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/ Whether it’s win, place, or show https://parterre.com/2019/05/21/whether-its-win-place-or-show/ parterre box urn:uuid:a072f144-dd25-a520-def1-bbfb7900ea12 Tue, 21 May 2019 12:21:04 +0000 On this day 60 years ago, the imdominable <strong>Ethel Merman</strong> opened on Broadway in her greatest role. <p><a href="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/best-damn.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62318" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/best-damn-518x347.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="347" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/best-damn-518x347.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/best-damn-250x167.jpg 250w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/best-damn-768x514.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/best-damn.jpg 1015w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" /></a>On this day 60 years ago, the imdominable <strong>Ethel Merman</strong> opened in her greatest role in what is arguably the greatest musical ever written: the<strong> Jule Styne</strong> / <strong>Stephen Sondheim</strong> / <strong>Arthur Laurents</strong> showbiz saga <em>Gypsy</em>. <span id="more-62309"></span></p> <p>The &#8220;musical fable&#8221; opened at the Broadway Theatre to run 702 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times since, garnering Tony Awards for three of five Roses.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp7S_awm5GU&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp7S_awm5GU</a></p> ‘Agrippina’ (2018/19) – “Ogni vento ch’al porto lo spinga” https://joycedidonato.com/2019/05/20/agrippina-2018-19-ogni-vento-chal-porto-lo-spinga/ Joyce DiDonato urn:uuid:9ef5ca03-3c2e-ba22-12e0-e146bda9f588 Tue, 21 May 2019 01:07:04 +0000 Get To Know 2019 YAGP Grand Prix Award Winner, 18-Year-Old Gabriel Figueredo https://www.pointemagazine.com/get-to-know-2019-yagp-grand-prix-award-winner-18-year-old-gabriel-figueredo-2637625860.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:98cfd8b3-5970-35a8-ce3e-cb7134420d28 Mon, 20 May 2019 21:25:52 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19541212/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p class="">If you don't recognize Gabriel Figueredo's name yet, it's only a matter of time. Not only did the 18-year-old win the Grand Prix Award at the 2019 <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/yagp-2019-winners-2635062309.html" target="_blank">Youth America Grand Prix New York Finals</a>, but he took second place at the <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/2019-prix-de-lausanne-prizewinners-2628646971.html" target="_blank">2019 Prix de Lausanne</a>. For Figueredo, returning to YAGP this year was like a comeback tour; He won the Youth Grand Prix Award in 2013. The Brazilian-born dancer is long and lithe, but exhibits careful control while onstage. His extreme flexibility and extension are matched by a penchant for turning; <a href="https://www.instagram.com/biel_figueredo/?hl=en" target="_blank">his Instagram account</a> is filled with videos from the studio. <strong></strong></p><hr/><p><span></span>Since his 2013 YAGP win, Figueredo has been training at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany. And now his schooling is coming to a close. His Prix de Lausanne medal granted him a choice of company; Figueredo will be joining the Stuttgart Ballet this fall. We touched base with this dancer on the rise to hear all about his whirlwind competition experience this year, and what he's looking forward to in a professional career.</p><h3></h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="612Q681558389925" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JluXBT-Gtq4?list=PLtJwQIHW3RTh34JVcEaCCa7KBvES_l5Fa&rel=0?enablejsapi=1" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p><strong>When did you first start competing? </strong></p><p>I had been to competitions in Brazil, but YAGP in 2013 was my first one in the United States. Then I took a five year break before going back to competitions this year.</p><p><strong>As a student in Brazil, had you always hoped to train abroad? </strong><br/></p><p>I didn't really want to go anywhere. I didn't expect so much. I thought it was just for the experience, but when I got the scholarship to the John Cranko School I was really happy.</p><p><strong>What was it like moving to Germany at age 13? </strong><br/></p><p>I thought it would be harder. I really missed my family at the beginning because I was so young, but it was amazing because there a lot of Brazilians here and they all helped me a lot. Getting used to the training was hard at first too. Here, it's Vaganova, but in Brazil I was used to a mix of American and French technique. </p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="GHW0NX1558389925" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="664bd" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19541257/980x.jpg"/><p><strong>This year you attended both YAGP and Prix de Lausanne. What do you see as the main differences between the two competitions? </strong><br/></p><p>When my director proposed that I go to both I was really happy and excited.They're so different. At the Prix de Lausanne you get the scholarship and then you get to choose where you want to go, but at YAGP all of the directors choose you.</p><p><strong>What was the highlight of the YAGP New York Finals? <br/></strong></p><p>Of course getting the prize. Also getting to take classes with different teachers, and getting to know more people. And dancing at Lincoln Center.<br/></p><h3></h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="OWSFQ51558389925" id="a55d6"><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"> </div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxc2ElQoRVJ/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">Gabriel Figueredo on Instagram: “Getting ready for exams! Now on to conjugations https://parterre.com/2019/05/20/now-on-to-conjugations/ parterre box urn:uuid:4f41d0cb-51e2-384e-a413-e9c74eca5176 Mon, 20 May 2019 20:00:50 +0000 "Be sure to join us in July for a gala performance of <em>Candide</em> to kick off the Bernstein Bicentennial Celebration." <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62306" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/bernstein-again-518x350.png" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/bernstein-again.png 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/bernstein-again-250x169.png 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />&#8220;Be sure to join us in July for a gala performance of <em>Candide</em> to kick off the Bernstein Bicentennial Celebration.&#8221;</p> Jean Sibelius: Kullervo http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/05/jean_sibelius_k.php Opera Today urn:uuid:4113177f-ff52-c5d2-a5a1-cc1c1d82ea20 Mon, 20 May 2019 18:38:00 +0000 Why did Jean Sibelius suppress Kullervo (Op. 7, 1892)? There are many theories why he didn’t allow it to be heard after its initial performances, though he referred to it fondly in private. This new recording, from Hyperion with Thomas Dausgaard conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, soloists Helena Juntunen and Benjamin Appl and the Lund Male Chorus, is a good new addition to the ever-growing awareness of Kullervo, on recording and in live performance. Edwin Crossley-Mercer in first performance of Hippolyte et Aricie in Zurich http://barihunks.blogspot.com/2019/05/edwin-crossley-mercer-in-first.html Barihunks urn:uuid:68ae209f-a429-da1e-206c-5ea0e816b9e6 Mon, 20 May 2019 17:27:00 +0000 <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YJbEPpB3RJc/XOLisYcRgfI/AAAAAAAAoUc/lkIDMiyp6NEo6LdTyjzBe8mIvXjfDKUSACLcBGAs/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2019-05-20%2Bat%2B10.01.05%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1222" data-original-width="1554" height="313" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YJbEPpB3RJc/XOLisYcRgfI/AAAAAAAAoUc/lkIDMiyp6NEo6LdTyjzBe8mIvXjfDKUSACLcBGAs/s400/Screen%2BShot%2B2019-05-20%2Bat%2B10.01.05%2BAM.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><b>Edwin Crossley-Mercer in <i>Hippolyte et Aricie</i></b> <i>(Photo: T+T Fotografie)</i></td></tr></tbody></table>Barihunk Edwin Crossley-Mercer performed Thésée in the first performance of Jean-Philippe Rameau's <em>Hippolyte et Aricie</em> at the Zurich Opera House last night, which was conducted by 18th-century French music expert Emmanuelle Haïm. They were joined by Stéphanie d’Oustrac&nbsp; as Phèdre, Cyrille Dubois as Hippolyte and Mélissa Petit as Aricie.<br /><br />There are additional performances of this French Baroque rarity on May 22, 24 and 30, and June 2, 7 and 14. Tickets and additional cast information is available <a href="https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/hippolyte-et-aricie/season_50348/">online</a>. <br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="247" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8khf4lVxtm8" width="455"></iframe><br /></div><br />Jean-Philippe Rameau was 50 years old when he staged his first opera, <i>Hippolyte et Aricie</i>, in 1733. There was little in his life to suggest he was about to embark on a major new career as an opera composer. He was famous for his works on music theory as well as books of harpsichord pieces. The closest he had come to writing dramatic music was composing a few secular cantatas and some popular pieces for the Paris fairs<br /><br />As the most important musical theorist of his day, Rameau created a work that far surpassed the conventions of French musical theatre of the time. The French libretto, by Abbé Simon-Joseph Pellegrin, is based on Racine's tragedy <i>Phèdre</i>. The opera takes the traditional form of a tragédie en musique with an allegorical prologue followed by five acts.<br /><br />After a performance at the Paris Opéra in 1767, the work disappeared from the stage until the 20th century. The first modern performance took place in Geneva in March 1903 and returned to Paris in 1908. More recent performances include Aix-en-Provence in 1983, Lyon in 1984, the Opéra Comique in Paris in 1985, Lausanne in 1987, Versailles, in 1994, Palais Garnier in Paris in 1996 and Glyndebourne in 2013.<br /><br />American audiences will be thrilled to know that Edwin Crossley-Mercer will appear at Carnegie Hall on June 24th (keep an eye out for an upcoming post with all the details)!<div class="blogger-post-footer"><p><a href="http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=http://feeds.feedburner.com/MichaelColbrunosMountainViewCemeteryBioTour"><img src="http://buttons.googlesyndication.com/fusion/add.gif" width="104" height="17" style="border:0" alt="Add to Google Reader or Homepage"/></a></p></div> Psychedelic Trip: Tristan und Isolde at De Munt – La Monnaie https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/20/psychedelic-trip-tristan-und-isolde-at-de-munt-la-monnaie/ operatraveller urn:uuid:630c74f7-f839-2fb1-70bd-175c469b0bd0 Mon, 20 May 2019 16:55:08 +0000 Wagner – Tristan und Isolde Tristan – Christopher Ventris König Marke – Franz-Josef Selig Isolde – Ricarda Merbeth Kurwenal – Andrew Foster-Williams Melot – Wiard Witholt Brangäne – Ève-Maud Hubeaux Ein Hirt – Ed Lyon Ein Steuermann – Wiard Witholt Stimme eines jungen Seemanns – Ed Lyon Chœur d’hommes de la Monnaie, Symfonieorkest van de [&#8230;] <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Wagner – <em>Tristan und Isolde</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Tristan – Christopher Ventris<br /> K</strong><strong>ö</strong><strong>nig Marke – Franz-Josef Selig<br /> Isolde – Ricarda Merbeth<br /> Kurwenal – Andrew Foster-Williams<br /> Melot – Wiard Witholt<br /> Brang</strong><strong>ä</strong><strong>ne – </strong><strong>È</strong><strong>ve-Maud Hubeaux<br /> Ein Hirt – Ed Lyon<br /> Ein Steuermann – Wiard Witholt<br /> Stimme eines jungen Seemanns – Ed Lyon</strong></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Chœur d’hommes de la Monnaie, Symfonieorkest van de Munt / Alain Altinoglu.<br /> Artistic concept – Ralf Pleger &amp; Alexander Polzin.</strong></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>La Monnaie – De Munt, Brussels, Belgium.  Sunday, May 19th, 2019.</strong></p> <p>For its new staging of <em>Tristan und Isolde</em>, De Munt – La Monnaie engaged the noted dramaturge and director, Ralf Pleger, as well as the celebrated visual artist, Alexander Polzin, to create an ‘artistic concept’.  It starts from an interesting premise.  In an enlightening note in the program book, Pleger discusses how, in many respects, <em>Tristan und Isolde</em>’s drinking of the love potion can be seen as the characters embarking on a psychedelic trip, allowing them to enter a different realm to those around them.  It makes for an intriguing starting point to what is a visually highly imaginative staging.  As is usually the case at the house, the run was double-cast and the images accompanying this text are those of the other cast.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4489" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4489" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4489" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/20/psychedelic-trip-tristan-und-isolde-at-de-munt-la-monnaie/_tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a-petersen-isolde-b-register-tristan-dancers-van-rompay_segers/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg" data-orig-size="3000,1816" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 5D Mark IV&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1556382957&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;50&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="_Tristan &amp;amp; Isolde_Acte II_A. Petersen (Isolde), B. Register (Tristan), Dancers © Van Rompay_Segers" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4489" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&#038;h=182" alt="" width="300" height="182" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&amp;h=182 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=600&amp;h=364 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-dancers-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=150&amp;h=91 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4489" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Van Rompay &#8211; Segers</figcaption></figure> <p>We’re taken into a stylized realm, perhaps neither of life nor of death.  Ghostly figures in Act 2 seem to merge in and out of Polzin’s impressive set, as if inhabitants of another world visible only to Tristan and Isolde.  The movements of the casts, and indeed their costumes (Wojciech Dziedzic), were redolent of another time and place – perhaps of the future or perhaps of the past.  These were simple, formalized gestures – the raising of an arm or turning to the wall – creating an impression of a group of people both barely aware of each other, yet with the two central characters engaged in the most passionate, even self-destructive, love.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4488" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4488" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4488" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/20/psychedelic-trip-tristan-und-isolde-at-de-munt-la-monnaie/_tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b-register-tristan-3-van-rompay/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg" data-orig-size="6240,4160" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 6D Mark II&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1556385718&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;100&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="_Tristan &amp;amp; Isolde_Acte III_B. Register (Tristan) 3 © Van Rompay" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4488" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=300&#038;h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=600&amp;h=400 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-3-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4488" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Van Rompay &#8211; Segers</figcaption></figure> <p>This is a slow-burning staging, for a slow-burning piece, one that reveals itself gradually to those experiencing it.  It takes us, and confronts us, with a realm neither of night nor of day.  I can understand that for some, it may feel too cold.  In fact, for much of Act 1, I felt the same.  Yet, once Tristan and Isolde drank the love potion, the staging moved onto a different plane, actively becoming part of the music, amplifying it, making it feel like a total visual and musical experience – precisely the gesamtkunstwerk the work requires.  It felt that rather than watching a piece of music drama with a clear narrative thread, we were watching a visual manifestation of the music, one that was completely connected to the score.  It’s also a clearly the work of a team with a vivid visual imagination that also has the tools to realize it.  Some of the visuals were absolutely staggering – the use of lights in Act 3 to create a series of lines that intersected the set, or the beguiling use of shadow to create multiple views of the characters on stage, transforming individuals into multitudes and vice versa.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4487" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4487" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4487" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/20/psychedelic-trip-tristan-und-isolde-at-de-munt-la-monnaie/_tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b-register-tristan-van-rompay_segers/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg" data-orig-size="2500,1649" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 5D Mark IV&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1556389208&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;45&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="_Tristan &amp;amp; Isolde_Acte III_B. Register (Tristan) © Van Rompay_Segers" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4487" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&#038;h=198" alt="" width="300" height="198" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&amp;h=198 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=600&amp;h=396 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii_b.-register-tristan-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=150&amp;h=99 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4487" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Van Rompay &#8211; Segers</figcaption></figure> <p>Of course, none of this would have had the impact it had, had the musical side not been as strong.  Alain Altinoglu led a house orchestra at the top of its game.  The quality of the playing was phenomenal, today easily the equal of any orchestra in the world.  Altinoglu obtained playing of extreme confidence and refinement from the ladies and gentlemen under his charge.  The string tone was rich, with a remarkable depth of colour.  The brass was absolutely spot-on throughout this immense score.  He started the prelude with huge languor, chords aching for resolution yet never finding it.  The weight of the string tone was striking, digging deep as we stared into the darkest depths of the soul at the start of Act 3, while intonation was absolutely immaculate throughout.  Altinoglu also brought out a rainbow of colours, particularly as Ève-Maud Hubeaux floated her warnings from the tower, the combination of the searching, surging orchestral textures conjuring limitless sonic vistas with Hubeaux’s fabulous sense of line was ravishing.  Altinoglu’s tempi were for the most part nicely urgent, but there were moments when he let the tension drop – for instance in Marke’s extensive Act 2 monologue or Isolde’s entrance in Act 3.  That said, when the resolution finally came it was overwhelming, filling the house in an orgasmic glow.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4486" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4486" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4486" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/20/psychedelic-trip-tristan-und-isolde-at-de-munt-la-monnaie/_tristan-isolde_acte-iii-van-rompay_segers/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg" data-orig-size="3300,2116" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 5D Mark IV&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1556387414&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;43&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="_Tristan &amp;amp; Isolde_Acte III © Van Rompay_Segers" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4486" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&#038;h=192" alt="" width="300" height="192" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&amp;h=192 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=600&amp;h=384 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-iii-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=150&amp;h=96 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4486" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Van Rompay &#8211; Segers</figcaption></figure> <p>Vocally, there was much to appreciate.  Ricarda Merbeth was a commanding Isolde, hurling out the curse with a staggering ease on high, where so many before here have run out of gas.  The entire role was sung off the text – as indeed was the case throughout the entire cast – every word clear and invested with meaning.  Her soprano sits comparatively high, which meant that there was some very careful negotiation of the lower <em>passaggio</em>, the register breaks not quite integrated.  Merbeth rose to an overwhelming ‘liebestod’, pouring out theatre-filling streams of silvery tone.  Her Tristan was Christopher Ventris.  His was a brighter tenor than many who have been heard in the role, perhaps also more lyrical.  He rose to the ravings of Act 3, always singing within his means, with never a sense that he was pushing the voice further than it could go.  In the love duet, he sang with honeyed warmth, blending handsomely with Merbeth and the orchestra below.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4485" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4485" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4485" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/20/psychedelic-trip-tristan-und-isolde-at-de-munt-la-monnaie/_tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a-petersen-isolde-b-register-tristan-n-gubisch-brangane-van-rompay_segers/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg" data-orig-size="3000,1579" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 5D Mark IV&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1556385152&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;Hugo Segers&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;38&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="_Tristan &amp;amp; Isolde_Acte II_A. Petersen (Isolde), B. Register (Tristan), N. Gubisch (Brangane) © Van Rompay_Segers" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4485" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&#038;h=158" alt="" width="300" height="158" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=300&amp;h=158 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=600&amp;h=316 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-b.-register-tristan-n.-gubisch-brangane-c2a9-van-rompay_segers.jpg?w=150&amp;h=79 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4485" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Van Rompay &#8211; Segers</figcaption></figure> <p>Hubeaux was a glorious Brangäne.  The owner of a tart, juicy mezzo of excellent sheen, she more than easily negotiated the extremities of the role’s extensive tessitura.  She pulled back the tone to a ravishing thread in her interjections to the love duet, and throughout, the tone was absolutely even from bottom to top.  Andrew Foster-Williams made Kurwenal a much more three-dimensional and sympathetic character than we often see, his concern for Tristan in Act 3 more than palpable.  His firm baritone gave pleasure, although a hint of dryness in the tone towards the end suggested that the role might be taking him to his limits – although this was the last performance of a run of ten where Foster-Williams sang in every performance.  What made his character live, above all, was his impeccable diction.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4484" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4484" style="width: 210px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4484" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/20/psychedelic-trip-tristan-und-isolde-at-de-munt-la-monnaie/_tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a-petersen-isolde-van-rompay/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg" data-orig-size="2000,3000" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;Canon EOS 6D Mark II&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1556381109&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;100&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="_Tristan &amp;amp; Isolde_Acte II_A. Petersen (Isolde) © Van Rompay" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=683" class="size-medium wp-image-4484" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=200&#038;h=300" alt="" width="200" height="300" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=200&amp;h=300 200w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=400&amp;h=600 400w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-ii_a.-petersen-isolde-c2a9-van-rompay.jpg?w=100&amp;h=150 100w" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4484" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Van Rompay &#8211; Segers</figcaption></figure> <p>This was also the case for Franz-Josef Selig’s Marke, sung in a big, resonant, inky bass.  He truly made the text live.  Wiard Witholt and Ed Lyon were luxury casting in their roles.  Witholt singing with a nicely virile baritone, with an impressive upper extension, while Lyon sang with a lieder singer’s attention to text.  The gentlemen of the house chorus were on terrific form, particularly at the end of Act 1, making a massive noise from the boxes at the side of the stage.