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/ Things go better without Koch https://parterre.com/2019/08/23/things-go-better-without-koch/ parterre box urn:uuid:0fb62441-d969-4a84-eb82-cf669870126b Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:39:59 +0000 A multibillionaire right-winger—best remembered locally for plastering his name on the once-beloved New York State Theater at Lincoln Center—has died. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63602" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/koch-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/koch.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/koch-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />A multibillionaire right-wing father of the pseudo-libertarian &#8220;Tea Party,&#8221; best remembered locally for plastering his name on the once-beloved New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, has died. Now we can start forgetting him. [<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/us/david-koch-dead.html">New York Times</a>]</p> "Good Morning America" Thinks It's Totally Acceptable to Laugh at a 6-Year-Old for Taking Ballet https://www.pointemagazine.com/good-morning-america-ballet-2639987701.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:4e54b6bd-9dc5-678d-ef2e-c12e7c2dab3a Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:23:15 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20660841/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p><sup></sup>When the news broke that Prince George, currently third in line for the British throne, would be continuing ballet classes as part of his school curriculum this year, we were as excited as anyone. (Okay, maybe more excited.)</p><p>This was not, it seems, a sentiment shared by "Good Morning America" host Lara Spencer.</p><hr/><h3></h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8M9STE1566576322" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/e27c3JmlbNM?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>On yesterday's episode, the conversation turned to what the 6-year-old has on the docket when he returns to school this fall. After joking about being glad that she didn't have to do homework anymore, Spencer said,</p><blockquote>In addition to the usual first or second grade things, like math, science and history, the future King of England will be putting down the Play-Doh to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet, among other things.</blockquote><h3>None</h3><br/><p>This could have been a joke about the young prince tackling subjects that seem way above grade level. (Which begs the question, why is advanced achievement considered a joke?) But things began to seriously sour when Spencer got to the word "ballet." The talk show host audibly held back a laugh as she said it, and followed it up with an expression that could kindly be called patronizing, provoking giggles and then full-on laughter from her co-hosts and the studio audience. And then it got worse.</p><p>As pictures of a smiling Prince George showed on screen, she sarcastically quipped, "I mean, he looks so happy about the ballet class!" She continued,</p><blockquote>Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We'll see how long that lasts.</blockquote><h3>None</h3><br/><p>How, in the year 2019, is this considered even remotely acceptable?</p><p>I could extoll the numerous benefits that dance training has for any human being, not to mention one who is going to grow up to be a head of state. I could point to the physical upsides, the positive effects dancing has on mental and emotional health, the long-reaching benefits of the discipline and focus it requires, and, perhaps most significantly, the way dance training imparts the value of empathy.</p><p>But the thing is, I doubt that Spencer cares. What this is really about is bullying.</p><h3>None</h3><br/><p>Because that's what we just watched: A grown woman bullying a 6-year-old child. On national television. To laughter and applause.</p><p>If that seems okay to you, I would recommend finding your nearest dance studio and enrolling in an open class, because your empathy could use a serious tune-up.</p><p>It is no secret that young boys who enroll in dance classes <a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/bullying-2561788815.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">face bullying to an outstanding degree</a>—according to the documentary <em>DANSEUR</em>, the number is <a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/danseur-film-2618534558.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">85% of male ballet students</a> in the United States. We're all familiar with the <a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/stigma-boys-who-dance-2638764586.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">hateful, illogical rhetoric</a> that goes with it (ballet is effeminate, boys who do it are sissies, or worse, <em>gasp!</em>, gay), and one would like to think that if the adults in the room were aware of it, they would put a stop to it. <strong></strong></p><p>That's what makes this whole debacle so sickening. Sure, Prince George is largely going to be shielded from this, and is going to grow up with a thick skin from being the center of so much public scrutiny. But what message does this send to the young boys who enjoy dance classes, or maybe want to give it a shot, but don't want to be the subject of abuse? What does it say to the ones hurling the abuse? That the bullies, right or wrong, can get away with it, and even be praised for it. The woman on the television certainly seems to be doing well enough.</p><h3>None</h3><br/><p>Spencer's remarks also reflect the unfortunately common attitude that dance (ballet in particular) is not something that anyone could or should take seriously, that it's something to be grown out of. It's not like public and governmental support of dance, and the arts in general, is in crisis, right?</p><h3>None</h3><br/><p>If there's a bright spot in all of this, it's in watching the dance world's reaction. Ballet stars have flocked to social media to share their support for the young prince and their disgust at Spencer's comments—and to <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1d6mlXD1HY/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">demand an apology</a>. (There's even an <a href="https://www.change.org/p/good-morning-america-good-morning-america-should-amplify-the-benefits-of-dance-for-young-men?recruiter=999530297&recruited_by_id=809c7770-c5ae-11e9-951f-39a3b6744405&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_p3_view&utm_content=bandit-starter_cl_share_content_en-us%3Av4" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">online petition</a> asking that "GMA" produce a segment about the benefits of ballet training for young men.) Just a handful of the many articulate responses, including from former New York City Ballet star Robbie Fairchild and The Washington Ballet, are below.<strong></strong></p><p>Because this isn't just about Prince George, and it isn't just about ballet classes. It's about the fact that no one should be bullied for what they enjoy doing. And we refuse to condone it.</p><h3></h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="E5B01Z1566576322" id="759af"><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"> </div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1gU6Jkg3Hz/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">PATRICK Need Some Back-to-Studio Inspo? Take Your Pick from These 8 Dance Docs, Now Streaming on OVID https://www.pointemagazine.com/ovid-tv-2639986700.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:185fb8f0-e0c5-bd26-f425-10235d0c9952 Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:30:11 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20643809/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p>If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.<strong></strong></p><p>Starting August 23, <a href="https://ovid.tv/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">OVID</a>, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its <a href="https://ovid.tv/search/dance" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">library</a>. The best part? There's a free seven-day trial. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)</p><p>From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you: </p><hr/><h3>Carmen & Geoffrey</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="A7PAQ01566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8zn1x0WBQFA?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p><em>Way </em>before #relationshipgoals was a thing, Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder were exemplifying them. Dive inside the legendary careers and five-decade marriage of this dynamic duo in <em style="">Carmen & Geoffrey</em>,<em style=""> </em>featuring archival footage from as early as the 1950s. The couple's collective performing and choreographic careers spanned Broadway, film, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and much more. </p><h3>Ballerina</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="NP9BRW1566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8mG0QdYNlIM?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>Onstage, we see classical ballet's glamour. Behind the scenes, it's about sweat, discipline and rigor. <em>Ballerina </em>shows viewers both perspectives, focusing on the careers of Mariinsky luminaries Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Ulyana Lopatkina, Alina Somova and Evgenia Obraztsova.</p><h3>Ballet Boys</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="CNJQQF1566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jttI0iobM6s?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>Follow three rising dance talents over four years as they prepare to enter the professional ballet world. While <em>Ballet Boys</em> is a story of sacrifices, it's also a portrayal of teenage friendship shared by Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Syvert Lorenz Garcia and Torgeir Lund. </p><h3>Dancing Dreams</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="DZA18B1566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/32KzD-0vgPA?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>Pina Bausch fans, this one's for you. <em>Dancing Dreams </em>retells the 10-month process when Bausch staged her <em>Kontakthof</em> on 40 teenagers in 2008. Be a fly on the wall during rehearsals with the late master. </p><h3>Dream Girls</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="BGVL801566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i8YLKo8Nzsg?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>Though <em>Dream Girls</em> was originally released in 1993, its story of Japan's Takarazuka Revue, a musical theater company, is equally intriguing today. Thousands of girls apply to attend the competitive Takarazuka Music School annually. Their ultimate goal? To join the prestigious Revue, where they have the option to perform male or female roles. </p><h3>Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="GBB3HD1566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EAD3eaI3Uwg?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>A must-watch for all dance majors, <em><a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/new-documentary-profiles-martha-hill-2306956193.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter</a></em> explores the life of Martha Hill, a pioneering figure for dance in academia and Juilliard's founding director of dance.<strong> </strong></p><h3>Secundaria</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="W4AT8Y1566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K0iMEy51XTA?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>For many young dancers, training at the illustrious National Ballet School in Cuba is a dream. But for locals, it may also be an escape from poverty. <em>Secundaria </em>follows one high school class through their training, with a special focus on <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/mayara-pineiro-pennsylvania-ballet-2412872789.html" target="_blank">Mayara Pineiro</a>, who's now a principal at Pennsylvania Ballet. </p><h3>The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="QZ1EJR1566576321" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/P_CqtXxi0MQ?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>The late <a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/angela-bowen-2589326774.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Angela Bowen</a>'s life was truly multifaceted: She grew up in Boston during the Jim Crow era, married and had children, divorced, and came out as a lesbian. Along the way, she started a dance studio, was a professor of English and women's studies and became a dedicated gay rights activist. <strong></strong></p> Strictly Come Dancing 2019 | The Trailer & Behind The Scenes Film http://www.balletnews.co.uk/strictly-come-dancing-2019-the-trailer-behind-the-scenes-film/ Ballet News | Straight from the stage - bringing you ballet insights urn:uuid:1e22719b-1582-123f-8edd-a508e300d5d6 Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:05:58 +0000 Take a look behind the scenes of the 2019 #Strictly trail, coming soon! Watch online tomorrow and @BBCOne Sunday. Wien to me https://parterre.com/2019/08/23/wien-to-me/ parterre box urn:uuid:5e2bf7fd-c07a-5eb9-fb5a-4d79ce025595 Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:27 +0000 Orfeo’s <em>150 Years</em> box chronologically documents some of the finest nights of live opera from the Wiener Staatsoper in the years following its restoration in 1955. <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2TU5pKA"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-63599" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/orfeo-wien-518x468.jpg" alt="" width="450" height="407" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/orfeo-wien-518x468.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/orfeo-wien-250x226.jpg 250w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/orfeo-wien.jpg 522w" sizes="(max-width: 450px) 100vw, 450px" /></a>In his memoir <em>The World of Yesterday</em>, the Austrian writer <strong>Stefan Zweig</strong> painted a vivid portrait of the musically febrile Vienna of his youth, recounting with literary flair the Viennese’s exacting obsession over opera and its myriad strata of detail. <span id="more-63595"></span></p> <p>Sifting through Zweig’s charming collection of memories, one can find humor in the mania audiences expressed over the fading bars of a Beethoven quartet, or the peculiar way its citizenry would collectively mourn the closure of a concert hall or the passing of a great stage artist.</p> <p>As Zweig famously wrote of his city, “The Minister-President or the richest magnate could walk the streets of Vienna without anyone turning around, but a court actor or an opera singer was recognized by every salesgirl and every cabdriver.”</p> <p>If modern day Vienna has acquired a more cosmopolitan flavor, the centrality of opera to Viennese life and thought appears to have remained largely frozen in time. Vienna’s Staatsoper, which celebrated its sesquicentenary this past spring, continues to be an active cultural focal spot for a public that accords celebrity status to its favorite singers.</p> <p>Sensationally cast productions like its <a href="https://parterre.com/2019/06/04/what-we-do-in-the-shadows/">recent staging</a> of <em>Die Frau Ohne Schatten</em> can incite Stehplatz devotees to begin camping out for tickets as early as mid-morning. And paralleling Zweig’s own recollections, the most passionate opera fanatics will congregate post-curtain to debate the virtues of a contemporary vocalist’s art against the high bar set by beloved past legends.</p> <p>Adding to these celebrations, the Staatsoper has also authorized the release of audio (Orfeo) and video (Arthaus Musik) collections of operas that uphold its legacy as one of the world’s greatest purveyors of the art form.</p> <p>In collaboration with ORF (the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), the German classical label Orfeo has curated <a href="https://amzn.to/2TU5pKA">nine complete sets of live opera and a compilation of excerpts</a> from the Staatsoper’s archives into a special box released exclusively for this historic milestone.</p> <p>Orfeo’s <em>150 Years</em> box chronologically documents some of the finest nights of live opera from the Wiener Staatsoper in the years following its restoration in 1955. All of the operas are cast with exceptional vocalists and are presided over by conductors who are deeply sympathetic to the composers’ music.</p> <p>The first half are sourced from the years immediately following the house’s reopening, and the remainder are contemporary broadcasts that demonstrate Vienna’s unbroken tradition of attracting stellar talent.</p> <p>The first four operas in this box span the period coinciding with postwar tenures of <strong>Karl Böhm </strong>and <strong>Herbert von Karajan</strong>.  Each of these legendary Austrian maestros are given two sets originating between the mid-50s to the late 70s. First to appear is Böhm’s 1955 <em>Wozzeck</em>, followed by Karajan’s <em>Fidelio</em> from 1962 that had previously been released on Deutsche Grammophon.</p> <p><em>Wozzeck</em> (previously released on Andante) fascinates for documenting the orchestral reading of one of the composer’s greatest champions and for depicting the German music world’s more theatrically driven (e.g. more emphasis on the sprech side of sprechstimme) philosophy on performing Berg’s music during those years.</p> <p>Most listeners familiar with Böhm’s <em>Wozzeck</em> know the studio recording from the Deutsche Oper Berlin with <strong>Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau</strong> and <strong>Evelyn Lear</strong>.</p> <p>By the time the conductor committed this difficult opera to record, the approach to singing Berg had adopted a greater degree of musicality and accuracy that once eluded musicians. The live performance from 1955 features excellent singing and acting from the leads <strong>Walter Berry</strong> and <strong>Christel Gotz</strong>. The other principals, though appropriately characterful in the Wagnerian Mime mould, do not exhibit the same level of polish in addressing Berg’s vocal lines.</p> <p>Prior to acquiring this box, I learned of Böhm’s interpretation from the Andante set and absorbed much about Wozzeck’s character through Berry’s excellently sung interpretation.</p> <p>But there exist other great performances of Berg in the Staatsoper archive—namely, the critically acclaimed Abbado recording on DG, and a now out-of-print <em>Lulu</em> that marked the first time the Viennese experienced the opera’s full three-act version, recorded during <strong>Lorin Maazel</strong>’s blink-and-you’ll-miss tenure with the Staatsoper.</p> <p>As greatly as I enjoyed the musical contributions from Böhm’s 1955 team, I feel that Maazel’s <em>Lulu</em> showcases a musically and theatrically superior performance of Berg during a time when the musicians and singers had more or less reconciled with the composer’s challenging idiom.</p> <p>Karajan’s <em>Fidelio</em> from 1962, starring <strong>Christa Ludwig</strong> as Beethoven’s noble creation, was previously released on DG. This supposedly star-studded recording achieved notoriety during its release as the covers promised Jon Vickers’ haunted Florestan beside Ludwig’s Leonore—a pairing that when combined with the 1960s Karajan’s more exciting conducting ought to make this a collector’s favorite.</p> <p>Alas, the cataloguers in Orfeo failed to notice DG’s glaring error, and still associate Vickers’ name with a tenor whose vocal color and phrasing style is patently not his. Vickers was supposedly under the weather when this performance was broadcast, but I doubt that any amount of congestion or viral fry would cause a tenor with a timbre and artistry as distinctive as Vickers to transform into a singer devoid of those idiosyncratic qualities.</p> <p><strong>Hans Beirer</strong> was supposedly the tenor captured in this performance, and even now in this compilation the poor singer wasn’t correctly acknowledged.</p> <p>Ultimately, even if this <em>Fidelio</em> might have been an exciting evening at the theater, there is little about it that isn’t bettered by other competing recordings. The orchestral execution at times could sound scrappy and indifferent, and the ensembles aren’t nearly as clean.</p> <p>Vickers and Ludwig are heard to greater effect in <strong>Otto Klemperer</strong>’s legendary studio record, and Karajan’s direction in this score is more nuanced in his EMI recording from nearly a decade later.</p> <p>Had I been placed in charge of compiling this box, I would have remastered the significantly more potent Fidelio conducted by <strong>Leonard Bernstein</strong> with <strong>Gwyneth Jones</strong> and <strong>James King</strong>&#8211;surely one of the greatest <em>Fidelio</em>s captured on tape (Jones in my opinion is also a superior Leonore to Ludwig, and when inspired by Bernstein could bring the opera&#8217;s artistic values to stratospheric heights).</p> <p>If a Karajan performance were a necessity, I would have licensed the 1964 <em>Die Frau Ohne Schatten</em> featuring <strong>Gundula Janowitz, Jess Thomas, Grace Hoffman, Christa Ludwig, Walter Berry</strong>, and <strong>Lucia Popp</strong>. Although Karajan’s peculiar feng shui rearrangement of the score may bewilder some, it presents listeners with the rare opportunity to hear a nonpareil Straussian like Karajan in this incredible score with a festival quality cast.</p> <p>The next opera is an unequivocal triumph from ORF’s broadcast archives. Böhm’s 1965 <em>Elektra</em> (production by <strong>Wieland Wagner</strong>) presents us with one of <strong>Birgit Nilsson</strong>’s first attempts at the role of Elektra, and what a searing performance it is!</p> <p>If you don’t already own Orfeo’s individual release of this recording, this box allows you to sample Nilsson’s finest, most vocally fresh take on Elektra alongside a cast that includes Rysnanek’s orgasmic Chrysothemis, <strong>Eberhard Waechter</strong>’s refulgent and characterful Orest, <strong>Regina Resnik</strong>’s vibrant Klytämnestra, and <strong>Wolfgang Windgassen</strong>’s heldentenor Aegisth.</p> <p>Combined with Böhm’s intensely dramatic yet gracefully filigreed orchestral reading, this <em>Elektra</em> perhaps represents Nilsson’s finest recorded assumption of the role.</p> <p>Karajan’s 1977 <em>Le Nozze di Figaro</em>, also present in Orfeo’s catalogue, is the last of the recordings in this box that features two of the Staatsoper’s legendary Austrian maestros. This Figaro is virtually a carbon copy of the lavishly cast (Tomowa-Sintow as Contessa, Cotrubas as Susanna, Van Dam as Figaro, Krause as Almaviva, and von Stade as Cherubino) Decca recording that was maligned by critics for its turgid, lifeless conducting.</p> <p>Unlike the studio effort, Karajan here turns out a reading of great vitality, more fleeting compared with the carefully massaged product more familiar to the public. The elegance of phrasing and beauty of sound he coaxes from the Staatsoper orchestra almost reminds one of his theatrically propulsive interpretations from the 1960s.</p> <p>And the singing is truly a banquet of great, big house Mozartean voices, the vocalists’ interpretations coruscating and flickering in a way that is absent from the recording studio. The most notable singers: Tomowa-Sintow’s ravishing Countess, Contrubas’ charming and lovely Susanna, and Tom Krause’s suave, powerful Count.</p> <p>The remainder of the opera performances in this set are new releases that are seeing their first incarnation on an officially released disc. We&#8217;ll take a look at them tomorrow.</p> Frankly forty https://parterre.com/2019/08/23/frankly-forty/ parterre box urn:uuid:fdc6b11d-f879-5b5b-0c94-d58e2b6e52df Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:00:05 +0000 Like an echo from the caves of Coccamaura, film, drag and cabaret legend <strong>Charles Busch</strong> came forth whilst Deirdre wept cool tears. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63547" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/montclair-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/montclair.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/montclair-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />On this day in 1954, like an echo from the caves of Coccamaura, film, drag and cabaret legend <strong>Charles Busch</strong> came forth whilst Deirdre wept cool tears. <span id="more-63546"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIzCmnuBHGY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIzCmnuBHGY</a></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63591" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screen-Shot-2019-08-22-at-1.49.05-PM-518x116.png" alt="" width="518" height="116" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screen-Shot-2019-08-22-at-1.49.05-PM-518x116.png 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screen-Shot-2019-08-22-at-1.49.05-PM-250x56.png 250w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screen-Shot-2019-08-22-at-1.49.05-PM-768x171.png 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screen-Shot-2019-08-22-at-1.49.05-PM.png 932w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />In contrast to the erstwhile First Lady of the American Theater <a href="https://amzn.to/321EzmJ">noted above</a>, Charles retains his status as a theatrical chameleon. He returns to his most recent theatrical triumph, <em>The Confession of Lily Dare</em>, for a <a href="https://primarystages.org/shows/current-season/the-confession-of-lily-dare/">limited run</a> beginning in January 2020.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63548" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/confession-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/confession.