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/ Say, what’s that man doing in my drawers? https://parterre.com/2021/08/02/say-whats-that-man-doing-in-my-drawers/ parterre box urn:uuid:61e35a95-e718-1a94-3652-b982fb351fd6 Mon, 02 Aug 2021 04:03:15 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/08/02/say-whats-that-man-doing-in-my-drawers/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/loy-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/loy-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/loy-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/loy-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/loy-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/loy-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1905 actress <strong>Myrna Loy</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9cnYeFFeC4&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9cnYeFFeC4</a></p> <p>Happy 84th birthday soprano <strong>Gundula Janowitz</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-TqGKqrIZo&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-TqGKqrIZo</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of tenor <strong>Hans Hopf</strong> (1916), theatre and opera director <strong>John Dexter</strong> (1925) and composer <strong>Marvin David Levy</strong> (1932).</p> First Night of the Proms – Hyde/BBC SO/Stasevska: Vaughan Williams, Poulenc, MacMillan, and Sibelius, 30 July 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/08/first-night-of-proms-hydebbc.html Boulezian urn:uuid:cb48fd91-7e42-a08d-8ca4-9b9f9dec20f6 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 18:19:00 +0000 <span style="font-family: georgia;"><br />Royal Albert Hall<br /> <br /><b>Vaughan Williams:</b> <i>Serenade to Music </i><br /><b>Poulenc:</b> Organ Concerto in G minor <br /><b>James MacMillan:</b> <i>When Soft Voices Die</i> (world premiere) <br /><b>Sibelius:</b> Symphony no.2 in D major, op.43 <br /><br /><br /> </span><span style="font-family: georgia;">Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano)</span><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Jess Dandy (contralto)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Allan Clayton (tenor)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Michael Mofidian (bass-baritone)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">BBC Singers (chorus-master: Martin Fitzpatrick)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">BBC Symphony Orchestra</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Dalia Stasevska (conductor)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /><br />Cards on the table. Poulenc aside, I have not previously been a great fan of the music of any of the composers featured in this year’s First Night of the Proms. It does one good, though, to test one’s preferences and prejudices; in any case, this was a moment of return for which I wanted, even needed, to be present, almost irrespective of repertoire. Last year saw a few Proms at the end of the season, albeit with no audience. I was not in London for the summer of 2019, so it was not far off three years since I had lest ventured to the Royal Albert Hall. This was a lovely concert for which to return. <br /><br /><br />And what piece could be more apt as an opener than Vaughan Williams’s Shakespearean hymn to music? (Whatever my ambivalence toward some of Vaughan Williams’s output, I have loved this piece since first hearing it as a schoolboy.) Its Albert Hall pedigree—premiered here in 1938 by Sir Henry Wood, for whose diamond jubilee as a conductor it was composed—made the <i>Serenade to Music</i> all the more apt. This was a performance imbued with delight from its opening chords, Vaughan Williams’s orchestration and later vocal writing resounding perfectly through the hall’s challenging acoustic. Dalia Stasevska’s direction, untroubled by drab English tradition, drew from the BBC Symphony Orchestra sonorities and languor it was difficult not to think of as in the line of Ravel, with whom the composer had studied three decades earlier. Stasevska’s shaping of contours and climaxes was spot on, permitting words and above all music to speak and sing for themselves. Especially memorable (for me) were duetting arabesques between Elizabeth Llewellyn and leader Igor Yuzefovich; the deep summons of ‘affections dark as Erebus’ by Michael Mofidian; Jess Dandy’s contralto call, ‘Music! Hark!’; and the final choral echo of Llewellyn’s ‘sweet harmony’, bathed in sweet orchestral warmth. There were no weak links, though, in a magical performance. <br /><br /><br />Also written in 1938 was Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, here given an excellent performance by Daniel Hyde, the BBC SO and Stasevska. The splendour of its opening is quite different in nature, of course, yet offered another fine Albert Hall moment. Registration was always well chosen for score and instrument alike. Hyde rightly played his part straight, as did strings whose imploring sweetness seemed to prefigure Poulenc’s later sacred music and even the Dialogues des Carmélites. Wagnerian harmonies were soon put to decidedly anti-Wagnerian use, posing questions rather than answers, Poulenc’s mock-Bachian gestures relishing the fairground of barely suppressed desire. For there was serious questing at the heart of this performance, whatever the masks Poulenc cunningly employed, wit and poignancy two sides of the same coin. <br /><br /><br />Co-commissioned by the BBC and Help Musicians, <i>When Soft Voices Die</i>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia;">ames MacMillan’s setting of two poems by Shelley,</span><span style="font-family: georgia;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia;">emerged as a workable companion piece for the Vaughan Williams <i>Serenade</i>, using as it does four soloists and orchestra (no chorus). Performances were as committed and variegated as elsewhere, Llewellyn recalling the virtues of her Puccini roles. As for the piece itself, there was craftsmanship in MacMillan’s setting and no denying his taste in verse. Nevertheless, conservatism aside—Vaughan Williams and Poulenc seemed almost avant-garde by comparison—the overall sense was of anonymous proficiency.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;"><br /><br />Finally Sibelius, with whose symphonies I have long struggled. I shall not bore you with that now, other than to say this was the first performance both to convince and move me. Perhaps it was simply the right time for this music to come knocking on the door, but surely it was more than that: testament to another fine performance, flexible yet directed. by the BBC SO and Stasevska. It was striking that, even to a long-term sceptic, the opening of the first movement seemed to speak as if an old friend. Balletic lightness of touch recalled Tchaikovsky and, beyond him, perhaps more surprisingly, the orchestral writing of Mendelssohn. Not that that precluded the ardent and majestic where required, quite the contrary. Soon I could only wonder what my problem with this music had been. Pizzicato cellos and double basses in the second movement both picked up from the first and contrasted with it. Mendelssohn again came to mind as a processional forerunner, this time the <i>Italian </i>Symphony, though of course the music developed very much in its own, again not un-Tchaikovskian way. At any rate, rhetoric in performance seemed designed to be understood in terms of such inheritance. I am not sure I quite appreciated the movement’s lengths, but that is doubtless my problem; after all, some others still feel that way about Schubert. A third movement full of nervous energy, woodwind in its trio a necessary contrast in many ways, prepared the way for a finale that combined strong senses both of expectation and culmination. We were nearly there, that is, but there was some way yet to go. Stasevska imparted a wondrous sense of inevitability and ultimately triumph to this final leg of the journey. I may not quite be a Sibelius (or Vaughan Williams) convert yet, but greater curiosity has certainly been piqued. Just please do not ask me to sit through <i>The Lark Ascending</i>… <br /></span><br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/gj1twKYaEnQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Fashions fade, style is eternal https://parterre.com/2021/08/01/fashions-fade-style-is-eternal-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:29abd3c3-a498-3526-862a-e1843825b824 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 06:18:29 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/08/01/fashions-fade-style-is-eternal-2/"><img width="720" height="246" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/stlaurent-header-720x246.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/stlaurent-header-720x246.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/stlaurent-header-300x103.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/stlaurent-header-768x263.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/stlaurent-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/stlaurent-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1936 designer <strong>Yves Saint Laurent</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vsvIThDTn0&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vsvIThDTn0</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1926 bass <strong>Theo Adam</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPMWDjcrwqc&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPMWDjcrwqc</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1926 soprano <strong>Elinor Ross</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjWD5TocgI&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjWD5TocgI</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of writer <strong>Herman Melville</strong> (1819), conductor <strong>William Steinberg</strong> (1899), contralto<strong> Lili Chookasian</strong> (1921), actor <strong>Dom DeLuise</strong> (1933) and tenor and teacher<strong> Nico Castel</strong> (1931).</p> <p>. . . and today your humble servant <strong>Windy City Operaman</strong> adds another ring around his trunk. Happy Birthday Leos!</p> Tristan und Isolde https://parterre.com/2021/07/31/tristan-und-isolde-10/ parterre box urn:uuid:dba67e9f-75b8-c4fb-4d03-a007b5b934bf Sat, 31 Jul 2021 13:00:36 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/31/tristan-und-isolde-10/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-header-2-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-header-2-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-header-2-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-header-2-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-header-2-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-header-2.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros star, with Kirill Petrenko conducting a Krzysztof Warlikowski production.</p> <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-inside-2.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78201" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-inside-2.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-inside-2-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/tristan-inside-2-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://www.staatsoper.de/en/staatsopertv.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">begin at 11:00 PM</a>.</p> You’ll hear a tuneful story https://parterre.com/2021/07/31/youll-hear-a-tuneful-story/ parterre box urn:uuid:5f2ad4c0-e44f-42c8-c374-d3dd4405ba3d Sat, 31 Jul 2021 12:00:29 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/31/youll-hear-a-tuneful-story/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/judy-palace-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/judy-palace-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/judy-palace-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/judy-palace-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/judy-palace-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/judy-palace-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>On this day in July 31 <strong>Judy Garland</strong> was <em>At Home at the Palace</em> for a four-week run.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFqT6WPmciU&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFqT6WPmciU</a></p> <p>Happy 91st birthday tenor <strong>Pedro Lavirgen</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8RQRsf8SN4&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8RQRsf8SN4</a></p> <p>Happy 78th birthday soprano Patricia Wise.</p> <p>Note that the Bayerische Staatsoper streams <em>Tristan und Isolde</em> beginning today at 11:00 AM.</p> Das Rheingold https://parterre.com/2021/07/30/das-rheingold-6/ parterre box urn:uuid:ac50212a-a574-1837-2837-becb61509275 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 20:49:46 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/30/das-rheingold-6/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>From the 2016 Bayreuth Festival with Music Director Marek Janowski and Stage Director Frank Castorf.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78192" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/rheingold-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></p> <p>Streaming and discussion <a href="https://www.dg-premium.com/dg_stage_video/der-ring-des-nibelungen-das-rheingold-marek-janowski-frank-castorf-2/">begin at 7:30 PM</a>.</p> <p>Photo: Bayreuther Festspiele/Enrico Nawrath/dpa</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival (1) – The Crocodile of Old Kang Pow (Acts I and II), 29 July 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/07/tete-tete-opera-festival-1-crocodile-of.html Boulezian urn:uuid:d4251b81-b9e0-5c8b-8f50-3617eaff49e2 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 16:48:12 +0000 <div><br /></div>The Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone<br /> <br />The Pure Ones, Acolytes of O’fela – Zoe Devlin <br />Momolow, High Preistess of O’fela – Susan Harriott <br />O’Fela, the Crocodile God – Oscar Dom Victor Castellino <br />Marquis de Sade – Phil Wilcox <br />Virgin Sacrifice, Justine, Marie Antoinette – Caroline Kennedy <br />Wizard Mystah Byegee – Jackson Scott<div><br /></div>Eleanor Burke (director)<br />Seb Mayer (puppet maker)<br />Natasha Lawes (headdresses, wigs)<br /><br /><div>Darren Berry (narrator)</div><div>Eddie Giffney (piano). <br /><br /><br /></div><div>Asking what is, or what is not, an opera is a fool’s errand, especially so when it comes to <a href="https://www.tete-a-tete.org.uk/about-us/">Tête-à-Tête</a>. Ultimately, one probably has to conclude that an opera is anything someone, perhaps its creator(s), decides to call an opera. And yet that is obviously unsatisfactory. Hence we keep asking, as we do with music, drama, art, and so much else—all of which are generally held to combine under the heading ‘opera’. No wonder various people have rebelled against the term altogether, whereas still more have been attracted to it for reasons both close and distant. <br /><br /><br />Darren Berry’s <i>The Crocodile of Old Kang Pow</i> is certainly unusual, but there are many perfectly good reasons to consider it as such, not least his and Tête-à-Tête’s decision to do so. It has singing (live and filmed), other music (mostly recorded, but with live piano), acting (live and filmed), takes place in a theatre, and so on. As a ‘punk opera’, it has little connection, at least so far—we have only reached the end of the second act—with punk rock, though it perhaps has something in common with the elusive genre of ‘rock opera’, even with some of the work of Ken Russell. A mix of musical styles, from eighteenth-century pastiche and television accompaniment to Gospel, albeit with nothing one might consider modernist, let alone contemporary, suggests desire to be considered anarchic; so do combination with words (Berry’s own) and the words themselves (imbued, so it seems, with a schoolboy’s glee in regaling us with multiple slang terms for semen). <br /><br /><br />The first act, which takes us from pre-revolutionary Paris to ‘Old Kang Pow’, has much to entertain. Go expecting a successor work to <i>Parsifal</i> and you will doubtless be disappointed, perplexed, or something else, but then one might say that about many operas since. Nevertheless, diminishing returns, which had threatened to set in before the end of that act—a fun finale perhaps too extended—paved the way for a second act that, increasingly dubious racial stereotyping aside, actually turned a bit on the dull side. A fantasy of a secret, drug-induced (!) realm, in which the Marquis de Sade attempts to rediscover his libido in order to avoid execution at the command of Marie Antoinette, is doubtless not intended to be taken entirely seriously. Even with committed performances from all concerned—as ever, performers stand at the heart of a Tête-a-Tête production—there are probably limits to how long any particular member of the audience will remain engaged. I think I had reached mine, but a third act beckons for those who feel differently. And is that not always the case? Not everyone, after all, wants a <i>Bühnenweihfestspiel</i>; of those who do, nobody wants one every day. <br /><br /><br />Tête-à-Tête has much more to offer <a href="https://www.tete-a-tete.org.uk/festival/tete-a-tete-the-opera-festival-2021/">over the coming weeks</a>; please consider lending your support, be that in the theatre or online.<br /></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/x_j_lKmPp24" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Gala: Der wendende Punkt https://parterre.com/2021/07/30/der-wendende-punkt/ parterre box urn:uuid:11d07926-3425-acf8-9146-a1f89557e190 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 16:37:06 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/30/der-wendende-punkt/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>All-star gala at the Bayerische Staatsoper honoring the regime of Nikolaus Bachler.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78187" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayerische-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://www.operlive.de/">begin at 1:00 PM</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Il trovatore https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/il-trovatore-13/ parterre box urn:uuid:d8dec082-a329-669c-e9fa-106f3da98e73 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 22:06:03 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/il-trovatore-13/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Baritone Christopher Maltman stars as Count di Luna against the breathtaking backdrop of the ancient Roman Circus Maximus.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78178" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="406" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/trovatore-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://operavision.eu/en/library/performances/operas/il-trovatore-teatro-dellopera-di-roma" target="_blank" rel="noopener">begin at 7:30 PM</a>.</p> The Snow Maiden https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/ operaramblings urn:uuid:a062e2b0-5d8e-d773-7815-6899715907a0 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 19:13:11 +0000 Rimsky-Korsakov&#8217;s The Snow Maiden is a rather odd opera.  It&#8217;s set in some sort of idyllic pre-Christian Russia where the tsar is approachable, just and benevolent and the people spend most of their time drinking and having sex.  Into this &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Rimsky-Korsakov&#8217;s <em>The Snow Maiden</em> is a rather odd opera.  It&#8217;s set in some sort of idyllic pre-Christian Russia where the tsar is approachable, just and benevolent and the people spend most of their time drinking and having sex.  Into this world comes Snow Maiden, the fifteen year old daughter of Winter and Spring.  Her parents have various things to do and so decide to park the girl with the local peasantry.  Various romantic complications ensue involving a rather nasty, rich merchant Mizguir and the mysterious Lel, who may be a shepherd but likely isn&#8217;t mortal either.  The mating behaviour of the locals confuses Snow Maiden as she is incapable of falling in love.  Eventually Spring grants her that faculty and she gives herself to Mizguir, while really wanting Lel, but the rays of the sun on the first day of summer melt her. The natives ignore her death and get on with singing and dancing.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30196" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/1-winterspring/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/1.winterspring.png" data-orig-size="580,325" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="1.winterspring" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/1.winterspring.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/1.winterspring.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30196 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/1.winterspring.png?w=584" alt="1.winterspring" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/1.winterspring.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/1.winterspring.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/1.winterspring.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-30191"></span>That&#8217;s the canonical version anyway.  Unsurprisingly Dmitri Tcherniakov in his production for Opéra de Paris filmed in 2017 introduces a twist.  The villagers; tsar and all, aren&#8217;t real villagers, or tsars.  They are a modern reenactment group.  While this perhaps offers an alternative to seeming to push a romantized past, (which is a bit of an issue in Putin&#8217;s Russia) it creates its own problems.  Who, or what, now, are the non-human characters?  Are they still supposed to be divine and immortal or are they humans; reenactors even?  And what sort of parents would entrust their teenage daughter to a bunch of hard drinking and sex obsessed weekend nutters?  And what reenactment group would casually ignore the death of one of their members?</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30197" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/2-caravan/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2.caravan.png" data-orig-size="580,327" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="2.caravan" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2.caravan.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2.caravan.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30197 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2.caravan.png?w=584" alt="2.caravan" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2.caravan.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2.caravan.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2.caravan.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Problems aside it&#8217;s all actually pretty straightforward and plays out in a setting of sort of &#8220;holiday camp in the forest&#8221; of chalets and caravans.  The reenactors wear an odd mix of folky and modern clothing; camo vest and baseball cap worn with an embroidered shirt sort of thing.  They also spend a lot of time dancing and singing folk songs.  And that&#8217;s one element in what is actually a bit of a musical pot pourri with folky music for the humans, something a bit artier for the not-so-humans; especially Lel, who is constantly called on to sing.  