Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jonas Kaufmann (and Tony Pappano) Interviews on Euronews

From Euronews, January 22, 2015, Herr Kaufmann discusses how he takes care of his voice. And Sir Tony chats about working with JK, the Andrea Chenier, and opera in the cinema. (Unfortunately, it looks like the U.S. distributor picked up only the ballets this year.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lucia di Lammermoor Webcast from the Bayerische Staatsoper – February 1, 2015

Tune in to Staatsoper.TV on Sunday, February 1 to see the new Bayerische Staatsoper production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor starring Diana Damrau and Pavol Breslik. 

While we are waiting, check out the Staatsoper podcast (auf Deustch, natürlich), which contains some musical excerpts, including a bit of the mad scene (with glass harmonica!)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gratuitous Friday -- Peter Mattei as Don Giovanni (Champagne Aria)

The Paris Opera has graciously shared this little clip of Michael Haenke's Don Giovanni (which, sadly, doesn't seem to be available in full anywhere these days). The cast also included David Bižić, Patricia Petibon, and Veronique Gens.

Thank you, Paris Opera!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

@Rinatshaham = Mezzo Elvira Awesomeness

I just tweeted the above comment, then did a quick search on Israeli mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham and found this great interview at the Operatraveller blog. I first encountered Ms. Shaham as Cherubino in the marvelous ROH Nozze di Figaro. Carmen is her signature role, but she occasionally ventures into the higher realms of roles such as her recent debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at La Monnaie (available online for about five more days. Go watch it. Now! Seriously.)

Operatraveller saw this Don G live, and in the review commented (and I concur):
Rinat Shaham’s Elvira also made the role her own. The voice so rich and easily produced, the tessitura holding no terrors.  She was also a captivating actress, fully encapsulating Elvira’s strength yet also mapping the journey when she realizes her betrayal.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Only 10 More Days to Watch this NSFW Don Giovanni from La Monnaie

At least the opening bit—the film during the overture, and some of the action in the opera box (and a few other bits)—is not safe for work (NSFW). 

I try not to be a prude; but every once in a while, I channel my Mom and purse my lips and say things like, “That’s quite unnecessary!” Then I channel my Dad, who would say something like, “Well! How ’bout that?” (…meaning, “I’m not sure quite what to think!”)

As I do so often, I waited till (virtually) the last minute to watch the current production of Don Giovanni at La Monnaie; and I haven't seen all of it yet. So far, I’d say we have a wig-fest for a sex-obsessed Donna Anna (Barbara Hannnigan, who seems like an odd choice, but is quite effective.) And another freaking-out Don Giovanni with a foot fetish and some interesting oral fixations (Jean-Sébastien Bou, whom I’d love to like better, but frankly he seems maybe the weakest voice in the cast—of course Don G is often the weakest character.) And another ironic, patient, and tolerant Leporello* (Bass-baritone Andreas Wolf, sounding charmingly baritonish.)

The entire cast seems fully committed to Krzysztof Warlikowski's vision.

Don Giovanni – Jean-Sébastien Bou
Leporello – Andreas Wolf
Donna Anna – Barbara Hannigan
Donna Elvira – Rinat Shaham
Don Ottavio – Topi Lehtipuu
Zerlina – Julie Mathevet
Masetto – Jean-Luc Ballestra
Commendatore – Willard White
Choeurs de la Monnaie, Symfonieorkest van de Munt/Ludovic Morlot
Stage Director – Krzysztof Warlikowski

*This is kind of off-point, but I think Leporello and Donna Elvira are my favorite characters in this opera. I’d like to see a spin-off for them! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

La Clemenza di Tito – An Austrian/Italian Co-Production

A co-production by the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole and the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. I haven't had a chance to give it more than a cursory sample (noting: that there's a lot of wig business with Vitellia; that the costume designer must have hated the tenor; and that we hear some good, young, up-and-coming singers), but I wanted to share it right away! 

Here's a brief intro to the production (in German):

Here is a recording of one of the performances in Italy:

Act 1:

Act 2:

And here is a copy of the program from the Austrian performances. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Meanwhile, Streaming on Concert.Arte.TV

Natalie Dessay sings Michel Legrand; quite nicely, if you like this sort of thing (I do.)

Matthias Goerne's Winterreise rides again (till the end of February).

And, of course, there's Tito, Sesto, Vitellia, and the whole crazy gang.

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