• Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)

    by Published on August 18th, 2012 03:01 PM
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    Tosca, melodrama in three acts, premiered on January 14, 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, setting ...
    Published on August 15th, 2012 02:33 AM

    [Authored by Schigolch]

    As many of you know, and we will further discuss in this in-Depth ...
    by Published on August 11th, 2012 11:38 AM
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    Almaviva attended on August 10 a concert of operatic arias and duets by Handel and Mozart at the Cary ...
    by Published on August 6th, 2012 10:27 PM

    Here is a link to a review for the recent Seattle Opera Turandot, courtesy of member Treemaker, who will send another review authored by ...
    by Published on August 6th, 2012 07:19 AM
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    Luiz Gazzola has interviewed emerging countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo [Opera Lively interview # 55], in the wake of his recent - and impressive - success of public and critic in the Metropolitan Opera productions of Rodelinda and The Enchanted Island, not to forget his victories in the National Council Audition and this year's Operalia. The young singer was featured on the cover of the current issue of Opera News Magazine [read their article (here)].

    Mr. Costanzo came back to his native North Carolina for a concert at the Cary Arts Center in the Triangle region of the state, with soprano Rachel Copeland and the Brussels Chamber Orchestra. The event has happened on August 10, 2012 at 8 PM, featuring music by Handel and Mozart. The concert was part of the season of our partners NC Opera, and you can read the review [here].


    Photo ©Matthu Placek, used with authorization

    Talking to Mr. Costanzo was a pleasure, given his bright intelligence and verbal facility. He replied to some eighteen questions in lightening speed and in one shot and no hesitation, with incredible articulation. This is definitely an artist to be watched, correctly spotted by Opera News Magazine as belonging to "the next wave" of major operatic stars. [Questions by Opera Lively members Almaviva, Schigolch, HarpsichordConcert, and StLukesGuildOhio]
    ...
    by Published on August 4th, 2012 02:43 PM
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    Luiz Gazzola met in person Yvonne Fontane in London, for this intriguing interview [Opera Lively interview # 54]. The accomplished singer and stage director is a lovely and charming lady who is so vivacious in her facial expressions and intonation that it is a shame that this is not a video interview, since on paper some of the fun won't be transmitted to our readers. Ms. Fontane is intense, and her passion for what she does pours out in every answer of hers. This is so striking that one of our staff members who was transcribing the audio file, said "I want to hug her!" Having met her in person, Almaviva couldn't agree more. This is one fascinating lady! We would be very curious to attend one of her productions, because if she can transmit to her team and to her audience all her ebullient enthusiasm for opera, the audience will surely be in for a treat!

    Ms. Fontane is one of the driving forces of Stowe Opera, a very interesting company that is now producing their shows on the beautiful grounds of Winslow Hall in England. Hopefully someone among our British readers will attend their upcoming show and post a review. Meanwhile, let's immerse ourselves in the pleasure of reading Ms. Fontane talking about her deep insights into the psychology of her characters, as well as her original approach to stage directing. Enjoy, readers; this interview is a winner! (Questions by MAuer and Almaviva)
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    by Published on August 3rd, 2012 05:39 AM
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    Luiz Gazzola met in Prague, Czech Republic, opera composer and conductor Marko Ivanović for an in-person interview. [Opera Lively interview # 53] The 37-year-old composer appears much younger than his stated age, in looks and enthusiasm. He is currently experiencing enormous success in his homeland, thanks to sold out performances and raving reviews of his new opera Enchantia. An acquaintance put Almaviva in touch with Mr. Ivanović with virtually no time to research and plan for the interview questions so this one has more of a conversational tone.

    Mr. Ivanović gave to Almaviva a copy of the DVD of Enchantia, together with an English translation of the libretto and some promotional material. Only after the interview Almaviva found the time to watch the opera, which is a pity because the interview questions would have been more complete, had the opera been seen beforehand. But better late than never: it must be said that Enchantia is absolutely brilliant! The creativity of the work is simply amazing, and the music is extremely beautiful. Regrettably there is no way to show a sample of this work here, since it is a non-commercial DVD. But see below on the bottom of this page; we'll at least post a link to a review, a link to the publicity material with several production pictures, and we'll publish separately our own review of it, and place the link here once it is done.

    ...
    by Published on August 2nd, 2012 12:19 AM
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    Our partners at North Carolina Opera have announced the new season. In celebration of ...
    by Published on July 30th, 2012 04:32 AM
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    Deborah Voigt is a busy lady. Her agent said she wasn't granting many interviews these days, and asked us to keep it short. We did this one as an e-mail questionnaire, and sent her eight questions (Mary Auer contributed with the questions), and we are thrilled that she did reply, and sent us her interesting thoughts that you can read below. (Photos used with authorization of her press representative at 21C Media Group) [Opera Lively interview # 52]


    © Peter Ross

    Singer: American soprano (of German descent) Deborah Voigt
    Fach: Dramatic soprano
    Born: in 1960 to a Southern Baptist family; raised in Wheeling, Illinois, and Placentia, California
    Recently in: Der Ring des Nibelungen, Metropolitan Opera, NY, in the role of Brünnhilde
    Currently in:
    summer recital season; July 30 in Sun Valley, ID; August 5 in Cooperstown, NY (Glymmerglass Festival); August 18 in Westhampton, NY.
    Next in: Les Troyens, Metropolitan Opera, NY; December 13, 17, 21, 26, 29 2012; January 1 and 5, 2013 - for tickets, click [here]
    ...
    by Published on July 29th, 2012 10:10 AM
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    Le Roi Malgré Lui
    , opéra-comique in three acts, 1887 [The King in Spite of Himself], 1887
    Music by Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894)
    Libretto by Emile de Najac, Paul Burani, revised by the un-credited Jean Richepin as well as the composer himself, after the vaudeville of the same name written in 1836 by Jacques-Arsène Ancelot (1794-1854).
    Sung in French, with English Supertitles
    BardSummerscape Festival co-production with Wexford Festival (Ireland)
    American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein, Music Director
    Stage Director Thaddeus Strassberger
    Set Design by Kevin Knight
    Costume Design by Mattie Ullrich