There are also very Russian orchestral passages with lots of brass and booming percussion.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30198" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/3-snowmaiden/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/3.snowmaiden.png" data-orig-size="580,326" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="3.snowmaiden" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/3.snowmaiden.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/3.snowmaiden.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30198 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/3.snowmaiden.png?w=584" alt="3.snowmaiden" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/3.snowmaiden.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/3.snowmaiden.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/3.snowmaiden.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>The performances are very good.  Aida Garifullina is Snow Maiden.  She&#8217;s quite charming; acting in an appealingly gauche way and singing sweetly.  The part of Lel is given to the tall and imposing counter-tenor Yuriy Mynenko (it&#8217;s written for a contralto).  This is genius as, besides being a very fine singer, Mynenko comes off a bit like a Tolkien elf; a bit unwordly and more sinister than his shepherd persona suggests.  Maxim Paster is Tsar Berendey and he has a really solid and rather pleasing tenor that reinforces the genial persona he projects.  Thomas Johannes Mayer oozes malevolence as Mizguir.  The rest of a very strong, and rather large, supporting cast all get the job done. the chorus is very good indeed and there&#8217;s some spirited playing from the orchestra.  Under the baton of Mikhail Tatarniakov it all sounds very Russian indeed.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30199" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/4-leltsar/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/4.leltsar.png" data-orig-size="580,326" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="4.leltsar" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/4.leltsar.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/4.leltsar.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30199 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/4.leltsar.png?w=584" alt="4.leltsar" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/4.leltsar.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/4.leltsar.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/4.leltsar.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Andy Sommer&#8217;s video direction is straightforward and effective.  The picture quality on Blu-ray is very good, even in the rather dark third act.  The DTS-HD-MA soundtrack is quite spectacular in places with detail, solidity and a lot of bass extension.  I don&#8217;t think the stereo mix is quite as good.  The booklet has a synopsis and a track listing but absolutely nothing to explain what Tcherniakov is trying to do.  Subtitle options are English, French, German, Spanish, Korean and Japanese.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30200" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/5-melting/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/5.melting.png" data-orig-size="580,324" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="5.melting" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/5.melting.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/5.melting.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30200 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/5.melting.png?w=584" alt="5.melting" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/5.melting.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/5.melting.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/5.melting.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>This is the only video recording of <em>The Snow Maiden</em> in the catalogue and it&#8217;s a pretty decent way to get to know the piece.  Tcherniakov&#8217;s &#8220;concept&#8221;, such as it is doesn&#8217;t add anything in my view but it doesn&#8217;t get in the way either and the music making and acting are very good.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30201" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/29/the-snow-maiden/6-sunhymn/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/6.sunhymn.png" data-orig-size="580,325" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="6.sunhymn" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/6.sunhymn.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/6.sunhymn.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30201 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/6.sunhymn.png?w=584" alt="6.sunhymn" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/6.sunhymn.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/6.sunhymn.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/6.sunhymn.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> Charisma and chemistry https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/charisma-and-chemistry/ parterre box urn:uuid:c6739498-5824-f4b0-f705-d79b20db946e Thu, 29 Jul 2021 18:46:45 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/charisma-and-chemistry/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>For this revival of <em>Tosca</em> Teatro Real has configured several casts with some of the best singers in the world: <strong>Sondra Radvanovsky, Maria Agresta, Anna Netrebko</strong>, <strong>Joseph Calleja, Michael Fabiano, Yusif Eyvazov, Jonas Kaufmann, Carlos Álvarez, Gevorg Hakobyan</strong> and <strong>Luca Salsi</strong>. </p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78173" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="408" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-inside-300x170.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/anna-tosca-inside-210x119.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Teatro Real at Madrid was the first major opera house in the world to resume opera performances last year. Since then they have managed to run almost a full season: from 13 planned productions they brought to the stage 12 of them and canceled only one and the main reason for that cancellation was Brexit related travel restrictions and red tape for a production imported from the Royal Opera House).</p> <p>They have been setting the path for others in terms of safety protocols and gradually opening up: from the last year socially distanced semi-staged <em>Traviata</em> to the <em>Tosca</em> that closed this season with a full chorus on the stage.</p> <p>For this revival of <em>Tosca</em> Teatro Real has configured several casts with some of the best singers in the world: <strong>Sondra Radvanovsky, Maria Agresta, Anna Netrebko</strong>, <strong>Joseph Calleja, Michael Fabiano, Yusif Eyvazov, Jonas Kaufmann, Carlos Álvarez, Gevorg Hakobyan</strong> and <strong>Luca Salsi</strong>. This last performance, the season grand finale, was sung by the trio Netrebko-Eyvazov-Salsi.</p> <p>Expectation to see Netrebko in Madrid was extraordinary as she hadn’t sang in an opera at Teatro Real since 20 years when the Mariinsky Theater (still named Kirov at that time) visited Madrid with a <em>War and Peace</em> production conducted by <strong>Valery Gergiev</strong> and she was not <em>yet</em> the world top diva she is nowadays. Something similar happened with <strong>Jonas Kaufmann</strong>, who only sang at Teatro Real in 1999, again when he was not a world famed tenor.</p> <p>The <strong>Paco Azorín</strong> production of <em>Tosca</em> premiered six years ago at Teatro Maestranza in Seville and since then it has been seen also at El Liceu in Barcelona but it was new to Madrid. It is a straightforward setting of the action with a symbolic layer of top of it: the revolution is what moves history forward but also this story.</p> <p>A naked woman symbolizes this revolution (emphasized with projected quotes from the French Revolution) and facilitates the development of the action: she is the one giving Angelotti the chapel key (hiding from oppression), handling Tosca with the knife (fighting the oppression) and finally showing Tosca the path for jumping from the castle (the price you pay for the revolution.)</p> <p>It was also interesting how the three acts were linked: the second act starts still showing the church that revolves to become the Palazzo Farnese and in the third act starts with this set going under the stage and the prison coming from the back as a rotated version of the church/palace. The dark sets were imposing and created strong visuals in the Te Deum and during the second act when the big red curtains drop and reveal cells with other prisoners and the torture itself.</p> <p>This performance lacked some of the in-depth Personenregie that we could see in the first cast live streaming on the July 10 with the trio Radvanovsky-Calleja-Álvarez. Netrebko’s Tosca didn’t help herself to wine to Scarpia while asking for the safe passage. After &#8220;Vissi d’arte&#8221; Netrebko had trouble getting into position for the “Vedi, singhiozza le man giunte” and in the final scene did not fall backwards (as Radvanovsky did) but rather did a more standard dive off the parapet.</p> <p>From the acting point of view everything seemed a little bit under-rehearsed compared to the other cast. However this was compensated by Netrebko&#8217;s charisma and the excellent chemistry with both Eyvazov and Salsi (with whom she has shared the stage a number of times before.)</p> <p>Nicola Luisotti conducted the Orquesta del Teatro Real in a powerful way showing the muscle of the full orchestra achieving a powerful volume. This could have hurt some singers but not these ones: they managed to project their voices through the theater without any trouble. Luisotti also opted for slow tempi in general and very slow ones in particular in the two main arias of the opera.</p> <p>Luca Salsi sang a Scarpia created from the meaningful phrasing more than from then emphasizing the vocal authority. He was scary and evil because everyone listening to him believed was he was singing. His line of singing was elegant , yet when he leaped on Tosca he truly looked like a demon.</p> <p>Yusif Eyvazov was at his best singing Cavaradossi. The role allows him to shine with a firm, well projected voice during the whole opera. In the first act he showed many different nuances while interacting with Angelotti and later with Tosca. In the second act his singing was urgent and passionate and in the third act he composed a moving “E lucevan le stelle” full scene with a extraordinary legato singing and an admirable breathing required by the slowness of the tempi.</p> <p>Finally, Netrebko was a canonical Tosca, but at the same time she was <em>her</em> Tosca. Her voice was ideally suited for the role without showing any single weak point. Her bright rich beautiful tone filled the auditorium in an apparently effortless way. Again, she managed the slow tempi in the duets and her main aria with remarkable authority. She didn’t give into the temptation of overacting or using artificially darkened voice for her shouts or semi spoken lines like the “Assasino!” to Scarpia or “Mario, morto” at the ending, but those sounded extremely credible.</p> <p>After the many nights full of encores on the other casts (even a historical double encore by Radvanovsky and Kaufmann) maybe Madrid audience was expecting something for these final performances. But after the first Netrebko-Eyvazov-Salsi night it was clear that “La Netrebko” does not do encores, so during this final performance everyone forgot about the game of doing an over applause and shouting “bis” and everyone focused on doing it and enjoying it a single time. But what a time it was!</p> <p>Photo: Javier del Real</p> The 50-Year-Old Virgin https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/the-50-year-old-virgin/ parterre box urn:uuid:435638f0-5159-9c7c-d23c-ea897d3871fc Thu, 29 Jul 2021 14:00:12 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/the-50-year-old-virgin/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-header-768x261.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-header-210x71.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Joan of Arc inspired many splendid works of art including Tchaikovsky’s <em>Orleanskaya Deva </em>which Trove Thursday presents today in a 1975 broadcast featuring the great Russian mezzo<strong> Irina Arkhipova</strong> and her husband tenor <strong>Vladislav Piavko</strong>.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78153" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/irina-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Though Joan claimed to be 19 during her trial and was known as the “Warrior Virgin,” Tchaikovsky’s heroine has regularly been taken by “mature” singers, sometimes sopranos, more often mezzos. For examples, Arkhipova was 50 at the time of this French Radio broadcast. The only time I have seen the opera staged was during a 1991 visit to the Met by the Bolshoi Opera in which Georgian soprano Makvala Kasrashvili—then 49—was Joan.</p> <p>Dolora Zajick sang the work twice locally in concert: I missed the first for Opera Orchestra of New York in 1990 but I caught the second when Zajick (in marvelous form) returned to the work for the Collegiate Chorale seventeen years later when she was 55. Perhaps the most striking instance of a senior diva taking on the teenaged heroine was Mirella Freni’s US farewell to opera when she performed Joan at the Kennedy Center at the age of 70!</p> <p>I unfortunately missed Arkhipova in her prime but I was lucky enough to catch her during her sole engagement at the Met. She debuted at 72 as Filippyevna at the premiere of the <strong>Robert Carsen</strong> production of <em>Eugene Onegin </em>in 1997. For many, she all but stole the Letter Scene from <strong>Galina Gorchakova</strong>’s refulgent if unsubtle Tatyana. Piavko too appeared at the Met but only when the Bolshoi Opera visited in 1975. The tenor was 16 years his wife’s junior and died just last year at 79.</p> <p>The musical settings of Joan’s story also include Verdi’s <em>Giovanna d’Arco </em>which like the Tchaikovsky was based on Schiller’s 1801 play <em>Die Jungfrau von Orleans. </em>Trove Thursday posted it <a href="https://parterre.com/2019/05/30/shes-a-rebel-shes-a-saint/">several years ago</a> featuring <strong>Margaret Price, Carlo Bergonzi </strong>and <strong>Sherrill Milnes.</strong></p> <p>Several of the world’s finest filmmakers too have been drawn to the Maid of Orleans.<strong> Carl Theodor Dreyer</strong>’s <em>The Passion of Joan of Arc </em>surely stands as one of the greatest silent films and features <strong>Falconetti&#8217;</strong>s remarkably powerful portrayal of Joan. However, another great director one also much preoccupied with issues of faith, <strong>Robert Bresson</strong>, had one of his biggest failures with <em>Procès de Jeanne d’Arc.</em></p> <p>Perhaps the less said about <strong>Otto Preminger</strong>’s adaptation of Shaw’s <em>Saint Joan </em>starring the appropriately teenaged <strong>Jean Seberg</strong> the better.</p> <p>Two more recent French directors not known for period films have been fascinated with Joan. In the mid-1990s, Jacques Rivette made a sweeping two-part <em>Jeanne La Pucelle </em>starring <strong>Sandrine Bonnaire</strong>. The rigorous Bruno Dumont too has told Joan’s story in a pair of films: the rock-musical (!) <em>Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc </em>(which to my surprise I liked a lot) and <em>Jeanne </em>which came out last year around the same time that COVID hit. I have a copy but haven’t watched it yet.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T7Rf9rLaLg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T7Rf9rLaLg</a></p> <p>One more musical setting of Joan’s martyrdom is in the pipeline to appear on Trove Thursday.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Tchaikovsky: <em>Orleanskaya Deva</em></strong></p> <p>ORTF<br /> 1975<br /> Broadcast</p> <p>Joan of Arc: Irina Arkhipova<br /> Agnes Sorel: Rosario Andrade<br /> King Charles VII: Vladislav Piavko<br /> Thibaud d&#8217;Arc: Nicola Ghiuselev<br /> The Cardinal: Paiil Marinov<br /> Dunois: Lucian Marinescu<br /> Lionel: Andre Orlowitz<br /> Raymond: Michel Cherb<br /> Bertrand: Frederic Vassar</p> <p>Choeur &amp; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France</p> <p>Conductor: Jean-Pierre Marty</p> <p><iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/19966148/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Orleanskaya Deva</em><u> can</u> be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.</p> <p>In addition, more than 400 other podcast tracks are always available from <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trove-thursday/id1039652739">Apple Podcasts</a> for free, or via any <a href="http://parterre.com/podcast/trovethursday.rss">RSS</a> reader. The archive which lists all Trove Thursday offerings in alphabetical order by composer was recently <a href="https://parterre.com/the-trove-thursday-archive/">up-to-dated</a>.</p> “I’m a curiosity in Hollywood” https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/im-a-curiosity-in-hollywood/ parterre box urn:uuid:b1cc1510-1dbc-a413-6f19-4eaae4be42b4 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 05:30:07 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/29/im-a-curiosity-in-hollywood/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bow-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bow-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bow-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bow-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bow-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bow-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1905 actress<strong> Clara Bow</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCl_jwFPR4k&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCl_jwFPR4k</a></p> <p>Happy 58th birthday mezzo-soprano <strong>Olga Borodina</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYEi6eE9ens&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYEi6eE9ens</a></p> <p>Happy 79th birthday baritone <strong>Bernd Weikl</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu0fO6V601s&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu0fO6V601s</a></p> <p>Happy 63rd birthday soprano <strong>Alessandra Marc</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpM5kI0oz84&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpM5kI0oz84</a></p> California Bans High End Computers https://medicine-opera.com/2021/07/california-bans-high-end-computers/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:e58884db-320f-e571-f217-cb83e9e6553d Wed, 28 Jul 2021 17:12:24 +0000 California is not only our most populous state, it&#8217;s also our goofiest. As a consequence of an energy bill passed in 2017, the state has banned the sale of high end gaming computers. Not to be outdone Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have issued the same ukase. &#8220;The state had recently published a paper looking into... <p>California is not only our most populous state, it&#8217;s also our goofiest. As a consequence of an energy bill passed in 2017, the state has <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://nichegamer.com/2021/07/27/high-end-gaming-pcs-banned-in-six-us-states-after-california-energy-bill-limits-sales-on-high-performance-pcs/" target="_blank">banned</a> the sale of high end gaming computers. Not to be outdone Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have issued the same ukase. &#8220;The state had <a href="https://www.energy.ca.gov/publications/2019/plug-loads-game-changer-computer-gaming-energy-efficiency-without-performance">recently published a pape</a>r looking into the power efficiency of computer gaming. They claim in their findings is that computer gaming in California consumed 4.1 terawatt hours in 2016, costing roughly $700 million USD in energy bills. They list consoles with taking a bulk of the emissions at 66%, and desktop computers at 31%. In spite of this, consoles are seemingly exempt from the bill.&#8221; (Quotation from above link.)</p> <p>$700 million in electrical usage (actually only a third) in California terms is a spark. While banning computers, the state is mandating that all new vehicles be electric by 2035. They are also closing their only remaining atomic energy plant. All this mishegoss from a state that can&#8217;t keep the lights on all the time. Where will the power need to run 15 million vehicles come from? No need to worry, the legislature will pass a bill mandating it be provided. </p> <p>Doubtless there are also businesses that need powerful computers that may be swept up in this ban; gamers will not be the only users affected by the prohibition. Thus, there will be a market that is illegal. Where there is a market there will be a supply irrespective of the law.</p> <p>So where will all these illicit computers able to run <em>GTA V </em>and mine bitcoin come from? The southern border, obviously. If we can&#8217;t keep fentanyl and cocaine from crossing the border, no way<em> Alienware </em>and <em>Digital Storm</em> computers won&#8217;t be smuggled into California. The cartels are gleefully seeing new profit opportunities. They&#8217;ll just need more muscular mules. They are doubtless telling their US affiliates to lobby more state governments to emulate California&#8217;s computer law. The more bans the more profit. </p> <p>Who knows there could be a medical and social benefit from the ban. The cartels might find computer smuggling so lucrative that they abandon fentanyl and cocaine in favor of electronics. I can envision a guy in a trench coat on a dark street approaching a teenager and whispering, &#8220;Hey kid you wanna buy a Dell Alienware Aurora R10 Gaming Desktop, AMD Ryzen 9 3900, 32GB Dual Channel HyperX Fury DDR4 XMP, 1TB SSD, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6, Lunar Light? You want more than one? Get some for your friends.&#8221; I have the best price. I also have components if you want.&#8221;</p> <p>As always California leads the way. </p> <p></p> <p></p> Le roi Arthus https://parterre.com/2021/07/28/le-roi-arthus/ parterre box urn:uuid:20c3a692-4cf9-8977-2bfd-367762e2d5fa Wed, 28 Jul 2021 16:26:26 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/28/le-roi-arthus/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Baritone Norman Garrett, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and tenor Matthew White are featured.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78149" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/arthus-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://tickets.fishercenter.bard.edu/overview/2508">begin at 2:00 PM</a>.</p> <p>Photo: Maria Baranova</p> Rossini al fresco https://parterre.com/2021/07/28/barbiere-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:2e7042c7-c01c-fbf9-5d7e-32f6ca1c112c Wed, 28 Jul 2021 15:55:45 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/28/barbiere-2/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-header-1-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-header-1-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-header-1-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-header-1-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-header-1-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-header-1.