Wish you all a very Happy New Year 2012!
2011 was exciting with many-many wonderful productions. I could see the monumental productions such as Les Troyens in Karlsruhe, Les Huguenots and Parsifal in Brussels, War and Peace in Cologne, Götterdämmerung in Strasbourg, Parsifal in Basel, and many less grand spectacles but equally exciting events: Wozzeck in Berlin and Basel, Lulu in Paris, Mitridate in Munich, Idomeneo in Berlin, La Clemenza in Paris, Turandot in Dijon, Mahagonny in Antwerp, Macbeth in Lille and Leipzig, Atys in Paris, Alcina in Dresden, Hérodiade in Ghent, Carmen in Berlin, Walküre in Berlin, Siegfried in Paris, Tristan in Lyon, Berlin and Weimar, Rusalka in Dresden, Berlin and Basel, Les Carmélites in Berlin, Kat'a Kabanova in Paris, Lear in Berlin, Médée in Brussels, L'elisir d'amore in Lille, Parsifal in Zurich, Onegin in Amsterdam, Tannhäuser in Paris and Dresden...
I will make my Best of 2011 later in January, but off the top of my head, the most memorable operatic performances will remain those by Anna Larsson (Kundry/Parsifal), Svetlana Ignatovich (Rusalka), Heidi Melton (Didon/Les Troyens), and Nina Stemme (Elisabeth/Tannhäuser), as well as fantastic Krassimira Stoyanova, Anja Harteros, Marlis Petersen, Stéphanie d'Oustrac, Angela Denoke, and many many many more. Young Erika Roos, Sonya Yoncheva, Lucrezia Garcia were my delightful discoveries.
Men were great too with several outstanding performances: Thomas Johannes Mayer (Wozzeck), René Pape (Wotan/Walküre), Stephen Gould (Tannhäuser), Hans-Peter König (Hagen/Götterdämmerung), as well as Lance Ryan, John Daszak, Stephen Miling, Johannes Martin Kränzle, Georg Zeppenfeld, Richard Croft, Christophe Dumaux, Thomas Piffka, Kwangchul Youn, Bernard Richter, Andrey Dunaev and many, many more.
Musically, I will never forget the shock after Wozzeck with Daniel Barenboim and his Staatskapelle, elation after Donald Runnicles' conducting of Don Carlo at the Deutsche in Berlin, or after Marko Letonja's stunning reading of Götterdämmerung in Strasbourg, the enchantment during Tristan und Isolde with Kirill Petrenko in Lyon... The strongest moment --and my biggest surprise in 2011-- was however Justin Brown and his monumental yet delicate reading of Les Troyens in Karlsruhe.
In 2012 we will celebrate 150th birthday of Claude Debussy, mark the 100th anniversary since the death of Jules Massenet, and the 50th since the death of Hanns Eisler.
For starters, here is a video of the concert at La Salle Pleyel in Paris, recorded in December 2011.
Beethoven's 9th with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Myung-Whun Chung, and with Sally Matthews (soprano), Karen Cargill (alto), Steve Davislim (tenor), Matthias Goerne (
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