Theatre.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38011" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715535421&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;55&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;560&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.02&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Déjah Dixon-Green and Jasmine Chase in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-101" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38011 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg?w=584" alt="Déjah Dixon-Green and Jasmine Chase in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-101" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg?w=768&amp;h=512 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-and-jasmine-chase-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-101.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=682 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p><span id="more-38007"></span>There are two characters.  Cleo, played by Déjah Dixon-Green, is a straight, dark skinned, woman with a fixation on the fact that KJ makes a ton of money out of promoting &#8220;typically African&#8221; (full lips, thick thighs) which are considered beautiful on her but are held to make African women look &#8220;primitive&#8221; or &#8220;monkey like&#8221;.  Using the handle #incognegro she goes on a Twitter rant about KJ which predictably starts a very ugly flame war ending up with images of, for instance, the lynching of a black woman (which, of course, doesn&#8217;t contravene Twitter&#8217;s &#8220;community standards&#8221;).</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38012" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715537959&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.04&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner_photobyDahliaKatz-244" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38012 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg?w=584" alt="Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner_photobyDahliaKatz-244" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg?w=768&amp;h=512 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner_photobydahliakatz-244.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=682 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p>Mixed up with all this is her friendship with Kara played by Jasmine Case.  She is a queer, much lighter skinned woman.. a &#8220;lighty&#8221; in Cleo&#8217;s terms.  When the two women row, which they do for much of the play&#8217;s 90 minutes, it&#8217;s usually about their shared past; especially it&#8217;s sexual element, and how they perceive that they, and other black women, are seen by men (perhaps especially white men).  In between all the street slang and text speak there&#8217;s some serious narrative about how black women have been exploited for their exoticism and then discarded.  There&#8217;s a lot of anger and a few digs at a previous generation of civil rights activists.  There&#8217;s not much tolerance for MLK-like passive resistance here.  It&#8217;s probably deliberate too that queer Kara fits typical male ideas of female beauty much more closely than straight (but &#8220;dick deprived&#8221;) Cleo.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="38013" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,798" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods of killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-8" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38013 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg?w=584" alt="Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods of killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-8" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg?w=150&amp;h=103 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg?w=300&amp;h=206 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg?w=768&amp;h=528 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-8.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=704 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p>All this plays out on a set that consists of an enormous bed with cushions and soft toys surrounded by TV screens which display typical social media quotes plus headlines from the world&#8217;s press as the KJ Twitterstorm goes global.  The women converse in a mixture of standard English, London street slang and textspeak.. .&#8221;YK GTFO of my TL Bitch&#8221; is about typical.  When they are talking over each other this can be quite hard to unpack despite the glossary provided in the programme, but we get the main thrust.  Director Jay Northcott and his cast create a fast moving, sometimes very funny, sometimes thought provoking experience and there&#8217;s an unexpectedly cute ending.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38014" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,820" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Jasmine Chase and Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-159" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38014 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg?w=584" alt="Jasmine Chase and Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-159" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg?w=150&amp;h=106 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg?w=300&amp;h=212 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg?w=768&amp;h=543 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-159.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=724 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p>It&#8217;s playing in the tiny Studio Theatre at Crow&#8217;s so the audience is right on top of the action which creates an atmosphere that is simultaneously claustrophobic and voyeuristic.  