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4483" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4483" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tristan-isolde_acte-i_a.-foster-williams-kurwenal-a.-p ABT Celebrates Alexei Ratmansky’s 10th Anniversary With a World Premiere https://www.pointemagazine.com/alexei-ratmansky-10th-anniversary-abt-2633715671.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:1c209987-e3b0-276a-871c-9ef2039d92c1 Mon, 20 May 2019 15:40:38 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19540003/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p> This year marks <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/alexei-ratmansky" target="_blank">Alexei Ratmansky</a>'s 10th anniversary as artist in residence of American Ballet Theatre. </p><hr/><h3></h3><br/><div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ETGDUY1558367657" id="22825"><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"> </div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxgYxtlnE2D/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">American Ballet Theatre on Instagram: “BY FAR one of Alexei’s most challenging and spectacular creations on us yet! ‘THE SEASONS’ makes its WORLD PREMIERE MONDAY and CLOSES…”</a></p> </div></blockquote></div><p>The company will honor the dancemaker throughout its <a href="https://www.abt.org/performances/spring-season/" target="_blank">spring Metropolitan Opera House season</a>. The festivities start at ABT's May 20 gala with the premiere of a brand-new Ratmansky work titled <em>The Seasons</em>, set to Russian composer Alexander Glazounov's score of the same name. The piece joins <em>On the Dnieper </em>and <em>Songs of Bukovina </em>for an all-Ratmansky repertoire program May 21–23. His three full-length ballets for ABT (<em>Harlequinade</em>, <em>Whipped Cream </em>and <em>The Sleeping Beauty</em>) are also onstage this season. </p> First Lady sings the blues https://parterre.com/2019/05/20/first-lady-sings-the-blues/ parterre box urn:uuid:6cbe29d6-a15d-df61-cdb8-a82f752e89cb Mon, 20 May 2019 14:00:18 +0000 <strong>Daniel Thomas Davis</strong>’ <em>The Impossible She</em>, was a towering musical achievement, a hugely complex work packing a whopping political and intellectual punch. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62289" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/impossible-she-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/impossible-she.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/impossible-she-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Since its founding in 2007, Rhymes with Opera has emerged as a leading voice in the performing and commissioning of contemporary opera. In their recent double bill at the 124 Bank St Theater the company premiered two powerful, urgent new works which made a compelling case for the enduring relevance of opera in the 21st century. <span id="more-62288"></span></p> <p>The first work on the program, <strong>Colin Read</strong>’s <em>On Loneliness and Solitude</em>, was a compact, hard-hitting meditation on the psychology of isolation. A staged song-cycle, Read’s work comprised three vivid settings of poems by Stickney, Mansfield, and Williams, running together <em>attacca </em>to form a single, continuous musico-dramatic statement.</p> <p>The poems themselves share a modernist introversion, marked by a Freud-era fascination with the inner workings of the psyche; yet Read softened their modernist edge with a warm, tender setting, bringing the text to life in nuanced, finely drawn strokes. Read’s neo-romantic musical style, reminiscent of early Berg in the work’s opening strains, was punctuated with moments of twenty-first-century funk, especially in the Williams setting, with its energetic, off-beat rhythms and clapped hockets.</p> <p>Read’s setting of Mansfield’s “Loneliness”, by far the most powerful part of the cycle, unfolded in soaring, heart-aching phrases, exquisitely sung by <strong>Bonnie Lander </strong>with <strong>Elisabeth Halliday </strong>and <strong>Robert Maril </strong>echoing.  The cycle’s moments of Greek chorus were charmingly written, showcasing Read’s propensity for tight, lush vocal harmony, and executed with balance and precision by the ensemble.</p> <p>The second work on the program, <strong>Daniel Thomas Davis</strong>’ <em>The Impossible She</em>, was a towering musical achievement, a hugely complex work packing a whopping political and intellectual punch. The opera told the true story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s secret romantic relationship with journalist Lorena Hickok, painting an intimate portrait of their lives in a series of five fleeting vignettes.</p> <p>At the heart of Davis’ work was an ambitious historiographical project: drawing primarily from <strong>Blanche Wiesen Cook</strong>’s three-volume biography of the First Lady, Davis’ work challenged the sanitized, two-dimensional image of Roosevelt that has endured in popular culture, presenting, instead, a nuanced sketch of a woman fighting to retain agency and autonomy within a misogynist world.</p> <p>Davis’ opera dramatized the tensions between Roosevelt’s love for Hickok, and the (gendered) public pressures of life as first lady at one of the most fraught moments in American history. The opera presented an impressive intersectional reconsideration of the Great Depression, exploring the ways in which gendered and queer identities helped to shape the political tenets of the New Deal.</p> <p>Throughout the opera, Davis staged his own historical distance from his subject matter; the dramatic material was rarely presented naturalistically, usually subjected to some kind of abstraction or mediation.</p> <p>Performers sang along to prerecorded music blaring from a vintage radio; projections of thirties-era newspapers and postcards dissolved into hazy Mondrian-esque squares; and an onstage saxophonist (<strong>Zach Herchen</strong>– utterly captivating), an embodiment of the audience’s historical remove, interacted with the onstage characters both musically and physically, a near-constant aural and visual presence.</p> <p><em>The Impossible She </em>wore its intertexuality on its sleeve: woven into the opera’s libretto were a series of 17th- and 18th-century poems (also gifted to the audience in a stylishly bound booklet), recordings of Eleanor Roosevelt’s speeches, excerpts from the couple’s letters, and a number of Depression-era ballads (such as Bernard “Slim” Smith’s Breadline Blues), beautifully re-orchestrated by Davis.</p> <p>These diffuse sources collectively functioned like a prismatic lens, providing evanescent glimpses of Roosevelt and Hickok’s evolving relationship.</p> <p>These disparate elements were strung together by the mercurial figure of the “Outside World” (sung with considerable panache by the steely-voiced <strong>Robert Maril</strong>), a mysterious, transient character<em>,</em>taking on a variety of personas throughout opera, from nagging journalist to unemployed jobseeker.</p> <p>Davis used “Outside World” as a stand in for the <em>vox populi</em>, a manifestation of the societal forces threatening Roosevelt and Hickok’s relationship; appearing mainly in transitions between scenes, “Outside World” interacted with the radio and the saxophonist in a series of dream-like interludes.</p> <p>Cipher characters have become an entrenched feature of contemporary opera in recent years, from the “ghost Marnies” of Muhly’s <em>Marnie</em> to the “Sodbuster” of Mazzoli’s <em>Proving Up</em>; however, Davis endowed his “Outside World” with a hefty dose of in-your-face <em>Verfremdungseffekt, </em>using the character to disrupt, perturb, interject, dismantle, and fragment.</p> <p>For all that <em>The Impossible She </em>could be a distant, thought-provoking, and even alienating work, it also had moments of raw, heart-breaking emotion. These more touching moments often surfaced unexpectedly, somehow all the more powerful when breaking through Davis’ eclectic multimedia furor.</p> <p>The opera’s third scene, the tear-jerking highpoint of Davis’ work, offered a radiant portrait of queer romance, the music bursting into lustrous, sweeping lyricism as Roosevelt and Hickok confessed their love for each other. In the opera’s fourth scene, the music bristled with a bracing eroticism, painting a searing and intimate portrait of the protagonists’ clandestine affair.</p> <p>Davis&#8217;s score, with its post-minimalist modularity, effortlessly bridged the gap between operatic declamation and popular song. The score was comprised primarily of short, striking riffs and grooves, repeated over the course of each scene in long hypnotic cycles. Davis&#8217;s music had a lucent tonality, reminiscent of Philip Glass or Steve Reich, but with hints of jazz and soul. If the repetitiousness of the word-setting was occasionally grating, Davis made up for it with sublime and intricate ensemble writing, particularly in the duets between Roosevelt and Hickok.</p> <p>The two lead roles were superbly cast: <strong>Elisabeth Halliday </strong>sang Roosevelt with a bright, energetic soprano, dipping frequently into a rich, honeyed chest voice; <strong>Bonnie Lander </strong>navigated Hickok’s high tessitura with a gliding, stratospheric legato. The singers were elegantly supported by an offstage seven-piece orchestra, deftly conducted by <strong>George Lam</strong>, who found energy and grace in Davis’ cyclical score.</p> <p>While the performances were, for the most part, outstanding, they were often scaled much bigger than was required for such a small space. A little more dramatic and vocal restraint would have communicated the subtleties and complexities of the work more effectively.</p> <p>The real coup of the evening, however, was <strong>Laine Rettmer</strong>’s direction, which resourcefully evoked the Depression-era setting without recourse to literalism or cliché. At once expansive and claustrophobic, quiescent and ephemeral, Rettmer’s staging enlivened and transformed the tiny stage of the 124 Bank St Theater, situating Roosevelt and Hickok’s relationship within a shifting, precarious world.</p> <p>The sensuality of Rettmer’s staging lent candor and sincerity to Davis’ work, the director never shying away from the physicality of Roosevelt and Hickok’s relationship. Rettmer found symbolism, fluidity, and play within the opera’s musico-dramatic patchwork: a car-ride to New York melted into a series of sprawling, rhapsodic recollections, while scattered books evoked a flurry of journalists and paparazzi.</p> <p><em>The Impossible She </em>gave CNN opera an indie makeover, positioning contemporary opera as an important tool for political and historical commentary, for magnifying marginalized voices, for sharing long-lost stories, and for finding solutions to a tumultuous present in a distant past.</p> Tears in heaven https://parterre.com/2019/05/20/tears-in-heaven-3/ parterre box urn:uuid:250ad4a2-144c-9115-9301-1ec4b3ea618a Mon, 20 May 2019 13:00:08 +0000 There is a deep sense of culmination and finality when we discuss the last works of the great Masters.  <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62292" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/lagrime-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/lagrime.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/lagrime-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />There is a deep sense of culmination and finality when we discuss the last works of the great Masters. <span id="more-62291"></span></p> <p>Mozart turned spiritual and prepared his own (unfinished) <em>Requiem</em>; while Schubert manifested his melancholic state in mind in the gloomy song-cycle <em>Winterreise</em>. Mahler thought he escaped the curse of the ninth with his elegiac <em>Symphony No. 9</em>, which conductor <strong>Otto Klemperer </strong>claimed to be “not only his last but also his greatest achievement.”</p> <p>That comment would definitely apply to the Renaissance Master <strong>Orlando di Lasso </strong>(also known as <strong>Roland/Orlande de Lassus</strong>) (1530-1594). He channeled his pain and suffering, together with everything he had learned throughout his life, into his final work, a colossal <em>madrigali spirituali </em>titled <em>Lagrime di San Pietro </em>(Tears of Saint Peter), composed less than a month before his death.</p> <p>The work, often called the greatest representation of Renaissance polyphony, was dedicated to <strong>Pope Clement VIII</strong>in 1594.</p> <p>For <em>Lagrime</em>, Lasso set 20 poems of <strong>Luigi Tansillo </strong>(1510-1568) depicting the stages of grief that St. Peter went through after his denial of Jesus prior to the crucifixion. Lasso concludes the cycle with a Latin motet by the 13th-century French poet <strong>Philippe de Greve</strong>, this time representing the final word from Jesus himself (“Vide Homo, quae pro te patior”/“See, O man, how I su?er for you”).</p> <p><em>Lagrime </em>is also full of numerological symbolism; particularly the number “7” (representing 7 days of creation and also 7 Deadly Sins) and the number “3” (for the Trinity, and also the number of times St. Peter denies Jesus). The piece was written for 7 voices, and the whole cycle comprises a total of 21 (3 x 7) stanzas.</p> <p>As part of their world tour, Los Angeles Master Chorale, conducted by their artistic director <strong>Grant Gershon</strong>, presented <em>Lagrime di San Pietro </em>at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall on Friday (5/17), in a highly stylized staging by the visionary director <strong>Peter Sellars</strong>.</p> <p>The production was originally premiered in 2016 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and it had been performed in places as far as Australia and Mexico, and it will travel to London, Paris and Salzburg in coming months.</p> <p>It was easy for me to see why it had been so successful, as the piece and the staging transcended the confines of its spiritual context and translated into powerful statement of personal responsibilities and dealing with the past; all of these were highly pertinent to the cold and often cruel world we are living in.</p> <p>Through a contemporary lens, Sellars presented the work as a series of internal turmoil of a grieving person rather than literal translation of the texts. This reflected beautifully on every singer on stage. Gershon and Sellars decided to beef up the seven voices by assigning the people per voice, to follow along the symbolism of the piece, resulted in the <em>a cappella </em>voices sounding bigger and fuller than any existing recordings of <em>Lagrime di San Pietro</em>.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62293" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/lacrime-2-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/lacrime-2.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/lacrime-2-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Dressed by costume designer <strong>Danielle Domingue </strong>in various shades of blue and grey, those 21 singers used gestures and movements to represent the words they were singing.</p> <p>The movements were not always synchronized, even among the three people singing the same tune, however they were very well coordinated, obviously as a result of long hours of rehearsal. While not all gestures were exactly to the point—particularly when they sang about the bows targeting the chest in second poem while channeling <strong>Celine Dion—</strong>the movement did feel very heartfelt, and the stages of grief reflected well in their faces.</p> <p>It helped greatly that <strong>James F . Ingalls</strong>’ excellent lighting worked as spotlight to illuminate the actions happening at any given time. The beautiful lightwork can be seen in the video of the 10th stanza (“Come falda di neve”/”Like a snowflake”) from their previous show below. In this video, the stage was bathed in blue to represent winter time, and it shifted into bright white light as they sang about spring.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=31jwDJ73azc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=31jwDJ73azc</a></p> <p>What truly mesmerized me was the total commitment of the 21 singers to this production. Lasso set the music syllabically and it is entirely through-composed without any repetitions and redundancies. The music itself is full of contrapuntal intricacy and chromatism. The fact that the singers performed without score on top of all the movements was a testament to this dedication. Even Gershon who conducted the Chorale beautifully joined in!</p> <p>There was a major shift in direction starting the 16th stanza (“O vita troppo rea”). As St. Peter wished to die and leave the earth, the Chorale went to sit on a half-circular row of chairs placed on the stage to sing.</p> <p>This did create a clearer, even sounding purer, voice from the Chorale, but I couldn’t help thinking about the motivation for such changes. In fact, I was afraid that doing so might actually undermine the whole staging up to that point (as I could see some of the audience preferred them to just sit and sing!)</p> <p>That went on for the next couple of stanzas, culminating at the end of 20<sup>th</sup>stanza, where the lighting went almost completely dark when St. Peter wished he had no life’s shadow!</p> <p>As mentioned above, the last stanza was a motet with Jesus’ words, unlike the other stanzas. Sellars staged the scene as a reconciliation one, where the singers divided in 2 rows, and both rows were approaching each other as they sang, ending with a hug between each pair. This was truly haunting to see, a kind of happy ending to the drama.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTO8n8dyKqY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTO8n8dyKqY</a></p> <p>This was truly a major achievement for Los Angeles Master Chorale. In the extended program for prior performances, Gershon noted that</p> <blockquote><p>What we came to realize as we all worked together is that Lasso was delving into much more universal themes surrounding growing old, losing the things and people that we care about, experiencing extreme shame and regret but also some possibility of benediction. We all came away from the initial performances of this work convinced of two things: that Lagrime di San Pietro is one of the towering masterpieces of Western music, and that this project represents for each of us some of the most important work that we have ever embarked upon. This is a piece that people need to hear, to see, and to experience.</p></blockquote> <p>I couldn’t agree more with the above statement. Whether or not you think the staging make sense (I did, by the way), there is no denying that the power of the piece will engulf, and likely transform, you!</p> <p>Photos: Tao Ruspoli, Los Angeles Master Chorale</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> Getting out of town https://parterre.com/2019/05/20/getting-out-of-town/ parterre box urn:uuid:0841ae11-e1d2-f036-fba2-7d8dd296bcec Mon, 20 May 2019 12:00:41 +0000 On this day in 1978 tenor <strong>Rockwell Blake</strong> made his Met debut on tour in Minneapolis as Don Ottavio. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62296" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/rockwell-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/rockwell.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/rockwell-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />On this day in 1978 tenor <strong>Rockwell Blake</strong> made his Met debut on tour in Minneapolis as Don Ottavio. <span id="more-62295"></span></p> <p>This series of tour Don Giovannis were also all of soprano <strong>Joan Carden</strong>&#8216;s Met career (Anna), the last Met performances of sopranos <strong>Evelyn Mandac</strong> (Zerlina), <strong>Maralin Niska</strong> and <strong>Elizabeth Harwood</strong> (Elvira) and the only two performances of conductor <strong>Theo Alcántara</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5uYKRyf7bs&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5uYKRyf7bs</a></p> Hong Kong Ballet | Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz nominated in three categories at 2019 Benois de la Danse Awards http://www.balletnews.co.uk/hong-kong-ballet-septime-webres-the-wizard-of-oz-nominated-in-three-categories-at-2019-benois-de-la-danse-awards/ Ballet News | Straight from the stage - bringing you ballet insights urn:uuid:ac83c81f-b960-a5af-8893-f42bc1bd8ddb Mon, 20 May 2019 11:44:42 +0000 The Wizard of Oz &#124; Kansas City Ballet Dancers &#124; Photography: Brett Pruitt &#38; East Market Studios &#124; Courtesy of Kansas City Ballet Hong Kong Ballet’s Artistic Director Septime Webre...<br/> <br/> [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/co/RudC/~4/YB53zwjqy6A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Rachel de Thame & Ballet News http://www.balletnews.co.uk/rachel-de-thame-ballet-news/ Ballet News | Straight from the stage - bringing you ballet insights urn:uuid:0a2f9e56-2a15-2003-e12f-5c79a3e14f5e Mon, 20 May 2019 11:30:32 +0000 Rachel de Thame at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 Rachel de Thame has been a supporter of Ballet News for years, and I wanted to mark her return to television after a difficult year, with this...<br/> <br/> [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/co/RudC/~4/T7BnhIw_Yk8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> La Damnation de Faust, Glyndebourne, 18 May 2019 http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2019/05/la-damnation-de-faust-glyndebourne-18.html Boulezian urn:uuid:f0f453d1-6fd3-45f8-65e1-b5e16048ff29 Mon, 20 May 2019 11:28:00 +0000 <br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Glyndebourne Opera House</span></div><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4hYeQtLdnTE/XOKNnEVFLrI/AAAAAAAAF1Q/XB2hi5k9ZBQNFsGWrwv642OF2Wsp0N08ACLcBGAs/s1600/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-1247-1920x1280.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="1600" height="426" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4hYeQtLdnTE/XOKNnEVFLrI/AAAAAAAAF1Q/XB2hi5k9ZBQNFsGWrwv642OF2Wsp0N08ACLcBGAs/s640/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-1247-1920x1280.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Richard Hubert Smith</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br />Faust – Allan Clayton</span><br /> <span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Méphistophélès – Christopher Purves</span><br /> <span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Brander – Ashley Riches</span><br /> <span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Marguerite – Julie Boulianne </span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"></span><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Richard Jones (director)</span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Sarah Fahie (assistant director, choreography)</span><br /> <span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Hyemi Shin (set design)</span><br /> <span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Nicky Gillibrand (costumes)</span><br /> <span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Andreas Fuchs (lighting)<span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">Dancers</span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">Glyndebourne Chorus (chorus master: Aidan Oliver)</span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">Glyndebourne Youth Opera</span></span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">Trinity Boys Choir</span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">London Philharmonic Orchestra</span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;">Robin Ticciati (conductor)</span></div><span style="font-family: Georgia;"><span style="font-family: Georgia;"><br /></span></span><br /> <div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">There may be a case for staging Berlioz’s ‘dramatic legend’, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Damnation of Faust</i>; it was certainly not made on this occasion. To be fair, here are arguments either way, not least with respect to Berlioz’s own wishes and practice, and there probably always be. This new Glyndebourne production, however, found itself stuck uncertainly, awkwardly, and most of all tediously, between various poles and possibilities. It seemed to lack belief in the work, or at least the wisdom of staging it as it stands, yet at the same time makes changes so half-hearted, arbitrary, and silly that one wishes it had not. Some of Richard Jones’s recent productions – for instance, <a href="http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2018/06/la-boheme-royal-opera-16-june-2018.html"><span style="color: #0563c1;">anon-committal <em>Bohème</em></span></a> and a weirdly unfinished <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2019/02/katya-kabanova-royal-opera-9-february.html"><span style="color: #0563c1;">Katya Kabanova</span></a></i>, both for Covent Garden<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> </i>–<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> </i>have suggested running out of steam; this did nothing to dispel the impression.</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-H_c8RaTf5G4/XOKNloFxZFI/AAAAAAAAF1I/ZirRDWdDyMYXxRWNwWKF7O5Wh_GsAfYGwCLcBGAs/s1600/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-1026-1920x1280.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="1600" height="426" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-H_c8RaTf5G4/XOKNloFxZFI/AAAAAAAAF1I/ZirRDWdDyMYXxRWNwWKF7O5Wh_GsAfYGwCLcBGAs/s640/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-1026-1920x1280.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Much might have been salvaged in the event of a stronger musical performance. Alas, the festival’s music director, Robin Ticciati failed to provide it. I have yet to hear a performance from him that was not at least disappointing. Here, Ticciati offered a masterclass in the perverse art of rendering Berlioz bland and tedious to the point of non-recognition; only the following evening, listening to Colin Davis’s classic Philips LSO recording, did I feel reassured that, yes, I did know the work after all. Such lack of orchestral colour and warmth – the LPO strings sadly wasted through well-nigh absurdist lack of vibrato –married to inability to marry harmony and pulse, on the rare occasion that the latter were discerned, seemed to indicate not so much an æsthetic as mere incompetence. Notes, bars, phrased, paragraphs, even numbers drifted interminably, until suddenly an abrupt, stiff minor – very minor – eruption would occur: quite arbitrary, yet doubtless considered ‘exciting’ by some. Many paths might be taken to ignite the flame of Berlioz’s Romanticism, from Davis to Boulez, from Munch to Markevitch; a prolonged damp squib leading nowhere at all was what we heard here. When it could be heard, the LPO woodwind sounded gorgeous, not least in solo work. Too much, however, was relegated to the status of a dull backing-track to events on stage, such as they were.