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Last night, for the first time in nearly a year and a half, opera returned to Lincoln Center.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78142" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-inside-1.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-inside-1.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-inside-1-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/barbiere-inside-1-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />But it was not to the Met which no doubt loomed large—both literally and figuratively—in the minds of the audience, but to Damrosch Park located immediately to the left of the deserted opera house. Begun in 2018 to perform and promote neglected <em>bel canto </em>works, Teatro Nuovo perhaps understandably fell back to the tried-and-true for its 2021 season offering a warmly comforting concert performance of Rossini’s <em>Il Barbiere di Siviglia—</em>to be repeated tonight.</p> <p>Following 20 summers of <em>Bel Canto at Caramoor, </em>conductor-scholar<strong> Will Crutchfield</strong> inaugurated Teatro Nuovo with Rossini’s <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2018/07/31/the-boy-from-syracuse/">Tancredi</a> </em>and Mayr’s <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2018/07/31/social-medea/">Medea in Corinto</a>.  </em>The following year brought Bellini’s <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2019/07/19/shes-a-stranger-here-herself/">La Straniera</a> </em>and Rossini’s <em><a href="https://parterre.com/2019/07/16/there-is-no-spoon/">La Gazza Ladra</a>. </em></p> <p>2020 was to have brought Rossini’s <em>Maometto Secondo </em>but that was not to be. However, three of the scheduled <em>Maometto </em>singers were invited back for the far less ambitious <em>Barbiere. </em>Perhaps somewhat compromised by its noisy outdoor venue, Tuesday evening lacked the ideal Rossini pizzazz, but the Damrosch Park <em>Barbiere </em>still managed to embody some of Teatro Nuovo’s valuable ambitions.</p> <p>What struck me most about this <em>Barbiere </em>was its exfoliation of hoary conventions that have accrued over the years to this most popular of comic operas. Never have I heard a less obstreperous “Largo al factotum,” an aria routinely embraced by showboating baritones.</p> <p>Bass (!) <strong>Hans Tashjian</strong>, presumably with the guidance of Crutchfield and the musical preparation of Lucy T. Yates and Timothy Cheung, actually stuck to the score (imagine!) and eschewed all those added whistles, hoots and high notes we’ve all become used to. It was delightful, but I wonder if some in the audience were dismayed by the Muti-esque <em>come scritto </em>absence of interpolated cadential high notes all evening. I for one found it refreshing.</p> <p>The singers were encouraged to add ornamentation. This nobly intended return to early 19th century  conventions wasn’t always completely successful though; rather often the trills (many!) and roulades simply taxed the singers rather than allowing them to show off a bit. The exception was <strong>Hannah Ludwig</strong>’s lavishly decorated “Una voce poco fa” which made this very familiar aria sound brand-new.</p> <p>The use of a period-instrument orchestra led by the first violinist rather than a conductor proved the revelation of Teatro Nuovo’s <em>Gazza Ladra </em>at SUNY Purchase two years ago. Unfortunately, the necessary amplification at Damrosch Park muddied the orchestral sound so that any nuances that might have come from the older instruments were lost. Fleeting moments during the overture hinted at what might have been and very occasionally pinging notes from the 1804 fortepiano played by Crutchfield would be heard above the mild Upper West Side ambient din that enveloped everyone.</p> <p>The modest semi-staging of <em>Barbiere </em>went for simplicity in presenting the Count’s romantic pursuit of Don Bartolo’s ward: no wild comic business needed, just two wily, ingenious men hoping to outsmart their temporary nemesis. <strong>Scott Purcell</strong>’s unconventional Bartolo, sung with a precise, virile baritone (his repertoire also includes Figaro) rather than the usual aging <em>basso buffo, </em>turned the figure into an unusually dangerous rival. <strong>Daniel Fridley</strong> as Basilio too skipped outrageous exaggeration and instead imbued his effective “La Calumnia” with subtle insinuation.</p> <p>The lovers proved oddly mismatched: not only did <strong>Nicholas Simpson</strong>’s Almaviva physically tower over Ludwig’s Rosina, his bright tenor, oozing <em>squillo, </em>was always splendidly audible while her covered, exceptionally dark near-contralto didn’t always penetrate especially in the Lesson Scene when her pallid “Contro un cor” was far from the intended show-stopper.</p> <p>Occasionally minor roles do provide performers with show-stealing opportunities. The first voice heard, <strong>Kyle Oliver’</strong>s ripe baritone as Fiorello, really made one sit up and wish for more, while the fizzy <em>aria di sorbetto </em>of <strong>Alina Tamborini</strong>’s Berta displayed the dazzling charm often missing from Ludwig’s restrained Rosina.</p> <p>First violinist <strong>Jakub Lehmann</strong>’s leadership of the performance was most satisfying in the exuberant first-act finale; elsewhere, it seemed too sedate and careful to fully match Rossini’s infectious energy.</p> <p>Exactly two months from last night, the Met reopens with the local premiere of<strong> Terence Blanchard</strong>’s <em>Fire Shut in My Bones. </em>In the meantime, hundreds of initially sweaty fans gratefully whooped and hollered as the Count and Figaro conspired to outsmart the dyspeptic Bartolo! It all felt like being home again!</p> <p>(On a more personal note, it was especially great to meet Gabrielle, Dawn Fatale and La Cieca—the latter for the first time since 2019!—and share <em>Barbiere.</em>)</p> <p>Photos: Steven Pisano</p> That voodoo that you do so well https://parterre.com/2021/07/28/that-voodoo-that-you-do-so-well/ parterre box urn:uuid:e5f6121e-34d3-5e29-7620-687240dab1d6 Wed, 28 Jul 2021 14:39:01 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/28/that-voodoo-that-you-do-so-well/"><img width="720" height="246" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/zombie-header-720x246.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/zombie-header-720x246.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/zombie-header-300x103.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/zombie-header-768x263.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/zombie-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/zombie-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>On this day in 1932 the film <em>White Zombie</em> was released.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzum68zgBl4&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzum68zgBl4</a></p> <p>Happy 80th birthday conductor Riccardo Muti.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPANwyaSlX4&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPANwyaSlX4</a></p> <p>On this day in 1882 Wagner&#8217;s <em>Parsifal</em> premiered in Bayreuth.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhBGZlcjn84&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhBGZlcjn84</a></p> Season announcements https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/27/season-announcements-7/ operaramblings urn:uuid:6d01f48a-c7dc-c2b8-befd-34863424c1c8 Tue, 27 Jul 2021 16:27:37 +0000 A couple of &#8220;season&#8221; announcements have come in.  Inverted commas because it&#8217;s all rather provisional with more details to come. Opera Atelier is offering a virtual summer/fall season with a reprise of Handel&#8217;s Resurrection from July 29th through August 12th.  &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/27/season-announcements-7/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>A couple of &#8220;season&#8221; announcements have come in.  Inverted commas because it&#8217;s all rather provisional with more details to come. Opera Atelier is offering a virtual summer/fall season with a reprise of Handel&#8217;s <em>Resurrection</em> from July 29th through August 12th.  This time there is a Standard Audio Description; a tool for blind and partially sighted people.  The fall sees the final version of Edwin Huizinga&#8217;s Angel released as a film that will stream October 28th through November 12th,  The cast includes Measha Brueggergosman, Colin Ainsworth,  Mireille Asselin, Jesse Blumberg, Meghan Lindsay, John Tibbetts (Opera Atelier debut), and Douglas Williams.  An announcement about a return to in theatre perfomances will be made in January.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30186" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/27/season-announcements-7/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel-photo-by-bruce-zinger-1-1024x787/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel.-photo-by-bruce-zinger.-1-1024x787-1.jpg" data-orig-size="580,446" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;BRUCE ZINGER&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1626543881&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;COPYRIGHT IMAGE&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="Artist-of-Atelier-Ballet-Xi-Yi-promotional-image-for-Opera-Ateliers-Angel.-Photo-by-Bruce-Zinger.-1-1024&#215;787" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel.-photo-by-bruce-zinger.-1-1024x787-1.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel.-photo-by-bruce-zinger.-1-1024x787-1.jpg?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30186 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel.-photo-by-bruce-zinger.-1-1024x787-1.jpg?w=584" alt="Artist-of-Atelier-Ballet-Xi-Yi-promotional-image-for-Opera-Ateliers-Angel.-Photo-by-Bruce-Zinger.-1-1024x787" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel.-photo-by-bruce-zinger.-1-1024x787-1.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel.-photo-by-bruce-zinger.-1-1024x787-1.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/artist-of-atelier-ballet-xi-yi-promotional-image-for-opera-ateliers-angel.-photo-by-bruce-zinger.-1-1024x787-1.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Photo credit: Bruce Zinger</p> <p><span id="more-30181"></span>Toronto City Opera has announced a partnership with the Pesaro Rossini festival.  According to the press release &#8220;In March 2022 Toronto City Opera will host the Rossini Opera Festival in Toronto&#8221;.  There will also be another series of events in August with both &#8220;live&#8221; and &#8220;digital&#8221; events on both sides of the pond.  The August dates correspond to the festival in Pesaro so I assume any chance to see the likes of <em>Ciro in Babilonia</em> or <em>Adelaide di Borgogna</em> will likely be digital.  There&#8217;s also a gala planned.  One hopes pizza Rossini will not feature.  It&#8217;s billed as a &#8220;framework agreement&#8221; so the details will come later I guess.  As well as the Rossini, TCO will present their productions postponed in 20/21 due to COVID.  Giuseppe Verdi&#8217;s <em>Nabucco</em> will take place in autumn 2021with Pietro Mascagni’s <em>Cavalleria Rusticana</em> in spring 2022.</p> Larynxes are dropping https://parterre.com/2021/07/27/larynxes-are-dropping/ parterre box urn:uuid:e6beb1df-3178-372a-0c41-3ac9309f5ca8 Tue, 27 Jul 2021 12:00:55 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/27/larynxes-are-dropping/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vaness-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vaness-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vaness-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vaness-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vaness-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vaness-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 69th birthday soprano <strong>Carol Vaness</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=GptgGOnBPsY&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=GptgGOnBPsY</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1915 tenor <strong>Mario Del Monaco</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7i1c_B4c_M&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7i1c_B4c_M</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of dramatist <strong>Alexandre Dumas</strong> (fils) (1824), composer <strong>Enrique Granados</strong> (1867), bass <strong>Ivar Andrésen</strong> (1896) and conductor <strong>Gianandrea Gavazzeni </strong>(1909).</p> Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg https://parterre.com/2021/07/26/die-meistersinger-von-nurnberg-3/ parterre box urn:uuid:af9eed51-765a-74f5-4c4b-1d4e1ef76c2a Mon, 26 Jul 2021 20:05:47 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/26/die-meistersinger-von-nurnberg-3/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>From the 2017 Bayreuth Festival, Barrie Kosky’s <I>Die Meistersinger</i>, conducted by Philippe Jordan.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78121" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/meistersinger-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://www.dg-premium.com/dg_stage_video/die-meistersinger-von-nurnberg-philippe-jordan-barrie-kosky-3/">begin at 6:30 PM</a>. (Stream is free; one time registration required.)</p> <p>Photo: E. Nawrath</p> Can we still be friends? https://parterre.com/2021/07/26/can-we-still-be-friends/ parterre box urn:uuid:ddaaa092-8c0f-2d64-bab8-8121cf5ceb10 Mon, 26 Jul 2021 16:32:07 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/26/can-we-still-be-friends/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>As soon as <strong>James Clutton</strong>, the new Opera Holland Park director, stepped on stage to welcome the audience, we all knew that we were not at the typical English summer opera festival.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78115" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/fritz-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />True, Holland Park&#8217;s season happens during summer and in a beautiful park but that is the end of similarities with others festivals like Garsington, Grange Park, the Grange Festival or Glyndebourne.</p> <p>A director wearing shorts on the stage would have been unimaginable on those other places that usually require a black tie dress code. Also, his words were quite striking: He explained that even if the current government guidance allowed to have the auditorium at full capacity they chose to stick to the commitment they had with the audience when they sold the tickets in a socially distanced layout. That was the first ovation of the night of many to come.</p> <p>In this difficult pandemic season, Opera Holland Park, a small company, has accomplished the titanic task of staging four full operas. That is the same number of operas that the powerful Royal Opera House staged in the whole season and double the ones staged by the English National Opera. It is in Opera Holland Park&#8217;s DNA to combine repertoire works with less known verismo operas. They have presented in the recent years Cilea’s <em>L’Arlesiana</em>, Mascagni’s <em>Isabeau</em> (in a co-production with the New York City Opera), Leoncavallo’s <em>Zazà</em>, Mascagni’s <em>Iris</em> and Montemezzi’s <em>L’amore di tre re</em>.</p> <p>This is the third production of<em> L’amico Fritz</em> staged by Opera Holland Park, a record justified by the love shown by the audience and the convenience of programming a lighthearted work in times when the escapism for easy and beautiful things is much needed.</p> <p>The story is simple: a nice rich guy, Fritz, enjoys life and refuses to get married until he falls in love with Suzel, a younger lower class girl. But there is no problem, zero drama and zero plot twists. (As I said, how convenient to program this opera this season!). Many could consider the sedate simple plot a turn off for such an elevated art as opera, but Mascagni&#8217;s genius creates music that matches the emotions in a wonderful way that invites the audience to empathize.</p> <p>The production by <strong>Julia Burbach</strong> takes the action to the 50s and minimizes the obstacles for the lovers: Suzel is not presented as underage and the class separation doesn’t seem so evident from the costumes. It’s more like a hedonist embracement of the joy of love. Even Beppe, Fritz’s Romano friend, is portrayed as a Cupid with wings. The rest is sheer rom com.</p> <p><strong>Beatrize Venezi</strong>, wearing a stunning polka dot dress, conducted with passion a City of London Sinfonia in top form using a brilliant orchestral reduction by <strong>Tony Burke</strong> that managed to show full brilliance with only nine string players.</p> <p><strong>Matteo Lippi</strong> was a fine Fritz with an expressive singing that managed to show the evolution of his feelings, crafting an interesting climax.<strong> Katie Bird</strong> shone as Suzel in her short solo arias. Both were communicative and credible in the famous cherry duet.</p> <p>David, the Rabbi, was sung by<strong> Paul Carey Jones</strong> who clearly had a good time singing and acting it. As <strong>Kezia Bienek</strong> was indisposed, she acted the role of Beppe on the stage while <strong>Victoria Simmonds</strong> sang it from the pit. This disconnection didn’t mar the drama as their character was already a magical creature with Cupid wings. Beppe even mimed to the magnificent orchestral violin solo as Fritz and Suzel fell in love).</p> <p>All the factors (programming, production, cast) were aligned towards a straightforward but not easy goal: enjoyment though uncomplicated beauty.</p> <p>Photo: Ali Wright</p> After showers https://parterre.com/2021/07/26/after-showers/ parterre box urn:uuid:f37b3dbb-8723-f8d9-d2a0-368cda60c54e Mon, 26 Jul 2021 04:16:10 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/26/after-showers/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vivian-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vivian-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vivian-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vivian-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vivian-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vivian-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1909 actress <strong>Vivian Vance</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=8petwReCGsQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=8petwReCGsQ</a></p> <p>Happy 54th birthday soprano <strong>Anne Schwanewilms</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BFl68nmLlM&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BFl68nmLlM</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of playwright and critic <strong>George Bernard Shaw </strong>(1856), writer <strong>Aldous Huxley </strong>(1894) and conductor <strong>Donald Voorhees </strong>(1903).</p> If You Dance With the Devil You Can’t Change Partners https://medicine-opera.com/2021/07/if-you-dance-with-the-devil-you-cant-change-partners/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:175b6718-e126-4d06-95ac-50aecf9fa646 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 21:37:16 +0000 Devils are common in opera. It&#8217;s so much more fun to be evil onstage than to be tasked with depicting bland goodness. So here are a few operatic Satans or their equivalents, but not the usual suspects. Anton Rubinstein&#8217;s opera Demon is rarely preformed in the West, but still enjoys popularity in Russia. The titular... <p>Devils are common in opera. It&#8217;s so much more fun to be evil onstage than to be tasked with depicting bland goodness. So here are a few operatic Satans or their equivalents, but not the usual suspects.</p> <p>Anton Rubinstein&#8217;s opera <em>Demon</em> is rarely preformed in the West, but still enjoys popularity in Russia. The titular character is a fallen angel who who hates everything except Tamara &#8211; the soprano. He arranges to have her fiancé killed and attempts to win her love. She&#8217;s attracted to him, but eventually resists. Having done so, she falls dead and is carried to heaven. The ending is, of course, similar to Gounod&#8217;s <em>Faust</em>. </p> <p>The late baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky was fond of the title part. He appeared in a complete semi-staged performance of the opera at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow in 2015. This was about the time his brain tumor was diagnosed. It killed him in 2017. The Liceu in Barcelona staged the opera in 2018. The show had been intended for Hvorostovsky.</p> <p>Rubinstein&#8217;s music is that of Western Europe at the time of the opera&#8217;s composition &#8211; 1871. He was not in sympathy with the nationalistic demands of <em>The Five</em>. The composer was best known as a piano virtuoso and teacher. Tchaikovsky was his most renowned student. The video below presents the opera&#8217;s final portion with Hvorostovsky as the Demon and Amik Grigoryan as Tamara. It has English subtitles. If it goes dark an audio file is linked below it.</p> <figure class="wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-block-embed-youtube wp-embed-aspect-4-3 wp-has-aspect-ratio"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <iframe loading="lazy" title="DEMON_opera by A. Rubinstein (Hvorostovsky, Grigoryan)_2015_Act 3_English subtitles" width="500" height="375" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3uTgVsaVIUc?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div></figure> <p><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/6958con7g22e51x/D.%20Hvorostovsky%20-%20The%20Demon%20final%20A.%20Rubinstein.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><em>Demon</em> finale</a></p> <p>The great Russian bass Mark Reizen sings <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ripq8254414kloj/Mark%20Reizen%20-%20Rubinstein%27s%20The%20Demon%20aria%20I%20am%20he%20whom%20you%20heard.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">I am he whom you heard</a> which occurs earlier in opera. Reizen was such a outstanding singer that he deserves a post of his own that I&#8217;ll get to soon.</p> <p>Ferruccio Busoni worked on his opera <em>Doktor Faust</em> for the last 8 years of his life, but never managed to finish it. The opera was completed by his student Philipp Jarnach. In 1982, Antony Beaumont using material recently discovered, produced a longer version with a different ending. The work is occasionally staged. The Met did it in 2001 using the Jarnach version. It sounds like the music of its time. If you know<em> Wozzeck</em> nothing in <em>Doktor Faust</em> will surprise you save that Mephistopheles is a tenor. It&#8217;s also a lot longer than Berg&#8217;s first opera. </p> <p>The opera contains two prologues, an intermezzo, and three scenes. The following excerpt is the conclusion of the second prologue. Faust accepts Mephistopheles as a servant. He demands that all his wishes be granted, to have all knowledge, and the power of genius. Mephistopheles, in return, says that Faust must serve him after death. Faust recoils at first, but Mephistopheles reminds him that his creditors and enemies are at the door. With Faust&#8217;s approval, Mephistopheles causes them to fall, dead. Then, with the chorus in the distance singing a &#8216;Credo&#8217; on Easter morning, Faust signs the pact in blood, wondering what has become of his &#8216;Will&#8217;. He faints upon realizing that he has forfeited his soul. Mephistopheles gleefully takes the contract in hand. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is Faust, William Cochran is the Devil. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/v6hc6nvabioqqhx/Busoni%20Doktor%20Faust%20Prologue%202%20finale%20Fiache-Dieskau%20Cochran.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Doktor Faust Prologue 2 finale</a></p> <p><em>Robert le Diable</em> was Meyerbeer&#8217;s first French opera. It set the standard for French Grand Opera that lasted for the rest of the 19th century. The composer fell out of favor in the 20th century, but has made something of a comeback in the 21st. Though the title is <em>Robert the Devil</em>, Robert is the devil&#8217;s son by a mortal woman. The devil goes by the name of Bertram in this opera. This <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/l1r28lx63b7lf3c/Robert%20le%20Diable%20-%20SAMUEL%20RAMEY.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">invocation of the demons</a> is from a 1985 production in Paris. Sam Ramey who was Bertram in that staging is in sensational form.</p> <p>The last devil presented here is named Nick Shadow. He&#8217;s in Stravinsky&#8217;s <em>The Rake&#8217;s Progress</em>. The 1951 opera set to a libretto by WH Auden (there&#8217;s a coauthor listed, but I don&#8217;t think he had much to do with the final product) was inspired by Hogarth&#8217;s 8 paintings with the same title as the opera. The canvases were produced in 1732–1734, then engraved in 1734, and published in print form in 1735. Stravinsky, who went through more changes in style than Picasso, was in a Mozart phase when he composed <em>The Rake. </em>Auden&#8217;s libretto was perfect for Stravinsky&#8217;s needs. It&#8217;s at least as good as the music to which it&#8217;s set.</p> <p>Shadows aria <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/hpk93x9amgleidp/Yannis%20Fran%C3%A7ois%20-%20Nick%20Shadow%27s%20aria%20Come%20Master...in%20youth%20the%20panting%20slave%20%28Stravinsky%29.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Come Master&#8230;in youth the panting slave</a> is in Act 2. The words are so well constructed that they&#8217;re worth quoting in their entirety. The baritone is Yannis François. The opera&#8217;s protagonist, Tom Rakewell, ends up alive, but mad. </p> <p><em>Come Master, observe the host of mankind. How are they? Wretched! Why? Because they are not free! Why? Because the giddy multitude are driven by the unpredictable lust of the pleasures. And the sober few, are bound by the inflexible ought of their duty. Between which slaveries, there is nothing to choose! Would you be happy? Then learn to act freely. Would you act freely? Then learn to ignore those twin tyrants, of, appetites and conscience. Therefore, I counsel you Master. Take Baba the Hut to wife. Consider her picture once more. And as you do, so reflect upon my words. In youth, the panting slave pursues the fair evasive dame, then caught in colder fetters, woos wealth, office, or a name. Till old, dishonored, downcast, and failing in his wits, in virtues narrow cell, at last, the withered bondsman sits! That man, that man alone, his fate fulfills. For he alone, he alone is free who chooses what to will, and wills his choice as destiny. No man his future can foretell, no law his past explain, whom neither passion may compel nor reason can restrain.</em></p> <p>Of course Gounod&#8217;s, Berlioz&#8217;, and Boito&#8217;s devils will remain center stage, but it&#8217;s comforting to know that there are others available.</p> Un Ballo in Maschera https://parterre.com/2021/07/25/un-ballo-in-maschera-7/ parterre box urn:uuid:c275435c-b4f5-a278-99c0-6b54dda2f688 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 18:35:30 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/25/un-ballo-in-maschera-7/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>The final presentation of the Met&#8217;s Nightly Opera Streams features Sondra Radvanovsky, Kathleen Kim, Stephanie Blythe, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by David Alden. From December 8, 2012.</p> <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-inside-1.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78098" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-inside-1.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-inside-1-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/ballo-inside-1-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://www.metopera.org/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">begin at 7:30 PM</a>.</p> <p>Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera</p> What the Heart Desires Recital https://operatattler.typepad.com/opera/2021/07/what-the-heart-desires-recital.html The Opera Tattler urn:uuid:35d4577d-793a-9a84-66f3-823c2b84cab9 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 18:26:13 +0000 * Notes * Merola, San Francisco Opera's summer training program, had a first in-person performance (pictured, photograph by Kristen Loken) on July 3, with a filmed version released to donors on July 16. Curated by African American mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller... * Notes * Merola, San Francisco Opera's summer training program, had a first in-person performance (pictured, photograph by Kristen Loken) on July 3, with a filmed version released to donors on July 16. Curated by African American mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller and Asian American tenor Nicholas Phan, the program -- titled "What the Heart Desires" -- features works by women and composers of color. The recital consisted of six singers accompanied by the apprentice coaches on piano. Nearly all the songs were in English. The new crop of Merolini all have very powerful, clean voices. Especially impressive is tenor Edward Graves, his soaring notes in Henry Thacker Burleigh's "Among the Fuchsias" were imposing and his rendition of Undine Smith Moore's "I want to die while you love me" was stirring. I also liked hearing baritone Laureano Quant again, he was in the program two years ago, and was the only low voice of the group here. He sang a piece he wrote himself, "Ahora hablo de gaitas," Mohammed Fairouz's "After The Revels," and Viet Cuong's O Do Not Love Too Long." Mezzo-soprano Gabrielle Beteag had much appeal in Ian Cusson's "Where There's A Wall," and pianist Shiyu Tan did will with all the percussive effects the piece requires. Soprano Celeste Morales both opened and closed the performance with vigor, beginning with Robert Owens' "Havana Dreams" and ending the afternoon with Maria Grever's "Jurame." Tattling * It was great to hear so many different composers that don't normally get programed. That said, a few of the pieces did not do it for me, the text of Chen Yi's "Bright Moonlight" sounded like a word salad while Stacy Garrop's "What Can One Woman Do?" whose text is from Eleanor Roosevelt was rather declamatory as opposed to lyrical. Dmitri Hvorostovsky - Bright Is the Night and a voice to remember, always. http://singerforallseasons.blogspot.com/2021/07/dmitri-hvorostovsky-bright-is-night.html singer for all seasons urn:uuid:6d378375-5d6b-a52e-7544-feb69b5d0193 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 17:13:00 +0000 <p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>&nbsp;<iframe frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://youtube.com/embed/X6gSAuBr0K8" style="background-image: url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/X6gSAuBr0K8/hqdefault.jpg);" width="480"></iframe>&nbsp; I feel sad often when I remember tha<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoVcKvVNkQo">t November 2017, </a>but his voice is part of my life on line as I often listen to him, either through my records and opera films (Eugene Onigin is an absolute must of all times with Dmitri as Eugene. I often listen to&nbsp; the cd "<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Are_You_My_Brothers%3F#cite_note-1">Where are you my brothers </a>?" He will be alive eternally for me and all the ones who love him in the world of opera singing and more.<br /></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DtdOmej-rco/YP2h3A8ORYI/AAAAAAAAHLA/rR1JJ45qCFU_adx3Irig23EQgqzM-FgOQCLcBGAsYHQ/s400/Where-are-You-my-Brothers-.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="391" data-original-width="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DtdOmej-rco/YP2h3A8ORYI/AAAAAAAAHLA/rR1JJ45qCFU_adx3Irig23EQgqzM-FgOQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Where-are-You-my-Brothers-.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>Where are you "my brother" in humanhood,&nbsp; always in my heart and ears?<br /><p><br /></p> Der Fliegende Holländer https://parterre.com/2021/07/25/der-fliegende-hollander-6/ parterre box urn:uuid:15f8a1d2-1f91-35b5-1d46-9dddfa07d548 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 15:40:05 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/25/der-fliegende-hollander-6/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Live from the 2021 Bayreuth Festival, featuring <strong>Asmik Grigorian</strong> and <strong>John Lundgren</strong>, conducted by <strong>Oksana Lyniv</strong>.</p> <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78092" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bayreuth-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="http://www.operacast.com/bayreuth_2021.htm#hollander" rel="noopener" target="_blank">begin at 11:45</a> (performance begins at noon promptly.)</p> Why is the sequel never the equal? https://parterre.com/2021/07/25/why-is-the-sequel-never-the-equal/ parterre box urn:uuid:4640353b-e76a-177e-ecca-e6fc903c9941 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 15:15:58 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/25/why-is-the-sequel-never-the-equal/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/harris-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/harris-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/harris-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/harris-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/harris-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/harris-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1935 actress <strong>Barbara Harris</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9KYb4AgFbg&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9KYb4AgFbg</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1894 soprano <strong>Yvonne Printemps</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGU26LPAf78&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGU26LPAf78</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1930 contralto <strong>Maureen Forrester</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdsVfbm5hbQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdsVfbm5hbQ</a></p> Idomeneo https://parterre.com/2021/07/24/idomeneo-7/ parterre box urn:uuid:5df14bb5-2273-c15b-2d2e-da7bf9c95420 Sat, 24 Jul 2021 15:55:57 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/24/idomeneo-7/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bs-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bs-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bs-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bs-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bs-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/bs-header.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Live stream from the Bayerische Staatsoper begins at noon.</p> <p>Live stream from the Bayerische Staatsoper <a href="https://www.operlive.de/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">begins at noon</a>.</p> The stars burned brightly https://parterre.com/2021/07/24/the-stars-burned-brightly/ parterre box urn:uuid:3f3c4082-97b7-1b3d-2489-14e35df7cee4 Sat, 24 Jul 2021 15:41:07 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/24/the-stars-burned-brightly/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/distefano-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/distefano-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/distefano-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/distefano-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/distefano-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/distefano-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Born on this day in 1921 tenor <strong>Giuseppe Di Stefano</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMM3OMsnZGw&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMM3OMsnZGw</a></p> <p>Happy 52nd birthday singer and actress <strong>Kristin Chenoweth</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdC652e9dpE&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdC652e9dpE</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of composers <strong>Adolphe Adam</strong> (1803) and<strong> Ernest Bloch</strong> (1880), poet and dramatist <strong>Frank Wedekind</strong> (1864), bass <strong>Bernard Ladysz</strong> (1922), baritone<strong> Neil Howlett</strong> (1934) and soprano <strong>Eilene Hannan </strong>(1946).</p> La Fille du Régiment https://parterre.com/2021/07/23/la-fille-du-regiment-5/ parterre box urn:uuid:016d4359-bdda-d10f-774f-145b2f54f8e9 Fri, 23 Jul 2021 22:59:44 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/23/la-fille-du-regiment-5/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Starring Natalie Dessay, Felicity Palmer, Juan Diego Flórez, and Alessandro Corbelli, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Production by Laurent Pelly. From April 26, 2008. </p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-72147" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-inside-720x404.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="404" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-inside-300x168.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/fille-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="https://metoperafree.brightcove-services.com/?videoId=6263841149001" target="_blank" rel="noopener">begin at 7:30 PM</a>.</p> <p>Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera</p> O caresses de flamme! https://parterre.com/2021/07/23/o-caresses-de-flamme/ parterre box urn:uuid:b30b7934-81b2-02ca-16de-f390b45fcf58 Fri, 23 Jul 2021 16:46:38 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/23/o-caresses-de-flamme/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/graham-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/graham-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/graham-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/graham-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/graham-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/graham-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 61st birthday mezzo-soprano <strong>Susan Graham</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGn0UR0kww8&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGn0UR0kww8</a></p> <p>Happy 49th birthday soprano <strong>Anja Harteros</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5qXR_IekfQ&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5qXR_IekfQ</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of composer <strong>Francesco Cilea </strong>(1866) and soprano <strong>Ava June </strong>(1931).</p> Monserrat/Mad Song/Ballance - Mahler, Müller-Hermann, and Schoenberg, 22 July 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/07/monserratmad-songballance-mahler-muller.html Boulezian urn:uuid:dd012e71-60d3-6cf8-daf9-ff332f7b6387 Fri, 23 Jul 2021 15:08:50 +0000 <span style="font-family: georgia;"><br />St John the Baptist Church, High Barnet, London<br /><br /><b>Johanna Müller-Hermann, arr. Joshua Ballance: </b><i>Fünf Lieder</i>, opp.11 and 32<br /><b>Mahler, arr. Ballance:</b> <i>Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen </i><br /><b>Schoenberg, arr. Webern:</b> Chamber Symphony no.1, op.9 <br /><br />Anita Monserrat (soprano)<br />Hannah Gillingham (flute)</span><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">James Gilbert (clarinet)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Seleni Stewart (violin)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Benedict Swindells (cello)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Gus Tredwell (piano)</span></div><div><span style="font-family: georgia;">Joshua Ballance (conductor)<br /><br /><br />To the (other) end of the Northern Line, to High Barnet (Chipping Barnet, if you prefer), for a wonderful concert in the inaugural season of the <a href="https://www.hbcmf.co.uk/">High Barnet Chamber Music Festival</a>, conceived during lockdown by conductor and scholar Joshua Ballance. Here was a judicious mixture of known and—to me, at any rate—unknown, the known in new, chamber guise, arranged by Ballance and Webern (whose music features in <a href="https://www.music.ox.ac.uk/graduates/joshua-ballance/">Ballance’s doctoral study</a>). <br /><br /><br />First, the unknown: two songs from Johanna Müller-Hermann’s op.11 (<i>c</i>.1914) and three from her op.32 (between 1932 and 1936). It was a fascinating opportunity to hear music from this Zemlinsky pupil. If the music sounded broadly how one might a priori have expected it to sound, that is not intended to convey shortcoming. The first two song, both Goethe settings, ‘Nähe des Geliebten’ and ‘An die Entfernte’, initially had me thinking in (necessary?) clichés to orient myself: post-Brahms, post-Zemlinsky, but never to be reduced to mere influence. If vocal lines, especially phrase endings, had a certain Classical quality to them, that is not necessarily a bad thing and they were not entirely without surprises, suggesting perhaps a kinship with early Schoenberg songs (or those of Berg and Webern, for that matter). Harmonies were definitely of the time, whatever that may mean. These are well-crafted songs, worth anyone’s attention, in equally well-crafted arrangements: the first inviting, the second imploring and speaking not only of, but with, sad resignation. <br /><br /><br />As Müller-Hermann’s song-writing developed, so too did the arrangements in which we heard them. Ballance’s work both as arranger and conductor in the Hofmannthal song, ‘Vorfrühling’, hinted cunningly and seductively at Second Viennese School possibilities, whilst remaining true to Müller-Hermann’s more conservative style. This song seemed to look both to a typical expressionist landscape and the more stifling eroticism of the contemporary drawing room. In ‘Du schlank und rein’, Stefan George offered a verbal framework for kaleidoscopic harmony and timbre, above which the excellent soprano Anita Monserrat floated a finely spun yet variegated vocal line. Equally attentive to words and music, Monserrat suggested darker currents, as did Balance, in ‘In Traum und Gesang’ (Rudolf Alexander Schröder), Brahmsian in part, yet again far from reducible to any such model. <br /><br /><br />We know Mahler’s <i>Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen</i> in piano and orchestral guise. Why not an ensemble somewhere in between? Why not indeed, especially in such fine performances as those offered by Ballance and his Pierrot ensemble Mad Song. Such instrumentation could hardly avoid to suggest the Second Viennese future, but there are tendencies enough, even in early Mahler, that this sounded the most natural step in the world. The combination of naïveté and alienation was spot on, allied to fine command of line and tempo. By the time we reached the second song, ‘Ging heut’ Morgen über’s Feld’, the enormity of hearing Mahler at long last again in the flesh hit home. There was little question, whether from Monserrat or Mad Song, that this was the real thing: exultant, and perhaps somewhere with a glimmer of that hope we have learned to call by its mediaeval name, <a href="https://twitter.com/susie_dent/status/874919621375275009?lang=en">‘respair’</a>. The final question, might happiness now begin, and negative response, no it can never bloom for me, hit home all the more strongly in such heart-stopping guise. ‘Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer’ received hochdramatisch treatment, very much on a knife-edge, and pivoting in truly Mahlerian fashion to hallucinogenic new vistas, through not against form. The closing ‘Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz’ seemed very much to speak to our recent (and current) trauma, uncertain rebuilding, and further illusion and hope. A mirage? Perhaps, yet what else do we have? Haunting was the mot juste. <br /><br /><br />Webern’s arrangement (1922-3) of Schoenberg’s First Chamber Symphony completed the programme. Unsurprisingly, Webern seems especially concerned to play up Schoenberg’s constructivism of fourths at the opening—or is it that one wants to hear that, knowing who it is? That was how it sounded, at any rate, balanced by Schoenberg’s well-nigh profusion of melody. Ballance’s reading, especially during the exposition, spoke of a musical understanding that had nothing to prove other than the immanent qualities of this extraordinary music. Later on, he seemed especially keen to characterise the character of individual ‘movements’ within Schoenberg’s overall single-movement form, though there was certainly affinity between them too. Variation of tempo at micro- and macro-levels was in general finely judged. If there were occasional corners whose turning seemed slightly abrupt, that is largely testament to what difficult music this is to bring off convincingly. That achievement was never in doubt, and it was intriguing to hear the ‘slow movement’ taken with more Brucknerian breadth. Not everything need, nor should, be taken frenetically here. Playing was committed throughout, Benedict Swindells’s cello perhaps first among equals. How welcome it was to welcome back both Schoenberg and Mahler, and to welcome a team of fine musicians from whom we shall doubtless hear more. <br /><br /></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/hqtXx_qDP_E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Les Contes d’Hoffmann https://parterre.com/2021/07/22/les-contes-dhoffmann-6/ parterre box urn:uuid:f5a38c42-2245-9822-8211-c95d6ee7a811 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 22:00:16 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/22/les-contes-dhoffmann-6/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Starring Erin Morley, Hibla Gerzmava, Kate Lindsey, Christine Rice, V______ G______, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Yves Abel. Production by Bartlett Sher. From January 31, 2015. </p> <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-720-720x405.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-68758" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-720.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-720-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/hoffmann-720-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="http://metopera.org" rel="noopener" target="_blank">begin at 7:30 PM</a>.</p> <p>Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera</p> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 https://medicine-opera.com/2021/07/1-2-3-4-5-6/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:3ebaa108-55a5-a52f-7540-c0ce81a4176b Thu, 22 Jul 2021 18:57:05 +0000 The title refers to aria, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, and sextet. I&#8217;ve picked examples of each that I feel should be at the top of any short list for the best yet composed. Readers can make their own list.  