This definitely reduces distance between audience and players in what is a very intimate show.  It&#8217;s the right venue.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38015" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715536485&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;59&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1100&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Jasmine Chase and Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-174" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38015 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg?w=584" alt="Jasmine Chase and Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-174" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg?w=768&amp;h=512 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-174.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=682 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p>So there we have it; the pervasive (pernicious) influences of (anti)social media and &#8220;celebrity culture&#8221; bound up with cultural appropriation and sexual politics from a black female perspective.  It&#8217;s quite a ride.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="38016" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2024/05/17/seven-methods-of-killing-kylie-jenner/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg" data-orig-size="1160,773" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z f&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1715538415&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;37&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;4500&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Jasmine Chase and Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-255" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg?w=584" class="size-full wp-image-38016 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg?w=584" alt="Jasmine Chase and Déjah Dixon-Green in seven methods for killing kylie jenner-photobyDahliaKatz-255" srcset="https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg 1160w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg?w=768&amp;h=512 768w, https://operaramblings.blog/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/jasmine-chase-and-dejah-dixon-green-in-seven-methods-for-killing-kylie-jenner-photobydahliakatz-255.jpg?w=1024&amp;h=682 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1160px) 100vw, 1160px" /></p> <p><em>Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner</em> runs in the Studio Theatre at Crow&#8217;s until May 26th.</p> <p>Photo credit: Dahlia Katz</p> I’m a stranger here myself https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/im-a-stranger-here-myself/ parterre box urn:uuid:9e74a010-b75f-1038-0616-c5a5cdf1d19d Fri, 17 May 2024 13:00:28 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/im-a-stranger-here-myself/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-featured-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-featured-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-featured-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-featured-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-featured-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-featured.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>In 1982 I saw <em>Turandot </em>at the San Francisco Opera, the year after I became an opera fan, and it was my first live opera.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/im-a-stranger-here-myself/">I&#8217;m a stranger here myself</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95622" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-main.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="403" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-main.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-main-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-turandot-main-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The cast was <strong>Linda Kelm, Nicola Martinucci, Barbara Daniels</strong>, and <strong>Kevin Langan</strong> conducted by <strong>Myung-Whun Chung</strong> in what I believe was his U.S. Debut. <strong>Eddie Albert</strong> (of TV’s <em>Green Acres</em> fame),  fresh from having appeared in the <strong>Luciano Pavarotti</strong> rom-com-fiasco, <em>Yes, Giorgio</em>, was the Emperor Altoum.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">You can hear excerpts from most of the performance (minus the finale of Act One and some connecting bits) below. The sound is spotty in Act I but by the time <strong>Linda Kelm</strong> shows up, the sonic clouds have cleared and you can hear how formidable she was. So formidable, in fact, that six years later <strong>James Levine</strong> hired her as ‘High C’ Helmwige when the Met made their studio <em>Die Walkure.</em> She was a Seattle Opera Brünnhilde in the early years of their ‘Pacific Northwest’ Ring Cycles and sang <strong>Puccini</strong>’s Principessa around to great acclaim and made a good career. However, her entire Met career consisted of six  ‘In the Parks’ performances of <em>Turandot </em>the year of the <em>Walkure</em> recording and one main stage <em>Siegfried</em> Brünnhilde. In spite of, or perhaps because of, her ample proportioning, she was one of those very good singers who just never became a ‘star’ for one reason or another. <strong>Rita Hunter </strong>syndrome.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcyJ5Xoc9yE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcyJ5Xoc9yE</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Barbara Daniels wasn’t one of nature’s born Liù’s but she was a fine Puccini stylist in her day and a sensitive actress. Just no <em>ppp</em>.  