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/confession-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" /></p> <p>Happy Frankly 39th birthday to writer / podcaster / video-maker <strong>Matt Baume</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OGmbd9-QOM&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OGmbd9-QOM</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1900 composer <strong>Ernst Krenek</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9700q1Y6_pc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9700q1Y6_pc</a></p> <p>Happy 81st birthday soprano <strong>Celestina Casapietra</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0szC88Lqvgc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0szC88Lqvgc</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of soprano <strong>Stella Roman</strong> (1904). bass-baritone <strong>Raimund Herincx</strong> (1927) and baritone <strong>Franz Ferdinand Nentwig</strong> (1929).</p> Salzburg Festival (6) - Pollini: Schoenberg, Nono, and Beethoven, 18 August 2019 http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2019/08/salzburg-festival-6-pollini-schoenberg.html Boulezian urn:uuid:b98bfea5-1e2e-8a09-4c44-fd8a6194f0af Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:32:14 +0000 <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Grosses Festspielhaus<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-M6EBnBBFjt8/XV-_xMlGGoI/AAAAAAAAGCw/G53GXlatrCcBXanCcIYJi-Ku09vXDgirwCLcBGAs/s1600/solistenkonzert-pollini-2019-c-sf-marco-borrelli-04.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1236" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-M6EBnBBFjt8/XV-_xMlGGoI/AAAAAAAAGCw/G53GXlatrCcBXanCcIYJi-Ku09vXDgirwCLcBGAs/s400/solistenkonzert-pollini-2019-c-sf-marco-borrelli-04.jpg" width="308" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Image: Salzburger Festspiele / Marco Borrelli</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Schoenberg: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Three Piano Pieces</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">, op.11<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Schoenberg: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Six Little Piano Pieces</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">, op.19<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Nono: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">…..sofferte onde serene…<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Beethoven: </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Piano Sonata no.31 in A-flat major, op.110<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Beethoven: </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Piano Sonata no.32 in C minor, op.111<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">Maurizio Pollini (piano)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">André Richard (sound direction)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Much to admire here, as ever, from Maurizio Pollini. If not everything we heard spoke quite with the control it might once have done, and some of Schoenberg’s op.11 <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Three Piano Pieces</i> sounded a little neutral, the sense not only of musical understanding but of music’s ethical role remained undimmed, arguably even heightened in the latter case. Motivic insistence was to the fore in the first of those Schoenberg pieces: Brahms singing through post-Wagnerian harmony. If the hyper-Romanticism one often finds here were not so prominent, anticipations of the serial Schoenberg, especially the Piano Concerto, were more so. The second piece received a performance of unusual intimacy; even at its starkest, sounds dissolving before our ears. The nagging obstinacy of Schoenberg’s ostinato seemed very much to attain an ethical dimension: an integrity closely allied to that of the pianist himself. If the third piece confounded Busoni, when sent the music by Schoenberg, it did not Pollini, whose clarification of texture and structure again seemed to look forward to the later Schoenberg.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">The <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Six Little Pieces</i>, op.19, received a wonderful performance. (Or should that be ‘wonderful performances’? I am never quite sure, a problem which perhaps tells us something about the ambiguity of such ‘pieces’ and their part in a greater whole.) The first, distilled, more intimate still – audience bronchial activism notwithstanding – displayed such variety of articulation, all at the service of the phrase and its place in the greater structure, as to further the illusion of a ‘natural’ outpouring. The starkness of obstinacy was again to the fore in the second, the third and fifth pieces offering, in work and performance, music as perfectly chiselled as Mozart. There came further contrast in between them, in the fourth, but also synthesis: latent violence <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">and</i> grace. And the sixth, famously inspired by Mahler’s funeral, ‘wie ein Hauch’: one could almost see and feel the graveyard and its chill: then and now. Magical.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">In Nono’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">…..sofferte onde serene…</i>, written for Pollini, we heard the sounds of the city (Venice), its sights, fears, possibilities surrounding us. It was, of course, a human city, no mere collection of buildings or even waterways, though those played their parts. More strongly than ever, I was put in mind of the wonderful 2001 film by Bettina Ehrhardt, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">A Trail on the Water: Abbado – Nono – Pollini</i>. This was ultimately a world not of conflict, but of cooperation: a vision of what might be, as well as a reflection of what is (or was). Such an imperative to listen, and joy in doing so, offered a communion that, if not strictly theological, was not without its religious impulse. The music’s unfolding proved as inevitable as it was surprising.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Simple yet proliferating, never quite to be reduced to either, the first movement of Beethoven’s op.110 sonata, was taken relatively swiftly. The marriage we heard of the intractable and serene, whilst unmistakeably Beethovenian, also made connections with the Schoenberg pieces heard earlier. Much the same might be said of the second movement, a few technical difficulties in the trio notwithstanding. The mystery of the third movement’s opening harmony – where <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">were</i> we? – led inexorably to the sadness of that final song, to the fugue, both ways up, and somewhere beyond. If, towards the close, one might have wished for a little more of the clarity of Pollini’s earlier years, direction and, again, ethical imperative remained undimmed.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Finally, op.111: one of those works in which we feel we have ventured as far as it is possible for us to go. (‘<span style="background: white; color: #121212;">Caminantes, no hay caminos. Hay que caminar</span>,’ as Nono read in a monastery inscription, inspiring him at the end of his life to continue to travel, a lack of paths both necessity and inspiration.) Beethoven’s reckoning, perhaps not final yet certainly late, with his life-long C minor daemon, sounded with all the impetuosity of his youth, the development section in particular a battle both fierce and tender, two sides of the same humanist coin. The second movement was possessed by a noble simplicity that yet contained so much within it. Here, Pollini sounded to me unquestionably at his greatest, continuing to question and to relish the strangeness of Beethoven’s variations, as early as the first. Transformation was very much a numinous thing of wonder, no mere ‘process’, just as in Schoenberg and Nono. And yet, there was always grit in the oyster: this was human music, not entirely transcendent, whatever that may mean. The sheer energy with which Pollini scaled this most extraordinary of peaks offered a standing rebuke to his dreary detractors, thrilling to an almost unbearable extent (in the very best way). ‘Sublime’ may be a word overused, but it is unavoidable here, the music’s close so pure, so gossamer white. Deconstruction we can leave until another day. As for the idiot who immediately disrupted the spell with a puerile shout of ‘Bravo!’…<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="background: white; color: #121212; font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="color: #121212; font-family: Georgia, serif;"><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;OneJS=1&amp;Operation=GetAdHtml&amp;MarketPlace=GB&amp;source=ac&amp;ref=qf_sp_asin_til&amp;ad_type=product_link&amp;tracking_id=boulezian-21&amp;marketplace=amazon&amp;region=GB&amp;placement=B00005RRXZ&amp;asins=B00005RRXZ&amp;linkId=20a13cdad4a983a77dfad14c7e68e714&amp;show_border=false&amp;link_opens_in_new_window=false&amp;price_color=333333&amp;title_color=0066c0&amp;bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></font></p><p></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 150%"><span style="background: white;"><font color="#121212" face="Georgia, serif"><o:p></o:p></font></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 150%"><font color="#121212" face="Georgia, serif">    </iframe><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;OneJS=1&amp;Operation=GetAdHtml&amp;MarketPlace=GB&amp;source=ac&amp;ref=qf_sp_asin_til&amp;ad_type=product_link&amp;tracking_id=boulezian-21&amp;marketplace=amazon&amp;region=GB&amp;placement=B00005RRY0&amp;asins=B00005RRY0&amp;linkId=d9b8d4363f3dd213254528197353e6fc&amp;show_border=false&amp;link_opens_in_new_window=false&amp;price_color=333333&amp;title_color=0066c0&amp;bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 150%"><font color="#121212" face="Georgia, serif">    </iframe><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;OneJS=1&amp;Operation=GetAdHtml&amp;MarketPlace=GB&amp;source=ac&amp;ref=qf_sp_asin_til&amp;ad_type=product_link&amp;tracking_id=boulezian-21&amp;marketplace=amazon&amp;region=GB&amp;placement=B000001GXB&amp;asins=B000001GXB&amp;linkId=aa5fd462fb4c4a2ca7eaf4f54483108b&amp;show_border=false&amp;link_opens_in_new_window=false&amp;price_color=333333&amp;title_color=0066c0&amp;bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 150%"><font color="#121212" face="Georgia, serif">    </iframe><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;OneJS=1&amp;Operation=GetAdHtml&amp;MarketPlace=GB&amp;source=ac&amp;ref=qf_sp_asin_til&amp;ad_type=product_link&amp;tracking_id=boulezian-21&amp;marketplace=amazon&amp;region=GB&amp;placement=B000CIWXRI&amp;asins=B000CIWXRI&amp;linkId=c91d0dc2c601fb376307aaa8d0e63c88&amp;show_border=false&amp;link_opens_in_new_window=false&amp;price_color=333333&amp;title_color=0066c0&amp;bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 150%"><font color="#121212" face="Georgia, serif">    </iframe></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="color: #121212; font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/B6BAjPO-ALk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Opera As A Village During the Vietnam War and Other Atrocities http://medicine-opera.com/2019/08/opera-as-a-village-during-the-vietnam-war-and-other-atrocities/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:a348725f-ff76-6cba-4fdf-47d998b4686d Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:28:30 +0000 A recent article in the Washington Post says, &#8220;But to really save opera — and classical music in general — we have to let it die.&#8221; In a semi-coherent way it&#8217;s on to something. Without new works that the public wants to hear, the opera house will become a museum. Many people like museums. I... <p>A <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/to-save-opera-we-have-to-let-it-die/2019/08/19/4bbb71a6-c2ba-11e9-9986-1fb3e4397be4_story.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recent article</a> in the <em>Washington Post</em> says, &#8220;But to really save opera — and classical music in general — we have to let it die.&#8221; In a semi-coherent way it&#8217;s on to something. Without new works that the public wants to hear, the opera house will become a museum. Many people like museums. I find them graveyards for art. But opera won&#8217;t die even if no new masterpieces appear. It&#8217;s a special taste, to be sure, but a persistent one.</p> <p>The key point is new works that the public wants to hear, just as they do those of Mozart, Verdi, and Puccini. There&#8217;s nothing teeth gnashers can to do conjure up the musical geniuses that have failed to appear in the opera world for almost a century. But even if a composer of genius does not arrive, opera will survive. It&#8217;s not necessary to evoke images of the Vietnam War to inaccurately conjure its death and subsequent resurrection. A sure way for the Met Opera and its congeners to go out of business would be to entirely fill its bill with operas written in the 21st century.</p> <p>Consider sports. The rules of baseball, football,and basketball change a bit &#8211; but they remain essentially the same games they were 50 or 100 years ago. New players appear and people go to the game to see them perform. The same is true of opera. A great singer appears and opera goers buy tickets to hear the artist in a major role regardless if they&#8217;ve heard the opera 10 times previously.</p> <p>Does Ms Giovetti, the author of the WaPo piece who is billed as a classical music writer, want to banish Beethoven and chuck Chekov because they&#8217;re long dead? Imagine the fate of Shakespeare according to this line of reasoning. He&#8217;s been gone more than four centuries. While we&#8217;re at it we can toss Titian and pitch Picasso. We&#8217;ll have to let the theater in all its guises die in order to save it. The above article is just a minor example of the deep thinking that permeates our major organs of communication.</p> <p>We live in very strange times &#8211; at least half the Western World seems to have gone irretrievably mad. Consider Giovetti&#8217;s first paragraph: &#8220;The summer of 2019 has been a fraught one for opera. In June, diva soprano Anna Netrebko came under scrutiny not only for her use of skin-darkening makeup to sing the role of Verdi’s Ethiopian princess Aida but also for her blunt defense of a practice that has been widely discredited. This month, the legal battle between the Metropolitan Opera and its one-time music director James Levine — which began when the former fired the latter last year after accusations of sexual misconduct — quietly ended with a settlement. And last week, nine women accused superstar singer and conductor Plácido Domingo of sexual harassment over the past 30 years.&#8221;</p> <p>I don&#8217;t know the particulars of the accusations against either Levine or Domingo, but these days an accusation seems to equal a conviction. I&#8217;ll leave them alone, but I&#8217;m sure once they&#8217;re safely dead they will be rehabilitated much the way Oscar Wilde has been. But look at what Ms Netrebko&#8217;s crime is &#8211; makeup!!! And in the theater. And she defends its use. She&#8217;s also accused of being insensitive to the feeling of people of color. Well, no one&#8217;s forcing them to buy a ticket to see and hear her.</p> <p>If you live in a free country and enjoy its freedoms, you are free to be insensitive as long as you do not impinge on the liberty and lawful activity of anyone else. Those who are offended by her cosmetic usage can express their dissatisfaction in a variety of ways as long as they don&#8217;t abridge her liberty. You may recall that the Supreme Court let the American Nazi Party (National Socialist Party of America) march through Skokie a city in which many Holocaust survivors lived. I&#8217;ll bet there were a lot of sensitivities set on edge.</p> <p>The world&#8217;s loss of sanity alluded to above seems to be a combination of <em>The Emperor&#8217;s New Clothes</em>, <em>Through the Looking Glass</em>, and <em>1984</em>. The list of forbidden actions now mandated by the well informed, well meaning, cultural Gauleiters has extended even to word order. No matter if the meaning is unchanged, if you get it wrong you&#8217;re a racist &#8211; a word that that has been so indiscriminately used that it now means a person who can run the 100 meter race faster than somebody else. &#8220;Person of color&#8221; good and sensitive. &#8220;Colored person&#8221; racist unless it&#8217;s the NAACP, then its OK.</p> <p>&#8220;Phobic&#8221; is the designation applied to all wrong thinking moderns. These days there are a lot of things that one might be phobic about. Most of them are forbidden. Why can&#8217;t a person have all the phobias he wants, again as long as he doesn&#8217;t impinge on the liberty of others. But that&#8217;s not the way the 21st century works. Have the wrong phobias, or even be suspected of having one, and you may be out of a job or have a brick thrown through your window.</p> <p>I won&#8217;t waste a lot of space on pronouns. But if you have to give or take a seminar on how to pick the right one, you&#8217;ve lost your mind and are likely never to find it.</p> <p>Traditional marriage &#8211; the world&#8217;s two biggest religions are for it and against any other kind. Catholics are in trouble for their views on marriage, don&#8217;t even mention abortion. Islam is not gigged for its marriage rules. Islam gets a pass. Why? Shouldn&#8217;t be too hard to figure out.</p> <p>Unless you live in some very out of the way location, the safest position to assume in today&#8217;s enlightened world is total immobility and complete silence. Anything else and you&#8217;re unemployed, friendless, and subject to assault. Finally, don&#8217;t wear a red hat, even if nothing is written on it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> BBC Prom 44: Rattle conjures a blistering Belshazzar’s Feast http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/bbc_prom_44_rat.php Opera Today urn:uuid:caa2fcce-277f-68a3-19ff-61b81c8d86d7 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 23:04:02 +0000 This was a notable occasion for offering three colossal scores whose execution filled the Albert Hall’s stage with over 150 members of the London Symphony Orchestra and 300 singers drawn from the Barcelona-based Orfeó Català and Orfeó Català Youth Choir, along with the London Symphony Chorus. Lizzo Challenged the Internet to Make a Ballet to "Truth Hurts," and Dancers Everywhere Are Responding https://www.pointemagazine.com/lizzo-ballet-challenge-2639960559.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:e6b771c1-dce1-ab62-b14c-f04c2e59b71f Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:34:44 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20649133/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p class="">On August 20, pop goddess <a href="https://twitter.com/lizzo/status/1163905960575938560?s=20" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Lizzo tweeted</a>, "Someone do a ballet routine to truth hurts pls," referring to the anthem that's been top on everyone's playlists this summer. Lizzo might not know it yet, but ballet dancers are not known for shying away from a challenge. In the past two days, the internet has exploded with responses, with dancers like Houston Ballet's <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/harper-watters" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Harper Watters</a> <strong></strong>and American Ballet Theatre's <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/erica-lall" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Erica Lall</a> tagging the singer in submissions.<strong> </strong></p><p>Below are a few of our favorites so far, but we're guessing that this is just the beginning. Ballet world, consider yourselves officially challenged! (Use <strong>#LizzoBalletChallenge</strong> so we know what you're up to.)</p><hr/><h3>Harper Watters</h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="UQDFAK1566572545" id="6f00a"><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"> </div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1bwD8aAweB/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">HARPER WATTERS on Instagram: “@lizzobeeating your wish is my command #TBT: Zizi Jeanmaire in Roland Petit's “Carmen” Variation (1961) https://www.pointemagazine.com/tbt-zizi-jeanmaire-in-carmen-1961-2639924936.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:0a15e9dc-0d08-0a50-8600-cd029c82a05c Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:49:07 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20648081/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p>French ballerina Zizi Jeanmaire first gained fame when she premiered the titular title role in Roland Petit's <em>Carmen </em>in 1949, opposite Petit as Carmen's lover Don José. With her famously cropped hair (and cropped tutu!), Jeanmaire's performance as the seductive gypsy took the world by storm, catapulting her and Petit's careers. </p><hr/><h3>None</h3><br/><p>The couple, who married in 1954, were partners in life as well as onstage. They spent several years working in Hollywood, and later reprised their roles in <em>Carmen </em>for a version of the ballet in the 1961 French film <em>Black Tights</em>. This clip of Carmen's variation immortalizes Jeanmaire's sexy sophistication and brilliant commitment to a role.</p><h3></h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="JO904Q1566518464" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GaeNjTe14Fc?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>Emerging from a back corner of the bar in the tavern scene, Jeanmaire toys with her fan as a tantalizing rhythm begins to build. The turned-in-and-out swivels and precise footwork in Petit's Latin-infused ballet vocabulary accentuate her long legs. Jeanmaire is equally astonishing with each coy profile and shoulder shrug as she is in the variation's finale of rousing fouettés. A duo ahead of their time, Petit's choreography and Jeanmaire's performance are still every bit as iconic as they were in the '60s! Happy #ThrowbackThursday!</p> Beatrice Cenci https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/ operaramblings urn:uuid:623e95c0-26bc-d9cf-94b4-0bdbc4761a42 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 16:36:09 +0000 Beatrice Cenci is an opera by Berthold Goldschmidt; a composer who moved from Germany to London in the 1930s for the usual reason.  Beatrice Cenci was written in 1950 but the orchestral style sounds rather earlier.  Comparisons with Mahler have &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><em>Beatrice Cenci</em> is an opera by Berthold Goldschmidt; a composer who moved from Germany to London in the 1930s for the usual reason.  <em>Beatrice Cenci</em> was written in 1950 but the orchestral style sounds rather earlier.  Comparisons with Mahler have been made though I don&#8217;t really see that.  Richard Strauss or Korngold perhaps?  In any event the work didn&#8217;t get performed at all until the 1980s and had to wait until the 2018 Bregenz Festival for its first fully staged production directed by Johannes Erat.  Curiously, though originally composed with an English libretto it was given in German in Bregenz.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26453" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/1-grafcard/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/1.grafcard.png" data-orig-size="580,326" 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.grafcard" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/1.grafcard.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/1.grafcard.png?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26453 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/1.grafcard.png?w=584" alt="1.grafcard" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/1.grafcard.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/1.grafcard.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/1.grafcard.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-26446"></span>It&#8217;s a three act work but quite short running about an hour and forty minutes. It tells the story of the Cenci family in Renaissance Rome.  Count Francesco Cenci is a psychopath who has two of his sons bumped off while seriously maltreating his wife and daughter.  he seems to be perpetually on the edge of being brought to account but never quite is.  So, his daughter Beatrice and wife Lucrezia, with the aid of the cleric Orsino, have him bumped off.  It&#8217;s all a bit clumsy and they are pretty rapidly brought to trial, convicted and executed.  The real dramatic interest lies in the psychological state of Beatrice who seems to be affected by whatever it is that the Count does to her at the end of Act 1, after which she seems both utterly indifferent to whether she lives or dies and a bit mad.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26454" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/2-francesco/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/2.francesco.png" data-orig-size="580,326" 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.francesco" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/2.francesco.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/2.francesco.png?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26454 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/2.francesco.png?w=584" alt="2.francesco" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/2.francesco.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/2.francesco.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/2.francesco.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Perhaps it&#8217;s because the plot is so thin that Erath and his designers Katrin Connan (sets), Katharina Tash (costumes) and Bernd Purkrabek (lighting) choose to use a highly stylized, almost comic book Renaissance look for the piece.  It&#8217;s pretty effective, especially in things like the trial scene where people are sort of staring out of giant circles or pipes.  It&#8217;s also very dark.  Even on Blu-ray I had to draw all the blinds to see anything much on the screen.