</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">&nbsp; </span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">Singing was better, if often unidiomatic. French is a notoriously difficult language in which to sing, especially for non-Francophone singers, but this was not straightforwardly a matter of nationality. Many of Julie Boulianne’s words were indecipherable, for instance, and she only really came into her own after the interval. Both Christopher Purves and Allan Clayton enunciated far more clearly. If the latter were not ideally cast, straining at the top, there was little doubting his commitment. A few tricky French corners aside, Purves seemed most at home, a sorely needed energising presence. The chorus had a few rocky moments, its female voices in particular; many of the performance’s stronger musical virtues were nevertheless to be found there.</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cbsrjeVCivE/XOKNlbLngwI/AAAAAAAAF1E/b4i2rrBlP24hkK3HO65JKJA_bwwIdwMMQCLcBGAs/s1600/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-0861-1920x1304.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1087" data-original-width="1600" height="434" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cbsrjeVCivE/XOKNlbLngwI/AAAAAAAAF1E/b4i2rrBlP24hkK3HO65JKJA_bwwIdwMMQCLcBGAs/s640/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-0861-1920x1304.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">What of Jones’s production? It certainly acknowledged the difficulty in staging the work at all, incorporating additional texts, ‘derived from Goethe’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Faust</i>’, by Agathé Mélinand. Derivation, however, was sometimes oblique – not only because they were, oddly, delivered in French. (Surely English translation would have made more sense in this context.) As with much else, I was left feeling that less or (considerably) more would have been better. Having seen Frank Castorf’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Faust</i> (i.e. Goethe) at the Berlin Volksbühne and heard of his work with Gounod’s version, I could not help but find this both non-committal and unfinished. A half-hearted rearrangement, trying to undercut Marguerite’s assumption by following it with ballet music (the ‘Menuet des feux follets’) in which Faust and his devils rejoiced and bared prosthetic genitalia seemed more to proclaim, ‘let us show our feminist credentials’, than actually to do so. Otherwise, a strange domestication, speaking more by default than of conviction, ruled. Presumably the idea was to show an everyday life that might have been Faust’s and Marguerite’s, but never could have been. By all means question, even negate Faust’s – and Berlioz’s – Romantic questing, but it really needs doing with greater verve and belief. This was often as tired as Ticciati’s conducting.</span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9pbzI8Jdv6s/XOKNmN7e9gI/AAAAAAAAF1M/ySM7soiQPxokL_KOjon384mIgsFYQihEwCLcBGAs/s1600/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-0728-1920x1280.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="1600" height="426" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9pbzI8Jdv6s/XOKNmN7e9gI/AAAAAAAAF1M/ySM7soiQPxokL_KOjon384mIgsFYQihEwCLcBGAs/s640/LadamnationdeFaust_130519_photoRichardHubertSmith-0728-1920x1280.jpg" width="640" /></a><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">It is difficult to imagine any Berlioz staging of this memorial year matching, let along surpassing, Dmitri Tcherniakov’s magnificiently uncompromising <a href="http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2019/02/les-troyens-opera-national-de-paris-28.html"><span style="color: #0563c1;">Paris reassessment of <em>The Trojans</em></span></a>. If one does, all the better. However, given the uncomprehending hostility with which that met from many, the world seems likely to continue to receive more of what it most likely deserves.</span></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><br /></div><br /><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;OneJS=1&amp;Operation=GetAdHtml&amp;MarketPlace=GB&amp;source=ac&amp;ref=qf_sp_asin_til&amp;ad_type=product_link&amp;tracking_id=boulezian-21&amp;marketplace=amazon&amp;region=GB&amp;placement=B00G7ZJM92&amp;asins=B00G7ZJM92&amp;linkId=44bfaa64d1bf5bcbcb6ef100d30d1348&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;"><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </iframe><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;OneJS=1&amp;Operation=GetAdHtml&amp;MarketPlace=GB&amp;source=ac&amp;ref=qf_sp_asin_til&amp;ad_type=product_link&amp;tracking_id=boulezian-21&amp;marketplace=amazon&amp;region=GB&amp;placement=B000063DQ9&amp;asins=B000063DQ9&amp;linkId=792e31feb36752e5808ee54f06d55ed7&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;"><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </iframe><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;OneJS=1&amp;Operation=GetAdHtml&amp;MarketPlace=GB&amp;source=ac&amp;ref=qf_sp_asin_til&amp;ad_type=product_link&amp;tracking_id=boulezian-21&amp;marketplace=amazon&amp;region=GB&amp;placement=B00006L76O&amp;asins=B00006L76O&amp;linkId=7054481396f8fdc4c984e24326120341&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;"><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </iframe></span></i></b></div><div style="line-height: 150%; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Georgia&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></i></b></div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/0wr3_k0OcL0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Hampstead Garden Opera presents Partenope-on-sea http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/05/hampstead_garde.php Opera Today urn:uuid:db543e33-aaa5-5de2-9fe8-f5aad43b94fb Mon, 20 May 2019 10:38:32 +0000 “Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside! I do like to be beside the sea!” And, it was off to the Victorian seaside that we went for Hampstead Garden Opera’s production of Handel’s Partenope - not so much for a stroll along the prom, rather for boisterous battles on the beach and skirmishes by the shore. Opera Review: Her Dark Materials http://super-conductor.blogspot.com/2019/05/opera-review-her-dark-materials.html Superconductor urn:uuid:ab4d4c66-37a0-ea6f-b27f-55d195b00467 Mon, 20 May 2019 05:37:24 +0000 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><b>On Site Opera presents <i>Murasaki's Moon</i>.</b><br />by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.patreon.com/Superconductor">Paul J. Pelkonen</a><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wz8IIJejzmA/XOI5g747-hI/AAAAAAAAVyY/ZZueJVpSwA4t2v-cCPiQVPy5mgzOaegawCLcBGAs/s1600/-bf3bXUg.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1183" data-original-width="1600" height="472" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wz8IIJejzmA/XOI5g747-hI/AAAAAAAAVyY/ZZueJVpSwA4t2v-cCPiQVPy5mgzOaegawCLcBGAs/s640/-bf3bXUg.jpeg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Another bad creation Genji (Martin Bakari) and his maker, the Lady Murasaki (Kristen Choi.)<br />Photo by Stephanie Berger for On Side Opera © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.</td></tr></tbody></table>On Site Opera, Eric Einhorn's company that mounts interesting operas in extraordinary places. This week, the company presented the world premiere of <i>Murasaki's Moon</i>, commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and mounted in that august institution's Astor Court, a Chinese-themed meditative space hidden in the northeast corner of the second floor of the museum's main building. (If you want to visit, it's Galleries 217 and 218.) This writer attended the first of two performances on Saturday, the third of a six show run that wrapped Sunday afternoon.<br /><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><br />Built in 1981, the Astor Garden was a dream come to life, a tribute to the childhood of philanthropist Brooke Astor, who grew up in what is now Beijing. The museum added clay-fired tiles, carefully chosen rocks and plants and woods to create this illusion of a formal Chinese garden in the 17th century. The result is beautiful but little visited: one of the most serene spaces in this bustling building. No, it's not authentically Japanese. Yes it dates from 600 years after the events depicted. But the opera's pairing with the Met's exhibit chronicling the art and creation of the <i>Tale of Genji</i> provides ample and authentic context to this dramatic work, and on the whole it works.<br /><br />This new opera is by the team of Michi Wiancko and Deborah Brevoort. They created an extensive meditation on the relationship between Lady Murasaki (Kristen Choi) the 11th century Japanese courtier who wrote <i>The Tale of Genji</i> and her title character, played by tenor Martin Bakari. The accompaniment is a combination of string quartet, <i>koto</i> (the long Japanese zither) and two percussionists, one of whom plays <i>taiko</i> drum and flute. The big, heavy drum is coarse and intrusive in this serene space: deliberately so.<br /><br /><br />Part of the joy of <i>Moon</i> is its very exoticism, the swirl of silk kimonos on the carefully tiled surface of the ceremonial court, the movement (chorographed by Yokio Yamashita) of ink brushes on richly textured scrolls, the long runner of white silken cloth that represents the titular moonlight. (One of the problems with staging this opera in the glass-ceilinged Astor Court in daytime was that it takes place at night.) Genji comes armed with a bag of fans, their colors representing his various failed relationships and the stormy swath he cuts through the city of Kyoto. The costumes and props, by the team of Beth Goldenberg and Sydney E. Schatz are top-notch.<br /><br />The opera tracks Murasaki's efforts to create an amusement for her fellow courtiers, and takes off only when Shining Genji springs to vivid life. The interactions between Murasaki and Genji take the form of a series of duets, in which Ms. Choi is playing all of the other characters in the <i>Tale</i> including Genji's long succession of mistresses. (This guy would do Don Giovanni proud) A superficial knowledge of the plot of the original literary was not needed--the libretto gives ample clue as to what exactly is going on here.<br /><br />Mr. Einhorn kept the action flowing in the narrow acting space, flanked by seated audience members and hampered by the small size of the formal garden. Ms. Choi and Mr. Bakari dove deep into their characters, finding real weight in the moment where Murasaki finds her way to a story's end (she sends Genji into exile, and seems relieved) and redemption in the moment where the cad comes back. The singers moved and swirled in their finery, arching over a nimble score that combined the voices of eastern and western instruments to create minimal pulse, kinetic rhythms and always, strong support for the voices of the two leads.<br /><br />One problem with this show is its bare-bones nature and a lack of the space and grandeur of the 11th century Imperial court in what is now Kyoto. There is also an occasionally intruding, irritating <i>bonze</i> (priest) who spends most of the opera objecting to the <i>Tale</i> being written. &nbsp;and the last scene reading it and recognizing himself in a moment of genuine comic shock. He represents the voice of Murasaki's unseen audience, the Japanese courtiers who were unfamiliar with the idea of a long-form narrative and yet secretly desired more. At one hour and change, this delicate <i>nigiri</i> of an opera left one hungry, and yet satisfied at being provided with an operatic experience unmatched anywhere else in the city.<br /><div><br /></div><div>If you enjoyed this article, it's time to click over to&nbsp;<b><a href="https://www.patreon.com/Superconductor"><i>Superconductor</i>'s Patreon page</a></b>, and help support the cost of independent music journalism in New York City at the low cost of just $5/month.</div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/BjiCs/~4/eAMDy5RfJIk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Latest news http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/05/latest_news.php Opera Today urn:uuid:61126876-0091-3b11-3a39-4be8d841a6a8 Sun, 19 May 2019 21:29:00 +0000 &nbsp; The Operas of Benjamin Britten &ndash; Expression and Evasion by Claire Seymour http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/05/the_operas_of_b.php Opera Today urn:uuid:dd5bbdbb-9956-4c29-93ab-c8b1569106a4 Sun, 19 May 2019 21:23:35 +0000 https://boydellandbrewer.com/the-operas-of-benjamin-britten.html Goliath – Review http://medicine-opera.com/2019/05/goliath-review/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:0d732115-bae2-2d81-7cc5-d5d1e6312f2e Sun, 19 May 2019 19:57:33 +0000 The subject is the Amazon Prime program, not the Philistine who should have gone up against Giannis Antetokounmpo rather than David. SPOILERS AHEAD. The show has two eight episode seasons available with another in the works. It&#8217;s headlined by Billy Bob Thornton as a fallen big shot lawyer who was kicked out of his firm... <p>The subject is the Amazon Prime program, not the Philistine who should have gone up against Giannis Antetokounmpo rather than David. SPOILERS AHEAD. The show has two eight episode seasons available with another in the works. It&#8217;s headlined by Billy Bob Thornton as a fallen big shot lawyer who was kicked out of his firm because he took to the bottle to salve his sorrow for getting a murderer off on a technicality. Said murderer went on to kill a family. Billy McBride (Thornton&#8217;s character) has lucid moments during which he shows that his legal chops are still intact.</p> <p>The first season depicts David, oops Billy, up against the Goliath of a wicked defense contractor defended by Billy&#8217;s former firm. The firm is headed by Billy&#8217;s ex-partner played by William Hurt. His law firm has also gotten to Goliath-like size. Hurt will stop at nothing including murder to advance his interests which are 4 plus evil. There&#8217;s enough plot here for a two hour movie. Stretching the story over eight hours requires a lot of clumsy dramaturgy. Donald Cooperman (Hurt) has had the right side of his face burned and works in a dark office. We&#8217;re never told how he got the burn, though there&#8217;s a suggestion that Billy may have been involved. Cooperman seems to have TV cameras all over Los Angeles, the show&#8217;s locale, including all the city&#8217;s unisex bathrooms allowing him to lurk on everything that goes on.</p> <p>Hurt is a strong enough actor to stand up to Thornton&#8217;s quiet scenery chewing and is one of the reasons that the show maintains impetus. When things between the two are just about to get interesting &#8211; Cooperman is being examined in court by Billy &#8211; he has a stroke and spends the last episode of the show in a hospital bed.</p> <p>Billy&#8217;s suit against the wicked defense contractor is won against all reason. The contractor is guilty as Benedict Arnold, but Billy has no presentable evidence proving such. The jury awards the family of the contractor&#8217;s employee $100 gazillion. The late defense worker blew himself up along with half of Los Angeles harbor when illegally dumping the fuel of an illegal weapon into the water. Rather than take the case to the appeals court, which would certainly throw out the award, the wicked contractor agrees to give the plaintiff $50 million. The CEO not only writes the check he admits, while Billy is recording him with his smartphone, that he has committed enough federal crimes to get himself elected president.</p> <p>But the good acting by all involved in support of Thornton and Hurt plus the fine production values make the show interesting. David bests Goliath and the ending, if a bit contrived, is satisfying.</p> <p>The second season is different. In it everybody including the locker room attendant at a men&#8217;s gym that features in the action is not only smarter than McBride, they all get the better of him. Hurt is not here. I guess he&#8217;s still in the Cedars-Sinai ICU. A youngish hispanic woman (Marisol) is running for mayor of LA as a woman of the people. She&#8217;s a creature of a Mexican drug cartel which everybody except McBride comes to realize fairly early in the show. Her adoptive brother, Gabriel, is the cartel&#8217;s jefe. His specialty is amputating limbs of anybody who crosses him. The cartel wants an innocent teenager convicted of a hit they carried out. This issue takes up half of the season. There&#8217;s no reason given why the bad guys want the teenager to take the fall. They eventually hang him while he&#8217;s in jail just before he&#8217;s to be released. They make a flimsy attempt to have his death resemble a suicide.</p> <p>There&#8217;s a long ladder of underlings who are supposed to carry out Gabriel&#8217;s orders. They all end up dead or amputated by the end of episode 8. One of these characters has a sexual fetish about amputees and is delighted to wake up on Gabriel&#8217;s operating table minus all four limbs. Marisol, whose real name is Claudia and who has a disreputable Mexican past, ends up as Mayor. Season 2 has more plot holes than George Washington&#8217;s face had pock marks. McBride gets trapped in Mexico, about 30 miles south of San Diego, and is marked for execution by Gabriel&#8217;s underlings. He miraculously escapes and somehow gets back to LA. In this version of the David and Goliath story, Goliath wins, basically because David is a moron.</p> <p>The Marisol character is slated to return in season 3, so it&#8217;s possible that Billy will recover his wits and redeem himself. I don&#8217;t want to go completely negative and enter the land of the square root of minus 1. If you check logic in the kitchen, I&#8217;m assuming Amazon Prime isn&#8217;t there, the program is fun to watch. Thornton is a fine actor who keeps your interest even when he&#8217;s forced to go against type and not be very smart. If I gave it a rating, it would be 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Phaedra, Royal Opera, 16 May 2019 http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2019/05/phaedra-royal-opera-16-may-2019.html Boulezian urn:uuid:0e1f1664-a32c-486c-6f37-7440813b51c5 Sun, 19 May 2019 18:35:21 +0000 <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Linbury Theatre<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YkJbPNBb7vw/XOGJFacrMdI/AAAAAAAAF0k/FD58TOo2gjYGmrt5yTjer86h_NnQTtpaACLcBGAs/s1600/917%2BPhaedra%2Bproduction%2Bimages%2B%2528C%2529%2BROH%2B2019.%2BPhotograph%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1166" data-original-width="1600" height="466" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YkJbPNBb7vw/XOGJFacrMdI/AAAAAAAAF0k/FD58TOo2gjYGmrt5yTjer86h_NnQTtpaACLcBGAs/s640/917%2BPhaedra%2Bproduction%2Bimages%2B%2528C%2529%2BROH%2B2019.%2BPhotograph%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Artemis (Patrick Terry), Hippolyt (Filipe Manu), Phaedra (Hongni Wu), Aphrodite (Jacquelyn Stucker)<br />Images (C) ROH 2019, by Bill Cooper</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Phaedra – Hongni Wu<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Hippolyt – Filipe Manu<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Aphrodite – Jacquelyn Stucker<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Artemis – Patrick Terry<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Minotaurus – Michael Mofidian<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Noa Naamat (director)<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Southbank Sinfonia</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Edmund Whitehead (conductor)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Hans Werner Henze’s penultimate opera, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phaedra</i> has been fortunate indeed in London since its 2007 Berlin premiere. Astonishingly, this was the third time I had seen the work in London: first a <a href="http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2010/01/henze-phaedra-ensemble-modernboder-18.html">Barbican concert performance</a>; then the <a href="http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2015/06/ein-landarztphaedra-guildhall-school-8.html">Guildhall’s excellent double-bill</a>, coupled with the early radio opera, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ein Landarzt</i>; now a staging at the Royal Opera’s Linbury Theatre, from members and one soon-to-be-member of its Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and the Southbank Sinfonia.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_DnA6AJKIkQ/XOGJSGxeB0I/AAAAAAAAF0w/dW5j9uWMGCEwFzjoyutegdryI08QqbQCACEwYBhgL/s1600/264%2BFilipe%2BManu%2Bas%2BHippolyt%2Band%2BHongni%2BWu%2Bas%2BPhaedra%2B%2528C%2529%2BROH%2B2019.%2BPhotograph%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1128" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_DnA6AJKIkQ/XOGJSGxeB0I/AAAAAAAAF0w/dW5j9uWMGCEwFzjoyutegdryI08QqbQCACEwYBhgL/s320/264%2BFilipe%2BManu%2Bas%2BHippolyt%2Band%2BHongni%2BWu%2Bas%2BPhaedra%2B%2528C%2529%2BROH%2B2019.%2BPhotograph%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" width="225" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Hippolyt and Phaedra</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">I continue to find it an elusive, even enigmatic work, difficult to pin down – as often with Henze. There is nothing wrong with that, quite the contrary. Immediately obvious works that have little to reveal on subsequent encounters – <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Tosca</i>, for instance, whatever its qualities – are not the most interesting. Layering of its libretto, by Christian Lehnert, is, for me at least, a little too self-conscious, indeed in that sense itself obvious; that of the score, however, continues to fascinate, both in itself and with respect to Henze’s lengthy career and well-nigh unmanageable œuvre. Conductor Edward Whitehead and the Southbank Sinfonia proved strong in their communication of the score’s textural layering, Schoenberg, Berg, Mahler, and Wagner lying behind or, perhaps better, beneath it, the orchestra’s lines seemingly summoned up like a refined <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Götterdämmerung</i> oracle. I was put in mind of a remark by Henze from four decades earlier, from an interview with <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Die Welt</i> given to coincide with the premiere of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="http://boulezian.blogspot.com/2018/08/salzburg-festival-3-bassarids-23-august.html">The Bassarids</a></i>: ‘The road from <i>Tristan</i> to Mahler and Schoenberg is far from finished, and … I have tried to go further along it.’ <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><o:p><br /></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Henze’s way was always, or usually, though, then to take up another path thereafter, perhaps resuming that earlier path some time later. We perhaps view his way with greater clarity now, or kid ourselves that we do. At any rate, other tendencies shone through too: Weill-like (Hindemith too?) wind and percussion; mesmerising saxophone lines that lured one seemingly to nowhere (a remimaging of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Natascha Ungeheuer</i>?); magical forest colours (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">König Hirsch</i>); and, perhaps most tellingly, towards the close, when Hippolyt surprisingly, disconcertingly returns as Virbius, the transformational magic of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ariadne auf Naxos</i>, Straussian reference clear, but kinship to Hofmannsthal’s ideas (perhaps via <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Elegy for Young Lovers</i>) ultimately more meaningful. At its best, Noa Naamat’s staging seemed to take its leave from these circles, lines, interactions of musical and aesthetic meaning, a sense of eastern ritual (perhaps a little Robert Wilson, but less formulaic than his work has come) coming into contact and conflict with turning of the wheel. Comparison and contrast with the work of Birtwistle came to mind, as they had on my previous encounters with the work.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UH0u9LWkODA/XOGIz7BiRpI/AAAAAAAAF0g/yQD7S1Bv55E9m71RlUrQFRYXhhECbufigCEwYBhgL/s1600/113%2BPatrick%2BTerry%2Bas%2BArtemis%2B%2528C%2529%2B2019.%2BPhotograph%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="990" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UH0u9LWkODA/XOGIz7BiRpI/AAAAAAAAF0g/yQD7S1Bv55E9m71RlUrQFRYXhhECbufigCEwYBhgL/s400/113%2BPatrick%2BTerry%2Bas%2BArtemis%2B%2528C%2529%2B2019.%2BPhotograph%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" width="247" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Artemis</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">The singers all proved excellent. Though the work is called <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phaedra</i>, I do wonder whether Henze would have been better lending Hippolyt(us)’s name to it. (But then, arguably, Rameau’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Hippolyte et Aricie</i> is similarly misnamed.) Filipe Manu, due to join the JPYAP next year, proved compelling indeed in the would-be title role, as vulnerable an object of contemplation and, later, as equivocal a vehicle of reinvention as Henze’s earlier Prince of Homburg. Was Hongni Wu’s Phaedra presented too vampishly in this production (not necessarily in performance)? Perhaps, but the deepening of her range of vocal colour throughout the evening offered compensation. Jacquelyn Stucker and Patrick Terry (the programme’s first countertenor) offered strong, detailed performances as Aphrodite and Artemis, whilst Michael Mofidian’s Minotaurus, richly sonorous yet equally careful of detail, left one wishing greedily that he had had more to sing, his persistent stage presence notwithstanding.