As Timur, Kevin Langan hit a note so strong, in his outburst after Liù’s death, it literally resonated in my own chest. The only other time that ever happened to me was with <strong>Gwyneth Jones</strong> on a high-C. Nicola Martinucci barreled his way through the music in true <strong>Mario del Monaco</strong> fashion and it was thrilling (I knew nothing).</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The San Francisco sets and costumes by <strong>Allen Charles Klein</strong> were loaned and a co-production from the Miami &amp; Dallas Opera companies. The unit set features an enormous golden dragon rearing its head stage left with the Emperor sitting in its clawed foot 20 feet in the air. In its other claw center stage is an enormous luminescent pearl. It was from within this pearl that Turandot made her first, very <em>misterioso</em> (and only faintly translucent), Act I appearance. This production has traveled the earth since. I saw it in Baltimore a decade later, where it looked very bus-and-truck, and was <a href="https://parterre.com/2017/12/08/forever-amber/">mounted</a> as recently as 2017 by Chicago Lyric Opera.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The story goes that <strong>Eva Marton</strong> sang a performance once somewhere when she was fighting a bug and was sick inside the pearl. Apparently, in spite of a thorough cleaning, that melody lingers on now for any soprano stuck inside it waiting to make her entrance.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95626" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/turandot-allen.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="403" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/turandot-allen.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/turandot-allen-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/turandot-allen-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The other thing I most remember from that performance was the sudden entrance of the organ in the final pages of Act Two. We were in the orchestra section and I felt it through my feet(!), The War Memorial being one of the few theaters with an actual pipe organ. You don’t usually even hear it on recordings very often (and I certainly hadn’t noticed it) but suffice to say it was mind-blowing.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">But the San Francisco Opera performance I would have loved to have attended was sadly before my ferocious fandom began and that was the 1977 opening night when <strong>Montserrat Caballé</strong> (in her local debut) and Luciano Pavarotti made their joint role debuts as Turandot and Calaf in a production designed by <strong>Jean-Pierre Ponnelle</strong>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The long-suffering Liù was <strong>Leona Mitchell</strong> who had already made her San Francisco debut as Micaela in <em>Carmen</em> in ‘73 (after matriculating in the Merola program) and her Met debut in the same role two years later, starting a long association with both companies. Her Liù is a great assumption of the role which is sometimes handed to sopranos who have the Italiate <em>slancio</em> but lack grace up above.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">I adored her voice and she recorded a glorious solo debut CD for Decca “Presenting Leona Mitchell” which has found a new home on the Eloquence label. I finally got to see her live in San Francisco in ‘91 as an absolutely heartbreaking <em>Suor Angelica</em> to the rapacious <strong>Elena Obraztsova</strong> and her three voices.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95625" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_098.jpg.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_098.jpg.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_098.jpg-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_098.jpg-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">It was a double bill production with <em>Pagliacci </em>that was originally supposed to star <strong>Mirella Freni</strong> in her role debut as Angelica and then Pavarotti in his first staged Canio. I’m not certain how it all fell through, but in the end Mitchell came to the rescue and the belated U.S. debut of the great Russian tenor <strong>Vladimir Atlantov</strong> was hastily arranged in the Leoncavallo. Naturally, a telecast was planned that was canceled as well. Three years later Freni would record the whole <em>Trittico </em>for Decca (at the age of 58, perhaps a little too late in the career) and Pavarotti finally sang Canio, exactly twice on stage at the Met in 1994, at the tender age of 56.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Giorgio Tozzi</strong> held down the bass line as old Timur. Plus, singing one of Turandot’s handmaidens, in her first year of the Merola program, is the young <strong>Carol Vaness</strong>. <strong>Riccardo Chailly</strong>, still wet behind the ears at 24 (!), was making his U.S. debut and the production was a scandal, so gather ‘round.