Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Brouillon

  • Traditionalists will be thrilled to learn that the 6 years old production of Arabella, directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf, will be live broadcast from the Vienna Staatsoper on Mezzo TV. Next Wednesday, May 9 2012, starting from 19:00 (cet).

    Arabella is one of the Strauss' operas I like the least. I saw the show before I started blogging and it didn't work for me at all. Likely-Impossibilities saw it last year and she moderately liked it, so do give it a try! The cast looks good on paper, with Renée Fleming, Julia Kleiter, Tomasz Konieczny and Michael Schade.
    Note that a very similar cast will sing in the new (and hopefully better) production of this opera at Opéra Bastille, the premiere of which is scheduled for June 14.    

  • Easter Concert in Lucerne is one of the big musical events every year. This year's concert was filmed and a DVD release is planned. On the program was the Glagolitic Mass by Janacek, performed by the amazing Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra lead by Mariss Jansons, and the cherry-picked soloists: Tatiana Monogarova, Marina Prudenskaya, Ludovít Ludha, Peter Mikuláš.
     Wiki: The word "glagolitic" is defined as an adjective meaning " of, relating to, or denoting a Slavic alphabet whose invention is attributed to Saint Cyril, preserved only in certain Roman Catholic liturgical books found in Dalmatia.
    It's Janacek, it's special, it's always exploratory...  Video is not embeddable but you can watch it and listen on this link.

  • Fellow blogger Gesamtkunstwerk informed us that the Bayreuth Tannhäuser 2012 will sound very different from its first incarnation in 2011.  Lars Clevemann [who apparently backed out] will be replaced by Torsten Kerl  which might be good considering the size of  the Festspielhaus auditorium. On the other hand the decision to replace Thomas Hengelbrock by Christian Thielemann is totally baffling unless you fit in the saying "Politics is everywhere."

  • Good News is that this year  Olivier Award for the Best New Opera Production went to Castor and Pollux (opera by Rameau) produced by Barrie Kosky for ENO. Congrats!

    Good to see that three of four nominated productions have been created at the ENO [other two being A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Christopher Alden, The Passenger directed by David Pountney], and it seems logical that ENO was eventually also awarded for the "Outstanding Achievement in Opera".
    Can we now hope the ENO reconsidering the archaic "all opera sung in English" rule?

    Note that the over-hyped Adriana Lecouvreur by McVicar was not nominated last year.

  • Ticket booking at La Monnaie/De Munt for the new production of Il Trovatore opens today -  April 28. This is not a Verdi opera I like, but since Dmitri Tcherniakov is producing Yours Truly will make an effort, hop on Thalys and go to see the live show.

    Marc Minkowski will have his hands full with his first opera by Verdi [I wonder if this decision was a tad too audacious], and the cast is phenomenal with Scott Hendricks (GOAT Macbeth), Sylvie Brunet, Marina Poplavskaya, Misha Didyk and Giovanni Furlanetto.

  • Do not forget to book your seats for Poppea e Nerone in Madrid (it's new Warlikowski!) and the cast list looks promising... 

  • Not fresh but interesting news is that Nikolai Blau won the context for the best Mahler remix. The contest was run by the Berliner Philharmoniker (Educational Program) and the winning 4min19' remix consists of elements taken from the 1st Symphony by Mahler; check out here

  • Two things for the Bel Canto fans: Graham Vick recently produced new Anna Bolena in Florence, with Mariella Devia in the title role together with Ganassi, Scandiuzzi, Mukeria... A long trailer:


    More videos of Mariellissima from this show can be found on YT (here, here, or from rehearsal here).

    A few videos from the David Hermann production of Il Turco in Italia --currently running in Amsterdam-- landed on YT. Here is one with our dear Olga Fiorilla Peretyatko

  • You already know that Toby Spence is one of my favorite singers and the news about his recent battle against thyroid cancer was really bad... but reading a few articles made me appreciate/admire Toby more than ever. After the surgical removal of tumors he's now recovering and hopes to come back on stage in a little over a month from now. How courageous is that!? Good luck Toby!



  1. Adriana Lecouvreur by McVicar was nominated last year.

  2. My bad! Thx

    Don't get me wrong! I very much admire McVicar for his Nozze, Zauberflöte, Manon, The Rape of Lucrezia, The RING!!!, Semele, La Bohème..., but beside those gems there is a series of uninspiring productions like Clemenza, Trovatore, Aida, Meistersinger, Bolena. Hyper-productivity leads to lower quality.

    Richard Jones is becoming hyper-productive too. I counted something like 7 productions next year...

  3. Wow, bit of a shock there, re: Spence. Glad to hear he's doing well now.

  4. OperaCake, thank for covering new productions and NEW works. Opera isn't dead! BTW, have you heard any advance word on Le Duc d'Albe, coming up at Vlaamse Oper? Thank you, too, for linking to broadcasts of unusual (rare) operas. I love your site.