Monday, September 26, 2011
Candide is based on Mr. Voltaire's 1759-ish novella of the same name, mocking some of the ridiculously optimistic philosophers of the Enlightenment and their naive amazement at human tragedy and the evil that man does to man. How could a benign God, ruler of the best of all possible worlds, allow such things to happen? One often hears the same question today. Several versions of Candide have been produced since its premiere as a musical in 1956 with a book by Lillian Hellman. We saw the 1974 Hal Prince revival (the "Chelsea Version", for the theater where it premiered) with a rewritten book by Hugh Wheeler and lyrics by lots of folks.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Sept 23rd 2011
Royal Opera House
Enough! This new production at the Royal Opera is most welcome and anything by Richard Jones is worth seeing. I greatly enjoyed his gloriously dingy, Fellini-lite production of Gianni Schicchi when it first saw the light of day at Covent Garden in 2007 in a double bill with L'Heure Espagnole. That occasion marked Bryn Terfel's first stab at the title role. This revival (differently cast as below), with the addition of new productions of Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica, represented a new version of the Triple Bill as a whole.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I look forward to seeing the MET's production. I adore Anna Bolena, and I'm OK with Nebs. I heard the streaming audio of her role debut in Vienna last spring, and there were some perfectly glorious moments. I have heard good reports about this show, and look forward to seeing it, both live and in the movie theater.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
We are fortunate that YouTube abounds with examples of Lucia Popp's singing. I coujld post gazillions of videos, but these three will suffice.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I have included him in earlier posts, but this is the first post dedicated to him. Here is his Wikipedia bio, and here is his web site (auf Deutsch). Now for the singing!
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
On Saturday, Sept. 3, I had the pleasure of seeing what Opera Omnia (operaomnia.org – two performances remain, on Sept. 6 and 7) can do with Mr. Cavalli’s popular 1649 masterpiece Giasone at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. This is Opera Omnia’s second outing, the first being The Coronation of Poppea in 2008. The economic downturn prevented the group from producing anything else in the intervening years, which is a shame. If an opera company can specialize in early Baroque opera, beautifully sung and creatively staged, accompanied by a fine early music ensemble, and make it laugh-out-loud fun, I say more power to them!
See the full review here.