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The story goes that General Manager <strong>Kurt Herbert Adler </strong>had a wealthy donor on the line who was going to underwrite a new production for the company by an Italian designer whose name I’ve never been able to unearth. When that fell through, he turned to <strong>Jean-Pierre Ponnelle</strong>, who had a history with San Francisco Opera and who had recently directed a production he himself had designed at the Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">We now forget that in the 70s and 80s, Ponnelle was the absolute height of the regietheater avant-garde. I remember stories of a famous mezzo walking out on a production of <em>Cavalleria</em> because he wanted her to sing with a baby bump. His 1975 production of <strong>Wagner</strong>’s <em>Flying Dutchman </em>for San Francisco, which was imported to the Met a few years later, staged the entire opera in one act (as was the composer’s intention) and made it the ‘dream’ of the Steersman, who also played Erik (not the composer’s intention). Apparently the production was brought over sight unseen and <strong>Francis Robinson</strong> talks in his book on the history of the Met how it roused the audience to its collective feet ‘cheering and jeering.’ It was very high-concept for the Met at the time, but literally the same year that <strong>Harry Kupfer</strong>’s production premiered at Bayreuth, so Ponnelle’s was relatively tame by comparison. Needless to say, where the European press had loved Ponnelle’s Strasbourg <em>Turandot, </em>here in the U.S. folks were aghast and here’s why.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95623" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_004.jpg.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_004.jpg.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_004.jpg-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_pic_01_sfo_1977_11_004.jpg-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The first act featured a 30-foot tall, golden female buddha-style statue, with ivory face, bare-breasted, and arms folded. When the people of Peking call out for mercy for the Prince of Persia the arms unfolded to reveal La Caballé as she gave the executioner the fatal gesture. The entire production took place at night and, as always with Ponnelle, the colors he chose tended to monochrome (in this case mostly black, gold, dark blues and red). The savageness of the story was highlighted in the staging with the <em>popolo</em> abusing the Prince of Persia from the curtain’s rise and Turandot being followed around by two dwarfs in leather (their real purpose was actually to give the soprano balance as she descended the stairs in Act II). Bamboo hats abounded for the chorus.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">At Liù’s death in Act III, the chorus, afraid of her avenging ghost (mentioned in the lyrics), left her body on the stage to the consternation of many in the audience. Eyebrows raised even higher when, after the vanquishing kiss, Calaf ripped Turandot’s white ceremonial robe off to reveal a red negligée underneath as bloody tears flowed from the eyes of the golden idol. It was nicknamed the ‘Vegas’ <em>Turandot</em>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Jean-Pierre Ponnelle was occupied elsewhere so <strong>Nicolas Joel</strong>, then an Assistant Director in Strasbourg, was assigned to oversee the revival. In spite of having learned the role five years earlier for the Decca recording, Luciano Pavarotti was having his usual difficulties with memorization and staying focused during rehearsals. He had been singing in San Francisco since 1969 and they were mostly used to his increasingly egotistical shenanigans, but nevertheless, Ponnelle was flown in to lay down the law with the <em>tenorissimo</em> and supervise some final rehearsals. <strong>Prince Charles</strong> was attending opening night, so more attention than usual was expected. The story goes that Ponnelle read our tenor the riot act in front of the entire cast, in Italian, to make certain he got every word. Things proceeded smoothly from that point on.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95624" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-pavarotti-turandot.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-pavarotti-turandot.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-pavarotti-turandot-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/caballe-pavarotti-turandot-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Señora Caballé’s journey to her San Francisco debut was slightly longer. Her first Turandot was scheduled for La Scala for a one-night-only grand gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of the premiere scheduled initially for May 13 of ‘76 eventually rescheduled to three days later because…La Scala. The fact that this date was random and had no relation to the original premiere of April 26, 1926 seemed to bother no one. A new production announced to be designed by <strong>Pier Luigi Pizzi</strong> failed to materialize in time and instead a revival of the famed <strong>Nicola Benois</strong> that Scala had mounted for <strong>Birgit Nilsson </strong>in ‘58 was hastily arranged with a week of rehearsals and a few delays, the outcome of which was that the scheduled Liù, <strong>Mirella Freni</strong>, was no longer available.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Come the gala night, when Turandot made her famous Act I appearance on the palace loggia, many in the audience noticed the lack of resemblance the Principessa bore to the scheduled soprano. This was because she was across the street in her hotel room passing a kidney stone. The performance went on without her.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Kurt Herbert Adler had already had one run-in with Señora Caballé and it hadn’t ended well for the new production of <em>Norma</em> he’d mounted for her San Francisco Opera debut in ‘75. Owing to follow-up surgery she needed due to a hysterectomy, she had had to cancel at nearly the last minute. Rita Hunter recalls in her autobiography receiving a crack of dawn phone call from Adler with the opening line, “How’s your Norma?”