Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Carmen Aldrich

Carmen at Chorégie d’Orange was TV live broadcast less than two weeks ago. Contrary to the Puccini operas or the dreaded Verismo repertoire, Carmen is always enjoyable to listen to, so even when the visuals are less appealing you may always take pleasure in music and good singing — especially with the cast like the one chosen for this year’s Carmen in Orange.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Operalia 2015 - We love Lise!

Despite atrocious conducting [can someone please tell Placido Domingo that he cannot conduct?!], Operalia remains a superb annual concert of amazing young operatic talents that are most likely to  become operatic stars tomorrow. This year finalists
  • Edward Parks, baritone, USA, 31
  • Andrea Carroll, soprano, USA, 25
  • Julien Behr, tenor, France, 32
  • Kiandra Howarth, soprano, Australia, 25
  • Bongani Justice Kubheka, bass-baritone, South Africa, 24
  • Hyesang Park, soprano, South Korea, 26
  • Tobias Greenhalgh, baritone, USA, 26
  • Darren Pene Pati, tenor, New Zealand, 27
  • Noluvuyiso Mpofu, soprano, South Africa, 24
  • Ioan Hotea, tenor, Romania, 25
  • Lise Davidsen, soprano, Norway, 28

were truly excellent. Congratulations to each and every one of them for brilliant performance, and to Placido Domingo for organizing this event!

Lise Davidsen, however, still managed to steal the show with a sensationally high-octane singing of "Dich teure Halle!"

Ladies and Gents I believe we just got our next "Nina Stemme" — not to dig farther in the past and make comparison with other famous Scandinavian dramatic sopranos…

You can watch the whole concert on
Winners: Ioan Hotea (a superb tenor!) and Lise Davidsen.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Abduction in Glyndebourne

Die Entführung aus dem Serail is being live streamed from Glyndebourne and the Mozart aficionados will know to appreciate.

If you missed the live-stream you will still be able to catch on via The Guardian and obviously The Glyndebourne Festival websites.

The show, staged by the very conservative David McVicar, will please his targeted audience. It is conducted by the uber-talented Robin Ticciati and with Edgaras Montvidas in the role of Belmonte you will definitely spend good couple of hours.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.

Belcanto operas are known to be super-difficult to stage because of the poor librettos. Most of the belcanto productions are truly dreadful and the common attitude is that the concert versions of operas operas are far better and more efficient than the staged attempts to make the lame-ass librettos look plausible on stage.

Christof Loy’s take at I Capuletti e I Montecchi at Zurich Opera — the house run by the unsurpassable Andreas Homoki — is an example of precisely the opposite. He turned this butchered text of Romeo and Juliet into a SUPERB theater piece — premiered las month at the 2015 Zurich Opera Festival. His outstanding staging is based on mafia rivalry and highly inspired by The Godfather and the direction that respected the timings of this opera to a precision that only can fills you with awe and respect for the director. It takes a village… so this show wouldn’t be as fantastic if it was without the sensational cast lead by Olga Kulchynska (what a superb singer!), always reliable and brilliant Joyce DiDonato, as well as Benjamin Bernheim (!) in one of his finest interpretations.

To me this is clearly the best Christof Loy production of a belcanto opera since his La Donna del Lago in Geneva — which was unfortunately never broadcast or recorded on DVD (I should emphasize that I loathed his Lucrezia Borgia despite the rave reviews it received at the time it was premiered in Munich).

As much as I thought Fabio Luisi was awkward in Wagner, I thought he was the master of the Universe while conducting this opera…

Major props are due to Christian Schmidt for sets and costumes.

This compelling show --which is a rarity today!-- can be seen on Arte on this link