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/ Divas by the dozen https://parterre.com/2021/09/16/divas-by-the-dozen/ parterre box urn:uuid:e383fafc-bdc3-7b4c-0148-a7d831e87a86 Thu, 16 Sep 2021 14:00:35 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/16/divas-by-the-dozen/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Anticipating Chicago’s prima donna-debut weekend and with apologies to <strong>Dorothy Bishop</strong> (not pictured), Trove Thursday mounts its own “Dozen Divas Show.”</p> <p><a href="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-inside.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78931" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/divas-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a>This podcast appearances by (in alphabetical order) <strong>Cathy Berberian, Olga Borodina, Julia Bullock, Karen Cargill, Victoria de los Angeles, Véronique Gens, Heather Harper, Jessye Norman, Irmgard Seefried, Albina Shagimuratova, Tatiana Troyanos</strong> and <strong>Dawn Upshaw</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Jamie Barton</strong> <a href="https://chicagooperatheater.org/season/carmen">appears tonight</a> for the first time in the title role of <em>Carmen </em>in a concert staging for the Chicago Opera Theater to seduce <strong>Stephanie Blythe</strong> (in the guise of her tenor alter ego Blythely Oratonio) in their premiere Don José.</p> <p>Then tomorrow at Lyric Opera of Chicago, <strong>Sondra Radvanovsky</strong> <a href="https://www.lyricopera.org/shows/upcoming/2021-22/macbeth/">finally gets her chance</a> to wash Lady Macbeth’s bloody hands.</p> <p>This heady one-two <em>Divadienst </em>punch prompted me to dive into my trove of short vocal tracks where I exhumed this tantalizing 12 of all but one 20th vocal works and the exception—Borodina’s Mussorgsky cycle—is performed in Shostakovich’s 1962 orchestration!</p> <p>The original (and smashing) <a href="https://www.dorothybishop.com/">Dozen Divas Show</a> returns to Manhattan’s Triad Theater next Friday at 7:00 PM.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTpmeWTgT0M&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTpmeWTgT0M</a></p> <p>All 12 of these performances are derived from broadcasts.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Berg: </strong><strong><em>Sieben frühe Lieder</em></strong></p> <p>Ravinia Festival<br /> 6 July 1985</p> <p>Tatiana Troyanos</p> <p>Chicago Symphony Orchestra<br /> Conductor: James Levine</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495741/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Britten:<em> Les Illuminations</em></strong></p> <p>Frankfurt<br /> February 1967</p> <p>Heather Harper</p> <p>Sinfonie-Orchester des HR<br /> Conductor: Dean Dixon</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495783/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Dukas: <em>L&#8217;Ondine et la pêcheur</em></strong></p> <p>Newark<br /> February 1991</p> <p>Dawn Upshaw</p> <p>New Jersey Symphony Orchestra<br /> Conductor: Hugh Wolff</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495792/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Duparc: <em>Four Songs</em></strong></p> <p>Philharmonie, Berlin<br /> 11 January 2018</p> <p>Véronique Gens</p> <p>Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra<br /> Conductor: Antonio Pappano</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495804/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Falla: <em>Seven Spanish Popular Songs</em></strong></p> <p>Royal Festival Hall, London<br /> 15 October 1968</p> <p>Victoria de los Angeles</p> <p>Royal Philharmonic Orchestra<br /> Conductor: Rudolf Kempe</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495810/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Glière: <em>Coloratura Concerto</em></strong></p> <p>Opéra Berlioz du Corum, Montpellier<br /> 25 July 2017</p> <p>Albina Shagimuratova</p> <p>Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France<br /> Conductor: Vladimir Fedoseyev</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495819/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Alma Mahler: <em>Six Songs</em></strong></p> <p>Barbican Hall, London<br /> 24 January 2020</p> <p>Karen Cargill</p> <p>BBC Symphony Orchestra<br /> Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495828/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death (orch. Shostakovich)</strong></p> <p>Paris<br /> 5 March 2015</p> <p>Olga Borodina</p> <p>Orchestre National de France<br /> Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495846/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Ravel: <em>Trois Poémes de Stéphane Mallarmé</em> </strong></p> <p>Davies Symphony Hall<br /> 20 February 2020</p> <p>Julia Bullock</p> <p>San Francisco Symphony<br /> Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495864/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Satie: <em>Four Songs</em></strong></p> <p>Frankfurt<br /> February 1973</p> <p>Jessye Norman</p> <p>Sinfonie-Orchester des HR<br /> Conductor: Dean Dixon</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495885/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Weill (arr. Berio): <em>Two Songs</em></strong></p> <p>Radio France<br /> 17 April 1972</p> <p>Cathy Berberian</p> <p>Ensemble Ars Nova<br /> Conductor: Marius Constant</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495906/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Wolf: <em>Kennst du das Land?</em></strong></p> <p>Carnegie Hall<br /> January 1962</p> <p>Irmgard Seefried</p> <p>New York Philharmonic<br /> Conductor: Georg Solti</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20495933/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></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>In addition, more than 400 other podcast tracks are always <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trove-thursday/id1039652739">available from Apple Podcasts for free </a>or via any <a href="http://parterre.com/podcast/trovethursday.rss">RSS</a> reader.</p> <p>The archive that lists <a href="https://parterre.com/the-trove-thursday-archive/">all Trove Thursday offerings in alphabetical order by composer</a> has just been completely updated.</p> Il crepuscolo della dea https://parterre.com/2021/09/16/il-crepuscolo-della-dea/ parterre box urn:uuid:2c03385b-73af-155d-c992-89491e001c45 Thu, 16 Sep 2021 10:00:41 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/16/il-crepuscolo-della-dea/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/maria-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/maria-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/maria-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/maria-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/maria-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/maria-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Left this world on this day 44 years ago in Paris.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM5oMeh0Cvk&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM5oMeh0Cvk</a></p> <p>On this day 55 years ago the new Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGVYXX12-iQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGVYXX12-iQ</a></p> <p>Happy 72nd birthdays directors <strong>Christopher</strong> and <strong>David Alden</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0hjHzplAGQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0hjHzplAGQ</a></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBvVV1scAO8&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBvVV1scAO8</a></p> <p>Born on September 15, 1945 soprano <strong>Jessye Norman</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9680zhMmIqM&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9680zhMmIqM</a></p> Yom Kippur without Fascists https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/15/yom-kippur-without-fascists/ operaramblings urn:uuid:500d000a-9cb4-cfe7-eeb3-d568d71f3030 Wed, 15 Sep 2021 23:30:00 +0000 I&#8217;ve been following the Yiddish Glory project for a while now and this year there&#8217;s something special for Yom Kippur.  Yom Kippur without Fascists surfaced in Almaty, Kazakhstan where it was written in 1945.  It fantasizes Adolf Hitler as the &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/15/yom-kippur-without-fascists/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>I&#8217;ve been following the <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2018/08/29/lenins-torah/"><em>Yiddish Glory</em> project</a> for a while now and this year there&#8217;s something special for Yom Kippur.  <em>Yom Kippur without Fascists</em> surfaced in Almaty, Kazakhstan where it was written in 1945.  It fantasizes Adolf Hitler as the<em> kapporot</em>; a sacrificial chicken.  It has the same dark humour as most of these Yiddish songs of resistance.  There&#8217;s a great performance of it on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&amp;v=X-EfWb0lHjc">Youtube </a>or you can follow <a href="https://www.sixdegreesrecords.com/yiddish-glory-yom-kippur-without-fascists/">this link</a> to Six Degrees Records where you can buy an audio recording or read the full lyrics.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="30349" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/15/yom-kippur-without-fascists/kaporechhicken/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kaporechhicken.png" data-orig-size="580,292" 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="kaporechhicken" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kaporechhicken.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kaporechhicken.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30349 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kaporechhicken.png" alt="kaporechhicken" width="580" height="292" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kaporechhicken.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kaporechhicken.png?w=150&amp;h=76 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kaporechhicken.png?w=300&amp;h=151 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p></p> Standing in the shadow of love https://parterre.com/2021/09/15/standing-in-the-shadow-of-love/ parterre box urn:uuid:6bd3bae4-2753-dbd8-29fc-595ec023615f Wed, 15 Sep 2021 12:15:34 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/15/standing-in-the-shadow-of-love/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/schatten-met-gala-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/schatten-met-gala-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/schatten-met-gala-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/schatten-met-gala-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/schatten-met-gala-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/schatten-met-gala-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Pop culture diva <strong>Kim Kardashian</strong> seized the opportunity of Sunday night&#8217;s Met gala to perform a scene from a lesser-known Richard Strauss opera, <em>Der Schatten ohne Frau</em>.</p> <p><a href="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside.jpg"><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside-720x405.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-78910" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside-720x405.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside-768x432.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside-1536x864.jpg 1536w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside-210x118.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kim-gala-inside.jpg 2048w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p> <p>She did not, however, upstage <strong>Lil Nas X</strong>&#8216;s double reveal.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyUw4Y63G68&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyUw4Y63G68</a></p> Opera Villains https://medicine-opera.com/2021/09/opera-villains/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:7670aebb-a7e0-37a0-6eb2-0e1de036259e Wed, 15 Sep 2021 02:09:30 +0000 Here are 11 opera villains &#8211; nine from Italian operas (Mozart&#8217;s an honorary Italian), the remaining two from Russian works. In making these choices I&#8217;ve excluded supernatural characters like the various depictions of the devil. I&#8217;ve also disregarded all German operas as it&#8217;s too hard to tell the villains from the heroes. The most prominent... <p>Here are 11 opera villains &#8211; nine from Italian operas (Mozart&#8217;s an honorary Italian), the remaining two from Russian works. In making these choices I&#8217;ve excluded supernatural characters like the various depictions of the devil. I&#8217;ve also disregarded all German operas as it&#8217;s too hard to tell the villains from the heroes. The most prominent bad guys in French opera are demonic in one way or another &#8211; eg, <em>Faust</em> and <em>Tales of Hoffmann. </em>I&#8217;ve also ignored comic villains.</p> <p>I&#8217;ll start with Verdi. <em>Macbeth</em> yields a twofer. Both Mr and Mrs Macbeth are villains of first rank. He&#8217;s a murderer and she&#8217;s more than an accomplice. He at least meets his well deserved end with a modicum of dignity. She goes mad on stage and dies away from the audience leading to Macbeth&#8217;s famous declaration: &#8220;It [life] is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.&#8221;In Piave&#8217;s Italian it is: &#8220;La vita&#8230; che importa?&#8230; E&#8217; il racconto d&#8217;un povero idiota; Vento e suono che nulla dinota!&#8221;</p> <p></p> <p>Verdi&#8217;s depiction of the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ycg0gqi06l0cu4y/Verdi_%20Macbeth%20-%20Una%20Macchina.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Sleepwalking Scene</a> is up to the original&#8217;s standard. Leontyne Price is the soprano on this recording. Though renowned for her Verdi roles, she never sang this role in performance.</p> <p>Macbeth meets his end after singing like an angel before being dispatched by Macduff. In <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/irwqk98yvkevni2/Macbeth%20Warren.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Pieta, rispetto, amore</a> he laments that his life will end without mercy, respect, or love. Why he even imagines he might deserve such adornments of age is impossible to say. The baritone is Leonard Warren who was the Met&#8217;s first Macbeth. This recording was made from the broadcast of the opera&#8217;s first run by the company. Warren is in stupendous voice.</p> <p>The Duke in Rigoletto is a favorite of leading tenors. He has three arias, a fine duet, and the lead into the great quartet in the last act. But underneath all the attractive music Verdi has assigned him is a monster. He&#8217;s a rapist and a murderer. He abuses his power to the fullest. He has no redeeming characteristics. The only time he shows any warm human emotions is when he laments the loss of the latest girl he&#8217;s after &#8211; Rigoletto&#8217;s teenage daughter Gilda. She&#8217;s been abducted by his courtiers. When they tell him she&#8217;s in the next room. He rushes off and rapes her. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/1mrif1x1so25n7r/Rigoletto-Parmi%20veder%20la%20lgfrime%20Di%20Stefano.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Ella mi fu rapita!&#8230;Parmi veder le lagrime</a> is sung before he realizes what&#8217;s happened to her. Giuseppe Di Stefano is the tenor in this 1950 &#8220;live&#8221; recording at the San Francisco Opera..</p> <p>Iago in Verdi&#8217;s <em>Otello</em> is as close to the devil as a human can get. He says as much in his <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/fgiyaylbna9gsso/Credo%20in%20un%20Dio%20crudel.m4a?dl=0" target="_blank">Credo in un Dio crudel</a> (I believe in a cruel God) shortly after the start of Act 2. He even calls himself a demon. He lacks credible cause for his plot to destroy Otello. But that&#8217;s the point. He&#8217;s so bad that he doesn&#8217;t need a reason. The baritone is Ettore Bastianini. There are a few more Verdi villains, such as the marvelously named Wurm in <em>Luisa Miller</em> and Paolo in <em>Simon Boccanegra</em> that I could have included, but they are not leading roles.</p> <p>A study for Iago might be Barnaba in Ponchielli&#8217;s <em>La Gioconda</em>. Arrigo Boito who wrote the libretto for <em>Otello</em> also wrote the book for the Ponchielli potboiler. He was so embarrassed about the wild libretto that he rearranged the letters of his name and took credit for the libretto as Tobia Gorrio. He must have been short of cash when he accepted the commission. Barnaba is a spy who is guilty of a litany of bad behaviors. At the opera&#8217;s end after the heroine has taken poison rather than submit to his sexual demands he screams as she is dying that the previous evening he killed her mother. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/l0qai94g14kybl8/Robert%20Merrill%20Ponchielli%20-%20La%20Gioconda%2C%20%27O%20Monumento%27.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">O monumento</a> occurs at the end of Act 1. It accompanies his written denunciation to the Venetian Inquisition of the tenor and the mezzo &#8211; unusually the tenor is in love with the mezzo rather than the soprano. Robert Merrill is the baritone. Recorded in performance at the Met.</p> <p>Don Giovanni suffers from the curse of satyriasis. Leporello lists the florid details in his Catalogue Aria. But he&#8217;s an accomplice. His master is the true villain. The opera is subtle, complex, and beloved by musicologists &#8211; but there&#8217;s no escaping the title character&#8217;s mistreatment of women. Freud had him in mind when he quipped that any man who can&#8217;t find what he&#8217;s looking for in 1,000 women (according to Leporello the number exceeds 2,000) is looking for a man. Despite the Don&#8217;s prominence in the opera, he has no big aria. The closest he gets to one is the<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/9a0m0j9hm4plzra/Mariusz%20Kwiecie%C5%84%20Don%20Giovanni%20Champagne%20Aria.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank"> Champagne Aria: Fin ch&#8217;han dal vino</a>. It&#8217;s in Act 1 scene 3. It lasts less than 90 seconds. The Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień sings the energetic piece in praise of the CNS effect of wine. The Don ends in hell which makes the rest of the cast very jolly. The operas final scene was cut after the first performance of the opera in Prague. After an absence of a century or so it returned and now always is done. All are glad the Don is where he belongs and announce plans for the rest of their lives. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/w9uu5x47kyee4m2/Don%20Giovanni%20final%20scene.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Don Giovanni final scene</a></p> <p>Mussorgsky&#8217;s <em>Boris Godunov</em> has more versions than a teenager has excuses for ignoring his homework. But at its core it&#8217;s about the illegal seizure of power. Boris at least shows remorse over the murder of the legitimate heir to the Russian throne &#8211; Dmitry. In the<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/139fydjset3dmpc/Modest%20Mussorgsky%20BORIS%20GODUNOV%20Clock%20Scene%20Uf%21%20tyazh%C3%A9lo%21%20Day%20dukh%20pereved%C3%BA%20%28Boris%20Christoff%29.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank"> Clock Scene</a> the chiming of a clock makes him hallucinate the spectre of the dead Dmitry. The great Bulgarian bass Boris Christoff gives an overpowering reading of the scene.</p> <p>Baron Scarpia the chief of police in Puccini&#8217;s <em>Tosca</em>; he&#8217;s corrupt in every conceivable sense. Torture, murder, rape &#8211; there all in his armamentarium. At the start of Act 2 he calls <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bs4sfsrmyvmdz3/Tosca%20%C3%A8%20un%20buon%20falco.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Tosca è un buon falco!</a> (Tosca is a good falcon!). He anticipates Angelotti the escaped former Consul of the Roman Republic on the scaffold, Tosca&#8217;s lover Mario hanging from a noose, and Tosca unwillingly in his arms. Of course, events don&#8217;t go as he planned. Tosca put a dinner knife into his chest. The baritone is Giangiacomo Guelfi.</p> <p>Pinkerton in Puccini&#8217;s <em>Madama Butterfly</em> is a first degree wretch. He &#8220;marries&#8221; a 15 year old girl, impregnates her, and then leaves. He returns three years later on a destroyer with his real wife to claim his Japanese child causing his mother to kill herself. He shows some degree of remorse in his Act 3 arioso <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/tuanzb12cpi2yg1/Madama%20Butterfly%20-%20Act%20III%20Addio%20fiorito%20asil%20Gigli.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Addio fiorito asil</a>. Beniamino Gigli is the tenor. An unanswerable question &#8211; what&#8217;s Mrs Pinkerton doing on a US warship.</p> <p>Now for a really vile character &#8211; Osaka in Mascagni&#8217;s <em>Iris</em>. The young nobleman kidnaps an innocent maiden with the Intent of seducing her. When she resists he disgraces her in front of her father and has her dumped in a sewer where she dies. You can easily understand why the work is almost never done. It does have a good tenor aria that is often done in recitals or on recording. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/wggm86qoss90ypk/Iris%2C%20Act%20I%20%20Apri%20La%20Tua%20Finestra%20Richard%20Tucker.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Apri la tua finestra</a> is from Act 1. Richard Tucker&#8217;s singing has more ping than a glockenspiel.</p> <p>Finally, an opera full of villains &#8211; Shostakovich&#8217;s <em>Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk</em>. The only principal character not a villain is the the titular one &#8211; and she&#8217;s no starched pillow case. To get a full sense of the work along with its brilliant orchestral interludes go to <a href="https://medicine-opera.com/2017/06/shostakovich-lady-macbeth-of-mtsensk-orchestral-excerpts/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk</a>.</p> <p>That&#8217;s enough of villains for a while. But without them there&#8217;d be very few operas.</p> Letting their hair down https://parterre.com/2021/09/14/letting-their-hair-down/ parterre box urn:uuid:cfb8ec56-0683-3242-ced3-88d6530aa521 Tue, 14 Sep 2021 15:02:11 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/14/letting-their-hair-down/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>After the break the ladies stepped up their game so much that it elevated the night into legendary status: definitely one for the books!</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78898" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/gala-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Last Friday, San Francisco Opera officially opened their 99th season with a one night only concert billed “Live and In Concert: The Homecoming” on stage of War Memorial Opera House. In a way, this joyful concert replaced the traditionally glamorous opening night gala that usually happened around the same time, even if the company had begun the season with an <a href="https://parterre.com/2021/08/24/on-the-edge-of-my-seat/">excellent</a> <em>Tosca</em> three weeks prior.</p> <p>The well-attended concert also marked the return of the popular (and free) “Opera at the Ballpark”, as it was broadcasted live simultaneously at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Although it was smaller in scale than previous years, nevertheless it signified that Arts are alive and well at the City by the Bay, even with the threat of Delta variant is still looming large.</p> <p>The Homecoming was truly a glorious celebration of women in opera, as it reunited the three stars of summer 2019 <a href="https://parterre.com/2019/06/19/under-the-silver-lake/">extraordinary</a> <em>Rusalka</em> () … soprano <strong>Rachel Willis-S</strong><strong>ørensen</strong> (who made the titular role debut), mezzo-soprano <strong>Jamie Barton</strong>, and conductor <strong>Eun San Kim</strong>, whose triumphant house debut led to her appointment as San Francisco Opera’s fourth music director. The great chemistry (not to mention artistry) among the three during that <em>Rusalka</em> was clearly still very fresh in everyone’s mind—as fondly remembered during San Francisco Opera Board of Directors Chairman <strong>John A. Gunn</strong>’s opening speech—hence the inclusion of the Polonaise and the famous aria “Song to the Moon” during this concert was a no-brainer!</p> <p>Personally, the choice of the title “The Homecoming” was very interesting, as none of the stars are based in Bay Area. Nevertheless, in the illuminating SF Opera’s <a href="https://sfopera.com/blog/2021/08/finding-home-with-soprano-rachel-willis-sorensen/">blog</a>, Willis-Sørensen (in her only US engagement this season) felt it apt for many different reasons:</p> <blockquote><p>For me, coming to San Francisco always feels kind of like a return home, even though I didn&#8217;t grow up in California. But being from the West Coast, this is the most important opera house in the west, you know? … If I&#8217;m not with my children, the second best thing is on a stage. That&#8217;s where I belong more than anywhere else.</p></blockquote> <p>The audience entering the vast auditorium of War Memorial Opera House was greeted not only with the grand presence of San Francisco Opera Orchestra on stage (first time since <strong>Giuseppe Verdi</strong>’s <em>Requiem</em> eight years ago) but also with the sight of San Francisco Opera impressive new Concert Shell, comprising 10 individual rolling towers forming a bandshell.</p> <p>Alongside the refurbishment of the chairs and carpet, the construction of the shell (designed by <strong>Ryan O’Steen</strong>) began in the early months of the pandemic shutdown and completed some time earlier this year. Not only it was a sight to behold, but its acoustic properties also sounded great as well!</p> <p>The song selections for this concert, particularly for the duets, were curious, particularly as they pretty much mirrored (except for one) the duet list for the famous <strong>Marian Anderson</strong> tribute concert by <strong>Grace Bumbry</strong> and <strong>Shirley Verrett</strong>, almost exactly 36 years ago to the date.</p> <p>It is particularly interesting to note that in the blog above, Willis-Sørensen admitted that she had very little experience in the bel canto style, even she was concerned initially with <em>Anna Bolena</em>’s duet. However, she was more than up for the challenge, as she said “I was like, ‘Oh, do I dare?’ But then the more I studied it, the more I was like, ‘No, I have to do it. I love it so much’”.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78901" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/full-stage-gala.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/full-stage-gala.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/full-stage-gala-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/full-stage-gala-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>The Homecoming began with a rousing rendition of <strong>Franz von Suppé</strong>’s popular <em>Light Cavalry Overture</em>, a perfect display to showcase the various sections of the SF Opera Orchestra. Kim took the galloping music in a breakneck pace—almost losing the structure a little bit during the return of the fanfare in the end—but it certainly worked to set the mood of the audience into celebration mode, and they cheered gleefully.</p> <p>Willis-Sørensen started the night with the well-known Act 1 closing aria from <strong>Giuseppe Verdi</strong>’s <em>La Traviata</em>, “È strano &#8230; Sempre libera”, looking absolutely beautiful in a maroon gown. I was questioning the placement of this complicated aria when I first saw the program, and while Willis-Sørensen sang the song well, she was visibly very cautious in approaching the song, quite ironic for an aria about being “forever free”.</p> <p>She was much more in her element during the next offering, the famous “Depuis le jour” from <strong>Gustave Charpentier</strong>’s “roman musical” <em>Louise</em>, throwing delightful pianissimi and elegantly phrased passages effortlessly, totally believable as a young woman madly in love. Kim’s accompaniment was particularly memorable here, transporting the audience to a magical night in Paris.</p> <p>Sandwiching both arias, Barton gave a glimpse of two portrayals that she performed to great acclaim before, namely Léonor de Guzman in <strong>Gaetano Donizetti</strong>’s <em>La Favorite</em> (Teatro Real and Houston Grand Opera) and Princess Eboli in Verdi’s <em>Don Carlo</em> (Deutsche Oper Berlin and Washington National Opera). Decked in glittery one-shoulder silver dress with a distinctively funky coiffure, Barton brought her usual fiery intensity and dramatic phrasing for both “O mon Fernand” and “O don fatale”. Especially on the latter, while her voice boomed through the hall with vibrancy and control, unfortunately the top notes proved to be a bit problematic for her that night. Nevertheless, it was job well done, and the appreciative patrons responded accordingly.</p> <p>The first part ended with the first duet of the night, the confrontation between Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour from Donizetti’s <em>Anna Bolena</em>. Sang on either side of Kim (whose back was toward the audience the whole time), both Willis-Sørensen and Barton executed the duet flawlessly and their voices blended well together. Any concern on Willis-Sørensen’s part above definitely had completely disappeared and she wholeheartedly embraced Anne Boleyn’s role with its ever-changing emotions throughout the duet. My only slight reservation was that even though both sang without music stand, I was wondering why they didn’t really interact with each other at all, but I got my answers after the break.