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26455" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/3-family/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/3.family.png" data-orig-size="580,326" 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.family" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/3.family.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/3.family.png?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26455 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/3.family.png?w=584" alt="3.family" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/3.family.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/3.family.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/3.family.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>The orchestral writing is much more interesting than the writing for voice so it&#8217;s a good thing that&#8217;s well served on the recording.  The Wiener Symphoniker with Johannes Debus conducting produce great clarity.  I think this is crucial for this piece.  The singing is pretty decent but there just aren&#8217;t a lot of really exciting vocal bits.  Gal James as Beatrice is very good and sings quite beautifully in the rather meditative music she gets in act 3.  Christoph Pohl does a great job of being utterly mad and evil without being over the top.  Dshamilja Kaiser is also convincing as Lucrezia.  Then there&#8217;s Per Bach Nissen as the pope&#8217;s agent Cardinal Camillo.  There&#8217;s something very weird about his acting and use of the voice but it fits very well with the overall aesthetic.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26456" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/4-murder/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/4.murder.png" data-orig-size="580,326" 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.murder" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/4.murder.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/4.murder.png?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26456 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/4.murder.png?w=584" alt="4.murder" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/4.murder.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/4.murder.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/4.murder.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Felix Breisach directs the video.  He does a really good job of capturing a very difficult to film show.  The Blu-ray sound and audio (DTS-HD-MA and stereo) quality is what we&#8217;ve come to expect.  There are no extras and the booklet gives a cursory history of the piece, a synopsis and a track listing.  Subtitles are German, English, Korean and Japanese.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26457" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/5-corpse-2/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/5.corpse.png" data-orig-size="580,326" 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.corpse" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/5.corpse.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/5.corpse.png?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26457 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/5.corpse.png?w=584" alt="5.corpse" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/5.corpse.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/5.corpse.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/5.corpse.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>I don&#8217;t think <em>Beatrice Cenci</em> is a lost masterpiece or anything but it&#8217;s quite interesting and another one in the &#8220;rescued at Bregenz&#8221; category.  This performace and recording do it justice.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26458" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/beatrice-cenci/6-execution/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/6.execution.png" data-orig-size="580,326" 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.execution" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/6.execution.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/6.execution.png?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26458 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/6.execution.png?w=584" alt="6.execution" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/6.execution.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/6.execution.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/6.execution.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> This is Prophetic! https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/ operaramblings urn:uuid:f3023241-94a5-decd-e18e-582531d16ead Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:17:02 +0000 This summer Against the Grain Theatre and UoT Opera have been collaborating on an Intensive focussed on modern opera.  Last night saw the culminating show; This is Prophetic, featuring staged scenes from twelve post 1950 operas.  Since there were one &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>This summer Against the Grain Theatre and UoT Opera have been collaborating on an Intensive focussed on modern opera.  Last night saw the culminating show; <em>This is Prophetic</em>, featuring staged scenes from twelve post 1950 operas.  Since there were one tenor, one baritone and nineteen assorted sopranos and mezzos selecting the scenes must have been quite a challenge. Unsurprisingly perhaps there was nothing from <em>Billy Budd.</em></p> <div data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_26463" style="width: 590px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-26463" data-attachment-id="26463" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana.jpg" data-orig-size="580,870" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;5.6&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 80D&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1566399596&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;55&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;4000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Alasdair Campbell &amp;amp; Morgan Reid (Gloriana)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26463 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana.jpg?w=584" alt="Alasdair Campbell &amp;amp; Morgan Reid (Gloriana)" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana.jpg?w=100 100w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/alasdair-campbell-morgan-reid-gloriana.jpg?w=200 200w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /><p id="caption-attachment-26463" class="wp-caption-text">Alasdair Campbell &amp; Morgan Reid (Gloriana)</p></div> <p><span id="more-26439"></span>It was a pretty good show with a decent standard of singing and, perhaps even more so, acting.  The stagings; by Joel Ivany and Michael Patrick Albano, were effective and used simple, modular sets that made for slick changes between numbers.  It was all done on the stage of the MacMillan Theatre with the audience sitting on stage on three sides of the action.  This made for a welcome intimacy but it did subject the singers to the rather unflattering acoustic of that space.  It was all piano accompaniment ably handled by Brandon Tran, occasionally supplemented by drums and other stuff that I couldn&#8217;t really see.</p> <div data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_26467" style="width: 590px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-26467" data-attachment-id="26467" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg" data-orig-size="580,870" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 80D&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1566400850&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;159&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;4000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Morgan Reid &amp;amp; Amy Moodie (Streetcar Named Desire)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26467 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=584" alt="Morgan Reid &amp;amp; Amy Moodie (Streetcar Named Desire)" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=100 100w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/morgan-reid-amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=200 200w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /><p id="caption-attachment-26467" class="wp-caption-text">Morgan Reid &amp; Amy Moodie (Streetcar Named Desire)</p></div> <p>So how was it?  I was impressed with soprano Sarah Parkin&#8217;s very solid, controlled and well characterized performance as the depressed alcoholic Birdie in a scene from Mark Blitzstein&#8217;s <em>Regina</em>. She was well supported by Brittany Rae, Lauren Halasz and Alasdair Campbell.</p> <p>McKenzie Warriner made a decent fist of <em>Will you have Egypt with me?</em> from Wainwright&#8217;s <em>Hadrian</em>.  It was accurate and nicely characterised but the acoustic definitely took the bloom off the voice.</p> <p>There were two scenes from Corigliano&#8217;s <em>The Ghosts of Versailles</em>.  The first, <em>Look at the Green</em> probably needs to be seen in context to actually make sense.  The second scene, <em>Revolution</em>, worked much better as a standalone and allowed tenor Nolan Kohler as Bégearss to show that he&#8217;s a powerful singer and an energetic actor.</p> <p>The scene where Constance and Blanche discuss the dying Mother Superior, from <em>Dialogues of the Carmelites</em> (sung in English) came next.  Anna Boyes was a delightfully girlish Constance ably supported by Stephanie Sedlbauer as a more subdued Blanche.</p> <p>A scene from Thea Musgrave&#8217;s <em>Mary Queen of Scots</em> came next.  It&#8217;s the one where Mary Seton and the queen discuss the future of the infant James.  It was nicely acted by Caroline Stanzyk and Charlotte Stewart-Juby but not especially memorable musically.</p> <p>The first half closed with two scenes from John Adams&#8217; <em>Nixon in China</em>.  I was surprised by how good this sounds on piano.  The first scene has Pat Nixon (Sarah Parkin) reminiscing to an audience of secretaries.  It was well staged and Parkin again sounded very assured.  Then came perhaps the most famous aria from the piece; <em>I am the wife of Mao Tse Tung.  </em>This is notorious for its high coloratura.  Madison Angus managed the notes while leaping athletically around a set built from blocks.  Quite impressive.</p> <p>The second half opened with Albert Wong&#8217;s <em>Shopaholic</em>; a short scene in which three shopaholics meet with their therapist.  It&#8217;s a trifle performed here with some wit and panache by Madison Angus, Caroline Stanczyk, Amy Moodie and Alasdair Campbell.</p> <div data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_26466" style="width: 590px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-26466" data-attachment-id="26466" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/madison-angus-shopaholic/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/madison-angus-shopaholic.jpg" data-orig-size="580,870" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 80D&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1566398863&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2500&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.004&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Madison Angus (Shopaholic)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/madison-angus-shopaholic.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/madison-angus-shopaholic.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26466 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/madison-angus-shopaholic.jpg?w=584" alt="Madison Angus (Shopaholic)" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/madison-angus-shopaholic.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/madison-angus-shopaholic.jpg?w=100 100w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/madison-angus-shopaholic.jpg?w=200 200w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /><p id="caption-attachment-26466" class="wp-caption-text">Madison Angus (Shopaholic)</p></div> <p>Two scenes from Britten&#8217;s <em>Gloriana</em> confirmed my view that it&#8217;s Britten&#8217;s weakest opera but it does have more female roles than most Britten works.  The Lady Rich/Mountjoy was performed well enough by Morgan Reid and Alasdair Campbell while the rather more substantial scene where Essex bursts into the queen&#8217;s chambers produced some decently dramatic singing from Gwendolyn Yearwood and Nolan Kohler and a large supporting cast.</p> <div data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_26468" style="width: 590px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-26468" data-attachment-id="26468" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana.jpg" data-orig-size="580,387" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 80D&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1566400019&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;4000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Nolan Kehler &amp;amp; Gwendolyn Yearwood (Gloriana)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26468 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana.jpg?w=584" alt="Nolan Kehler &amp;amp; Gwendolyn Yearwood (Gloriana)" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/nolan-kehler-gwendolyn-yearwood-gloriana.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /><p id="caption-attachment-26468" class="wp-caption-text">Nolan Kehler &amp; Gwendolyn Yearwood (Gloriana)</p></div> <p>Amy Moodie as Blanche and Morgan Reid as Stella produced an OK performance of the scene from Previn&#8217;s <em>Streetcar Named Desire</em> where Blanche shows up at Stella&#8217;s apartment.  The acting was good but musically the piece is too feeble to offer much to the singer.</p> <div data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_26464" style="width: 590px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-26464" data-attachment-id="26464" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg" data-orig-size="580,839" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 80D&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1566400578&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;4000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.004&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Amy Moodie (Streetcar Named Desire)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=207" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26464 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=584" alt="Amy Moodie (Streetcar Named Desire)" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=104 104w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/amy-moodie-streetcar-named-desire.jpg?w=207 207w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /><p id="caption-attachment-26464" class="wp-caption-text">Amy Moodie (Streetcar Named Desire)</p></div> <p>The confrontation between Sophie and the résistante Wanda from Nicholas Maw&#8217;s <em>Sophie&#8217;s Choice</em> gave Julie Ekker and Cristina Lanz an opportunity to display their acting skills but again vocally it&#8217;s a bit dull.</p> <p>There was more real singing for Gwendolyn Yearwood as the refugee Magda in Menotti&#8217;s <em>The Consul</em>.  There was some real emotion in the singing here, ably supported by Lauren Halasz as the secretary.</p> <div data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_26465" style="width: 590px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-26465" data-attachment-id="26465" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/22/this-is-prophetic/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul.jpg" data-orig-size="580,387" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 80D&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1566402314&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;33&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;4000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Gwendolyn Yearwood &amp;amp; Lauren Halasz (The Consul)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26465 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul.jpg?w=584" alt="Gwendolyn Yearwood &amp;amp; Lauren Halasz (The Consul)" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/gwendolyn-yearwood-lauren-halasz-the-consul.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /><p id="caption-attachment-26465" class="wp-caption-text">Gwendolyn Yearwood &amp; Lauren Halasz (The Consul)</p></div> <p>The finale was something of a contrast from most of what had come before.  It was <em>Mariana, Tus Ojos</em> from Golijov&#8217;s <em>Ainadamar</em>.  It was the only piece not in English and one of the strongest musically.  It&#8217;s arguably more of an oratorio than an opera anyway so lends itself to this kind of show.  It provided a great opportunity for Virginie Mongeau to show that she has an interesting voice and an ability to convey emotion.  A good way to finish.</p> <p>All in all, quite an interesting and enjoyable show perhaps notable, a few highlights aside, more for the acting than the singing.  It certainly makes one more grateful for modern composers like Adams and Golijov who can write vocal lines that really allow singers to show what they have got.</p> <p>Photo credit: Stephanie Sedlbauer</p> Sadko, but true https://parterre.com/2019/08/22/sadko-but-true/ parterre box urn:uuid:f655bf7b-a49e-1df3-1645-b7483ab7b89d Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:00:57 +0000 “Trove Thursday” escapes to an exotic place with Rimsky-Korsakov’s <em>Sadko</em>. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63569" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/sadko-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/sadko.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/sadko-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />August means last-chance getaways so “Trove Thursday” escapes to an exotic place with Rimsky-Korsakov’s <em>Sadko </em>featuring an all-star Bolshoi cast: <strong>Vladimir Atlantov, Tamara Milashkina, Elena Obraztsova, Zurab Sotkilava</strong> and <strong>Yuri Mazurok</strong>. <span id="more-63568"></span></p> <p>Productions of Rimsky’s operas are relatively rare outside the former Soviet Union but a friend caught a recent <em>Sadko </em>in Ghent. Although he reported the production was of the most annoying and capricious <em>regie </em>sort, he was entranced by the music. The opera is very episodic and its seven scenes spin a mythic tale based on the real 12th century bard Sadko, a Russian Orpheus figure who travels to charm the Sea King with his songs.</p> <p>Rimsky’s operas in the US lately have included an occasional one-act <em>Mozart and Salieri </em>and last summer’s <em>Tsar’s Bride </em>at Bard. The Dallas Opera will be doing <em>Le Coq d’Or </em>in October in a production by Paul Curran <a href="https://dallasopera.org/performance/the-golden-cockerel/">first seen in Santa Fe in 2017</a>.</p> <p>In the first half of the 20th century, however, the situation in the US was seemingly rather different. The Met performed three Rimsky operas and each of the trio premiered in French! The first was <em>Coq d’Or </em>which racked up the most performances—nearly 70—and which was eventually sung in English in the 1940s with<strong> Patrice Munsel</strong> when it was given at last on its own.</p> <p>Previously <em>Coq </em>had been presented as a ballet (probably with the singers in the pit) as part of a double-bill married it up with works like <em>Cavalleria Rusticana </em>(its first pairing when it arrived at the Met in 1918 conducted by <b> </b>)<em>, Pagliacci, L’Oracolo </em>or <em>The Dance in Place Congo </em>(?!).</p> <p><em>The Snow Maiden </em>with<strong> Lucrezia Bori</strong> and conducted by <strong>Artur Bodansky</strong> came five years later and stayed for just eleven performances while <em>Sadko </em>starring future Met general manager <strong>Edward Johnson</strong> in the title role and with <strong>Tullio Serafin</strong> on the podium proved slightly more popular—20 showings in all.</p> <p>Of course, Rimsky’s most successful venture at the Met was his realization of Mussorgsky’s <em>Boris Godunov </em>which served in 1913 for the work’s US premiere and was then used continuously for more than 150 performances (although never in Russian) until the Shostakovich version took over in 1960.</p> <p>Recently there were rumors that the Met might mount <strong>Dmitri Tcherniakov</strong>’s <em>The Invisible City of Kitezh </em>production but those seem to have evaporated. Earlier this year, Tcherniakov produced for Brussels’s La Monnaie <em>The Tale of Tsar Saltan </em>which by all reports was a resounding success.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HqBrjx3E00&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HqBrjx3E00</a></p> <p>To date, <em>Sadko</em> is the only opera by Rimsky-Korsakov to be mocked by Joel and the bots on <em>Mystery Science Theater 3000</em>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=QofzWo0XkC0&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=QofzWo0XkC0</a></p> <p>With both Milashkina and Sotkilava in today’s <em>Sadko </em>cast, I fondly recalled they were an essential part of my introduction to another great Russian opera, <em>Iolanta. </em>When I was an opera-curious undergrad, I bought a pirate recording of the Tchaikovsky one-acter which also featured Atlantov during his brief time as a baritone in the role of Robert and it quickly became my favorite Tchaikovsky opera.</p> <p>Although imperfect, that 1977 performance remains special so I include here the opera’s intensely moving love duet with Milashkina (who was married to Atlantov) and Sotkilava.</p> <p>Many thanks to a former <em>parterre box </em>scribe who wrested the recording of <em>Sadko </em>for me from a potentially problematic Russian website. At least one more Rimsky opera will  appear on a future “Trove Thursday.”</p> <p><strong>Rimsky-Korsakov: <em>Sadko</em></strong></p> <p>Bolshoi Theatre<br /> 9 January 1979<br /> In-house recording</p> <p>Volkhova &#8212; Tamara Milashkina<br /> Lyubava &#8212; Elena Obraztsova<br /> Nezhata &#8212; Nina Grigorieva<br /> Sadko &#8212; Vladimir Atlantov<br /> Sea King &#8212; Boris Morozov<br /> Baltic Guest &#8212; Aleksandr Ognivtsev<br /> Indian Guest &#8212; Zurab Sotkilava<br /> Venetian Guest &#8212; Yuri Mazurok</p> <p>Conductor – Yuri Simonov</p> <p><iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/10951877/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Tchaikovsky: <em>Iolanta—</em>Love Duet</strong><br /> Salzburg<br /> 22 October 1977<br /> In-house recording</p> <p>Iolanta &#8211; Tamara Milashkina<br /> Vaudemont &#8211; Zurab Sotkilava</p> <p>Conductor &#8211; Leopold Hager</p> <p><iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/10951898/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Each of these selections can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.</p> <p><em>Sadko </em>joins two previous Rimsky works on “Trove Thursday”: <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2017/10/19/mad-about-the-boyar/">The Tsar’s Bride</a> </em>and <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2018/05/03/come-what-may/">May Night</a>. </em>Milashkina, Atlantov and Mazurok can also be heard in a <a href="https://parterre.com/2016/07/07/neighbors/">Bolshoi-at-the-Met </a><em>Eugene Onegin. </em></p> <p>In addition, more than 250 other podcast tracks are always available from <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trove-thursday/id1039652739">iTunes</a> for free, or via any <a href="http://parterre.com/podcast/trovethursday.rss">RSS</a> reader.</p> <p>The archive which lists all “Trove Thursday” <a href="https://parterre.com/the-trove-thursday-archive/">offerings</a> in alphabetical order by composer has been recently updated.</p> Prom 45: Mississippi Goddam - A Homage to Nina Simone http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/prom_45_mississ.php Opera Today urn:uuid:54865e02-e2bf-9d24-4f92-e6ba65507328 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:05:04 +0000 Nina Simone was one of the towering figures of twentieth-century music. But she was much more than this; many of her songs came to be a clarion call for disenfranchised and discriminated against Americans. When black Americans felt they didn’t have a voice, Nina Simone gave them one. “I no longer limit myself” https://parterre.com/2019/08/22/i-no-longer-limit-myself/ parterre box urn:uuid:628367dc-12ac-7c33-8275-33faeef0f579 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:00:45 +0000 Born on this day in 1862 composer <strong>Claude Debussy</strong> and in 1928 composer <strong>Karlheinz Stockhausen</strong>. <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/claude-karlheinz-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63572" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/claude-karlheinz-518x350.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/claude-karlheinz-250x169.jpg 250w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/claude-karlheinz.jpg 699w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Born on this day in 1862 composer <strong>Claude Debussy</strong> and in 1928 composer <strong>Karlheinz Stockhausen</strong>. <span id="more-63571"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs2hMnQ88-8&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs2hMnQ88-8</a></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=JotSiYl2dzs&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=JotSiYl2dzs</a></p> <p>Happy birthday to parterre box <a href="https://parterre.com/author/little_fish_822/">scribe</a> Cameron Kelsall.</p> Sincerity, sentimentality and sorrow from Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake at Snape Maltings http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/sincerity_senti.php Opera Today urn:uuid:efe78ebe-a086-490c-c728-517baffadbe0 Wed, 21 Aug 2019 21:43:51 +0000 ‘Abwärts rinnen die Ströme ins Meer.’ Down flow the rivers, down into the sea. These are the ‘sadly-resigned words in the consciousness of his declining years’ that, as reported by The Athenaeum in February 1866 upon the death of Friedrich Rückert, the poet had written ‘some time ago, in the album of a friend of ours, then visiting him at his rural retreat near Neuses’. Such melancholy foreboding - simultaneously sincere and sentimental - infused this recital at Snape Maltings by Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake. Real Life Music Video: James Whiteside and Co. Performed at Madonna's Birthday Party Last Weekend https://www.pointemagazine.com/james-whiteside-madonna-birthday-party-2639942367.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:b107248d-d354-223a-9a2d-5927abc7c0eb Wed, 21 Aug 2019 21:20:34 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20645649/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p>We've always known that Madonna loves dance. After all, the "Queen of Pop" studied at the Martha Graham School in the 1970s. Nevertheless, we were still surprised (and thrilled) to see that she invited <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/james-whiteside" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">James Whiteside</a> to perform at her 61st birthday party in The Hamptons last weekend. </p><hr/><h3>None</h3><br/><p>The American Ballet Theatre principal performed the choreography (on pointe!) from the music video for his <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/james-whiteside-wtf-music-video-2637722310.html" target="_blank">newest pop hit, </a><em rel="noopener noreferrer"><a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/james-whiteside-wtf-music-video-2637722310.html" rel="noopener noreferrer">WTF</a></em>, which he released under the moniker, JbDubs in April. Whiteside was joined by four backup dancers: Matthew Poppe, Douane Gosa, Maxfield Haynes and Gianni Goffredo. Catch a clip of the performance below. </p><h3></h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3F9JJD1566425119" id="30249"><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"> </div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1T9pbmnJ9_/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">James Whiteside on Instagram: “Secret’s out! Glimmerglass’ Showboat Sails to Glory http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/glimmerglass_sh.php Opera Today urn:uuid:b933b331-e562-383d-51dd-1f035033bb4f Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:27:00 +0000 For the annual production of a classic American musical that has become part of Glimmerglass Festival’s mission, the company mounted a wholly winning version of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal Showboat. Voicebox: Opera in Concert 2019/20 https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/21/voicebox-opera-in-concert-2019-20/ operaramblings urn:uuid:9ec1a7da-d460-9ae5-340c-5c3dd9220f40 Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:49:19 +0000 The line up for Voicebox: Opera in Concert has been announced for the 2019/20 season.  There are four shows: The season opens on Sunday, October 20, 2019, with a double bill by Maurice Ravel, L’enfant et les sortileges and L’heure &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/21/voicebox-opera-in-concert-2019-20/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><img data-attachment-id="26437" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/21/voicebox-opera-in-concert-2019-20/vblogo/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/vblogo.png" data-orig-size="156,172" 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="vblogo" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/vblogo.png?w=156" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/vblogo.png?w=156" class=" size-full wp-image-26437 alignleft" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/vblogo.png?w=584" alt="vblogo" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/vblogo.png 156w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/vblogo.png?w=136 136w" sizes="(max-width: 156px) 100vw, 156px" />The line up for Voicebox: Opera in Concert has been announced for the 2019/20 season.  There are four shows:</p> <ul> <li>The season opens on Sunday, October 20, 2019, with a double bill by Maurice Ravel<strong>, </strong><em>L’enfant et les sortileges</em> and <em>L’heure Espagnole</em>.  It&#8217;s a common pairing and often a very funny one. It&#8217;s piano score with Suzy Smith playing., The cast includes Holly Chaplin, Anika-France Forget, Danlie Rae Acebuque and Joshua Clemenger.</li> <li>Sunday, December 1st, 2019 sees some welcome Janáček.  We don&#8217;t see near enough of his work in Toronto.  This time its <em>Katya Kabanova.  </em>It&#8217;s not the jolliest of pieces but it&#8217;s musically and dramatically top drawer.  The cast includes Lynn Isnar, Emilia Boteva, Michael Barrett and Cian Horrobin with Jo Greenaway at the piano.</li> <li>There&#8217;s a remount of Charles M. Wilson’s <em>Kamouraska</em><strong><em>, </em></strong>premiered by OiC in 2009, on Sunday, February 16th, 2020.  It&#8217;s based on Anne Hebert’s novel about a tumultuous love triangle that plays out near a village in Quebec, with tragic consequences.  The cast includes Jennifer Taverner , Aaron Dimoff and Matt Chittick. Robert Cooper leads the orchestra, cast and chorus.</li> <li>The season closes on Sunday, April 5, 2020, with snobbery with violets in the form of Cilea’s <em>Adriana Lecouvreur</em>.   The cast includes Sally Dibblee, Romulo Delgado aand Geneviève Lévesque  Narmina Afandiyeva at the piano.</li> </ul> <p>All shows are at the Jane Mallett Theatre.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> O for a Muse of fire https://parterre.com/2019/08/21/o-for-a-muse-of-fire/ parterre box urn:uuid:2a92b1af-776c-b2d1-77c3-64b159c3a99f Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:00:47 +0000 Saturday August 17 the Merola Opera Program wrapped up its annual Summer Festival with the Merola Grand Finale concert at the War Memorial Opera House. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63555" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/loken-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/loken.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/loken-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Saturday August 17 the Merola Opera Program wrapped up its annual Summer Festival with the Merola Grand Finale concert at the War Memorial Opera House, showcasing the talents of the 29 young Merolini artists. <span id="more-63554"></span></p> <p>Now in its sixth season, the prestigious opera training program keeps going strong to offer coaching and training in pretty much all aspects of opera, all free of charge. The Grand Finale, in particular, turns into a yearly highlight around this time of the year for San Francisco operagoers, and without exception, so was the concert this year.</p> <p>The 2019 roster included 24 singers, 4 apprentice coaches, and apprentice stage director <strong>Greg Eldridge</strong>, who directed the evening concert.</p> <p>Interestingly, Eldridge chose to use the set of the upcoming <strong>Michael Grandage</strong>’s <em>Billy Budd </em>production (designed by <strong>Christopher Oram</strong>) as the backdrop. The gargantuan yet claustrophobic set piece, at times felt at odds with the intimacy of the proceedings of the night; mostly consisted of arias and duets from a wide variety of operas.</p> <p>Eldridge, however, did have some interesting ideas about the staging occasionally, and I will detail them as I discuss the individual performances below.</p> <p>The event began not with an overture, but with the opening lines of William Shakespeare’s <em>Henry V</em>, welcoming the audience to the stage. Following was the opening scene of one of my most favorite operas of all, Richard Strauss’ <em>Der Rosenkavalier</em>, with mezzo-soprano <strong>Cara Collins </strong>as Octavian and <strong>Anna Dugan </strong>as The Marschallin.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the scene turned out to be the most problematic one for a number of reasons. The orchestra (mostly consisting of San Francisco Opera Orchestra players) sounded very tentative during the Introduction and didn’t let the glorious melodies soar.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63556" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-2-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-2.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-2-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Subsequently they, as led by <strong>George Manahan</strong>– Music Director of the American Composers Orchestra and Portland Opera – remained stubbornly loud and had the tendency to drown the singers, and Collins, while looking sufficiently boyish in her suit, unfortunately suffered the most as she was struggled to be heard over the orchestra.</p> <p>Dugan, on the other hand, managed to ride over the orchestra and emerged unscathed. Her voice sounded full and glorious, and she looked dazzling in bright red gown. It also didn’t help that Eldridge staged this postcoital conversation in a very unintimate way, placing the singers on either side of the stage and refusing to let them be together until the final moments of the scene!</p> <p>Things were much improved for the following heartbreak aria “Or dove fuggo io mai” from Vincenzo Bellini’s <em>I puritani</em>, largely because of the commanding presence of baritone <strong>Laureano Quant </strong>as Sir Riccardo Forth (and amply supported by tenor <strong>Victor Starsky </strong>as Sir Bruno Robertson).</p> <p>Two excerpts from <em>Romeo and Juliet</em>-themed operas ensued; Stéphano’s mocking aria from Act 3 of Gounod’s (sung by <strong>Brennan Blankenship</strong>) and Guilietta’s Act 1 aria from Bellini’s <em>I Capuleti e i Montecchi</em>(by <strong>Anne-Marie MacIntosh</strong>). In fact, Shakespeare seemed to be what Eldridge had in mind as the theme of the night, as more excerpts from his plays (and operas based on his plays) turned up.</p> <p>Tenor <strong>Brandon Scott Russell </strong>has a gorgeous voice that he employed elegantly singing “Vidino divan, presladká”, the Prince aria from <strong>Antonín Dvorák</strong>’s <em>Rusalka</em>, however I felt that the role was slightly too big for his voice, especially as he was struggling to be heard above the orchestra and the water nymphs of Merolini ladies.</p> <p>This was where Eldridge’s direction shone, as he put Russell right in the center with the ladies in <strong>Galen Till</strong>’s colorful ball gowns circling him, and <strong>Eric Watkins</strong>’ lighting judiciously put the focus on the action.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63557" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-3-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-3.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-3-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />The second portion of the first half of the event was filled with powerful singing and dramatic acting, as it was heralded by the arrival of “Mes chères filles” from <strong>Francis Poulenc</strong>’s 1956 <em>Dialogues of the Carmelites</em>, a curious choice for such occasion.</p> <p>The lengthy aria of Madame Lidoine and subsequent interaction with Mother Marie proved to be a perfect vehicle for showcasing the powerhouse soprano <strong>Amber R. Monroe </strong>and mezzo <strong>Alice Chung</strong>, both of them excelled with their deeply felt interpretations.</p> <p>By the time the a cappella <em>Ave Maria </em>began, you couldn’t help but being swept away by the intensity emerged from the stage. My only slight nitpick with this was the irony that they were nuns singing about martyrdom in glamorous ball gowns!</p> <p>Eldridge segued from that scene to his biggest <em>pièce de résistance </em>of the night. Hidden as one of the Carmelite sisters was baritone <strong>Edward Laurenson </strong>in drag, and after all the Sisters left the stage, he launched into Don Alfonso’s sarcastic comment about the women from Mozart’s <em>Così fan tutte</em>.</p> <p>With his booming voice and great comic timing, Laurenson was enthusiastically received by the audience, providing an antidote for the previousdepressing moment.<strong>Esther Tonea</strong>, who impressed me greatly as Diana in the opening night of <strong>Jake Heggie</strong>’s <em>If I Were You </em>few weeks ago, once again gave a marvelous rendition of Fiordiligi’s succumbing into Ferrando’s temptation in the duet “Fra gli amplessi&#8221; with his Fabian from Heggie’s opera, tenor <strong>Michael Day</strong>.</p> <p>It was so refreshing to see Tonea and Day share a lovely chemistry and their voices blended nicely in that charming duet.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63561" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-4-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-4.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/merola-4-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />The drama came back with thrilling presentation of Elisabetta’s aria “Quella vita e me funesta” from Act 2 of Donizetti’s <em>Maria Stuarda </em>and the subsequently trio with Cecil and Leicester.</p> <p><strong>Chelsea Lehnea </strong>embodied Elisabetta with chilling precision, and she demonstrated agility to cope with the demand of the score, ably supported by the villainous Lord Cecil of <strong>Rafael Porto</strong>– who performed the role with impish glee – and to a lesser extent, the earnest but underpowered <strong>Salvatore Atti </strong>as Earl of Leicester.</p> <p>Atti stayed on to perform the final piece of the first half, Verdi’s perennial favorite <em>La Traviata </em>with whom I thought to be the best performance among the men that night, baritone <strong>Jeff Byrnes </strong>as Germont. His rendition of “Di Provenza il mar il suol …” was nothing short of extraordinary, marked by ease of delivery, legato phrasing and imposing presence. I would certainly hope that Byrnes would be back in War Memorial to perform the role in its entirety soon!</p> <p>After the break, the second half began with a jovial account of Marie and Sulpice’s duet from the beginning of Donizetti’s <em>La fille du regiment</em>. <strong>Elisa Sunshine</strong>’s bright timbre was particularly attractive, and she moved and acted believably well as the <em>vivandière </em>of the Regiment, under the command of the caring Sulpice of <strong>Andrew Dwan</strong>.</p> <p>The whole scene was also arguably the best showcase for Eldridge’s movement direction, particularly with regards to the Merolini guys who represented the member of the Regiment. They sang, marched, danced, even made faces in well-choreographed sequences that really told the story.</p> <p>The rest of the second half was filled with mostly duets from various operas in different permutations of the singers mentioned above. A special note, however, had to be made for hair-raising production of a duet from seldom-seen <strong>Ambroise Thomas</strong>’ <em>Hamlet</em>, which only had been seen once here in 1996.</p> <p>The duet “Hamlet, ma douleur est immense!” found the regal-sounding Chung as Gertrude (Hamlet’s mother) moving from emotion to emotion – concern, confusion, denial and guilt – all within a single scene; it was truly a formidable experience! She had great rapport with her “sparring partner”, baritone <strong>Tim Murray </strong>in the title role; equally stoic if slightly less intense.</p> <p>Shakespeare made a comeback in the extended finale which began with the final scene of what arguably the greatest Shakespearean opera, Verdi’s <em>Falstaff</em>, by way of Offenbach’s operetta <em>La belle Hélène </em>and Shakespeare’s own <em>A Midsummer Night’s Dream</em>.</p> <p>In “Ninfe! Elfi! Silfi!” <strong>Patricia Westley</strong>, with her crystal-clear voice, made an innocent and other-worldly Nannetta calling the spirits in a scene of magical stature. Without break, the hijinks moved to reveal the next scene, Hélène and Pâris’ hilarious duet “C’est le ciel qui m’envoie”, where Hélène thought Pâris’ seduction was just a dream, delivered with great comic timing by <strong>Edith Grossman </strong>and <strong>Nicholas Huff </strong>respectively.</p> <p>By then, all the Merolini had populated the stage, and they then proceeded to recite the oft-quoted Puck’s closing statement, wishing the audience good night and to “restore amends”, before launching into <em>Falstaff</em>’s final lines “all the world is folly, and all are figures of fun”.</p> <p>It was a great fun, if lengthy, night watching the future of opera. I had no doubt that some of these singers would have a great career ahead of them. So to all 2019 Merolini, I wish you “Good Night, and Good Luck!”</p> <p>Photos: Kristen Loken</p> She knows a naughty fellow https://parterre.com/2019/08/21/she-knows-a-naughty-fellow/ parterre box urn:uuid:7d3e079a-66b2-c54e-0e7e-3f9d1f42bc9c Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:00:07 +0000 Happy 86th birthday mezzo-soprano Dame <strong>Janet Baker</strong>. <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-40271" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Baker.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Baker.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Baker-250x168.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Happy 86th birthday mezzo-soprano Dame <strong>Janet Baker</strong>. <span id="more-63551"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEalK6s2CdE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEalK6s2CdE</a></p> <p>On this day in 1986 the <strong>Charles Strouse </strong>/ <strong>Stephen Schwartz</strong> / <strong>Teresa Stratas</strong> musical <em>Rags</em> opened on Broadway and closed after four performances.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsMj32FfZBg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsMj32FfZBg</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of soprano <strong>Queena Mario</strong> (1896) and mezzo-soprano <strong>Miriam Pirazzini</strong> (1918).</p> <p>Happy birthday to Met hunkentenor <strong>John Smith</strong>.</p> Nothing sacred https://parterre.com/2019/08/21/nothing-sacred-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:c7448336-484e-e829-90be-91cfb5ffdcc4 Wed, 21 Aug 2019 06:27:16 +0000 It is indeed tragic when an ignorant mass of plebes like the opera public openly scoff at the venerated Western Enlightenment standard of Trial by Headline. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63564" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/despite-the-headlines-518x228.png" alt="" width="518" height="228" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/despite-the-headlines-518x228.png 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/despite-the-headlines-250x110.png 250w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/despite-the-headlines-768x338.png 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/despite-the-headlines.png 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />It is indeed tragic when an ignorant mass of plebes like the opera public openly scoff at the venerated Western Enlightenment standard of Trial by Headline. [<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/to-save-opera-we-have-to-let-it-die">Washington Post</a>]</p> Proms at ... Cadogan Hall 5: Louise Alder and Gary Matthewman http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/proms_at_cadoga.php Opera Today urn:uuid:dbc2a5ec-6abe-aecd-0486-8bcf110f3ca5 Wed, 21 Aug 2019 01:35:27 +0000 “On the wings of song, I’ll bear you away …” So sings the poet-speaker in Mendelssohn’s 1835 setting of Heine’s ‘Auf Flügeln des Gesanges’. And, borne aloft we were during this lunchtime Prom by Louise Alder and Gary Matthewman which soared progressively higher as the performers took us on a journey through a spectrum of lieder from the first half of the nineteenth century. Glowing Verdi at Glimmerglass http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/glowing_verdi_a.php Opera Today urn:uuid:8f748fd5-a010-1c3d-363c-abd826433b62 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:28:00 +0000 From the first haunting, glistening sound of the orchestral strings to the ponderous final strokes in the score that echoed the dying heartbeats of a doomed heroine, Glimmerglass Festival’s superior La Traviata was an indelible achievement. Free concert series 2019/20 https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/20/free-concert-series-2019-20/ operaramblings urn:uuid:39b5d741-8e0a-e8d0-89b8-1d71b9a064ec Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:42:39 +0000 The 2019/20 line up for the noontime free concerts in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre has been announced.  Vocal highlights are as follows: 2019 September 19th &#8211; Meet the Artists &#8211; the traditional Ensemble Studio season opener October 1st &#8211; The &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/20/free-concert-series-2019-20/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>The 2019/20 line up for the noontime free concerts in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre has been announced.  Vocal highlights are as follows:</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26427" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/20/free-concert-series-2019-20/caspparlando2012/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/caspparlando2012.jpg" data-orig-size="580,333" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;11&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 40D&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1331042367&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;18&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="CASPParlando2012" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/caspparlando2012.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/caspparlando2012.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26427 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/caspparlando2012.jpg?w=584" alt="CASPParlando2012" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/caspparlando2012.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/caspparlando2012.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/caspparlando2012.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /><span id="more-26422"></span></p> <p><strong>2019</strong></p> <ul> <li>September 19th &#8211; <em>Meet the Artists</em> &#8211; the traditional Ensemble Studio season opener</li> <li>October 1st &#8211; <em>The Maiden and the Nightingale</em> &#8211; Vanessa Vasquez, soprano with Miloš Repický, piano</li> <li>October 2nd &#8211; <em>The Art of Song</em> &#8211; Marjorie Owens, soprano with Michael Shannon, piano</li> <li>October 8th &#8211; <em>Parlami d’amore: Speak to me of Love</em> &#8211; UoT Opera</li> <li>October 29th &#8211; <em>Old Songs, New Songs</em> &#8211; Matthew Cairns, tenor</li> <li>November 5th &#8211; <em>Songbook XL</em> &#8211; Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio (no idea what this is about!)</li> <li>November 28th &#8211; <em>Schulich à la carte: Wirth Vocal Prize</em> &#8211; Marcel d’Entremont, tenor with Dakota Scott-Digout, piano</li> <li>December 10th &#8211; <em>Fairytales and Lullabies</em> &#8211; COC Ensemble Studio</li> </ul> <p><strong>2020</strong></p> <ul> <li>January 29th &#8211; <em>Songs and Dances of Death</em> &#8211; Members of the Ensemble Studio and Orchestra Academy</li> <li>February 5th &#8211; An Evening of Song &#8211; Brandon Cedel, bass-baritone with Sandra Horst, piano</li> <li>February 25th &#8211; <em>The Truth About Love</em> &#8211; Alexandra Smither, soprano with Rachael Kerr, piano</li> <li>March 17th &#8211; <em>Opera for All Ages</em> &#8211; Ensemble Studio</li> <li>March 31st &#8211; <em>Unbound</em> &#8211; Against the Grain Theatre with Brianne Sinclairé; the world&#8217;s only transgender operatic soprano</li> <li>April 9th &#8211; Collaborations &#8211; the annusl exchange visit by members of the Atelier lyrique de l&#8217;opéra de Montréal</li> <li>April 29th &#8211; <em>Songs of Travel</em> &#8211; another Ensemble Studio/Orchestra Academy collaboration</li> <li>May 7th &#8211; <em>Boundless Bass</em> &#8211; Goderdzi Janelidze, bass with Sandra Horst, piano</li> <li>May 19th &#8211; <em>Les Adieux</em> &#8211; Graduating member(s) of the Ensemble Studio</li> <li>May 20th &#8211; <em>Les Adieux</em> &#8211; more of the same</li> </ul> <p>There&#8217;s also a full line up of piano, world music, chamber music and dance recitals.  The full list is <a href="https://cdn.agilitycms.com/canadian-opera-company-v2/pdfs/free-concert-series/RBA%20Brochure%201920.pdf?utm_source=wordfly&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=FreeConcertSeries19%2F20Announcement&amp;utm_content=version_A&amp;promo=24162">here</a>.</p> <p>All concerts are free and start at noon in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.</p> Salzburg Festival (5) - Soloists/Mozarteum/Pichon - Mozart, Paisiello, Salieri, and Martín y Soler, 18 August 2019 http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2019/08/salzburg-festival-5-soloistsmozarteumpi.html Boulezian urn:uuid:ed24d03f-a3d6-9359-f734-7ed723d010bc Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:36:26 +0000 <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Grosser Saal<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">La folle giornata<o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Mozart: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Lo sposo deluso</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">, KV 430/424<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">a</i>: Overture, Quartet, ‘Ah che ridere!’, and Aria, ‘Dove mai trovar quel ciglio?’