Saturday, July 28, 2012

Daniel Barenboim, who brings harmony in the place of discord

Huge props to Danny Boyle for staging the magnificent opening ceremony of the 30th Olympics in London last night. By far the best one I could see in my life.

The level of cheesiness was reduced to an absolute minimum [only the "Hey Jude" part was streaming with cheese], and his team managed to stage the show without an epsilon of kitsch -- which must be the first time to happen in modern Olympic history. 

Loved the transition from the rural to industrial England (with Kenneth Branagh reciting the lines from The Tempest), and especially the director's choice to celebrate the NHS, which is a crown of humanistic idea of a civilized society. Even that was made without pathos, but entangled in the fantasy world of the children's storybooks.

The storytelling depicting our times through gigantic names of the British pop, rock, punk... music was extraordinary!

LSO made a notable appearance during the show: at the beginning conducted by François-Xavier Roth, and later on --in the segment with Rowan Mr Bean Atkinson-- under Sir Simon Rattle.

As I am a huge huge admirer of Daniel Barenboim I was holding back my tears when I saw him carrying the Olympic Flag together with other seven extraordinary persons of our time. The world recognized this huge musician who is 5 times larger than life by a phrase "Daniel Barenboim, who brings harmony in the place of discord".

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Götterdämmerung from Munich

Andreas Kriegenburg is a very good opera director who started his career at a theater workshop in East Germany, and soon showed  that beyond his ``know how" in building the sets, there was a true talent for theater. Today he is one of the world's leading opera producers. His production of Otello in Berlin and especially his Wozzeck in Munich will remain as examples of how an opera director should work in order to make the shows both spectacular, innovative and dramatically engaging -- which is today almost impossible to see in any of the big opera houses worldwide.

Although the Munich Opera is getting increasingly fancy and less and less artistically compelling, the Kriegenburg Ring is definitely on the short-list of 'must see'  new opera productions in Europe. So we are lucky to be given to see today the live streaming from the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich of the new production of Götterdämmerung, with arguably the best Ring conductor today (contrary to the heartkess rendition of you-know-who), Kent Nagano, who will be leading the superb BSO orchestra, and a terrific cast that includes:   
Stephen Gould Siegfried, Nina Stemme Brünnhilde, Eric Halfvarson HagenWolfgang Koch Alberich, Michaela Schuster Waltraute, Iain Paterson Gunther, Anna Gabler Gutrune, Eri Nakamura WoglindeAngela Brower Wellgunde, Okka von der Damerau Floßhilde, Norn(s) Jill Grove, Irmgard Vilsmaier, Jamie Barton

It starts at 5 p.m. (CET). Here is your link.

Below are video clips (trailers, excerpts) from all four operas of the Kriegenburg Ring.