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;">Why, then, did I emerge feeling slightly dissatisfied – or perhaps wondering whether I should have done? It may just have been a matter of how I was feeling on the day: it happens to us all. I do not think, though, that it was just that. Did the decision to introduce an interval get in the way? I think it did, making the work seem longer, more drawn out, more sectional than it is. I am not sure that the parameters within which Naamat’s staging had to operate helped in that respect. Though necessarily simple in scenic terms, it paradoxically seemed to dart around somewhat from scene to scene, perhaps through no fault of its own somewhat blunting the underlying ritual power of the score. Perhaps, alternatively, that was actually a reflection of the fragmentary qualities of the opera, of Hippolyt’s partial, flawed regaining of consciousness under his new identity. If I continue to find <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phaedra</i> enigmatic, Henze’s genre designation of ‘concert opera’ included, then that will doubtless say something about it, me, the performance, the production, or about any combination of the above. Such, after all, is opera. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wFKThAHJu1k/XOGJvASgagI/AAAAAAAAF04/oDAtW6kBjCYBuTMUNN0j-SjQP20e-9tfwCEwYBhgL/s1600/940%2BPhaedra%2Bproduction%2Bimage%2B%2528C%2529%2BROH%2B2019.%2BPhotography%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1123" data-original-width="1600" height="448" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wFKThAHJu1k/XOGJvASgagI/AAAAAAAAF04/oDAtW6kBjCYBuTMUNN0j-SjQP20e-9tfwCEwYBhgL/s640/940%2BPhaedra%2Bproduction%2Bimage%2B%2528C%2529%2BROH%2B2019.%2BPhotography%2Bby%2BBill%2BCooper.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Minotaurus (Michael Mofidian), Hippolyt</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-bottom: 0cm;"><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=1843839687&amp;asins=1843839687&amp;linkId=168b25f532a6b03282c3fc2e00d8c5bb&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;"></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 150%">    </iframe></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/VYLd6hvLehw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Agrippina https://joycedidonato.com/2019/05/19/agrippina-3/ Joyce DiDonato urn:uuid:d1e34770-01dc-7eb0-645f-b238d6e160d0 Sun, 19 May 2019 18:08:33 +0000 Gran Teatre del Liceu Il Pomo d’Oro Maxim Emelyanychev, harpsichord/director Joyce DiDonato, Agrippina Katryn Lewek, Poppea Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Ottone Franco Fagioli, Nerone <p><a href="http://www.liceubarcelona.cat/en/temporada-2018-2019/opera/agrippina" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gran Teatre del Liceu</a></p> <p>Il Pomo d’Oro<br /> Maxim Emelyanychev, harpsichord/director</p> <p>Joyce DiDonato, Agrippina<br /> Katryn Lewek, Poppea<br /> Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Ottone<br /> Franco Fagioli, Nerone</p> Fabio Lesuisse sings in Dido & Aeneas (and models for ad) http://barihunks.blogspot.com/2019/05/fabio-lesuisse-sings-in-dido-aeneas-and.html Barihunks urn:uuid:5e6cc5a8-d6f1-5aab-9448-10edb2525fa2 Sun, 19 May 2019 17:15:00 +0000 <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SMfu0clRP88/XOGLaz-dNxI/AAAAAAAAoT4/Hj3abF7Hctg58guBS7EnseVl1ZOuOmONwCLcBGAs/s1600/Dido%2BPlakat.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="880" data-original-width="690" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SMfu0clRP88/XOGLaz-dNxI/AAAAAAAAoT4/Hj3abF7Hctg58guBS7EnseVl1ZOuOmONwCLcBGAs/s400/Dido%2BPlakat.jpg" width="312" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><b>Barihunk Fabio Lesuisse and mezzo Rina Hirayama</b> <i>(Photo: Theater Aachen)</i></td></tr></tbody></table>Germany's Theater Aachen near the Belgian border managed to get our attention with their gorgeous poster for Purcell's <i>Dido &amp; Aeneas</i>. The shirtless model happens to be Belgian barihunk Fabio Lesuisse, who is making his role debut as Aeneas in the opera. The work will premiere on June 23, with additional shows on June 29 and July 5. The company is partnering with the School for Music and Dance in Cologne for this production. (Frustratingly, the Theater Aachen website does not list cast members for the show, but you can find them at the School for Music and Dance in Cologne <a href="https://www.hfmt-koeln.de/nc/en/veranstaltungen/highlights.html?item=13292&amp;cHash=a1fdaa01dda2f065a4ff5afd88ec8e6e">website</a>). Tickets are available <a href="https://theateraachen.reservix.de/p/reservix/event/1205313">online</a>. <br /><br />Purcell's <i>Dido &amp; Aeneas</i> is based on Book IV of Virgil's <i>Aeneid</i>. It recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. A monumental work in Baroque opera, <i>Dido &amp; Aeneas</i> is remembered as one of Purcell's foremost theatrical works.<br /><br />Belgian barihunk Fabio Lesuisse is a graduate of the Cologne University of Music and First Prize winner at the 2015 Bach Competition in Barcelona, Spain.<br /><br />He is currently a guest artist at the Theater Aachen in Germany, where this season he has also performed Mercutio in Gounod's <i>Roméo et Juliette</i> and Junior in Bernstein's <i>A Quiet Place.</i><br /><br />He has performed the title role in T.J. Hermann's <i>Hamlet</i> at the Theater Dortmund, as well as numerous roles at Oper Bonn, including Morales in Bizet's <i>Carmen</i>, Ned Keene in Britten's <i>Peter Grimes</i>, Marco in Puccini's <i>Gianni Schicchi </i>and Ramiro in Ravel's <i>L'heure Espagnole.</i><br /><br /><div class="blogger-post-footer"><p><a href="http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=http://feeds.feedburner.com/MichaelColbrunosMountainViewCemeteryBioTour"><img src="http://buttons.googlesyndication.com/fusion/add.gif" width="104" height="17" style="border:0" alt="Add to Google Reader or Homepage"/></a></p></div> “Do everything yourself” https://parterre.com/2019/05/19/do-everything-yourself-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:3a123d2d-63d3-b26c-7720-59e3639a08a2 Sun, 19 May 2019 16:21:56 +0000 Born on this day in 1861 soprano Nellie Melba. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62286" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/melba-518x351.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="351" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/melba.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/melba-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Born on this day in 1861 soprano <strong>Nellie Melba</strong>.<span id="more-62285"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=66p4XCc7UQo&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=66p4XCc7UQo</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of soprano <strong>Rosina Storchio</strong> (1872) and mezzo-soprano <strong>Kerstin Thorborg</strong> (1896).</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HYCT4D2ELA&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HYCT4D2ELA</a></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TajEDFnz24&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TajEDFnz24</a></p> <p>Happy birthday to parterre box scribe <strong>David Fox</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqX-zx90-38&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqX-zx90-38</a></p> Shanawdithit https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/19/shanawdithit/ operaramblings urn:uuid:317aab56-2b1f-e3a6-c18f-567f8a6d9395 Sun, 19 May 2019 15:04:12 +0000 My review of Dean Burry and Yvette Nolan&#8217;s Shanawdithit is up now on Opera Canada. TL:DR &#8211; Go see it. Photo credit: Dahlia Katz <p>My review of Dean Burry and Yvette Nolan&#8217;s <em>Shanawdithit</em> is up now on <a href="http://operacanada.ca/review-shanawdithit-tapestry-opera/"><em>Opera Canada</em></a>.</p> <p>TL:DR &#8211; Go see it.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26032" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/19/shanawdithit/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Dahlia Katz, www.dahliakatz.com&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557844023&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Dahlia Katz, all rights reserved&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;35&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2200&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.025&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Shanawdithit-photobyDahliaKatz-2529_s" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26032 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s.jpg?w=584" alt="Shanawdithit-photobyDahliaKatz-2529_s" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/shanawdithit-photobydahliakatz-2529_s.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Photo credit: Dahlia Katz</p> Henze's Phaedra: Linbury Theatre, ROH http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/05/henzes_phaedra_.php Opera Today urn:uuid:a5adda92-041d-9aa3-e061-297f50d78749 Sun, 19 May 2019 08:32:03 +0000 A song of love and death, loss and renewal. Opera was born from the ambition of Renaissance humanists to recreate the oratorical and cathartic power of Greek tragedy, so it is no surprise that Greek myths have captivated composers of opera, past and present, offering as they do an opportunity to engage with the essential human questions in contexts removed from both the sacred and the mundane. With Tito on the Charlemagne (cobblestone) trail https://dehggial.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/tito-vs-charlemagne/ opera, innit? urn:uuid:8f0d04c3-05ce-97f0-6b3a-9afaf76f2541 Sat, 18 May 2019 17:38:10 +0000 What better return to regular programming chez dehggi than a Tito trip? This is my first Tito trip in two years and this one comes with a historical side dish, as it were. Tito itself is running in Liege but whilst one is at it, a roadtrip to Aachen, the Carolingian capital, is just the [&#8230;] The basses are loaded https://parterre.com/2019/05/18/the-basses-are-loaded/ parterre box urn:uuid:bf015634-823f-fc59-5d00-31a188fd9440 Sat, 18 May 2019 17:11:17 +0000 Born on this day basses Ezio Pinza (1892) and Boris Christoff (1914). <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/pinza-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-46925" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/pinza.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/pinza-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Born on this day basses Ezio Pinza (1892) and Boris Christoff (1914). <span id="more-62283"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RyOAbKH8pE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RyOAbKH8pE</a></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ht3eDUcn0s&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ht3eDUcn0s</a></p> Looking ahead to June https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/looking-ahead-to-june-3/ operaramblings urn:uuid:fd70428c-f22b-36d1-7477-c9f5fd1a36a7 Sat, 18 May 2019 15:57:17 +0000 June is shaping up to busier than one might expect.  But first here&#8217;s one last announcement for May.  On the 22nd B-Exalted have a choral concert at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene at 8pm. Soloists are Dallas Chorley, soprano; &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/looking-ahead-to-june-3/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>June is shaping up to busier than one might expect.  But first here&#8217;s one last announcement for May.  On the 22nd B-Exalted have a choral concert at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene at 8pm. Soloists are <span lang="EN-US">Dallas Chorley, soprano; Rebecca Gray, alto; Charles Davidson and David Walsh, tenors, and </span>Janaka Welihinda<span lang="EN-US">, bass.  More details <a href="https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Musician-Band/B-Xalted-310602219669117/">here</a>.</span></p> <p>And so to June itself.  There are two items of interest on June 1st.  At Hart House Theatre at 2pm there&#8217;s a performance of <em>Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music</em> before it leaves for a tour of Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Israel.  I&#8217;m curious to see how it&#8217;s developed since we saw a version that was still rather WIP in June 2017.  Later, at 8pm at St. Thomas Anglican Church there&#8217;s the latest in the Confluence Series.  This one is titled <em>At the River</em> and features, among others, Larry Beckwith, Dylan Bell, Ian Cusson, James Meade, Marion Newman, Patricia O’Callaghan, Suba Sankaran, Jacqueline Teh and Giles Tomkins.  This has become a &#8220;don&#8217;t miss&#8221; series.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26029" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/looking-ahead-to-june-3/e9618/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e9618.jpg" data-orig-size="580,326" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;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="e9618" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e9618.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e9618.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26029 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e9618.jpg?w=584" alt="e9618" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e9618.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e9618.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/e9618.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-26028"></span>June 5th to the 9th at Buddies in Bad Times, there is <em>Pomegranate</em>.  It&#8217;s billed as a &#8220;lesbian chamber opera&#8221; and deals with the reincarnation of two lovers frozen in time in the Pompeii eruption.  The music is composed by Kye Marshall with a libretto by Amanda Hale.  Direction is by Michael Mori and music direction by Jennifer Tung. The  cast includes Rebecca Gray as Cassia/Cass and Camille Rogers as Suli/Suzie, with Teiya Kasahara, Stephanie Tritchew and Aaron Durand.</p> <p>On the 19th to the 23rd at 7pm at Harbourfront there&#8217;s a joint presentation by Soundstreams and Luminato called <em>Hell&#8217;s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook</em>.  It&#8217;s a music theatre piece in which Russell Braun recreates the life and works of Hans Eisler in a show designed by Michael Levine and directed by Tim Albery. Serouj Kradjian will be at the piano.</p> <p>Also on the 19th to the 23rd at 8pm, the TSO is presenting Orff&#8217;s <em>Carmina Burana; </em>the most fun one can have in Latin.  <span style="color:var(--color-text);">Donald Runnicles conducts with </span><span style="color:var(--color-text);">Nicole Haslett, </span><span style="color:var(--color-text);">Sunnyboy Dladla and </span><span style="color:var(--color-text);">Norman Garrett as the soloists with the combined forces of the </span><span style="color:var(--color-text);">Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the </span><span style="color:var(--color-text);">Toronto Youth Choir and the </span><span style="color:var(--color-text);">Toronto Children&#8217;s Chorus. There&#8217;s also Korngold&#8217;s Violin Conserto with </span>James Ehnes as soloist.</p> <p>On the 27th at 8pm there&#8217;s a bit of an oddball.  Muse 9 Productions and Village Opera are presenting three short food themed works at Merchants of Green Coffee.  The works are Lee Hoiby’s <i>Bon Appétit! </i>, <i>The Secret Lives of </i><i>Vegetables </i>by Danika Lorèn, and <i>Chansons de mon placard </i>by Peter Tiefenbach.  Anna Theodosakis directs with Hyejin Kwon at the piano.  The singers are Victoria Borg, Danika Lorèn and Katy Clark.  The show will also be presented in London on the 29th and 30th.  More details and tickets <a href="https://muse9food.brownpapertickets.com">here</a>.</p> An Unforgettable Homage to a Metropolitan Opera Legend https://operatoonity.com/2019/05/18/an-unforgettable-homage-to-a-metropolitan-opera-legend/ Operatoonity.com urn:uuid:9bd6c666-30ed-20d4-a83b-b350e56d9849 Sat, 18 May 2019 15:03:49 +0000 <p>Operatoonity.com review: Celebrating Richard Tucker, a Metropolitan Opera Guild event Live presentation: Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 11 a.m., 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY Presentation/Narration: David N. Tucker, M.D., and James A. Drake, Ph.D. &#160; &#160; David Tucker and &#8230; <a href="https://operatoonity.com/2019/05/18/an-unforgettable-homage-to-a-metropolitan-opera-legend/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <div class="crp_related "> <h3>Related Posts:</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://operatoonity.com/2018/07/08/new-memoir-from-opera-legend-richard-tuckers-middle-son/" ><span class="crp_title">New Memoir from Opera Legend Richard Tucker&#8217;s&hellip;</span></a></li> <li><a href="https://operatoonity.com/2018/07/28/memoir-by-opera-legend-richard-tuckers-son-a-five-star-read/" ><span class="crp_title">Memoir by Opera Legend Richard Tucker&#8217;s son a&hellip;</span></a></li> <li><a href="https://operatoonity.com/2018/08/12/qa-with-author-david-tucker-an-opera-stars-son/" ><span class="crp_title">Q&#038;A with Author David Tucker, an Opera Star&#8217;s Son</span></a></li> <li><a href="https://operatoonity.com/2018/11/04/richard-tucker-gala-2018-soiree-of-the-season/" ><span class="crp_title">Richard Tucker Gala 2018: The Soiree of the Season</span></a></li> <li><a href="https://operatoonity.com/2011/03/03/an-opera-academy-training-world-class-singers-in-my-backyard/" ><span class="crp_title">an opera academy training world-class singers in my&hellip;</span></a></li> </ul> <div class="crp_clear"></div> </div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://operatoonity.com/2019/05/18/an-unforgettable-homage-to-a-metropolitan-opera-legend/">An Unforgettable Homage to a Metropolitan Opera Legend</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://operatoonity.com">Operatoonity.com</a>.</p> Celebrate Margot Fonteyn's 100th Birthday With 50 Rarely-Seen Photos From Our Archives https://www.pointemagazine.com/margot-fonteyn-100th-birthday-photos-2637615205.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:b4c6484c-4c98-95f0-28bb-446ebb575321 Sat, 18 May 2019 13:21:08 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19535781/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p> On May 18, 1919, Margot "Peggy" Hookham was born. She would grow up to become Dame Margot Fonteyn, England's homegrown prima ballerina. She joined the Sadler's Wells School in 1934 and was performing principal roles with the precursor to The Royal Ballet the next year. Fonteyn was a company-defining figure, dancing Aurora for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II, creating numerous roles with Sir Frederick Ashton and forging a legendary partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.</p><hr/><p>In the August 1948 issue of <em>Dance Magazine</em>, Arnold Haskell wrote of her, "Although Margot Fonteyn is an exceptionally hard and conscientious worker, she is fundamentally a lazy person. Her dream is to retire at thirty-five and to live in some warm climate, getting up late, going to bed late, swimming and enjoying the good things of the table. She has not the slightest desire of ever producing a ballet, and the very idea of teaching appalls her." Fonteyn continued to perform until she was 60 years old.</p><p>Below are our 50 favorite photos of the legendary ballerina from our archives.</p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="D9PUW11558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="5e844" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291704/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="GZBHCN1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="8f835" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291665/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="DJUADE1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="ebf73" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291660/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="MAX1SB1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="837f9" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291700/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="71UHN61558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="94f7a" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291683/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="GJH38Q1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="6f336" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291663/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="TOGB7H1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="9b18c" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291688/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="OM117V1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="4cbb3" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291679/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="AZ4ZPZ1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="54296" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291668/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="FRY8KB1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="9b5e4" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291669/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ZB0OH11558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="1cfdf" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291662/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="MGL8P31558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="3866f" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19535721/3081x3827.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0MYTGN1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="bcae6" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291670/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0HHFQB1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="27924" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291685/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="CUUSJB1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="9751e" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291687/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="KFCC661558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="f6470" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291696/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="HWT20Q1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="7c8dc" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291691/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="94APNI1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="d480c" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291744/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="VOO0Z01558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="63bc1" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291680/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8GL8751558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="1b881" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291678/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="JCD6OZ1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="1a512" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291690/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="SGVZMI1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="07ea5" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291742/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6MQ6UV1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="8d392" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291694/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="GSFXZ41558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="4a8b3" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291675/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="QDIT4H1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="6799a" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291706/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="96AQMJ1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="cc301" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291745/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="LSQUT71558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="842db" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291697/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="F6VA781558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="5b1d5" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291701/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="C085TD1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="b88fa" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291698/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="31YQ6A1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="029e2" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291703/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="DDZWJU1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="f9150" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291708/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2KIPGW1558368392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="8a73b" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291719/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="Y2ABZS1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="e4d1c" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291709/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ZB441N1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="24cf8" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291712/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="R3WK1Q1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="4bd29" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291721/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="GMCZ5A1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="e818b" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291728/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="RWMBZ51558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="a662f" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291713/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="VC8CQ71558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="de7ea" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291726/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="92N7N41558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="14068" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291737/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="D146Z21558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="8d31d" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291743/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="FAO4BK1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="31adf" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291724/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3NG88D1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="dbb91" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291727/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="58TSO81558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="d07e7" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291733/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3NK60H1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="8d5df" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291730/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="GTQLFT1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="e00ea" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291731/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="KB83BS1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="ccad5" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291738/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="FFFHAJ1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="09d9b" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291722/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="AVCF801558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="0fe3e" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291716/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="JIVAWS1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="58364" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291673/980x.jpg"/><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="YNVZ9D1558368393" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="081b0" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19291735/980x.jpg"/> Prophecy Fog https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/prophecy-fog/ operaramblings urn:uuid:a012af72-a5ef-3209-237d-0368f820eff8 Sat, 18 May 2019 11:13:53 +0000 Jani Lauzon&#8217;s new piece Prophecy Fog at the Theatre Centre is a fascinating and very personal piece.  