Sunday, January 22, 2012

Don Carlo di Monaco

... not to be mistaken for Gian Carlo del Monaco. Latter is the name of a talentless opera producer who every year presents one of his lamentable productions at the Paris Opera.

Don Carlo di Monaco instead is a not-very-good production of Verdi's Don Carlo presented at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, that will be live-streamed today January 22 2012, at 17:00 (CET) on this website.

If the production is not really worth spending over 3 hours in front of your computer, the cast is exquisite and you'll most probably love our dearest Anja Harteros, the majestic René Pape, and always reliable super-Jonas Kaufmann. I bet Anna Smirnova sounds perfect as Eboli in the auditorium of the BSO. 
Mariusz Kwiecien was supposed to sing the role of Marquis de Posa, but had to cancel a few weeks before the show, and is replaced by Boaz Daniel, who I recently listened in the same role [in the new production of Don Carlo at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin (much better production than the one in Munich, which I also saw a few years ago)].


Friday, January 20, 2012

Etta James, 1938-2012

One of the rare great genuine artists of our time left us today. :(

Rest in peace big lady!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Don Giovanni - Alert

Six years after its premiere, one of the most poignant opera productions -- Don Giovanni directed by Michael Haneke-- will be back at the Paris Opera next March/April.

Peter Mattei and Luca Pisaroni in the Michael Haneke production of Don Giovanni

As I suggested at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season, this is one of the two truly recommendable productions this year in Paris --the other being Carsen's Tannhäuser-- and actually worth a trip.

While the quality of most of the new productions in Paris oscillates between bad and dreadful, the revival of the old stuff is usually very well done, with great care (Lulu and La clemenza di Tito, are this season's notable examples.)

Cnd- Philippe Jordan/Marius Stieghorst; Cast: Peter Mattei, Paata Burchuladze, Patricia Petibon, Bernard Richter/Saimir Pirgu, Véronique Gens, David Bizic, Nahuel Di Pierro, Gaële Arquez.

Art of Interpretation and Expression

Last December 19, Emmanuele Haïm and her orchestra Le Concert d'Astrée celebrated 10 years of collaboration/activity, and for the occasion a Gala Concert took place at Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris.

Happily, for us who could not attend the concert, Arte concocted 1 hour of excerpts and broadcast it last week.

Christopher Purves (L) and Anne Sofie von Otter & Philippe Jarousky (R)

I will not comment on the concert that I didn't attend but I thought I could share a couple of excerpts that are good illustration of utmost importance of the interpretative skills in making the beautiful voices reaching the spectators' hearts.


Mathematics, A Beautiful Elsewhere

Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain is a medium-sized exhibition space in Paris that regularly surprises us by proposing delightful small-scaled exhibitions of whatever appears to be a new trend in the world of contemporary art. The events are not huge, but very carefully chosen as to let you in on the artistic wave of the moment, and to leave you enough time to process and contemplate on the  exposed pieces [which is to be contrasted to the large scale exhibitions where one is often rushing to  (pointlessly) see everything -- our brains cannot absorb too much art and saturates after an hour or so.]

I don't blog here on the exhibitions but this time I must make an exception. Fondation Cartier surpassed themselves and proposed something intellectually enriching, very creative, and totally new...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Talking about David Bösch...

I should remind you that tomorrow, Saturday, January 7 2012, at 6:45 pm (CET) the Bavarian State Opera will live broadcast, on their website, a very good production of L'elisir d'amore directed by  David Bösch.

Dan Ettinger will conduct and the cast includes Adriana Kučerová, Pavol Breslik, Levente Molnár, Ambrogio Maestri, and Tara Erraught.

From the David Bösch production of L'elisir d'amore at BSO in Munich

It is close to my favorite production of this opera (by Richard Brunel), and shows that some of the belcanto operas can be produced intelligently, by introducing a little idea, and rely on the theatrical tools to hide the triviality of the libretto. It is not easy but here is proof that it is possible!

See trailer below...

Mitridate, Rè di Bavaria

Mitridate, rè di Ponto, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, July 25 2011

Extraordinary Lawrence Zazzo as Farnace in the David Bösch production of Mitridate, rè di Ponto

Director ..... David Bösch 
Conductor ..... Ivor Bolton

Mitridate ..... Barry Banks
Aspasia ..... Patricia Petibon
Sifare ..... Anna Bonitatibus
Farnace ..... Lawrence Zazzo
Ismene ..... Lisette Oropesa
Marzio ..... Alexey Kudrya
Arbate ..... Eri Nakamura

The Bavarian State Orchestra

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Occupy Bayreuth!

Remember that Siemens was sponsoring the popular Siemens Festspielnacht in Bayreuth, and each year one opera would be live broadcast on a big screen in front of thousands of people from Northern Bavaria who otherwise wouldn't be able to experience one of the Festival operas.

The screenings were cherished by everyone for many different reasons, and it was compatible with the  Wagner's original idea to organize the festival that would make his Gesamtkunstwerk accessible to all the people.

The webcast --also sponsored by Siemens-- helped many Wagnerites around the world, who either weren't lucky to score a ticket for the festival or simply couldn't afford all the expenses, to see one opera every year.

Bad news, last September, was that Siemens would stop sponsoring these popular events, and without their 1 million € no more webcast, nor "Siemens Festival Nights", could be ensured.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Amadis de Gaule by J.C.Bach at Opéra Comique in Paris

Amadis de Gaule, Opéra Comique in Paris, January 2 2012

Conductor ..... Jérémie Rhorer
Director ..... Marcel Bozonnet

Amadis ..... Philippe Do
Oriane ..... Hélène Guilmette
Arcabonne ..... Allyson McHardy
Arcalaüs ..... Franco Pomponi
Urgande, 1st Coryphaeus ..... Julie Fuchs
La Discorde, 2nd Coryphaeus ..... Alix Le Saux
La Haine, L’Ombre d’Ardan Canil ..... Peter Martinčič*
Soprano solo ..... Ana Dežman*
Tenor solo ..... Martin Sušnik*
*soloistes of the Chorus of SNG Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Compagnie de danse Les Cavatines (Natalie van Parys)
Le Cercle de l’Harmonie

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Concert from La Fenice

Young and talented conductors often bring freshness and audacity to the interpretation of known (and less known) music, they are less 'hampered' by the constraints of experience... On the other hand, the more experienced conductors often build on their experience to bring new subtleties of the score, to play with the orchestral texture and make the known music sound different/fresh...

Diego Matheuz

For starters...

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...