</p> <p>While up to the intermission <em>The Homecoming</em> had been a fine performance, after the break the ladies stepped up their game so much that it elevated the night into legendary status: definitely one for the books! It was as if everyone let their hair down and got ready to party.</p> <p>Both Barton and Willis-Sørensen were much more animated, and they played off each other nicely, aided visually by the striking evening gowns they wore in bold colors (navy blue for Willis-Sørensen, and contrasting black and gold for Barton). The orchestra, too, sounded grander and much more nuanced, every detail was beautifully highlighted without losing track of the bigger picture.</p> <p>This was particularly true for the Aida-Amneris confrontation duet “Fu la sorte” that opened the second part. Barton, who has expressed interest in adding the role into her repertoire, truly embodied Amneris in her mannerisms, and her palpable anger and jealousy, coupled with Willis-Sørensen’s grief-stricken portrayal, truly gave the scene an exceptionally dramatic heft. Vocally, I definitely think the time has come for Barton to tackle this full-throttle role, and I’ll be first in line to experience it!</p> <p>The aforementioned excerpts from <em>Rusalka</em> came next, and here Willis-Sørensen really shone bright, as her “Song to the Moon” felt even more moving and heartbreaking than two years ago (perhaps because she didn’t have to balance herself on a tree branches this time). The hushed qualities that permeated “Depuis le jour” were in full display here, once again fully supported by Kim’s otherworldly backing. Lighting designer <strong>Justin Partier</strong> completed the fairy tale transformation by bathing the stage with soft turquoise lights that gorgeously reflected on the Concert Shell.</p> <p>However, the biggest surprise of the night for me was Barton’s offbeat take on “Mon cœur s&#8217;ouvre à ta voix”, Dalila’s seduction scene from <strong>Camille Saint-Saëns</strong>’ biblical opera <em>Samson et Dalila</em>. Taken at much slower pace than normal, Barton imbued the aria with a sense of longing and belonging, so much so that it lost its vixenish quality and gained resemblance to a reverie … a remembrance for a lost Samson, perhaps.</p> <p>It might not work for staged opera, but for this concert it functioned wonderfully, especially as it exhibited all the virtues of Barton’s voice; from her complete control of long phrases, her effortless scaling up and down over period of time, and especially her sustained legato. The crowd erupted in great applause after her performance, and Barton was genuinely moved by that response.</p> <p>After a short orchestral interlude from <strong>Richard Strauss</strong>’ final opera <em>Capriccio</em>, the second part concluded with Act 2 duet “Mira, o Norma” from <strong>Vincenzo Bellini</strong>’s enduring opera <em>Norma</em>. While Barton had previously performed Adalgisa to <strong>Sondra Radvanovsky</strong>’s Norma on stage seven years ago, Willis-Sørensen proved to be a worthy partner, demonstrating a clear articulation of notes and vocal agility demanded by this notoriously difficult role.</p> <p>The pledge of friendship and loyalty in time of distress was the perfect closure for this concert, bringing the much-needed hope and optimism into the City by the Bay. On that note, both singers brought an encore in the form of a mash-up of <strong>Richard Rodgers</strong> and <strong>Oscar Hammerstein II</strong>’s ever popular “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, signaling a clear message: We shall overcome this pandemic together, with Arts by our side. Welcome home, San Francisco Opera!</p> <p>Photo: Drew Altizer Photography (closeup); Cory Weaver (full stage).</p> “I never set out to be a diva” https://parterre.com/2021/09/14/i-never-set-out-to-be-a-diva/ parterre box urn:uuid:d95b2ebe-ca27-0e75-0939-4233605a2c8b Tue, 14 Sep 2021 13:34:14 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/14/i-never-set-out-to-be-a-diva/"><img width="720" height="246" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/zoe-header-720x246.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/zoe-header-720x246.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/zoe-header-300x103.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/zoe-header-768x263.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/zoe-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/zoe-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1933 actress <strong>Zoe Caldwell</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH4Pw3wiCEU&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH4Pw3wiCEU</a></p> <p>On this day in 1954 Britten&#8217;s <em>Turn of the Screw</em> premiered in Venice.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VRB8lklo3c&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VRB8lklo3c</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of conductor and composer <strong>Vittorio Gui</strong> (1885), tenor and priest <strong>José Mojica</strong> (1896), composer and administrator <strong>Rolf Liebermann</strong> and composer and conductor <strong>Lehman Engel</strong> (both 1910), commentator, writer and musicologist<strong> Deryck Cooke</strong> (1919) and singer/actor <strong>Harve Presnell</strong> (1933).</p> A Venetian Traveller: Luigi Nono, La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/09/a-venetian-traveller-luigi-nono-la.html Boulezian urn:uuid:edf4e9a5-c0c0-61ae-36e8-119791214d1a Mon, 13 Sep 2021 21:52:04 +0000 <p><span style="font-family: georgia; text-align: justify;"><br /></span></p><p><span style="font-family: georgia; text-align: justify;">Luigi Nono was many things: composer, human being, quite often both. Nono was an artist of burning political commitment, never more so than in his agitprop opera </span><i style="font-family: georgia; mso-bidi-font-style: normal; text-align: justify;">Intolleranza 1960</i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-align: justify;">, also to be heard at this year’s Salzburg Festival. He was a modernist, an avant gardist, a serialist. At least as important as those qualities, however, he was Venetian and a traveller, both personally and in his music: to, from, and around the city of his birth (1924), death (1990), and much of his life in between. Take the ravishingly beautiful yet equally instructive late documentary from 1988, </span><i style="font-family: georgia; mso-bidi-font-style: normal; text-align: justify;">Archipel Luigi Nono</i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-align: justify;">, made</span><i style="font-family: georgia; mso-bidi-font-style: normal; text-align: justify;"> </i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-align: justify;">when Nono was at work on </span><i style="font-family: georgia; mso-bidi-font-style: normal; text-align: justify;">La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura</i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-align: justify;">. Olivier Mille interviews the composer about his work while the pair walk around the city. No one could doubt that Nono was both utterly at home yet capable of the considered distance of an inquisitive visitor, ever alert to the intersection of Venice’s and, specifically, the island of Giudecca’s geographical, historical and social boundaries.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: georgia; text-align: justify;"><br /></span></p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HkqxGEDqaRk" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">Nono’s studies at the Venice Conservatory with Gian Francesco Malipiero, crucial in the rediscovery of Monteverdi, encompassed the golden ages of polyphony and the madrigal. He loved the idea of the Venetian workshop, in which art, craft and community came together as indissoluble artistic and political whole. Moreover, delight in vocal writing would inform Nono’s composition from beginning to close; that certainly includes his instrumental music, both with and without electronics. Many composers, even of the most exalted rank, have found themselves, rightly or wrongly, accused of ‘instrumental’ writing for voices. Nono’s deep grounding in Renaissance music helped ensure he would be of Monteverdi’s party as well as Mozart’s, Palestrina’s – and Schoenberg’s. Nono, like Chopin, avowed what is perhaps a surprising interest in the operas of Bellini, fascinated by the Sicilian composer’s combination of vocal writing and receptivity to a wider Mediterranean culture. As Claudio Abbado attested in a tribute to his friend and frequent collaborator:</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;"></span></p><blockquote><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">[Nono] never lost the deep-rooted ties to the long tradition of Venetian music, as demonstrated by his unerring feeling for the relation of sound and space, recalling the music [Giovanni] Gabrieli wrote for the church of San Marco. Gigi’s sense of an espressivo</span><i style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;"> </i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">or cantabile</span><i style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;"> </i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">line also stems from this tradition.</span><span style="font-family: georgia;">&nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><o:p><span style="font-family: georgia;"></span></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia;">In that respect, Nono differed from fellow post-war Webern enthusiasts, such as Boulez and Stockhausen, though not from his fellow Malipiero pupil, Bruno Maderna. That, as much as more overt ‘political’ concerns (or lack of them) may help explain why Boulez and Stockhausen seem to have misunderstood Nono’s aesthetics and, indeed, his music. To quote Jonathan Impett’s recent study of Nono, polyphony stands ‘at the core of Nono’s musical thought, entailing simultaneity of directions, perspectives, times and possibilities’. To those and to the crucial spatial element highlighted by Abbado, we should never forget the spatial drama of Venice itself. This is music whose mists, bells, rising waves, café and street chatter are specific and yet, in that specificity, reach out toward the universal. The relationship between performer(s) and composer, score, the distorting sonic mirror of electronics, and listener is the very material of Nono’s musical dramas, whatever the space – another crucial, considered relationship – in which they unfold. Heir to the great tradition of Venetian opera dating back to Monteverdi, Nono always conceives music as <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">azione scenica</i>, often in more than one fashion simultaneously.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">Artistically expressed political commitment likewise took different forms. There is, however, no truth whatsoever to the claim sometimes heard that, following his second opera, </span><i style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">Al gran sole carico d’amore</i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">, a grand 1970s traversal of modern European, often female, revolutionary experience, his work withdrew in some allegedly typical ‘late’ form from the political sphere. It simply – or not so simply – addressed it differently, as we shall find in </span><i style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura</i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">. For Nono, there was no absolute distinction to be drawn between the individually and the socially transformative in music – so long, that is, as such transformation were well directed.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b><o:p><span style="font-family: georgia;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: georgia;">No Roads, Only Travelling<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><o:p><span style="font-family: georgia;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia;">‘Caminantes, no hay caminos, hay que caminar’ (travellers, there are no roads, there is just travelling): Nono derived inspiration for several late works, <i>La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura </i><span style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">included, from an inscription on a Toledo monastery wall</span>. Written during a period of intensive collaboration with Gidon Kremer – an heir to earlier partnerships with Abbado and Maurizio Pollini – whose initial suggestion had been a contemporary response to Vivaldi’s (Venetian) <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Le quattro stagioni</i>,<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> </i>the work acquired its definitive title – adding both ‘utopica’ and ‘<span style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">madrigale per più “caminantes” con Gidon Kremer’ –</span> and its form several months after the September 1988 Berlin Festival premiere. Salvatore Sciarrino, the work’s dedicatee as an ‘exemplary traveller’, elucidated the title’s dramatic and political space: ‘the past reflected in the present (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">nostalgica</i>) brings about a creative utopia (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">utopica</i>), the desire for what is known becomes a vehicle for what will be possible (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">futura</i>) through the medium of distance (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">lontananza</i>)’.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">There was a good deal of backstreet Venetian messiness involved, however, in reaching this madrigal of many travellers. Nono and Kremer recorded the tape part – now heard digitally, performed by André Richard, who assisted at the premiere – in February 1988 at SWR’s Experimentalstudio in Freiburg. Its richness was both intentional and accidental, incorporating not only Kremer’s violin improvisations, but sounds of tuning, ambient studio noise, discussion between Nono and Kremer, and so on, Nono having his soundworld expanded by sounds he had never heard before, Kremer compelled to summon them, wittingly and sometimes otherwise. Impett’s account of the unedited tapes makes for fascinating reading:</span><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote>With quiet concentration, [Nono] asks Kremer to play high and as quietly as possible. These high sounds, sustained to focus on their inner life, are followed by the fifths and microtonal variations of Nono’s initial plan. Kremer continues with high phrases – mostly extracted from the core solo repertoire, but recorded closely to reveal subtones, additional partials, bow noise and instability – and the percussion of attack. […] While phrases from Beethoven, Bach and Bartók begin to emerge, the obsessive repetition of practising draws attention away from figure or reference to the particular sonic qualities of each sound, to the nature of individual connections. […] As the artists relax into their project, Kremer plays longer passages – entire movements of Bach, of Schumann – stopping to focus on sounds that fascinate or trouble him. […] As Kremer searches for sounds and gestures, and then rehearses his own actions, these tapes explore an entire strand of Western music as embodied in one musician.</blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia;">Having edited the tapes with Freiburg’s Hans Peter Haller, relentlessly organizing and reorganizing sounds until something composed emerged, Nono struggled to complete the violin part in time. According to Kremer’s account, he eventually, ‘nervously, apologetically’ proffered ‘some bits of manuscript paper: here a line, there four bars, there three lines, and said with almost fatherly calm: “No problem, no worry, I’ve got it all. Tonight I’ll write it.” There were still 36 hours to the premiere.’ Dissatisfied with that premiere or at least sensing that he could travel further, in January 1989 Nono revised the violin and tape parts, as well as, crucially, the relationship between them. 1989 was, of course, a year whose strange, largely unanticipated political events would throw questions of roads, travelling, nostalgia and utopia further into confusion. It is not difficult to imagine, however, what the communist composer, who died the following year, would have made of the neoliberal triumphalism that ensued and of any claims concerning the end of history or of travelling.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">Six violin parts are split between six music stands positioned around the performing space. Additional stands will remain empty, heightening dramatic unpredictability for the audience. The violinist makes her way between them, instructed to search for the next stand rather as she is to search for sounds themselves, so as to be ready to perform the next part of a score replete with performing instructions so detailed that they require more printed space than the notes. Extremes of pitch and dynamics take performer, listener and musical collaborator further to the edge of possibility – even when rehearsal time has proved less limited. Harmonics, microtones, all manner of musical mirroring both carefully conceived and apparently spontaneous: the soundworld of Kremer’s virtuosity finds itself both retained and transformed. Eight loudspeakers stand at the disposal of the sound director, who will choose which of eight tracks, for Nono ‘a multipolarity of elements’, to play when, at what varying (fading up to full and down to zero) volume, so long as they are not all played at once, and in what space. It is thus in the specific, human confrontation and collaboration between violinist and sound director that the work will come to life.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">This, then, is chamber music, poised somewhere between creation and re-creation. For a host of reasons, some structural, some contingent, no single walk around a neighbourhood we ‘know’ will ever be the same; nor should it be. Yet it is surely worthy of note that, from Berlin to final revision, the piece’s opening gesture remained the same. In that, it is perhaps the musical counterpart to the political ‘provocation’ Nono noted each of his artworks required, when reflecting almost 30 years earlier on </span><i style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">Intolleranza</i><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;">: ‘an event, an experience, a test in our lives, which provokes my instinct and my consciousness, as man and musician, to bear witness’.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia; text-indent: 36pt;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: georgia;">Remembrance and Misremembrance<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><o:p><span style="font-family: georgia;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia;">US poet Wayne Koestenbaum recalled a sabbatical month he spent in Venice in 2004. He would pass what had been Nono’s house every day.</span></p><blockquote>I didn’t travel to Venice solely to pay homage, but I brought with me a CD of his music – La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura – and listened to it on my rented apartment’s boombox while shelling peas and broiling branzino and writing poems and taking naps; the sound of Nono’s music mingled with ambient sounds outside my window (church bells, footsteps on quarried granite, shutters opening and closing, cutlery clattering, adolescents laughing and shouting). Often I’d not be able to differentiate what was Nono coming from the boombox and what was Venice coming through the window. Listening, I’d drift into daydream, and then snap back to consciousness, and wonder, “for how long have I not been paying strict attention to the music?” but then I’d once again closely listen; Nono seemed to countenance my inattentiveness.</blockquote><div> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: georgia;">Should you fall into a similar trap, you may well discover that Nono the humanist composer has already written in that lapse. If not, you will assuredly find other aural Venetian lagoons and alleyways to haunt and be haunted by, to explore and be explored by, and ultimately both to remember and misremember.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><o:p><span style="font-family: georgia;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></p></div><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X-CKVm8MXxU" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div><i>(This essay was first published by the 2021 Salzburg Festival, to accompany a performance by Patricia Kopatchinskaja.)</i></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/15fzH47u-9I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Tito at 230 (part 2) https://dehggial.wordpress.com/2021/09/13/tito-230-part-2/ opera, innit? urn:uuid:f5fdf69b-94b0-f14b-c75a-835263635625 Mon, 13 Sep 2021 12:19:18 +0000 Continuing this series throughout the month only makes sense. Part 2 takes us from Deh, se piacer mi vuoi to Ah, se fosse intorno al trono. That&#8217;s because I decided, as I was re-listening, the music was too good not to include, so there&#8217;s quite a lot of it and a surprising amount of Garanca, [&#8230;] Opera revue again https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/13/opera-revue-again/ operaramblings urn:uuid:3b26024c-cf72-09b6-7565-2692f241e2d1 Mon, 13 Sep 2021 12:07:02 +0000 Back to the Emmet Ray yesterday for another show by Opera Revue.  This time Dani Friesen and Claire Harris were joined by baritone Alexander Hajek which allowed for a three set show and quite a few duets.  I was really &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/13/opera-revue-again/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Back to the Emmet Ray yesterday for another show by Opera Revue.  This time Dani Friesen and Claire Harris were joined by baritone Alexander Hajek which allowed for a three set show and quite a few duets.  I was really struck by how much throwing in some duets makes the whole show seem more operatic.  So what did we get?  There was a lot of Mozart, notably duets from <em>Don Giovanni</em> and <em>The Marriage of Figaro,</em> plus solo arias from both operas.  And, of course, there was Kurt Weill from Dani.  There was at least one Neapolitan songs and several musical theatre numbers (Alex looks very fetching in cat ears) and a guest singing Schumann and probably other stuff I&#8217;ve forgotten.  All in all, a suitably varied and satisfying selection.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30363" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/13/opera-revue-again/or2/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/or2.jpg" data-orig-size="580,532" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;iPhone 6s&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1631468542&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;4.15&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;125&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.033333333333333&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="or2" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/or2.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/or2.jpg?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30363 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/or2.jpg?w=584" alt="or2" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/or2.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/or2.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/or2.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /> <span id="more-30359"></span>Nothing&#8217;s ideal right now and I&#8217;ll be glad to be rid of perspex screens and masks but it&#8217;s progress when one can go out and listen to very good singers doing that thing we love in the company of other humans. And there&#8217;s beer.</p> <p>FWIW all the photos on my phone between yesterday&#8217;s Opera Revue show and the previous one are QR codes.  O tempora, o mores.</p> Valiant is the word for Gladys https://parterre.com/2021/09/13/valiant-is-the-word-for-gladys/ parterre box urn:uuid:321d7a86-69fb-25c2-5a68-92a6ba45bc16 Mon, 13 Sep 2021 04:39:20 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/13/valiant-is-the-word-for-gladys/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-1-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-1-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-1-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-1-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-1-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-1.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1904 actress <strong>Gladys George</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8woScnBklo&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8woScnBklo</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1939 soprano <strong>Arleen Augér</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk5jUS8oRMI&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk5jUS8oRMI</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1874 composer <strong>Arnold Schoenberg</strong>.</p> Good news on line : Happy Tosca ending ! and the 50th anniversary of "Imagine" (from the Guardian). http://singerforallseasons.blogspot.com/2021/09/good-news-on-line-happy-tosca-ending.html singer for all seasons urn:uuid:c594faa4-298c-54ca-a3f0-7ef418d9467a Sun, 12 Sep 2021 16:47:00 +0000 <p>Bass Soloman Howard - Angelotti made it ! He flew Alyn Perez&nbsp; - Floria Tosca to</p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="BLOG_video_class" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oeC-xgDDBDQ" width="320" youtube-src-id="oeC-xgDDBDQ"></iframe></div><br /> the sky! Puccini must be also celebrating "love "once more, this time with a Happy ending ! Soloman Howard's voice is absolutely outstanding ... will I have one day the chance to&nbsp; see them both on stage in Paris or Toulouse ? who knows... Happy days will be back ? sooner or later ? <br /><p></p><p>Both are divine young singers, bass and soprano, and I am rejoicing at such a romantic proposal at San Francisco opera house !</p><p>September&nbsp; around 9th to 11th&nbsp; is always&nbsp; a gloomy period&nbsp; but somehow last news and this photo from the Guardian took my mind awy... I&nbsp; was also under the charm of this photo from the Guardian : John Lennon's Imagine is fifty years old....celebration in London... </p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Yi-oGwZOKdk/YT4uLjFkWHI/AAAAAAAAHLg/0Hdtuyw5_w8b9T9pqzBgtskPBc_jNYOxgCLcBGAsYHQ/s988/Screenshot%2B2021-09-10%2Bat%2B07.38.51.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="677" data-original-width="988" height="219" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Yi-oGwZOKdk/YT4uLjFkWHI/AAAAAAAAHLg/0Hdtuyw5_w8b9T9pqzBgtskPBc_jNYOxgCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Screenshot%2B2021-09-10%2Bat%2B07.38.51.png" width="320" /></a></div>copyright The Guardian (on line screenshot)<br /><p><br /></p> Salome https://parterre.com/2021/09/12/salome-7/ parterre box urn:uuid:d5697050-652e-8a48-f854-a8f385a68d7c Sun, 12 Sep 2021 14:03:58 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/12/salome-7/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><strong>Simone Young </strong>conducts a new production by <strong>Andreas Homoki</strong> from the Opernhaus Zürich.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78871" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/salome-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://bit.ly/3A5eXqh" rel="noopener" target="_blank">begin at 12:45 PM</a>.</p> <p>Photo: Paul Leclaire</p> Confluence Concerts 2021/22 https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/12/confluence-concerts-2021-22/ operaramblings urn:uuid:3a08dfa7-1fd4-baf1-2673-5af8ce397a77 Sun, 12 Sep 2021 12:24:50 +0000 Confluence Conerts has announced its 2021/22 season with some details to be firmed up when anyone figures out what the &#8220;new normal&#8221; actually is.  First up is a presentation of the Bach suites for solo cello in conjunction with the &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/12/confluence-concerts-2021-22/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="30357" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/12/confluence-concerts-2021-22/js-bach/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/js-bach.jpg" data-orig-size="290,215" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="js-bach" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/js-bach.jpg?w=290" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/js-bach.jpg?w=290" class="size-full wp-image-30357 alignleft" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/js-bach.jpg" alt="js-bach" width="290" height="215" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/js-bach.jpg 290w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/js-bach.jpg?w=150&amp;h=111 150w" sizes="(max-width: 290px) 100vw, 290px" />Confluence Conerts has announced its 2021/22 season with some details to be firmed up when anyone figures out what the &#8220;new normal&#8221; actually is.  First up is a presentation of the Bach suites for solo cello in conjunction with the Toronto Bach Festival.  They are being performed at Heliconian Hall and recorded for later, free, Youtube streaming on Confluence&#8217;s channel.  