Sunday, August 21, 2011

Picnicking with your computer: Turn the Screw to Glyndebourne today

Today --Sunday, August 21-- at 19:00 (cet) you can watch the live broadcast of The Turn of the Screw from Glyndebourne. This is a magnificent opera and this particular production (premiered in 2006) might actually be very good.

Jonathan Kent recently offered us a brilliant production of The Fairy Queen and although his Don Giovanni presented at Glyndebourne last year was not so good, we can be optimistic and hope for a thrilling show tonight. Will be interesting how he will cope with the ambiguity of the main character: is she insane or actually possessed by the ghosts?!

The cast is promising with always superb Toby Spence and with Miah Persson opening a non-Mozartian chapter of her career.

You can watch the web-stream either on the Glyndebourne Festival website, or on The Guardian website.  See also an introduction to this opera very well organized by The Guardian staff (and a Trailer below)

It is maybe a moment to remind you of the extraordinary production of this opera presented at Aix several years ago (DVD available), directed by Luc Bondy, conducted by Daniel Harding, and with equally extraordinary Mireille Delunsch in the role of the Governess.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lohengrin from Bayreuth now

See here
Klaus Florian Vogt

Saturday, August 13, 2011


And so I FINALLY saw a great movie: Melancholia by Lars von Trier.  It opened in Paris this week and a friend was so excessively excited about the existential issues tackled by this movie that I couldn't ignore it.  These days it is extremely rare that art gets close to the big screens, but when it happens it feels really great.

I liked the rawness of von Trier's Antichrist (I loved The Idiots the most!),  but Melancholia is so much broader: it is existential, it is psychological, it is socio-cultural, it touches the malaise of our society without sniffing to psychoanalysis, and it constantly sparkles with philosophy.

I believe Lars wanted it to be operatic in form: the opening is like an operatic overture with a magnificent imagery, while the proper film is split into two parts (two acts) - Justine and Claire.  It unfolds in so many non-trivial directions without ever becoming pretentious: the story-line, the dialogues, the unspoken messages, the collision of all sorts of characters, our inability to deal with at least one aspect of our life... everything is in there. Human depression is in the center of it all but it is in no way trivial.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One more time on The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic

Before The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic is given at Teatro Real (one of the artistically most exciting Opera houses in Europe right now), and at Theater Basel (widely considered the artistically best Opera House in Europe) --in April and June 2012 respectively-- thanks to  adorablelight we can see a few video excerpts posted on YT [also appended below]

There is also a good trailer on the MIF (Manchester Intl Festival) website.

Live Concert from Salzburg for free

René Fleming will sing several songs by Richard Strauss and a scene from Arabella. She will be accompanied by the Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Christian Thielemann, who will then in the second part perform An Alpine Symphony.

The concert will be live broadcast on starting from 9 p.m. (CET), this coming Monday, August 8th. Here is your link.

From the famous Confiserie Fürst in Salzburg [where you can also find the "real" Mozartkugeln -- the blue ones!]

The program of songs includes Befreit, Winterliebe, Traum durch die Dämmerung, and Gesang der Apollopriesterin.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Konwitschny's Tannhäuser in Dresden

Tannhäuser, Semperoper Dresden, April 22 2011

Musical Director ..... Peter Schneider
Staging ..... Peter Konwitschny

Landgraf Hermann von Thüringen ..... Michael Eder
Tannhäuser ..... Stephen Gould
Wolfram von Eschenbach ..... Christoph Pohl
Walther von der Vogelweide ..... Tom Martinsen
Biterolf ...... Tilmann Rönnebeck
Heinrich der Schreiber ..... Aaron Pegram
Reimar von Zweter ..... Tomislav Lucic
Elisabeth ..... Marjorie Owens
Venus ..... Tichina Vaughn
Ein junger Hirt ..... Christiane Hossfeld
Erste Edelfrau ..... Beate Siebert
Zweite Edelfrau ..... Ute Siegmund
Dritte Edelfrau ..... Barbara Leo
Vierte Edelfrau ..... Claudia Mößner

Sinfoniechor Dresden e.V.
Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden

Friday, August 5, 2011

Do not forget to see Lohengrin live from Bayreuth

I unfortunately did not see the Hans Neuenfels production of Lohengrin when I was in Bayreuth last year, and so I will be more than happy to watch it live from Bayreuth on Sunday, August 14, starting from 16:00 (cet).