<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Paisiello: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Il barbiere di Sivilgia</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">: Cavatina, ‘Saper bramate’<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Mozart: </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Recitative and aria, ‘Bella mia fiamma, addio’ – ‘Resta, oh cara’, KV 528; Insertion aria, ‘Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia,’ for Vincente Martín y Soler’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Il burbero di buon cuore</i>, KV 582; <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">L’oca del Cairo</i>: Aria, ‘Ogni momento dicon le donne’; Canzonetta, ‘Ridente la calma,’ KV 152/210<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">a</i>; Nocturne (trio), ‘Se lontan, ben mio, tu sei,’ KV 438<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">La scuola degli amanti<o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Mozart: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Der Schauspieldirektor</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">, KV 486: Overture; Aria, ‘Männer suchen stets zu naschen’, KV 433/416<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">c</i>; Aria, ‘Io ti lascio, oh cara, addio’, KV Anh.245/621<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">a</i>; <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Der Schauspieldirektor</i>: Arietta: ‘Da schlägt die Abschiedsstunde’<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Salieri: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">La scuola de’ gelosi</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">: Sextet, ‘Son le donne sopraffine’<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Mozart: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Lo sposo deluso</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">: ‘Che accidenti! Che tragedia!’; Canzonetta, ‘Più non si trovano,’ KV 549<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Il dissoluto punito<o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Mozart: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Thamos, König in Ägypten</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">: Entr’acte: Maestoso-Allegro<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Vicente Martín y Soler: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Una cosa rara</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">: Sextet, ‘O quanto un sì bel giubilo’<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Mozart: </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Recitative and aria, ‘Così dunque tradisci’ – ‘Aspri rimorsi atroci’, KV 432/421<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">a</i>; Aria, ‘Vado ma dove? oh Dei!’, KV 583; Aria, ‘Per pietà, non ricercate’; <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">L’oca del Cairo</i>: Sextet, ‘Corpo di Satanasso!’; <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Thamos, König in Ägypten</i>: Chorus, ‘Ne pulvis et cinis superbe te geras’, and final music to the fifth act of the play<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Claire de Sévigné, Siobhan Stagg (sopranos)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Lea Desandre (mezzo-soprano)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Mauro Peter (tenor)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Huw Montague Rendall (baritone)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Robert Gleadow (bass)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Choir of Soloists from the Young Artists’ Project</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Raphaël Pichon (conductor)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3zTo0lbLUAs/XVwgfRScRZI/AAAAAAAAGCg/0D9ap3yhA_0Gmlxc_mJ_jx97mVMb3CQZACLcBGAs/s1600/mozart-matinee-pichon-2019-c-sf-marco-borrelli-06.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1098" data-original-width="1600" height="438" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3zTo0lbLUAs/XVwgfRScRZI/AAAAAAAAGCg/0D9ap3yhA_0Gmlxc_mJ_jx97mVMb3CQZACLcBGAs/s640/mozart-matinee-pichon-2019-c-sf-marco-borrelli-06.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Image: Salzburger Festspiele / Marco Borrelli</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Now this is just what the Salzburg Festival should be doing in its longstanding Mozart-Matinee series: one of the most delightful and thought-provoking I have yet to attend. Divided into three ‘scenes’, each accorded as title the subtitle of one of the Da Ponte operas, this concert, from an excellent cast of young singers, the Mozarteum Orchestra, and Raphaël Pichon, offered suggestions as to inspirations, sources, context, and sometimes just affinities between music for a number of principal characters in each opera from other works by Mozart and contemporaries. So, for ‘La folle giornate’, we welcomed to the stage the Count, Countess, Figaro, Susanna, Cherubino, and Dr Bartolo; for ‘La scuola degli amanti’, the full <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Così </i>sextet; and for ‘Il dissoluto punito’, its entire cast too. Arrangements, where necessary, were credited to Pierre-Henri Dutron and Vincent Manac’h. One may sometimes have quibbled about the programme attribution of certain parts to certain others, but that was part of the fun and enlightenment. We all approach these greatest of operas in different ways, with different ears, with different memories, at different times. One of the great losses of recent years in the Festival has been that of a core Mozart ensemble of singers, often singing the major operas for several years in succession. This concert not only hinted at that time-honoured practice, but also brought many thoughts to mind of Mozart’s own work with particular singers on particular operas.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">A decent-sized orchestra for a small hall (strings 8.7.6.4.3) played with verve, vigour, and great sensitivity, all on show in a warm account of the Overture to the operatic fragment, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Lo sposo deluso</i>, its second, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Andante</i> section winningly prayerful – reminding us that Mozart, like any good man (or woman) of the Enlightenment, made little or no distinction between sacred and secular. (Such, in broadest outline, will be the starting point for my next book.) I may have preferred more string vibrato there, but such was Pichon’s style, and my ears soon adjusted. Moaning that this was not Colin Davis would rather have missed the point on this very particular occasion. Pichon handled very well the transition to the quartet, ‘Ah che ridere!’ from our reassigned Count, Countess, Figaro, and Cherubino, all of whom excelled in concert-ish-performance acting too: the knowing glance, the perfection of timing, and so on. Mozart’s prophetic progression to full vocal ensemble: well, we know very well where that was heading. Huw Montague Rendall’s following aria marked him out as perhaps first among equals for me, though I had no complaints from any of the singers. It was, in any case, an absorbingly full, characterful performance, quite as vivid as any on stage. Mauro Peter’s aria from the ‘other’ <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Barber of Seville</i>, Giovanni Paisiello’s, was beautifully sung, capturing the sense that this was far more straightforwardly Italian a serenade than anything Mozart would have written – and more seductive than anything Rossini would. Paisiello’s lovely writing for pizzicato strings (as well as mandolin) and clarinet was relished by players and conductor alike. Siobhan Stagg’s concert aria suffered a little from unduly ascetic violins, especially during the recitative, but my goodness, she knew how to use recitative – as, of course, did Mozart, in <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">accompagnato</i>of extraordinary musico-dramatic riches. As for his chromaticism in the aria itself, we were but a stone’s throw already from Wagner and Schoenberg. Lea Desandre’s coloratura was sometimes a little shaky in the insertion aria Mozart wrote for Vicente Martín y Soler’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Il burbero di buon cuore</i>, but her tone was nicely suggestive of Cherubino. A vigorous contribution from Robert Gleadow, a palpably sincere – if a little too ‘white’ for my taste – early canzonetta from Claire de Sévigné, and a refreshing choice for ‘finale’, the delectable Metastasian ‘Se lontan, ben mio, tu sei’, rounded off a first scene that, like <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Figaro</i> itself, had one straining for more.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">On then, after the interval, to ‘La scuola degli amanti’ and ‘Il dissoluto punito’. If Pichon, here as elsewhere, never quite managed to hear, or at least to communicate, the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Schauspieldirektor</i> Overture in a single breath, it had pleasing weight and vigour. Gleadow, who, it was revealed was suffering from excruciating back pain, offered a lovely Don Alfonso-ish aria, to which Montague Rendall responded with a poignancy that threatened almost to eclipse his own Guglielmo and touch the (allegedly) more sensitive Ferrando. If I thought the ‘Fiordiligi’ <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Schauspieldirektor</i>number closer to Pamina, that opera was not on offer here – and the final coloratura made its own point. Salieri’s sextet from his strikingly similar (in plot) 1778 <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">La scuola de’ gelosi</i>, to a libretto by Caterino Mazzolà (librettist for Mozart’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">La clemenza di Tito</i>, after Metastasio), was, like the Paisiello number, more straightforwardly Italian, less contrapuntal – but then, it would be, and not only because it was written for Venice. Mozart, upon a return to <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Lo sposo deluso</i>, followed on seamlessly, almost immediately demonstrating who was the greater composer and dramatist, but then, he would. A Metastasian closing number, again written for quartet and three basset horns, offered prayerful continuity with the first scene as well as a degree of contrast in the same respect. What could be more apt?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L0mFcLADJGk/XVwgp4dw5yI/AAAAAAAAGCk/LJW3bQSK95wMiH7aibddeulZch7pJ54MwCLcBGAs/s1600/Untitled.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="610" data-original-width="889" height="438" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L0mFcLADJGk/XVwgp4dw5yI/AAAAAAAAGCk/LJW3bQSK95wMiH7aibddeulZch7pJ54MwCLcBGAs/s640/Untitled.png" width="640" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">We stepped back slightly in time for the final scene, to the second of the three Da Ponte operas, or rather to music in its orbit. For ‘Il dissoluto punito’, we opened and indeed closed with some of the astonishing incidental music for <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Thamos, King of Egypt</i>. Here was the full-bloodedly Romantic Mozart we knew from the piano concertos as well as from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Don Giovanni</i>, the Mozart ETA Hoffmann had no doubt was of his party. On hearing the sextet from Martín y Soler’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Una cosa rara</i>, we might well by now have replied, like Leporello on hearing a snatch of ‘Non più andrai’, ‘<span style="background: white; color: black;">Questa poi la conosco pur troppo</span>’, so often have we heard its quotation in <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Don Giovanni</i>. But why? What a lovely opportunity, not least in so compelling a rendition, to hear the original, genuinely admired, it would seem, by Mozart. Its move to the minor was perhaps especially interesting – and quite differently accomplished from any instance I could immediately recall in Mozart. Gleadow’s aria, once again, spoke wonderfully on its own terms; no one would surely have known the conditions under which he was having to sing. Desandre’s, which followed, displayed here absolute control of her instrument and clarity of line, was well as a wonderful way with Italian. Peter (or ‘Don Ottavio’) offered typical sincerity in his preceding a splendid clarion call (Montague Rendall) and full ensemble from the unfinished <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">L’oca del Cairo</i>. I do not think I have ever heard the music leap from the page with such joy. That, in a sense, was the ‘finale’; but, in an inversion of the practice of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Don Giovanni</i>, we returned to the tragic, minor mode, Montague Rendall leading his colleagues, an additional quartet of vocalists included, in a magnificent, Gluck-haunted ‘Ne pulvis et cinis superbe te geras’. If this were not sacred music in the fullest sense, I do not know what would be.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/r2LWKSCRiko" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Win an Elevé Dancewear Naomi Primrose Leotard https://www.pointemagazine.com/win-an-eleve-dancewear-naomi-primrose-leotard-2639919634.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:29661612-8146-5aba-4f11-199be7e0ce48 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:23:49 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20628549/origin.png"/><br/><br/><hr/><p><a class="e-widget no-button" href="https://gleam.io/U85xR/win-an-elev-dancewear-naomi-primrose-leotard" rel="nofollow">Win an Elevé Dancewear Naomi Primrose Leotard</a></p><script async="true" src="https://js.gleam.io/e.js" type="text/javascript"></script> Sweet dreams https://parterre.com/2019/08/20/sweet-dreams/ parterre box urn:uuid:c0c4d88a-57bb-2877-09df-26c7786f71ed Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:36:56 +0000 Bard SummerScape’s concert staging of <em>Die Tote Stadt </em>emerged triumphant thanks to <strong>Clay Hilley</strong> and <strong>Sara Jakubiak</strong>. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63543" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/tote-stadt-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/tote-stadt.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/tote-stadt-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />The city of Bruges was anything but dead Sunday afternoon when Bard SummerScape’s concert staging of Korngold’s <a href="https://parterre.com/2019/06/16/touch-me-in-the-mourning/">neglected</a>—in the US anyway—<em>Die Tote Stadt </em>emerged triumphant thanks to <strong>Clay Hilley</strong> and <strong>Sara Jakubiak</strong> and some of the most thrilling singing I’ve heard for a long while. <span id="more-63542"></span></p> <p>Unable to move beyond his grief over his dead blonde lover, a man spots a lookalike on the street and immediately becomes obsessed with her. Alfred Hitchcock’s <em>Vertigo, </em>right? Yes, that scenario fits Scotty but <em>Tote Stadt</em>’s Pault oo but after that strikingly similar set-up, the two works diverge&#8211;or do they?</p> <p>Korngold and librettist Paul Schott in adapting Georges Rodenbach’s <em>Bruges-la-Morte </em>would have us accept that most of the second and third acts of their opera depict Paul’s fever-dream brought on by the encounter with his late wife’s doppelganger. I’ve always thought one approach to <em>Vertigo </em>is to read the second half of the film—after Midge visits a catatonic Scotty following his complete mental breakdown—as <em>his </em>dream: the often hallucinatory interaction with Judy is “really” just a figment of his broken mind.</p> <p>I suspect the overwhelming dream aspect of <em>Tote Stadt </em>may be one reason it dropped out of the repertoire for decades after its very successful premiere in 1920. On the other hand, it’s precisely that challenging form of wavering reality that has likely attracted contemporary directors. But Bard’s striped-down presentation permitted one to contemplate the problematic text while luxuriating in the ravishing score.</p> <p>With the Orchestra Now placed in the pit, the stage offered a chaotic arrangement of beige chairs and music stands with a spotlit podium front and center. <strong>Jordan Fein</strong>’s production and Stephan Moravski’s design proved canny solutions to the singers needing to perform their difficult roles referencing their scores but eventually that cluttered and monochrome <em>mise-en-scène </em>grew wearying as it restricted movement often keeping singers who were addressing each other far apart.</p> <p>Fein’s major directorial conceit was having the dead wife Marie onstage nearly throughout embodied with blank Ivanka-ness by <strong>Kirsten Harvey</strong>. Her icy presence proved effective in the opening act but Fein didn’t seem to know what to do with her subsequently. I did, however, enjoy his free-wheeling use throughout for dramatic emphasis of variously-sized fonts in the titles.</p> <p>The other reason for the opera’s relative rarity must be the punishingly long and high role of Paul, but happily conductor Leon Botstein was appreciably more successful with his tenor than he had been in <em>Das Wunder der Heliane </em><a href="https://parterre.com/2019/07/30/strangers-when-we-meet/">several weeks ago</a><em>. </em></p> <p>As he had <a href="https://parterre.com/2017/07/31/catch-a-falling-tsar/">two years ago</a> as Dvorak’s <em>Dimitrij, </em>indefatigable American heldentenor Clay Hilley poured out floods of secure, golden, seemingly effortless tone throughout. One never ever had to nervously hold one’s breath as each soaring <em>forte </em>climax approached.</p> <p>Hilley’s Paul was a simple man stubbornly holding onto his memories when his enshrouded world is thrown upside down by his chance encounter with Marietta. Hilley was always isolated away from anyone else on stage—from his faithful servant Brigitta, his friend Frank and even the irresistible Marietta—emphasizing his onanistic fixation.</p> <p>Having heard brawny tenors bark and bray their ways through Wagner and Strauss for years, I wonder if 2019 might prove a turning point.</p> <p>Although I only experienced them on the radio, both<strong> Stefan Vinke</strong> and <strong>Andreas Schager</strong> this spring made me look forward to rather than dread any Siegfried appearance in the Met’s <em>Ring, </em>while in <a href="https://parterre.com/2019/04/24/pearl-of-wisdom/">April</a> Hilley’s Menelaus in Odyssey Opera’s <em>Die Aegyptische Helena </em>gave further evidence that this young singer is another real contender.</p> <p>Matching Hilley in intensity and power was the charismatic Jakubiak who arrived late to replace the originally announced soprano. As Marie/Marietta she easily embodied this ambiguous character in all her many contradictory facets.</p> <p>At times Carmen, then Lulu, or maybe Mélisande or Zerbinetta, the feckless dancer-turned- <em>idée fixe </em>demands much from its performer. She must metamorphose from the beguiler of the entrancing “Glück das mir verlieb” to the relentless termagant of a final duet which goads Paul to strangle her.</p> <p>Having just done her roles in <strong>Robert Carsen</strong>’s production of <em>Tote Stadt </em>at Berlin’s Komische Oper, Jakubiak performed with striking composure, her pungent coppery soprano growing in confidence as the afternoon wore on. Initially her top notes may have lacked freedom but she soon warned up and by the end met Hilley decibel for house-filling decibel.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORfgvGwNqKc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORfgvGwNqKc</a></p> <p>If the stunning Jakubiak-Hilley pairing wasn’t enough, <strong>Alexander</strong> (Birch) <strong>Elliott</strong> built on his impressive fill-in Met debut late last year as Zurga in <em>Les Pêcheurs de Perles </em>with a richly potent Frank and Fritz. Occasionally one noticed him oversinging and he and Botstein missed the swoony rapture of Pierrot’s well-known “Tanzlied,” but all in all this was yet another promising appearance by Elliott.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=csC9FCzNPwU&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=csC9FCzNPwU</a></p> <p>A friend had previously praised <strong>Deborah Nansteel</strong> to me but this was <em>my</em>first time hearing her in person. As Brigitta she revealed a big bold mezzo but also some worrying unsteadiness particularly in the first act. Marietta has a group of theatrical followers who are nearly as annoying as those in <em>Adriana Lecouvreur </em>but <strong>So Young Park, Rebecca Ringle Kamarei</strong> and <strong>Richard Troxell</strong> did their best with <strong>William Ferguson</strong> as Gaston/Victorin standing out among that crew for his brightly pinging tenor.</p> <p>I particularly enjoyed that the pesky troupe is about to go off and perform <em>Robert le Diable; </em>does anyone know if Korngold quotes Meyerbeer? Based on his baroque opera scene in <em>Anthony Adverse, </em>I wouldn’t ascribe to him a gift for pastiche.</p> <p><a href="https:// <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=24R6nc1SagY">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=24R6nc1SagY</a></p> <p></a></p> <p>Unfortunately Bard’s preprofessional student group Orchestra Now&#8211;despite its best efforts&#8211;wasn’t quite up to Korngold’s lush, soaring writing particularly in the extended preludes and the superfluous dance sequence in the second act. The often recalcitrant brass let down the team on more than one occasion, but the shimmering strings did manage some of the needed sheen.</p> <p>Botstein continues to impress more as an enterprising programming mastermind than as a maestro but given what may have been limited rehearsal, on the whole he made a convincing case for Korngold’s debut opera—a magnificent achievement by the 23-year-old composer.</p> <p>Anyone eager to hear an absolutely top-notch orchestra and conductor in this music will have to wait only until <a href="https://www.staatsoper.de/stueckinfo/die-tote-stadt/2019-11-18-19-00.html?tx_sfstaatsoper_pi1%5BfromSpielplan%5D=1&amp;tx_sfstaatsoper_pi1%5BpageId%5D=527&amp;cHash=8f1e50a415e539b4e7d8b221368c243d">November</a> when Kirill Petrenko in his final season leads the Bavarian State Opera in a new <em>Tote Stadt </em>starring <strong>Jonas Kaufmann</strong> and <strong>Marlis Petersen</strong>.</p> <p>I can imagine Paul will suit Kaufmann’s brooding persona quite well but I’ll be surprised if he surpasses Hilley’s phenomenal singing on Sunday after which the American was cheered to the Gehry-rafters with a real hero’s ovation.</p> <p><em>Tote Stadt </em>was the final event in an impressively wide-ranging two-weekend festival “Korngold and his World.” that also featured a detailed exploration of the composer’s influential film scores<em>. </em></p> <p>httpvj://</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfJ0hBK_rpk">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfJ0hBK_rpk</a></p> <p>Next summer’s festival will be devoted to “Nadia Boulanger and her World” but since she wasn’t an opera composer the featured staging will be Chausson’s rare medieval epic <em>Le Roi Arthus.</em></p> <p>Photo: Stephanie Berger</p> “I don’t think any novelist should be concerned with literature” https://parterre.com/2019/08/20/i-dont-think-any-novelist-should-be-concerned-with-literature-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:f0873a1d-23bf-3b96-25d2-3aa22aeb29b8 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:19:33 +0000 Born on this day in 1918 (not that she'd admit it) author and actress <strong>Jacqueline Susann</strong>. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63539" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/susann-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/susann.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/susann-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Born on this day in 1918 (not that she&#8217;d admit it) author and actress <strong>Jacqueline Susann</strong>. <span id="more-63538"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=nToafQZfoIA&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=nToafQZfoIA</a></p> <p>On this day in 1828 Rossini&#8217;s<em> Le Comte d&#8217;Ory</em> premiered in Paris.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX2_SgYQua0&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX2_SgYQua0</a></p> <p>Happy 78th birthday soprano <strong>Anne Evans</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJnDoKOjKLE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJnDoKOjKLE</a></p> NATIONAL YOUTH BALLET 2019 SEASON WONDERLANDS ARRIVES AT SADLER’S WELLS NEXT WEEK http://www.balletnews.co.uk/national-youth-ballet-2019-season-wonderlands-arrives-at-sadlers-wells-next-week/ Ballet News | Straight from the stage - bringing you ballet insights urn:uuid:96a6c8bc-2bf5-32b3-f0f2-d2f764dc5781 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:22:03 +0000  WONDERLANDS showcases seven new works by emerging choreographers  The 2019 season, led by interim artistic directors Ruth Brill and Drew McOnie, features 105 young dancers aged 9-18 from across...<br/> <br/> [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/co/RudC/~4/qDfwIKynkC0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Médée in Salzburg http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/medee_in_salzbu.php Opera Today urn:uuid:8005c296-1913-0b9f-96d2-a669cc3a5268 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 06:43:57 +0000 Though Luigi Cherubini long outlived the carnage of the French Revolution his 1797 opéra comique [with spoken dialogue] Médée fell well within the “horror opera” genre that responded to the spirit of its time. These days however Médée is but an esoteric and extremely challenging late addition to the international repertory. Operas in Which Everyone Dies http://medicine-opera.com/2019/08/operas-in-which-everyone-dies/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:28ad1b16-cf64-5723-e627-3b142b2b35c2 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 03:57:37 +0000 Death in opera is a frequent event. But there aren&#8217;t that many operas in which everyone goes to the final reward. I&#8217;m defining everyone as all of the principal roles. Here are four. I&#8217;m sure if I dug a little deeper or thought a little more effectively that I could find more. Addition to this... <p>Death in opera is a frequent event. But there aren&#8217;t that many operas in which everyone goes to the final reward. I&#8217;m defining everyone as all of the principal roles. Here are four. I&#8217;m sure if I dug a little deeper or thought a little more effectively that I could find more. Addition to this short list from readers are welcome. They&#8217;re in chronological order.</p> <p>Berlioz&#8217; <em>The Damnation of Faust</em> (1846) is not an opera. According to its author it&#8217;s a &#8216;dramatic legend&#8217;, whatever that is. Even so, it&#8217;s often staged and done as an opera. The Met has it on its roster for next season. The work has only four solo parts; one is a small role, another is the Devil who can&#8217;t die, leaving just Faust and Marguerite. The former goes to hell while the latter goes to heaven and in that order. Faust and Méphistophélès<a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/cio86g3546zr9z0/Damnation%20of%20Faust%20-%20Ride%20to%20the%20Abyss%20and%20Pandemonium.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> ride on horseback</a> to the abyss into which Faust is hurled followed by pandemonium in which the lesser devils sing in a language of Berlioz&#8217; own invention. Then Marguerite is saved and <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/earcer77f5bnocx/Marguerite%20enters%20Heaven%20John%20Eliot%20Gardner%2C%20et%20al.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">welcomed into heaven</a>.</p> <p>Meyerbeer&#8217;s Le Prophète (1849)  was a huge success when it first appeared in Paris. It remained popular during the rest of the 19th century, but mostly disappeared during the first half of the next. More recently it has made a bit of a comeback. It received 25 performance at The Met during the 70s, mostly as a vehicle for Marilyn Horne. It&#8217;s been 40 years since the New York house heard it. Based on the career of John of Leiden it has a complicated plot that leaves its audience uncertain as to Jean&#8217;s (French for John) motives in morphing from a village lad to a prophet claiming divinity. His country sweetheart, Berthe, who hates the prophet kills herself at <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/34tb6ycy36n5zp7/Prophete%21%20Prophete%21%20Horne%20Rinaldi%20Gedda.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the end of Act 5 scene 1</a> when she discovers that her erstwhile love is Jean le prophète. The <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/lsoeysh3ubcvasa/Le%20Prophete%20final%20scene%20Horne%20Gedda.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">act&#8217;s second scene</a> finds everyone locked in a room where they all burn to death.</p> <p>Wagner&#8217;s conclusion of his final Ring opera, <em>Götterdämmerung</em> (1874), likely was stimulated by the kill everybody end of the Meyerbeer just discussed. Hagen kills both Siegfried and Gunther. Siegfried&#8217;s body is brought to the Gibichung palace where Brunnhilde rides her horse into the dead heroes funeral pyre. What a horse is doing in a palace and why a funeral pyres is also there is not explained. The building catches fire and the Rhine overflows its banks. Valhalla catches fire killing all the gods and heroes. Wet or dry, everybody but the Rhinemaidens is dead. The world has ended and everything is as it was before the cycle began; except for the audience, they&#8217;re a lot older. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqgemgcep735gye/G%C3%B6tterd%C3%A4mmerung%20Immolation%20scene%20Nilsson%20Solti.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Immolation scene</a></p> <p>Puccini kills off his the main characters in <em>Tosca</em>  (1900) one at a time. The first to go is the nefarious and abusive police commissioner Baron Scarpia. The title character, who should be the poster women for the <em>Me Too Movement</em>, plants a knife in Scarpia&#8217;s chest as he rushes to her with the intention to commit rape. The bad baron dies in the Palazzo Farnese. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/cx0c5xvan4uwidi/Death%20of%20Scarpia%20Callas%20Gobbi.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Scarpia&#8217;s death</a></p> <p>Cavaradossi is the next to go. He&#8217;s on top of the Castel Sant&#8217;Angelo and is the victim of the fake mock execution that everyone except Tosca knows is for real. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/d1zbks1vxvsxe5z/Death%20of%20Cavaradossi%20Callas%20and%20firing%20squad.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cavaradossi&#8217;s death</a></p> <p>Finally, Tosca figures out that the guns were loaded with bullets not blanks. She&#8217;s consumed with grief and anger, but before she can go completely mad Scarpia&#8217;s henchmen come rushing up the stairs to the castle&#8217;s roof. Tosca takes the only way out by leaping to her death (or mattress) bringing Puccini&#8217;s perfect thriller to a scattering, in every sense of the word, conclusion. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ep9ipyfm8z1zscu/Death%20of%20Tosca%20Callas.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tosca&#8217;s death</a></p> <p>In Tosca, of course, only the three principals die. The rest of Rome, Italy, and the world is still breathing. I saw a production of the opera that took a broader view of who dies. It was mounted by the New York City Opera quite a while back. They set the piece in fascist Italy and showed most of Rome dead, including the Sacristan from Act 1, on a stage littered with corpses. The poor guy, not only did he have to die an untimely death &#8211; but he also had to hang around for a couple of extra hours just to be a dead body. Such is art.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Queen: A Royal Jewel at Glimmerglass http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/queen_a_royal_j.php Opera Today urn:uuid:78f663dd-76f3-e68d-2121-f99f646aef78 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 02:09:00 +0000 Tchaikovsky’s grand opera The Queen of Spades might seem an unlikely fit for the multi-purpose room of the Pavilion on the Glimmerglass campus but that qualm would fail to reckon with the superior creative gifts of the production team at this prestigious festival. Blue Diversifies Glimmerglass Fare http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/blue_diversifie.php Opera Today urn:uuid:5c772b9a-273e-52ac-53eb-84f2a13ae147 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 23:23:00 +0000 Glimmerglass Festival has commendably taken on a potent social theme in producing the World Premiere of composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson’s Blue. Vibrant Versailles Dazzles In Upstate New York http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/vibrant_versail.php Opera Today urn:uuid:95a3dd9a-a6e9-0ea5-dc10-0d4c0e5f4873 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 23:00:00 +0000 From the shimmering first sounds and alluring opening visual effects of Glimmerglass Festival’s The Ghosts of Versailles, it was apparent that we were in for an evening of aural and theatrical splendors worthy of its namesake palace. Gilda: “G for glorious” http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/08/gilda_g_for_glo.php Opera Today urn:uuid:1cf69799-efc8-cd5a-8d6d-9e7238ccbf27 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:36:00 +0000 For months we were threatened with a “feminist take” on Verdi’s boiling 1851 melodrama; the program essay was a classic mashup of contemporary psychobabble perfectly captured in its all-caps headline: DESTRUCTIVE PARENTS, TOXIC MASCULINITY, AND BAD DECISIONS. Hamstrung by Maeterlinck https://parterre.com/2019/08/19/hamstrung-by-maeterlinck/ parterre box urn:uuid:6212d9bb-3c40-ff16-ce62-7a5b41ab8961 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:37:33 +0000 <strong>Whitney George</strong>’s music falls pleasingly upon the ear and is wittily scored for a small ensemble conducted by herself. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63536" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/maleine-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/maleine.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/maleine-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />“If you abstain from tennis <em>and </em>read Maeterlinck in a small country village, you are of necessity intellectual,” Saki pointed out back in 1904. He did not think highly of either diversion. <span id="more-63535"></span></p> <p>Maeterlinck, the Belgian symbolist poet-playwright (<em>Pelléas et Mélisande, Ariane et Barbe-Bleu, L’Oiseau Bleu, Monna Vanna</em>—each of which became an opera), was even more bewildering than usual when he wrote his first play, <em>La Princesse Maleine</em>, yet poor Lili Boulanger attempted an opera of it that got lost when she perished in the postwar influenza of 1918.</p> <p>This fact has inspired Dell’ Arte Opera Ensemble, as part of its ambitious summer season of operas by woman composers, to commission a new one, <em>Princess Maleine</em>, which had its premiere at Theater La Mama last Friday. I caught the second performance Sunday. There will be others on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The assembled musicians are worth hearing.</p> <p><strong>Whitney George</strong>’s music falls pleasingly upon the ear and is wittily scored for a small ensemble conducted by herself. Best of all, George composes gratefully for the human voice, and the cast is full of remarkable young singers to exploit this. There is much sheer physical pleasure to be had here.</p> <p>But—that goldarned libretto—well, I don’t want to teach George her business—oh hell, someone has to. The libretto, in English couplets, is by <strong>Brittany Goodwin</strong>. It is full of flowery phrases and symbolic characters and fraught but indistinct relationships, and don’t get me started about the foreign policy of imaginary kingdoms.</p> <p>In a libretto, relationships and motivations should be clear and significant, so that if an oddness crops up—somebody’s long-lost somebody else, say—it will have musical significance.</p> <p>Perhaps the opera would not seem so windy as it does—17 named characters, plus a bunch of nuns and the puppeteer operating an adorable dog who symbolizes something or other—if it were not all of it sung in stately arioso. I kept waiting for someone to get <em>excited</em>—battles are fought! Princesses are jilted! Armies are slaughtered! Dogs are found! Vary the pace, for gosh sakes!</p> <p>I waited, too, for melody. George writes a lot of melody, actually—and gives it to the orchestra. The instruments play sweetly, but there are 17 singers on that stage. Why are they declaiming in recit? Why do they do nothing <em>but </em>declaim, all at the same stately rate?</p> <p>What we need are memorable tunes, so that individuals can explain who they are and make us care about them. There <em>is</em>an aria, for the title character, Maleine, and <strong>Elyse Kakacek</strong>’s sizable, unexpectedly deep and honey-colored soprano soars through it,but the evening’s just about over before she gets it.</p> <p>There’s a trio early on, and there’s a faint stab at a <em>concertato </em>at the end of Act I, but just for a moment. The thing opera can do that poetic drama can’t do is express two—or three—or ten—emotions at once. Why don’t composers want to do that anymore? It’s not like these characters have much to say for themselves. They’re Maeterlinck. They speak in symbols. If the music is properly individual, you don’t need to understand a word.</p> <p>A prince and princess meet late at night in a park, and she’s pregnant the next day—part of the activity obviously must remain off stage (unless modern stage directors get hold of it). But meanwhile, why not allow them to express their feelings in song? <strong>Jeremy Brauner’s </strong>ringing, lyric tenor would blend sublimely with Kakacek’s soprano if this were a typical opera. But here they just declaim, and run off stage. Stick around, guys! Sing some Verdi!</p> <p>You may, on general principles, be weary of adorable dogs, adorable innocent princelings, and adorable otherworldly court jesters—I’ll give the bird calls a pass, since they’re in and out quickly. But adorable dogs, adorable innocent princelings, and adorable otherworldly court jesters <em>in the same libretto</em>—and <em>none </em>of them important to the story? Too many symbols, signifying nothing.</p> <p>Omit the princeling and you can ditch both prologue and epilogue. You’ve gained half an hour! You can use the time for a <em>genuine concertato </em>or a trio or two. Who is this kid anyway? He’s sad because he lost his mama, though if he’s been paying attention to this opera, he’d know mamas are a doubtful blessing at best. Is that the opera’s message?</p> <p>The Fool is sung by <strong>Jeffrey Mandelbaum</strong>—a good choice in this golden age of countertenors. He has sung both ancient and recent operas, his plummy alto fills the room and he makes his Maeterlinckian proverbs misty and spooky and sexless. The prince is <strong>Megan Vanacore</strong>, who looks bewildered. So are we, so we feel for her.</p> <p>Here’s the plot, prologue aside: Princess Maleine is in love with Prince Hjalmar, and he with her. But her father wants her to marry someone else. This leads to war and the devastation of her country, which Maleine observes from a tower in which her father has imprisoned her.</p> <p>She escapes from the tower, finds her country in ruins, and shows up in Hjalmar’s country, where<em> he</em> is being forced to marry someone else. Of course, he ditches his fiancée the moment he lays eyes on Maleine. But his wicked stepmother, Queen Anne—at least I <em>think</em> she’s his stepmother—poisons the pregnant Maleine. Or strangles her. Or both. So Hjalmar stabs Queen Anne.</p> <p>You see what I mean about the jester and the princeling—they’re not important. Actually, none of these people are important. They’re symbolic.</p> <p>You might <em>begin </em>the opera with Maleine in the tower, imprisoned by her father (for seven years, per the Brothers Grimm), separated from the man she loves, as in the brief, clear, three-character fairy tale on which Maeterlinck based it. You could handle the backstory in one reflective monologue and you’ve already cut an hour of this opera down to ten minutes and omitted half a dozen pointless characters.</p> <p>We can fill up the empty spaces with, you know, music. A drinking song in the inn, say. (Yes, there’s an inn, but no drinking song.) A court ballet with a minstrel to sing at it. (There’s a ballet but no minstrel.) We need a love duet.</p> <p>We don’t need a friendly dog who doesn’t sing. Maeterlinck invented the dog, but that’s no reason to keep him. It’s a series of wasted chances with a lot of good singers. I kept hoping one of them would burst into Donizetti or Gounod or Andrew Lloyd Webber to rescue the situation.</p> <p>As directed by <strong>Bea Goodwin</strong>, the symbolic action was obscure. I mean, is King Hjalmar, sung by <strong>Eric Lindsay</strong>, a fine woolly bass, married to Queen Anne? And why does he sit there watching while the Queen poisons pregnant Maleine? But if he’s not the father of Princess Ursula, Queen Anne’s daughter, whom she hopes to marry to the king’s son, Prince Hjalmar, then who is? Ursula is sung by <strong>MaKayla McDonald</strong>, another full-bodied soprano with beautiful, ringing notes and not nearly enough to do.</p> <p>And why does Queen Anne attempt to seduce her son-in-law prince herself, and poison his true love? Look—we don’t need that incest scene. It’s gratuitous. We already hate the Queen, sung by <strong>Liz Bouk</strong>, a fine actor with no particular singing voice, thin and ill-supported. George has written a brief, lustful tango for him, but he doesn’t sing it well and, worse, it wastes time. Verdi’s first law of opera composition: <em>Don’t waste time!</em></p> <p>Among the other roles, all of them strongly cast, I was especially happy with <strong>Nicholle Bittlingmeyer</strong>, a winsome light mezzo as Maleine’s resourceful lady in waiting, and a dark-toned tenor named <strong>Marques Hollie</strong>, who plays Queen Anne’s toxic Doctor. He has a long, glum solo explaining that he devised poison at the Queen’s command, without explaining why he didn’t substitute something milder, as the similar character does in Shakespeare’s <em>Cymbeline.</em></p> <p>It seems to me that George has every skill necessary for an opera composer except a sense of the dramatic, and her librettist, hamstrung by Maeterlinck (what a great title that would be!), has not helped her. There’s good music here (mostly for orchestra) and if they revise it, they should begin by tossing the libretto and half a dozen of the characters. Seriously.</p> <p>Photo: Brian E. Long</p> Onstage This Week: Jacob's Pillow Wraps Up With Boston Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet's Garden Performance and More! https://www.pointemagazine.com/onstage-this-week-jacobs-pillow-wraps-up-with-boston-ballet-grand-rapids-ballets-garden-performance-and-more-2639895463.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:345fda21-22f4-65e1-c6a7-07c22cc334eb Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:24:02 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579753/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p class="">Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.</p><hr/><h3>Jacob's Pillow's 2019 Fest Closes With Boston Ballet</h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2VVIR21566252326" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PhTQbE-RBIk?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p>We know that summer's coming to an end when the annual Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival wraps up. <a href="https://www.jacobspillow.org/events/boston-ballet/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">August 21-25</a>, The Pillow closes its 2019 season with Boston Ballet. The company returns for the first time in over 10<strong> </strong>years with a contemporary program including William Forsythe's <em>Playlist (EP)</em>, Leonid Yakobson's <em>Pas de Quatre </em>and <em>Rodin</em>, and Jorma Elo's <em>Bach Cello Suites.</em></p><h3>Grand Rapids Ballet Brings Dance Outdoors</h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="MVTTOE1566252326"><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/grballet/photos/p.10157283779066597/10157283779066597/?type=1&theater"></div></div><p>On <a href="https://grballet.com/1920season/ballet-at-the-gardens/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">August 20</a>, Grand Rapids Ballet makes its debut performance at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park's Tuesday Evening Music Club, dancing under the summer sky. GRB will bring a mix of its best-loved contemporary and classical ballets; the program includes Trey McIntyre's <em>Wild Sweet Love</em>, Danielle Rowe's <em>For Pixie</em>, artistic director James Sofranko's <em>Sweet By & By </em>and more. </p><h3>Kansas City Ballet Shares Dance With All </h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="SLRVCF1566252325" id="ecfff"><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"> </div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1OjAg_lWqW/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">Kansas City Ballet on Instagram: “Happy #816Day! Celebrate Kansas City today and check out festivities along the @kcstreetcar! . . @godowntownkc @kcpldistrict @citymarketkc…”</a></p> </div></blockquote></div><p>Kansas City Ballet opens its doors to the greater Kansas City community on <a href="https://www.kcballet.org/performances-tickets/kcdanceday/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">August 24</a>. The company's jam-packed 9th annual KC Dance Day features free dance classes, performances by local schools and dance companies, and<strong> </strong>an open KCB rehearsal. The rehearsal, running from 5:00-6:00 pm, offers a unique behind-the-scenes chance to see the company in action.</p> More Than A Medal: Why These Pro Dancers Didn't Have to Win to Benefit from Ballet Competitions https://www.pointemagazine.com/more-than-a-medal-three-pros-who-didnt-win-2639892819.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:481253cb-dc88-bb64-6963-b8edb04e3229 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:06:10 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579788/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p>Ballet competitions are an exciting part of any dancer's career. Yet while scholarships, prize money, job offers and the prestige that comes with winning a medal are compelling incentives to participate in one, they're not the only benefits. In fact, many dancers who go home empty-handed still look fondly on the experience and go on to become successful professionals.</p><p>This week, the <a href="https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/the-genee/genee-2019/" target="_blank">2019 Genée International Ballet Competition</a> kicks off in Toronto. From August 20-29, over 50 dancers, ages 15–19 and trained in the <a href="https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Royal Academy of Dance </a>syllabus, will perform three solos in the hopes of winning a medal and a $10,000 cash prize. Many <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/before-they-were-stars-they-were-genee-international-ballet-competition-winners-2481803668.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">past medalists </a>have gone on to illustrious careers—but so have those who didn't win anything. We spoke with three Genée alumni now dancing professionally who know what it's like not to place. Read on to find out why they deem their comp experiences a success, and how you can make the most of yours—whether you win or not.</p><hr/><h3>Ashley Shaw: Matthew Bourne's New Adventures</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ZSMZQV1566248727" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="e76a3" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579011/980x.jpg"/><p>Australian-born <a href="https://new-adventures.net/profile/ashley-shaw" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ashley Shaw</a> has enjoyed dancing in <a href="https://new-adventures.net/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Matthew Bourne's UK–based New Adventures</a> for over a decade. With a long list of principal roles in her repertoire, including Vicky Page from <em><a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/matthew-bournes-the-red-shoes-makes-u-s-debut-2484060885.html" target="_blank">The Red Shoes</a>, </em>Shaw has had a career that many dancers dream about. But before all of that success, she was a familiar face on the competition circuit. "I have been competing since I was 5-years-old and got very comfortable being onstage," says Shaw.</p><p>One thing she learned along the way, she says, is that "not winning will not damage your career." Shaw, who went to the Genée three times, says that some dancers get so wrapped up in medals and prizes that they miss out on other important aspects of the competition. Reflecting back on her time there, she says, "I tried my best and winning would have been incredible, but for me the experience was so great that I never felt like I lost."</p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6L22TN1566248727" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="7ecc8" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579013/980x.jpg"/><p>Shaw contributes her positive outlook to the amazing people she met there. "Being from a small town in Australia, I was so excited to meet dancers from all over the world," she says. "They were all so talented, and on top of that they were funny, interesting, intelligent and so much fun to be around." Shaw has since crossed paths with many of her fellow competitors in a professional capacity and appreciates the bond that was initially sparked at the Genée. "I've danced with them, worked for them, taught for them and watched them perform."</p><p>Shaw encourages dancers to make the most of their experience by getting to know their fellow contestants. "It's so magical to bond with someone from the other side of the world because of a shared passion," she says. And the relationships you build could help you down the road in your own dance career.</p><h3>Alexandra McDonald: First Soloist, National Ballet of Canada </h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="PZIWJT1566248727" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="38f4c" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579017/980x.jpg"/><p>From participating in the Genée IBC to the Youth America Grand Prix to the Prix de Lausanne, National Ballet of Canada first soloist Alexandra MacDonald is no stranger to the ballet comp circuit. Now the stand-out dancer is quickly rising through the ranks at NBoC. She says that competitions exposed her to an incredibly talented group of artists who invigorated her dancing and motivated her to exceed beyond her own expectations. "After witnessing many beautiful and inspiring performances," says MacDonald, "I returned home with new goals and renewed motivation to keep pushing myself and my dancing further."</p><h3>None</h3><br/><p>She also credits competitions with providing young dancers with invaluable training and exposure to choreographers and coaches that typically wouldn't be available to them back home. "Getting to learn from Yuri Ng, who was the commissioned choreographer for the Genée the year I attended, was an eye-opening process," says MacDonald. "He allowed me to explore my artistry and the story behind my dancing." </p><p>Macdonald's advice for those who want to have a positive comp experience—regardless of winning—is to watch and learn from those around you. "You're so lucky to be surrounded by so much talent from all over the world. Allow it to bolster and inspire you."