D’amor sull’ali rosee from Act 4 of Verdi&#8217;s Il Trovatore is the last bel canto soprano... <p>The title refers to aria, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, and sextet. I&#8217;ve picked examples of each that I feel should be at the top of any short list for the best yet composed. Readers can make their own list.</p> <p> <a href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/milanov-damor6.mp3">D’amor sull’ali rosee</a> from Act 4 of Verdi&#8217;s <em>Il Trovatore</em> is the last bel canto soprano aria from the last bel canto opera. With <em>La Traviata</em>, written at the same time as <em>Trovatore</em>, Verdi took Italian opera permanently in a new direction. The great German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler thought music&#8217;s two greatest melodists were Bach and Verdi. This aria gives proof to his declaration. The aria&#8217;s elegant beauty asks more of its interpreter than almost any solo in Italian opera. Milanov&#8217;s 70 year old recording still sets the standard for the piece.</p> <p>Opera is full of great duets. I&#8217;ve picked one from Scene 1 Act of Bellini&#8217;s <em>Norma</em>. The tenor, Pollione, has ditched Norma for a younger woman &#8211; Adalgisa. The two women get together and in a long and often florid duet agree to cooperate and ditch the two timing tenor. Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne were the leading exponents of Bellini&#8217;s masterpiece during the second half of the last century. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ctpy3ghlv0b02fa/Joan%20Sutherland%20-%20Marilyn%20Horne%20-%20Mira%20o%20Norma.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Mira O Norma Sutherland Horne</a>. The opera has another great duet in its final scene. Norma and Pollione argue over their mutual problems without resolution. This argument shortly leads them to settle their problems by being burned alive. Operas often don&#8217;t end well. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/l7auftzyu8k76iy/Montserrat%20Caball%C3%A9%20-%20In%20mia%20man%20%5BNorma%5D%20w%20Jon%20Vickers%20at%20Orange%20-%201974.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">In mia man alfin to sei alfin</a> is sung by Montserrat Caballé and Jon Vickers. Bellini&#8217;s melodic magic still dazzles.</p> <p>The trio that comes near the end of Strauss&#8217; Der Rosenkavalier was likely the most beautiful music he ever composed. He certainly thought so. He asked for it to be performed at his <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jul/19/rosenkavalier-real-racy-richard-strauss" target="_blank">funeral </a>and it was. It took place in war ravaged Munich in 1949. &#8220;Georg Solti conducted; as the soaring, overlapping lines arched out over the orchestra, each of the three singers, Marianne Schech, Maud Cunitz and Gerda Sommerschuh, broke down, overcome by emotion, the words, speaking of valediction and the hope of new life, unbearably poignant in the circumstances.&#8221;  </p> <p>Another great trio, though nothing can touch the<em> Rosenkavalier</em> trio, is from Verdi&#8217;s <em>I Lombardi</em>.  <a href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/qual-volutta-transcorrere.mp3">Qual </a><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/qual-volutta-transcorrere.mp3" target="_blank">volutta</a><a href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/qual-volutta-transcorrere.mp3"> </a><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/qual-volutta-transcorrere.mp3" target="_blank">trascorrere</a> is sung by Enrico Caruso, Frances Alda, and Marcel Journet. I&#8217;ve posted it here before, but it deserves an encore.</p> <p>The quartet from the last act of<em> Rigoletto</em> stands by itself. It not only is beautiful, but it moves the action along. It is also the first use of the &#8220;split screen&#8221; technique &#8211; of course, it&#8217;s a split stage. The lecherous duke is trying to get it on with a murderous hooker inside a seedy tavern, while Rigoletto is trying to show his daughter what a wretch the duke is. That he raped her in the previous act and is after another woman has no effect on the jester&#8217;s teenage daughter &#8211; she still thinks she loves him. The following performance features Joan Sutherland, Isola Jones, Luciano Pavarotti, and Leo Nucci. <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/v1f7jcjmtzh6tgy/Bella%20Figlia%20DellAmore%20Sutherland%20and%20Pavarotti%20Rigoletto%20Quartet.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Rigoletto Quartet</a></p> <p><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/6mhoisoecm9s54i/Die%20Meistersinger%20von%20N%C3%BCrnberg%20Selig%2C%20wie%20die%20Sonne%20%28Quintet%29.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Selig, wie die Sonne meines Glückes lacht</a> is the quintet that ends the penultimate scene of Wagner&#8217;s <em>Die Meistersinger.</em> Sachs suppresses the romantic feelings he has for the much younger Eva and approves of her union with Walther as well as that of David and Magdalena. The quintet is the only example of the stand and deliver ensemble found in Wagner&#8217;s mature works. It&#8217;s so good that you wish he&#8217;d done it more often. The quintet over, the five leave to join the xenophilic rally that ends the opera. The singers are Karita Mattila, Jill Grove, Ben Heppner, Matthew Polenzani, and James Morris. James Levine conducted.</p> <p>The pick for sextet is obvious. Its the ultimate stop and declare your emotions ensemble &#8211; <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/kw7pzv4kpl1y674/Callas%20Di%20Stefano%20Lucia%20Sextet%20with%20Encore%20Karajan%20Berlin%201955%20LIVE.mp3?dl=0" target="_blank">Chi mi frena in tal momento</a> from Act 2 scene 2 of <em>Lucia Di Lammermoor</em>. This version featuring Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano is from the famed 1955 Berlin performance. It was encored.</p> <p>Speaking of encores, here&#8217;s a larger ensemble number<a href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mos%C3%A9-in-Egitto.-Dal-tuo-stellato-soglio.mp3"> Dal </a><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mos%C3%A9-in-Egitto.-Dal-tuo-stellato-soglio.mp3" target="_blank">tuo</a><a href="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mos%C3%A9-in-Egitto.-Dal-tuo-stellato-soglio.mp3"> stellato soglio</a> from Rossini&#8217;s <em>Moïse</em>. that sets the bar for vocal beauty sung by multiple voices. It&#8217;s simpler than pick-up-sticks but its great tune sweeps all before it.</p> Live, half dead https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/22/live-half-dead/ operaramblings urn:uuid:14ccf5dc-e4b0-7c76-3b32-9f676f0e0ac8 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 17:06:29 +0000 Last night I went to my first evening, indoor performance since March 12th last year.  And today I feel like I&#8217;ve been hit with a brick!  Being out in the evening until getting home after a concert time is something &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/22/live-half-dead/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Last night I went to my first evening, indoor performance since March 12th last year.  And today I feel like I&#8217;ve been hit with a brick!  Being out in the evening until getting home after a concert time is something my body has apparently forgotten how to do over the last year or so!</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30178" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/22/live-half-dead/emmetray/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/emmetray.jpg" data-orig-size="580,504" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;iPhone 6s&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1626903385&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;4.15&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;320&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.066666666666667&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="emmetray" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/emmetray.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/emmetray.jpg?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30178 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/emmetray.jpg?w=584" alt="emmetray" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/emmetray.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/emmetray.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/emmetray.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-30173"></span>Anyhow, the concert was Opera Revue at the Emmet Ray featuring Danie Friesen and Claire Harris cunningly hidden behind a plexiglass screen.  It was a pretty typical Opera Revue gig, though, since it happened at three days notice there were no guest artists.  Instead to give Danie a break, Claire played a couple of piano pieces including a rather lovely Schubert <em>Impromptu</em>.  Vocally there was the usual mix of opera (Mozartr, Donizetti, Puccini), song (Satie, Poulenc, Britten), Kurt Weill in various incarnations and musical theatre.  All good fun showing Danie&#8217;s versatility and Claire&#8217;s impressive keyboard skills.</p> <p>And there were real live people.  And beer.  I think I could get used to this again.</p> Sworded lives https://parterre.com/2021/07/22/sworded-lives-2/ parterre box urn:uuid:cf990fa6-4f06-b889-0b5f-24ecd081b89d Thu, 22 Jul 2021 14:00:08 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/22/sworded-lives-2/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Trove Thursday <a href="https://fishercenter.bard.edu/events/king-arthur/">previews</a> Bard Summerscape’s upcoming production of Ernest Chausson’s <em>Le Roi Arthus </em>with a recent Paris broadcast conducted by <strong>Philippe Jordan</strong> featuring the doomed love triangle portrayed by <strong>Sophie Koch</strong>, <strong>Roberto Alagna</strong> and <strong>Thomas Hampson</strong>.</p> <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78039" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hampson-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />The first large-scale US staging of Chausson’s only opera opens on Sunday and may also be the first big opera to be performed indoors&#8211;at 100% capacity—in the New York area since March 2020! It was originally scheduled to be mounted last year and arrives along with twelve other concerts to make up “Nadia Boulanger and her World,” the <a href="https://fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf/">centerpiece</a> of the Bard Music Festival 2021</p> <p>Chausson was one of the many composers who fell under Wagner’s spell and he inevitably traveled several times to Bayreuth. It’s difficult not to think of <em>Tristan und Isolde </em>when listening to <em>Roi Arthus </em>not only for the Wagnerian musical influences but also for its plot which focuses on the betrayal of a king by the secret love affair of two of his dearest associates. The long second-act Genièvre-Lancelot love duet is perhaps the most overt <em>Tristan </em>echo. In one of the plot&#8217;s most arresting twists, the queen, despondent after her adultery has been exposed, strangles herself with her own long hair!</p> <p>The composer wrote his own libretto drawing on a number of Arthurian legends and spent nearly a decade on the work. He had made many ambitious plans for other operas but his tragic death at age 44 in a bicycle accident deprived the world of those. Perhaps his most often performed work—the song cycle for mezzo soprano, <em>Poème de l’amour et de la mer—</em>can be heard on a previous <a href="https://parterre.com/2018/08/02/summer-of-the-mezzo/">Trove Thursday posting</a> sung by <strong>Bernarda Fink</strong>.</p> <p>Those who already familiar with <em>Roi Arthus </em>may know it from the Erato <a href="https://amzn.to/3zs4zbF">recording</a> made in the early 1980s with <strong>Gino Quilico</strong>, <strong>Teresa Zylis-Gara</strong> and <strong>Gösta Winbergh</strong>. It was conducted by<strong> Armin Jordan</strong>, the father of Philippe who leads today’s broadcast of a production that was directed by Sir<strong> Graham Vick</strong> who died of COVID last week.</p> <p>As in previous summer festivals, the Bard Chausson will feature the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein. African-American baritone <strong>Norman Garrett</strong> who debuted at the Met in early 2020 as Jim in <em>Porgy and Bess </em>sings Arthus with mezzo soprano <strong>Sasha Cooke</strong> as his unfaithful queen Genièvre and tenor <strong>Matthew White as</strong> her lover Lancelot. The production will be directed by <strong>Louise Proske</strong> who has done such interesting work at Heartbeat Opera which she co-founded.</p> <p><em>Roi Arthus </em>will have four performances through August 1. This Sunday’s <a href="https://tickets.fishercenter.bard.edu/overview/2508">opening</a> will also be livestreamed (with a repeat 3 days later) and tickets cost just $10.</p> <p><em>King Arthur, </em>Henry Purcell’s very different take on the legendary monarch, will follow on a later Trove Thursday.</p> <p><strong>Chausson: <em>Le Roi Arthus</em></strong></p> <p>Paris Opéra<br /> 28 May 2015<br /> Broadcast</p> <p>Genièvre: Sophie Koch<br /> Arthus: Thomas Hampson<br /> Lancelot: Roberto Alagna<br /> Mordred: Alexandre Duhamel<br /> Lyonnel: Stanislas de Barbeyrac<br /> Allan: François Lis<br /> Merlin: Peter Sidhom<br /> Un Laboureur: Cyrille Dubois<br /> Un Chevalier: Tiago Matos<br /> Un Écuyer: Ugo Rabec</p> <p>Conductor: Philippe Jordan</p> <p><iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/19892219/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Roi Arthus </em>can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory</p> <p>In addition, more than 400 other podcast tracks are always available from <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trove-thursday/id1039652739">Apple Podcasts</a> for free, or via any <a href="http://parterre.com/podcast/trovethursday.rss">RSS</a> reader.</p> <p>The archive which lists all Trove Thursday offerings in alphabetical order by composer was <a href="https://parterre.com/the-trove-thursday-archive/">recently</a> up-to-dated.</p> It’s either for fun or it’s for money https://parterre.com/2021/07/22/its-either-for-fun-or-its-for-money/ parterre box urn:uuid:e1f2ebce-2024-1868-606e-16b87dc4ef17 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:00:37 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/22/its-either-for-fun-or-its-for-money/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/stamp-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/stamp-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/stamp-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/stamp-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/stamp-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/stamp-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Happy 83rd birthday actor <strong>Terence Stamp</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiFYFP5mJ0o&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiFYFP5mJ0o</a></p> <p>Born on this day in 1909 soprano <strong>Licia Albanese</strong>.</p> <p><a href="//www.youtube.com/watch?v=udknhBrlSRo&#038;fmt=18">//www.youtube.com/watch?v=udknhBrlSRo</a></p> <p>Birthday anniversaries of librettist, poet and politician <strong>Carlo Pepoli</strong> (1796), composer <strong>Luigi Arditi </strong>(some sources say July 16) (1822), conductor<strong> Hans Rosbaud </strong>(1895) and mezzo-soprano <strong>Ann Howard</strong> (1936).</p> OperaNow! #287: Any Plans For The Summer? http://www.operanowpodcast.com/home/2021/7/21/operanow-287-any-plans-for-the-summer.html Home urn:uuid:27a1501c-5ab8-0a25-c60d-0079596cf3ef Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:34:53 +0000 <p><span class="full-image-block ssNonEditable"><span><a href="https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/operanow/ON287.mp3" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.operanowpodcast.com/storage/Summer.jpeg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1626914154012" alt="" /></a></span></span></p> Les Pêcheurs de Perles https://parterre.com/2021/07/21/les-pecheurs-de-perles-3/ parterre box urn:uuid:839ff8c7-f320-e37b-e779-ac217f5e7637 Wed, 21 Jul 2021 21:57:12 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/21/les-pecheurs-de-perles-3/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p>Starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecien, and Nicolas Testé, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. Production by Penny Woolcock. From January 16, 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-inside-720x405.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-72055" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pecheurs-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />Streaming and discussion <a href="http://metopera.org" rel="noopener" target="_blank">begin at 7:30 PM</a>.</p> <p>Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera</p> More online goodies https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/21/more-online-goodies/ operaramblings urn:uuid:85a4d1df-bf77-dbaf-ca22-0f2ff26fa84e Wed, 21 Jul 2021 17:47:59 +0000 The most substantial offering I&#8217;ve seen this week is a concert from Toronto Summer Music that aired last night.  It was a song recital by four of the Toronto&#8217;s better known young singers with Steven Philcox on piano.  Simona Genga &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/21/more-online-goodies/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>The most substantial offering I&#8217;ve seen this week is a concert from Toronto Summer Music that aired last night.  It was a song recital by four of the Toronto&#8217;s better known young singers with Steven Philcox on piano.  Simona Genga sang some Mahler and some interesting songs by the Basque composer Jésus Gurudi (new to me!).  Clarence Frazer gave us excerpts from <em>Die Schöne Müllerin</em> plus three songs by Butterworth.  No prizes for guessing which three but they were well done.  Jamie Groote sang a set of Jake Heggie songs plus Strauss&#8217; <em>Beim Schlafengehen.</em>  Always excellent to hear Strauss sung well.  Asitha Tennekoon rounded things off with a set from Wolff&#8217;s <em>Mörike Lieder</em> and songs by Holman (<em>Fair Daffodils</em>; obligatory CanCon), Gurney and Finzi.  It&#8217;s all high class stuff and there&#8217;s about 90 minutes of singing.  The platform is Vimeo and it looks and sounds good.  It&#8217;s free and available <a href="https://vimeo.com/571823710/e314dc73bc">here</a>.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30167" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/21/more-online-goodies/grootephilcox/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/grootephilcox.png" data-orig-size="580,325" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="grootephilcox" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/grootephilcox.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/grootephilcox.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30167 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/grootephilcox.png?w=584" alt="grootephilcox" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/grootephilcox.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/grootephilcox.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/grootephilcox.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p><span id="more-30164"></span>There&#8217;s another short &#8220;aria film&#8221; from Carson Gilmore too.  <em>Mon Coeur</em> is a 1930s movie shoot themed version of  &#8220;Mon cœur s&#8217;ouvre à ta voix,&#8221; from Saint-Saëns&#8217; <em>Samson et Dalila</em>.  It&#8217;s as good as his previous two.  This time the ambiguity and drama is about desire and jealousy and without ever being in the least bit explicit it&#8217;s surprisingly steamy.  The singing is by Roksana Zeinapur, who is excellent.  The accompaniment is an arrangement for string quartet by Gilmore.  The other credits can be found on the video.  It&#8217;s free too and can be found on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5PtD0QY3FY">Youtube</a>.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30168" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/21/more-online-goodies/moncoeur/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moncoeur.png" data-orig-size="580,289" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="moncoeur" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moncoeur.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moncoeur.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30168 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moncoeur.png?w=584" alt="moncoeur" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moncoeur.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moncoeur.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/moncoeur.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>There&#8217;s another in the <em>Opera Breaks</em> series from Domoney Artists.  This time it&#8217;s &#8220;Crudel! Perché finora&#8221; from <em>Le Nozze di Figaro</em> featuring Cait Wood and Clarence Frazer (him again!) with Kathryn Tremills on piano.  It&#8217;s well sung and very cute.  It&#8217;s also free on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf4KPRx24hg">Youtube</a>.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30169" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/21/more-online-goodies/caitclarence/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/caitclarence.png" data-orig-size="580,297" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="caitclarence" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/caitclarence.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/caitclarence.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30169 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/caitclarence.png?w=584" alt="caitclarence" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/caitclarence.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/caitclarence.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/caitclarence.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> <p>Last, but not least, there&#8217;s a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpVQ1mC_8dQ">very interesting interview</a> up on the <em>Opera Canada</em> Youtube channel.  Lucia Cesaroni talks to new COC GD Perryn Leech.  Naturally enough there&#8217;s nothing concrete about artistic plans but there&#8217;s a lot about Leech&#8217;s ideas about community engagement and creating a more inclusive opera companies.  I particularly liked his comment about opera boards being largely split between people who have made a pile and retired but still want to be able to boss people about and ladies who lunch.  Definitely worth a watch.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30170" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/21/more-online-goodies/leechcesaroni/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/leechcesaroni.png" data-orig-size="580,162" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="leechcesaroni" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/leechcesaroni.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/leechcesaroni.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30170 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/leechcesaroni.png?w=584" alt="leechcesaroni" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/leechcesaroni.