</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95628" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_ext_001_sfo_1977_11_050.jpg.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_ext_001_sfo_1977_11_050.jpg.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_ext_001_sfo_1977_11_050.jpg-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/sfo_ext_001_sfo_1977_11_050.jpg-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Not being pleased with the early call she rejoined, “Fine luv, how’s yours?” Ms. Hunter was warming up for an impending engagement in the Bellini at the Met, so she cleared her schedule and had a triumph in San Francisco. New York, however, didn’t receive her as graciously, especially <strong>Donal Henahan,</strong> who opened his New York Times review: “To get it over quickly, Rita Hunter is not a satisfactory Norma in any respect.” After her success in San Francisco, Adler had offered Ms. Hunter three seasons of choice roles, including a brand new production of …you guessed it <em>Turandot.</em> Sadly, the offers dried up after her lukewarm reception in the big apple.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Señora Caballé and her legendary reputation of “only being available for a few cancellations each season”  already preceded her. So, regular press releases were issued assuring everyone far and wide that rehearsals were going smoothly since gossipy opera fans were mindful of both the local <em>Norma</em> cancellation and the La Scala debacle. Adler reportedly made it clear to the soprano that if she didn’t sing, he’d bring her up on charges with the artist’s union. The staff walked on eggshells around her until her impish sense of humor finally won the day.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">San Francisco pays tribute to this production on their <a href="https://www.sfopera.com/seasons/2022-23-season/streaming-the-first-century/session-3-italian-roots/session-3-puccini-turandot/">webpage</a> which includes some great photos, the essays from the evening’s program, including an interview with <strong>Licia Albanese</strong> (who was beloved in San Francisco and sang Liù to <strong>Leonie Rysanek</strong>’s Turandot in 1957), and the radio broadcast capturing the next performance. It’s been bootlegged on the Gala label for years but there’s an even better remaster of it on YouTube.</p> <p><a href=" <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cMwIAirZQY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cMwIAirZQY</a></p> <p></a></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Listening to it again for the first time in a while, it surprises on a number of levels. First, I have to put bed to the longstanding rumor that the second act was lowered a whole tone so that Caballé could get through the role. Anyone with a pitch pipe can tell you that certainly isn’t the case. Both the soprano and the tenor are in white-hot voice and, especially in the last scene, really put a lot more emotion behind their phrasing than either of them used in the studio. A lot more. Like, it almost gets a little <em>verista</em> at times. It’s very exciting to hear both of them so involved and inspired by each other. He even takes the optional ‘C’ in the second act.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Caballé pulls out that magical pianissimo just when you wouldn’t expect it at the climax of her first aria. On the repeat of the line “Quel grido e quella morte!” she suddenly diminuendos down to almost nothing (after the B in alt, mind you) to show her great sadness at the death of her predecessor Lou-Ling. She’s unsparring with her voice throughout the riddle scene. After Calaf solves the second riddle and the crowd offers their encouragement her, “Percuotete quei vili!” is absolutely ferocious.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> They also sing the full <strong>Alfano</strong> II finale with Caballé offering a magnificent “Del primo pianto”. She starts it with a mini-sob at the end of the proceeding phrase and then really digs into the words. It’s very individual and vulnerable and filled with pathos with a lot of contrasting dynamics. She does the vocal fade again at the repeat of “So il tuo nome.” She keeps lavishing phrase after phrase with her Bel Canto skills. Proving her studio recording of the leading role (which was released the next year but had been recorded just two months prior …oddly, with the Strasbourg forces and their chief conductor <strong>Alain Lombard</strong>) wasn’t a bag of audio engineers’ tricks as was whispered out loud in the press on more than one occasion then and since. Captured at just the right moment in her development, this performance may be among her greatest.</p> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-95629" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pav-caballe-turandot-2-1.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pav-caballe-turandot-2-1.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pav-caballe-turandot-2-1-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pav-caballe-turandot-2-1-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Chailly is galvanizing in the pit and in spite of his age, it’s apparent that everyone is trying to keep up. Especially since we know how much this tenor and soprano enjoyed conductors who followed rather than led.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Caballé had already recorded Liù to <strong>Sutherland</strong>’s Turandot for Decca in ’72, the gold standard that all others will be judged by forever more (and badly at that). At the time the critic <strong>Edward Greenfield</strong> suggested to the powers that be at Decca that they release an appendix album with Caballé singing “In Questa Reggia” and Sutherland in the two Liù arias. Sadly, that came to naught.