</p><h3>Mlindi Kulashi: Leading Soloist, Northern Ballet</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="IRBFMX1566248727" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="90d22" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579051/980x.jpg"/><p>Growing up in the poverty-stricken townships of Cape Town, South Africa, <a href="https://northernballet.com/biography/mlindi-kulashe" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Mlindi Kulashe</a> might have laughed if you told him that one day he'd not only perform as a leading soloist for <a href="https://northernballet.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Northern Ballet</a>, but also choreograph for the UK-based ballet company. In fact, Kulashe didn't even know what ballet was until he joined Cape Town City Ballet's outreach program at age 10. However, with continual training and hard work his talent developed, and seven years later he qualified for the Genée. "I'm not a very competitive person, but it felt more important to enter the competition with the hopes that it would kickstart my career," he says. But it didn't turn out the way he'd planned. "In many ways I wasn't really prepared and I didn't end up placing," Kulashe recalls.</p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="RYTDIB1566248727" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="68f4d" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579736/980x.jpg"/><p>Disappointed over his performance and with no way to fund his dance training, Kulashe decided to quit dancing. But a few months later he received a scholarship to attend the English National Ballet School, thanks in part to a talent scout who saw him dance at the Genée. Two years into his training at ENB, Kulashe returned home to Cape Town and competed in the Genée again, where he was awarded the bronze medal. "I wouldn't be where I am now had I not danced in these competitions," says Kulashe.</p><p>He says his favorite part of competing is the platform it gives young dancers. "It's an opportunity for you to showcase your talent," he says. You never know who might be watching.</p> Pro Pointe Shoe Hacks From ABT Soloist Skylar Brandt https://www.pointemagazine.com/skylar-brandt-pointe-shoes-2639897584.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:80fd69fb-8802-196b-9c24-9606a88728a0 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 18:53:52 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20579535/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p>Master pointe shoe fitter <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/community/josephinelee" target="_self">Josephine Lee</a> of the California-based <a href="https://thepointeshop.com/" target="_blank">ThePointeShop</a> chats with American Ballet Theatre soloist <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/skylar-brandt" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Skylar Brandt</a> to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. We think Brandt might win an award for how long she makes her shoes last; watch the below video for the staggering number of days (or weeks!), and to hear about all of her unique customizations and pro tips. </p><h3></h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="TTQ6IR1566241000" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UcGuvvNuhZk?rel=0" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span> Muse https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/ operaramblings urn:uuid:d27bbc1d-8856-e2ab-e1a1-024c7288ebd3 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 17:03:45 +0000 Yesterday I saw the culmination of the project that I had seen in rehearsal earlier in the week.  The Ukrainian Art Song Project Summer Intensive presented 21 songs in a linked narrative about losing and regaining inspiration.  It was staged &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Yesterday I saw the culmination of the project that I had <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/15/ukrainian-art-song-project/">seen in rehearsal</a> earlier in the week.  The Ukrainian Art Song Project Summer Intensive presented 21 songs in a linked narrative about losing and regaining inspiration.  It was staged in the round in the Temerty Theatre with the piano in the middle of the room and the action taking place all over.  Pavlo Hunka directed.  Albert Krywolt and Robert Kortgaard shared piano duties and there were eight young singers from Canada, the US and Ukraine.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26415" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/dreamless/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/dreamless.jpg" data-orig-size="580,326" 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;1566201904&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;andrew waller 2019&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="dreamless" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/dreamless.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/dreamless.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26415 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/dreamless.jpg?w=584" alt="dreamless" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/dreamless.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/dreamless.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/dreamless.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-26408"></span>Sixteen of the songs were by Myroslav Volynsky setting texts by Oleksandr Oles.  They completely confirmed my original impression that this is a very fine composer whose lack of any kind of reputation is a bit bizarre.  He can write beautifully melodic lyrical material like <em>A Gentle Song</em>; a haunting piece sung with great lyricism by soprano Katherine Mayba.  Equally, he can produce something much tougher; shifting into a much more strident and chromatic mode as in <em>Play on, Clown!</em>.  It&#8217;s an angry, ironic piece; sung yesterday most dramatically by baritone Yurii Hryhorash.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26414" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/bottle/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/bottle.jpg" data-orig-size="580,387" 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;andrew waller&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="bottle" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/bottle.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/bottle.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26414 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/bottle.jpg?w=584" alt="bottle" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/bottle.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/bottle.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/bottle.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Three composers provided the remaining five songs.  I particularly enjoyed a duet by Marko Kropyvnytsky setting Stepan Pysarevsky&#8217;s <em>In Search of Destiny</em>.  Here, the resonant smokey mezzo of Olenka Slywynska blended beautifully with the rather muscular tenor of Andrew Skitko.  Another duet; Mykola Lysenko&#8217;s setting of Taras Shevchenko&#8217;s <em>The Wide Valley</em> was equally lyrical and just as well sung by Mayba and fellow soprano Teryn Kuzma.  The final composer featured was Yakiv Stepovyi whose setting of Shevchenko&#8217;s <em>The Cove</em> formed the finale; arranged for the whole ensemble.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26418" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/prophet/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/prophet.jpg" data-orig-size="580,326" 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;1566201953&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;andrew waller 2019&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="prophet" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/prophet.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/prophet.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26418 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/prophet.jpg?w=584" alt="prophet" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/prophet.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/prophet.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/prophet.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>The staging was pretty effective and well executed.  It&#8217;s not easy to act and sing in and around an audience and the ability to link the pieces seamlessly (even with pianist swaps) was pretty impressive.  It was quite physical at times too; notably when Mayba, as a sort of angry prophet figure, rather vigorously disposed of Hryhorash.  The only downside I think is that, of course, in the round one can&#8217;t have surtitles and it&#8217;s hard to follow written text and translation and the stage action.  Especially when the action is taking place over one&#8217;s left shoulder!</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26417" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/lyre/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/lyre.jpg" data-orig-size="580,326" 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;1566202144&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;andrew waller 2019&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="lyre" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/lyre.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/lyre.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26417 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/lyre.jpg?w=584" alt="lyre" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/lyre.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/lyre.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/lyre.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>One can&#8217;t describe 21 songs in detail and the singers I&#8217;ve name checked are because I think what they sang epitomised some important aspect of the show.  The others were equally fine and I&#8217;d happily go see any of them again.  For the record they were sopranos Julie Anna Gulenko and Kateryna Khartova and mezzo Alex Beley.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26416" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/grab/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/grab.jpg" data-orig-size="580,326" 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;1566202166&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;andrew waller 2019&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="grab" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/grab.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/grab.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26416 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/grab.jpg?w=584" alt="grab" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/grab.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/grab.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/grab.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>It looks like this is settling in to be an annual event which is great and I&#8217;ll look forward to the next one.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26413" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/08/19/muse/group/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/group.jpg" data-orig-size="580,387" 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;andrew waller&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="group" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/group.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/group.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26413 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/group.jpg?w=584" alt="group" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/group.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/group.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/group.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Photo credits: A Waller Photography.  All are from the show except the group picture which is posed but rather cute.</p> Dancers’ Career Development’s EVOLVE Birmingham Workshop – 13 October 2019 http://www.balletnews.co.uk/dancers-career-developments-evolve-birmingham-workshop-13-october-2019/ Ballet News | Straight from the stage - bringing you ballet insights urn:uuid:4767f80e-16ca-bc6c-7b25-700bd199bca3 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:34:23 +0000 Dancers’ Career Development’s (DCD)EVOLVE&#160;workshop is coming to&#160;Dance Hub Birmingham&#160;on 13 October Places are limited, so book today by clicking here&#160;thedcd.org.uk/evolve! &#160;...<br/> <br/> [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/co/RudC/~4/rijrt1U0x18" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> This Dancer Almost Lost Her Leg to Cancer. Now She's Heading Back to The Washington Ballet https://www.pointemagazine.com/dancer-cancer-2639899108.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:b0b2e7d4-e7e2-93ca-a22f-7cc7354744b6 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:00:01 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20578585/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p>Chiara Valle is just one of many dancers heading back to the studio this fall as companies ramp up for the season. But her journey back has been far more difficult than most. </p><p>Valle has been a trainee at The Washington Ballet since 2016, starting at the same time as artistic director Julie Kent. But only a few months into her first season there, she started experiencing excruciating pain high up in her femur. "It felt like someone was stabbing me 24/7," she says. Sometimes at night, the pain got so bad that her roommates would bring her dinner to the bathtub. </p><hr/><h3>None</h3><br/><img alt="Valle stands on pointe with one leg in passe, arms reaching up and over her head with the backs of her wrists facing each other. She wears a white leotard and pink tutu, and stands in front of floor-to-ceiling windows." class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ZHTC2A1566252326" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="24602" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20578609/980x.png"/><h3>None</h3><br/><p>Even so, the studio remained a safe space. "As long as I was moving, I didn't notice the pain," she says. Valle assumed she'd gotten a dance-related injury, like a labral tear. To her surprise, scans showed she had a tumor. A noninvasive surgery relieved the pain for a couple months, but it returned. So the doctors performed the procedure again. And again, the pain returned.</p><p>After a year of struggling, Valle went for a second opinion at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City, and in February 2018 finally got the correct diagnosis: Ewing sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. </p><p>The typical treatment? Amputation of the leg. But knowing that Valle was a ballet dancer, the doctors decided to go a different route, blasting the tumor with 14 rounds of chemotherapy—including one chemo that's so intense it's nicknamed "The Red Devil"—and 31 treatments of radiation. </p><h3>None</h3><br/><p>As supportive as her colleagues were, Valle struggled. "A week after I was diagnosed I was set to be in <em>Romeo and Juliet</em> with The Washington Ballet. Before I knew how serious it was, I said to my doctor, 'Are you sure I can't go back to DC for a week and finish that?' "</p><p>She had to stop looking at social media, where she'd see her friends performing and continuing on with their lives while she was throwing up from the chemo. </p><p>But she realized she could use ballet as a motivator. Kent checked in regularly and sent along videos of Valle<strong> </strong>dancing—telling her that whenever she was ready to come back, her spot was there for her. </p><p>"She deserves to pick up where she left off, and pursue the life she wants for herself," says Kent. "We're all here to support her."</p><p>Kent says Valle's handled her cancer journey with aplomb. "When she came back from the first surgery, she was dancing so beautifully and had come such a long way since her first season. Then she got the more serious diagnosis," Kent says. "But she persevered—she's been grace under pressure."</p><h3>None</h3><br/><img alt='Chiara Valle, on her last day of chemo, shows a poster of inspirational text that ends with, "I beat cancer."' class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="MHL54H1566252326" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="2aedb" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/20578589/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><p>On November 16, 2018, Valle was cleared as NED—no evidence of disease. Although it takes five years to be declared "cured" since there is a high rate of reoccurrence, Valle has finally, slowly been able to make her way back to the studio. </p><p>She took her first ballet barre in March. "I did the most emotional pliés of my life," she says, now laughing at how she cried through the entire combination. </p><p>Though she's still working on regaining her endurance and rebuilding her calf strength for pointe work, as she heads back to the TWB studios, she knows she's grown as a dancer. "I've learned not to worry about the little things, and I've learned patience," says Valle, now 21. "I hope to carry my story with me to the stage. And hopefully one day a little kid who's battling cancer can look up to me and know they can do it, too."</p><p>To that end, she's launched <a href="https://www.wingsforewingsarcoma.org/" target="_blank">Wings for Ewing Sarcoma</a>, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds both for research and retreats for pediatric cancer patients. </p><h3></h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0T3R4P1566252326" id="b05fd"><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"> </div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzMXuC7grr_/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">Chiara Valle on Instagram: “My feet are starting to remember what pointe shoes are Trial by Korngold https://parterre.com/2019/08/19/trial-by-korngold/ parterre box urn:uuid:be18cc55-ff94-43f8-d16d-bf6e50c8c1b6 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:24:45 +0000 What is the best metaphor for this year’s Bard Music Festival? <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63532" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/korngold-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/korngold.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/korngold-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />What is the best metaphor for this year’s Bard Music Festival, prepared under the caring, curatorial, and sometimes didactic gaze of co-Artistic Directors <strong>Leon Botstein</strong> (the College’s President of more than 40 years, as well as music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra) and <strong>Christopher H. Gibbs</strong> (the James Ottoway Professor of Music)? <span id="more-63531"></span></p> <p>Is it a table laden with caloric delights, which are probably best sampled in moderation? Is it being immersed in a pile of <em>New Yorker </em>magazines, where you know you’d be a better person if you read every word, but you just can’t focus that long? For myself, at both concerts I’ve attended so far, I’ve felt a bit like Tamino being tested for moral character and not quite making the grade.</p> <p>But first, you should probably know exactly what it <strong>is</strong>. This year’s Bard SummerScape theme is “Korngold and His World,” where concerts, recitals, and two opera presentations celebrate the great composer born in Brno. The ongoing suggestion here is that Korngold could well have been the logical successor to <strong>Richard Strauss</strong>, had he not emigrated to the U. S. shortly before World War II, where he achieved his greatest fame as a composer of film music.</p> <p>Korngold’s movie scores—<em>The Seahawk, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, </em>and <em>The Adventures of Robin Hood </em>in particular—brought the composer lasting fame; the afterlife of his operas and concert-hall works is spottier.</p> <p>Botstein and company aim to redress this imbalance over two weekends that present concerts of Korngold in dialogue with his more populist colleagues (<strong>Leo Fall</strong>, <strong>Robert Benatzky</strong>… also <strong>Cole Porter</strong>, K<strong>ay Swift</strong> and more), as well as a full-scale orchestral concert where Korngold is heard alongside two late 20th Centuries heavy-hitters: <strong>Paul Hindemith</strong>, and of course R. Strauss himself.</p> <p>Attending the latter, rather pompously titled “Art After the Catastrophe” (all three works were composed within a few years after the end of WWII), I couldn’t help but feel the irony. In an evening devoted to resurrecting Korngold’s place at the table of history, his rarely heard Symphony in F-sharp proved the weakest offering.</p> <p>It is to be sure a highly skillful peace, full of Korngold’s signature and often beguiling orchestral colors and textures. Unsurprisingly, a rather gloomy, militaristic tone pervades much of it, though interwoven throughout are more lyrical passages. Strangely,for a composer whose film scores are so immediately engaging, very few melodies here remain in memory.</p> <p>Korngold’s symphony very notably aims for grandeur, with its four movements and Mahlerian length (and, some might also say, lugubriousness). But while sections of it are striking, the work as a whole is meandering and tedious. To be fair, Botstein and the orchestra certainly made the best case for it, with exceptionally pointed playing.</p> <p>Still, I found myself longing to hear some corrective Hindemith (not a sentence I ever thought I’d write). Sure enough, his Symphonia Serena, which is at least as obscure as Korngold’s symphony, proved a far more compelling work.</p> <p>I often hear Hindemith as a very academic kind of composer—someone to admire, but not easy to love. But Symphonia Serena surprises with some deft, lively, and actually quite witty touches.</p> <p>Like the Korngold, it’s a work in four movements (virtually an archaic form by the mid-20th Century), but Hindemith manages to find sufficient variety and even charm to keep the piece moving. The tone and virtuosic orchestral playing (some fun touches with piccolos and a wood block) are more obviously in a Modernist mode than Korngold, and frankly—for me, at least—light years more interesting.</p> <p>And then, finally, came absolute mastery with Strauss’s <em>Vier Letzte Lieder</em>. Once upon a time, this work too was a rarity, but over the last few decades, it has found its rightful place as a concert hall favorite.</p> <p>As well it should have. In just under 20 minutes (just over half the length of the Hindemith, which was itself half the length of the Korngold), these four songs evoke a heartrending life journey from the freshness of Spring to acceptance of life’s eventual, inevitable twilight with breathtaking orchestral beauty—and the graceful if demanding vocal line delivers the texts (by Hesse and Eichendorff) gloriously.</p> <p>Closing this concert, <em>Vier Letzte Lieder </em>unsurprisingly asserted itself as the genuine masterpiece of the evening, but the performance itself was a mixed bag. Botstein and the orchestra certainly mined Strauss’s rich orchestration, but tempos were often frustratingly slow (the least springlike “Fruehling” I’ve ever heard), and the internal rhythms insufficiently marked.</p> <p>Soprano <strong>Marjorie Owens</strong> has a gorgeous, blue-chip soprano of rare density and sheen, and the voice indeed blooms at the top, as one wants in Strauss. But her tonal production is dark and throaty, and though the voice is large, she was often swamped in the mid-range. Her German was iffy, and few textual points really carried.</p> <p>One appreciated her ability to navigate the long lines, and her general sense of mood (lots of lovely soft singing), but too much vibrato tended to obliterate some pitches, and to smudge the fiorature. I wished for her a more sympathetic conductor than Botstein, and perhaps an acoustically brighter hall than the Sosnoff Theater—Owens is clearly a talent to watch.</p> <p>Still in all, the <em>Vier Letzte Lieder</em>were the crown jewel of this concert. If they failed to quite achieve their transfigurative potential, that was in part due to some limitations in the performance.</p> <p>The bigger issue, I think, is a case of sensory overload. The concert lasted more than two-and-a-half hours, and the musical standard was certainly mixed. Had the evening stuck to two of three pieces—Hindemith and Strauss—it would have been quite a bit more compelling.  And of course, I recognize the problem of omitting Korngold in a program designed to celebrate him.</p> <p>But there is a lesson here. Botstein and company, who tend to wear their erudition on their sleeves, could learn one valuable lesson themselves: less is often.