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/leechcesaroni.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/leechcesaroni.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> Sisters are doing it for themselves https://parterre.com/2021/07/21/sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves/ parterre box urn:uuid:620858cd-8954-61f5-3112-b312d6050e66 Wed, 21 Jul 2021 15:25:02 +0000 <p><a href="https://parterre.com/2021/07/21/sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves/"><img width="720" height="245" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-header-720x245.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-header-720x245.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-header-300x102.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-header-768x262.jpg 768w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-header-210x72.jpg 210w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-header.jpg 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /></a></p><p><B>Pauline Viardot</b>&#8216;s <em>Cendrillon</em> hews closer to the Perrault original than either Rossini or Massenet’s more familiar retellings and is dainty in conception as a salon opera for her students, its distinct characters, musical compactness, recognizably bel canto-style harmonic lingo, and ensemble-oriented dramatic flow mark it as challenging yet fertile territory for young singers.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-78027" src="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-inside.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="405" srcset="https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-inside.jpg 720w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-inside-300x169.jpg 300w, https://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/cendrillon-inside-210x118.jpg 210w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />“‘Her technical skill alone is immense; in the completeness of her chromatic scale she is, probably, without a rival,’ said an article published in <em>Fraser’s Magazine</em>, a London journal, in 1848. But, the writer went on, ‘the principal feature which characterizes her is the dramatic warmth of her impersonations. She throws herself heart and soul into a part.’</p> <p>This was the quote that struck me most from <strong>Hilary Poriss</strong>’s recent <em>NYT</em> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/arts/music/pauline-viardot-opera.html">intro</a> to the legacy of <strong>Pauline Viardot</strong>, whose <em>Cendrillon</em> received maybe its highest profile US production to-date at Wolf Trap last weekend. I’m ashamed to admit that, outside of a memorable cameo in <strong>Matthew Gallaway</strong>’s <em>The Metropolis Case</em>, one of my more memorable if overly sophisticated high school summer reading books, I wasn’t familiar with Viardot’s oeuvre.</p> <p>But the quote resonated because, for a figure whose legacy is so closely linked to the vocal pedagogy dynasty started by her legendary father (<strong>Manuel Garcia</strong>) who so effectively reared her sister (<strong>Maria Malibran</strong>), it less occurred to me that this sort of studied, seminal mode of singing might, for the innovation of Viardot and her milieu, portend any sort of dramatic interest, too. That “good singing” is not truly good singing unless it’s lands dramatically as well as technically. That’s a tall order that only highlights the achievement of operas composed to marry the two and what impresses about Viardot even after 200 underrated years.</p> <p>Either way, though, her <em>Cendrillon</em> hews closer to the Perrault original than either Rossini or Massenet’s more familiar retellings and is dainty in conception as a salon opera for her students, its distinct characters, musical compactness, recognizably bel canto-style harmonic lingo, and ensemble-oriented dramatic flow mark it as challenging yet fertile territory for young singers while avoiding sounding like some sort of didactic exercise. If <em>Cendrillon</em>, set to her own libretto, represents Viardot’s legacy of challenge-by-example, it’s a charming and sophisticated one worth more time admiring.</p> <p>Some of the work’s finest qualities shone through in its Wolf Trap presentation, an unabashed attempt to scale up a piece more intimate than the mammoth Filene Center (or even most smaller venues) might sensibly house, and inventive new orchestrations by <strong>David Hanlon</strong> (the work was originally composed just for piano accompaniment) bolstered some of the score’s finer details.</p> <p>But, in a misguided effort to girlboss Cinderella into the 21st century, the adaptation grafted &#8220;spunky&#8221; English-language narration by the Fairy Godmother, a swaggering <strong>Alexandra Nowakowski</strong>, whose subtle tremulousness gave her pearly coloratura a celestial cast, in between set pieces. Not clear if this was director <strong>Amanda Conlon</strong>’s innovation, since otherwise the staging was cute, musical, and clean, but it managed to both condescend (who there didn’t know the basic premise of Cinderella?) and infantilize (at the end, Cendrillon turned to the audience and said, “I get to write my own ending!”)</p> <p><strong>Shannon Jennings</strong>, a soprano who exudes her own animated earnestness, stood at the center of the guileless evening as Cendrillon. Her ample, slightly covered soprano carried easily and her thorough commitment to bookishness, enlivened by solid singing, in what could easily be mistaken for a prima donna role was impressive.</p> <p>Yet sparks flew most acutely in her interactions not with Prince Charming, a steady if slightly bleaty <strong>Christopher Bozeka</strong>, but with his valet, as sung by tenor <strong>Joseph Leppek</strong>, who trades places at the beginning with the Prince (à la Rossini) to suss out the fairest in the land unencumbered by wealth. His singing swelling way beyond chamber opera size, Leppek elevated a supporting role into something much meatier with noticeable depth in his lower range and a panache unique among his colleagues. <strong>Gretchen Krupp</strong> as Armelinde made a similar impact, lending her arrestingly pungent mezzo to the preening antics of one of Cendrillon’s stepsisters. And <strong>Jonathan Bryan</strong>, as their father, sounded smooth and firm across his limited range.</p> <p><em>Cendrillon</em>, which runs about one hour, formed the first half of a double bill with Gustav Holst’s oppressively boring <em>Savitri</em>. Taken from the Sanskrit <em>Mahabharata, </em>in which a steady wife bargains with Death for the life of her husband and eventually wins on a technicality, it has all the makings of your favorite modernist monodramas with three times the characters and none of the musical interest.</p> <p>It fell upon <strong>Leia Lensing</strong> in the title role to carry the show. Her mellow mezzo weathered the rangy part, written to be more cantillated than outright sung, without strain. If she never seemed galvanized by the music, that’s more the fault of the score which places relentless and unvaried emphasis on the character’s internal inquietude.</p> <p>Bozeka returned here as Satyavan, Savitri’s axe-wielding husband, communicating greater vocal interest through more graciously curved phrases and punchy singing. Bass-baritone <strong>Calvin Griffin</strong> gave Death, who gets the piece’s most interesting music, a gnarled sound and princely bearing, though he became increasingly taxed the lower the role went.</p> <p>In both operas, <strong>Kelly Kuo</strong> conducted the small orchestra with detail and consistency and, most notably in <em>Cendrillon</em>, ensembles satisfyingly coalesced with assuredness and ease. These performances may have signaled the formal conclusion of Wolf Trap Opera for the summer (only concerts with higher profile singers remain), but, especially in the case of the former opera, it hopefully signals a refreshed beginning for both Viardot’s piece and the careers of several of the very worthy singers that performed it.</p> The Case For Universal Lockdowns https://medicine-opera.com/2021/07/the-case-for-universal-lockdowns/ Neil Kurtzman urn:uuid:1143b233-73a3-3b4e-ea3b-a722e3715808 Sun, 18 Jul 2021 21:14:52 +0000 The past year and a half has been distinguished for its lockdowns, mask mandates, the silencing of opinions that diverge from revealed wisdom, and generalized unfocused fear. There are some, perhaps many, who interpret these occurrences negatively. Being by disposition Panglossian, I see these events as harbingers of a future devoid of sorrow. First, deal... <p>The past year and a half has been distinguished for its lockdowns, mask mandates, the silencing of opinions that diverge from revealed wisdom, and generalized unfocused fear. There are some, perhaps many, who interpret these occurrences negatively. Being by disposition Panglossian, I see these events as harbingers of a future devoid of sorrow.</p> <p>First, deal with all the chazerei that&#8217;s that&#8217;s barraging the public like napalm at a kindergarten graduation ceremony. Stuff like transgender athletes in the Olympics or Canadian lumberjacks. </p> <figure class="wp-block-video"><video controls src="https://medicine-opera.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Monty-Python-Lumberjack-Song.mp4"></video></figure> <p> </p> <p>The world has not suddenly been engulfed by gender polymorphism. Ambiguous sexuality is like defund the police &#8211; not meant to be taken seriously. They&#8217;re placeholders for political change. Forget about all that hooey and concentrate on the serious stuff.</p> <p>Let&#8217;s start with the titular lockdowns. The world is not just &#8220;too much with us&#8221;, it&#8217;s too crowded. So let&#8217;s decongest it a bit by locking it down. To the riposte that man (irrespective of how gender confused they may be) is a social animal and needs contact with the other 57 genders, consider that we are also going to defund the police. Thus, we&#8217;ve murdered two avians with one projectile. Everything will be locked down, but there&#8217;ll be no enforcement mechanism, at least not one hired by the government. Hence those in need of human interaction can ignore the ban while the timid observe it. Everybody&#8217;s happy. California can mandate masks in the shower without consequence.</p> <p>If you feel the need for external security, hire your own. Depending on what&#8217;s in your purse, you can do so by yourself or in concert with like minded neighbors. If you&#8217;re worried about freeloaders, your private security force will only protect those who have hired them. You can use addresses, badges, phone numbers, or whatever to identify those who&#8217;ve bought into the scheme. There are obvious problems with a private police force, but they&#8217;re dwarfed by those attached to a public police that are part of a government beset by timidity and selective application of protection and enforcement. </p> <p>The big savings come from defunding the military. With the whole world emigrating to the US there will be no one left to fight. The Chinese likely won&#8217;t want to move here, but with the rest of the world empty they&#8217;ll be too busy to even think of fighting us. They may even decide to defund their military. Thus, you can see that stupid ideas may morph like a caterpillar into brilliant descendants. </p> <p>The confused and angry led by the dissatisfied will still need space to pillage and burn. We can cede them the downtown areas of most cities. The local merchants may suffer, but <em>Walmart</em> can support the periphery, while <em>Amazon</em> takes care of everything else. They&#8217;re even moving into medicine. I&#8217;d give it to them. They&#8217;ll do a much better job than the current cockamamie system that consumes a fifth of the national wealth.</p> <p>As for military intelligence, (as great a contradiction in terms as surgical research) and internal security (the FBI, etc) we should defund them. <em>Google</em> can take their duties. They&#8217;ve already made the CIA and their congeners redundant. Not only will they do surveillance better than the government, they&#8217;ll do it free of charge. Ad revenue and additional fees for extra storage will cover their costs and allow profit.</p> <p>The only megaton monster left is education. Our teachers, at all levels, have turned three generations of students&#8217; brains to <em>Tootsie Rolls</em>. Defund all of it. Give it to <em>Facebook</em>. They&#8217;re doing most of it already. I&#8217;d allow those hardy few who wish to home school to give it a go. They can use <em>Facebook</em> as an adjuvant. What about professional schools like law and medicine? Close &#8217;em down. Bring back the apprentice system. The modern world has obviated the need for schools of any caliber. What to do with all the unemployed faculty? Let them riot downtown or put them on the dole. Everybody will be the better for it.</p> <p>Is anything left for the government to do? They can write rules that will not be enforceable because we&#8217;ve defunded all who could carry them out. The IRS can be shuttered as there&#8217;s so much money freed up from all the agencies and bureaus we&#8217;ve eliminated that there will be no need for taxes. The only function left to the government is to print and distribute sufficient funds for the populace, which will include everyone in the world except the Chinese, to lead the good life &#8211; as long as they avoid downtown. Everything, except more storage on <em>Google</em>, will be free. Food, shelter, clothing, video games, medical care &#8211; all of them gratis. comped, no charge, free as the wind. We can sue each other without legal costs and the government will pay the loser&#8217;s judgment. </p> <p>We can have as many politicians as there are applicants. They&#8217;ll just be locked down and pass laws no one will observe. They can invent new pronouns. Also no need for elections. You want to be a senator &#8211; have at it. No cap on the number of them and no need for term limits. Of course, it&#8217;s doubtful that many will want the job in the brave new world of lockdowns, defunded, and free.</p> <p>Doing nothing and not paying for it is the key to world peace. You can use all of the above as your talking points when you enter the numerous beauty pageants which will proliferate like dollar bills. Each of them will include all 58 genders. Oh, I forgot about the stock market. We&#8217;ll give it to <em>Apple</em>. </p> Love in a Cold Climate: Siberia at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino https://operatraveller.com/2021/07/18/love-in-a-cold-climate-siberia-at-the-maggio-musicale-fiorentino/ operatraveller urn:uuid:371befe6-ba13-1eff-cdec-e5845dbbb9c7 Sun, 18 Jul 2021 10:44:45 +0000 Giordano – Siberia Stephana – Sonya YonchevaVassili – Giorgi SturuaGleby – George PeteanNikona – Caterina PivaIl principe Alexis – Giorgio MisseriLa fanciulla – Caterina MeldolesiIvan – Antonio GarèsIl banchiere Mischinsky – Francesco VernaWalinoff – Emanuele CordaroIl capitano – Francesco Samuele VenutiIl sergente – Joseph DahdahIl cosacco – Alfonso ZambutoIl governatore – Adolfo CorradoL’invalido – Davide [&#8230;] <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Giordano – <em>Siberia</em></strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Stephana – Sonya Yoncheva<br>Vassili – Giorgi Sturua<br>Gleby – George Petean<br>Nikona – Caterina Piva<br>Il principe Alexis – Giorgio Misseri<br>La fanciulla – Caterina Meldolesi<br>Ivan – Antonio Gar</strong><strong>è</strong><strong>s<br>Il banchiere Mischinsky – Francesco Verna<br>Walinoff – Emanuele Cordaro<br>Il capitano – Francesco Samuele Venuti<br>Il sergente – Joseph Dahdah<br>Il cosacco – Alfonso Zambuto<br>Il governatore – Adolfo Corrado<br>L’invalido – Davide Piva<br>L’ispettore – Amin Ahangaran</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino / Gianandrea Noseda.<br>Stage director – Roberto And</strong><strong>ò</strong><strong>.</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro del Maggio, Florence, Italy.&nbsp; Friday, July 16th, 2021.</strong></p> <p>Tonight, was an opportunity to hear a genuine rarity, Giordano’s 1903 opera <em>Siberia</em>.  Apparently the favourite of his operas, it is rarely performed and this new production, by Roberto Andò, is the first ever at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.  As with <em>Andrea Chénier</em>, it contains an extensive cast including a trio of protagonists with meaty roles for the soprano, tenor and baritone.  Unlike <em>Chénier</em> however, it doesn’t have some knockout numbers but instead feels a lot more cogently written, the musical ideas much more fully thought through and less episodic. </p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5860" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/siberia-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg" data-orig-size="7500,5000" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;1.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;ILCE-9M2&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625429228&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;135&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;640&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Siberia © Michele Monasta-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (23)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5860" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-23.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Michele Monasta / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino</figcaption></figure> <p>The story of Stephana, a woman forced by her previous lover Gleby to become a courtesan, she falls in love with an innocent soldier, Vassili, who kills one of Stephana’s suitors at the end of Act 1.  Since Vassili was sent to Siberia as punishment, Stephana gives up her life of luxury to follow him but can’t escape her past, especially when Gleby shows up in Siberia having been convicted of a crime himself.  The music contains some big soaring melodies for the soprano and tenor, over a large and brass-heavy orchestra.  Interestingly, Giordano starts not with an orchestral prelude, but with an unaccompanied chorus and even with a large cast, this is an opera that contains much for a chorus to get their teeth into.  It would certainly be a work of interest to a house with a strong chorus that could populate the supporting roles from within their number. </p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5859" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/siberia-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg" data-orig-size="7500,5000" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;1.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;ILCE-9M2&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625427851&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;135&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;320&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.005&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Siberia © Michele Monasta-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (18)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5859" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-18.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Michele Monasta / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino</figcaption></figure> <p>Andò has an interesting premise for his staging.  As the curtain rises, he presents a camera crew following the protagonists around.  He uses video (Luca Scarzella) to show doubles of Stephana and Vassili in various situations, illustrating the events around the plot.  And yet, this idea of Stephana as an actress acting in a movie that mirrors the plot of the opera is underplayed.  The camera crew disappear and reappear at various points, but there seems to be no logic as to how they’re deployed.  The sets and costumes (Gianni Carluccio and Nanà Cecchi respectively) certainly look handsome, the Siberian prison camp complete with guard tower is impressive, and the falling snow amplified by video of more snow works particularly well in creating an icy atmosphere, significantly different from the humid Florentine evening outside.  The large cast is moved around fluently and efficiently.  Andò’s staging certainly does the job and presents the work in a logical way.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5858" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/siberia-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg" data-orig-size="7500,5000" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;ILCE-9M2&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625427373&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;41&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;800&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Siberia © Michele Monasta-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (15)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5858" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-15.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Michele Monasta / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino</figcaption></figure> <p>Sonya Yoncheva took on the prima donna role of Stephana.  She sang and acted the role with passionate dignity.  There’s a fair bit of sustained higher writing where Yoncheva did sound slightly taxed in places, the vibrations broadening.  At times, her vowels also came across as rather exotic.  Otherwise, she sang with radiant tone, soaring over the assembled forces with generosity and exploited a generously smoky chest register in places.  She was alive to Stephana’s regrets and hopes, using an intelligent palette of tone colours to bring her character to life.  Giorgi Sturua is an interesting discovery in the role of Vassili.  The Georgian tenor has been developing a notable career in the Italian rep in Russia.  He’s a promising talent, if not quite the finished article.  Vassili is a massive sing and Sturua gave very generously of himself.  That said, the voice sounds currently like a relatively lyrical instrument being forced to sound a few sizes bigger than it actually is.  He has a tendency to sing sharp and some dryness entered the tone as the evening progressed.  He’s still relatively young and could have an interesting future if he looks after his instrument.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5855" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/siberia-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg" data-orig-size="7500,5000" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;1.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;ILCE-9M2&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625422580&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;135&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;400&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Siberia © Michele Monasta-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (2)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5855" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-2.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Michele Monasta / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino</figcaption></figure> <p>George Petean sang Gleby with a firm and rounded baritone, absolutely even in emission, and opening up quite remarkably on top.  