I write &#8220;very personal&#8221; because it&#8217;s obviously very personal to her but also because I experienced it in a way that I&#8217;m sure &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/prophecy-fog/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Jani Lauzon&#8217;s new piece <em>Prophecy Fog</em> at the Theatre Centre is a fascinating and very personal piece.  I write &#8220;very personal&#8221; because it&#8217;s obviously very personal to her but also because I experienced it in a way that I&#8217;m sure was not the same as any one else in the room and I suspect that will be true for many people, perhaps most, perhaps all.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26024" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/prophecy-fog/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Dahlia Katz, www.dahliakatz.com&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557672269&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Dahlia Katz, all rights reserved&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2500&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1483" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26024 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483.jpg?w=584" alt="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1483" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1483.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-26022"></span>The starting point for <em>Prophecy Fog</em> is the Giant Rock in the Mojave Desert, sacred to local Indigenous people but also focus of a great deal of UFO and other nut jobbery.  In the course of time it&#8217;s become horribly disfigured by graffiti and surrounded by various kinds of weirdness.  The question is &#8220;can something that has been desecrated still be sacred?&#8221;</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26023" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/prophecy-fog/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Dahlia Katz, www.dahliakatz.com&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557671889&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Dahlia Katz, all rights reserved&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;16000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.016666666666667&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1436" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26023 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436.jpg?w=584" alt="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1436" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1436.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Jani takes us on a journey through her relationship with rocks and stones and the stories they tell us as well as the history of Giant Rock as seen by the stones and her personal experience of it.  It&#8217;s remarkably intimate.  It&#8217;s essentially a one woman show set in a circle maybe 5m in diameter with the audience in a circle around it.  There&#8217;s Jani, a prayer mat and lots of baskets of stones; large and small.  There are four TV monitors which at various times show atmospheric videos or weird 1950s TV about the Giant Rock.  The entire space is covered by a disk on which beautiful projections of the day and night sky are playing.  There&#8217;s music.  Most of it is &#8220;atmospheric&#8221; electronics but there&#8217;s also chanting, singing and native flute playing from Jani.  It&#8217;s immersive and moving.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26026" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/prophecy-fog/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Dahlia Katz, www.dahliakatz.com&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557675142&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Dahlia Katz, all rights reserved&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;38&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;9000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1780" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26026 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780.jpg?w=584" alt="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1780" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1780.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>I think Jani answers her question.  A thing is sacred if we make it so; be it a 20m high boulder in the desert or a pebble on the beach.  If it has something to say to us we can hear it if we are prepared to.  My mind wandered to a cold winter&#8217;s day on Bwlch y Saethau; the col between Yr Wyddfa and Y Lliwedd.  I was on my own.  There was snow on the wind.  I leaned against a large boulder to shelter from the bitter wind and it spoke to me.  I knew then, I still know, that what they say about that place is true.  For some value of &#8220;true&#8221;.  It&#8217;s not the only time that&#8217;s happened to me.  It&#8217;s happened on the moors of West Penwith and on the banks of the Mississippi.  That&#8217;s how I experienced Jani&#8217;s creation.  I don&#8217;t know how you might.  That&#8217;s for you to find out.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="26025" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/18/prophecy-fog/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Dahlia Katz, www.dahliakatz.com&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557674313&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Dahlia Katz, all rights reserved&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;20&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;5000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1709" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709.jpg?w=580" class=" size-full wp-image-26025 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709.jpg?w=584" alt="ProphecyFog-photobyDahliaKatz-1709" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/prophecyfog-photobydahliakatz-1709.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><em>Prophecy Fog</em> runs at The Theatre Centre until May 26th.</p> <p>Photo credits: Dahlia Katz.</p> Animal Kingdom: La Clemenza di Tito at the Opéra royal de Wallonie-Liège https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/18/animal-kingdom-la-clemenza-di-tito-at-the-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege/ operatraveller urn:uuid:ac24c1de-2a45-7cca-2fdb-af09f1e4fd7e Sat, 18 May 2019 10:06:15 +0000 Mozart – La Clemenza di Tito. Tito – Leonardo Cortellazzi Vitellia – Patrizia Ciofi Sesto – Anna Bonitatibus Annio – Cecilia Molinari Servilia – Verónica Cangemi Publio – Markus Suihkonen Chœurs de l’Opéra royal de Wallonie-Liège, Orchestre de l’Opéra royal de Wallonie-Liège / Thomas Rösner. Stage directors – Cécile Roussat &#38; Julien Lubek. Opéra royal [&#8230;] <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Mozart – <em>La Clemenza di Tito</em>.</strong></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Tito – Leonardo Cortellazzi</strong><br /> <strong>Vitellia – Patrizia Ciofi</strong><br /> <strong>Sesto – Anna Bonitatibus</strong><br /> <strong>Annio – Cecilia Molinari</strong><br /> <strong>Servilia – Verónica Cangemi</strong><br /> <strong>Publio – Markus Suihkonen</strong></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Chœurs de l’Opéra royal de Wallonie-Liège, Orchestre de l’Opéra royal de Wallonie-Liège / Thomas Rösner.</strong><br /> <strong>Stage directors – Cécile Roussat &amp; Julien Lubek.</strong></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Opéra royal de Wallonie-Liège.  Liège, Wallonia, Belgium.  Friday, May 17th, 2019. </strong></p> <p>Upon entering the beautiful jewel box auditorium of the l’Opéra royal de Wallonie-Liège, the audience for this <em>Clemenza di Tito</em> was greeted with the sound of birdsong and other animal noises.  What directors Cécile Roussat and Julien Lubek give us is a <em>Clemenza</em>, but not as we know it.  They set the piece in an animal kingdom – Tito is part-man, part-horse (at least until ‘se all’impero’ when the horse half of his body is removed) while Sesto appears to be a dog, or perhaps a fox.  Annio is a bird man who flies in on occasion, while I have absolutely no idea what the others are supposed to be – feel free to use the comments section below to make suggestions if you are any wiser.  This moving of a piece about power, lust, sex and forgiveness to the world of animals, was explained in a note in the program book by the co-directors as an attempt to find a universality in the piece.  Yet what could be more universal that power, lust and sex?</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4476" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4476" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4476" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/18/animal-kingdom-la-clemenza-di-tito-at-the-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege/p-ciofi-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege-10/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg" data-orig-size="4246,2825" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557780822&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;112&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;4000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="P. Ciofi © Opéra Royal de Wallonie &#8211; Liège-10" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4476" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg?w=300&#038;h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg?w=600&amp;h=400 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/p.-ciofi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-10.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4476" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège</figcaption></figure> <p>What we get, instead, is a good show.  The stage is populated by extras in animal costumes, as well as acrobats.  It’s a busy staging, where the singers are parked at the front to make stock operatic gestures, while the extras and acrobats go about their business on stage.  For instance, as Tito sang ‘del più sublime soglio’ he was parked in the centre of the stage, making entreating hand gestures, while men in loincloths played with balls around him.  It was certainly interesting to look at and seemed to have been well received by the audience.  There was a moment of high drama as one of the extras fell into the pit early on – fortunately neither he nor the orchestra members or their instruments were harmed.  The main issue was that it felt visually confused, as if the directing team were unable to trust the singers to drive the story forward, and instead felt obligated to add as much visual distraction as possible.  When they finally left a character alone in stage, in ‘non più di fiori’, the humanity in Mozart’s music was able to come to the fore.  There’s a kernel of a good idea here – following Tito’s attempted assassination, the stage became ever emptier, as if without Tito life was lost.  Yet, on the whole it felt confused and superficial.  The positive, at least, is that if at some point the house wants to stage <em>The Cunning Little Vixen, </em>they have a ready-made set and costumes available.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4475" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4475" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4475" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/18/animal-kingdom-la-clemenza-di-tito-at-the-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege/l-cortellazzi-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege-7/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg" data-orig-size="4247,2826" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557780239&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;75&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="L. Cortellazzi © Opéra Royal de Wallonie &#8211; Liège-7" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4475" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg?w=300&#038;h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg?w=600&amp;h=400 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-7.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4475" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège</figcaption></figure> <p>Musically, it was much stronger.  Leonardo Cortellazzi was a very fine Tito.  Fuller-voiced than most, he negotiated the treacherous <em>passaggio-</em>crossing writing with ease.  His is a very handsome sound, truly sung off the text, with his native diction giving much pleasure.  He got through ‘se all’impero’ on sheer willpower (which is the case for the vast majority of Titos) but he found a depth of understanding of the leader’s predicament and ultimate clemency, that I found particularly convincing.  A notable assumption.  Sesto was sung by Anna Bonitatibus, surely the finest interpreter of the role today.  Bonitatibus found so much beauty in the music, digging deep to colour the tone and bringing out its inner truth.  Her ‘parto, parto’ was dispatched with ease, the triplets absolutely even and free of aspirates.  In ‘deh, per questo istante solo’ she found a glorious depth of feeling, transporting this listener through her colouring of the words and judicious use of ornamentation that made it feel that she was the only person in the world capable of singing this music.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4474" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4474" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4474" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/18/animal-kingdom-la-clemenza-di-tito-at-the-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege/ensemble-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege-11/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg" data-orig-size="4246,2825" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557781481&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;3200&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.003125&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Ensemble © Opéra Royal de Wallonie &#8211; Liège-11" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4474" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg?w=300&#038;h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg?w=600&amp;h=400 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ensemble-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-11.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4474" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège</figcaption></figure> <p>Patrizia Ciofi is a singer who has given me an enormous amount of pleasure in Mozart in the past – her recording of Susanna with René Jacobs, for instance, is a reference for the role.  Vitellia, however, is a tough assignment.  The role sits low and requires a fearless, meaty chestiness that few have.  It sits low for the dusky sunniness of her soprano, with the lower notes sounding hollow.  She sang ‘non più di fiori’ with great depth of feeling, using embellishments to the line to bring out ever further depths of emotion with every variation.  She gave a respectable account of herself and her Vitellia was always sung off the text, although I left with a sense that it wasn’t an ideal role for this excellent artist.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4473" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4473" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4473" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/18/animal-kingdom-la-clemenza-di-tito-at-the-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege/c-molinari-m-suihkonen-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege-18/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg" data-orig-size="3464,3464" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557784582&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;135&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.008&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="C. Molinari &#8211; M. Suihkonen © Opéra Royal de Wallonie &#8211; Liège-18" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4473" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg?w=300&#038;h=300" alt="" width="300" height="300" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg?w=300&amp;h=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg?w=600&amp;h=600 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/c.-molinari-m.-suihkonen-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-18.jpg?w=150&amp;h=150 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4473" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège</figcaption></figure> <p>In the remainder of the cast we had a youthful Annio from Cecilia Molinari who sang with an exquisite legato and tone of fruity sappiness.  Verónica Cangemi was a fuller-voiced Servilia than we usually hear, but there was a touch of rawness at the very top.  Markus Suihkonen sang Publio with a wonderfully masculine, full and rounded bass.  This surely is an instrument that’s going to grow even more over the next few years.  The chorus sang its music from the boxes at the side of the stage, as well as from the pit, which meant that balance wasn’t optimal.  Thomas Rösner led a stately reading with a plush string sound from the modestly sized band, playing with full vibrato, with tuning not always unanimous.  The excellent horns were also dominant in the orchestral texture.  Tempi were leisurely and lacked an ideal sense of incisiveness.  The recitatives, in particular, had a tendency to sag, lacking that crackling sense of tension that they really need to live.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4472" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4472" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4472" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/18/animal-kingdom-la-clemenza-di-tito-at-the-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege/a-bonitatibus-l-cortellazzi-opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege-20/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg" data-orig-size="4246,2825" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1557787407&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;105&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="A. Bonitatibus &#8211; L. Cortellazzi © Opéra Royal de Wallonie &#8211; Liège-20" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4472" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg?w=300&#038;h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg?w=600&amp;h=400 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/a.-bonitatibus-l.-cortellazzi-c2a9-opc3a9ra-royal-de-wallonie-lic3a8ge-20.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4472" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège</figcaption></figure> <p>There were most certainly some elements that gave pleasure in tonight’s <em>Clemenza</em> – Bonitatibus’ peerless Sesto, Cortellazzi’s finely sung Tito, as well as an excellent Annio and Publio.  The staging was nothing if not adventurous.  It was clearly conceived with honourable intentions and with a willingness to try and find the essence of the work.  Unfortunately, it didn’t succeed due to the apparent reluctnace to use the singers to drive the narrative, the overreliance on acrobats and visual effects, and the fact that, consequently, the message of forgiveness became lost underneath the visual layers.  Still, it was definitely a good show and seemed to have been very warmly received by the liégeois public.</p> <p><em>If you value the writing on this site, you can help expand its coverage by joining the <a href="https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3724545">Patreon community</a> and helping to support independent writing on opera.  Alternatively, you can support operatraveller.com with a one-off gesture via <a href="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&amp;hosted_button_id=B2ZJE5AHE36JJ">paypal</a>. </em></p> The Met’s House Baritones http://medicine-opera.com/2019/05/the-mets-house-baritones/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:9d8c318c-7da1-6ff9-c306-18581bb91e0e Fri, 17 May 2019 21:57:35 +0000 I&#8217;m using the same criterion to define a Met house baritone as I did for the company&#8217;s tenors; ie, more than 500 performance in leading roles. This rule yields 11 baritones over the life of the Met &#8211; almost twice as many as for the tenors. They&#8217;re presented below by the number of shows they... <p>I&#8217;m using the same criterion to define a Met house baritone as I did for the company&#8217;s tenors; ie, more than 500 performance in leading roles. This rule yields 11 baritones over the life of the Met &#8211; almost twice as many as for the tenors. They&#8217;re presented below by the number of shows they appeared in, from highest down. Thus, they are not in chronological order. I will only give examples of the singing of those baritones about whom I haven&#8217;t previously written. Unlike the tenors, not all of these singers were big stars &#8211; three were competent journeyman. Unlike the tenor list which contained just one American (Richard Tucker), six of the 11 baritones here are American.</p> <p>Antonio Scotti (1866-1936) appeared at the Met 1213 times between between 1899 and 1933. He holds the record for most performances by a singer in leading roles. He was the Met&#8217;s first Scarpia in <em>Tosca</em>. He virtually owned the role for the next 30 years, singing it an astounding 217 times. This is another Met record for the most performances by a singer of a major role. Scotti was not know for vocal heft or ringing high notes. It was his depth of characterization which kept him in the highest demand at all the world&#8217;s great opera houses. He was also a renowned <em>Falstaff</em>. It was in one of his performances of Verdi&#8217;s final opera that Lawrence Tibbett stole the show with his portrayal of Ford. Nevertheless, Scotti kept singing the opera with Tibbett and remained on the best of terms with the then young American singer. The photo below show Scotti with Tibbett after the former&#8217;s farewell performance at the Met. The cigarette in his mouth likely explains why his retirement was short. He died three years after leaving the Met. Here is Scotti singing the <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/z0arr8etjriqb51/Scotti%20Honor%20monologue.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Honor Monologue</a> at the end of Act 1 of <em>Falstaff</em>.</p> <p><a href="https://i0.wp.com/medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Scotti-and-Tibbett.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-26601" src="https://i0.wp.com/medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Scotti-and-Tibbett.jpg?resize=500%2C727" alt="" width="500" height="727" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a></p> <p>Giuseppe De Luca (1876-1950) was born in Rome. He achieved renown in Europe, but moved to the US in 1915. He spent the remainder of his career at the Met giving 926 performances with the company almost all between 1915 and 1935. He appeared in a few productions in 1940. His last appearance at the house was at a gala in 1946 which also marked the farewell of Giovanni Martinelli. During his retirement he taught voice at the Juilliard School. He died in New York City where he had lived for the last half of his life. He sang all the standard Italian roles. His Rigoletto was among his most successful parts. He sang Verdi&#8217;s deformed and sorrowful jester 96 times at the Met. He gave only a single performance of Don Carlo in <em>Ernani</em> in New York. The part is perfect for his voice which, though not large, was perfectly emitted and projected. He had all the notes a Verdi baritone needs. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/47qcw216z2bsex1/De%20Luca%20O%20sommo%20Carlo%20Grace%20Anthony%20Alfio%20Tedesco%20Giulio%20Setti%20Met%20Orch%20and%20Chorus.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">O sommo Carlo</a> is from Act 3. The soprano and tenor are Grace Anthony and Alfio Tedesco. Giulio Setti led the Met Orchestra and Chorus. De Luca made many recording most of which are still available.