There will be some tickets available for the live performance but no details on that yet.  The performances are as follows:</p> <p dir="ltr" style="padding-left:40px;">Cello Suites No. 1 in G Major BWV 1007 and No. 3 in C Major BWV 1009<br />Concert September 22nd at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall<br />YouTube premiere October 1st<br />With Winona Zelenka  and Michelle Tang, cello</p> <p dir="ltr" style="padding-left:40px;">Cello Suites No.4 in E-flat Major BWV 1010 and No. 6 in D Major BWV 1012<br />Concert October 21st at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall<br />YouTube premiere October 29th<br />With Keiran Campbell, cello and Elinor Frey, violoncello piccolo</p> <p dir="ltr" style="padding-left:40px;">Cello Suites No. 2 in D Minor BWV 1008 and No. 5 in C Minor BWV 1011<br />Concert November 3rd at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall<br />YouTube premiere November 10th<br />With Andrew Downing, double bass, and Ryan Davis, viola</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="more-30351"></span>The rest of the season starts with the annual Walter Unger Salon.  Dr. Ellie Hisama speaks about the life and music of Ruth Crawford Seeger with music curated by Confluence Young Artistic Associate Ryan McDonald.  The live salon is on December 6th at 7pm at the Atrium at Shaftsbury Place with the YouTube premiere on December 15th.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Backlash Blues: The Music of Nina Simone </em>will feature Alexa Belgrave, Andrew Downing, and Shakura S’Aida with four performances in January 2022.  Details yet to come.</p> <p dir="ltr">Further out, and with details yet to be announced there&#8217;s an exploration of Puccini’s <em>Madama Butterfly</em> viewed through a contemporary lens by Teiya Kasahara.  <em>Songs of Fate and Destiny,</em> curated by Patricia O’Callaghan and featuring the music and life of German Romantic writer and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann; and a special ongoing project connecting Indigenous Classical musicians from across Turtle Island led by Marion Newman.</p> <p dir="ltr">There&#8217;s likely to be a ticketed live performance plus free Youtube streaming for each show but exactly how that will work is not yet finalised.</p> <p></p> String of pearls https://parterre.com/2021/09/12/string-of-pearls/ parterre box urn:uuid:ef0302dd-f247-95ca-c1ca-b25864e4b474 Sun, 12 Sep 2021 10:23:11 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/12/string-of-pearls/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/troyanos-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/troyanos-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/troyanos-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/troyanos-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/troyanos-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/troyanos-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1938 mezzo-soprano <strong>Tatiana Troyanos</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtfqXzNy1ZM&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtfqXzNy1ZM</a></p> <p>Happy 73rd birthday tenor <strong>Luis Lima</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNGiDTh-0UY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNGiDTh-0UY</a></p> Defying Destiny: Œdipe at the Komische Oper Berlin https://operatraveller.com/2021/09/11/defying-destiny-oedipe-at-the-komische-oper-berlin/ operatraveller urn:uuid:bed3e3fe-0e24-8d27-f882-90adcc234a90 Sat, 11 Sep 2021 22:23:31 +0000 Enescu –&#160;Œdipe Œdipe – Leigh MelroseTirésias – Jens LarsenJocaste – Karolina GumosLa Sphinge – Katarina BradićAntigone – Mirka WagnerMérope – Susan ZarrabiCréon – Joachim GoltzLe berger – Johannes DunzLe grand prêtre – Vazgen GazaryanLe veilleur – Shavleg ArmasiLaïos – Christoph Späth Kinderchor der Komischen Oper Berlin, Vocalconsort Berlin, Chorsolisten der Komischen Oper Berlin, Orchester der [&#8230;] <p></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Enescu –&nbsp;</strong><em><strong>Œdipe</strong></em><strong></strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Œdipe – Leigh Melrose</strong><strong><br>Tirésias – Jens Larsen<br>Jocaste – Karolina Gumos<br>La Sphinge – Katarina Bradić<br>Antigone – Mirka Wagner<br>Mérope – Susan Zarrabi<br>Créon – Joachim Goltz<br>Le berger – Johannes Dunz<br>Le grand prêtre – Vazgen Gazaryan<br>Le veilleur – Shavleg Armasi<br>Laïos – Christoph Späth</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Kinderchor der Komischen Oper Berlin, Vocalconsort Berlin, Chorsolisten der Komischen Oper Berlin, Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin / </strong><strong>Ainārs Rubiķis.<br>Stage director – Evgeny Titov</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Komische Oper, Berlin, Germany.&nbsp; Saturday, September 11th, 2021.</strong></p> <p>Enescu’s <em>Œdipe</em> is undergoing something of a mini-revival currently.&nbsp; Following high-profile productions at De Munt – La Monnaie (later imported by the London Royal Opera), as well as in Salzburg, it the turn of the ever-ambitious Komische Oper to take on Enescu’s magnum opus.&nbsp; The house has taken a different approach to last night’s in Hamburg to the current sanitary measures.&nbsp; Audience members are required to check in using either of the tracing apps used in Germany, or through a handwritten form.&nbsp; EU Green Passes are checked, and guests given a wrist band to wear for the duration of their stay.&nbsp; Face masks are compulsory around the house, but can be removed during the show, while the house sold reduced capacity with seats blocked out and sold in units of 1 or 2.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5913" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg" data-orig-size="1781,1177" 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;1631287420&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5913" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>Perhaps also due to the current sanitary restrictions, the choruses were placed around the highest balcony in Evgeny Titov’s production, singing into the auditorium, while on stage the principals acted out the action with the aid of a group of extras.&nbsp; The set (Rufus Didwiszus) was an impressive steel encasing structure, set around a central pool, intimating from the very start the fact the inevitability of Œdipe’s fate.&nbsp; The effect of the chorus singing as if commenting on the action worked well to an extent, but I must admit to missing the effect of a mass of individuals expressing jubilation or horror as required, and the wall of sound that would come as a result.&nbsp; The production cut around 40 minutes of music, and the effect was to really concentrate the action on the central character, removing the societal implications and making this a much more intimate piece than the cast of thousands sprawling epic that it is at its core.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5911" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg" data-orig-size="1817,1153" 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;1631287420&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5911" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>That doesn’t mean that Titov’s staging lacks impact – the sight of Œdipe having gouged his eyes was suitably horrifying, amplified by the choral sound from high up.&nbsp; He also created a haunting stage picture, with Œdipe alone in the pool, his silhouette projected onto the wall behind, reinforcing his loneliness.&nbsp; And yet, I lost a sense of the wider context of the work and its characters.&nbsp; The sense of a world struggling through a plague – how relevant right now – and of how Œdipe’s actions affected those around him.&nbsp; Perhaps, due to our current plague, there was a need to reduce the work to its essence and place the choruses away from the main stage.&nbsp; Yet while Titov’s staging does provide a burst of theatrical energy, it felt that we were only getting a fragment of the work rather than the whole thing.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5910" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg" data-orig-size="1775,1181" 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;1631287420&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5910" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>There was much to admire in the performances of the principals, not least Leigh Melrose in the title role.&nbsp; Melrose has made a speciality of these big twentieth and twenty-first century roles.&nbsp; His Œdipe was sung in decent French and with a firm baritone that had good resonance.&nbsp; He was unafraid to compromise the beauty of tone to display Œdipe’s desperation, and held the stage with a highly energetic and unflinching stage presence.&nbsp; Diction across the board was comprehensible and aided by the fact that the seat-back titles also offered the original French.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5909" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg" data-orig-size="1184,1769" 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;1631287420&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=201" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=685" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=685" alt="" class="wp-image-5909" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=685 685w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=100 100w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=201 201w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus-1.jpg 1184w" sizes="(max-width: 685px) 100vw, 685px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>In the extensive cast, Karolina Gumos gave us a superbly-sung Jocaste, in a ruby red mezzo with wonderful resonance and ease throughout the range.&nbsp; She also sang in impeccable French, making every word audible and filling them with meaning.&nbsp; Jens Larsen was a tower of strength as Tirésias, like Melrose, unafraid to compromise the beauty of his bass to illustrate the desperation of his character.&nbsp; As Le veilleur, Shavleg Armasi sang in a jet black bass that descended to the sepulchral depths with fullness – and he also made much of the words.&nbsp; Katarina Bradić coped admirably with the wide range of La Sphinge’s tessitura – while the register breaks were audible, she made them an integral part of her interpretation, commanding the stage with ease.&nbsp; Susan Zarrabi sang Mérope in an elegant mezzo with a fine sense of line.&nbsp; Christoph Späth brought his characterful tenor to the role of Laïos, which he did by focusing the tone on the text.&nbsp; The remaining roles reflected the admirable quality of the house.</p> <p>The choruses sang with impressive blend of tone, no war of vibratos here, impeccable tuning and water-tight ensemble – particularly remarkable given how they were scattered around the auditorium.&nbsp; Ainārs Rubiķis kept a tight rein on proceedings – perhaps too tight in the celebrations following the defeat of La Sphinge, which felt held back, not exploding with jubilation as they should – although that of course could have been due to the placement of the choruses.&nbsp; He explored the score’s sound world by exploiting the full capacities of the Komische orchestra, making much of the score’s nocturnal tinta, while also getting the strings to dig deep to provide a remarkably full texture.&nbsp; The quality of the orchestral playing was first class, other than a few very passing stretches of sour string intonation.&nbsp;</p> <p>That the Komische had the ambition to take on this epic work in a time of plague is testament to their ambition and determination to fulfil the mission of the house.&nbsp; It was performed at an extremely high level and reflected the quality of the ensemble and the house forces, anchored by a central performance of fearless commitment.&nbsp; Titov’s staging produced a fascinating theatrical experience, but I left with a feeling that we had been left without the wider context of the work and its setting.&nbsp; That said, the fact that we were able to see it at all is miraculous.&nbsp; That it was so well performed this is more miraculous still.&nbsp; <strong></strong></p> <p></p> Requiem https://parterre.com/2021/09/11/requiem/ parterre box urn:uuid:5b8a8025-4a57-b9b4-b3d8-ec8f5467db3f Sat, 11 Sep 2021 20:52:46 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/11/requiem/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Met presents Verdi’s Requiem, with Music Director<strong> Yannick Nézet-Séguin</strong> conducting the extraordinary Met Orchestra and Chorus as well as a quartet of star soloists: soprano <strong>Ailyn Pérez</strong>, mezzo-soprano <strong>Michelle DeYoung</strong>, tenor <strong>Matthew Polenzani</strong>, and bass-baritone<strong> Eric Owens.</strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-67493" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-720-720x405.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-720.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-720-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/met-720-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />The concert marks the first performance inside the Metropolitan Opera House since the March 2020 closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The performance will be <a href="https://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/great-performances-verdis-requiem-the-met-remembers-9-11-about/12951/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">transmitted live as part of Great Performances on PBS at 8:00 PM</a>.</p> SF Opera's Homecoming Concert https://operatattler.typepad.com/opera/2021/09/sf-opera-homecoming-concert.html The Opera Tattler urn:uuid:847a6f53-b2b1-b0c0-a176-928e3a8b67e7 Sat, 11 Sep 2021 17:07:56 +0000 * Notes * The 99th season of San Francisco Opera opened with a spirited concert last night featuring conductor Eun Sun Kim and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra with soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen (pictured, photograph by Cory Weaver) and mezzo-soprano Jamie... * Notes * The 99th season of San Francisco Opera opened with a spirited concert last night featuring conductor Eun Sun Kim and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra with soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen (pictured, photograph by Cory Weaver) and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. The evening started with the very jaunty overture from Leichte Kavallerie by Franz von Suppé. The brass was clear and the woodwinds lovely. This was followed by Willis-Sørensen singing "È strano … Sempre libera" from La Traviata. Her voice is incredible and well-supported, without any strain or hint of shrillness. Then came Barton with "O mon Fernand" from Donizetti's La Favorite, sounding very rich and full. She has a huge sound, so it was odd when she seemed to push it a bit in "O don fatale" from Don Carlo, the textures evoked by her voice were disquieting. We got to hear both singers just before intermission in a duet from Anna Bolena, Barton was quite plaintive as Giovanna Seymour. The second half revisited Rusalka, which introduced us to Maestra Kim and Willis-Sørensen back in 2019. It was moving to hear the Polonaise from Act II again, the orchestra sounded sweeping and lush. Willis-Sørensen's "Song to the Moon" is no less stunning, her bright, icy high notes and opulent lower register are impressive. Barton was a passionate Dalila in "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix," as the orchestra shimmered beneath her. I'd like to hear her sing the full opera, and likewise, when she and Willis-Sørensen sang "Mira, o Norma," it made me very much want to hear Norma with both these singers as well and with Kim (all pictured, Drew Altizer Photography) conducting. I believe the encore was Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Climb Every Mountain" sandwiched in their "You'll Never Walk Alone." It reminded me of being a little kid, watching Sound of Music and Carousel on television. * Tattling * There was much of the normal opening night trappings to the performance: a huge vase of roses, the flower garlands on the boxes, speeches from the stage, and even the National Anthem. I saw nearly half a dozen regular patrons of the back balcony and it was so nice to catch up with everyone after so long. They printed some programs this time, but most people used their phones instead. Unfortunately this makes some use their devices during the performance, so I did see the person in J 3 repeatedly look at his screen throughout. The women in front of him in H 1 and 3 were not great at keeping their masks on, they came in late, and just before the intermission ended, dashed to the drinking fountain to grab glasses of water, which they drank during the second half. Cell phone man and his companion decided to move after about 30 seconds of this, so it was easier for me to ignore his bright screen. At least everyone was quiet, I didn't hear any beeps during the music, and no one was really around me. This was very unusual for an opening night, presumably there were more people at the free simulcast at Oracle Park. I was still anxious about being inside with so many people, and kept my two masks on the whole time. There was champagne in the lobby for everyone, but I ran away as swiftly as I could and kept well away from the crowd. Argerich/Staatskapelle Berlin/Barenboim - Schumann, 6 September 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/09/argerichstaatskapelle-berlinbarenboim.html Boulezian urn:uuid:7302ff2e-fe60-c6af-b6f3-25fd0a379447 Sat, 11 Sep 2021 13:47:56 +0000 <br />Staatsoper Unter den Linden<br /><br /><b>Schumann:</b> Symphony no.1 in B-flat major, op.38, ‘Spring’ <br />Piano Concerto in A minor, op.54 <br />Symphony no.2 in C major, op.61<div>&nbsp; <br />Martha Argerich (piano)</div><div>Staatskapelle Berlin</div><div>Daniel Barenboim (conductor)</div><div><br /> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">There are worse ways to celebrate one’s birthday than to hear Martha Argerich, the Staatskapelle Berlin, and Daniel Barenboim in an all-Schumann concert. In truth, there are few, if any, better. Tastes vary, of course; there is notoriously no account for them. Taste, a merely personal matter, aside, though, there are no musicians alive any reasonable listener would esteem in this music. What a treat, moreover, to have Barenboim defiantly—whether in the face of endemic ‘period’ talk or pandemic viral contagion—deploy a full-scale symphony orchestra, from sixteen first violins down to eight double basses, on the Staatsoper stage.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">An <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">echt</i>-Romantic horn call, full of expectancy, repeated by full orchestra heralded the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Spring</i>Symphony. This introduction had such depth of tone and palpable drama, one knew it would be a special evening. Freshness, precision, and depth characterised playing throughout, the first movement development’s counterpoint clear, directed, and above all meaningful. The music fairly danced, even balletically, when called for. Festal, with inwardness where required, its balances were just right. The second movement flowed tenderly, Barenboim here and elsewhere often content to let the players play with little or no direction from him. Shifting moods were always, rightly, founded on harmonic change. The scherzo was on the grand scale, wanting nothing either in vigour nor in ravishing woodwind solo playing; likewise its trios. Magnificent! A finale full of picturesque incident, Mendelssohn and even Elgar coming to mind, revealed its not uncomplicated structure readily, Barenboim never losing sight of the wood for the trees. A <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Tristan</i>-esque ripeness to the Staatskapelle horns recalled former nights in this very house. Splitting violins left and right truly paid dividends in antiphonal statement and response. The closing flourish alone was worth the price of admission.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Lyricism and grandeur, urgency and expanse: that was only the first few bars of the Piano Concerto. This was both chamber and orchestral music, with again extraordinarily fine woodwind solos. Argerich’s shading of a single phrase was eloquent, never fussy, never for its own sake. Even at the height of reverie, there was no question of line and direction. Voice-leading beguiled yet with clear purpose. The first-movement cadenza has its own trajectory, of course, verging on Brahms—and so it sounded here. Just to hear Argerich’s trills was (almost) enough. Eusebius responded in the slow movement, taken <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">attacca</i>, thereby heightening the impression of two sides to the same coin of personality. Its tricky mix of skittishness and <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Innigkeit</i>suited Argerich to a tee. Strings, above all cellos, shone with equal brightness. It seemed over almost before it had begun, transition to the finale begun. It was ever inch a concerto finale, full of light and shade, for there was quite a journey still to go, ever more exhilarating, infections even (in a good sense!) Piano and woodwind ravished alike, counterpoint and harmony directed as one. If again the piano sometimes sounded close to Brahms, that is only because it should. What strength and delicacy there was in those fingers, so ably supported by Barenboim and his orchestra. As an encore—yes, an Argerich encore—we heard the first of Schumann’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Kinderszenen</i>, ‘Von fremden Ländern und Menschen’. Limpid, warm, and directed, it sounded as if a microcosm of the Concerto.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">If counterpoint were crucial before, it was at least doubly so in the Second Symphony, which opened in strikingly Bachian style: not the lamentable, enfeebled Bach of today’s ‘specialists’, but Schumann’s Bach, the world’s Bach. And so it continued, with well-nigh Beethovenian strength of purpose, urgency something born from within, not applied from without. (You know the sort of performance and conductors I have in mind.) To hear this string section in all its glory was everything. One heard afresh, moreover, quite what a complex, radical opening movement this is, imbued with post-Beethovenian humanism that by now is almost Barenboim’s own. Fast need not mean dehumanised, though all too often it does in a culture that prizes all things other than spirit. The scherzo thrilled at quite a tempo, virtuosic, but in a musical sense, Beethoven steel added to Mendelssohn-like effervescence. The first trio relaxed, not too much, but enough, Tender and colourful, it looked back to the First Symphony and the Piano Concerto. Its successor sang beautifully, string counterpoint propelling it on its way. The dash to the finish was duly exhilarating: a force of nature, one might say, save for the artistry involved. A gravely beautiful slow movement was richly sustained throughout, strings once again tugging at the heart strings. Bach’s example was felt throughout the counterpoint: calling his name in declaring it anew. If anything, the orchestra sounded still more miraculous in the finale. Weight and warmth, vigour and virtuosity: music poured forth like Wagnerian molten lava, form created in the moment, yet unerringly prepared. We need Barenboim to return to Bach—and, as Edward Said urged him, finally to conduct the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">St Matthew Passion</i>.<br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p></div><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=B00012HQVI&amp;asins=B00012HQVI&amp;linkId=fa964208e5ae3af24a03f3d7799534fb&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;"> </iframe><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/UaZU9W9rYOE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Three in One: Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Staatsoper Hamburg https://operatraveller.com/2021/09/11/three-in-one-les-contes-dhoffmann-at-the-staatsoper-hamburg/ operatraveller urn:uuid:2b729dbf-9b48-7c17-1c12-8039b321e0ab Sat, 11 Sep 2021 11:39:54 +0000 Offenbach – Les Contes d’Hoffmann Hoffmann – Benjamin BernheimOlympia/Antonia/Giulietta/Stella – Olga PeretyatkoNicklausse/La Muse – Angela BrowerAndrès/Cochenille/Frantz/Pittichinaccio – Gideon PoppeLe conseiller Lindorf/Coppélius/Le docteur Miracle/Dapertutto – Luca PisaroniSpalanzani – Jürgen SacherNathanaël – Kang DongwonLuther/Crespel – Martin SummerLa voix de la tombe – Kristina StanekSchlémil/Hermann – Bernhard HanskyWolfram/ Wilhelm – Daniel Schliewa Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester [&#8230;] <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Offenbach – <em>Les Contes d’Hoffmann</em></strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Hoffmann – Benjamin Bernheim<br>Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta/Stella – Olga Peretyatko<br>Nicklausse/La Muse – Angela Brower<br>Andrès/Cochenille/Frantz/Pittichinaccio – Gideon Poppe<br>Le conseiller Lindorf/Coppélius/Le docteur Miracle/Dapertutto – Luca Pisaroni<br>Spalanzani – J</strong><strong>ürgen Sacher<br>Nathanaël – Kang Dongwon<br>Luther/Crespel – Martin Summer<br>La voix de la tombe – Kristina Stanek<br>Schlémil/Hermann – Bernhard Hansky<br>Wolfram/ Wilhelm – Daniel Schliewa</strong><strong></strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg / Kent Nagano.<br>Stage director – Daniele Finzi Pasca</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Staatsoper, Hamburg, Germany.&nbsp; Friday, September 10th, 2021.</strong></p> <p>This new production of <em>Les contes d’Hoffmann</em> marked the first new staging of the 2021 – 22 at the house on the Dammtor.&nbsp; For it, the house gave us the opportunity to see Benjamin Bernheim, one of the most highly regarded Francophone tenors, take on the title role for the first time in a staged production.&nbsp; He was joined by Olga Peretyatko as all of Hoffmann’s ladies and Luca Pisaroni as the villains, as they did in concert in Baden-Baden back in <a href="https://operatraveller.com/2018/11/26/dramatically-vital-with-original-sound-les-contes-dhoffmann-at-the-festspielhaus-baden-baden/">2017</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, even though a new staged production suggests a gradual return to normality, the fact remains that we are still in a time of plague and the Staatsoper had made some allowances for this.&nbsp; The most notable, is that audience capacity was limited and all guests were required to wear medical face masks at all times while in the house.&nbsp; The other, was that the chorus was split – half the chorus sang on stage, while the others sang from the boxes in a distanced manner.&nbsp; I imagine the reasoning for this would be to allow the house to continue to perform in the event of contamination within the stage chorus.&nbsp; Acoustically, it actually worked well, bathing the house in a warm glow of sound – particularly in the glorious closing epilogue.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png"><img data-attachment-id="5897" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/stueck-3951-original/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png" data-orig-size="1024,690" 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="stueck-3951-original" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5897" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3951-original.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>The staging was confided to Daniele Finzi Pasca, a new name to me.&nbsp; The Swiss director has given the house a production that looks handsome and will be eminently revivable.&nbsp; What it doesn’t do is offer any particularly new insights, nor allow us the opportunity to reflect on the work.&nbsp; It’s a staging that very much skims the surface and relies on the strength of the protagonists to create drama and make it work.&nbsp; In Bernheim, Peretyatko, Pisaroni and Angela Brower’s Nicklausse/La Muse, he certainly had these; but there was a significant amount of standing and delivering throughout the evening – Hoffmann and Antonia addressed their declarations of love, for instance, while singing them at the audience.&nbsp; Finzi Pasca also had a pair of acrobats appear at various moments, whether incarnating a double of La Muse sailing over the scene, or Antonia’s mother appearing from the flies when she first sang of her.&nbsp; There was also a double of Hoffmann who would appear and sit with Nicklausse at the side of the stage when Hoffmann was engaging with his love interests.&nbsp; The presence of these acrobats was more distracting than illuminating, as they seemingly appeared whenever anything important was due to happen, drawing attention away from the principals as if Finizi Pasca didn’t trust his principals to drive the story forward.&nbsp; He does, however, give us some attractive stage pictures – the huge mirror that appeared in the Giulietta act, amplifying the stage was handsome to look at, but it also meant that it was perfectly possible to see Hoffmann’s reflection even though he’d apparently lost it.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png"><img data-attachment-id="5896" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/stueck-3950-original/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png" data-orig-size="1024,683" 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="stueck-3950-original" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5896" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3950-original.