He sang with a solid column of healthy sound and incarnated the evil character with aplomb.  Most impressive.  The remaining cast included several notable voices – far too many to go through in detail here.  Giorgio Misseri sang Principe Alexis in a healthy, compact tenor with an easy top, while Caterina Piva offered an agreeably robust mezzo as Nikona.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5856" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/siberia-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg" data-orig-size="7500,5000" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;ILCE-9M2&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625423260&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;70&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;400&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Siberia © Michele Monasta-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (6)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5856" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-6.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Michele Monasta / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino</figcaption></figure> <p>It was an intelligent decision to have Gianandrea Noseda, a noted Italian interpreter of Russian music, to conduct this production.  Giordano’s score abounds in Russian flavour and Noseda solicited a rainbow of orchestral colours from the superb Maggio band.  He led a reading with epic sweep, allowing Giordano’s unique combination of soaring melodies and local colour to register fully.  The orchestra covered themselves in glory, playing with both a striking unanimity of approach as well as characterful playing from piquant winds, silky strings and solid brass.  The chorus sang with admirable ensemble, excellent tuning in the unaccompanied sections, and good blend – the basses in particular underpinning the textures with agreeable resonance.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5857" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/siberia-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg" data-orig-size="7500,5000" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.8&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;ILCE-9M2&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625423949&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;\u00a9 Michele Monasta&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;67&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;800&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.01&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Siberia © Michele Monasta-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (9)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5857" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/siberia-c2a9-michele-monasta-maggio-musicale-fiorentino-9.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Michele Monasta / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino</figcaption></figure> <p>Thanks are certainly due to the Maggio for giving us the opportunity to discovering this striking work.  It was given an engaging staging that look good, was fluently directed, although didn’t quite follow through completely on its cinematic idea.  It was admirably sung, particularly by Yoncheva and Petean who incarnated their roles with the utmost commitment, and the Maggio orchestra again confirmed itself as a superb body.  <em>Siberia</em> is an opera that does deserve a wider hearing.  While more cogently written than <em>Chénier</em>, it lacks the earlier opera’s hit numbers, which could account for its obscurity.  Worth a listen, however.</p> The Cunning Little Vixen, Opera Holland Park, 13 July 2021 https://boulezian.blogspot.com/2021/07/the-cunning-little-vixen-opera-holland.html Boulezian urn:uuid:d7dbe63e-7bea-69d5-14d4-ba237aff8d71 Sat, 17 Jul 2021 12:49:33 +0000 <div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7zaqPPds6N8/YPLOmqjarMI/AAAAAAAAHRQ/KA4hywpaFXsoAEZL1SotnrvZTaPvXEc-ACLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-42%2B%25281%2529.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7zaqPPds6N8/YPLOmqjarMI/AAAAAAAAHRQ/KA4hywpaFXsoAEZL1SotnrvZTaPvXEc-ACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-42%2B%25281%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Images: Ali Wright<br />Vixen (Jennifer France) and Fox (Julia Sporsén)</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div><br /></div>Vixen – Jennifer France <br />Fox – Julia Sporsén <br />Forester – Grant Doyle <br />Forester’s Wife, Owl – Ann Taylor <br />Schoolmaster, Mosquito – Charne Rochford <br />Priest, Badger – John Savournin <br />Harašta – Ashley Riches <br />Chocholka – Harriet Eyley <br />Lapák – Natasha Agarwal <br />Jay, Rooster – Grace Nyandoro <br />Woodpecker – Chloë Pardoe <br />Innkeeper – Phillip Costovski <br />Innkeeper’s Wife – Yolanda Grant-Thompson <br />Pepík – Alys Mererid Roberts <br />Frantík – Claire Ward <br />Frog – Daniel White <br />Caterpillar—Toby Yates <br />Grasshopper – Ben Jardim <br />Young Vixen – Estella Charlesworth <br /><br />Stephen Barlow (director) <br />Andrew D. Edwards (designs) <br />Rory Beaton (lighting) <br />Sarita Piotrowski (choreography, movement) <br /><br />Opera Holland Park Chorus (chorus master: Dominic Ellis-Peckham) <br />City of London Sinfonia <br />Jessica Cottis (conductor)<div>&nbsp; <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Dk6-s91E7F4/YPLP5JHVqrI/AAAAAAAAHR0/dOkAX3eX5vIOr4tPPwpia6ogKGq_A5-YACLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-66.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Dk6-s91E7F4/YPLP5JHVqrI/AAAAAAAAHR0/dOkAX3eX5vIOr4tPPwpia6ogKGq_A5-YACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-66.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Forester (Grant Doyle), Schoolmaster (Charne Rochford)</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>Our present condition lends us, perhaps more than ever, to think of what has led us here, how things really are now, and where the world will take us next. Or so we fancy: for some of us that is doubtless the case, for others less so, and is it really that different from other stages in our earthly existence? <i>Plus ça change?</i> It is too early to tell. Whatever the truth or otherwise of such claims, an opera that decentres humans without obliterating them, turning our attention to the life cycles of which that of our species is but one—and an intrusive one at that—has much to say to us right now. <br /><br /><br />Enter <i>The Cunning Little Vixen</i>; indeed, enter the cunning little vixen Sharp-Ears. A particular strength of Stephen Barlow’s new production for Opera Holland Park is the heightening of a sense of interaction—perhaps neither good nor bad, but just ‘how it is’—between the natural and human worlds, in this case a decidedly urban world portrayed with sparing use of designs and props but decided suggestion, subtlety, and dramatic impact. We see Terynka on stage at the opening, a reminder not only of the intertwining—real, though less crucial than we might think—but also of the constructed parallels between the poacher Harašta’s forthcoming marriage to Terynka and the life, loves, and death of our vixen—and what will become in turn of her daughter. There is sadness, both of regret and of grief, in that, not least with respect to the lovelorn Schoolmaster, who has always admired Terynka from afar. There is also danger: danger that humans might encroach on that natural world too far: not for nothing are our urban foxes, human and animal, seen by a recycling bin. The natural world exists here too: we probably see foxes in London more often than elsewhere in the country. Should we? That is probably a meaningless question. How, then, might we effect some sort of return, for our sake and theirs, to a more ‘natural’ life-cycle? And should we?<div>&nbsp; <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v02sMfxxD6c/YPLPNWsRuoI/AAAAAAAAHRg/Ev-dIt_4fDIEaSFdV7eGCf4vFxGCmyt3gCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-2.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v02sMfxxD6c/YPLPNWsRuoI/AAAAAAAAHRg/Ev-dIt_4fDIEaSFdV7eGCf4vFxGCmyt3gCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-2.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Terynka</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>That love (probably) and sex (definitely) lie at the heart of such conundrums, intertwined and parallel, is clear too. Much is done, probably all to the better in the age of coronavirus, by suggestion, again by intersection and parallelism. That word ‘intersection’ reminds us of gender issues, contemporary and age-old, too. The scene in which the vixen tempts hens to leave the apparent safety of their masters, animal and human, by presenting a utopia of women’s (and animal) rights seems especially crucial in this staging, both as high-point and as dead-end. Make of that what you will in light of the loss of their eggs and thus their potential for motherhood and, ultimately, the continuation of their species line. Are not, though, humans doing that anyway? Do we only care when, to borrow from Strauss and Hofmannsthal, a vixen rather than a forester/farmer steals their shadow? <br /><br /><br />There are rightly no easy answers, but they are posed: as they are in the musical performances, here very much of a piece with what we see. As so often in Holland Park, a sense of company that is more than its parts—like opera, like society, like nature?—is palpable and productive. Jessica Cottis’s direction of Jonathan Dove’s skilful reduction of Janáček’s score—very much a work of art in its own right, accordion and all—is fiercely alert in the moment; yet it also, as must any comprehending Janáček performance, senses and conveys the often surprising ways in which what might seem to be difficult, even rebarbative fragments are magically, indissolubly pieced together. The orchestra, here an attentive, lively City of London Sinfonia, takes on still more of that role when the work is sung in English, thus losing those foundational, generative Czech speech rhythms (even for those of us who speak no Czech). The decision is doubtless wise in a world permitting little international travel, a largely English cast (and audience) responding to the immediacy of a common tongue, a witty updating of Norman Tucker’s translation very much delivered and heard in the here and now. The ear compensates, as do the mind and eye.</div><div>&nbsp; <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QlrI-XLCol0/YPLPf8WMPDI/AAAAAAAAHRo/_cPEOjQ3jnwn2qMJmPVyqXSC7nimVKDdQCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-76.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1365" data-original-width="2048" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QlrI-XLCol0/YPLPf8WMPDI/AAAAAAAAHRo/_cPEOjQ3jnwn2qMJmPVyqXSC7nimVKDdQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h426/Little%2BVixen%2B-%2BAli%2BWright-76.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Young Vixen (Estella Charlesworth), City of London Sinfonia, Jessica Cottis (conductor)</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>It was, then, the sort of performance in which it is tempting to re-list the cast and attribute good things to all of them. Such an approach, if slightly tedious, would doubtless be warranted. If I only single out a few performances that particularly caught my ear (and other senses), such words should be taken as indicative rather than exclusive. Jennifer France and Julia Sporsén offered lively, loving portrayals of Vixen and Fox, similarly alive in the moment yet allusive to broader, more cyclical (and/or ruptured) themes. Grant Doyle’s detailed way with words and music had me wonder what he would have made of the original Czech, though only in retrospect. As a key bridge between one world and another, he not only made things fit but ensured that they moved us in our human state of alienated longing. So too, albeit more exclusively on the human side, did Charne Rochford’s Schoolmaster. Ashley Riches operated as Harašta with a fine vocal and stage swagger, seemingly knowing yet ultimately foolish. All contributed, though; the operatic ecosystem would have been considerably the poorer without any. Surely that offers its own, broader moral.</div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Boulezian/~4/njzSiutVGgI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> One swallow and all that https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/16/one-swallow-and-all-that/ operaramblings urn:uuid:2338dba8-aa77-1856-9129-cc0d82a793c9 Fri, 16 Jul 2021 17:49:29 +0000 Faint signs of something approaching normality are in the air.  Following on from the TSO&#8217;s season announcement which promises shows with a live audience (unknown terms and conditions apply), Toronto Summer Music has announced that concerts in the third week &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/16/one-swallow-and-all-that/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Faint signs of something approaching normality are in the air.  Following on from the TSO&#8217;s season announcement which promises shows with a live audience (unknown terms and conditions apply), Toronto Summer Music has announced that concerts in the third week of the festival will also have live listeners (as well as live streaming).  There&#8217;s <a href="https://torontosummermusic.com/in-person-concerts/">a lineup of nineteen concerts</a> at Grace Church on the Hill and tickets are on sale now at $50/each.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30162" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/16/one-swallow-and-all-that/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1.png" data-orig-size="580,387" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Sonatas-3-IN-PERSON-1280&#215;853-1" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30162 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1.png?w=584" alt="Sonatas-3-IN-PERSON-1280x853-1" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/sonatas-3-in-person-1280x853-1.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> Music for our (grim) times https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/16/music-for-our-grim-times/ operaramblings urn:uuid:25142bab-5e74-5447-16c6-e88e104d79b0 Fri, 16 Jul 2021 17:43:24 +0000 In streaming news Soundstreams has added a lovely concert of Ian Cusson&#8217;s  Five Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont and Raven Chacon&#8217;s Ella Llora.  The performers are mezzo Rebecca Cuddy and pianist Gregory Oh.  I really urge people, Canadian or &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/16/music-for-our-grim-times/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>In streaming news Soundstreams has added <a href="_wp_link_placeholder">a lovely concert</a> of Ian Cusson&#8217;s  <em>Five Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont</em> and Raven Chacon&#8217;s <em>Ella Llora. </em> The performers are mezzo Rebecca Cuddy and pianist Gregory Oh.  I really urge people, Canadian or otherwise, to take a look at this.  The news, as it pertains to Indigenous people in Canada, has been really grim in recent weeks and I don&#8217;t know anything quite like Dumont&#8217;s verse for conveying certain aspects of the Indigenous experience.  She combines, sadness, anger and disarming humour in a way that touches me deeply and Ian&#8217;s settings intensify that.  I&#8217;ve written about these songs before but never at such a moment.</p> <p><img data-attachment-id="30160" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/16/music-for-our-grim-times/goddamned-railroad/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/goddamned-railroad.png" data-orig-size="580,299" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="goddamned railroad" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/goddamned-railroad.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/goddamned-railroad.png?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30160 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/goddamned-railroad.png?w=584" alt="goddamned railroad" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/goddamned-railroad.png 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/goddamned-railroad.png?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/goddamned-railroad.png?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></p> Intimate Grandeur: Aida at the Arena di Verona https://operatraveller.com/2021/07/16/intimate-grandeur-aida-at-the-arena-di-verona/ operatraveller urn:uuid:d3fdeec2-e150-feef-28a1-553104ac17e0 Fri, 16 Jul 2021 09:06:15 +0000 Verdi –&#160;Aida Aida – María José SiriIl Re – Romano Dal ZovoAmneris – Olesya PetrovaRadamès – Murat KarahanAmonasro – Sebastian CatanaRamfis – Park JongminUn Messaggero – Francesco PittariSacerdotessa – Yao BohuiPianist – Patrizia Quarta Coro dell’Arena di Verona / Diego Matheuz.Video design &#38; digital scenography – D-WOK. Arena di Verona, Verona, Italy.&#160; Thursday, July 15th, [&#8230;] <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Verdi –&nbsp;</strong><em><strong>Aida</strong></em></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Aida – María José Siri</strong><br><strong>Il Re – Romano Dal Zovo</strong><br><strong>Amneris – Olesya Petrova</strong><br><strong>Radamès – Murat Karahan</strong><br><strong>Amonasro – Sebastian Catana</strong><br><strong>Ramfis – Park Jongmin</strong><br><strong>Un Messaggero – Francesco Pittari</strong><br><strong>Sacerdotessa – Yao Bohui<br>Pianist – Patrizia Quarta</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Coro dell’Arena di Verona / Diego Matheuz.<br></strong><strong>Video design &amp; digital scenography – D-WOK.</strong></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Arena di Verona, Verona, Italy.&nbsp; Thursday, July 15th, 2021.</strong></p> <p>Tonight, was something of a very different evening.&nbsp; My first visit to the Arena di Verona to see <em>Aida</em>.&nbsp; The Arena is a legendary venue and the excitement of being able to see opera in a Roman amphitheatre is something that is difficult to put into words.&nbsp; The sheer scale of the venue is breathtaking and the magic of seeing singers at work under the Veronese night something very real.&nbsp; Of course, with the current sanitary restrictions this was never going to be a typical evening at the Arena.&nbsp; FFP2 masks were compulsory and spaces on the famous steps, the Gradinate, at the top of the Arena were numbered, rather than the traditional first come, first served.&nbsp; Still, the atmosphere was electric – with ambulant salespeople going around the crowd before the show and during the intermission selling cushions, drinks, program books and libretti.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5846" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/aida_09-07-21_ennevifoto_2443/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg" data-orig-size="2449,1632" 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;1625870122&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="Aida_09.07.21_Ennevifoto_2443" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5846" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2443.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Fondazione Arena di Verona</figcaption></figure> <p>Unfortunately, the sanitary restrictions were not the only change this evening.&nbsp; Due to a labour dispute, at the performance start time of 21:00 we were informed that the orchestra would not play and that there would be reduced choral forces.&nbsp; The performance was given with piano accompaniment by maestro collaborator Patrizia Quarta, a chorus of 25, and the spectators who chose to stay for the show were offered a full refund.&nbsp; It’s unclear what the exact nature of the labour dispute was, although the harpist in the temple of Phtà and the trumpeters in the triumphal scene did show up for work.&nbsp; Thus, this wasn’t the full Arena experience, and it would be hard to assess the performance fully as a result.&nbsp; I wanted to experience sitting in the Gradinate and the view was indeed spectacular.&nbsp; What was noticeable is how well the voices carried.&nbsp; Hearing an unamplified voice in a space like this is something truly extraordinary and yes, while I regret not being able to have the full Arena experience, it was undoubtedly still memorable.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5845" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/aida_09-07-21_ennevifoto_2438/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg" data-orig-size="2449,1632" 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;1625870056&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="Aida_09.07.21_Ennevifoto_2438" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5845" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2438.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Fondazione Arena di Verona</figcaption></figure> <p>Of course, one doesn’t go to the Arena for insightful Regietheater.&nbsp; As a result of the current sanitary restrictions, the chorus was parked at the side of the stage, dressed in black, while the principals acted out their roles on the stage in front of video projections showing various bits of Egyptian imagery.&nbsp; The most notable was in Act 3 with a crescent moon over the Nile which contrasted nicely with the Veronese night above.&nbsp; The ballet and masked extras provided visual interest, throwing themselves around in formation to offer various images of triumph, warfare and associated emotions.&nbsp; In the temple of Phtà, the extras were ranged around the back holding lights which also offered an impressive sight.&nbsp; Direction of the singers basically involved asking them to emote grandly to reach those in the highest gradinate, lots of outstretched arms, and staring into the extensive distance.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5844" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/aida_09-07-21_ennevifoto_2284/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg" data-orig-size="1632,2449" 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;1625869278&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="Aida_09.07.21_Ennevifoto_2284" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=682" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=682" alt="" class="wp-image-5844" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=682 682w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=1364 1364w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=100 100w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=200 200w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2284.jpg?w=768 768w" sizes="(max-width: 682px) 100vw, 682px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Fondazione Arena di Verona</figcaption></figure> <p>Hard to fully evaluate Diego Matheuz’ tempi as, given that a single piano was in no way a substitute for a full orchestra in terms of sustaining power, but they seemed sensible enough.&nbsp; The chorus was enthusiastic in their reduced numbers, although it sounded as if there were no first tenors. Tuning and blend were admirable, and the reduced forces still managed to carry with enough power into the Arena – one could only imagine the impact with four times that number.