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Yet they did meet again in the recording studio in 1984 to record <strong>Bellini</strong>’s <em>Norma</em>. Caballé, to almost everyone’s astonishment, agreed to learn the Seconda Donna role of Adalgisa for the recording and the opportunity to work with La Dame Joan again. Another great story is Caballé arriving on the first day of rehearsal with a huge floral tribute for Sutherland. Joan says, “Montsy, how kind flowers for the Prima Donna”.  Caballé said, “Ah no Joan, flowers <em>from</em> the Prima Donna”.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Check out my survey of some favorite </em>Turandot<em> recordings <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/10/come-to-the-record-store-in-old-peking/">here</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Photos: Ron Scherl</em></p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/im-a-stranger-here-myself/">I&#8217;m a stranger here myself</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Diedero il canto agli astri, al ciel, che ne ridean più belli https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/diedero-il-canto-agli-astri-al-ciel-che-ne-ridean-piu-belli/ parterre box urn:uuid:7ed9acba-4f53-4158-94d2-fbd015c7a767 Fri, 17 May 2024 10:00:12 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/diedero-il-canto-agli-astri-al-ciel-che-ne-ridean-piu-belli/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/nilsson-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" fetchpriority="high" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/nilsson-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/nilsson-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/nilsson-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/nilsson-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/nilsson-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Double diva day</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/diedero-il-canto-agli-astri-al-ciel-che-ne-ridean-piu-belli/">Diedero il canto agli astri, al ciel, che ne ridean più belli</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLAdbco5Css&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLAdbco5Css</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Born on this day in 1906 soprano <strong>Zinka Milanov</strong>…</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQpm6A4SF_Q&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQpm6A4SF_Q</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">… and in 1918, soprano <strong>Birgit Nilsson</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Born on this day in 1924 baritone <strong>Gabriel Bacquier</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo60mGxYHNg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo60mGxYHNg</a></p> </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Birthday anniversaries of composers <strong>Erik Satie</strong> (1866) and <strong>Werner Egk</strong> (1901)<br /> and conductor <strong>Fausto Cleva</strong> (1902)</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">On this day in 1890 <strong>Mascagni</strong>&#8216;s <em>Cavalleria Rusticana</em> premiered in Rome</p> <p>The post <a href="https://parterre.com/2024/05/17/diedero-il-canto-agli-astri-al-ciel-che-ne-ridean-piu-belli/">Diedero il canto agli astri, al ciel, che ne ridean più belli</a> appeared first on <a href="https://parterre.com">parterre box</a>.</p> Kozhukhin - Widmann, Schubert, Ligeti, and Liszt, 16 May 2024 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2024/05/kozhukhin-widmann-schubert-ligeti-and.html Boulezian urn:uuid:4c536a65-d991-37f7-6a1c-aef2fab24553 Fri, 17 May 2024 07:29:17 +0000 <br />Pierre Boulez Saal <br /><br /><b>Widmann:</b> <i>Idyll and Abgrund (Six Schubert Reminiscences for piano) </i><br /><b>Schubert:</b> Piano Sonata in G major, D 894 <br /><b>Ligeti:</b> <i>Études</i>, no.13: ‘L’Escalier du diable’ <br /><b>Liszt: </b>Piano Sonata in B minor, S 178 <br /><br />Denis Kozhukhin (piano) <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">With this intelligently programmed and performed recital, Denis Kozhukhin reminded us what an interesting musician he is. Both halves presented a major piano sonata – two of the most celebrated and, in different ways, difficult in the repertoire – preceded by a more recent work either, in the first case, paying explicit reference to the earlier composer or, in the latter, holding something diabolically transcendental in common.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Jörg Widmann’s 2009 <i>Idyll and Abgrund</i>, subtitled<i> Six Schubert Reminiscences for piano</i>, opened the programme. If its first ‘reminiscence’ certainly had melodic roots in Schubert, its harmonic world initially seemed closer to late Liszt, before heading in another direction altogether, heavy dissonant interventions in the treble sounding oddly like Schnittke. That composer also came to mind in the mode of expression of the second, though Schubert and indeed Brahms, as well as a more general (typically for the composer) relationship to German musical Romanticism were present. There were here and throughout so many ghosts that I cannot remember them all, and am not sure it would be helpful to list them even if I could. A charming waltz began, only to be partially obscured, yet soon returned to go a little haywire, pianist’s whistle and all. Kozhukhin offered a fine lilt, always idiomatic without sentimentality. There were starker passages. And surely that was Schubert’s final piano sonata I heard in the last movement, just before the close. But so what? Reference, allusion, or kinship were apparent, ‘meaning’ more allusive—and doubtless rightly so.