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>Where this evening gave much pleasure was in the musical performances.&nbsp; As always, enjoyment was heightened by the fact that the text was extremely clear from a number of the principals.&nbsp; Not least from Bernheim, who filled his singing with meaning.&nbsp; This is a role that sits perfectly for his bright, high-lying tenor.&nbsp; What’s more, there was a sense that he could have kept going all night – where so many before have struggled in the Giulietta act, Bernheim revelled in the challenges, soaring ever higher in ecstatic glee.&nbsp; He even shaded the tone quite magically, pulling back yet always carrying through the house.&nbsp; Bernheim has both the romantic ardour and the ability to portray regret that the role requires – his physical incarnation of the drunk poet was remarkably convincing.&nbsp; If there was one thing in his singing that didn’t quite convince, it’s that the clarity of his diction betrayed the fact that so many final Rs in words were inaudible – amour sounded like ‘amou’ or ‘cœur’ like ‘queue’.&nbsp; This is something that I also picked up on in his <a href="https://operatraveller.com/2021/03/28/tempting-fate-faust-from-the-opera-national-de-paris/">Faust</a> from Paris, France seen via streaming.&nbsp; Otherwise, tonight gave the exceptionally satisfying feeling of seeing a fine artist incarnate a role he was born to sing.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png"><img data-attachment-id="5895" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/stueck-3949-original/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png" data-orig-size="1024,689" 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="stueck-3949-original" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5895" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3949-original.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>The same goes for Brower.&nbsp; She is one of those singers who I’ve always found to be technically competent, but not perhaps the most interesting interpreter.&nbsp; Her Nicklausse/La Muse showed her taking her artistry to a completely new level.&nbsp; Her diction was exceptionally clear and moreover she filled every single word with meaning, relishing the language and digging deep.&nbsp; Brower made the text live and, thanks to the clarity of her diction, had this listener hanging off every word.&nbsp; She sang her ‘vois sous l’archet frémissant’ with long lines and bright, sunny tone.&nbsp; &nbsp;Peretyatko sang Antonia similarly, with long lines and pearly tone, and her diction throughout was clear, helping to give her singing individuality.&nbsp; Giulietta doesn’t sit particularly comfortable for her soprano, but she negotiated the relatively awkward tessitura confidently, if perhaps without a sense that the registers were fully integrated.&nbsp; Her Olympia was sung with personality, but here the passagework wasn’t always even, and I’m not quite convinced she’s the owner of a genuine trill.&nbsp; Peretyatko certainly inspired admiration for taking on this exceptionally challenging assignment and for the intelligibility of the text.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png"><img data-attachment-id="5894" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/stueck-3948-original/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png" data-orig-size="1024,683" 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="stueck-3948-original" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5894" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3948-original.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>Pisaroni brought stage presence to spare to his various roles.&nbsp; His inky bass-baritone is exceptionally handsome in the middle and the bottom fills out with resonant warmth.&nbsp; The top however tonight sounded somewhat grainy and lacking in resonance.&nbsp; Interestingly, his spoken French was highly idiomatic, but his sung French was rather too open, meaning that the impact of his singing was muted slightly.&nbsp; Nevertheless, his was a highly watchable and captivating account of his roles.&nbsp; The remaining cast represented the high standards expected at this address.&nbsp; Gideon Poppe incarnated the servants with wit, unstinting physicality and a bright, well-focused tenor.&nbsp; While Kristina Stamek sang the Voix de la tombe with a plus, rounded mezzo with good resonance.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png"><img data-attachment-id="5893" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/stueck-3947-original/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png" data-orig-size="1024,679" 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="stueck-3947-original" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="&lt;p&gt;Photo: © Monika Rittershaus&lt;/p&gt; " data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5893" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/stueck-3947-original.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Monika Rittershaus</figcaption></figure> <p>Given how they were scattered around the auditorium, the chorus sang with impressive unanimity of ensemble and stage/pit coordination was accurate all night.&nbsp; Kent Nagano led a reading that took a little while to settle.&nbsp; Initially, his approach sounded tentative and inhibited, the joyfulness of ‘jusqu’au matin remplis, rempis mon verre’ sounding muted.&nbsp; It was after Bernheim entered with his ‘Kleinzack’ that the performance began to take wing, Nagano then energizing his forces, particularly in an Antonia act that pushed forward with inexorable tension.&nbsp; The orchestra was on good form – particularly the elegant solo horn – although the violins were a little stretched in the high-lying rapid figures of the Olympia act.</p> <p>On the whole, this was an evening that gave an enormous amount of pleasure thanks to the clarity of the diction, the excellent standard of the singing, and the captivating stage presence of the principals.&nbsp; The staging was, with the exception of the random acrobats, unobtrusive and allowed the principles to use the text to put the story across.&nbsp; I left the theatre happy to have seen a favourite work and having been able to understand the text, combined with that unbeatable feeling of seeing familiar singers take their artistry to a new level.&nbsp; The audience rewarded the performance with an extremely generous ovation.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Hey there https://parterre.com/2021/09/11/hey-there/ parterre box urn:uuid:647c9b19-7178-288e-1edc-df83d41aae6d Sat, 11 Sep 2021 08:19:48 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/11/hey-there/"><img width="720" height="246" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/connick-header-720x246.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/connick-header-720x246.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/connick-header-300x103.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/connick-header-768x263.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/connick-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/connick-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 54th birthday <strong>Harry Connick Jr.</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeWGELPKxHc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeWGELPKxHc</a></p> <p>Happy 86th birthday composer <strong>Avro Pärt</strong>.</p> Jedermann https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/ operaramblings urn:uuid:2815ffc4-2361-369c-8103-bb12cf2eea17 Fri, 10 Sep 2021 20:24:32 +0000 The disc release (Blu-ray and DVD) of Hugo von Hofmannsthal&#8217;s Jedermann is actually a 2 for 1.  There&#8217;s a recording of a performance of the play from the 2020 Salzburg festival plus a 54 minute &#8220;docufiction&#8221; film about the history &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>The disc release (Blu-ray and DVD) of Hugo von Hofmannsthal&#8217;s <em>Jedermann</em> is actually a 2 for 1.  There&#8217;s a recording of a performance of the play from the 2020 Salzburg festival plus a 54 minute &#8220;docufiction&#8221; film about the history of the festival.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30327" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/1-death/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.death_.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.death" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.death_.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.death_.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30327 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.death_.png?w=584" alt="1.death" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.death_.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.death_.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.death_.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-30321"></span>The play, in full, <em>Jedermann. Das Spiel vom Sterben des reichen Mannes</em> is, of course,  von Hoffmansthal&#8217;s translation and reworking of several medieval mystery plays and concerns a rich man doomed to die and abandoned by his worldly companions.  It&#8217;s traditionally staged at Salzburg on an open air stage in front of the cathedral and that&#8217;s where it was filmed in 2020; the 100th anniversary of the festival.  Stage direction is by Michael Sturminger with original music by Wolfgang Mitterer.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30328" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/2-party-3/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.party_.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.party" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.party_.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.party_.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30328 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.party_.png?w=584" alt="2.party" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.party_.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.party_.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.party_.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>It&#8217;s quite spectacular.  It&#8217;s given a modern &#8220;cocktail party&#8221; type setting with lots of glitz through which Jedermann, brilliantly played by Tobias Moretti, makes his allegorical journey from heedless playboy, to doomed sinner, to saved penitent.  The theology is classic medieval Catholic so there&#8217;s little nuance but the cast exploit the existential drama brilliantly.  Besides Moretti there are particularly fine performances from the veteran Peter Lohmeyer as Death and Caroline Peters as Jedermann&#8217;s lover.  There&#8217;s also a very funny cameo by Gregor Bloéb as the frustrated Satan.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30329" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/3-mammon/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.mammon.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.mammon" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.mammon.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.mammon.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30329 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.mammon.png?w=584" alt="3.mammon" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.mammon.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.mammon.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.mammon.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>It&#8217;s pretty clear that the staging is making full use of the grandeur of the setting but video director André Turnheim can only hint at it.  The total &#8220;stage&#8221; is just too big to be fully captured on video.  In fact, Turnheim probably does as much as he reasonably can to capture the essence.  Mitterer&#8217;s score is modern, jazzy and atmospheric.  It&#8217;s heavy on winds and percussion and really adds an extra dimension to the drama.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30330" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/4-devil/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.devil_.png" data-orig-size="580,327" 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.devil" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.devil_.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.devil_.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30330 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.devil_.png?w=584" alt="4.devil" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.devil_.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.devil_.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.devil_.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>I watched the DVD version and it&#8217;s fine.  The picture is clear enough and both the stereo and DTS surround tracks are more than adequate.  Unusually the only subtitle option is English.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30331" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/5-saved/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.saved_.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.saved" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.saved_.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.saved_.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30331 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.saved_.png?w=584" alt="5.saved" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.saved_.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.saved_.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.saved_.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>The film is called <em>The Great World Theatre &#8211; Salzburg and its Festiva</em>l and it&#8217;s directed by Beate Thalberg.  It features footage of events at and around the festival from a wide range of sources linked together by a narrative by Florian Teichtmeister in the part of Max Reinhardt&#8217;s butler, Franz Swatosch, as he prepares for a dinner party featuring guests from throughout the festival&#8217;s history.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30334" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/6-teichtmeister/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/6.teichtmeister.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.teichtmeister" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/6.teichtmeister.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/6.teichtmeister.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30334 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/6.teichtmeister.png?w=584" alt="6.teichtmeister" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/6.teichtmeister.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/6.teichtmeister.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/6.teichtmeister.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>It&#8217;s very cleverly done.  Essentially it portrays the festival&#8217;s history as cyclic.  The original &#8220;holy trinity&#8221; of Reinhardt, Strauss and von Hofmannsthal create the festival to mark a rebuilding of European culture in the wake of the Great War and Spanish flu.  Along come the Nazis.  The festival team is torn apart between those who collaborate and those who go into exile.  The war ends and Gottfried von Einem and Berthold Brecht seek once again to revive the festival as a centre of <em>engagé</em> art.  They are foiled by the too-soon- excused Nazi pair of Herbert von Karajan and Josef Klaus.  Decades of embourgeoisement and celebrity culture follow before Karajan is removed by Jedermann&#8217;s co-star and the end of the Cold War signals a new phase.  Gérard Mortier returns the festival to its roots and perhaps goes beyond them to the great scandal of the good burgers of Salzburg and the glitterati who have become the audience.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30335" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/7-strauss/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/7.strauss.png" data-orig-size="580,328" 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="7.strauss" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/7.strauss.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/7.strauss.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30335 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/7.strauss.png?w=584" alt="7.strauss" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/7.strauss.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/7.strauss.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/7.strauss.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>One can, of course, dispute this reading of events but I find it convincing in its essence and the material is marshalled in a convincing way.  The insights into the characters from the early days who made up the ménage at Reinhardt&#8217;s Leopoldskron palace is especially insightful.  In any event it&#8217;s a fascinating film.  It can be viewed with either German or English soundtrack.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30336" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/8-wallmann/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/8.wallmann.png" data-orig-size="580,328" 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="8.wallmann" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/8.wallmann.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/8.wallmann.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30336 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/8.wallmann.png?w=584" alt="8.wallmann" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/8.wallmann.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/8.wallmann.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/8.wallmann.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>So, an interesting and unusual double bill.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30337" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/10/jedermann/9-karajan/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/9.karajan.png" data-orig-size="580,323" 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="9.karajan" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/9.karajan.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/9.karajan.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30337 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/9.karajan.png?w=584" alt="9.karajan" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/9.karajan.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/9.karajan.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/9.karajan.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> Merola's Back Home: Through the Stage Door https://operatattler.typepad.com/opera/2021/09/merola-back-home-through-the-stage-door.html The Opera Tattler urn:uuid:3f99cf3c-75be-3fea-6a91-56739f988d08 Fri, 10 Sep 2021 17:15:43 +0000 * Notes * Last month the Merola Opera Program filmed a series of pieces featuring the 2021 participants in the Herbst Theatre under the title Back Home: Through the Stage Door. Directed by David Paul, the 17 vignettes established a... * Notes * Last month the Merola Opera Program filmed a series of pieces featuring the 2021 participants in the Herbst Theatre under the title Back Home: Through the Stage Door. Directed by David Paul, the 17 vignettes established a lovely warmth and intimacy. The banter between bass-baritone Andrew Dwan (Presto) and tenor Gabriel Hernandez (Lacouf) in "Avec vous, vieux Lacouf" from Les mamelles de Tirésias was truly charming, they sang around pianist Anna Smigelskaya and had great chemistry. I have a soft spot for local mezzo-soprano Nikola Printz and was so glad to hear them sing Sesto in "Son nata a lagrimar" from Giulio Cesare with fellow mezzo Jesse Mashburn as Cornelia. Printz also sang in two Mozart pieces "Ah, perdona al primo affetto" from La clemenza di Tito and "Pria di partir, oh Dio!" from Idomeneo, basically all my favorite repertoire. Other highlights for me were soprano Catherine Goode being super creepy as the Lady with a Hand Mirror in Argento's Postcard from Morocco and soprano Celeste Morales singing Florence B. Price's "Hold fast to dreams." The latter gave me goosebumps, Morales has a beautiful, clear tone. The finale of "Contessa perdono... Questo giorno di tormenti" from Le nozze di Figaro (pictured, photograph by Kristen Loken) was rousing. Baritone Laureano Quant is a fine Count, and soprano Mikayla Sager a very sympathetic Countess. Tattling * My spouse caught me watching the end of this video on our television and noted that I even do standing room at home. In difficult times fashion is always outrageous https://parterre.com/2021/09/10/in-difficult-times-fashion-is-always-outrageous/ parterre box urn:uuid:7dfedf51-2114-fa72-d3dc-944003cfa16a Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:12:12 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/10/in-difficult-times-fashion-is-always-outrageous/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pink-zsa-zsa-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pink-zsa-zsa-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pink-zsa-zsa-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pink-zsa-zsa-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pink-zsa-zsa-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pink-zsa-zsa.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1890 designer<strong> Elsa Schiaparelli</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=43pNk3J9B2g&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=43pNk3J9B2g</a></p> <p>On this day in 1838 Berlioz&#8217;<strong> Benvenuto Cellini</strong> premiered in Paris.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3lpxazJw0c&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3lpxazJw0c</a></p> <p>On this day in 1868 Bizet&#8217;s <em>Pêcheurs de perles</em> premiered in Paris.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQQ3uEeMEFI&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQQ3uEeMEFI</a></p> <p>Happy 77th birthday baritone <strong>Thomas Allen</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aC_aJ8dQr4&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aC_aJ8dQr4</a></p> <p>Happy 72nd birthday soprano <strong>Francoise Pollet</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4NB49rQR8g&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4NB49rQR8g</a></p> <p>Happy 64th birthday tenor and director<strong> Laurence Dale</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aba278Hl7ZQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aba278Hl7ZQ</a></p> <p>Happy birthday to Playbill mainstay <strong>Ryan McPhee</strong>.</p> Government – A Few Thoughts https://medicine-opera.com/2021/09/government-a-few-thoughts/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:370d66a0-b1ca-23ec-cdd2-ccf02d4d2185 Thu, 09 Sep 2021 20:36:00 +0000 Governments began as soon as humans stopped travelling in small bands and started to congregate in imobile groups which gradually transformed from villages to cities. Strongmen were the first leaders who governed according to their might. They continue to hold sway over a large swath of the planet to this day. Two and a half... <p>Governments began as soon as humans stopped travelling in small bands and started to congregate in imobile groups which gradually transformed from villages to cities. Strongmen were the first leaders who governed according to their might. They continue to hold sway over a large swath of the planet to this day. Two and a half millennia ago the people of Athens (the <em>demos</em>) took control of governance. Democracy, as it was accordingly named after those who held the franchise (free male adults), broke down after about a century. The demos proved fickle and inconstant. It resurfaced in the late 18th century in versions of representative or republican governments. The people did not govern directly, but elected representatives who acted on their behalf &#8211; at least in theory.</p> <p>The problems with elected governments are several. They were apparent from the start of popular governance. Those inherent in authoritarian governance are so obvious that I will ignore them. </p> <p>When all citizens of age are entitled to vote a few questions spring to mind. How many of them are wise? Use whatever definition of wisdom you choose, you&#8217;ll still conclude that the wise are in the minority &#8211; and by a lot. I do not equate education with wisdom. Intelligence is a precursor of wisdom, but most smart people are not wise. Thus of necessity, republican government is that selected by the unwise. Even if wisdom were universal it might be overridden by other human characteristics which seep over the government like sewerage.</p> <p>The first is that power tends to inexorably move towards the center. The founders of the United States were aware of this problem and tried to prevent it in the Constitutions they wrote. But war, time , and rent seeking eventually wore down the decentralizing provisions of the documents and the center came to command virtually all of human activity.</p> <p>Next is centralizing&#8217;s sibling &#8211; corruption. Lord Acton&#8217;s aphorism about power is everywhere proven right. The creation of a permanent federal bureaucracy meant to defeat corruption by eliminating the political appointment of office holders every time a new regime took power had the opposite effect. Bureaucrats in place for decades control the workings of the government according to a preference separate from the electorate&#8217;s. The richest communities in the US are the bedroom counties surrounding Washington. </p> <p>Also unanticipated by the founders are the permanent elected officials who write the laws. Secure in their offices they are sloppy in their legislative performance. They don&#8217;t pass individual budgets, they delegate the details of the laws they pass to the permanent bureaucrats, and they (really their staffs) write (copy and paste) enormous bills that no one person has ever read in its entirety that hand out favors to connected recipients in amounts of money beyond human reckoning. As power and influence move to the seat of the national government and as the <em>Federal Register</em> grows faster than a pituitary giant, personal liberty is maimed.</p> <p>Free stuff is everywhere promised. The wealthy will pay for it my anteing up their &#8216;fair share&#8217; in taxes. Nobody defines &#8216;fair share&#8217; but it appears to be owed by those who make more money than those who petition for a &#8216;fair share&#8217;. In reality, the affluent do better no matter what the tax regime. As the government creates new money it first goes to those who already have a bunch. By the time it spreads through society its value has decreased. This phenomenon even has a name that&#8217;s three centuries old &#8211; <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-cantillon-effect-why-wall-street" target="_blank">The Cantillon Effect</a>. Rent seekers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose.</p> <p>Why is the military budget gargantuan in comparison to any other country? Yet we haven&#8217;t won a war in the last 75 years. (The first gulf war was a walkover.) The US military&#8217;s expenditure on materiel and supplies supports a mammoth arms industry. Cost overruns are encouraged and fully funded. </p> <p>You can&#8217;t influence the federal government unless you have a $100 million lobbying budget. The individual is powerless against the might of the state. The modern &#8216;democratic&#8217; governments of the West have become so obese and overfed that they will of necessity devour themselves. But they can do a lot of damage before they explode. The appearance of a plague, modest by historical standards, has revealed how suppine the populace has become, how easily they succumb to outrageous commands by the government at all levels, and accordingly how much additional pain and suffering can be inflicted on them in the name of the general welfare without fear of much resistance. </p> <p>The bizarre marriage of the mega corporations and the government is as indisoluble as a catholic marriage of centuries past. The addition of a resurgent socialism has created a deformed troika beyond the wildest imaginings of any mythology. The public space is now under heavy censorship</p> <p>Those who want to overturn the residual wraith of liberty in the US are an odd lot. They seem oblivious of the past. Every prescription they offer to cure the ills of society has proved far worse than a placebo in the past. They seem bent on disproving Faulkner&#8217;s: <em>The past is never dead. It’s not even past.</em> Life is simple when the past is a blank slate. There are some downsides to a lousy education. Semiconsciousness mixed with lack of information may not stop furious activity, but it will generate unilluminated heat.</p> <p>Mentioning education, can one still be had? Medical education is going down the memory hole. Soon you&#8217;ll be required to use a surgeon who has had sufficient sensitivity training to pass muster by the enlightened leaders of the healing arts who are indifferent to skill, but alert to outcomes. Patient beware. You may wish to keep your gallbladder to yourself.