</p> <p>Robert Merrill (1917-2004) sang 789 times with the Met between 1945 and 1976. He returned for a duet with Anna Moffo at the Met&#8217;s Centennial Gala in 1983. While he sang all the major roles in the Italian and French repertory, the elder Germont in <em>La Traviata</em> was his most frequent part &#8211; 132 times. His voice had a unique and instantly recognizable quality.</p> <p>Frank Guarrera (1923-2007) was born in Philadelphia. He gave 680 performances between 1948 and 1976. I heard him many times. He was the operatic equivalent of a utility infielder. He was always available and always competent. But nobody ever went to the Met just to hear him. He sang Rossini&#8217;s Barber 29 times at the Met. Figaro&#8217;s famous aria shows him to good effect, though a little more personality would have helped. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/guu7v9m4ee8igr0/Guarrera%20Largo%20al%20factotum.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Guarrera Largo al factotum</a></p> <p>Leonard Warren (1911-60) was the best baritone I ever heard. His death onstage during a performance of <em>La Forza Del Destino</em> was a crushing blow to the Met. An artist of his caliber comes along only once or twice a century. Had he lived he would have given many more than the 657  with which he graced the company.</p> <p>Sherrill Milnes (b 1935) was the last of the series of great American baritones. In his prime he was a wonderful Verdi baritone. He sang 653 times with the Met. His tenure was 1968 to 92.</p> <p>Cornell MacNeil was a phenom in the 1960s. His volcanic high notes drove audiences out of their seats. He appeared 641 times with the Met between 1959 and 1987. He debuted as Rigoletto, a role he sang 104 times.</p> <p>Pasquale Amato (1878-1942) appeared 633 times at the Met between 1908 and 1921. That was a lot of singing over a comparatively brief period. Initially he sang both leading baritone parts in <em>Cav</em> and <em>Pag, </em>on the same evening. In 1921 he was vocally exhausted and returned to Italy to recuperate. In 1935 he returned to the US to teach at LSU. He died in Queens, NY. He sang all the leading Italian roles and regularly appeared as Kurwenal in <em>Tristan und Isolde</em>. The following two Verdi excerpts show him at his best. They were recorded in 1911 and 1914 respectively. His elegant phrasing and lyrical line set him near the top of the baritone heap at a time when there were a lot of outstanding baritones. If the <em>Rigoletto</em> aria sounds a little strange, it&#8217;s because Amato sings it as Verdi wrote it. His singing of the <em>Ballo</em> aria is about as good as it can be done. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/t09yluu6264vl7c/Amato%20Povero%20Rigoletto...Cortigiani.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Povero Rigoletto&#8230;Cortigiani</a> &#8211; <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/r1vg2s7lyey2m3h/Amato%20Eri%20tu.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Eri tu</a></p> <p>Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960) was a singer whose fame went beyond the opera house. As mentioned above, he became a star when he appeared with Scotti as Ford in Verdi&#8217;s <em>Falstaff</em>. Later, when he was singing the opera&#8217;s title role he refused to let Leonard Warren appear with him as Ford. He said, &#8220;I will not let Warren do to me what I did to Scotti.&#8221; He was right. Warren would have sung him off the stage. This not to take anything away from Tibbett who was a great singer; it&#8217;s just that Warren was without equal. Tibbett logged 603 shows at the Met until alcohol and heavy living caught up with him.</p> <p>Mario Sereni sang at the Met between 1957 and 1984. I heard him there a number of time during the first part of his New York career. He was another journeyman who could be relied on for a professional if not exceptional performance. He appeared with company 553 times. His recording of<a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/7bec2hvvot39dk7/Sereni%20Di%20Provenza.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Di Provenza</a> (1959) gives a reliable impression of what he sounded like when at his best.</p> <p>The Australian baritone John Brownlee (1900-69) was a protege of Nellie Melba. After studying in Paris, he eventually found his way to the Met where he debuted in the title role of <em>Rigoletto</em>. He sang the role with the company only one more time. He was most noted for his Mozart roles. He appeared 526 times at the Met. His last show was in 1957. He had a lyrical and light voice that was highly thought of by the Met&#8217;s audience as long as he stayed within the bounds that defined his comfort zone. His recording of <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ch12y5lpbtt66x/John%20Brownlee%20Drinking%20Song%20Don%20Giovanni.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Drinking Song</a> from Don Giovanni is filled with verve and spirit. After his retirement he became a stage director at the Met. He died in New York City.</p> <p>The frenetic pace of modern operatic life makes it problematic as to whether another Met house baritone will emerge. The closest leading baritone still active with the company, Mariusz Kwiecien, has had only 214 outings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Concert Review: The Messiah Complex http://super-conductor.blogspot.com/2019/05/concert-review-messiah-complex.html Superconductor urn:uuid:03fc8799-28cd-7a4e-cde9-059fdb2d8462 Fri, 17 May 2019 20:33:12 +0000 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><b>Evgeny Kissin returns to Carnegie Hall.</b><br />by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.patreon.com/Superconductor">Paul J. Pelkonen</a><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tet72_p_mNk/XN8Xlo62SAI/AAAAAAAAVyI/dw5-LEf6bf4odELO6FX6CnKgsMQ_JnhpQCLcBGAs/s1600/32402-evgeny_kissin_carnegie_hall_steve_j_sherman_resized.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="338" data-original-width="510" height="420" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tet72_p_mNk/XN8Xlo62SAI/AAAAAAAAVyI/dw5-LEf6bf4odELO6FX6CnKgsMQ_JnhpQCLcBGAs/s640/32402-evgeny_kissin_carnegie_hall_steve_j_sherman_resized.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The chosen one, at the controls. Evgeny Kissing at Carnegie Hall.<br />Photo by Steve J. Sherman.</td></tr></tbody></table>"Oh my God," the woman said. "He's amazing! He's like the Chosen One!"<br /><br />Everybody loves a good salvation story, which might be why the above was said about Evgeny Kissin at intermission (right next to my seat) at last night's Carnegie Hall concert.. The storied Russian pianist made his yearly visit to the historic venue with an intelligently constructed program, dovetailing neatly between the development of music for his instrument in the 19th and 20th centuries. As the recital was sold out, Carnegie Hall added seating on the Perelman Stage, both behind and to the left of the artist as he played.<br /><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><br />The concert started with Mr. Kissin playing three of Chopin's <i>Nocturnes</i>, each drawn from a different opus number in the composer's catalogue. Gentle lyricism and singing tone were the order of the day here, as the pianist made the most of his instrument's singing tone and Chopin's softly cascading rhythms. Each of these slow movements played together formed a coherent musical trilogy, although there is no special interrelation between the original works. The links here were of Mr. Kissin's invention but the poetic statement was more than valid.<br /><br />Schumann's Piano Sonata No. 3 was an all-out declaration of love for the pianist Clara Wieck, who the composer would later marry. It is also a hybrid work, a piano concerto for solo instrument alone. This would be a path on which Schumann would have few followers, although other sophisticated piano composers would attempt similar creative feats in the years to follow.<br /><br />Following the hot-house languors of the Chopin, the Schumann sonata acted a bracing shake of the senses. Mr. Kissin delved deep into the complicated left-hand arpeggios and the right-hand's melodic line searching for solutions or at least solace in the stormy first movement. The famous <i>Andantino</i> with its set of slowly developing variations on a ground bass looks backward to Beethoven and forward to Brahms in its rigorous thematic development.<br /><br />Mr. Kissin brought all of his weapons to bear on the final movement of the Sonata, marked <i>Prestissimo possible.</i> Here at last was the artist in his fire breathing glory, summoning a storm of right-hand ornamentation to leap forward under the surging bass. Descending notes hinted at a possible <i>Dies irae</i> but the overall mood here was one of happy virtuosity triumphing over romantic doom and gloom. It was simply thrilling stuff.<br /><br />To start the second half, Mr. Kissin took his eager listeners on a tour through both books of Debussy piano preludes, creating a journey that alternated between fast and slow movements. This allowed the sheer radical nature of Debussy's writing for the piano to thrust forward, as these works each pushed the sonic envelope in new and distinct ways. "Danseuse de Delphes" was quiet and lyrical and "Les collines d'Anacapri" seemed to predict jazz. The little tour culminated in "Feux d'artifice", a radical creation of stabbing, wide intervals over a perpetual motion figure, this one in the right hand.<br /><br />There was one sonata on this program: the <i>No. 4</i> by Scriabin. This quirky two-movement work shifts moods and intervals rapidly, from the open latticework of the slow movement to the lurching <i>Prestissimo</i> with its hints of Wagner's <i>Tristan</i> surging somewhere in the middle. Mr. Kissin then returned for three stellar encores: Schumann's beloved <i>Traumerei</i>, Debussy's <i>Golliwog's Cakewalk</i> from <i>Childrens Corner</i> and finally what the capacity crowd wanted, a brilliant Chopin waltz.<br /><br />If you enjoyed this article, it's time to click over to&nbsp;<b><a href="https://www.patreon.com/Superconductor"><i>Superconductor</i>'s Patreon page</a></b>, and help support the cost of independent music journalism in New York City at the low cost of just $5/month.</div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/BjiCs/~4/ebJgHGJjDf4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> "Ballet Rising," a New Docu-Series in the Works, Spotlights Ballet Beyond the Western World https://www.pointemagazine.com/ballet-rising-docu-series-2637412339.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:75e4531b-b2d2-05a8-3bf0-c09718eccf5e Fri, 17 May 2019 20:14:22 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19535852/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p>From his home in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, a boy named <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO2eJYwte1M" target="_blank">Yos Clark</a> first discovered ballet a few years ago through videos on YouTube. As former Dutch National Ballet principal Casey Herd describes in his forthcoming documentary series <em><a href="https://balletrising.com/" target="_blank">Ballet Rising</a></em>, Yos would walk miles to a neighboring village to attend ballet class in a boxing ring. Apparently, the lessons paid off; last year, Yos received a scholarship to continue his training in Manchester, England. </p><p> Success stories like Yos' are what propels Herd recently. Since leaving his post at Dutch National Ballet, Herd has become determined to shed light on the lesser-known stories of dancers making it around the world. Along with his friend and colleague Chris Weisler, Herd traverses the globe searching for people embracing ballet for their documentary project <em>Ballet Rising. </em>(Since the series is still in development, a premiere date is TBA.)<strong> </strong>Between stops,<em> </em><em>Pointe</em> touched base with Herd over the phone to learn about the project, where his travels have taken him so far, and what his hopes are for the future of global ballet.</p><hr/><h3></h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ADBFYM1558124695" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OQ9b2AsAF5A?rel=0?enablejsapi=1" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p><strong>What is <em>Ballet Rising</em>?</strong></p><p><em>Ballet Rising</em> is a documentary series exploring how the global community is changing ballet. It's an ever-evolving idea that we're just starting to nail down. When I was a student, most of the dancers I looked up to were from Europe and North America. Since then, there's been a shift, with an emergence of fantastic dancers from Brazil, Mexico, Korea, China and beyond. By celebrating the individual stories of dancers around the world re-defining the face of ballet, we hope to show how these cultures are elevating ballet into a global art form.</p><p><strong>How did the idea for <em>Ballet Rising</em> come about?</strong></p><p>After I left Dutch National three years ago, I had to decide what I wanted to do next. I traveled a lot during my dancing career, but always to places that I considered conventional for ballet: London, Paris and New York. I wanted to continue traveling as much and as far as possible, but to places like Tibet, Bolivia and Ethiopia. At the same time, I didn't want to abandon my past as a dancer, or to lose the connections I'd built with other dancers and choreographers. It took a long time to figure out how to blend those passions. <br/></p><p> I think if I hadn't become a dancer, I would have wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. <a href="https://www.chrisweisler.com/" target="_blank">Chris Weisler</a> has been my friend since we danced in Amsterdam together, and now works as a professional photographer. He's been on board from the start, and works behind the scenes as our creative director. <em>Ballet Rising </em>lets us look at the world through a new lens, which is amazing! </p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="AS0OC61558124695" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="e61c1" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19535908/980x.jpg"/><p><strong>So, it's not strictly an outreach project?</strong></p><p>We're most interested in showing stories from a reporter's perspective. Right now, that means making short films that shed light on individual people's stories. We want to amplify the voices that already exist but that haven't necessarily had a chance to reach a global audience. </p><p>When I visit a place, I'm happy to pass on whatever I can by teaching classes, talking to local people, and helping new relationships with companies and directors I've worked with. But the focus is on celebrating the accomplishments of others, not on our contribution to their lives.</p><p><strong>Where has the project taken you so far?</strong></p><p>So far we've been to New Delhi and Kathmandu. We're planning to visit the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Mexico and Brazil this summer, and are hoping to go to the Philippines in November with <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/stella-abrera" target="_blank">Stella Abrera</a> and American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company. Many other dance schools have reached out, and we're in contact with people in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Colombia, Nigeria and Kenya. </p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="N2LETE1558124695" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="08b8c" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19535912/980x.jpg"/><p><strong>Whose stories do you plan to cover?</strong></p><p>Yos Clark's story is amazing, and we really hope to meet him this summer in Abidjan. We also loved meeting Ritika Chandra and visiting her studio <a href="https://www.instagram.com/elanballet/?hl=en" target="_blank">Élan Ballet</a> in New Delhi—a great example of an unknown school that is really doing something. We'd love to meet one teacher in Cambodia who struggles to pay for pointe shoes shipped from the United States even though they're made right there in Cambodia—just one example of challenges faced by dancers in areas where ballet is less established.</p><p><strong>What are the biggest hurdles to launching the project?</strong></p><p><em>Ballet Rising</em> is still in its beginnings, and we're still exploring ways to finance it. We're raising money through Fund Ballet in order to finish the pilot phase. I financed our first round of trips with savings. And we're looking into other ways to find sponsors through avenues like dancewear companies, airlines, and hotel chains.</p><p>Another struggle has been navigating criticism. We've been accused of posing as "messiahs of ballet" with an agenda to convert the world, and suspected of promoting cultural colonization at the detriment of indigenous culture. That's the last thing we want to do! But these concerns were really eye-opening, and caused me to re-consider some of the language we'd been using to promote the project. To be clear, <em>Ballet Rising</em> is not about proving how ballet can change the world. It's about celebrating the places already proving how the world is changing ballet.</p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4UER6U1558124695" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="1d884" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19536009/980x.jpg"/><p><strong>What do you have planned this summer?</strong></p><p>In Guadalajara, Mexico, we'll visit English National Ballet principal <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/isaac-hernandez" target="_blank">Isaac Hernandez</a>. He'll show us the school that his family runs, which produces an astonishing level of talent. And Dutch National principal <a href="https://www.operaballet.nl/en/people/daniel-camargo" target="_blank">Daniel Camargo </a>will show us around Ourinhos, Brazil, where we can see where he started out and learn about the challenges he faced as a ballet student there. We're also in touch with <a href="http://www.projectiondance.com/" target="_blank">Projection Dance</a>, a foundation run by Tim Podesta, about a collaboration in Ethiopia. Hopefully after this summer, we'll have featured stories in Asia, Africa and Latin America.</p><p><strong>What are your ultimate hopes for <em>Ballet Rising</em>?</strong> </p><p>Anthony Bourdain's docu-series <em>Parts Unknown</em> is a huge source of inspiration for us; just as he sees the world through the lens of life as a chef, we hope to create a new lens that sees the world from a dancer's perspective. A few networks have shown interest in <em>Ballet Rising</em> so far, and I can't wait to see what happens.</p><p><em>Ballet Rising</em> is ever-evolving. We plan to return to the places we visit to see the progress over time. We'd also like to find out if a dance flooring company or ballet company might donate flooring to schools like Ritika's, or if we can help teachers like the one in Cambodia access pointe shoes more easily.</p><p>We're so grateful to have the support of colleagues and directors like Sascha Radetsky, Peter Boal, and Ted Brandsen, who believe in what we're doing. The ballet world keeps expanding, and I can't wait to see where it ends up.</p> Ask Amy: My Vamp Is Digging Into My Foot https://www.pointemagazine.com/pointe-shoe-vamp-digging-foot-2633716793.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:14417b11-9365-6e22-9ac0-5a26fcb7ff5e Fri, 17 May 2019 20:12:53 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19536174/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p><strong>I got professionally fitted and my shoes were fine in the store. Now in class, the vamp is digging into my foot in demi-pointe and the heel is sliding off. Is it the size, the width or both? —Mandi</strong></p><hr/><h3>None</h3><br/><p>I consulted with Mary Carpenter, a professional fitter whose popular YouTube channel, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi6yUim4ZI-5w2b8lmUeAXA" target="_blank">Dancewithmary NYC</a>, offers advice on common pointe shoe problems. She says there could be several reasons why your shoes feel differently now. Did you have your fitting at the end of the day or during a tough performance run? If so, they may be too big. "Feet swell as the day goes on," says Carpenter. "A fitting first thing in the morning or right after shows is not going to be a good representation of your day-to-day fit. An ideal time is in the middle of the day, when you've been up and moving around and have perhaps taken a class." Another thing to consider is toe pads, she adds. "Make sure you wear your usual padding at the time of the fitting."</p><h3>None</h3><br/><p>Alternatively, your shoes may simply need more breaking in. Remember: At the store you're typically standing flat or on your toes, not articulating through demi-pointe. Carpenter notes that an overly hard shank can cause the heel to slide off. And high vamps, especially when combined with strong side wings, can be uncomfortably stiff and make the shoe feel too narrow at first. Rather than wearing a brand-new shoe "as is," use your hands to lightly smoosh down the box to create more width and gently bend the shank where your arch naturally curves. This will help make the shoe suppler. If it still doesn't feel right, you may need to try a smaller size or lower vamp.</p><p><em>Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt at </em><em>askamy@dancemedia.com.</em><br/></p> Orpheus condescending https://parterre.com/2019/05/17/orpheus-condescending/ parterre box urn:uuid:fadbf2d5-e662-0e10-2b3a-7b8b75758825 Fri, 17 May 2019 17:06:58 +0000 <B>Iestyn Davies</b> is, of course, a renowned Handellian, and he sang Handel’s music with clarity, restraint, and precision. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62279" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/orpheus-518x345.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="345" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/orpheus.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/orpheus-250x167.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Over the past 50 years, the countertenor voice has acquired a certain mystique. As our modern-day approximation of the castrato, its timbre has come to evoke a kind of other-worldly distance, a long-lost past recovered.  Through its role in the early music revival and the historically-informed performance movement, it has garnered associations of purity and precision – all laser-tuned straight tones and clean-cut coloratura. <span id="more-62278"></span></p> <p>It has become something of a critical cliché to describe the countertenor voice in terms of a kind of historical sublime, remote and transcendent. In his recital at Zankel Hall on Thursday night, <strong>Iestyn Davies</strong> both played into and challenged this mystique, presenting a program of mostly Baroque, mostly British music, accompanied by lutenist <strong>Thomas Dunford</strong>.</p> <p>The program was primarily comprised of songs by Handel, Dowland, and Purcell, three composers who, as Davies proudly proclaimed in one of his mid-show spiels, were given the title of “England’s Orpheus” in their time.</p> <p>Given that the “Orpheus” moniker was one of the most generic sobriquets of the period, bestowed on just about every musician in early-modern Europe, this historical tidbit tells us less about the lives and careers of these composers and more about how Davies and Dunford want their audience to hear the work of these composers.</p> <p>It was as if the performers wanted their audience to sit back in awe at the orphic beauty of this music. This general impression was not helped by the hyperbolic program notes, which encouraged us to listen for the music’s “unbearable beauty” and “unprecedented strength and originality”. The music was presented as a set of sanctified, purified, and, indeed, sanitized museum pieces, to be received with wonderment and reverence.</p> <p>This feeling of sanitization occasionally seeped into the performance itself, particularly in the handful of Handel numbers. Davies is, of course, a renowned Handellian, and he sang Handel’s music with clarity, restraint, and precision.</p> <p>However, the performance felt too clean, too comfortable, too predictable: the cries of vengeance in “Ombra cara” for all their beauty, lacked venom, and the quirkier moments of the composer’s eponymous mini-cantata <em>Hendel, non può mia musa</em>could have had more character and flair.</p> <p>The recital’s general air of reverence was compounded by the considerable amount of historical information presented to the audience between pieces. We were told about Dowland’s career in Denmark and the archlute’s origins in the North-African oud over a series of ad-hoc history lectures between numbers.</p> <p>In presupposing the audience’s awe and couching the music in historicist discourse, the performers only dampened the music’s immediacy, whitewashing its most striking features, its idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, its moments of ambiguity or opacity, its <em>chiaroscuro</em>.</p> <p>While the historical information was indeed, very interesting, it only served to make the music seem all the more removed from our time, as if the music were a faded antique, gathering dust before our eyes.</p> <p>Yet, for all this recourse to historicism, there was no way to escape the sheer modernity that surrounded the performance itself: the ringing of unsilenced mobile phones, the crinkling of plastic candy wrappers, the periodic rumble of the subway (once ironically coinciding with the Purcell lyrics “remote from tumult and from noise”), and, of course, Zankel Hall’s decidedly post-minimalist architecture and wire-laden ceiling.</p> <p>At a time when classical music is perpetually labelled a “dead” artform (an epithet that, although unequivocally false, has proved remarkably hard to shake), presenting the music of Dowland, Handel et al. as sacrosanct historical artifacts only serves to make the artform appear all the more obsolete.</p> <p>Perhaps, instead of expounding the music’s orphic superiority or historical context, we should go “against interpretation” in our presentation of classical music, emphasizing its liveness and ephemerality, letting it speak for itself, in the present.