|"The Chiefs and the Prima Donna" (Photo: Underwood & Underwood)|
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
|La Bumbry: The legend will make a rare|
appearance for this celebratory concert
in New York City this January.
Friday, November 21, 2014
|Kathleen Battle sang the soubrette role of |
Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte during
January 1982 at the MET.
(Photo: Winnie Klotz/Metropolitan Opera)
|Vocal Spectrum: Anna Netrebko as Adina* [top] |
and Lady Macbeth** [bottom]. (Photos: Ken
Howard* & Marty Sohl**/Metropolitan Opera)
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
|Ms. Yoncheva in rehearsal (Photo: |
Jonathan Tichler/MET Opera)
|As the delicate Puccini character Mimì in La Bohème, Sonya Yoncheva receives a triumphant review.|
Monday, November 17, 2014
|Power Quartet: Tito Capobianco, Leona Mitchell, Virginia Zeani, and Renata Scotto, post-recital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 22, 2014. Details of the evening are after the jump. (Photo: Venetian Arts Society/Facebook)|
Saturday, November 15, 2014
|Helping the Arts: A photo of Margaret C. |
Winston in the 1940s at Stanford University
|Kathryn Smith, General Director of Madison Opera, sits in The Margaret C. Winston Opera Center|
Friday, November 14, 2014
|No High Notes Required: Natalie Dessay sings with the band at Château de Versailles|
savouring the delights of the Baroque, and moving with equal aplomb from comic opera to bel canto and from French art song to French (and Brazilian) pop song. An uncommonly human Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, she has sparkled lovingly in Lakmé and descended into harrowing madness as Ophélie and Lucia di Lammermoor; and just as she has brought Manon to vivid life, she has experienced all Violetta’s passion and pain in La traviata. With her shining eyes, Dessay is a tiny slip of woman who radiates charisma. She has often taken a stand against operatic convention and diva clichés, impudently daring to talk about the trials of her profession, including stagefright and the frantic demands of juggling the roles of star, woman and mother. Then there is her recurring frustration at the essential mismatch between a dramatic temperament suited to the great tragic heroines and a voice predisposed to the roles of singing doll or willing victim. But though her voice has always been light, it has never been lacking in juice, and the purity of her top notes – cleaving like daggers – her quicksilver virtuosity, and her supreme musicianship have given her the power to cast an irresistible spell. It took years for her to accept herself for what she had always been. In 1997, when she told an interviewer that 'There is more
to life than top notes', people thought she was being precious; she was in fact expressing profound disquiet. Over the course of a career that imposed operations on her vocal cords in 2003 and 2005, Dessay has come to the conclusion that 'the interplay of physiological skills and characterisation is as about as thrilling as something can get.' A perfectionist who is also prone to impulse, this great French singer has brought something new to her roles through her still unfulfilled passion for the straight theatre, an art form that remains a defining force for her: it was, after all, as a student actress that she first discovered her talent as a singer. She has now succeeded in resolving the dichotomies within her, uniting her personality and her voice by choosing to move away from opera. Since 2013 she has reinvented herself with recitals of French art song (notably Debussy with the pianist Philippe Cassard), with popular song and musicals (above all in her collaboration with the pianist and composer Michel Legrand), and even with Brazilian music (in the company of three sisters-under-the-skin, the singers Helena Noguerra and Agnès Jaoui and the guitarist Liat Cohen). Her commitment to each genre has been characteristically unreserved. Of one thing we can be sure: Natalie Dessay, in all her
infinite artistic variety, has many more delicious surprises in store." [Source] And out soon is a new DVD of the chanteuse in concert: "Two icons of French song – Natalie Dessay and Michel Legrand – follow the huge worldwide success of their album Entre Elle et Lui with a DVD of the very special concert on the 11th June 2014 at the Orangerie of the Château de Versailles. This is a unique collaboration from two giants of French music. The CD release in 2013 was hotly anticipated and received great critical acclaim upon its release. Natalie Dessay brings her lyrical voice and fresh interpretations to a selection of some of Michel Legrand’s best-loved songs including 'La Valse des Lilas', 'Les moulins de mon cœur' (Windmills of Your Mind), 'Duo de Guy et Geneviève', 'Papa Can You Hear Me' and many more." [Source] Watch highlights from the concert, and see a few more photos, after the jump.
|Dessay à la Streisand: The soprano sings "Papa can you hear me?"|
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Watch the entire gala celebrating 300 years of the l'Opéra Comique with opera stars Anna Caterina Antonacci, Sabine Devieilhe, Patricia Petibon, Julie Fuchs, Stéphane Degout, and more. "Carmen, Lakmé, Pelléas et Mélisande, La Fille du régiment... Autant de chefs d'oeuvre de l'art lyrique nés sur les planches de l'Opéra Comique. Depuis sa création en 1715, cette prestigieuse maison fait rayonner l'opéra à la française, accueille des artistes de renom, programme des oeuvres de tous les répertoires. Un lieu chargé d'histoires que cette soirée de gala ambitionne de résumer. A grand renfort d'images d'archives, d'interventions et bien évidemment de chants, apprêtez-vous à voir défiler trois siècles de création artistique. En maître de cérémonie, Michel Fau. Avec son impertinence habituelle, l'homme de spectacle redonnera vie aux petits et grands moments de la célèbre institution. A ses côtés, chanteront Anna Caterina Antonacci, Sabine Devieilhe, Julie Fuchs, Patricia Petibon, Frédéric Antoun, Stéphane Degout et Vincent Le Texier. Des chanteurs d'envergure internationale, familiers de la Salle Favart, qui interprèteront les airs qui ont marqué l'Opéra Comique et l'art lyrique en général. Ils seront accompagnés dans ce voyage dans le temps par Jérôme Deschamps, des chanteurs de l'Académie de l'Opéra Comique, le choeur Accentus et l'orchestre Les Siècles dirigé par François-Xavier Roth. « Si l’Opéra Comique m’était conté », une soirée exceptionnelle pour un lieu qui l'est tout autant. Le 28 décembre, Arte diffusera une version enrichie de ce Gala du tricentenaire. Sujets documentaires et témoignages viendront s'ajouter à la captation du 13 novembre. La soirée sera également diffusée en direct sur France Musique." [Source] More photos and the video are after the jump.
Monday, November 10, 2014
|Operatic Tsaritsa: The legendary|
|One of the prized solo recordings to |
make a commercial release worldwide.
|Elena Obraztsova stands center stage as international opera stars pay hommage last week.|
Sunday, November 9, 2014
"Gefeiert auf den wichtigsten Opernbühnen der Welt - als Susanna, Ännchen, Eva, Fiordiligi, Micäela und in vielen anderen Rollen - ist die deutsche Sopranistin Dorothea Röschmann auch eine der großen Liedinterpretinnen unserer Zeit. Für ihre neue CD wählte sie wunderschöne Lieder von Schubert, Schumann, Strauss und Wolf, die von berühmten Frauengestalten aus Literatur und Geschichte inspiriert wurden. Von Malcolm Martineau gefühlvoll am Klavier begleitet zeichnet sie subtile StimmungsPortraits, welche die fein schattierten Nuancen der Figuren widerspiegeln, die in den Liedern dargestellt werden. Das Ergebnis sind sorgfältig konzipierte, einfühlsam gesungene Miniaturen mit Höhepunkten wie Schuberts 'Gretchen am Spinnrad' und 'Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt,' Strauss 'Die Nacht' oder 'Morgen' und den Mignon Liedern von Hugo Wolf." [Source] Get more information about the album including track listing, and listen to the samples from the recording, after the jump.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
|John Carroll Lynch plays the murderous kidnapping |
clown in American Horror Story: Freak Show
|Even a dandy can turn into an evil clown with the right |
accessories: Finn Wittrock stars as the twisted Mr. Mott
|Tears of a Clown: Plácido Domingo as|
Canio in the opera Pagliacci
UPDATE 11/10/2014: Jonas Kaufmann was replaced by heldentenor Klaus Florian Vogt as seen in the photo below. Watch the finale of the performance from Sunday evening by clicking here.