</p> Salzburg Festival (4) – Ottensamer/Camerata Salzburg/Viotti - Bartók, Weber, Koncz, and Kodály, 17 August 2019 http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2019/08/salzburg-festival-4-ottensamercamerata.html Boulezian urn:uuid:d7bb8da6-6ab1-1812-095c-05dfd8db066d Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:18:08 +0000 <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Grosser Saal, Mozarteum<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Bartók: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">, Sz 106<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Weber: </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Clarinet Concerto no.1 in F minor, op.73<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Stephan Koncz: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Hungarian Fantasy on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">, for clarinet and orchestra<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Kod</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif; line-height: 107%;">á</span></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">ly: </span></b><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Dances of Galánta<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Camerata Salzburg</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Lorenzo Viotti (conductor)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">A deeply frustrating concert, this: a fine orchestra and fine soloist, let down by odd programming and, more seriously, a conductor who only intermittently impressed. Mine, it is fair to see, was very much a minority view, the audience rising to give Lorenzo Viotti a standing ovation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Bartók’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta </i>opened with great promise, its first movement involving and intriguing. Musically, it was the highpoint of the concert, though the Weber First Clarinet Concerto, a considerably lesser work, could hardly be faulted in performance terms. Veiled yet clear from the outset, the Camerata Salzburg strings grew in muted – and then non-muted – intensity. Viotti guided them with skill and evident commitment, Bartók’s structure readily becoming form. There was a welcome physicality to the second movement, not only concerning rhythmic impact but of bows on strings: once again, the orchestra was on superlative fault. Corners, however, were more of a difficulty, Viotti communicating little of how the movement’s sections were connected, a problem that only increased throughout this admittedly difficult work. Eerie ‘night music’ passages registered vividly in the third movement, which, to be fair, also generated a good deal of harmonic and dramatic suspense, so long as one listened only a section at a time. There was a welcome sense of the dance to the finale, or at least to its opening. Overall line, however, eluded me.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Joined by Andreas Ottensamer for the Weber concerto, the orchestra and Viotti gave what was overall their most satisfying performance. Some might have found Viotti’s moulding of the first movement’s Romantic drama a little much, but it was a perfectly justifiable aesthetic stance to take, evoking responses from Ottensamer both surpassingly virtuosic and intensely dramatic. Phrasing and articulation here and in the remaining two movements were splendidly judged, the slow movement characterised by deeply-felt lyricism, tone variegated without affection, the finale winningly propelled with an Italianate verve that may not have been especially profound, but which was very much in keeping with music that neither asks for nor requires profundity. For Weber music that does, we turns generally to the final three operas, a flash from which – <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Der Freischütz</i> – opened Stephan Koncz’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Hungarian Fantasy on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber</i>. As a vehicle for Ottensamer’s virtuosity, it did its trick. Musically, it seemed to me quite without interest, mostly written in a language that would hardly have been avant-garde two hundred years earlier. Not everything need be Helmut Lachenmann, but it is difficult to imagine Weber writing straightforwardly in the style of Monteverdi, minus the content. It went on for too long simply to be a throwaway encore.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">As for Kodály’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Dances of Galánta</i>, they have their fans; I remain uncertain quite why. At any rate, they seem dangerous to programme alongside a Bartók masterpiece. Camerata Salzburg’s playing was again beyond reproach, impeccable in balance and blend, heft and subtlety. Viotti responded well to the needs of characterisation. I am not sure his habit of pulling them around did them any favours either, nor his placing emphasis so strongly on the ‘Romantic’ side. They are what they are, though, and the audience clearly enjoyed them, as it did the encore: a swashbuckling account of Brahms’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Hungarian Dance</i> no.1 in G minor.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/jHbBHd3NvMI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Eventide https://parterre.com/2019/08/19/eventide/ parterre box urn:uuid:207f5979-69c1-cf3c-7c55-bceae762a512 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:12:45 +0000 <strong>David Alden</strong>’s acclaimed production of Leos Janácek’s <em>Jenufa </em>was mounted for its final performance of the season during the evening that I experienced my first opera at Santa Fe. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63528" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/jenufa-santa-fe-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/jenufa-santa-fe.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/jenufa-santa-fe-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />My thoughts turned to <strong>Willa Cather</strong>’s <em>Death Comes for the Archbishop </em>as the setting sun bathed New Mexico’s Sangre di Cristo Mountains in a reddish ochre. These breathtaking vistas—a play between scattered evening light and a landscape conjured from Cather’s lyrical pen—carried a musicality and poetry that provided an inviting prologue for the dramas that grace Santa Fe Opera’s open auditorium. <span id="more-63527"></span></p> <p>To any operagoer largely inured to the walled spaces of traditional theaters, Santa Fe’s unique desert aesthetic and thoughtful programming create a necessary venue for those seeking excellent musicianship, innovative American theater, and novel operatic compositions during the summer festival season.</p> <p><strong>David Alden</strong>’s acclaimed production of Leos Janácek’s <em>Jenufa </em>was mounted for its final performance of the season during the evening that I experienced my first opera at Santa Fe. Alden’s vision of Janácek’’s score relocates the plot from the Burja family’s mill to an industrial Eastern bloc factory, while Jenufa and her stepmother live in a run-down tenement.</p> <p><strong>Charles Edwards</strong>’ original sets for this run were restructured for Santa Fe’s peculiar stage layout, even opening to the stunning final glimmers of the sun fading from the horizon midway through the first act prelude.</p> <p>While the austere backdrop of this temporal restructuring proves effective at highlighting the main characters’ most powerful interactions, it also comes at the cost of displacing some contextual politics that are better represented by the rules that govern rustic Moravia. The brutalist Soviet locale for instance makes one question how Steva acquired his property and wealth amid a regime that erased the concept of private property.</p> <p>But if such weird anachronisms and artistic liberties existed, Alden’s remarkable Personenregie allowed his talented cast to accentuate the many heartrending political and religious scenes that comprise this powerful drama. Jenufa is a score brimming with tension, intensity, and dark beauty.</p> <p>The clever representations of pastoral life and incorporations of folk tunes and rhythms into the orchestral tapestry—an innovation for which Janácek’ was regarded as one of the greatest proponents—run secondary to the finely delineated lines the composer crafted for his leads, represented in this production by a most talented quartet of singers.</p> <p><strong>Laura Wilde</strong>, a young American soprano in possession of an exceptionally lustrous voice, created a sympathetic and believable reading of the eponymous character. If her portrayal lacked the full dimension that one savors from Jenufas like <strong>Gabriela Benacková</strong> or <strong>Karita Mattila</strong>, I was astounded by the beauty and liquid qualities of Ms. Wilde’s phrasing and the power and security of her top notes.</p> <p>I sometimes missed a tinge of vulnerability, a complexity of color in a voice that is largely solid and richly produced, an emotional immediacy to her critical scenes in acts 2 and 3. Nevertheless, these performances marked a high point in the young soprano’s career, and her numbing grief in act 2 surely stands as a highlight. One hopes that this talented jugendlich soprano’s artistry could blossom further as she broadens her repertory in the future.</p> <p><strong>Patricia Racette</strong>, who once played Jenufa when this production made earlier rounds about the United States, commanded the stage in the important part of the Kostelnicka. Dramatically, Racette’s acting captured many facets of the character’s conflicts and contradictions. Her great scene in Act 2 was searingly intense, and her comportment in act 3 burned slowly from a barely contained unease towards her cathartic, climactic confession.</p> <p>I found that her slender voice at times lacked the body and texture to fully fill out those powerful dramatic lines. Despite these shortcomings, the soprano commanded the text with the greatest conviction in the cast.</p> <p>The men in this production are exceptional. The Santa Fe opera cast the roles of Laca and Steva extremely well, handpicking talented young singers with distinctive voices and a stage presence that proved an ideal foil for their roles.</p> <p>As Laca, the young Australian tenor <strong>Alexander Lewis </strong>performed with a strong, lyrical voice and an acrobatic physicality that fully captured the character’s frenetic shifts of mood and tone. His nervousness and insecurity are clearly conveyed in his singing during the first act, and there was a great sincerity and beauty to his mellowing into the loving and faithful man by the opera’s end.</p> <p><strong>Richard Smagur</strong>’s Steva is a vocal marvel, a luxuriously cast potential young heldentenor in a short part that is largely thankless and boorish. Physically, the statuesque Smagur brought plenty of appropriate drunken swagger while carousing with his friends early in the opera, and conveyed his more dramatic skills during his important confrontation with the Kostelnicka in act 2.</p> <p>His voice carries much power, depth and luster in the upper middle, a promising sign that this young tenor could someday graduate into the more heroic parts of Wagner and Strauss.</p> <p><strong>Susanne Mentzer </strong>was characterful in the small role of the elderly grandmother, but her voice at times faltered when competing against the acoustic space. Other distinguished singers portraying minor parts include <strong>Will Liverman </strong>as the foreman and <strong>Katherine Beck </strong>as Karolka.</p> <p><strong>Johannes Debus</strong>, currently the music director of the Canadian Opera Company, drew a well-paced, dramatic reading that only faltered in coloring and accentuating the folksy rhythms and instrumental colors in Janacek’s score. I sometimes wondered if Santa Fe’s open acoustic at times muted the blending of the orchestral colors in that space, as the open-air staging in act 1 found several of the leads straining to be heard beyond the stage, and the orchestral parts muted and undistinctive.</p> <p>When Edwards’ stage set the second act in the Kostelnicka’s house (where the tenement walls provided an acoustic shell for the singers), both the cast and orchestra were significantly more audible.</p> <p>I still miss a touch of that indescribable rustic character in the orchestral playing—a coarser twang from the strings, the harsher din of the tuttis during the more discordant passages, a more piquant woodwind color than the smooth, symphonic quality heard from the Santa Fe pit. But this was largely a very accomplished and theatrically paced reading accompanied by an equally accomplished cast.</p> <p>Kudos to the Santa Fe Opera for mounting this beautifully conceived production of what is the first presentation of Janacek’s opera to this festival’s audiences. With musical and theatrical performances of this caliber, I cannot wait to return to the deserts of New Mexico for next summer’s new production of <em>Tristan und Isolde</em>.</p> <p>Photo: Ken Howard</p> Classy and fabulous https://parterre.com/2019/08/19/classy-and-fabulous/ parterre box urn:uuid:7b9e4c13-a28a-101f-1957-ccc295e6ae22 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:56:28 +0000 Born on this day in 1883 designer <strong>Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel</strong>. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63524" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/chanel-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/chanel.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/chanel-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Born on this day in 1883 designer <strong>Gabrielle &#8220;Coco&#8221; Chanel</strong>. <span id="more-63523"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKZ6lu37jik&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKZ6lu37jik</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of composer Georges Enesco (1881). conductor Robert Heger (1886) and mezzo-soprano Judith Hellwig (1906).</p> <p>Happy 72nd birthday conductor Gerard Schwarz.</p> Sage Advice for Opera Characters http://www.wqxr.org/story/sage-advice-opera-characters/ The latest articles from Operavore urn:uuid:c9352731-f813-c58c-7635-e110fc2104bf Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:00:00 +0000 <p>BOSTON — I am visiting a family member at an independent living community of people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, and 100s, most of whom have had fascinating lives full of accomplishment and experiences that make them wise. This place is attached to Lasell College (founded 1851) and is full of retired professors from Brandeis, Brown, Harvard, Wellesley, and other area schools. There are also retired writers, medical professionals, journalists, and religious leaders. Several residents have famous children with great influence on public life. </p> <p>To be eligible, residents must take three courses per term from the current catalogue of some 25 options. About a third of the classes are taught by the residents themselves. Some of the upcoming topics include genetics, literature, ethics, Galileo, and the special talents required to be a successful orchestra conductor.</p> <p>Last year I did a talk here about <a href="https://www.wqxr.org/story/lennys-legacy-appreciation-bernstein-his-98th-birthday/">Leonard Bernstein</a>, who was born in nearby Lawrence, and I was delighted to meet people who grew up with Bernstein and were his classmates! This year I offered a talk about Giuseppe Verdi, the man.</p> <p>En route to the lecture hall, I discovered a bulletin board in which the residents share their wisdom and experience by posting 3x5 cards containing the best advice they have ever received that they wanted to pass on. In reading them, I was struck by how much of this wisdom would enlighten certain opera characters, or might be advice these characters would give to others.</p> <p>Here is some of the counsel from the elders that I found on that bulletin board, followed by my suggestions for which opera character should receive or give this wisdom.</p> <p>Let’s start with my own recommendation:<br>“Plant seeds in all kinds of places. Cultivate them as you are able to and don’t expect that all of them will blossom. But those that do will give you sustenance, shade, wisdom and, pleasure.” I would give this advice to Candide. <iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tgXMxhMhYm4" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“If your name does not appear in the obituaries, eat breakfast.”<br>The Marschallin (<em>Der Rosenkavalier</em>) or perhaps Emilia Marty (T<em>he Makropulos Affair</em>)</p> <p>“Do not take things personally.”<br>Ortrud (Lohengrin)<iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1KNT9ZSPL_U" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“The earlier you fall behind, the longer you have to catch up.”<br>Orfeo and Euridice</p> <p>“Travel is an investment in memories.”<br>Ulysses (<em>Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria</em>)</p> <p>“Not everyone will love you and not everyone will hate you.”<br>Carmen</p> <p>“Keep a quiet mind.”<br>Guillaume Tell<iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VTjTGYB8Bcw" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“Yard by yard is hard … but inch by inch is a cinch!”<br>Figaro measuring a bedroom for his wedding night (<em>Le nozze di Figaro</em>)</p> <p>“If one door closes, look for another to open.”<br>Susanna (<em>Le Nozze di Figaro</em>)</p> <p>“When you are stressed, just focus on getting through the next 15 minutes. You are stronger than you think.”<br>Samson</p> <p>“Fear is not an option!”<br>Don Giovanni</p> <p>“Nothing good happens after midnight.”<br>Cendrillon / Angelina (<em>La Cenerentola</em>)</p> <p>“Pay attention to what people do, not what people say.”<br>Aïda, on how to deal with Amneris<iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pX95SnnshLs" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“Be happy! If you are not, change what you are doing. Life is short. Enjoy.”<br>Violetta (<em>La Traviata</em>)</p> <p>“If you have nothing good to say, be quiet.”<br>Rusalka (for all of Act Two)<iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WIElTGa_wyI" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“Never give up!”<br>Dick Johnson (<em>La Fanciulla del West</em>)</p> <p>“Move near your family!”<br>Gianni Schicchi</p> <p>“Keep calm and wash your hands!”<br>Lady Macbeth<iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TZ0OZMGiFJo" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“Never ever blame others for what befalls you, no matter how horrible it might be. Trust you, and only you, to be responsible for your fate.”<br>Leonora (<em>La forza del destino</em>)</p> <p>“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for!!!”<br>Pia de’ Tolomei (in the opera of that name by Donizetti) <iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WFCfkRIyBFY" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“Don’t dwell on the dark side of things but look for the light and build around it.”<br>Florestan (<em>Fidelio</em>)</p> <p>“Don’t forget to drink water!”<br>Simon Boccanegra</p> <p>“Don’t Trouble Trouble … till Trouble Troubles you!”<br>Madama Butterfly</p> <p>“Be kind. Be brief. Be gone.”<br>Prince Gremin (<em>Eugene Onegin</em>)<iframe frameborder="0" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BbM2M6IOkRg" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>“Pace yourself! It’s not a race. It’s a marathon.”<br>Siegfried</p> <p>“Never stop learning”<br>Brünnhilde (<em>Die Walküre</em>)</p> <p>“Don’t forget that you’re a god / goddess.”<br>Brünnhilde (<em>Siegfried</em>)</p> <p>“You are only helpless when your nail polish is wet.”<br>Brünnhilde (<em>Götterdämmerung</em>)</p> <h3>Here are other words of wisdom from the bulletin board of Lasell College. Decide which opera character would benefit from them most and post their names in the comments section on this page:</h3> <p>“Stressed? Inhale counting to four; exhale, counting to eight. Repeat three times.”</p> <p>“Every uphill has a downhill.”</p> <p>“Do not mistake the immediate for the important.”</p> <p>“Live in the moment. You never know what the next minute will bring.”</p> <p>“Be present. Be patient. Be gentle. Be kind. To yourself and to others.”</p> <p>“It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”</p> <p>“Change your thinking and it will change your life!”</p> <p>“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”</p> <p>“Be good to yourself.”</p> <p>“When in doubt, don’t!”</p> <p>“Always be a little kinder than necessary.”</p> <p>“Enjoy the moment!”</p> <p>“All that is outside of you can be taken away at any moment. Only what is inside of you is safe.”</p> <p>“If you have a good idea and someone steals it, forget about it. If it’s the only good idea you have it won’t help. Otherwise, get to work on your other ideas now.”</p> <p>BOSTON — I am visiting a family member at an independent living community of people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, and 100s, most of whom have had fascinating lives full of accomplishment and experiences that make them wise. This place is attached to Lasell College (founded 1851) and is full of retired professors from Brandeis, Brown, Harvard, Wellesley, and other area schools. There are also retired writers, medical professionals, journalists, and religious leaders. Several residents have famous children with great influence on public life. </p> <p>To be eligible, residents must take three courses per term from the current catalogue of some 25 options. About a third of the classes are taught by the residents themselves. Some of the upcoming topics include genetics, literature, ethics, Galileo, and the special talents required to be a successful orchestra conductor.</p> <p>Last year I did a talk here about <a href="https://www.wqxr.org/story/lennys-legacy-appreciation-bernstein-his-98th-birthday/">Leonard Bernstein</a>, who was born in nearby Lawrence, and I was delighted to meet people who grew up with Bernstein and were his classmates! This year I offered a talk about Giuseppe Verdi, the man.</p> <p>En route to the lecture hall, I discovered a bulletin board in which the residents share their wisdom and experience by posting 3x5 cards containing the best advice they have ever received that they wanted to pass on. In reading them, I was struck by how much of this wisdom would enlighten certain opera characters, or might be advice these characters would give to others.</p> <p>Here is some of the counsel from the elders that I found on that bulletin board, followed by my suggestions for which opera character should receive or give this wisdom.</p> <p>Let’s start with my own recommendation:“Plant seeds in all kinds of places. Cultivate them as you are able to and don’t expect that all of them will blossom. But those that do will give you sustenance, shade, wisdom and, pleasure.” I would give this advice to Candide. </p> <p>“If your name does not appear in the obituaries, eat breakfast.”The Marschallin (<em>Der Rosenkavalier</em>) or perhaps Emilia Marty (T<em>he Makropulos Affair</em>)</p> <p>“Do not take things personally.”Ortrud (Lohengrin)</p> <p>“The earlier you fall behind, the longer you have to catch up.”Orfeo and Euridice</p> <p>“Travel is an investment in memories.”Ulysses (<em>Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria</em>)</p> <p>“Not everyone will love you and not everyone will hate you.”Carmen</p> <p>“Keep a quiet mind.”Guillaume Tell</p> <p>“Yard by yard is hard … but inch by inch is a cinch!”Figaro measuring a bedroom for his wedding night (<em>Le nozze di Figaro</em>)</p> <p>“If one door closes, look for another to open.”Susanna (<em>Le Nozze di Figaro</em>)</p> <p>“When you are stressed, just focus on getting through the next 15 minutes. You are stronger than you think.”Samson</p> <p>“Fear is not an option!”Don Giovanni</p> <p>“Nothing good happens after midnight.”Cendrillon / Angelina (<em>La Cenerentola</em>)</p> <p>“Pay attention to what people do, not what people say.”Aïda, on how to deal with Amneris</p> <p>“Be happy! If you are not, change what you are doing. Life is short. Enjoy.”Violetta (<em>La Traviata</em>)</p> <p>“If you have nothing good to say, be quiet.”Rusalka (for all of Act Two)</p> <p>“Never give up!”Dick Johnson (<em>La Fanciulla del West</em>)</p> <p>“Move near your family!”Gianni Schicchi</p> <p>“Keep calm and wash your hands!”Lady Macbeth</p> <p>“Never ever blame others for what befalls you, no matter how horrible it might be. Trust you, and only you, to be responsible for your fate.”Leonora (<em>La forza del destino</em>)</p> <p>“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for!!!”Pia de’ Tolomei (in the opera of that name by Donizetti) </p> <p>“Don’t dwell on the dark side of things but look for the light and build around it.”Florestan (<em>Fidelio</em>)</p> <p>“Don’t forget to drink water!”Simon Boccanegra</p> <p>“Don’t Trouble Trouble … till Trouble Troubles you!”Madama Butterfly</p> <p>“Be kind. Be brief. Be gone.”Prince Gremin (<em>Eugene Onegin</em>)</p> <p>“Pace yourself! It’s not a race. It’s a marathon.”Siegfried</p> <p>“Never stop learning”Brünnhilde (<em>Die Walküre</em>)</p> <p>“Don’t forget that you’re a god / goddess.”Brünnhilde (<em>Siegfried</em>)</p> <p>“You are only helpless when your nail polish is wet.”Brünnhilde (<em>Götterdämmerung</em>)</p> Here are other words of wisdom from the bulletin board of Lasell College. Decide which opera character would benefit from them most and post their names in the comments section on this page: <p>“Stressed? Inhale counting to four; exhale, counting to eight. Repeat three times.”</p> <p>“Every uphill has a downhill.”</p> <p>“Do not mistake the immediate for the important.”</p> <p>“Live in the moment. You never know what the next minute will bring.”</p> <p>“Be present. Be patient. Be gentle. Be kind. To yourself and to others.”</p> <p>“It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”</p> <p>“Change your thinking and it will change your life!”</p> <p>“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”</p> <p>“Be good to yourself.”</p> <p>“When in doubt, don’t!”</p> <p>“Always be a little kinder than necessary.”</p> <p>“Enjoy the moment!”</p> <p>“All that is outside of you can be taken away at any moment. Only what is inside of you is safe.”</p> <p>“If you have a good idea and someone steals it, forget about it. If it’s the only good idea you have it won’t help. Otherwise, get to work on your other ideas now.”</p> Smear-proof https://parterre.com/2019/08/18/smear-proof/ parterre box urn:uuid:3b6c12e1-e291-6595-df18-d5bd7caeb876 Sun, 18 Aug 2019 20:21:51 +0000 Born on this day in 1904 maquillage mogul <strong>Max Factor Jr</strong>. <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/max-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-63520" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/max.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/max-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Born on this day in 1904 maquillage mogul <strong>Max Factor Jr</strong>. <span id="more-63519"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLwREAX4d2A&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLwREAX4d2A</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1750 composer Antonio Salieri.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4gNu_i15a8&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4gNu_i15a8</a></p>