</p> <p>In critiquing the recital’s manner of presentation and its paratexts, I am in no way maligning the quality of the performance itself – this was, indeed, a triumphant performance by two skilled and captivating performers. I am merely presenting a provocation about how we might construct a concert-going culture for the twenty-first century.</p> <p>Davies was at his most bewitching in the songs by Purcell and Dowland, in which he took greater interpretative risks, his performance rawer and more expressive. Davies had a mesmerizing stage presence, his manner conversational, charismatic, but hued with a rare emotional intimacy. Davies’ diction was crystal clear throughout (almost negating the need for the printed lyrics in the program), Davies chewing over the more evocative lyrics with considerable <em>éclat</em>.</p> <p>In “Come again, sweet love doth now invite,” Davies bought seemingly endless energy to Dowland’s refrain, lending an urgency to the offbeat word-setting of the melody. Davies navigated the metrical intricacies of Dowland’s “Can she excuse my wrongs” with elegance and playfulness, maneuvering between duple and triple meters with a mischievous smile.</p> <p>Davies bought out the stark contrasts of Purcell’s “Lord, what is man,” lending drama and zeal to the song’s declamatory phrases. In Purcell’s “O Solitude, my sweetest choice,” Davies spun sleek, lyrical phrases over Dunford’s austere accompaniment, his final strains fading to a barely audible pianissimo.</p> <p>Making the most of Purcell’s word-painting, Davies produced slithering melismas and pin-prick staccatos to evoke the snakes and whips of “Music for a while”. Davies delivered a gentle, stately performance of Purcell’s “Now that the sun hath veiled his light,” singing with clarity and warmth even in the extremes of his range.</p> <p>As an accompanist, Dunford was sensitive and responsive, matching Davies’ vivid interpretive gestures with animated, gutsy playing. His forceful strumming in “Lord, what is man” lent weight to the hymn’s quasi-<em>recitativo</em>passages, while his delicate touch in Dowland’s “Flow my tears” underpinned the melancholy of the text.</p> <p>As a soloist, Dunford favored understatement and restraint, executing Dowland’s virtuosic lute music with apparent ease. He bought out a poignancy in the quiet dissonances in works by Marin Marais and Robert de Visée, performing these rarely heard gems with subtlety and care.</p> <p>Although Davies was in fine voice throughout the evening, delivering a lively program packed with rarely heard repertoire, I couldn’t help but feel as if the singer were playing it somewhat safe.</p> <p>After his adventurous performances in operas by Benjamin, Adès and Muhly, and his stint on Broadway with <em>Farinelli and the King</em>, I have come to expect the unexpected from this gifted singer. This recital provided only a limited snapshot of Davies’ extraordinary dramatic and musical range, steeped in hyperbole and historical cliché.</p> <p>Photo: Benjamin Ealovega</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> This Weekend: Catch the Bolshoi Ballet at the Movies in "Carmen Suite" and "Petrushka" https://www.pointemagazine.com/this-weekend-catch-the-bolshoi-ballet-at-the-movies-in-carmen-suite-and-petrushka-2637395295.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:80976f36-83c1-8f59-297b-d699af522cfd Fri, 17 May 2019 16:58:12 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19535631/origin.png"/><br/><br/><p>If you're making your weekend plans, you may want to clear your calendar for Sunday and check your local movie listings. On May 19, <a href="https://www.fathomevents.com/events/bolshoi1819-carmen-suitepetrushka" target="_blank">Fathom Events</a>, in partnership with Pathé Live and By Experience, is broadcasting the Bolshoi Ballet's performance of <em>Carmen Suite </em>and <em>Petrushka </em>throughout cinemas nationwide. The program will be captured live <a href="https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/timetable/" target="_blank">the same day</a> from Moscow, and feature some of the Bolshoi's biggest stars.</p><hr/><h3></h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="QTT0CW1558119928" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NvYRBsxd3l4?rel=0?enablejsapi=1" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span><p><a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/svetlana-zakharova" target="_blank">Svetlana Zakharova</a> takes on the title role in Alberto Alonso's <em>Carmen Suite</em>, with <a href="https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/persons/ballet/1294/" target="_blank">Denis Rodkin</a> as Jose and <a href="https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/persons/ballet/630/" target="_blank">Mikhail Lobukhin</a> as Torero. Alonso choreographed the ballet in 1967 for famed Bolshoi prima <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/maya-plisetskaya" target="_blank">Maya Plisetskaya</a>. (In 2016, Zakharova <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/bolshoi-in-cinema-svetlana-zakharova-2412915396.html" target="_blank">talked to us</a> about what it is like to perform during these worldwide broadcasts: "I get so nervous and tired that it takes me a week to recover afterwards!") </p><p><em><a href="https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/7038/details/" target="_blank">Petrushka</a>, </em>on the other hand, is a new, contemporary production by Romanian choreographer Edward Klug. <a href="https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/persons/ballet/1091/" target="_blank">Denis Savin </a>stars as Petrushka opposite <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/denis-savin" target="_blank">Ekaterina Krysanova</a> as the Ballerina, <a href="https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/persons/ballet/1092/" target="_blank">Vyacheslav Lopatin</a> as the Charlatan and Dmitry Dorokhov as the Moor. Learn more about the ballet in the video below—then<a href="https://www.fathomevents.com/events/bolshoi1819-carmen-suitepetrushka" target="_blank"> click here </a>to find out where the Bolshoi broadcast is playing near you!</p><h3></h3><br/><span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1VCGDZ1558119928" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6qru9v12HY4?start=45&rel=0?enablejsapi=1" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span> Principal Casting released for English National Ballet’s Cinderella at the Royal Albert Hall http://www.balletnews.co.uk/principal-casting-released-for-english-national-ballets-cinderella-at-the-royal-albert-hall/ Ballet News | Straight from the stage - bringing you ballet insights urn:uuid:829b21d8-ac0e-7cac-2489-6af6076f64ce Fri, 17 May 2019 15:41:34 +0000 This summer&#160;English National Ballet&#160;performs their biggest production to date, a new, in-the-round version, of&#160;Christopher Wheeldon’s&#160;Cinderella&#160;at the&#160;Royal Albert...<br/> <br/> [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/co/RudC/~4/VbfpIwqNSlI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Un ballo in maschera at Investec Opera Holland Park: in conversation with Alison Langer http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/05/un_ballo_in_mas.php Opera Today urn:uuid:76345046-2aa7-b810-1838-c0b07df218e8 Fri, 17 May 2019 14:40:47 +0000 “Sop. Page, attendant on the King.” So, reads a typical character description of the loyal page Oscar, whose actions, in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, unintentionally lead to his monarch’s death. He reveals the costume that King Gustavo is wearing at the masked ball, thus enabling the monarch’s secretary, Anckarstroem, to shoot him. The dying King falls into the faithful Oscar’s arms. Martin Duncan directs the first UK staging of Offenbach's Fantasio at Garsington http://www.operatoday.com/content/2019/05/martin_duncan_d.php Opera Today urn:uuid:a4f35b98-8c31-987a-560e-802743d36104 Fri, 17 May 2019 14:37:28 +0000 A mournful Princess forced by her father into an arranged marriage. A Prince who laments that no-one loves him for himself, and so exchanges places with his aide-de-camp. A melancholy dreamer who dons a deceased jester’s motley and finds himself imprisoned for impertinence. Pandora; an “out of the box” opera/ballet https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/17/pandora-an-out-of-the-box-opera-ballet/ operaramblings urn:uuid:aecfbce8-b460-f3c4-59ea-f972e0018bd5 Fri, 17 May 2019 13:17:36 +0000 FAWN Chamber Creative and its artistic director Amanda Smith see themselves as pioneers.  They champion inter-disciplinary works that don&#8217;t fit easily into any taxonomy of music, theatre or dance styles.  Their latest venture; Pandora, an &#8220;opera/ballet&#8221; on a classical theme, &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/17/pandora-an-out-of-the-box-opera-ballet/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p><img data-attachment-id="26020" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2019/05/17/pandora-an-out-of-the-box-opera-ballet/fawn_spring_insta_v003/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/fawn_spring_insta_v003.jpg" data-orig-size="290,290" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="FAWN_spring_INSTA_v003" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/fawn_spring_insta_v003.jpg?w=290" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/fawn_spring_insta_v003.jpg?w=290" class=" size-full wp-image-26020 alignleft" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/fawn_spring_insta_v003.jpg?w=584" alt="FAWN_spring_INSTA_v003" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/fawn_spring_insta_v003.jpg 290w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/fawn_spring_insta_v003.jpg?w=150 150w" sizes="(max-width: 290px) 100vw, 290px" />FAWN Chamber Creative and its artistic director Amanda Smith see themselves as pioneers.  They champion inter-disciplinary works that don&#8217;t fit easily into any taxonomy of music, theatre or dance styles.  Their latest venture; <em>Pandora</em>, an &#8220;opera/ballet&#8221; on a classical theme, might seem straight from the court of Louis XIV but Lully likely wouldn&#8217;t have scored it for drums, a piano, an electric guitar, a cello, a bassoon and electronics.  The Sun King would likely also be somewhat taken aback by Jenn Nichol&#8217;s choreography; her long association with Opera Atelier notwithstanding.</p> <p><span id="more-26019"></span>To be honest though when I sat down yesterday to talk to Amanda and partners-in-crime Jonathan MacArthur and Aaron Durand we talked as much about process as outcome.  Pandora is being developed as a &#8220;Devised Opera&#8221;.  It started with a <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2016/05/08/synesthesia-iv-pt-1/">workshop</a> where the audience got to vote for the three composers FAWN would use for the project.  That was three years ago and since then it&#8217;s evolved into a collaborative process involving librettist, director, the three composers, choreographer and some of the performers.  The pieces are developed in multiple workshops with a slightly different method being used by each composer.  The common element is the librettist who has to ensure that the narrative, as a whole, makes sense.  Right now the piece is in rehearsal with the full performing cast as the instrumentalists are worked into the stage action.</p> <p>So what can we expect from the finished piece?  It&#8217;s going to be an an exploration of evil in the world, from death and sickness to flat tires and gluten, seen through the eyes of librettist David James Brock and composers; David Storen, Joseph Glaser and Kit Soden as a modern character revisits the infamous box.  The three &#8220;pieces&#8221; will be linked by musical interludes but there will be three distinct musical styles; which could mean something for everybody or not!  The total piece comes in at around 75 minutes and is intended as a continuous immersive experience.  It will play in a roughly one hundred seat rather grungy sounding space in that not-quite-industrial part of the inner west end probably not much frequented by the COC&#8217;s audience.</p> <p>Amanda describes the piece as intended for a &#8220;new audience&#8221; which I interpret as meaning one drawn from a variety of aesthetic backgrounds; music, dance, visual arts etc (and half my age).  Based on my (dim) memories of the music of the three composers I&#8217;m expecting something quite challenging though Amanda promises that some sections will be more accessible than others.  There are fine singers; Teiya Kasahara, as well as Jonathan and Aaron and equally fine dancers with Tyler Gledhill joining Jenn in abandoning glam-baroque for something more contemporary.  I&#8217;m looking forward to it.</p> <p><em>Pandora</em> plays at Geary Lane (360 Geary Avenue) on May 23rd, 24th and 25th.  More details and tickets <a href="https://www.fawnchambercreative.com/events/upcoming/">here</a>.</p> The 2019 Pubie Awards https://parterre.com/2019/05/17/the-2019-pubie-awards/ parterre box urn:uuid:10ddd43b-714a-7de1-7e2b-4ab60f13a1ab Fri, 17 May 2019 13:00:58 +0000 It's that time of year again, cher public, when you select your favorites for the 2019 parterre box "Pubie" awards. <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-62259" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/pubie-500.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/pubie-500.jpg 500w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/pubie-500-250x175.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />As the New York season winds down, it&#8217;s that time of year again, cher public, when you, the cher public, select your favorites for the 2019 parterre box &#8220;Pubie&#8221; awards. <span id="more-62256"></span></p> <p>Please vote for one nominee in each category. Note that write-in votes are allowed. The polls will remain open for one week.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a name="pd_a_10321191"></a> <div class="PDS_Poll" id="PDI_container10321191" data-settings="{&quot;url&quot;:&quot;\/\/static.polldaddy.com\/p\/10321191.js&quot;}" style="display:inline-block;"></div> <div id="PD_superContainer"></div> <noscript><a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/10321191">Take Our Poll</a></noscript><script type='text/javascript'> (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='https://parterre.com/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); </script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a name="pd_a_10321192"></a> <div class="PDS_Poll" id="PDI_container10321192" data-settings="{&quot;url&quot;:&quot;\/\/static.polldaddy.com\/p\/10321192.js&quot;}" style="display:inline-block;"></div> <div id="PD_superContainer"></div> <noscript><a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/10321192">Take Our Poll</a></noscript><script type='text/javascript'> (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='https://parterre.com/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); 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</script> <p>&nbsp;</p> It takes two https://parterre.com/2019/05/17/it-takes-two/ parterre box urn:uuid:dae7ffce-0e10-9f95-617e-a1dd9e1f374c Fri, 17 May 2019 12:00:40 +0000 Double diva day! <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62268" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/birgit-and-zinka-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/birgit-and-zinka.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/birgit-and-zinka-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />Double diva day! Born on this day in 1906 sopranos <strong>Zinka Milanov</strong> (1906) and <strong>Birgit Nilsson</strong> (1918). <span id="more-62264"></span></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNleRCifSfs&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNleRCifSfs</a></p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKNQm3V8-S4&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKNQm3V8-S4</a></p> <p>Happy birthday to costume designer supreme <strong>Juul Haalmeyer</strong>!</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=990OaFr8EYw&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=990OaFr8EYw</a></p> Interview with Evelyn Herlitzius https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/17/interview-with-evelyn-herlitzius/ operatraveller urn:uuid:6b731ece-232f-190f-8066-ab9d91f2f2f5 Fri, 17 May 2019 11:00:00 +0000 Born in Osnabrück, Evelyn Herlitzius is widely regarded as one of the most remarkable singing-actors before the public today.  The dramatic soprano has performed on all of the major lyric stages and in the most demanding roles in the repertoire, including Brünnhilde, Salome, Ortrud, Kundry, Turandot, and is a highly acclaimed exponent of Elektra.  After [&#8230;] <p><strong><em>Born in Osnabr</em></strong><strong><em>ü</em></strong><strong><em>ck, Evelyn Herlitzius is widely regarded as one of the most remarkable singing-actors before the public today.  The dramatic soprano has performed on all of the major lyric stages and in the most demanding roles in the repertoire, including Br</em></strong><strong><em>ü</em></strong><strong><em>nnhilde, Salome, Ortrud, Kundry, Turandot, and is a highly acclaimed exponent of Elektra.  After initial studies in Hamburg, Miss Herlitzius made her debut as Elisabeth in Flensburg before joining the ensemble at the Hamburg Staatsoper.  Closely associated with the Dresden Semperoper, where she was an ensemble member for thirteen years, Miss Herlitzius has also performed in Vienna, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Munich and Berlin among others.  Recent, current and future plans include the Kostelni</em></strong><strong><em>čka in Amsterdam, Emilia Marty in Berlin, Elektra in Zurich, and Ortrud at the Liceu.  I caught up with Miss Herlitzius by telephone from Vienna as she prepared to make her role debut as the Amme, in the anniversary production of </em></strong><strong>Die Frau ohne Schatten<em> at the Wiener Staatsoper.  </em></strong></p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4461" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4461" style="width: 211px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4461" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/17/interview-with-evelyn-herlitzius/evelyn-herlitzius/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg" data-orig-size="670,1000" 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;1557437181&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="Evelyn Herlitzius" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg?w=201" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg?w=670" class="size-medium wp-image-4461" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg?w=201&#038;h=300" alt="" width="201" height="300" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg?w=201&amp;h=300 201w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg?w=402&amp;h=600 402w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/evelyn-herlitzius.jpg?w=101&amp;h=150 101w" sizes="(max-width: 201px) 100vw, 201px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4461" class="wp-caption-text">Photo: © Jasmin Zwick</figcaption></figure> <p><em>Miss Herlitzius, you’re currently preparing for your role debut as the Amme in Vienna.  It’s a role with an enormous range, running from low G to high B.  What are the challenges for you when you prepare for a role as extreme as this?</em></p> <p>The challenges are mastering the music and the requirements of the music for the voice.  The vocal range of the role is really unusual and the challenge, vocally speaking, is to connect all of my registers perfectly for the role, so that I have no sense of register breaks, but also not to do any damage to the voice.  It’s really difficult.  We’re also doing the piece without any cuts.  As you might know, in the third act, there are several moments for the Amme that are more than demanding.  I started studying the role well before starting rehearsals, so that I was fully prepared to start working with colleagues, and that my body knew what was coming next.  It means that now, while we’re rehearsing, I can concentrate on the psychological aspects of the role and allow myself to find my way into this character.  It’s a role with such a wide range of emotions, of all the emotions that any kind of human being can have.  In a way, the emotional range of the role is very similar to the vocal range.  I think Strauss, of course, knew this and this is why he wrote in such an extreme manner for the Amme.  It’s an adventure and it’s lots of fun.  It’s really demanding, it’s exhausting.  I think it brings every singer to their limits somehow.  But I thoroughly enjoy every rehearsal.  Every day I can feel myself getting closer to this fascinating character.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4462" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4462" style="width: 222px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4462" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/17/interview-with-evelyn-herlitzius/03_orest_118700_herlitzius-2/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg" data-orig-size="2480,3508" 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;Michael Poehn&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="03_orest_118700_herlitzius" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg?w=212" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4462" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg?w=212&#038;h=300" alt="" width="212" height="300" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg?w=212&amp;h=300 212w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg?w=424&amp;h=600 424w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/03_orest_118700_herlitzius.jpg?w=106&amp;h=150 106w" sizes="(max-width: 212px) 100vw, 212px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4462" class="wp-caption-text">As Elektra in Trojahn&#8217;s Orest at the Wiener Staatsoper. Photo: © Wiener Staatsoper GmbH / Michael Pöhn</figcaption></figure> <p><em>It’s a very complex piece because it can be about many things – it can be about childlessness, about the gap between the rich and the poor, or indeed a simple fairy tale.  The Amme seems to straddle all of these aspects – who is the character, the person, behind this monster of a role?</em></p> <p>I think she’s a loving mother.  She’s not a real mother, but she’s always been with the Kaiserin, she helped raise her.  The Kaiserin’s parents weren’t around and the Amme took on all the responsibility for raising her.  She’s a very loving person, perhaps even more than a mother, because she felt so strongly about her responsibility to the Kaiserin.  I think that’s the key point, when you’re working on the Amme, to try and find out why she behaves in such a rude and aggressive way, for example.  It comes from the fact that she wants to protect her child.  I think a key sentence in the piece is when the Kaiserin sings ‘hilf deinem Kind!’.  That’s the turning point for the Amme.  At that point, she immediately decides to accompany the Kaiserin to the world below to help find her a shadow.</p> <p><em>This production is a big event in Vienna, the opening night is a gala, tickets have been like gold dust.  What can people expect from this new production?</em></p> <p>They can expect an excellent cast.  Great music.  Christian Thielemann is the ideal Strauss conductor and for this piece especially.  I’m in awe of my colleagues in the cast, when I listen to them, because their singing is so gorgeous.  The collaboration with the directing team is excellent, the set will be beautiful.  We’re just trying to make this piece clear.  That’s really a challenge and we haven’t tried to project something onto the piece that isn’t in the libretto.  We’ve just tried to make it clear and to make it a kind of fairy tale.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4463" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4463" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4463" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/17/interview-with-evelyn-herlitzius/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg" data-orig-size="2658,1772" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&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;170&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4463" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg?w=300&#038;h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg?w=600&amp;h=400 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/4782-105-c2ae-a-bofill.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4463" class="wp-caption-text">As Elektra in Patrice Chéreau&#8217;s staging at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Photo: © Antoni Bofill</figcaption></figure> <p><em>How do you enjoy working in Vienna, in particular, because it’s your second production there this year now?</em></p> <p>I enjoy it very much.  It’s a pleasure to be here for three and a half months in a row.  I might not feel like a Viennese yet, but I’m getting close!  I love the atmosphere in the city.  Of course, I’ve been here several times previously, but it’s different to stay for such a long time and just feel at home.  I get to do the things I normally do when at home – I know my neighbours, I’ve found my favourite bakery and butcher.  I also enjoy getting to know people in the theatre better.  And working at the Vienna State Opera is always a pleasure.</p> <p>Unfortunately, until now I haven’t had enough time to attend many performances because I’ve been really busy with my own work.  I do hope that after opening night there’ll be some time to attend some performances and concerts and to visit the many wonderful museums.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4464" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4464" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4464" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/17/interview-with-evelyn-herlitzius/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084-2/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg" data-orig-size="4248,2786" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON D4&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1538506627&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;300&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;800&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.0125&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4464" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg?w=300&#038;h=197" alt="" width="300" height="197" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg?w=300&amp;h=197 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg?w=600&amp;h=394 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/de-nationale-opera-jenufa-ph-ruth-walz-0084.jpg?w=150&amp;h=98 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4464" class="wp-caption-text">As the Kostelnička in Amsterdam. Photo: © Ruth Walz</figcaption></figure> <p><em>Let’s talk a little about the show you’ve just finished.  