</p> <p>OK, enough kvetching. What should be done? Easy to define, but virtually impossible to execute. The levers of power should be manipulated as close to those affected as possible. In other words, government should be as local as possible. Power may still corrupt, but when exerted locally the citizen has a chance to right things. A handful out of 330 million can be ignored or even punished. But if the same number of citizens (it&#8217;s not a dirty word) is part of 30 thousand they can have a meaningful impact and cannot be easily ignored much less castigated. But those possessed of power will not relinquish it. So decentralization is suppositious. Also government should be as lean as possible. As a general rule, vote against every bond initiative.</p> <p>Polybius described how Scipio Aemelianus wept as he watched the destruction of Carthage that he had directed. When asked the reason for his tears he said that all things mortal are transitory and that one day the fate of Carthage would befall Rome. Sure enough, though it took 600 years, Rome fell. A later historian, Arnold Toynbee, declared that nations die by suicide. The US is putting Toynbee&#8217;s prediction to the test. The creation of previously invisible rights, limitless piles of computer generated money, genders by the bushel as part of the reimaging of biology &#8211; all by ledgerdomain combined with authoritarian rule and the abrogation of fundamental right hitherto considered inviolable are sign of terminal distress. If an analogy to the seasons is allowed, we are into late fall. Enjoy the leaves.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> Tauride zone https://parterre.com/2021/09/09/tauride-zone/ parterre box urn:uuid:a306320e-ef99-c084-eb3e-59a76876f591 Thu, 09 Sep 2021 14:00:10 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/09/tauride-zone/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>This week Trove Thursday presents Gluck’s <em>Iphigénie en Tauride </em>in three stirring broadcasts starring <strong>Rita Gorr,</strong> <strong>Gré Brouwenstijn</strong> and <strong>Sena Jurinac</strong></p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78828" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/iphigenie-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Trove Thursday began on September 10, 2015 with Berlioz’s <em>Les Troyens.</em> In tribute to that first <a href="https://parterre.com/2015/09/10/baby-the-reine-must-fall/">podcast</a>, we return to the Trojan War to celebrate TT&#8217;s sixth birthday by presenting a masterpiece originally slated by the Met for revival later this month: Gluck’s <em>Iphigénie en Tauride </em>in three stirring broadcasts starring <strong>Rita Gorr,</strong> <strong>Gré Brouwenstijn</strong> and <strong>Sena Jurinac</strong> conducted by <strong>Georg Solti,</strong> <strong>Alberto Erede</strong> and <strong>John Eliot Gardiner</strong>, respectively.</p> <p>The principal casualty of the Met’s reopening has been the cancellation of <strong>Stephen Wadsworth</strong>’s production of <em>Iphigénie</em> which was to have been conducted by <strong>Nathalie Stutzmann</strong> in her company debut with <strong>Kate Lindsey</strong> in the title role.</p> <p>On the other hand, next Tuesday the Paris Opéra <em>will </em>be presenting Gluck’s opera postponed from last season albeit with an Iphigénie and Oreste it had to fly in after rehearsals had begun. The <a href="https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-21-22/opera/iphigenie-en-tauride">Paris production</a> was originally rumored to star <strong>Joyce DiDonato</strong> who wisely I beliveve thought better of taking on the role; I suspect she was also the original impetus behind the Met’s planned revival.</p> <p>On occasion I’ve posted two versions of Trove Thursday’s opera of the week but this is the first time I’ve included <em>three </em>as I couldn’t resist offering Gorr <em>and </em>Brouwenstijn <em>and </em>Jurinac. A performance I wished had been recorded by some enterprising pirate is the American Opera Society’s 1962 <em>Iphigénie </em>at Carnegie Hall with <strong>Marilyn Horne</strong> (substituting for Gorr),<strong> Léopold Simoneau</strong> and <strong>Gabriel Bacquier</strong> in his US debut.</p> <p>Robert Massard, who last month turned 96, was clearly the go-to Oreste of the 60s and 70s as he’s brother to both Gorr and Jurinac as well as to<strong> Régine Crespin</strong> in her Teatro Colon <em>Iphigénie </em>which has been issued on <a href="https://amzn.to/3jWo8Ul">a cheap 2-CD set</a>.</p> <p>Unlike the two Massard versions, the Dutch <em>Iphigenie </em>presents the edition Gluck prepared for Vienna (in German) two years after the Paris premiere and uses a tenor instead of a baritone for Orestes. The Met utilized this version (translated back into French) for the Wadsworth production with <strong>Susan Graham</strong> presumably to accommodate <strong>Placido Domingo</strong>’s awkward assumption of the role.</p> <p>Twenty-first century listeners may find the conducting of the Gorr and Brouwenstijn broadcasts a bit old-fashioned—slow and stodgy at times. However, Jurinac, who had earlier performed her role in German for Bavarian Radio opposite <strong>Fritz Wunderlich</strong> and <strong>Hermann Prey,</strong> benefits from the more dynamic leadership of period-performance advocate Gardiner, who was just 30 years old at the time.</p> <p>I’m particularly fond of the lesser-known <em>Iphigénie en Aulide, </em>Gluck’s prequel to <em>Iphigénie en Tauride</em>, which can be found on a <a href="https://parterre.com/2021/02/25/bring-your-daughter-to-the-slaughter/">Trove Thursday installment</a> from earlier this year.</p> <p>When La Cieca asked me to curate Trove Thursday I had no inkling that the series would still be running on <em>parterre box</em> six years later. Since its Berlioz beginning, hundreds of operas, oratorios, song cycles and other vocal works have been posted here. I’ve amassed a stockpile of live recordings earmarked for TT that now could keep this weekly feature going for a couple more years, but for the moment I’ll just say that it will continue for the near future. Installment #300 arrives next month!</p> <p>The archive that lists all Trove Thursday offerings in alphabetical order by composer <a href="https://parterre.com/the-trove-thursday-archive/">has just been completely updated</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Gluck: <em>Iphigénie en Tauride</em></strong></p> <p>Royal Opera at the Edinburgh Festival<br /> 23 August 1961<br /> Broadcast</p> <p>Iphigénie: Rita Gorr<br /> Diane: Margreta Elkins<br /> Deux Prêtresses: Jennifer Eddy &amp; Janet Coster<br /> Une Grecque: Jeanette Sinclair<br /> Oreste: Robert Massard<br /> Pylade: André Turp<br /> Thoas: Louis Quilico</p> <p>Conductor: Georg Solti</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20417636/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Gluck: <em>Iphigenie auf Tauris</em></strong> (1781 Vienna version in German)</p> <p>Holland Festival, Amsterdam<br /> 20 June 1964<br /> Broadcast</p> <p>Iphigenie: Gré Brouwenstijn<br /> Diane: Sophia van Sante<br /> Zwei Priesterinnen: Nelly Morpurgo &amp; Marijke Franssen<br /> Orestes: Vilém Pribyl<br /> Pylades: Robert Ilosfalvy<br /> Thoas: Jules Bastin</p> <p>Conductor: Alberto Erede</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20417639/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Gluck: <em>Iphigénie en Tauride</em></strong></p> <p>Covent Garden<br /> 17 November 1973<br /> Broadcast</p> <p>Iphigénie: Sena Jurinac<br /> Diane: Gillian Knight<br /> Une Prêtresse: Susan Lees<br /> Oreste: Robert Massard<br /> Pylade: Jean Bonhomme<br /> Thoas: Robert Bickerstaff<br /> Un scythe: Thomas Allen</p> <p>Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20417642/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Each version of <em>Iphigénie en Tauride </em>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>In addition, more than 400 other podcast tracks are always available <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trove-thursday/id1039652739">from Apple Podcasts for free</a> or <a href="http://parterre.com/podcast/trovethursday.rss">via any RSS reader</a>.</p> I was always Sylvia https://parterre.com/2021/09/09/i-was-always-sylvia/ parterre box urn:uuid:a2a18eeb-c951-a359-f91e-a696f2bffad6 Thu, 09 Sep 2021 10:26:18 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/09/i-was-always-sylvia/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sylvia-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sylvia-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sylvia-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sylvia-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sylvia-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sylvia-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1924 actress <strong>Sylvia Miles</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=24iiJAdNnUQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=24iiJAdNnUQ</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1828 writer <strong>Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8hecZjtTtw&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8hecZjtTtw</a></p> <p>Happy 46th birthday singer <strong>Michael Bublé</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMc3XDOy3AY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMc3XDOy3AY</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1873 opera and stage director <strong>Max Reinhardt</strong>.</p> Musikfest Berlin (4) - Ensemble Musikfabrik/Cassidy and Poppe, 5 September 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/09/musikfest-berlin-4-ensemble.html Boulezian urn:uuid:e5786795-bf09-b0dd-742e-6076f46187c5 Wed, 08 Sep 2021 14:48:23 +0000 <div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Philharmonie<br /><br /> <br /><b>Ann Cleare:</b> <i>mire/…/veins</i> (2013); <i>ore</i> (2016); <i>Fossil Lights</i> (2020-21, world premiere); <i>the physics of fog, swirling</i> (2018-19); <i>on magnetic fields</i> (2011-12) <br /><br /><b>Enno Poppe:</b> <i>Prozession</i> (2015-20)</span><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Hannah Weirich (violin)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Sara Cubarsi (violin)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Michele Marelli (clarinet)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Ensemble Musikfabrik</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Aaron Cassidy, Enno Poppe (conductors)</span><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /><br /><br /> </span><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VxK1952ptts/YTjMeMJ9L0I/AAAAAAAAHXo/TpoQ02mrvLUzS5X2L_tZEYCagcCW0lcZQCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/20210905_mfb21_p_ensemble_musikfabrik_II_enno_poppe_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%252819%2529.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VxK1952ptts/YTjMeMJ9L0I/AAAAAAAAHXo/TpoQ02mrvLUzS5X2L_tZEYCagcCW0lcZQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/20210905_mfb21_p_ensemble_musikfabrik_II_enno_poppe_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%252819%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Astrid Ackermann</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">For my final visit to this year’s Musikfest Berlin: two concerts, morning and afternoon, from Ensemble Musikfabrik. The first was devoted to the music of Ann Cleare, the two ensemble pieces conducted at frighteningly short notice by Aaron Cassidy; the second, conducted by the composer, was devoted to Enno Poppe’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Prozession</i>, begun in 2015, then set aside after eight minutes’ worth of music, to be resumed during lockdown and extended to about fifty in total.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">The morning’s Ann Cleare portrait suggested a communicative interest, variety notwithstanding, in instrumental sound as sculpted material. <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">mire/…/veins</i> for wind quintet imparted, from its muted brass opening, a sense of masked volatility, of activity located somewhere just below a geological surface—and rising. Febrile oscillations were observed and felt, the horn seemingly adopting a central, even mediating, role between the other pairs of instruments: trombone and tuba on one side, two trumpets on the other.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">ore</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">is written for string trio and high reed instrument, here clarinet, whose opening shrillness against glassy strings suggested a more important role for pitch than its predecessor. Different sections offered a different sense of materiality, as interested in combination as opposition. Indeed, the closeness of clarinet to string timbre was at times surprising. The first performance of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fossil Lights</i> followed, clarinet, violin, and cello remaining, now joined by piano. It proved a haunting piece. Atmosphere may not have been the point; it nevertheless had plenty. Aural beams and slight rotations (whether of pitch, dynamics, etc.) helped me work towards a sense of bifurcation, of two aural visions, connections growing in different ways, according to vantage point: musical work or subject.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5mQtk7j8cWg/YTjMmjChwsI/AAAAAAAAHXs/DEKV8cFxAD0gPY5CT8oGDAbQNTEqKyHLgCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/20210905_mfb21_p_ensemble_musikfbarik_I_ann_cleare_portr%25C3%25A4t_aaron_cassidy_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%252845%2529.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5mQtk7j8cWg/YTjMmjChwsI/AAAAAAAAHXs/DEKV8cFxAD0gPY5CT8oGDAbQNTEqKyHLgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/20210905_mfb21_p_ensemble_musikfbarik_I_ann_cleare_portr%25C3%25A4t_aaron_cassidy_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%252845%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">Two works for ensemble followed, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">the physics of fog, swirling</i> commencing with an almost ‘traditional’, Romantic horn call, sound soon changing all manner of ways, both for horn and greater ensemble. Each part of the title gained importance: fog and swirling, of course, but physics too with respect to method. There is, of course, a myriad ways to swirl, but this was not a catalogue, more a quasi-scientific narrative, even an experiment, which eventually went into reverse, unravelled. Finally, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">on magnetic fields</i>, for two violins and ensemble, once again offered at least a way in through its title, seemingly realised spatially too by different instrumental groups led by the soloists. It seemed to speak of and with magnetism, fields opposed but also interacting and thus engendering movement. There were moments of galvanising drama, a crackling conclusion to a fascinating programme.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J6ThBOl4LJg/YTjMsjCuAyI/AAAAAAAAHXw/taqKb1S_VU8187ETXLk-6CxFObu70EvCACLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/20210905_mfb21_p_ensemble_musikfbarik_I_ann_cleare_portr%25C3%25A4t_aaron_cassidy_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%252830%2529.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J6ThBOl4LJg/YTjMsjCuAyI/AAAAAAAAHXw/taqKb1S_VU8187ETXLk-6CxFObu70EvCACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/20210905_mfb21_p_ensemble_musikfbarik_I_ann_cleare_portr%25C3%25A4t_aaron_cassidy_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%252830%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />&nbsp;<p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">Was Poppe’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Prozession</i> to be a work of music theatre? No, at least not straightforwardly. The musicians stayed where they were, although the slightly unusual make-up of the ensemble had a visual element too: percussion at the back joined by two electronic organs and electric guitar. Its opening seemed almost pictorial, at least in the way a procession by Berlioz or Mahler might be, albeit in a world of spectralism. The procession seemed to be getting under way, or perhaps in preparation, coming to life from drums to solo instruments, to combinations. There was certainly a sense of movement that, however irregular its parts, resulted in something more regular. It died down, returned to its beginnings, then started up again, albeit differently—and again, all the more differently. Instruments picking up the figurative baton from one another seemed, intriguingly, to pick up characteristics too: clarinet from electric guitar, trumpets from saxophone, and so on. The process began to mesmerise, or perhaps one began to realise that it had mesmerised all along. Double bass out of the debris, with others in its penumbra: here was another different path, more shadowy, more distant. Microtonal disorientation became more intense. At some point, the procession began to head away and/or subside, depending on who or what was its subject. What had it meant? That was not really the question: it had been a rite, so it seemed, from another world.</span></p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/zDYZ5klGA3k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> This nearly was mime https://parterre.com/2021/09/08/this-nearly-was-mime/ parterre box urn:uuid:22cd14e7-99ac-a623-bc9e-dc0aea432941 Wed, 08 Sep 2021 08:00:45 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/08/this-nearly-was-mime/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/barrault-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/barrault-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/barrault-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/barrault-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/barrault-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/barrault-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1910 actor and director <strong>Jean-Louis Barrault</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABzfKzwA7g&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABzfKzwA7g</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1841 composer <strong>Antonín Dvorak</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo-FlIiiZ44&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo-FlIiiZ44</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1932 singer <strong>Patsy Cline</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG-8uZg2uV0&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG-8uZg2uV0</a></p> Great and happy, but not quite live https://parterre.com/2021/09/07/great-and-happy-but-not-quite-live/ parterre box urn:uuid:dc1319df-bb80-45a6-c8fa-526ec5e773d1 Tue, 07 Sep 2021 15:14:28 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/07/great-and-happy-but-not-quite-live/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>This was a great and happy event, but it wasn’t so much a musical one.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78802" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />After nearly 18 months of total silence (punctuated by a generous deluge of historic HDTV performances and occasional livestreamed recitals), the Metropolitan Opera reopened this week with two free performances of Mahler’s <em>Second (“Resurrection”) Symphony</em>, a work clearly chosen to symbolize the company’s aspirations—as <strong>Peter Gelb </strong>stated, at its commencement.</p> <p>This was an Occasion more than a musical event—I attended on Saturday—and the packed crowd (2500 people) in damned uncomfortable chairs in Damrosch Park beside the Met were clearly thrilled to be attending any such thing. Live music! People vocalizing, blowing, plucking, strumming, and the sounds coming out to our ears, not from screens. Masks, vaccination cards and i.d. were demanded of all covers.</p> <p>This was a great and happy event, but it wasn’t so much a musical one. So much of the music was sacrificed to electronic amplification that one wonders if matters would not have been improved had the amplification been omitted entirely. True, the music had to fight off competition from helicopters overhead and sirens in the street (it was difficult to be sure which distant sounds were the offstage band Mahler calls for in his score, and which were traffic noises), but we <em>might</em> have gotten something more cohesive without microphones.</p> <p>I’m sure the technical engineers are masters of their craft, but that craft isn’t one that melds well with the requirements of that virtuoso instrument, the 19-century orchestra, with its infinite array of colors, harmonies and individual timbres. Through microphones, the metallic could sound tinny, the drums and basses like rolling thunder, louder or softer than intended, the winds rich and keening but without the entwining support of strings.</p> <p>Met Music Director <strong>Yannick Nezet-Seguin</strong>, already a familiar and favorite figure on the city’s cultural landscape, leaped about energetically, directing instruments and holding the focus of the closed circuit cameras (so as to command the more distant sections following him on screen, not to mention the offstage band and the chorus), fluttering his fingers to express the proper dappled figures of harps or flutes. He directed a great deal of wonderful playing from individual sections of the orchestra, but there was insufficient blending.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78803" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-2.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-2.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-2-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mahler-2-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>The technical systems, it seemed to me, defeated coherence. Deep instruments were too deep, abyssal, and brassy calls came out of nowhere (an effect Mahler might have liked, actually). Delicate touches of harp or trumpet were loud as sirens in the night. The majesty of the conception was there, and the orchestral humor of Saint Anthony’s Sermon to the Fish (the third movement), and the holy hush of the choral epilogue. Somewhere in the bushes was a Mahler symphony, but the tigers and hyenas drowned it out. One would like to hear what Yannick does with this music—and these performers—indoors, in a proper acoustic.</p> <p>The chorus sat in front of the audience, facing away from us so as not to breathe in our faces. Over other heads in the audience, we saw only the top row of heads. They turned to address us on cue, which was far less disturbing—it was rather thrilling—than a marching entrance would have been. In any case, had they been on bleachers behind the instruments, they would have lacked a sounding board behind them to push their music into the listeners.</p> <p><strong>Denyce Graves </strong>sang the “Urlicht” with a pronounced wobble and little fullness to her voice for this all-important sermon. <strong>Ying Fang</strong>, whose exquisite soprano usually fills the Met like a clear chime, made pretty sounds but was defeated by the microphones in the open air.</p> <p>Splendid to hear music performed before our very ears after all this time, and by forces of such skill. But my joy was muted by the technological enhancement.</p> <p>Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera</p> Musikfest Berlin (3): Stefanovich/RSB/Jurowski - Stravinsky and Hindemith, 4 September 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/09/musikfest-berlin-3-stefanovichrsbjurows.html Boulezian urn:uuid:db3a15c3-c559-9b86-fa63-e88eb233c3b2 Tue, 07 Sep 2021 14:01:33 +0000 <p><span style="font-family: georgia;">Philharmonie</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: georgia;"><b>Stravinsky:</b> <i>Symphonies of Wind Instruments </i><br /><b>Stravinsky: </b><i>Abraham and Isaac </i><br /><b>Stravinsky:</b> <i>Concerto for piano and wind instruments </i><br /><b>Stravinsky:</b> <i>Variations for Orchestra (Aldous Huxley in memoriam) </i><br /><b>Hindemith: </b><i>Symphony: Mathis der Maler </i><br /><br />Tamara Stefanovich (piano)<br />Georg Nigl (baritone)<br />Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra<br />Vladimir Jurowski (conductor)</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-68VblTPCwuk/YTdwH3VjTgI/AAAAAAAAHW8/XqndoIS5aOs0f1AkJGJdhs4AFJkWH16ugCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/210904_mfb21_p_rundfunk-sinfonieorchester_berlin_vladimir_jurowski_philharmonie_c_peter_meisel%2B%25283%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-68VblTPCwuk/YTdwH3VjTgI/AAAAAAAAHW8/XqndoIS5aOs0f1AkJGJdhs4AFJkWH16ugCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/210904_mfb21_p_rundfunk-sinfonieorchester_berlin_vladimir_jurowski_philharmonie_c_peter_meisel%2B%25283%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Peter Meisel</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">A darkened hall, monochrome lighting, considerable distance between conductor and orchestra (strings absent): </span><i style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">Symphonies of Wind Instruments</i><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">, given in its superior, 1920 version, looked as well as sounded hieratic. It was as precise as it was hieratic, only adding to the aggression that lies only just beneath the surface, presaging so much neoclassical Stravinsky as well as echoing the Russian ballets. Strange flute solos recalled the </span><i style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">Rite</i><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"> in particular. Combinations of instruments surprised, enchanted, and drove Stravinsky’s quasi-liturgy. In its intense drama of sounds, it looked forward to Birtwistle and others. And yet, Vladimir Jurowski was equally alert to the crucial role of the static. By the close, it was possible that much had changed, but had it? Here was something implacable, unanswerable, quite beyond the Austro-German aesthetic.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">When does one have opportunity to hear <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Abraham and Isaac</i>? In my case, never before this Musikfest concert (apart, of course, from recordings, of which there are few). Webernesque violas met woodwind from the previous piece, introducing Georg Nigl as soloist. Here was a narrative one could follow even if one did not understand it verbally (that is, in Hebrew): a ‘sacred ballad’ indeed. There was no sense of Nigl ventriloquising, but there were times when I fancied I could hear this was a piece ‘for’, or at least first performed by, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (here in Berlin, in 1964). I could not help but notice that, time and time ago it was the RSB strings that evoked Webern and Schoenberg, wind and voice in almost another world. Canons abounded, as did melismata. Once again, Stravinsky and his performers said all that needed to be said, no more, no less.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dfPAqiGgIa4/YTdwUicBAVI/AAAAAAAAHXA/bBTi8BrpCIAIQYiM9hPWMIdCJSCJOSlHgCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/210904_mfb21_p_rundfunk-sinfonieorchester_berlin_vladimir_jurowski_philharmonie_c_peter_meisel%2B%25284%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dfPAqiGgIa4/YTdwUicBAVI/AAAAAAAAHXA/bBTi8BrpCIAIQYiM9hPWMIdCJSCJOSlHgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/210904_mfb21_p_rundfunk-sinfonieorchester_berlin_vladimir_jurowski_philharmonie_c_peter_meisel%2B%25284%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Tamara Stefanovich, fresh from her wonderful performance of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Movements</i>with George Benjamin and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, joined the orchestra for Stravinsky’s 1923-4 Piano Concerto. The mock, neo-Baroque ostentation of the wind opening did not mask an underlying darkness that may or may not have been yet another Stravinskian mask, yet seemed real enough—until it too was banished (or was it?) by the energetic vehemence of the piano and new material. It was very ‘white’, irrespective of the keys. If Benjamin’s intriguing <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Pulcinella Suite</i> had sometimes, seemingly on purpose, lacked bite, it was to be heard here in spades from all in ricochet and incitement. The strange synthesis of material at this first movement’s close pulled no punches either; it was thrillingly immediate. The opening chord of the slow movement teased: it might so easily have become late Beethoven, yet absolutely did not. There was, at least implicitly, a proper note of disdain for that path. Another mask? At any rate, its gravity seemed real. Provocative cadenza writing—where <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">does</i>it lead?—transformed the mood, as we heard when the orchestra returned. Static, like <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Symphonies of Wind Instruments</i>? It was genuinely unclear, in a good sense. The third movement was very much a finale. What intransigence there was in those ostinatos—and in so much else. Throughout, this was a performance that understood and communicated the very particular qualities of the work. I was no clearer at the end than the beginning whether I liked it, but that is not the point. The final flourish came as a genuine surprise, even when one supposedly ‘knew’.