Komische Oper 'Festival 2011: Dialogues des carmélites

Dialogues des carmélites [Gespräche der Karmelitinnen],  Komische Oper in Berlin,  July 16 2011

 Calixto Bieito ..... director
    Stefan Blunier ..... conductor

    Claudio Otelli ..... Le marquis de La Force
    Maureen McKay ..... Blanche de La Force
    Joska Lehtinen ..... Le chevalier de la Force
    Christiane Oertel ..... Madame de Croissy
    Erika Roos ..... Madame Lidoine
    Irmgard Vilsmaier ..... Mère Marie de l'Incarnatio
    Ingrid Froseth ..... Sœur Constance de Saint-Denis
    Caren van Oijen ..... Mère Jeanne de l'Enfant-Jésus
    Maren  Schäfer ..... Sœur Mathilde
    Peter Renz ..... Le père confesseur du couvent
    Thomas Ebenstein ..... Le premier commissaire
    Hans-Peter Scheidegger ..... Le second commissaire

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Festival in Aix-en-Provence 2012

Bernard Foccroulle implicitly responds to Pereira's disappointing operatic program of the Salzburger Festspiele 2012, by announcing the content of the Festival in Aix-en-Provence 2012.
Super Andreas Homoki will be directing one of 4+1 new productions, Katie Mitchell has a thing for modern and contemporary opera -- and she will keep doing this in Aix, and Richard Brunel's great talent will be tested on Le Nozze.
London Symphony Orchestra and Les Arts Florissants will of course be there too.

  • Le Nozze di Figaro,  dir- Richard Brunel, cnd- Jérémie Rhorer 
  • David et Jonathas [opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier], dir- Andreas Homoki, cnd-  William Christie 
  • Written on Skin [new opera by George Benjamin, text by Martin Crimp], dir- Katie Mitchell, cnd- George Benjamin 
  • La Finta Giardiniera, dir- Vincent Boussard, cnd- Andreas Spering 
  • L'Enfant et les sortilèges, dir- Arnaud Meunier, cnd- Didier Puntos (young singers performing)
Aix does it better, indeed!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Alek Shrader in Salzburg

I am not going to Salzburg this year for at least three reasons and my only regret is that I won't see one of my dearest operas, The Makropulos Affair, with our favorite Angela Denoke who --together with Johan Reuter and Aleš Briscein-- will certainly make this new Christoph Marthaler production extra special. To that add Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting and you get more than a trip worthy material!

My problem is that this is about the only thing I am truly interested in in Salzburg this summer. Macbeth by Peter Stein, and with his bitterness Maestro Muti in the pit, is not exactly what would make me run to the Felsenreitschule even if I were in Salzburg right now.
As for Die Frau ohne Schatten (FroSch) it is an opera I like very much music-wise but again that alone would not make me make a trip to Salzburg in spite of its smashing cast [sadly the runs of FroSch and Makrop do not overlap, since they are both given at the big Festspielhaus]. Another thing about FroSch is that its premiere was live broadcast on German and Austrian TVs and since the video will be around soon...

Alek Shrader in Salzburg
Finally a revival of the Claus Guth production of Da Ponte Trilogy is of course a nice treat, but since I already saw all three operas both at the Haus für Mozart in Salzburg and on DVD, I guess it's fine to let my place to other folks to discover and enjoy the wonderful festival atmosphere in Salzburg (when the weather is good, that is).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Long Tosca post (Munich, Zurich, DVD, Verbier...)

As you already know Puccini is not my cup of tea. When interestingly staged I can stomach the lacrimosa passages and tons of pathos from time to time.
I was recently offered by a dear friend a copy of DVD Tosca, directed by Robert Carsen and presented a couple of years ago in Zurich, with Kaufmann, Magee and Hampson in the main roles. I promised I would see it, which I eventually did during my trip to Munich. In short - it's a good DVD!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jingo, Corny, and Cool

From Verbier 2011: