Thursday, October 25, 2012

Parsifal anyone?!

New production of Parsifal was premiered a few days ago. Directed by Philip Stölzl the premiere was also a convenient way to celebrate 100 years of Deutsche Oper Berlin (DOB). This is the first premiere since the phenomenal Dietmar Schwarz became the general manager of DOB.

Today's Berliner Morgenpost dedicated a whole section to DOB, the premiere of Parsifal and the postpremiere party.

I'm off to see the second show. Too bad our fave T.H. Mayer won't be singing but the brilliant A. Marco-Buhrmester  will sing the role of Amfortas instead... Well AMB was Klingsor in Lyon last spring and now he steps in as Amfortas.
 Klaus Florian Vogt, Evelyn Herlitzius, Thomas Jesatko, Matti Salminen... it should be great. Plus it will be good to see if Runnicles will be as extraordinary as in Tristan or a little less great like in Die Walküre.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Night with Siegfried

Tonight, Tuesday October 23, starting from 19:00 (cet) Mezzo TV will live broadcast the Milan premiere of Siegfried, the third opera of the Guy Cassiers production of Der Ring des Nibelungen [this must be one of the finest Ring productions so far].

On case you cannot receive Mezzo TV, check out your local cinemas -- many will be broadcasting the premiere too.  Details about the cast can be found here [I'll just note that three top fave singers will be performing -- Anna Larsson, Nina Stemme and Johannes Martin Kränzle; plus Lance Ryan is always superb as Siegfried].

Photo from Guy Cassiers production of Siegfried [©Monika Rittershaus]

Unlike the previous two operas --that yours truly saw in Berlin and immensely enjoye-- this opera [Siegfried] was already premiered in Berlin before Milan [attached below is a clip from the Berlin premiere].

Monday, October 22, 2012

Superb Macbeth directed by van Hove; one more winner for Opéra de Lyon

Macbeth, Opéra National de Lyon, October 21 2012

Director ..... Ivo van Hove
Conductor ..... Kazushi Ono

Macbeth ..... Evez Abdulla
Banco ..... Riccardo Zanellato
Lady Macbeth ..... Iano Tamar
Suivante de Lady Macbeth ..... Kathleen Wilkinson
Macduff ..... Dmytro Popov
Malcolm ..... Viktor Antipenko

Orchestre et Chœurs de l'Opéra de Lyon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ninanana Ninanana - Nina Stemme

Tristan und Isolde (in concert), Salle Pleyel in Paris, October 13 2012

Conductor ..... Mikko Franck

Tristan ..... Christian Franz
Isolde ..... Nina Stemme
King Marke ..... Peter Rose
Kurwenal ..... Detlef Roth
Brangäne ..... Sarah Connolly
Melot ..... Richard Berkeley-Steele
A young sailor ..... Pascal Bourgeois
A shepherd ..... Christophe Poncet
A steersman ...... Renaud Derrien

Choeur de Radio France (Brigitte Clair & Matthias Brauer)
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (OPRF)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lulu opened in Brussels: Warlikowski is a genius

Yes, I was at the premiere of Lulu in Brussels today-- one of the most outstanding productions created so far anywhere and by any theatrical standard.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to film this show properly because many things happen simultaneously on the stage and  details really matter...
The emotion that was created at the theater today was truly extraordinary and the show reminded us once again that "Theater is Life" -- that vortex of emotion was so remarkable and we all --who were actually there-- shared something truly unique today. Thank you to everyone who made this possible! 

If you can possibly make it and see this show in Brussels, at La Monnaie/De Munt, don't think twice! Just go! Barbara Hannigan delivers the performance of her life -- helped by a fantastic cast, and guided by a super-inspired Warlikowski --who channeled the 'Edgar Degas' side of him-- and his extraordinary team. Claude Bardouil made the finale of Act1 extra-fascinating. Paul Daniel and all the artists were just magnificent.   

Pavlo Hunka, Charles Workman, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Dietrich Henschel, Barbara Hannigan, Christian Longchamps, Malgorzata Szczesniak, Paul Daniel, Frances Bourne and the brilliant kids from the Koninklijke Ballet School in Antwerp

This is a whole different level of theatrical creativity that resonates so wonderfully with opera. I'll try and write a few paragraphs tomorrow (or Tuesday) although I feel that by trying to describe it I could ruin it [if that makes sense to you].

There are many reasons why La Monnaie/De Munt is the best opera house in the world today, and this new Lulu is about to become one of them [reasons].

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Warlikowski event No.2 in 2012: Bruxelles, le centre du monde lyrique

After Boris Godunov in Madrid and Jenufa in Zurich, the third event in Europe this fall --that is not be missed-- is also expected to be among the top 3 in 2012 [although I don't believe that Poppea e Nerone could be beaten by anyone or anything - including Warlikowski himself] -- it is a new production of Lulu in Brussels.

The Warli team [Krzysztof Warlikowski, Malgorzata Szczesniak, Felice Ross, Denis Guéguin] is busy preparing the premiere and the cast looks excellent on the paper. Is it possible to resist one of the finest singers today (born to sing the 20th century repertoire!) -- Barbara Hannigan?! Her take on Lulu should be a blast!
Lothar Koenigs was supposed to conduct but due to an accident he had to pull out. Paul Daniel, whose Macbeth [also in Brussels] will remain one of my most memorable moments at the opera, will conduct instead.

As usual, all Warlikowski events should be seen in auditorium, rather than in video (it is a totally different experience), but if you cannot make it to Brussels mark November 8 in your calendar when you could see the video-stream of the show on La Monnaie/De Munt website. Video will be free and available for three weeks.

But if you can make it to Brussels, please do so! You will definitely feel richer for a special theatrical - operatic experience.

I would also like to encourage you to read the interview with Warlikowski prepared a few weeks ago by Christian Longchamps.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Boris Godunov in Madrid

Boris Godunov, Teatro Real in Madrid, October 3 2012

Director ..... Johan Simons
Conductor ..... Hartmut Haenchen

Boris Godunov ..... Günther Groissböck
Fyodor ..... Alexandra Kadurina
Yenia ..... Alina Yarovaya
Yenia's nurse ..... Margarita Nekrasova
Prince Shuisky ..... Stefan Margita
Chelkalov ..... Yuri Nechaev
Pimen ..... Dmitry Ulyanov
Grigory ..... Michael König
Marina Mnishek ..... Julia Gertseva
Rangoni ..... Evgeny Nikitin
Varlaam ..... Anatoli Kotscherga
Misail ..... John Easterlin
Innkeeper ..... Pilar Vázquez
Simpleton ..... Andrey Popov
Nikitich ..... Károly Szemerédy
Mitiushka ..... Fernando Radó
Court Boyar ..... Antonio Lozano
Boyar Khrushchyov ..... Tomeu Bibiloni
Levitski ..... Ángel Rodríguez
Chernikovski ..... Rodrigo Álvarez

Coro y Orquesta Titulares del Teatro Real
Children Chorus - JORCAM

Stéphane Lissner to run the Paris Opera from September 2015

La gioia! 

Stéphane Lissner, who I praised here on several occasions --last time it was about his projects at La Scala for 2012-2015-- will be the new general director of the Paris Opera starting from September 2015!

That is very good news as the creative art might be coming back to Bastille and Garnier.

I did not want to blog about all the ghastly productions created at the Paris Opera over the past few years. I think it is fair to say that the quality level of new productions presented last year was the history lowest (Manon, Faust, La Forza del Destino, Cav/Pag, Hippolyte et Aricie -- hard to pick the worst). The decision of the French Ministry of Culture to say goodbye to Nicolas Joël was the only rational outcome after the "artistic" choices he imposed on the Paris Opera over the past 3-4 years.

Musica Sola also describes the last trick Joël wanted to pull out in order to make his sacking look like his personal choice...  Sorry Nick, it's a Red Card! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012


A MAJOR bummer: I missed the train to Zurich, and so this time I will not be able to see Jenufa at the Opernhaus Zürich [theater run by our fave Andreas Homoki!].

Inside the Zurich Opera (photo I took last time I was there, in July 2011)

I will have to wait until the Zurich Opera Festival in July to actually see the show.

I have no one to blame  for coming late to La Gare de l'Est but myself. The ticket I had was a "special fare", valid only for the train I missed.  If anyone reading this post is in Zurich and wants to see Jenufa tonight (Sunday, Oct 7) let me know and I'll send you my electronic ticket.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Don Carlo in Amsterdam: Talented Mr. Decker and Amazing Mr. Maltman

Don Carlo, De Nederlandse Opera (DNO) in Amsterdam, May 13 2012

Director ..... Willy Decker
Conductor ..... Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Filippo II ..... Mikhail Petrenko
Don Carlo ..... Massimo Giordano
Rodrigo ..... Christopher Maltman
Il grande inquisitore ..... Sir John Tomlinson
Elisabetta di Valois ..... Camilla Nylund
La principessa d'Eboli ..... Ekaterina Gubanova
Un frate ..... Andrea Mastroni
Tebaldo, paggio d’Elisabetta ..... Eugénie Warnier
La contessa d'Aremberg ..... Mariëtte Oelderik
Il conte di Lerma/Un araldo reale ..... Rudi de Vries
Una voce dal cielo ..... Lisette Bolle

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Koor van De Nederlandse Opera

Thursday, October 4, 2012

News You Can Use

I skipped the whole summer of opera streaming, so I'm now trying to catch up when I can.
I am halfway watching the absolutely dreadful production of Ariadne auf Naxos presented at the Salzburg Festival 2012 and I hope I'll have enough courage to finish it. I should see Die Zauberflöte where my absolute fave singer (Georg Zeppenfeld) was apparently great. Die Soldaten could be interesting too.  Le Nozze di Figaro from Aix en Provence 2012, produced by Richard Brunel, should be a treat to see too, but I most regret the new Jan Philipp Gloger production of The Flying Dutchman in Bayreuth. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to see it next year... OK, this last was not streamed or broadcast.

What good to expect to see in one of these live broadcasts in 2012-2013?