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Schubert’s own G major Sonata, D 894, followed. The first movement, <i>Molto moderato e cantabile</i>, was taken at no Richter tempo; how – why – would one imitate the inimitable? But it certainly took its lead from Schubert’s marking, as indeed did all four movements, in character as well as mere speed. A sense of sleepwalking, as in Thomas May’s programme note quotation from Alfred Brendel, was apparent, Schubert striding ‘across harmonic abysses as though by compulsion, and we cannot help remembering that sleepwalkers never lose their step’. Kozhukhin’s command of line certainly suggested this. One might, at any one moment, have been forgiven for thinking Schubert was not really in the business of development, but he was, through a stasis that was only apparent yet no less ‘felt’ for that. And he proved just as adept as summoning ghosts, albeit without any compulsion to name them. Form grew out of what we heard rather than being imposed upon it; that said, there was no doubting the moment of tonal return, nor the transformed nature of material thereafter. What a pity, then, that someone’s telephone went off at the first movement’s close, visibly disconcerting pianist and audience alike. The <i>Andante</i> received a similarly ‘interior’ reading, passages turning outwards where called for and not without violence. It made sense, again as if from deep sleep. This music can certainly be understood dialectically, yet it was less clear than with Beethoven that that would be the point. It came from a damaged world, a damaged psyche, Adorno’s <i>Minima moralia</i> coming to my mind, but showed great strength from within. The minuet asked and responded, the difference between question and response meaning all—both to pianist and composer. Its trio offered a vision of something beyond, perhaps heavenly, whilst unable or unwilling to let go of remaining, unbridgeable distance, as if a Bach musette found itself in the world of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, neither party knowing quite what to do. The final movement brought us back to earth, perhaps, whilst remembering what had just passed (and in truth, we had never really left). This was the wayward progress of music that wishes to approach Mozart, yet actually ends up further away. Might Kozhukhin have confronted the abyss more starkly? Perhaps, but his long, unbroken line told its own story.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">The thirteenth and longest of Ligeti’s <i>Etudes</i>, ‘L’Escalier du diable’, offered a strong pictorial sense of its titular inspiration without being bound by it, nor indeed by anything else other than a precision the composer would surely have admired. The craziness of its technical demands and their fulfilment were all part of the challenge—and the fun. Dynamic levels were as rock-solid as rhythm, a big, post-Romantic sound as present where required as interior unwinding. It was probably just my imagination, but I could have sworn a chord emerged, perfectly in keeping, as if from the world of Messiaen. In any case, the final resonance was surely one to rival Stockhausen.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">It made for an ideal curtain raiser to the Liszt B minor Sonata, which began with an almost modest precision that was actually more a case of knowing where the music must lead. That precision remained, as did tautness of conception, again with fine command of line to recall Schubert. There was no haze here, though, in a performance that was bright even when dark, and ever immediate. If there were sleepwalking here, it was of a more nightmarish quality. Kozhukhin did not shy away from rhetoric as such, the first statement of the second subject, for instance, highly declamatory, but form and, even on occasion, a certain formalism were more to the fore. Perhaps the performance, then, sprang from Ligeti in that sense too. Again, it was certainly not that Kozkuhkin could not spin a compelling, even spell-binding <i>cantabile</i> line; he could and did. Integration nonetheless always seemed his ultimate concern. Clarity of texture and purpose was admirable, even if I occasionally missed a little Romantic mystery. (Was that just me trying to have it all? Probably.) There were surprises, though, in the sense that new points of departure, the fugato a case in point, truly sounded as such, even when one ‘knew’. The true recapitulation sounded, again, with all the inevitability one could wish for. It was, perhaps, a more modernistic story than often, but that is inherent to Liszt. And on the very few occasions when the music threatened to escape even the most iron self-control, that is surely part of Liszt and Lisztian performance too. This sonata will never sound ‘perfect’; it is not Mozart and is not trying to be. It was something different from that and all the better for it.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">A moan: must audience members really tell each other loudly what an encore is when a musician begins to play it, or just as bad, give a stage-sigh of satisfaction? Well done: you have recognised Schumann’s <i>Träumerei</i>, one of the most celebrated and likely encores in the piano literature. Fortunately, Kozhukhin gave an honest account, beautifully voiced. To be fair, no one made such noises for the first encore, perhaps because – like me – they did not know what it was. Hymnal and, if I remember correctly, slightly modal, it had melodic and harmonic characteristics I might have guessed to be Russian. I wondered whether it might have ‘meant’ something beyond its notes; at any rate, Kozhukhin clearly believed in and winningly communicated those notes.