Thursday, February 18, 2010

Opéra Comique: In Love with Shakespeare

Remember the Shakespearean semi-opera by Purcell, The Fairy Queen, that I've been raving about?   Good news is that it has been recorded in Glyndebourne and will soon be released on DVD.  For your ears only, the France Musique radio recorded it in Paris [Opéra Comique, January 19 2010] and it is available (for free) on their website until March 15 ;)

Opéra Comique's love with Shakespeare continues, and already next week they will premiere the new production of Berlioz's  Béatrice et Bénédict [based on Much Ado About Nothing]. The director is  Dan Jemmett, a Brit who lives and works in Paris. Here is a short promotional video:

I especially expect my 2 young favs to do well: Allan Clayton, a Brit who bursts with talent & whom we saw last year in Opéra Comique as a brilliant Albert Herring; and Edwin Crossley-Mercer, a guy with an English-Irish name and sorta Anderson Cooper-ish look but who's actually French and sings wonderfully! Add to that Christine Rice who must be very good as Béatrice, and the show has all ingredients to be a success. That's how it looks when you prepare the new production with care... I'm telling you, Opéra Comique is in love with Shakespeare!

Yours Truly will of course be at the premiere [February 24]  ;)


  1. Mr Edwin Crossley-Mercer, with Mr Semjion Skigin on the piano, has a recital coming up at the Musée d'Orsay in May, which I am going to make every effort to attend.

  2. Oh yes, me too! :)

    Apparently Crossley-Mercer & Skigin performed last summer in Bayreuth, and the reviews I read were excellent.

  3. Although I have been unable to obtain confirmation from the Bayreuth's Villa Wahnfried concert organization, I have heard that Mr Edwin Crossley-Mercer and Mr Semjion Skigin have been invited back to Bayreuth for another recital in the Villa Wahnfried this year. Now, that sounds like something quite exceptional to me.
    I have no idea about the concert program, but I sure would like to get a ticket.

  4. Thanks for the info. I'll pass it on after his concert @ Musée d'Orsay ;)


  5. I don't know whether you made it to the Musée d'Orsay or not yesterday, but if you did, as I did, you may have been left hypnotised for well over an hour by the Winterreise executed with brio and emotion, and topped by three curtain calls for three French melodies - Clair de Lune, Romance and Elégie , as if to say: "Thank you so much for listening; now here is something in French"
    It was all impeccable, Semjon Skigin on the piano and Edwin Crossley-Mercer, literally singing his heart out to a captivated audience, highly appreciative of his performance.

    It just does not get better than this. An unforgettably emotional recital.

  6. I totally agree. Been busy to blog yesterday and today.

    On the way back to work I had an illuminating moment and realized he was a perfect Pelleas. Hopefully someone will offer him to sing that now or in the 3-4-5 years to come. Later on his voice will become too mature for Pelleas. Right now, he would be perfect.

    But hey -- what a Winterreise that was!

  7. I don't know where you were sitting but I was half way down about in the middle left. It was unforgettable, and I really hope that it makes folks sit up and say: "Hey, we have French potential here that we have not had for some decades!" I know that there was an illustrious impressario in the hall who had come from Germany to hear him, and in the days and weeks to come, there will be hopefully more news on that front. At present, I am toying with the idea of going to see hear his concert in St Petersburgh. When he had finished and appeared at the doors, it was also obvious that he has now a following of increasing significance.
    His emotion was my emotion and the audience's emotion too, when he merged so closely into his texts. At the risk of sounding stupid or naïve, I wonder who else we have in France at present capable of singing French and German lyrics like this.


  8. Degout is very good too.

    St.Petersburg is a WONDERFUL city to visit. Moscow is much less so although you can see some beautiful things in Moscow too.

    A less good side of visiting Russia is that everything is outrageously expensive and the quality of what you get for your money is appalling. Plus, when they spot a foreigner they do everything to rip you off. OK, that's more pronounced as a phenomenon in Moscow than in Petersburg, but still... OK, this was just to warn you a little, but if you decide to go, do let us know how it went :)

    Thanks and cheers