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SVdrAaSRBoo/YTdwbXSkSWI/AAAAAAAAHXI/Ez-0s1HrX4I3buphahTDOosdMba0okY7ACLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/210904_mfb21_p_rundfunk-sinfonieorchester_berlin_vladimir_jurowski_philharmonie_c_peter_meisel%2B%25286%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SVdrAaSRBoo/YTdwbXSkSWI/AAAAAAAAHXI/Ez-0s1HrX4I3buphahTDOosdMba0okY7ACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/210904_mfb21_p_rundfunk-sinfonieorchester_berlin_vladimir_jurowski_philharmonie_c_peter_meisel%2B%25286%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />&nbsp;<p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Much of what we had heard previously appeared both compressed and liberated in the ‘Aldous Huxley’ <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Variations</i>. Everything counted in a gem such as Stravinsky saw—heard—crafted (Crafted too, for better or worse) in Webern. Here is an imagination just as extraordinary as that heard in the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Symphonies of Wind Instruments</i>, and so it sounded. What strange string writing there is too, as one could not fail to hear. It was a labyrinth as enticing as those of Berg, Birtwistle, and others. Jurowski then announced he would play the piece, too seldom heard, again, this time with an illuminating spoken introduction. The character of different sections emerged, at least for me, more strongly than ever, in line with Jurowski’s astute guidance to follow the balletic muse. It was, even on a second hearing, less hermetic, more lyrical, and with all the potential for the visual imagination of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Petrushka</i>. More please!<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">What could be more of a Berlin piece than the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Mathis der Maler</i>Symphony, premiered by the Philharmonic and Furtwängler in 1934, a regrettable milestone in both artists’ relations with the Nazi regime and Goebbels in particular. Not that one heard any of that here, though one certainly noted from the outset a very different sound and compositional method from that heard in Stravinsky’s music. The first movement flowed well with no suspicion of worthiness, let alone dullness (however unfair the charge to Hindemith). And then, almost before one knew it, the motoric side of Hindemith kicked in, suggestive less of Stravinsky than of earlier Hindemith, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Cardillac</i> in particular. That conflict of material seemed to be what was at stake. Might Jurowski have bowed a little more to the dictates of sentiment? Perhaps, but the lack of sentimentality was welcome. The second movement likewise benefited from clarity and interest in delineating timbre as well as counterpoint. Well shaped, it emerged as an intermezzo almost distinct from its role in the opera. Jurowski imparted to the opening phrases of the finale an almost Mahlerian weight, though the music travelled in a very different direction. Here, as elsewhere, he was aided by excellent orchestral playing, both weighty and vivid. There was drama aplenty. What, after all, is ‘symphonic’?</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/nfO9Pzc2njM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> I ain’t the sentimental kind https://parterre.com/2021/09/07/i-aint-the-sentimental-kind/ parterre box urn:uuid:c2ba846d-bce7-ba92-0631-85c9e1bd7921 Tue, 07 Sep 2021 08:33:33 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/07/i-aint-the-sentimental-kind/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mae-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mae-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mae-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mae-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mae-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mae-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>On this day in 1949 <strong>Mae West</strong> headlined a revival of her most famous play, <em>Diamond Lil,</em> which she first played more than 20 years earlier.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNJR0T5seOU&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNJR0T5seOU</a></p> <p>Happy 56th birthday soprano <strong>Angela Gheorghiu</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=k05GBxUx7mE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=k05GBxUx7mE</a></p> <p>Happy 65th birthday <strong>Michael Feinstein</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xXn-RKNrmk&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xXn-RKNrmk</a></p> <p>(La Cieca took the day off yesterday on Labor Day, so following are the high spots for September 6.)</p> <p>On this day in 1791 Mozart&#8217;s <em>La clemenza di Tito</em> premiered in Prague.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=a41uugIWBjc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=a41uugIWBjc</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of composer <strong>Ferdinand Hummel</strong> (1855) and baritone<strong> John Charles Thomas</strong> (1891).</p> <p>Happy 63rd birthday soprano<strong> Cynthia Haymon</strong>.</p> <p>September 7</p> Tito turns 230! https://dehggial.wordpress.com/2021/09/06/tito-turns-230/ opera, innit? urn:uuid:9a02b20d-e055-bd6f-bc99-38cfda52b87e Mon, 06 Sep 2021 11:17:32 +0000 Well, here we are, 230 years later, which feels right about how long it&#8217;s been since I last properly updated. Happy Tito Day to all Dog Dreams https://medicine-opera.com/2021/09/dog-dreams/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:713b84f3-869e-7ba0-3cfe-031df271c842 Sun, 05 Sep 2021 23:49:26 +0000 If a lion could talk you couldn&#8217;t understand him. Ludwig Wittgenstein Do dogs dream? When observing a sleeping dog you&#8217;ve let lie you&#8217;ll likely notice that it makes involuntary movements and emits sounds. While all this activity may simply be reflex, I&#8217;ll allow that it is the expression of a canine dream. I&#8217;m aware that... <p><em>If a lion could talk you couldn&#8217;t understand him</em>. Ludwig Wittgenstein</p> <p>Do dogs dream? When observing a sleeping dog you&#8217;ve let lie you&#8217;ll likely notice that it makes involuntary movements and emits sounds. While all this activity may simply be reflex, I&#8217;ll allow that it is the expression of a canine dream. I&#8217;m aware that the only true evidence of dreams is the reports of dreamers that they dream. Thus language is required to document a dream. And as the report of a dream is not a dream but a depiction of one, our knowledge of dreams not our own is necessarily second hand. As dogs lack language my assumption that they dream is open to challenge. What does a dog&#8217;s dream consist of? There is no way to know, nor can there be. His thoughts, images, and all other perceptions are forever untranslatable &#8211; just like Wittgenstein&#8217;s lion. </p> <p>You might think that such a problem does not apply to the thoughts of other humans. But how can you be sure or even remotely know? When we look at a bull we all agree that it has two horns and further concede that one each is on either side of the animal&#8217;s head. We also are unanimous that the horns end in a point. But how do I know that what you see is the same as my image despite our agreement about it description? When we hear the first four notes of Beethoven&#8217;s C minor symphony we are all struck by the power of those notes and of incredible use of the motif that follows over the next 30 minutes or so. Are we hearing the same sounds? Or as students of consciousness ask what does blue look like?</p> <p>Back to the dog. It sees, hears, has emotions, is capable of fear and pleasure. It is obviously conscious. But its perception of the world is clearly different from ours. It can detect things that we cannot. If treated well and given simple shelter and food it is content. It has no fear of any threat that is not immediate. Its eventual death holds no fear. Dogs do not commit suicide. They do not worry or grow depressed, again given good conditions. It is a social animal that values companionship &#8211; in both directions.</p> <p>Humans speak complex languages and build machines that can build other machines. Our consciousness is clearly the result of a big jump from that of a dog or other higher mammals. But are our dreams different? They are jumbled, elusive, fragmentary, easily forgotten, shadows of reality. We have imparted meaning and portents to them over the millenia, but do they represent anything more than random electrical discharges? The are almost as many theories as to the origin or meaning of dreams as there are dreams themselves. Hippocrates theorized that during the day, the soul receives images; during the night, it produces images. That probably works as well as any. Though people blind from birth do not have visual dreams. Their dreams use the other senses.</p> <p>Where does a dream reside? The brain is the only possible organ, but no one has yet localized the part of the brain from whence dreams spring. Despite the ubiquity of dreams and our lack of understanding of their true nature or even of their evolutionary role, if there is one, people have been making a living off of them for millenia. Joseph was in the dream business thousands of years before Freud imputed dark meanings to them. </p> <p>Dreams have been subdivided into many variations. There are even lucid dreams. Such a dream is one during which the dreamer knows he&#8217;s dreaming and may even have control over the dream. Oneirologists say that there is convincing evidence supporting the existence of lucid dreams. Rapid eye movement was thought to indicate a sleeper was dreaming. Newer data now show that REM sleep may sometimes not be associated with dreaming while dreams may occur without REM. But most episodes of REM seem to be dream associated. Dogs, and other mammals, exhibit REM during sleep which further convinces me that they dream.</p> <p>The dream has been the inspiration for artists and writers for ages. Even philosophers have entered the space. Some, not surprisingly considering the source, even postulating that all life is but a dream. If so, a lot of the dreams of life must be nightmares. The dog, of course, knows nothing of this school. I don&#8217;t think it has nightmares. All its dreams are likely sweet. </p> Date with the Divas volume 2 https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/05/date-with-the-divas-volume-2/ operaramblings urn:uuid:136d3f2b-75d0-9f62-713c-215512d6f675 Sun, 05 Sep 2021 18:08:09 +0000 Date with the Divas volume 2 is the latest Youtube offering from Opera Sustenida (Stephanie DeCiantis &#8211; soprano and film diva, Nicole Whitney Dubinsky -soprano, Daniella Theresia &#8211; mezzo and tech diva and Suzanne Yeo &#8211; piano). It&#8217;s the first &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/05/date-with-the-divas-volume-2/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><em>Date with the Divas volume 2</em> is the latest Youtube offering from Opera Sustenida (Stephanie DeCiantis &#8211; soprano and film diva, Nicole Whitney Dubinsky -soprano, Daniella Theresia &#8211; mezzo and tech diva and Suzanne Yeo &#8211; piano). It&#8217;s the first of their shows that I&#8217;ve seen. It&#8217;s one of those films where everything is recorded in people&#8217;s homes and then patched together into a film and it&#8217;s as well done as anything in the genre that I&#8217;ve seen. The video editing is really good though some sections that were broadcast &#8220;live&#8221; during the initial streaming were a bit weird sonically. Fortunately that didn&#8217;t affect the music.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30313" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/05/date-with-the-divas-volume-2/1-fdr/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.fdr_.png" data-orig-size="580,293" 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.fdr" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.fdr_.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.fdr_.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30313 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.fdr_.png?w=584" alt="1.fdr" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.fdr_.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.fdr_.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/1.fdr_.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-30309"></span>So to the show.  It&#8217;s a sort of mix of performance and gentle didacticism focussing on 19th century opera.  There are explanatory sections; &#8220;Bel canto 101&#8221; for example, interspersed with arias or choruses.  The explanatory sections are fine but fairly basic.  The arias are recontextualised and rearranged in interesting ways.  For example <em>Una voce poco fa</em> is rearranged as a trio in a coffee shop discussing a Tinder date and the &#8220;cat duet&#8221; time travels from Louis XIV (harpsichord) to 1920s (piano) to a Tik Tok number (back beat).  There are also some numbers with a volunteer chorus that don&#8217;t work quite as well.  I think it&#8217;s expecting too much of the technology to expect a convincing sounding chorus.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30314" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/05/date-with-the-divas-volume-2/2-cd/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.cd_.png" data-orig-size="580,290" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="2.cd" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.cd_.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.cd_.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30314 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.cd_.png?w=584" alt="2.cd" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.cd_.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.cd_.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2.cd_.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>The three vocal divas are really rather good.  I&#8217;ve written about coloratura soprano Nicole Dubinsky before and she&#8217;s excellent here in the Rossinis plus <em>Chacun le sait</em> and Musetta&#8217;s waltz.  Stephanie Deciantis has an altogether more dramatic voice and sang a really nice <em>Casta diva</em> and Senta&#8217;s ballad.  Daniella Theresia got to strut her stuff with Orlovsky&#8217;s aria and very fine and suitably bored sounding it was despite the increasingly bizarre backdrops.  Suxzanne Yeo was excellent throughout.  The big finale was the &#8220;Ride of the Valkyries&#8221; featuring guests, some of whom have featured here once or twice, and Suzanne overdubbing on four pianos plus some impressive film effects.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30315" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/05/date-with-the-divas-volume-2/3-orlofsky/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.orlofsky.png" data-orig-size="580,293" 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.orlofsky" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.orlofsky.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.orlofsky.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30315 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.orlofsky.png?w=584" alt="3.orlofsky" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.orlofsky.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.orlofsky.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/3.orlofsky.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Overall, as a piece put together in this way for this kind of presentation it&#8217;s very well done.  But I really hope that these musicians and everybody else can return sooner rather than later to that live experience i suspect we are all craving.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30316" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/05/date-with-the-divas-volume-2/4-musetta/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.musetta.png" data-orig-size="580,290" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="4.musetta" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.musetta.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.musetta.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30316 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.musetta.png?w=584" alt="4.musetta" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.musetta.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.musetta.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4.musetta.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>It was a ticketed event ($30) and it&#8217;s still available on-line. The <a href="https://www.opera-sustenida.com/dwd2/">ticketing page</a> still appears to be live if you want to see it.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30317" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/05/date-with-the-divas-volume-2/5-valkyries/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.valkyries.png" data-orig-size="580,288" 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.valkyries" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.valkyries.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.valkyries.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30317 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.valkyries.png?w=584" alt="5.valkyries" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.valkyries.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.valkyries.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/5.valkyries.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> Miss me blonde https://parterre.com/2021/09/05/miss-me-blonde-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:c0098db9-cdd8-3987-c3bc-6b65bf6d2704 Sun, 05 Sep 2021 04:51:18 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/05/miss-me-blonde-2/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/karita-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/karita-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/karita-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/karita-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/karita-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/karita-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 61st birthday soprano <strong>Karita Mattila</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRIv8BIX3lc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRIv8BIX3lc</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of composers <strong>Johann Christian Bach</strong> (1735), <strong>Giacomo Meyerbeer</strong> (1791), <strong>Amy Marcy Beach</strong> (1867) and<strong> John Cage</strong> (1912).</p> <p>Happy 89th birthday singer, dancer and actress<strong> Carol Lawrence</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLHeLU2dGBg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLHeLU2dGBg</a></p> Musikfest Berlin (2): Stefanovich/MCO/Benjamin - Knussen, Purcell, Stravinsky, and Benjamin, 2 September 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/09/musikfest-berlin-2-stefanovichmcobenjam.html Boulezian urn:uuid:9df0550e-3916-88d9-8b40-8fb64fedf7b3 Fri, 03 Sep 2021 15:51:27 +0000 <p><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></p><p><span style="font-family: georgia;">Philharmonie</span></p><span style="font-family: georgia;"><b>Knussen: </b><i>The Way to Castle Yonder</i>, op.21<i>a </i><br /><b>Purcell, arr. Benjamin: </b><i>Three Consorts </i>(German premiere) <br /><b>Stravinsky: </b><i>Movements </i><br /><b>Benjamin: </b><i>Concerto for Orchestra</i> (German premiere) <br /><b>Stravinsky:</b> <i>Pulcinella Suite </i><br /><br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia;">Tamara Stefanovich (piano)</span><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Mahler Chamber Orchestra</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">George Benjamin (conductor)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fWOUi6hIc8Y/YTJDfnBQhvI/AAAAAAAAHWs/4yQAx_6au-8tFjE4i8OkSOsCX_IGvmxFgCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/A.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fWOUi6hIc8Y/YTJDfnBQhvI/AAAAAAAAHWs/4yQAx_6au-8tFjE4i8OkSOsCX_IGvmxFgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/A.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Astrid Ackermann</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">In this concert George Benjamin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and Tamara Stefanovich paid tribute to a number of influences on and/or connections with Benjamin’s music, as well as presenting two new works, which had had their first performances a few days earlier at the Proms. Oliver Knussen, featured both as himself, in <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Way to Castle Yonder</i>—as well as in Stefanovich’s solo encore—and as dedicatee of Benjamin’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Concerto for Orchestra </i>would surely have approved of the programming, which also took in Purcell and Stravinsky. I imagine Pierre Boulez, Benjamin’s friend, mentor, and fellow Messiaen pupil, would have done too.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Knussen’s ‘pot-pourri’ from his opera <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Higglety Pigglety Pop!</i> made for a delightful curtain-raiser, akin to the traditional overture. Exquisite craft was revealed in a performance both detailed and atmospheric, atmosphere revealed to be very much a creature of detail. I seem to recall Benjamin, Knussen’s efforts notwithstanding, to have admitted a lack of affinity with Schoenberg’s twelve-note music. (I may be imagining that; please forgive if so.) Whatever the truth of that, Schoenberg’s serial shadow fell generatively here, as, at least I felt, did the colouristic influence of his op.16 <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Five Orchestral Pieces</i>. Ravel and Mussorgsky—the bells—seemed present too. The music, in any case, spoke of enchanting danger and, perhaps, parallel dangerous enchantment. A world played and danced before us, before closing in mystery, albeit a different mystery from that with which the piece had begun.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p 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;">Three Consorts</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"> transcribes, as you might expect, three of Purcell’s viol consorts for chamber orchestra. In the first, the Six-Part <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In Nomine</i> in G minor, strings, gravely beautiful, were gradually joined by other instruments: first a pair of trombones, next a pair of trumpets, then other woodwind and bells (tubular and Korean temple). Restrained and respectful in the best sense, the transcription not only permitted Purcell’s music to unfold as if by itself, but played a crucial part in the set of three considered as a whole. The second, the seventh of Purcell’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Fantazias</i>(previously transcribed by Benjamin for chamber ensemble, unless I am mistaken), earlier scoring sounded as if it had been turned inside out, almost as if we now heard the skeleton on the outside and flesh within. A more overtly modernist glassy sound, when heard, seemed to evoke the world of Benjamin’s opera <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Written on Skin</i>, or rather take angelic inspiration from there. (The MCO, it may be noted, gave the premiere of that opera.) Other refractions surprised and even reassured. I am not quite sure how Benjamin or the players had a pair of horns sound so Purcellian, yet they did, uncannily so. The third and final movement, the Fantazia Upon One Note, relished and communicated Purcell’s conceit. It was the most ‘colourful’ in the usual orchestral sense of the three too: good-natured, almost (I thought, bizarrely) Christmassy. But that was only the beginning. Things were not quite as they seemed. Bowed percussion and a darker, graver interlude were never quite dispelled by the return to Technicolor. Wonderful!<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Angular play with Webern, in particular, was the name of the game—and game it is—in <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Movements</i>. Process and play were felt almost as if we were hearing a successor work to the second book of Boulez’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Structures</i>, which in a way we are. (It is surely no coincidence that Tamara Stefanovich has performed that music so memorably with Pierre-Laurent Aimard.) Timbre, needless to say, continued to be a preoccupation. Whatever the apparent similarities with Webern, Boulez, or Schoenberg, this could only ever be Stravinsky; a single flute note could—and did—tell us that, as did the particular gravity of a trio of trombones and that ever-strange use of violins. Piano phrasing was in every sense vital, ensuring that serial chess moves—however odd this may sound—sang. So too was a sense of chamber music engagement between soloist and other musicians, in which both Stefanovich and the MCO excelled. What expression there is here in a single gesture. The relation of the five movements to each other was a crucial part of the jigsaw too: there was straightforward rightness to how they fit together. And pitch repetition proved fathomlessly expressive toward the end, connecting intriguingly with Purcell. <o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RtBE3Ilk7sw/YTJD96WGxWI/AAAAAAAAHW0/S9CrcI3wVooCm-5MwfKj93o1cCsR4MPcgCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/B.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RtBE3Ilk7sw/YTJD96WGxWI/AAAAAAAAHW0/S9CrcI3wVooCm-5MwfKj93o1cCsR4MPcgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/B.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">As a generous encore, Stefanovich gave us Knussen’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Prayer Bell Sketch</i>, op.29. If its opening gesture seemed to emerge from what we had just heard, the music went in a very different direction thereafter: more sustained, even Debussyan, not only in attack and reverberation, but also in spacing and even harmony. This was both a gentler and more sensual, yet constantly surprising journey.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Woodwind, soon joined by strings, announced Benjamin’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Concerto for Orchestra</i>. The darkness of this opening had me almost tempted to think this a ‘Covid work’, though the dates of composition, 2019-21, suggest an earlier conception. Perhaps Bartók’s work of the same name offered something of a precedent in that regard, though the path it takes is quite different. Benjamin honoured precedent in permitting members of the orchestra, both as soloists and in (Bartókian) pairs, their moments in the limelight, but that felt entirely natural, never merely for the sake of the genre. Were there shards of Knussen too? Was that even a figure from, or at least with kinship to Stravinsky’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Dumbarton Oaks</i>? Almost certainly not, but there were perhaps connections with Stravinsky worth exploring on another occasion. More to the point than any alleged influence, viral or musical, this was a work extending the emotional soundworld of <a href="https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2018/05/lessons-in-love-and-violence-royal.html">Benjamin’s third opera, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Lessons in Love and Violence</i></a>. A good deal of anguished <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">tutti</i>writing, by the standards both of composer and genre, led to a closing sense of magical stitching that perhaps did pay tribute to Knussen after all. Whatever the case of that may be, Benjamin ensured a fully satisfying sense of wholeness was cast in retrospect on the work even on a first hearing.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Benjamin’s performance of Stravinsky’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Pulcinella Suite</i> was puzzling: at first quite disconcerting, and not only because it took ears some time to adjust, but ultimately provocative and even revealing. The first two movements seemed to lack bite but that appeared to be strategy rather than failure, especially in the ‘Serenata’ where Stravinsky’s extraordinary orchestration (perhaps in the light of Benjamin’s reworking of Purcell) sounded stranger than ever. It was not so much a matter of Benjamin remoulding Stravinsky in his own image as offering a composer’s insight as conductor such as one rarely hears. (Again, both Knussen and Boulez sprang to mind.) Likewise the ‘Scherzino’ seemed reheard through late Stravinsky, perhaps Knussen too. For there was certainly rhythmic bite where Benjamin decided there should be, aggressively so in the ‘Tarantella’, almost to the exclusion of anything else. The second half of the suite seemed to react necessarily as well as charmingly to that high watermark. Again, the sheer strangeness of Stravinsky’s—and the orchestra’s—colours confounded in the ‘Gavotta con due variazioni’. Flute (Chiara Tonelli) and bassoons (Guilhaume Santana and Pierre Gomes) were very much cases in point in the second variation. Benjamin’s ear for timbre communicated a vision for the first part of the final movement darker and, I think, slower than I can recall hearing before. That made final release all the more joyous <i>and </i>necessary.