</span></p> New Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease https://medicine-opera.com/2024/05/new-treatment-for-sickle-cell-disease/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:8d7ce914-c297-dee9-41db-a33a4d59c308 Thu, 16 May 2024 18:55:38 +0000 Sickle Cell Disease is a disorder caused by a single mutation that results in the production of Hemoglobin S. It is an autosomal dominant disease as it is not on a sex chromosome. If both parents possess the abnormal gene and each pass a copy to his/her offspring the child has sickle cell disease. Thus,... <p>Sickle Cell Disease is a disorder caused by a single mutation that results in the production of Hemoglobin S. It is an autosomal dominant disease as it is not on a sex chromosome. If both parents possess the abnormal gene and each pass a copy to his/her offspring the child has sickle cell disease. Thus, if the child of such a parent gets only one copy of the abnormal gene he/she will have sickle cell trait rather than the disease. The trait is a very mild condition that only expresses itself under limited conditions. The disease, on the other hand, is a harsh one that is characterized by severe vaso-occlusive and debilitating pain, chronic hemolytic anemia, end-organ disease, and early death. </p> <p>Treatments for the disease consist of stem cell transplantation which is limited by the availability of matched donors, the risk of graft versus host disease (GVHD), and the complications of immunosuppressive therapy and graft rejection which can be fatal.</p> <p>A new type of therapy designed to reactivate fetal hemoglobin production has been developed. The treatment is exagamglogene autotemcel (exa-cell) which accomplishes the reactivation just mentioned through a complicated series of steps I won&#8217;t describe here. Elevated levels of fetal hemoglobin are associated with reduced morbidity and mortality from both sickle cell disease and ß-thalassemia (reported in the same issue of the <em>NEJM</em>). Exa-cell was shown to be beneficial in both disorders. </p> <p>Fetal hemoglobin is the main oxygen carrier protein in the human fetus. Hemoglobin F is found in fetal red blood cells and is involved in transporting oxygen from the mother&#8217;s bloodstream to organs and tissues in the fetus. It is produced at around six weeks of pregnancy and the levels remain high after birth until the baby is roughly 2–4 months old. Hemoglobin F has a different composition from adult forms of hemoglobin, allowing it to bind (or attach to) oxygen more strongly; this in turn enables the developing fetus to retrieve oxygen from the mother&#8217;s bloodstream, which occurs through the placenta found in the mother&#8217;s uterus.</p> <p>In the newborn, levels of hemoglobin F gradually decrease and reach adult levels (less than 1% of total hemoglobin) usually within the first year, as adult forms of hemoglobin begin to be produced. Diseases such as ß-thalassemias, which affect components of the adult hemoglobin, can delay this process, and cause hemoglobin F levels to be higher than normal. In sickle cell anemia, increasing the production of hemoglobin F has been used as a treatment to relieve some of the symptoms.</p> <p>The May 9 issue of the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em> contains <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2309676" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Exagamglogene Autotemcel for Severe Sickle Cell Disease</a>. The mechanism and use of exa-cell is beyond the scope of an article written for laymen or many physicians for that matter. The current report is a phase 3, single-group, open-label study of exa-cel in patients 12 to 35 years of age with sickle cell disease who had had at least two severe vaso-occlusive crises in each of the 2 years before screening. The primary end point was freedom from severe vaso-occlusive crises for at least 12 consecutive months. A key secondary end point was freedom from inpatient hospitalization for severe vaso-occlusive crises for at least 12 consecutive months. The safety of exa-cel was also assessed.</p> <p>Treatment with exa-cel eliminated vaso-occlusive crises in 97% of patients with sickle cell disease for a period of 12 months or more. The safety profile of exa-cel was generally consistent with that of myeloablative busulfan conditioning (part of the exa-cl treatment) and autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. No cancers occurred. Although all the patients had adverse events, in most patients these events were considered by the investigators to be related to the busulfan-based conditioning regimen and occurred within the first six months after the exa-cel infusion. There were no cases of GVHD or myelodysplasia.</p> <p>A longer term study is underway to determine both the long term efficiency and safety of the treatment. This approach sickle cell disease is a new example of our advances in applied genomics. More such medical applications are sure to follow that use these techniques to ameliorate diseases that up to now have evaded our attempts to control them. </p> <p>If only we could come up with interventions that would improve our behavior and social interactions which appear not to have changed since the Paleolithic age our lives would be better than our best medical science can achieve. But that&#8217;s another story. The paper mentioned here is below. </p> <div class="wp-block-file"><a id="wp-block-file--media-f4345d1b-1da7-4e88-8e20-bca8a74b4961" href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Exagamglogene-Autotemcel-for-Severe-Sickle-Cell-Disease.pdf">Exagamglogene-Autotemcel-for-Severe-Sickle-Cell-Disease</a></div>