You are widely recognized as being one of the foremost interpreters of the role of Elektra of our times, but you have just finished performing the role of Elektra in a very different work, in </em>Orest<em> by Manfred Trojahn.  I’m curious as to how you found interpreting a character you’ve lived with in a very different work.</em></p> <p>It was a very interesting experience and I enjoyed it very much.  It felt like a continuation of the story of a character I know so much about.  I found that I could dig deeper into her personality and discover more, for example, in her relations with her mother.  In Trojahn’s version, it was clearer that Elektra is very much aware of knowing that she will never somehow lead the life of a woman with children and a husband.  The way she suffered from this knowledge, I felt, came out even more clearly in <em>Orest</em>.  And then of course, there was her relationship with Orest himself, the closeness of the bond was so evident in Trojahn’s libretto.  It was very much a complementary story to the Strauss and von Hofmannstahl <em>Elektra</em>.</p> <p><em>I found it a fantastic piece, so tight, not a single wasted note – but incredibly difficult for the singers.</em></p> <p>I totally agree!  You had to find the pitch, seemingly from the air, just hoping that it’ll be correct!  As a singer, even if you don’t have perfect pitch, you do have a sense of muscle memory, which helps you to know what a pitch should feel like.  It’s not always perfect but it comes through – hopefully! And Trojahn was happy with what we did.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4466" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4466" style="width: 210px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4466" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/17/interview-with-evelyn-herlitzius/opernhaus-zurich-elektra-oper-von-richard-strauss-2014-15/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg" data-orig-size="1829,2747" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON D4&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;Opernhaus Z\u00fcrich - Elektra - Oper von Richard Strauss 2014\/15\r\u00a9Judith Schlosser, e-mail: j_schlosser@bluewin.ch, Bankverbindung: ZKB, 1137-0586.405, IBAN:CH7000700113700586405, SWIFT:ZKBKCHZZ80A&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1435319988&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9Judith Schlosser, e-mail: j_schlosser@bluewin.ch, Bankverbindung: ZKB, 1137-0586.405, IBAN:CH7000700113700586405, SWIFT:ZKBKCH&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;200&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;3200&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.004&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;Opernhaus Z\u00fcrich - Elektra - Oper von Richard Strauss 2014\/15&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Opernhaus Zürich &#8211; Elektra &#8211; Oper von Richard Strauss 2014/15" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg?w=682" class="size-medium wp-image-4466" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg?w=200&#038;h=300" alt="" width="200" height="300" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg?w=200&amp;h=300 200w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg?w=400&amp;h=600 400w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/elektra_021.jpg?w=100&amp;h=150 100w" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4466" class="wp-caption-text">As Elektra in Zürich with Hanna Schwarz as Klytämnestra. Photo: ©Judith Schlosser</figcaption></figure> <p><em>If we may talk a little bit about Strauss’ Elektra because this is a role that you’ve had so much success with over the years.  How important has she been to your career?</em></p> <p>I think the most important encounter I had with Elektra was working with Patrice Chéreau, of course.  Although I’d sung her before, the collaboration with Patrice was really one that had a significant influence on my development as an artist.  I’m not so interested in thinking about what I need to do to become more famous.  What makes me so happy is that I’ve really grown with this role, starting with my role debut in Brussels back in 2010.  When I first started studying the role, I felt so desperate.  I took two months off at home just to study and I reached a point at which I felt that I just couldn’t overcome the challenges.  I spent a lot of time reflecting.  I knew that this was a role that I would be able to sing but I just didn’t know how.  So, I thought a lot about my way of singing and experimented with different ways of singing the role.  In the end, I gained a new feeling of freedom in my way of singing.  I’m exceptionally grateful in every respect for my experience with her.</p> <p><em>I’ve seen you sing this role around a half-dozen times now and every time I leave the theatre I leave with the sense, not of someone inhabiting a role, but of seeing you become Elektra.  How do you manage that?</em></p> <p>I don’t know how I manage it.  The thing is that I can’t do it in any other way.  I have to give everything of myself to her – physically, psychologically, and as an actress.  Otherwise I’m not able to sing her, I wouldn’t dare go on stage.</p> <figure data-shortcode="caption" id="attachment_4465" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-4465" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="4465" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/2019/05/17/interview-with-evelyn-herlitzius/deutsche-oper-lady-macbeth-von-mzensk-3/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg" data-orig-size="3189,2121" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;4&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Marcus Lieberenz\/bildbuehne.de&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON D700&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;Ort: Deutsche Oper Berlin. Titel: Lady Macbeth von Mzensk. Autor: Dimitrij Schostakowitsch. Musikal. Leitung: Donals Runnicles. Insz.: Ole Anders Tandberg. Buehne: Erlend Birkeland. Kostueme: Maria Geber. Premiere (Berlin): 25.01.15 \rDarst.: Evelyn Herlitzius (Katerina Ismailowa), Maxim Aksenow (Sergej).\r\rCopyright: Marcus Lieberenz\/bildbuehne.de (Veroeffentlichung nur gegen Honorar und Belegexemplar)&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1421864556&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;Marcus Lieberenz\/bildbuehne.de&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;1600&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;Deutsche Oper Lady Macbeth von Mzensk&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Deutsche Oper Lady Macbeth von Mzensk" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg?w=723" class="size-medium wp-image-4465" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg?w=300&#038;h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg?w=600&amp;h=400 600w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/deuoperladymacbeth-0632marcuslieberenz_hf.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a><figcaption id="caption-attachment-4465" class="wp-caption-text">As Katerina Izmailova at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. Photo: © Marcus Lieberenz/bildbuehne.de</figcaption></figure> <p><em>Another aspect of your artistry that I’ve noticed is that your vocal production is very open and that, in every language you sing, Opera Review: Burn This http://super-conductor.blogspot.com/2019/05/opera-review-burn-this.html Superconductor urn:uuid:3caffd86-11fa-6ec6-b74b-6bec3e5604c2 Thu, 16 May 2019 20:33:06 +0000 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><b>Regina Opera roars back with <i>Il Trovatore</i>.</b><br />by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.patreon.com/Superconductor">Paul J. Pelkonen</a><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eXsrxgjMi_0/XN3GNFTsHEI/AAAAAAAAVx4/gaN85rNeBcY0rKivVBzyX-tsfXUVCKgKACLcBGAs/s1600/Trovatore%2B-%2BS.%2BPisano%2B%25231.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="1080" height="422" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eXsrxgjMi_0/XN3GNFTsHEI/AAAAAAAAVx4/gaN85rNeBcY0rKivVBzyX-tsfXUVCKgKACLcBGAs/s640/Trovatore%2B-%2BS.%2BPisano%2B%25231.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Manrico, the troubador, &nbsp;Christopher Trapani (above) finds Leonora (Alexis Cregger, below) who has taken poison rather than marry the Count DiLuna. Photo by Stephen Pisano for Regina Opera.</span></span></td></tr></tbody></table>When putting on Verdi's <i>Il Trovatore</i>, it is very difficult to get the balance right. &nbsp;On Saturday afternoon at the first of four performances, Brooklyn's <a href="http://www.reginaopera.org/">Regina Opera</a> company struck the correct balance between dramatic energy and vocal heroics, in a performance that proves that young voices do indeed grow in the heart of Brooklyn. This was the final production of the current Regina season (their 48th) in a detailed staging by Linda Lehr that pleased traditionalists while sacrificing none of the opera's dramatic edge.<br /><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><br />It's been a few years since Superconductor has written about Regina, the scrappy, community-oriented opera company that mounts (mostly Italian) operas &nbsp;every year for a devoted and tradition-loving audience. They moved to Sunset Park a few years ago from their old Bensonhurst home at the Basilica of Regina Paris, to a large, old-fashioned auditorium in the school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. For you non-Brooklynites, that's the massive, blocky double basilica church that sits atop the ridge in this part of the borough. Its bulwark easily visible from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the Staten Island Ferry.<br /><br /><i>Il Trovatore</i> is known for two things: a set of absolutely killer Verdi tunes and a fiery libretto dealing with <i>Game of Thrones</i>-level coincidences and betrayals. The plot centers around two brothers (who don't know they're brothers) and the actions of the hero's stepmother Azucena, who, in the middle of attempting infanticide, accidentally kills her own baby and raises Manrico instead. Any performance demands a certain suspension of disbelief, and a great quartet of singers to tackle the four demanding leading roles.<br /><br />As Manrico, Christopher Trapani sang with the correct combination of machismo and distress as he hurtled through the opera's apocalyptic plot. This is essentially a series of confrontations and duels, ending with the hero's imprisonment and (offstage) execution. As his "mother" Azucena, Lara Michole Tillotson brought a powerful upper range and a deep, thrilling chest voice to this mezzo role, a half-mad figure whose thirst for bloody vengeance drives the action forward. &nbsp;Her "Stride la vampa" was chilling, especially when she dived down into that lower register where many mezzos fear to stretch their range.<br /><br />Manrico's needs are evenly split between his relationship with Azucena and his love for Leonora, a noblewoman with a flair for dramatic (and poor) life decisions. Whether rescuing her from a convent, proposing marriage inside a besieged fortress or taking poison from a compartment hidden in an ornate ring, soprano Alexis Cregger made Leonora's life a thrilling experience. She showed a strong and supple instrument, pairing ably with the (offstage) Mr. Trapani in the famous "Miserere" scene and making her death scene moving where it is often silly.<br /><br />However the breakout performance here was baritone Nathan Matticks as Count di Luna. Never has the creepy villain of this opera sounded so appealing as Mr. Matticks did during "Il balen," the great Act II aria in which he obsessed over Leonora. His final cry of the opera brought the curtain down in thundering fashion. He got the loudest shouts at the end of the performance, having walked the line between sober villainy and all out madness all the way to its end.<br /><br />The supporting players, led by bass Adam Ciofarri were excellent, as was the orchestra and small chorus. In the pit (actually half the orchestra is in the small pit, Regina is planning an expansion campaign for next season) Gregory Ortega led a strong and traditional performance on the slow side. Attention to details in this low-budget production (like the metal blocks for the Anvil Chorus) made the illusion into operatic reality, all to good effect. Some fun fight staging made for exciting moments.<br /><br />If you enjoyed this article, it's time to click over to&nbsp;<b><a href="https://www.patreon.com/Superconductor"><i>Superconductor</i>'s Patreon page</a></b>, and help support the cost of independent music journalism in New York City at the low cost of just $5/month.<br /><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/BjiCs/~4/CdD-eIcQDz8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Hong Kong Ballet's 40th Anniversary Season Trailer Takes It to the Next Level https://www.pointemagazine.com/hong-kong-ballet-2637295472.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:3ff66f84-d402-c714-4ae1-018b0fed8fec Thu, 16 May 2019 20:32:29 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19500497/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p class="">Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style. Today, the company released<strong> </strong>the <strong></strong>new phase of<strong></strong> its yearlong ad campaign, which includes the below film, a Wes Anderson-esque romp through the city fusing ballet with pop culture,<strong> </strong>filled with ferry boats, pom pom-wielding grannies and dim sum served in hot pink containers.<br/></p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-vimeo"> <iframe class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="QMVH6B1558044327" frameborder="0" height="480" scrolling="no" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/335984530" width="100%"></iframe> </p><hr/><h3></h3><br/><p>Conceived by <a href="http://designarmy.com/project/hong-kong-ballet-40th-anniversary/" target="_blank">Design Army</a>, a Washington, DC-based firm that describes itself as a "strategic brand architect," this film, directed by Dean Alexander and choreographed by HKB artistic director <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/septime-webre" target="_blank">Septime Webre</a>, is part of the company's Never Standing Still campaign, which <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK5QJoGocxg" target="_blank">launched last year</a>. The campaign is a reflection of Webre's vision for the company. Since taking over in 2017, Webre has worked to deepen HKB's classical roots while also pushing it to become more contemporary. The company's 40th anniversary season will include classics like <em>Swan Lake</em>, <em>Sleeping Beauty </em>and George Balanchine's <em>Jewels </em>as well as more contemporary programming like Hong Kong Cool, a collaboration between choreographers and local fashion designers. This video reflects that balance between new and old: classical tutus are juxtaposed with neon pointe shoes, and Ravel's <em>Bolero</em> is remixed to accompany a dancer's snake-like hip-hop phrase. </p><h3>None</h3><br/><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="MD1DAW1558044327" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="39b3f" lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19500482/980x.jpg"/><p>The campaign also shows the unique East-meets-West fusion that defines HKB. Though Webre is American<strong></strong>, the majority of the company's dancers are from Asia, and Webre is interested in celebrating its home city; In 2020, he will debut his new <em>Nutcracker</em>, set in historic Hong Kong. He's also promoting <a href="https://www.hkballet.com/en/Whats-On/Ballet-In-The-City-1.html" target="_blank">Ballet in the City</a>, a series of free, site-specific performances at pop-up locations throughout the metropolis. This video showcases Hong Kong's urban feel, from architectural facades to the picturesque Victoria Harbor, and plays homage to the city's Chinese roots, with nods to classic Kung Fu films and even a traditional Chinese lion (manned by two dancers on pointe). This kind of eye-popping ad campaign has certainly captured our attention, and raises the bar for companies everywhere. <strong></strong></p> #TBT: Natalia Makarova and Valery Panov in "The Sleeping Beauty" (1964) https://www.pointemagazine.com/tbt-natalia-makarova-and-valery-panov-in-sleeping-beauty-1964-2637279529.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:32f51711-3041-fbc3-264b-61fb64bc101f Thu, 16 May 2019 20:19:41 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19507827/origin.png"/><br/><br/><p>The Soviet Union redefined standards in classical ballet in the 1960s, producing opulent story ballets and dancers with refined, yet daring technique. Dancers like <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/natalia-makarova" target="_blank">Natalia Makarova</a> and Valery Panov, who were among the leading performers with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky) at that time, were at the pinnacle of the art form. In this 1964 film of the Kirov's <em>The Sleeping Beauty, </em>Makarova and Panov dance<strong> </strong>together as Princess Florine and the Bluebird. Despite the nostalgic trappings of the soundstage dance film, their strength and intention in this pas de deux make for a timeless performance.</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-youtube"> <span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="G7G7EH1558042937" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZpD4bhheSeg?rel=0?enablejsapi=1" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span> <small class="image-media media-caption" placeholder="add caption...">Natalia Makarova as Princess Florine and Valery Panov as the Bluebird ('Sleeping Beauty' 1964)</small> <small class="image-media media-photo-credit" placeholder="add photo credit..."> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpD4bhheSeg" target="_blank">www.youtube.com</a> </small> </p><hr/><p><br/></p><p>With her gentle epaulement and frothy blue tutu, Makarova is a vision of the jewelry<strong>-</strong>box ballerina. Yet she has the power to whiz through her pirouettes and burst into full-split saut de chats<strong></strong>. Panov, likewise, soars with force in his jumps, but his bluebird wings are romantic and luscious. The dancers fly in their assemblés, and they flutter like song-birds in brisk, partnered pirouettes. Makarova hops into the final lift as if she were born to fit perched on Panov's shoulder. Our only qualm: at only two minutes, this duet leaves us longing for more. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!<br/></p> Who is That Ballerina in the New John Wick Movie? https://www.pointemagazine.com/unity-phelan-john-wick-2637417224.html Pointe Magazine urn:uuid:a896c298-0c38-de36-1997-10580ad0df2d Thu, 16 May 2019 20:16:09 +0000 <img src="https://assets.rbl.ms/19536011/origin.jpg"/><br/><br/><p> "New York City Ballet star appears in a Keanu Reeves action movie" is not a sentence we ever thought we'd write. But moviegoers seeing <em>John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum</em> will be treated to two scenes featuring soloist <a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/unity-phelan-2356047939.html" target="_blank">Unity Phelan</a> dancing choreography by colleague <a href="https://www.dancemagazine.com/tiler-peck-2571388654.html" target="_blank">Tiler Peck</a>. The guns-blazing popcorn flick cast Phelan as a ballerina who also happens to be training to become an elite assassin. Opens in theaters May 17.</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-youtube"> <span class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="NLYQBM1558120249" style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="auto" lazy-loadable="true" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pU8-7BX9uxs?rel=0?enablejsapi=1" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" width="100%"></iframe></span> </p> Star-crossed https://parterre.com/2019/05/16/star-crossed-3/ parterre box urn:uuid:4286c3ee-eb0b-d6bd-8465-0dbe4cb12072 Thu, 16 May 2019 18:23:31 +0000 For more than 40 years, the magnificent opening image from Francis Poulenc’s <em>Dialogues des Carmélites</em> has served as an icon for the Met. <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-62254" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/dialogues-set-518x350.jpg" alt="" width="518" height="350" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/dialogues-set.jpg 518w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/dialogues-set-250x169.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 518px) 100vw, 518px" />For more than 40 years, the magnificent opening image from Francis Poulenc’s <em>Dialogues des Carmélites </em>seen above has served as an icon for the Met—and not only to advertise this opera. <span id="more-62253"></span></p> <p>The production (by director<strong> John Dexter</strong>, scenic designer <strong>David Reppa</strong>, and lighting designer <strong>Gil Wechsler</strong>) more generally represents the company at its absolute best. Let that be a lesson. The strength of Dexter’s <em>Dialogues</em>lies in its elegant simplicity.</p> <p>It’s a rare example of understatement from a company that often seems to make the opposite choice: worried about filling the vast stage, productions tend to be over-decorated, over-literal, and far too busy. (A good friend refers to the second act of <strong>Franco Zeffirelli</strong>’s <em>Bohème</em>, in the repertory since 1981, as “Where’s Waldo?”)</p> <p>Let the news also be spread far and wide. In 1987, a decade after the production premiered, <em>Dialogues </em>got a telecast, with a sensational group of singers that retained three memorable performances from the first cast: <strong>Maria Ewing</strong> as Blanche de la Force, <strong>Régine Crespi</strong>n as Madame de Croissy, and <strong>Betsy Norden</strong> as Soeur Constance. It also had <strong>Jessye Norman</strong> in magnificent form as Madame Lidoine.</p> <p>But the technology of the time was limited, and it was imperative that this landmark show be preserved under optimal conditions. It also makes sense that the ultimate documentary of the production be in French (the original staging followed Poulenc’s directive that the opera should be heard in the vernacular).</p> <p>Happily, that happened this week, when Saturday’s <em>Dialogues </em>performance was transmitted in HD. Musical values were generally top-tier, with <strong>Yannick Nézet-Séguin</strong> conducting stylishly and sensitively, and strong vocal performances by virtually the entire cast.</p> <p>I was especially impressed with <strong>Karen Cargill</strong>’s thrillingly sung and strongly acted Mère Marie. Blanche is an especially good role for<strong> Isabel Leonard</strong>’s high-lying lyric mezzo, which sounded beautifully rounded throughout its range. Her French is also good, though she was less effective in pointing the words than some previous exponents of the role.</p> <p><strong>Erin Morley</strong> was a sweet-voiced and often touching Constance. Newcomer <strong>Emily D’Angelo</strong> made a big impression in the small role of SoeurMathilde. Only <strong>Adrianne Pieczonka</strong> sounded uncharacteristically edgy as Lidoine, though she brought her usual sense of presence.</p> <p>In visual terms, seen at a relay of the HD broadcast, the show looked as great as ever—truly, 42 years have only burnished its beauty.</p> <p>And yet. What struck me this time was the disconnect between the dramatic power of the design and the now rather studied, overly symmetrical direction of the action.</p> <p>Too often, groups are arranged with drill-team precision (they’re 18th century nuns, not the Kilgore Rangerettes). For all that this is an opera about—well, <strong>dialogue</strong>—actual conversation feels rare; more often, two singers are placed side by side, but with both staring directly forward. There’s not much sense of actual tasks—some proforma ironing was unconvincing.</p> <p>Nor was the acting, particularly in two central roles, quite up to the level I’d hoped for.</p> <p>Leonard’s perfectly groomed eyebrows and flawless peachy makeup were, of course, far more noticeable in HD than they would have been in the house. In fact, her physical loveliness is actually not an asset in this role—but what I was more conscious of was the generally beatific posturing (occasionally assured, sometimes vexed, but always radiant) that characterized her performance.</p> <p>That, and Leonard’s magical ability to find her key light in every close-up, suggested a nun less than Loretta Young playing one.</p> <p>On the other hand, <strong>Karita Mattila</strong> eschewed physical glamor. Always a boldly committed actor, one admired her willingness to go at it with such vigor here. But as the Old Prioress, she made a basic acting mistake: to play the character’s pain, rather than her efforts to overcome it. The resulting grunts and groans would be better suited to <em>Dolores Claiborne</em>.</p> <p>Ultimately, this performance of <em>Dialogues </em>was a fascinating lesson in the problematic art of revivals. It could hardly have looked more beautiful; but restaged here by <strong>David Kneuss</strong>, it lacked a deeper sense of genuine theatrical invention and connection. Even the final execution scene, usually an overwhelming emotional experience, inspired admiration here rather than tears.</p> <p>I want this <em>Dialogues </em>production to remain in the Met repertory for years to come—it’s a beacon of what opera can be. I also hope the next time we see it, there will be a new hand involved in rethinking the staging of the show, and allowing the singers—by which I mean actors, really—to bring more to their roles.</p> <p>Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera</p>