&nbsp; Quarta more than deserved her post-performance prosecco and she rightly granted a huge standing ovation from the Arena public.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5843" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/aida_09-07-21_ennevifoto_2050/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg" data-orig-size="2449,1632" 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;1625867283&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="Aida_09.07.21_Ennevifoto_2050" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5843" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_2050.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Fondazione Arena di Verona</figcaption></figure> <p>María José Siri offered us a passionate Aida.&nbsp; The voice tends to hardness in its highest reaches, although that could be simply be as a result of feeling a need to fill the vast space.&nbsp; She sang her ‘o patria mia’ with generous feeling, no pulling back for the high C which is a bit of a shame because in the final duet, she floated some magical lines and had no issues being heard.&nbsp; Murat Karahan offered a robust and virile Radamès.&nbsp; Again, his ‘celeste Aida’ was sung with a tremendous amount of volume, the closing diminuendo not attempted.&nbsp; The voice is bulky but loses body higher up.&nbsp; He did give us some genuine soft singing in the closing duet, pulling back on the tone nicely (no crooning unlike a certain Bavarian).&nbsp; He could certainly be a very useful artist in these roles.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5842" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/aida_09-07-21_ennevifoto_1782/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg" data-orig-size="1632,2449" 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;1625865768&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="Aida_09.07.21_Ennevifoto_1782" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=682" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=682" alt="" class="wp-image-5842" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=682 682w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=1364 1364w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=100 100w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=200 200w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1782.jpg?w=768 768w" sizes="(max-width: 682px) 100vw, 682px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Fondazione Arena di Verona</figcaption></figure> <p>Olesya Petrova was terrific value as Amneris.&nbsp; She made much of the text – the words always clear.&nbsp; She has a magnificently full chest register, which she wasn’t afraid to exploit, and the registers were well integrated.&nbsp; In the judgment scene she also sang with generous force, giving us all she had – the closing high A absolutely massive.&nbsp; Sebastian Catana sang Amonasro in a baritone with a firm column of sound, although the tone was quite grainy and lacking in body at the top.&nbsp; Park Jongmin sang Ramfis in a huge bass of impressive resonance and tonal beauty, while Romano Dal Zovo sang il Re with a velvety bass that also carried well.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5841" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/aida_09-07-21_ennevifoto_1720/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg" data-orig-size="1632,2449" 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;1625865345&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="Aida_09.07.21_Ennevifoto_1720" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=682" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=682" alt="" class="wp-image-5841" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=682 682w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=1364 1364w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=100 100w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=200 200w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/aida_09.07.21_ennevifoto_1720.jpg?w=768 768w" sizes="(max-width: 682px) 100vw, 682px" /></a><figcaption>Photo: © Fondazione Arena di Verona</figcaption></figure> <p>Some mixed feelings, then, about tonight.&nbsp; While it was a genuine treat to be able to attend this legendary venue and have the experience of sitting high up and experiencing a show in this historic amphitheatre, it is tinged with regret that there was no orchestra.&nbsp; That said, I am full of gratitude for the chorus, ballet and principals, not to mention the pianist, who ensured that we got an evening of high drama despite the circumstances. </p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="5853" data-permalink="https://operatraveller.com/img_2518/" data-orig-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg" data-orig-size="4032,3024" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.4&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;iPhone 12 Pro&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1626380004&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;1.54&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;25&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.0036496350364964&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="IMG_2518" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=723" src="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=723" alt="" class="wp-image-5853" srcset="https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=723 723w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=1446 1446w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=300 300w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=768 768w, https://operatraveller.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/img_2518.jpg?w=1024 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 723px) 100vw, 723px" /></a><figcaption>The view from the gradinate. Photo: © operatraveller.com </figcaption></figure> Coup de Coeur on line : Ko Woo Rim Korean bass and more...opera, Forestella, beautiful solo renditions on a poem written by Yun Dong -Ju(1945); http://singerforallseasons.blogspot.com/2021/07/coup-de-coeur-on-line-ko-woo-rim-korean.html singer for all seasons urn:uuid:62de2bdc-c7eb-dd08-bf5d-5ec89283008f Thu, 15 Jul 2021 22:19:00 +0000 <p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kafAQhqIf-M/YPDcf8P05eI/AAAAAAAAHJs/OPO1Yeb1hKcPUR3eUs1Vw5JDEz9Cu_vYQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1426/Screenshot%2B2021-07-15%2Bat%2B22.23.39.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="856" data-original-width="1426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kafAQhqIf-M/YPDcf8P05eI/AAAAAAAAHJs/OPO1Yeb1hKcPUR3eUs1Vw5JDEz9Cu_vYQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Screenshot%2B2021-07-15%2Bat%2B22.23.39.png" width="320" /></a></div><p><br />Because I am still semi-confined, not being able to attend Aix Festival where I should have been in the audience for <a href="https://festival-aix.com/en/medias/pictures-combattimento-black-swan-theory-rehearsals?utm_source=INFORMATION&amp;utm_medium=EMAIL&amp;utm_campaign=News">Combattimento</a> and on the 24th for&nbsp; <a href="https://festival-aix.com/en/event/golden-cockerel">The Golden Cockerel,</a> I keep my musical life wandering in Korea- youtube for wonderful voices and young singers really outstanding as they are trained in competitive schools of music either in Universities or private institutes where the Entertaining Korean industry produces Kpop groups of dancers singers performers either classic or modern ... the choice of groups is amazing and sometimes misleading ... still somehow it is possible to select a type of voice which rings a bell like this young musician I discovered only through his voice in a serie I watched twice'My Mister'.&nbsp;</p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="BLOG_video_class" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BQNuUpTwdMM" width="320" youtube-src-id="BQNuUpTwdMM"></iframe></div><br />When I first listened to his voice through the song "One million Roses" I had the impression he was singing in Russian and that the song was a Russian romantic song of sorrow&nbsp;&nbsp; which could well have been in&nbsp; dearest <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwMcpTMyc7g">Dmitri Hvorostovsky's</a> recital tours. I wanted to see the singer, read the lyrics and&nbsp; found videos of the young artist&nbsp; who is such a charming performer.&nbsp; The song has a story back to Latvian origins, it is as I could feel&nbsp; in the voice&nbsp; a romantic and sorrowful story illustrated in the serie through&nbsp; the lives of the main characters. <br /><p></p><p></p><p>Then with more determination to explore the range of his rich bass voice so surprising in this young&nbsp; looking&nbsp; man,&nbsp; I came across two renditions of 'Counting the Stars 'where he sings alone on stage with a huge chorus and orchestral backbround for televised concerts: </p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><p><br />The first in 2019 and then the following year 20&nbsp; (which was in France a period of pandemic cultural restrictions, it was not yet the case in Korea as the audience is sharing normal distancing and no masks on), he sang the same melody twice with the same hand gesture,&nbsp; which shows respect for what he sings and later&nbsp; I understood why. ( I deleted the first youtube 2019 because of rights owner who stopped it almost instantly which is a pity as this blog is a non-profit ine only aiming at passion for Culture Music and understading as much as possible , copyright has to be maintained I understand but how could I get Cds from Forestella or Ko woo Rim here?I took the screenshots from that video though ).<br /></p><p>I could feel the song was moving the audience at heart completely, as well as the singer&nbsp;&nbsp; who each time was expressing deep feelings and heatfelt emotions.&nbsp;</p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RxYVKpdF9zE/YPDdFroIJMI/AAAAAAAAHKA/K4EWI0I473gmFipvKR7_RRGHfiLQbsHKQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1427/Screenshot%2B2021-07-15%2Bat%2B22.23.35.png" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="882" data-original-width="1427" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RxYVKpdF9zE/YPDdFroIJMI/AAAAAAAAHKA/K4EWI0I473gmFipvKR7_RRGHfiLQbsHKQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Screenshot%2B2021-07-15%2Bat%2B22.23.35.png" width="320" /></a></div><br /><p></p><p>&nbsp; Then I discovered the lyrics.</p><p>&nbsp;(reading all the comments, I came across&nbsp; a contribution with the mention of the poet and the verses in Korean and&nbsp; English. So I could really try to go deeper in feeling the emotions through music, voice and words. )</p><p>&nbsp;I felt I was not far from some songs sung by Dmitri Hvorostovsky who has the same&nbsp; voice range&nbsp; as Ko Woo Rim and the choice of "Cranes" has also a war significance just like 'Counting the stars' has meaning for a Korean audience as a memory of struggle through Japanese occupation.&nbsp;</p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HfZIt0y2niE/YPDdgc55NuI/AAAAAAAAHKM/TZrlh3DvYUw8Nx9s5oxcUQWPuHuMTALKQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1252/Screenshot%2B2021-07-15%2Bat%2B22.25.13.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="784" data-original-width="1252" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HfZIt0y2niE/YPDdgc55NuI/AAAAAAAAHKM/TZrlh3DvYUw8Nx9s5oxcUQWPuHuMTALKQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Screenshot%2B2021-07-15%2Bat%2B22.25.13.png" width="320" /></a></div><br />I&nbsp; understood the singer's attitude of respect with his hand near his heart.. and his emotion during both renditions a year apart. Same with some captions of the audience shedding discret tears... Of course, when I discocered this young bass so accomplished as an opera trained performer I searched all the arias renditions on youtube. Now he joined a very recent group which was formed after a voice competition on television <a href="https://kprofiles.com/forestella-members-profile/">Forestella</a> which is a combination of 'forest' and stella' where sopranist and bass come from opera training and the other two&nbsp; from Kpop. They are amazing as they also move dance talk during their crossover recitals. My choice would be to listen to Ko Woo Rim on his own... but I believe they have to follow the group path for a while... Will he keep singing opera arias? will he have more duets with the sopranist Cho Minguy who is the lead of the group ? They are very 'popular' and success is along side their concerts in Korea and Japan, very often on tv shows, will they tour Europe? America for sure very&nbsp; soon&nbsp; .. they even sing a French tune I liked a lot in its days '<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpJMrv2JpYM">Je suis malade complètement malade..'</a> (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDbpZpm9j9c">Serge Lama et Alice Dona</a>) Wo Rim with full orchestra and his fellow singers make a wonder of this tune...<p></p><p>The lyrics&nbsp; of 'Counting the stars' found on the comment from :</p><p><br />&nbsp;<br />근엄 <br />1 year ago (edited) <br />Yun Dong-ju was a Korean poet in Japanese forced occupation.</p><p>&nbsp;계절이 지나가는 하늘에는 가을로 가득 차 있습니다.&nbsp;</p><p>"The sky where the season passes is brimming with fall&nbsp;</p><p>나는 아무 걱정도 없이 가을 속의 별들을 다 헤일 듯합니다.&nbsp;</p><p>Without a worry, I think I will count all the stars of fall&nbsp;</p><p>가슴 속에 하나 둘 새겨지는 별을&nbsp;</p><p>The stars that engrave themselves in my heart —&nbsp;</p><p>one, two 이제 다 못 헤는 것은&nbsp;</p><p>The reason I can’t count them all now&nbsp;</p><p>쉬이 아침이 오는 까닭이요, 아직 청춘이 다하지 않은 까닭입니다. </p><p>is that morning comes easily, is that my youth is not over.&nbsp;</p><p>별 하나에 추억과&nbsp;</p><p>In a star, there is memory&nbsp;</p><p>별 하나에 사랑과&nbsp;</p><p>In a star, there is love&nbsp;</p><p>별 하나에 쓸쓸함과&nbsp;</p><p>In a star, there is loneliness</p><p>&nbsp;별 하나에 동경과&nbsp;</p><p>In a star, there is longing&nbsp;</p><p>별 하나에 시와&nbsp;</p><p>In a star, there is poem&nbsp;</p><p>별 하나에 어머니, 어머니</p><p>, In a star, there is mother... mother...</p><p>&nbsp;겨울이 지나고 나의 별에도 봄이 오면&nbsp;</p><p>When winter passes and spring also comes to my star,</p><p>&nbsp;무덤 위에 파란 잔디가 피어나듯이&nbsp;</p><p>just as green grass will grow round the grave,&nbsp;</p><p>내 이름자 묻힌 언덕 위에도 자랑처럼 풀이 무성할 게외다.&nbsp;</p><p>The hill where my name was once buried will be lush with thick grass, worth my pride. "<br />&nbsp;</p><p>I am very grateful to 근엄 for this comment and translation.<br /></p><p>The poet Yun Dong-Ju is an important figure in Korean litterature and Historical memory of Japanese colonialism. <a href="https://jaypsong.blog/category/yun-dong-ju/">A blog about Korean poetry </a>gives three poems in translation with a short biography and his photo and also illustrations of landscapes which add reality &nbsp; and charm to the poems.<br /></p><p>&nbsp;His life was short and painful, he died in prison in 1945. That makes the line ''my youth is not over" even more&nbsp;&nbsp; overwhelming and distressing.</p><p>The grassy hill he imagines makes me think of '<a href="https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Dormeur_du_val">Le dormeur du val'</a>&nbsp; written by Arthur Rimbaud (he was fifteen) during the Prussian-French war (1870 ) the young&nbsp; peaceful soldier is also immersed in luxuriant nature and yet his life is at a standstill. (I tried to find an audio version of this poem and was not successfull perhaps being to choosy myself). <br /></p><p>Yun Dong-Ju 's poem&nbsp; has delicacy and hope towards life through 'memory' first and then 'Love'.</p><p>Counting the stars ' ( I found another title 'The wind and the stars') is so simple and yet deeply moving :&nbsp; repeating 'In a star there is...'&nbsp; gets deeper into the person he was, thoughtful and loving, his life as a poet and brave opposant, then at the end,&nbsp; his mother is&nbsp; the last star: 'in a star there is mother...mother 'ends the succession of six stars : sung the way Woo Rim Ko does, makes the poem even more heartbreaking.</p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="BLOG_video_class" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C2MNjMpxONs" width="320" youtube-src-id="C2MNjMpxONs"></iframe></div><br />Second rendition in 2O20, with same intensity and overwhelming emotion in his voice which really brings tears . Now I am able to appreciate the poem more and more with music and lyrics.(Notice a fashionable coloring shades is Woo Rim's hair, very sweet !)<br /><p></p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p> In which I review a live concert https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/14/in-which-i-review-a-live-concert/ operaramblings urn:uuid:73a05529-1acb-faf6-9ec5-ed7177c94579 Wed, 14 Jul 2021 20:43:53 +0000 Little did I suspect on March 12th 2020, as I attended UoT Opera&#8217;s Mansfield Park, that I would not review another live concert until July 14th 2021 but that&#8217;s how the COVID crumbled.  Today I made it to one of &#8230; <a href="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/14/in-which-i-review-a-live-concert/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <p>Little did I suspect on March 12th 2020, as I attended UoT Opera&#8217;s <em>Mansfield Park</em>, that I would not review another live concert until July 14th 2021 but that&#8217;s how the COVID crumbled.  Today I made it to one of Tapestry&#8217;s Box Concerts at CAMH on Queen Street.  It was much more fun than my last visit which was for a meeting on infection control in the basement of the dreary old building, now demolished.</p> <p><a href="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="30146" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/14/in-which-i-review-a-live-concert/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts-photography-by-dahlia-katz/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;3.5&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;DAHLIA KATZ&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625844477&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;DAHLIA KATZ&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;28&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;220&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.004&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="An intimate performance of Box Concerts. Photography by Dahlia Katz" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=580" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-30146" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=584" alt="" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/an-intimate-performance-of-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></a></p> <p><span id="more-30140"></span>So what&#8217;s a <a href="https://tapestryopera.com/performances/box-concerts/">Box Concert</a>?  Basically it&#8217;s a trailer and a sound system plus Asitha Tennekoon and sound tech.  I have to say it&#8217;s a very good sound system, well able to cope with the level of ambient noise normal to downtown Toronto in construction season.  It&#8217;s designed for performances at health care and elder care facilities but bookable to entertain your friends and neighbours too.  It&#8217;s all miked/amplified of course and the accompaniment is pre-recorded.<a href="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="30147" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/14/in-which-i-review-a-live-concert/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts-photography-by-dahlia-katz/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;5.3&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;DAHLIA KATZ&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625844116&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;DAHLIA KATZ&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;112&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.004&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Asitha Tennekoon singing in a rainy Box Concerts. Photography by Dahlia Katz" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30147 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=584" alt="" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/asitha-tennekoon-singing-in-a-rainy-box-concerts.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></a>It&#8217;s a fairly short set, heavy on numbers from musicals:</p> <div class="page" title="Page 2"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <ul> <li>&#8220;Waving Through a Window&#8221; from  Benj Pasek and Steven Levenson&#8217;s <em>Dear Evan Hanson</em></li> <li>&#8220;Being Alive&#8221; from George Furth and Stephen Sondheim&#8217;s <em>Company</em></li> <li>&#8220;King of the World&#8221; from Jason Robert Brown&#8217;s <em>Songs for a New World</em></li> <li>&#8220;Pourquoi Me Reveiller&#8221; from Massenet&#8217;s <em>Werther</em></li> </ul> <p>I think there are some new songs by Benton Roark in the mix too but if we got them today I missed it.  I&#8217;m not a massive musical fan but I totally get why that rep is used for this purpose (although the CAMH staffer responsible for today talked to me about <em>Die Walküre</em> afterwards so you never know!).  It needs to be at the popular end of the rep and Asitha seems really comfortable in that space.  It was though great to hear some proper tenoring in the Massenet; high notes and all.  Not sure I&#8217;d choose <em>Werther</em> for a gig at CAMH though!<a href="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg"><img data-attachment-id="30148" data-permalink="https://operaramblings.blog/2021/07/14/in-which-i-review-a-live-concert/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance-photography-by-dahlia-katz/" data-orig-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg" data-orig-size="580,386" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;5.6&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;DAHLIA KATZ&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON Z 6&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1625844650&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;DAHLIA KATZ&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;122&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;2000&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.004&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="Audience applauding Box Concerts performance. Photography by Dahlia Katz" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=580" class="size-full wp-image-30148 aligncenter" src="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=584" alt="" srcset="https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg 580w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=150 150w, https://operaramblings.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/audience-applauding-box-concerts-performance.-photography-by-dahlia-katz.jpg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 580px) 100vw, 580px" /></a>It was really nice to see patients and staff wander by and be surprised.  Some stopped for quite a while and some for just a few minutes but everybody seemed pleased and surprised to have live music brought to them.  It is a great project and one effect it seems to be having is spreading awareness that opera in Toronto is more than just  the COC</p> <p>The photos are by Dahlia Katz and taken at earlier performances.  There was a CAMH photographer there today so if those shots show up I&#8217;ll post a few.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div>