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/H9dIwWSrXtk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Musikfest Berlin (1): Fleming/Concertgebouw/Harding - Stravinsky, Messiaen, and Debussy, 31 August 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/09/musikfest-berlin-1-flemingconcertgebouw.html Boulezian urn:uuid:8772193a-b95a-501e-57f6-cc637c32ef32 Fri, 03 Sep 2021 15:41:25 +0000 <span style="font-family: georgia;">Philharmonie<br /> <br /><b> Stravinsky: </b><i>Agon </i><br /><b>Messiaen:</b> <i>Poèmes pour Mi </i><br /><b>Debussy:</b> <i>La Mer </i><br /><br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia;">Renée Fleming (soprano)</span><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Daniel Harding (conductor)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yxKZC8A5los/YS_1b_kSKMI/AAAAAAAAHWk/DQde-h4jl3Y9ZCuWMfkEGjBHkXYNAmSwQCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/20210831_mfb21_p_renee_fleming_concertgebouworkest_amsterdam_daniel_harding_philharmonie_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%25282%2529.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yxKZC8A5los/YS_1b_kSKMI/AAAAAAAAHWk/DQde-h4jl3Y9ZCuWMfkEGjBHkXYNAmSwQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/20210831_mfb21_p_renee_fleming_concertgebouworkest_amsterdam_daniel_harding_philharmonie_c_astrid_ackermann%2B%25282%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Image: Astrid Ackermann</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Size is not everything, yet to hear—and even to see—my largest orchestra for over eighteen months was certainly not nothing. With a string section extending from sixteen first violins to eight double basses, and plentiful wind, percussion, even a mandolin, this was a treat in itself, a sign, dare we hope, of progress in our return to concert life. That the orchestra in question was the Concertgebouw was a distinct advantage too, as was Daniel Harding’s mouth-watering programme of Stravinsky, Messiaen, and Debussy.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Harding’s direction of the orchestra in Stravinsky’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Agon</i> was insistent and precise, likewise the Concertgebouw’s response. Manhattan traffic came to Berlin’s Philharmonie for one night only. The three <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">pas-de-quatre</i>, single, double, and triple increased in their menace, even fury, the composer’s wartime <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Symphony in Three Movements</i> an unusually immanent progenitor. All the while, audible serial processes did their work both mechanical and human. One could well-nigh see their working out in twin homage to Webern and balletic tradition. I was struck by the utter distinctiveness of Stravinsky’s encounter with the French Baroque: so different, say, from that of Richard Strauss, indeed diametrically opposed to it (as in so much else). For all the claims we often hear of the necessity of ‘period’ colour in, say, Rameau, it was striking that use of a modern bassoon could evoke that composer and a whole world without any such requirement. The more shadowy, hieratic passages—a gestures as courtly as they were ghostly—compelled fascination, as did Stravinsky’s inimitable orchestration. And what combinations of instruments one heard: they could only be Stravinsky, however much they played with other expectations and recollections. Harding and the orchestra played with them too, bringing Stravinsky’s games all the more immediately to our attention.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Renée Fleming joined the orchestra for Messiaen’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Poèmes pour Mi</i>. There was an unusual note of freedom—not licence, but freedom—to the first song, ‘Action des grâces’, Fleming’s approach perhaps surprisingly verse-led, without sacrifice to rhythm, indeed to its enhancement. Indeed, there was something chant-like to her despatch of melismata. The orchestra evoked liturgy too: for Messiaen, all was sacred. Delight in Creation was to be heard in ‘Paysage’, both as work and performance. So, in ‘Epouvante’ and its knowing successor, ‘Le Collier’, was keen awareness of malevolent forces at work, Act II of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Parsifal</i> coming strongly to mind. Sweetness of harmonic mysticism followed in both cases, in ‘L’Épouse’ and ‘Prière exaucée’. The latter’s closing ecstasies, bells and all, proved a resurrection, so it seemed, not only of flesh but also of fleshly desires. Above all, there was wonder in these songs: not only to be observed, but to be felt.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">A vividly pictorial performance of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">La Mer</i> followed. It boasted both precision and atmosphere, Harding’s picture painted very much a landscape, no mere snapshot. In the opening ‘De l’aube à midi sur la mer’, figures proved busily generative. It seemed a brighter, warmer account than is often the case: later in the morning, perhaps. Whatever the horological verdict, conductor and orchestra left plenty in reserve for the movement’s climax. Mystery and a keen sense of play were twin hallmarks of ‘Jeux des vagues’. Clarity of direction, at least in retrospect, heightened both aspects in what emerged as a scherzo taking its place in French orchestral tradition, Dukas included. Darker thoughts, as presaged in the Messiaen songs, haunted ‘Dialogue du vent et de la mer’; so did further, post-<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Pelléas</i> ambiguities, up to and including the final blazing of Debussy’s orchestra. Modern symphony orchestras are wonderful things; so is their repertoire.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/HVzjUecHhrU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Old school https://parterre.com/2021/09/03/old-school-5/ parterre box urn:uuid:306dd610-e296-45ae-bb90-17c2e462fbfc Fri, 03 Sep 2021 06:02:58 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/03/old-school-5/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kitty-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kitty-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kitty-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kitty-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kitty-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/kitty-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1910 singer, actress and arts advocate <strong>Kitty Carlisle Hart</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq2jTEC6iqQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq2jTEC6iqQ</a></p> <p>Also born on this day in 1910 soprano <strong>Dorothy Maynor</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLj0lvz0UGg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLj0lvz0UGg</a></p> Disney princess https://parterre.com/2021/09/02/disney-princess/ parterre box urn:uuid:fb513186-11be-9f91-d9e3-8449aa9f75a4 Thu, 02 Sep 2021 12:00:13 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/02/disney-princess/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/marge-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/marge-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/marge-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/marge-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/marge-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/marge-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1919 dancer <strong>Marge Champion</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZprGYcQ-HI&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZprGYcQ-HI</a></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjt13WdEkZc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjt13WdEkZc</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of writer <strong>Giovanni Verga</strong> (1840), soprano <strong>Rosetta Pampanini </strong>(1896), bass <strong>Wilhelm Strienz</strong> (1900) and tenor <strong>Set Svanholm</strong> (1904).</p> By Porpora demand https://parterre.com/2021/09/02/by-porpora-demand/ parterre box urn:uuid:be8f9636-4dd6-2b13-f4bd-a76b43e12bcb Thu, 02 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/02/by-porpora-demand/"><img width="720" height="296" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-header-720x296.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-header-720x296.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-header-300x123.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-header-768x316.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-header-210x86.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Important European revivals this season would like to return <strong>Nicola Porpora</strong> to the remarkable prominence he held during the first half of the 18th century. Trove Thursday argues his case with a “pirate” recording of <em>Polifemo</em> featuring <strong>Franco Fagioli</strong> in a star performance along with <strong>Xavier Sabata</b> (pictured), <b>Laura Aikin, Mary-Ellen Nesi</strong> and <strong>Christian Senn</strong>.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78720" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/sabata-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />The second Bayreuth Baroque Festival opened last night with a <a href="https://www.bayreuthbaroque.de/events/carlo-il-calvo-1-en/">revival</a> of last year’s acclaimed production of Porpora’s <em>Carlo il Calvo </em>starring Fagioli<em>. </em></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9Gxj-lX9Vk&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9Gxj-lX9Vk</a></p> <p>After <em>Carlo </em>repeats twice more, the festival which takes place in the stunning, recently restored Markgräfliches Opernhaus will present two <a href="https://www.bayreuthbaroque.de/events/polifemo-1-en/">semi-staged performances</a> of <em>Polifemo.</em></p> <p>I understand each is being commercially recorded, and both star <strong>Max Emanuel Cencic</strong>, the countertenor who runs the festival and has recently been Porpora’s greatest champion having released a solo CD of opera arias as well as a <a href="https://amzn.to/3yNYxBv">complete</a> <em>Germanico in Germania. </em></p> <p>Prior to the Bayreuth pair, the Valle d’Itria festival in Martina Franca <a href="https://www.festivaldellavalleditria.it/en/spettacolo/l-angelica/2021-07-30">presented</a> <em>L’Angelica, </em>and in November Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, the venue for today’s 2013 <em>Polifemo </em>pirate, <a href="https://www.theater-wien.at/en/programme-tickets/production/1007/Deianira-Iole-ed-Ercole">offers</a> first the early three-character serenata <em>Deianira, Iole ed Ercole, </em>followed in <a href="https://www.theater-wien.at/en/programme-tickets/production/1009/Orfeo">January</a> by <em>L’Orfeo, </em>a recently rediscovered <em>pasticcio </em>concocted for London by Porpora.</p> <p>Will any of these works join those by Handel and Vivaldi in being regularly performed? Perhaps, and <em>Polifemo </em>may be Porpora’s worthiest contender. It premiered in 1735 in London where less than a month earlier Handel had introduced <em>Ariodante, </em>and it featured four of the greatest singers of the time: Farinelli (who like his fellow <em>castrato </em>Caffarelli had been taught by Porpora) as Aci, Senesino as Ulisse, Cuzzoni as Galatea and Montagnana in the title role.</p> <p><em>Polifemo</em>’s score contains Aci’s “Alto Giove,” one of the most beautiful and often-performed of baroque arias. <strong>Cecilia Bartoli, Simone Kermes, Ann Hallenberg, Vivica Genaux, David Hansen</strong> and <strong>Valer Sabadus</strong> have all recently embraced it, as has <strong>Philippe Jaroussky</strong> who has recorded an all-Porpora CD, as have Fagioli and <strong>Karina Gauvin</strong>.</p> <p><em>Polifemo </em>is based on Ovid’s tale from <em>The Metamorphoses</em> of the tragic love triangle between mortal Acis, sea-nymph Galatea and the giant Polyphemus. It attracted several of most accomplished composers during the 17th and 18th centuries including Lully whose final opera was <em>Acis et Galatée</em>. Long before heading to London, Giovanni Bononcini produced his <em>Polifemo </em>which has recently been <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Giovanni-Battista-Bononcini-Polifemo/dp/B085DRDXLD/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&amp;keywords=bononcini+polifemo&amp;qid=1630333499&amp;sr=8-1">released on CD</a> featuring the splendid young Brazilian male soprano <strong>Bruno de Sá</strong> as Aci.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYSEPDxjYms&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYSEPDxjYms</a></p> <p>And of course Handel turned to the myth twice: <em>Aci, Galatea et Polifemo, </em><a href="https://parterre.com/2013/10/27/a-river-runs-through-it/">composed</a> during his youthful Italian sojourn, followed a decade later by the exquisite <em>Acis and Galatea, </em>his most important early work in English.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTjksYe2KvI&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTjksYe2KvI</a></p> <p>Today’s Porpora performance was videotaped but only excerpts have surfaced.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=342wdV8ftZE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=342wdV8ftZE</a></p> <p>Next week, Trove Thursday celebrates its sixth (!) anniversary.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Porpora: <em>Polifemo</em></strong></p> <p>Theater an der Wien<br /> 22 February 2013</p> <p>In-house recording<br /> Galatea: Laura Aikin<br /> Calipso: Mary-Ellen Nesi<br /> Nerea: Hanna Herfurtner<br /> Aci: Franco Fagioli<br /> Ulisse: Xavier Sabata<br /> Polifemo: Christian Senn</p> <p>Bach Consort Wien</p> <p>Conductor: Ruben Dubrovsky</p> <p><iframe style="border: none;" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/20344706/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" width="100%" height="90" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><em>Polifemo </em>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>Semiramide Riconosciuta</em>, another beguiling Porpora opera, <a href="https://parterre.com/2018/02/14/bringing-up-babylon/">remains available</a> on an earlier Trove Thursday post.</p> <p>In addition, more than 400 other podcast tracks are always available from <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trove-thursday/id1039652739">Apple Podcasts</a> for free, or via any <a href="http://parterre.com/podcast/trovethursday.rss">RSS reader</a>. The archive which lists all Trove Thursday offerings in alphabetical order by composer will be completely <a href="https://parterre.com/the-trove-thursday-archive/">updated</a> soon.</p> Rainy day https://parterre.com/2021/09/01/rainy-day/ parterre box urn:uuid:cd19385c-8a62-01d8-0837-9d1b75e54ea5 Wed, 01 Sep 2021 14:54:20 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/09/01/rainy-day/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/george-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 93rd birthday actor and dreamboat <strong>George Maharis</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=udKB-JdEXaU&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=udKB-JdEXaU</a></p> <p>Happy 80th birthday soprano <strong>Julia Varady</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8NIJ8Ubetg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8NIJ8Ubetg</a></p> <p>Happy 86th birthday conductor <strong>Seiji Ozawa</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EHeZfr23Ns&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EHeZfr23Ns</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1922 actress and belter <strong>Yvonne De Carlo</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBt6aiv4GOc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBt6aiv4GOc</a></p> <p>Happy birthday to cabaret diva <strong>Dorothy Bishop</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=meD19JhcrOs&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=meD19JhcrOs</a></p> La bulle https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/01/la-bulle/ operaramblings urn:uuid:5ec47b7e-5fea-8e8e-b118-4b24129e2b1a Wed, 01 Sep 2021 12:20:26 +0000 It&#8217;s not opera yet but I&#8217;ll take any live theatre I can get right now.  Last night&#8217;s show was a joint presentation by Jamii Esplanade and Théâtre Français de Toronto of David Danzon and Carolin Lindner&#8217;s La bulle.  It&#8217;s not &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/01/la-bulle/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>It&#8217;s not opera yet but I&#8217;ll take any live theatre I can get right now.  Last night&#8217;s show was a joint presentation by Jamii Esplanade and Théâtre Français de Toronto of David Danzon and<br /> Carolin Lindner&#8217;s <em>La bulle</em>.  It&#8217;s not an easy show to describe.  There is one character; Pierrot, dressed in the traditional manner and played brilliantly by Danzon.  He inhabits a transparent dome.  Pierrot dreams his dreams wordlessly through mime, drawing, dance and even text.  He finds ways to communicate with the outside world; us, sitting in a 360 degree arrangement around the dome.  There&#8217;s music and complex lighting effects.  The show has real emotional depth and is strangely moving.  At times it&#8217;s very funny and Danzon&#8217;s agility and ability to go through what seem like complete personality changes is rather remarkable.   It&#8217;s playing at 8pm every night until September 5th in the courtyard at Berkeley Castle but I&#8217;m afraid all performances are sold out.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30306" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/09/01/la-bulle/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac.jpg?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30306 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac.jpg?w=584" alt="la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/la-bulle4_-muriel-cavanhac.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Photo credit: Muriel Cavanhac</p> Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel https://medicine-opera.com/2021/08/virtual-tour-of-the-sistine-chapel/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:60c8b5ac-16e7-edea-1d86-af1e2c090008 Wed, 01 Sep 2021 01:53:05 +0000 The Vatican Museum has a virtual tour of the interior of the Sistine Chapel. With your mouse you can see everything Michelangelo painted. Not as good as being there, but you&#8217;ll never visit the place without anyone else there. The pinnacle of western art. Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour <p>The Vatican Museum has a virtual tour of the interior of the Sistine Chapel. With your mouse you can see everything Michelangelo painted. Not as good as being there, but you&#8217;ll never visit the place without anyone else there. The pinnacle of western art. </p> <p><a href="https://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour</a></p> Lyrical Walküre https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/lyrical-walkure/ operaramblings urn:uuid:40ad9fd7-9fee-7b3f-a8f7-468da7de6be2 Tue, 31 Aug 2021 20:53:35 +0000 The thing that struck me most about the Royal Opera House&#8217;s 2018 recording of Wagner&#8217;s Die Walküre is how lyrical it is.  It&#8217;s not without excitement in the appropriate places, far from it, but there&#8217;s such lovely singing.  Nina Stemme&#8217;s &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/lyrical-walkure/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>The thing that struck me most about the Royal Opera House&#8217;s 2018 recording of Wagner&#8217;s <em>Die Walküre</em> is how lyrical it is.  It&#8217;s not without excitement in the appropriate places, far from it, but there&#8217;s such lovely singing.  Nina Stemme&#8217;s Brünnhilde is tender and poetic and the combo of Stuart Skelton and Emily Magee as the twin lovers is really good.  Throw in a nuanced Wotan from John Lundgren and a typically elegant performance from Sarah Connolly as Fricka and it&#8217;s really a pleasure to listen to.  Ain Anger is not so lyrical as Hunding but it&#8217;s a fine menacing performance.  Antonio Pappano and the house orchestra are equally fine.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30292" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/lyrical-walkure/1-hundingshouse/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/1.hundingshouse.png" data-orig-size="580,325" 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.hundingshouse" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/1.hundingshouse.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/1.hundingshouse.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30292 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/1.hundingshouse.png?w=584" alt="1.hundingshouse" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/1.hundingshouse.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/1.hundingshouse.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/1.hundingshouse.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-30287"></span>Keith Warner&#8217;s production has its moments too.  The first two acts are fairly conventional in a sort of weird hybrid Victorian/barbarian setting; all skins and furs and heavy furniture, which works well enough.  The lighting plot is a bit more adventurous and there&#8217;s a sort of space station layer to Wotan&#8217;s Act 2 hangout.  The relationships are quite carefully drawn with a surprisingly sexual relationship between Fricka and Wotan and Brünnhilde very much a daddy&#8217;s girl.  The Siegs are convincing in their mutual recognition.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30293" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/lyrical-walkure/2-wotanfricka/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2.wotanfricka.png" data-orig-size="580,325" 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.wotanfricka" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2.wotanfricka.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2.wotanfricka.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30293 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2.wotanfricka.png?w=584" alt="2.wotanfricka" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2.wotanfricka.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2.wotanfricka.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2.wotanfricka.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>It really comes alive in Act 3 though with a spectacular opening scene featuring horse skulls, giant shadows and video of hairy blokes bashing each other with swords.  It continues in a highly abstract but psychologically convincing mode until the fire scene where we see Brünnhilde on a leather chaise-longue and there are some serious pyrotechnics.  It&#8217;s not horned helmet territory but it&#8217;s not pretending to be an allegory of Amazon and Facebook taking over the world either.  It&#8217;s all about the relationships.  All in all very watchable.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30294" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/lyrical-walkure/3-premonition/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/3.premonition.png" data-orig-size="580,327" 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.premonition" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/3.premonition.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/3.premonition.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30294 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/3.premonition.png?w=584" alt="3.premonition" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/3.premonition.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/3.premonition.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/3.premonition.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Jonathan Haswell&#8217;s video direction is low key and very watchable.  I watched the DVD release (Blu-ray is available) and found the sound (DTS and PCM stereo) to be entirely acceptable.  The picture is good too though strained a bit in some dark passages in Act 2.  There are about 14 minutes of interview bonuses which are mildly interesting.  The booklet has a synopsis and an essay about Schopenhauer&#8217;s influence on Wagner but no track listing.  Subtitle options are English, French, German, Japanese and Korean.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30295" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/lyrical-walkure/4-video/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/4.video_.png" data-orig-size="580,322" 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.video" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/4.video_.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/4.video_.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30295 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/4.video_.png?w=584" alt="4.video" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/4.video_.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/4.video_.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/4.video_.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>There are lots of good video recordings of <em>Die Walküre</em> in the catalogue.  This one would be a good recommendation for someone who wants high musical and technical values and isn&#8217;t looking for anything too conceptual.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30296" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/lyrical-walkure/5-fire-3/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/5.fire_-1.png" data-orig-size="580,325" 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.fire" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/5.fire_-1.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/5.fire_-1.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30296 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/5.fire_-1.png?w=584" alt="5.fire" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/5.fire_-1.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/5.fire_-1.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/5.fire_-1.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> Royal Conservatory 2021/22 https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/royal-conservatory-2021-22/ operaramblings urn:uuid:ed698a15-65d8-5932-9b73-0b347beafcc3 Tue, 31 Aug 2021 18:33:26 +0000 The Royal Conservatory of Music has just announced a real live season for 2021/22. Covid restrictions will likely be in place for at least the first part of the season but hopefully will ease up at some point. There&#8217;s the &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/royal-conservatory-2021-22/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><img data-attachment-id="30284" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/31/royal-conservatory-2021-22/rcm/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/rcm.jpg" data-orig-size="290,205" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="rcm" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/rcm.jpg?w=290" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/rcm.jpg?w=290" class="size-full wp-image-30284 alignleft" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/rcm.jpg?w=584" alt="rcm" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/rcm.jpg 290w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/rcm.jpg?w=150 150w" sizes="(max-width: 290px) 100vw, 290px" />The Royal Conservatory of Music has just announced a real live season for 2021/22. Covid restrictions will likely be in place for at least the first part of the season but hopefully will ease up at some point. There&#8217;s the usual eclectic mix of classical, vocal, jazz, world music etc so I&#8217;ll just cover the classical vocal stuff which is actually pretty exciting.  Let&#8217;s go through it chronologically.<span id="more-30280"></span></p> <ul> <li>October 24th 2021 3pm Koerner Hall: Dover Quartet with Davóne Tines in a concert that includes Beethoven&#8217;s Op 130 quartet and Barber&#8217;s <em>Dover Beach</em>.</li> <li>November 6th and 7th 2021 7.30pm Mazzoleni Hall: Glenn Gould School Chamber Opera doing Ana Sokolović&#8217;s <em>Svadba.</em></li> <li>November 27th 2021 8pm Koerner Hall: Stuart Goodyear with the Penderecki String Quartet, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Jonelle Sills, Beste Kalender, Zachary Rioux, and Korin Thomas-Smith in a programme that includes the world premiere of Goodyear&#8217;s <em>Piano Quintet</em> pus Beethoven&#8217;s <em>Symphony no. 9</em> in the Liszt piano transcription.</li> </ul> <p>The 21C Music Festival kicks off on January 12th 2022 with Brian Current&#8217;s long awaited opera <em>Gould&#8217;s Wall</em>.  There are five performances in the RCM Atrium on the 12th at 8pm, 13th at 6pm, 14th at 8pm, 15th at 10.30pm and 16th at 6pm.  The other big vocal gig at 21C is on January 23rd at 3pm at Koerner Hall where Gerald Finley and Julius Drake will present the North American premiere of a new song cycle by Mark Anthony Turnage; <em>Without Ceremony</em> to texts by Thomas Hardy.  There&#8217;s also Schubert, Wolf and more.</p> <p>And so into the back half:</p> <ul> <li>January 29th 2022 7.30pm Mazzoleni Hall: Glenn Gould School Vocal Showcase.</li> <li>March 16th and 18th 2022 7.30pm Koerner Hall: Glenn Gould School Spring Opera.  Handel&#8217;s <em>Rinaldo</em>.</li> <li>April 3rd 2022 2pm Mazzoleni Hall: Tenor Asitha Tennekoon in concert.</li> <li>April 19th 8pm 2022 Koerner Hall: Joyce di Donato in a programme titled <em>Eden</em> including songs from Purcell to a new commission by Rachel Portman.</li> <li>April 30th 2022 8pm Koerner Hall: Sir Bryn Terfel with Natalia Katyukova in a programme to be announced</li> <li>May 2nd 2022 Temerty Hall: The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble conducted by Brian Current in a programme that includes the world premiere of Paul Frehner’s <em>Sometimes the Devil Plays Fate</em> for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra.</li> <li>May 15th 3pm Koerner Hall: Anne Sofie von Otter with Christoph Berner in a Schubert heavy programme of song.</li> </ul> <p>So, all in all, a pretty exciting line up with some big names including the unmissable Bryn Terfel.  Most of the big name stuff is well into April/May next year so there&#8217;s a decent chance we&#8217;ll be back to full halls etc.  There&#8217;s full details of all the RCM&#8217;s line plus ticketing information at <a href="https://www.rcmusic.com/performance/royal-conservatory-concerts">their website</a>.</p> That’s why I pulled the trigger https://parterre.com/2021/08/31/thats-why-i-pulled-the-trigger/ parterre box urn:uuid:0dd81355-5776-d296-656d-db6b1817bddb Tue, 31 Aug 2021 16:49:09 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/08/31/thats-why-i-pulled-the-trigger/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Watching <B>Gloria Grahame</b>—lips moist and parted, eyes staring off into some faraway middle distance—is absolutely arresting. She looks like the quintessential Noir femme fatale that was, in fact, probably her principal calling card.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78697" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /><strong>DAVID FOX</strong>: Cameron, I’m delighted we’re back in the tandem saddle for a 1949 movie I’d never known! Having now seen <em>A Woman’s Secret</em>, it’s hard to believe I hadn’t fixated on it before. For one thing, I love director <strong>Nicholas Ray</strong>. For another, it’s based on a novel by <strong>Vicki Baum</strong>, whom my Berlin-born mother used to mention disapprovingly, as though Baum (who is mostly famous for <em>Menschen im Hotel</em>, better known in the U.S. as the movie <em>Grand Hotel</em>) was Vienna’s answer to <strong>Danielle Steel</strong>. Certainly, there is a sudsy quality to <em>A Woman’s Secret</em>—but that doesn’t begin to cover it. It’s by turns a melodrama, a Film Noir, a caper comedy, and so much more.</p> <p><strong>CAMERON KELSALL: </strong>When our own JJ recommended that we take a look at this movie, I remembered that I’d actually seen it once—as part of Ray retrospective at Film Forum several years ago, on a double-bill with the equally uncategorizable <em>On Dangerous Ground </em>(<strong>Robert Ryan</strong> and<strong> Ida Lupino</strong>). The only thing I recalled was a line spoken by <strong>Gloria Grahame</strong>, playing a hick shopgirl who’s transformed, Pygmalion-like, into a glamorous diseuse, and who originates from Azusa, California. “Everything from A to Z, USA. A-ZU-SA.” I can’t say the writing gets much better, despite a script by none other than <strong>Herman J. Mankiewicz</strong>, and much of the plot feels decidedly B-level. Yet like many of the wackier entries in Ray’s filmography, it’s compulsively watchable and often quite intriguing.</p> <p><strong>DF: </strong>Minutes before the movie ends, Susan, the central character—played by the greater than great Grahame, who was, famously, both Ray’s wife and his daughter-in-law, though not the same time; and for whom this film is a must-see—receives a telegram: “Hard to tell whether you think you’re being funny but believe me I’m completely serious.” Um, okay.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78698" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-2.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-2.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-2-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-2-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p><strong>CK: </strong>Really, that telegram just about sums up the film, doesn’t it? It’s often hard to tell whether we’re meant to laugh or lean to the edge of our seats. And that’s where it gets much of its charm.</p> <p><strong>DF</strong>: For me, almost from the start, we have what look like two rather different movies—neither of which is really quite what <em>AWS</em> ultimately means to be (whatever that is). First, we have a quintessential Gloria Grahame moment, where she stands stock-still in a broadcast studio, wearing an eye-popping evening gown, and singing <strong>Manuel Ponce’s</strong> ravishing “Estrellita.” We learn that this is her big radio hit—so much so that she’s been re-christened Estrellita over her given name, Susan. As you might imagine, this causes some narrative confusion, but I guess we should be grateful that her signature song/stage name wasn’t “Make It Another Old Fashioned, Please,” or “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” But I digress. Watching Grahame—lips moist and parted, eyes staring off into some faraway middle distance—is absolutely arresting. She looks like the quintessential Noir femme fatale that was, in fact, probably her principal calling card.</p> <p><strong>CK: </strong>Indeed, except that in this case, Grahame is the victim rather than the vixen. This is the point where the plot makes unexpected diversions in several different directions—and where genre starts to get blurry. There’s the feel of a classic women’s picture in the love triangle between Grahame, <strong>Maureen O’Hara</strong> and <strong>Melvyn Douglas</strong>, the latter two playing a Svengali-like pair of industry insiders who remake Estrellita as a way to realize their own misbegotten showbiz dreams. The Noir element comes into play when O’Hara’s Marian Washburn allegedly shoots Grahame, an act that brings several shady characters out of the woodwork. The investigation surrounding the shooting resembles a Keystone Kops movie, with a wise but harried detective and his ingratiating wife, who fancies herself an unofficial member of the squad (played by <strong>Jay C. Flippen</strong> and <strong>Mary Philips</strong>, both delightful). Each section of the film is captivating in its own right, especially if you don’t spend too much time trying to piece the disparate parts together.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78699" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-3.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-3.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-3-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/secret-3-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p><strong>DF</strong>: Whew—I have whiplash just reading this. But I’d say there are additional weirdnesses beyond even what you’ve just covered. O’Hara, for one—she’s quite wonderful here, both as an actress and a singer (she’s rarely remembered for the latter, though she has a first-rate musical theater soprano). But I so associate her with good-girl roles! I mean, she’s the mother in <em>The Parent Trap</em>, for heaven’s sake! But here, she’s not only a controlling Mrs. Danvers type, but there’s also some unmistakable lesbian overtones in the early scenes. (“It’s <em>Phantom of the Opera</em> meets <em>Madchen in Uniform</em>!” could have been the pitch line.)</p> <p><strong>CK: </strong>Indeed. Although she gets something of a redemption arc in the end—not to mention the guy—she’s entirely convincing as a cold-as-ice impresario who would do anything to keep her meal ticket in place. Beyond the latent homosexuality, there’s also the overt creep factor of Marian, a promising soprano who loses her voice, molding Susan/Estrellita into the person she wishes herself to be, an unsettling mirroring effect. It’s a complex, surprising performance.</p> <p><strong>DF:</strong> This is probably a good place to point out that Grahame is dubbed by an unnamed singer, whose silky-smooth, <strong>Jane Froman</strong>-style vocals suit the role she’s playing. But that’s just it—the character who sings (“Estrellita”) seems not at all like the one off-stage (who might as well continue to be called “Susan”). In essence, Grahame gives two quite different performances. Estrellita delivers her songs as if they were a porn money shot—every note and gesture feel like an act of electrifying sexual aggression. But when she’s in conversation with others, Azusa feels closer to home. This is Grahame as a delightfully awkward, adorably quirky local girl.</p> <p><strong>CK: </strong>Yes, and that choice actually works well dramaturgically. Estrellita is a creation; Susan is a blank slate. Grahame handles the duality well. And of course, it’s of a piece with the general tone of the film, where nothing can ever be trusted to be as it seems.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1xmME29lnI&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1xmME29lnI</a></p> <p><strong>DF</strong>: It’s also a reminder that Grahame is an actress of much greater range than she’s often remembered for. The femme fatale persona really stuck, and certainly she’s among the greatest Noir actresses ever. But I absolutely love her as Ado Annie in <em>Oklahoma!</em>—where she does indeed sing for herself, in a thread of a voice that works very well in context. And she gives one of the most charmingly off-center performances I know.</p> <p><strong>CK: </strong>We were talking the other day about one of her final screen appearances—as Mistress Page in a television adaptation of <em>The Merry Wives of Windsor</em>, equally surprising and equally good. Her sordid personal life and early death seem to be what she’s remembered for, but she’s someone whose talent deserves a rediscovery.</p> <p><strong>DF</strong>: Really, <em>A Women’s Secret</em> is such an odd and overstuffed movie that we’ve only begun to peel back the layers. Flippen’s hard-boiled detective is fun, and the final gear shift—two middle-aged biddies, played by Philips and <strong>Virginia Farmer</strong> “solve the crime” in a Snoop Sisters turn that makes no sense, but is sort of entertaining on its own. But it’s Grahame who ultimately makes this memorable.</p> <p><strong>CK: </strong>All of that oddness is stuffed impressively into an 80-minute running time too! While you might not want to visit Azusa, or find yourself alone with Maureen O’Hara and a revolver, this mostly forgotten picture is a secret worth sharing.</p> The slave who would be empress https://parterre.com/2021/08/31/the-slave-who-would-be-empress/ parterre box urn:uuid:4e65294c-d94a-16be-00f6-704cbccfe095 Tue, 31 Aug 2021 15:24:29 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/08/31/the-slave-who-would-be-empress/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/theodora-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/theodora-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/theodora-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/theodora-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/theodora-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/theodora-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>On this day in 1056 Byzantine Empress <strong>Theodora</strong> died childless, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh8_-TxslEk&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh8_-TxslEk</a></p> <p>On this day in 1829 Rossini&#8217;s <i>Guillaume Tell</i> premiered in Paris.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=osNDoDN_vtc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=osNDoDN_vtc</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of composer <strong>Amilcare Ponchielli </strong>(1834), tenor/baritone <strong>Ramón Vinay</strong> (1912) and baritone <strong>Leif Roar</strong>.(1937)</p> Œdipe, Komische Oper, 29 August 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/08/dipe-komische-oper-29-august-2021.html Boulezian urn:uuid:7d9ab9bc-f71f-ce6a-1bc5-3f92a28227c3 Tue, 31 Aug 2021 12:14:17 +0000 <div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zy5pIHeG4Z8/YS4a6ttxudI/AAAAAAAAHWI/qKGJFYP4AF4hx3ksvHt5c8wvvEnKI2OPgCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/15353_oedipe_kob_096_monikarittershaus.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2048" data-original-width="1370" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zy5pIHeG4Z8/YS4a6ttxudI/AAAAAAAAHWI/qKGJFYP4AF4hx3ksvHt5c8wvvEnKI2OPgCLcBGAsYHQ/w428-h640/15353_oedipe_kob_096_monikarittershaus.jpg" width="428" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Monika Rittershaus<br />Œdipe (Leigh Melrose), Jocaste (Karolina Gumos), Laïos (Christoph Späth)</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div></div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br />Œdipe – Leigh Melrose <br />Tirésias – Jens Larsen <br />Créon – Joachum Goltz <br />High Priest – Vazgen Gazaryan <br />Night Watchman – Shavleg Armasi <br />Shepherd – Johannes Dunz <br />Laïos – Christoph Späth <br />Jocaste – Karolina Gumos <br />Sphinx – Katarina Bradić <br />Antigone – Mirka Wagner <br />Mérope – Susan Zarrabi</span><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Evgeny Titov (director)</span><br style="font-family: georgia;" /><span style="font-family: georgia;">Rufus Didwiszus, Charlotte Spichalsky (set designs)</span><br style="font-family: georgia;" /><span style="font-family: georgia;">Eva Dessecker (costumes)</span><br style="font-family: georgia;" /><span style="font-family: georgia;">Ulrich Lenz (dramaturgy)</span><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /><br /> Choir of the Komische Oper Berlin (chorus director: David Cavelius)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Vocalconsort Berlin</span><span style="font-family: georgia;">&nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Children’s Choir of the Komische Oper Berlin (chorus director: Dagmar Fiebach)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Ainārs Rubikis (conductor)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0R4oIDB9knw/YS4ax4kkxgI/AAAAAAAAHWA/CPuG1cwlSEUAjvTNOu6uO14ggHwLS00sQCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1338" data-original-width="2048" height="418" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0R4oIDB9knw/YS4ax4kkxgI/AAAAAAAAHWA/CPuG1cwlSEUAjvTNOu6uO14ggHwLS00sQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h418/15351_oedipe_kob_075_monikarittershaus.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Tirésias&nbsp;(Jens Larsen), Œdipe, Jocaste<br /><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">Art returns in various ways. There is, nor should there be, no one-size-fits-all. In London, the Royal Opera, largely silent during the days of endless lockdown and occasional reprieve, lightened our darkness with a production of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">La clemenza di Tito</i> about which, if we were brutally honest, we should have been less enthusiastic had it not appeared on the very first day of limited reopening for theatres; it followed that, however, with an <span class="MsoHyperlink"><a href="https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/07/don-giovanni-royal-opera-5-july-2021.html">outstanding <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Don Giovanni</i></a></span>, showing that nothing, good, bad, or mediocre, should be taken for granted. The Komische Oper took a different path, as indeed have Berlin and Germany. This path, or better this first step, came later but needed no qualification, none whatsoever. Audience numbers are still limited, with a plan for increasing them as the season progresses, but otherwise this was absolutely the real thing. This new production of George Enescu’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Œdipe</i>would have been a fine achievement at any time. Coming as the first full performance and staging, the first time a full orchestra had played in the pit, since the end of February 2020, it was little short of astounding.</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, serif;"><br /></span></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GBf_v7B1LCQ/YS4ayYx45DI/AAAAAAAAHWE/XC1UF0lPXH0YSUPJ1BfSF26_zG7FcZngQCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="2048" data-original-width="1424" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GBf_v7B1LCQ/YS4ayYx45DI/AAAAAAAAHWE/XC1UF0lPXH0YSUPJ1BfSF26_zG7FcZngQCLcBGAsYHQ/w446-h640/15350_oedipe_kob_023_monikarittershaus.jpg" width="446" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Œdipe&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">A strong sense of company, of music and theatre working together, has always been a hallmark of the Komische Oper and its mission; it dates back to Walter Felsenstein. In the circumstances, one might have expected that to suffer a little, but not at all. Ainārs Rubikis’s musical direction seemed entirely of a piece with Evgeny Titus’s direction of the stage action, as of course did the vocal and dramatic contributions of a fine cast. There were moments of great power—what it was to hear an orchestra of this size once more in the pit, in the theatre!—but also passages of unease, of solace, of somewhere liminal betwixt and between. These were balanced by a keen sense of where the drama was heading and, equally important, ability to communicate that sense in the dynamism that transforms musical structure into form. That would be nothing, of course, without excellence of playing from the Orchestra of the Komische Oper. Together again at last, the players sounded inspired, woodwind modal lyricism (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Le tombeau de Couperin </i>came to mind) as crucial to our interpretation of the tragic labyrinth as dread moments of expressionist cataclysm. A cut version of the work, given without an interval, will have had some lamenting what had been lost. As with the performance and staging more broadly, expressionism was favoured, though never exclusively, over classicism. There was, however, much to be gained by seeing and hearing this opera much as it might have been given in the spoken theatre, albeit with a searing intensity that could only come from music, revealing a greater kinship to works such as <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Salome </i>or <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Elektra</i> than I had hitherto imagined. Instead of a single day, though, this was a life taken to extremity.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><br /></span></p> <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rZAtyuzID8Y/YS4axkJyLUI/AAAAAAAAHV8/tBFxUN9daJ0L_Sr2Fd-5bjeGxjANt_j6QCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1312" data-original-width="2048" height="410" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rZAtyuzID8Y/YS4axkJyLUI/AAAAAAAAHV8/tBFxUN9daJ0L_Sr2Fd-5bjeGxjANt_j6QCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h410/15352_oedipe_kob_092_monikarittershaus.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Laïos, Jocaste, Mérope (Susan Zarrabi), Night Watchman (Shavleg Armasi)</td></tr></tbody></table><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">Indeed, the spare, oppressive, in a word fateful set design (Rufus Didwiszus and Charlotte Spichalsky) might almost have been from a staging of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Elektra</i>. (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Elektra </i>productions, for whatever reason, tend to look strikingly similar.) That frames the action, but so does memory; indeed, inability to escape memory—fate itself, in at least one sense—is depicted and experienced both as frame and framed. Titov has Œdipe visit, witness his birth. Huddled, helpless in foetal position, Œdipe is granted the hopeless gift of understanding and consciously experiencing his fate, incapable of altering it, fully capable of sharing once more in its agony. That fate is not only his, but also the fate of a sick, traumatised society. Theban citizens act as a crowd, a sick crowd at that, from the outset, the plague to come as much an expression of something more fundamental. Titov wisely resists COVID-19 references. We know the day is coming when every third-rate director presents masks, respirators, video conferencing, and so on, but that is not here, not now. That will be a plague of its own. Instead, there is a suggestion that the plague proceeds from Œdipe’s own understanding that there is something wrong with the state of Thebes, appearances of health notwithstanding. That is not to say that it is imagined, but rather that it expresses something wrong, whether that something be social, political, psychological, or all of the above and more. No wonder, ultimately, that Œdipe elects no longer to see. The bloody state of his blindness in wilderness wandering is depicted with tragic horror. It leads to something akin to catharsis; perhaps that is what it is, for the single-mindedness of the dramatic trajectory at play is unquestionable. Blood and water are present at birth and throughout, culminating in cleansing and catharsis. In life and in death, this is elemental drama.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><br /></span></p> <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TfPzcedMETw/YS4a7kc2E3I/AAAAAAAAHWM/P57A2GK5SqwHeivsuRZhTP_6wfKEZWS1ACLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1344" data-original-width="2048" height="420" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TfPzcedMETw/YS4a7kc2E3I/AAAAAAAAHWM/P57A2GK5SqwHeivsuRZhTP_6wfKEZWS1ACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h420/15354_oedipe_kob_108_monikarittershaus.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Œdipe</td></tr></tbody></table><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;"><br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif; line-height: 150%; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt;">For that single-mindedness permitting of such duality we must also credit Leigh Melrose’s mesmerising performance in the title role. One felt, rather than merely observed, every twist and turn of the fatal screw, words, music, and gesture conceived and delivered in post-Wagnerian whole. Karolina Gumos’s Jocaste was finely sung and possessed of great stage presence; likewise Susan Zarrabi’s Mérope, Œdipe’s disturbing prior model for incestuous attraction. Company stalwart Jens Larsen offered a typically individual, world-weary performance of Tirésias. Shavleg Armasi’s Night Watchman and Katarina Bradić as the Sphinx gave noteworthy portrayals of their characters, words crystal clear and possessed of considerable dramatic import. All the cast worked together to provide something greater than the sum of its parts. So too considerable choral forces heard from above, to hear a combined chorus of that size in itself a treat. This was Berlin’s first new production of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Œdipe</i> since 1996, that Deutsche Oper staging last seen in 2004. Let us hope not only that this has a longer life, but that it offers a precedent for other such explorations. Szymanowski’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">King Roger</i> for instance, or some Henze. In the meantime, we should be grateful indeed for this.</span></p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/mLlast-7CV8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Met in HD 2021/22 https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/30/met-in-hd-2021-22/ operaramblings urn:uuid:1381ea65-7e57-a27c-297e-6c31c443637c Mon, 30 Aug 2021 15:38:12 +0000 There&#8217;s a Met in HD season again with ten shows starting in October.  All shows start at 12.55pm New York time.  Three out of ten performances are 21st century operas which is as surprising as it is welcome.  There are &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/30/met-in-hd-2021-22/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><img data-attachment-id="30277" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/08/30/met-in-hd-2021-22/methd/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/methd.png" data-orig-size="150,170" 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="methd" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/methd.png?w=150" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/methd.png?w=150" class="size-full wp-image-30277 alignleft" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/methd.png?w=584" alt="methd" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/methd.png 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/methd.png?w=132 132w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />There&#8217;s a Met in HD season again with ten shows starting in October.  All shows start at 12.55pm New York time.  Three out of ten performances are 21st century operas which is as surprising as it is welcome.  There are some interesting looking new productions and one or two that fit into a Met formula that doesn&#8217;t work for me usually.  And there are two remarkably venerable productions that surely are past their sell by date.  Here are my thoughts on each:</p> <p><span id="more-30268"></span>October 9th 2021 &#8211; <strong>Mussorgsky&#8217;s <em>Boris Godunov</em>.</strong>  Unusually this is the original 1869 version which was rejected by the Marinsky for lacking any substantial female roles.  Based on the production stills Stephen Wadsworth&#8217;s production looks pretty traditional but it has René Pape in title role which is a huge plus.  Sebastian Weigle conducts.</p> <p>October 23rd 2021 &#8211; <strong>Blanchard&#8217;s <em>Fire Shut Up In My Bones</em></strong>.  This is the Met&#8217;s first presentation of a work by an African-=American composer and librettist.  It&#8217;s directed by the same team that did the Met&#8217;s far from universally acclaimed Porgy and Bess.  It features Angel Blue. Latonia Moore and Will Liverman, who are all fine singers.  Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.  It&#8217;s a co-pro with LA and Chicago Lyric.</p> <p>December 4th 2021 &#8211; <strong>Aucoin&#8217;s <em>Eurydice</em></strong>.  This is a new Met commission retelling the Orpheus legend from the female POV.  I haven&#8217;t heard a lot of Matthew Aucoin&#8217;s music but what I&#8217;ve heard I found interesting.  OTOH the production (co pro with LA Opera) is by Mary Zimmermann who hasn&#8217;t impressed me in the past.  It&#8217;s a decent cast and I&#8217;m intrigued by the idea of Barry Banks as Hades.  Yannick conducts.</p> <p>January 1st 2022 &#8211; <strong>Massenet&#8217;s <em>Cinderella</em></strong> in a &#8220;holiday presentation&#8221;.  It&#8217;s the <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2013/05/16/cendrillon/">Pelly production</a> abridged and sung in English.  The cast is terrific with Isabel Leonard, Emily D&#8217;Angelo, Stephanie Blyth, Jessica Pratt and Laurent Naouri.  Emmanuel Villaume conducts.  A good bet for taking the kids or grandkids to.</p> <p>January 29th 2022 &#8211; <strong>Verdi&#8217;s <em>Rigoletto</em>.</strong>  It&#8217;s a new production by Bartlett Sher so expect fussy vacantness.  Even Quinn Kelsey in the title role won&#8217;t get me anywhere near this.  Daniele Rustioni conducts.</p> <p>March 12th 2022 &#8211; <strong>Strauss&#8217; <em>Ariadne auf Naxos</em></strong>.  This is not a new production.  It&#8217;s the <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2012/03/28/kathleen-battle-steals-the-show-again/">ancient and rather dull Moshinsky</a> affair (premiered 1962).  It&#8217;s a nice cast headed by the really excellent Lise Davidsen and Brenda Rae but&#8230; Marek Janowski conducts.</p> <p>March 26th 2022 &#8211; <strong>Verdi&#8217;s <em>Don Carlos</em></strong>.  It&#8217;s the five act French version in a new David McVicar production.  I rather thought Sir David rather went off the boil when he started working at the Met but his <em><a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/10/13/rusalka-dream-or-nightmare/">Rusalka</a> </em>(Chicago and COC) impressed me greatly so maybe he&#8217;s back on form.  It&#8217;s a terrific cast and should be an ideal vehicle for Yannick.  Tempting.</p> <p>May 7th 2022 &#8211; <strong>Puccini&#8217;s <em>Turandot</em></strong>.  It&#8217;s the ancient and overblown Zeffirelli production.  The selling point is Netrebko in the title role.  Marco Armiliato conducts.  Not for me but YMMV.</p> <p>May 21st 2022 &#8211; <strong>Donizetti&#8217;s <em>Lucia di Lammermoor</em>.</strong>  This is a new production by Australian Simon Stone, about whom I know nothing.  It&#8217;s a good cast but I really have no idea what to expect.  Riccardio Frizza conducts.</p> <p>June 4th 2022 &#8211; <strong>Dean&#8217;s <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2017/11/15/brett-deans-hamlet/"><em>Hamlet</em></a>.</strong>  Saving the best for last?  I really admire Brett Dean&#8217;s take on Hamlet.  It&#8217;s dramatically and musically excellent and the cast at the Met is much the same as seen at Glyndebourne with the only major change being Brenda Rae coming in for Barbara Hannigan as Ophelia.  The production is neil Armfield&#8217;s from Glyndebourne.  Nicholas Carter conducts rather than Vladimir Jurowski who conducted the premier.  For me, this is a must see.</p> <p>So, three out of ten performances are 21st century operas which is to be welcomed.  There are some interesting looking new productions and one or two that fit into a Met formula that doesn&#8217;t work for me usually.  And two remarkably venerable productions that surely are past their sell by date.</p> <p>I shall likely catch <em>Eurydice, Don Carlos </em>and <em>Hamlet</em>.  Wild horses wouldn&#8217;t drag me to the <em>Turandot, Ariadne </em>or<em> Rigoletto</em>.  I&#8217;ve seen the <em>Cinderella</em> in full length in French and even the prospect of Emily likely won&#8217;t get me out.  Not sure about the remaining three.</p> <p>At this point there&#8217;s no word on who, if anyone, might be showing the HDs in Canada or when tickets might go on sale.  Tickets go on sale in the US on September 8th.</p>