On November 9, 2014, conductor Daniel Barenboim will step onto the podium in front of the Brandenburg Gate to conduct the Staatskapelle Berlin in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling. Soloists will include Renée Fleming, Elīna Garanča, Jonas Kaufmann, and René Pape. "The performance is part of a three-day, city-wide celebration of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which includes a 15 kilometer Lightgrenze, or Light Frontier, from the Wall Memorial to the Brandenburg Gate. The Lightgrenze, by artist Christopher Bauder and filmmaker Marc Bauder, comprises 8,000 illuminated white balloons, each with its own story and patron. The installation also includes large-screen projections of historical film collages, along with guided tours and public exhibits. Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin’s performance will coincide with the release of the 8,000 balloons as they sail above the German capital. The performance will be broadcast on ARD and rbb beginning at 6.50 p.m. CET. Tell the world about your experiences of witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall and what the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 means to you today. Use the hashtags #fallofthewall25 or #fotw25 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and your message will appear in the virtual web portal here." [Source]
As we look back to that historic moment in 1989, let's remember the concert that marked the original event: "On December 25, 1989, Leonard Bernstein gave a concert in Berlin celebrating the end of the Wall, including Beethoven's 9th symphony ('Ode to Joy') with the word 'Joy' (Freude) changed to 'Freedom' (Freiheit) in the lyrics sung." The quartet of soloists were comprised of singers from around the world: soprano June Anderson, mezzo-soprano Sarah Walker, tenor Klaus König, and bass Jan-Hendrik Rootering. Conductor Leonard Bernstein led a chorus and orchestra was comprised of members from the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Members of the
Staatskapelle Dresden, Orchestra of the Kirov Theatre, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris. "The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 1989 unleashed a wave of democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe that radically transformed the world order. In a typically grandiose yet eloquent gesture, Leonard Bernstein spontaneously accepted an invitation to conduct a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to celebrate this freedom....In a typically grandiose yet eloquent gesture, Bernstein spontaneously accepted an invitation to conduct a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to celebrate this freedom. It was only fitting that East Germany’s new-found freedom should be celebrated with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The monumental works, perhaps the world’s most famous Symphony, was inspired by Schiller's poem “Ode to Joy”, a passionate paean to freedom. Adding to the symbolism of the event, Bernstein conducted an orchestra and chorus formed of musicians from both East and West Germany (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden), as well as the United States (New York Philharmonic), Great Britain (London Symphony), France (Orchestre de Paris) and the Soviet Union (Orchestra of the Kirov
Theater). Recorded at the Schauspielhaus, Berlin, December 25, 1989, the German label Deutsche Grammophon would commemorate the event by issuing
multiple CD versions with different title and one limited edition copy that contained a piece of the Berlin Wall for collectors. "The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier that existed between 1961 and 1990, constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on August 13, 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until it was opened in 1989. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the 'death strip') that contained anti-vehicle trenches, 'fakir beds' and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the 'will of the people' in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period....In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc's authoritarian systems
and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on November 9, 1989, that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of what was left. Contrary to popular belief the wall's actual demolition did not begin until Summer 1990 and was not completed until 1992. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990." [Source, Source] Watch the finale of that historic concert from 25 years ago, and see the different packaging for the DG recordings, after the jump.
|The Brandenburg Gate Quadriga|
|American soprano June Anderson and British mezzo-soprano|
Sarah Walker singing at the historic event in 1989.
|Polish-born and German raised tenor Klaus König and |
German-born of Dutch ancestry bass Jan-Hendrik
Rootering sing Beethoven for Bernstein.
|Lucky collectors were able to get a recording of the |
event with a piece of the Berlin Wall inside