    Cast:
    Henri – Liam Bonner
    Nangis- Michele Angelini
    Minka – Andriana Chuchman
    Alexina ...
    by Published on July 25th, 2012 10:58 PM
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    Dear readers, Opera Lively is engaged in extensively covering the run of Emmanuelle Chabrier's outstanding opéra-comique Le Roi Malgré Lui (The King in Spite of Himself) at the Bard SummerScape Festival in upstate New York (co-production with Ireland's Wexford Festival where it will be given this fall, with three singers being part of both casts: Liam, Nathalie, and Frédéric). [Opera Lively interviews # 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, and 51]

    ----------------



    ----------------

    As part of this coverage, we have published the full announcement with ticket information; a long article with several details about this piece including musical analysis, synopsis, circumstances of composition, etc.; an extensive interview with stage director Thaddeuss Strassberger which is quite spectacular (it addresses various other topics as well); we are publishing in the next 48 hours a 40-minute exclusive interview with conductor Leon Botstein which has been completed and is being transcribed (half of it is about this piece; the other half, about the Maestro's other endeavors and opinions); and over here in this article - the fifth one in this series - we'll be adding short interviews with the cast.

    These are likely to drop in little by little - we've received two already; one is promised for tomorrow morning, and there are more that hopefully will be making their way into our mailbox. So, visit this space again for the additional interviews - we'll be making announcements of their presence as they arrive, by adding a reminder to the Comments field below. Production pictures were kindly provided by the Bard College.
    ...
    by Published on July 24th, 2012 01:41 AM
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    Luiz Gazzola is traveling to Annandale-on-Hudson, New York State, to attend the prestigious Bard SummerScape festival, held at the architecturally and acoustically spectacular Richard B. Fischer Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (designed by Frank Gehry), for their new production of Emmanuel Chabrier's opéra-comique Le Roi Malgré Lui (The King in Spite of Himself). In a follow-up to our very interesting interview with stage director Thaddeus Strassberger (read it by clicking HERE), this time we have interviewed Maestro Leon Botstein, who will be conducting the opera with the American Symphony Orchestra for the Bard. [Opera Lively interview # 45]



    Leon Botstein has been music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, and is conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 2003–11. He is also the founder and artistic codirector of the SummerScape Festival and the Bard Music Festival, now in its 23rd year. He has been president of Bard College in New York since 1975.

    Botstein maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor throughout the world. Recent engagements include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hawaii Symphony, and Taipei Symphony, among others. He may also be heard on numerous recordings, including operas by Strauss, Dukas, and Chausson, as well as works of Shostakovich, Dohnányi, Liszt, Bruckner, Bartók, Hartmann, Reger, Glière, Szymanowski, Brahms, Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Rands. Many live recordings with the American Symphony Orchestra are now available for download on the Internet.
    ...
    by Published on July 23rd, 2012 01:18 AM
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    Luiz Gazzola has interviewed up and coming American tenor Bryan Hymel in London [Opera Lively interview # 44], in person, in premises kindly offered to Opera Lively by the Press Department of the Royal Opera House (thank you Ms. Ann Richards, and thank you Kate Davis - production pictures were also sent to us by the ROH and are to be credited to ROH 2012 / Bill Cooper, used with authorization). Bryan was singing Énée, the main male role in Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens at Covent Garden, a run that has just finished and earned the young tenor the utmost praise from the British press. Opera Lively interviewed the great Anna Caterina Antonacci in association with the same production; see her intelligent answers [here]. You may also want to consult our extensive series of in-depth articles (nine of them) on all things Les Troyens, including detailed musical analysis and considerations about its literary source, greatest singers, its symbolism, trivia, etc. - read them [here]. Without false modesty, I'd say that they are among the best reference material one can find in the Internet about this outstanding opera (Almaviva's third favorite after the Ring and Tristan und Isolde).

    Bryan's enthusiasm for the big breaks he's been getting in his still short career are contagious (Jonas Kaufmann was scheduled for this role but withdrew due to illness, opening space for still another choice opportunity for Bryan), and we feel happy for this fellow American who is making it big in Europe, and has been singing in prestigious houses such as La Scala, Covent Garden, Bayerische, and DNO. He has also had his debut in Houston and is a regular at Santa Fe Opera.
    ...
    by Published on July 22nd, 2012 02:00 AM
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    Luiz Gazzola traveled to Budapest to interview in person formidable veteran opera singer Ms. Sylvia Sass, one of the greatest sopranos of her generation. [Opera Lively interview # 43] This Grande Dame of opera is a charming, intelligent, and multi-talented lady who is also a very recognized painter, as well as the author of three books and a libretto for a new opera that is in its final stages of creation. Opera Lively is honored to have talked to such an extraordinary artist. Our staff member MAuer has contributed with questions. Regarding photo credits: almost all pictures here with the exception of those from the Castel Sant'Angelo and from the Sacher Hotel in Vienna were recovered from Ms. Sass' official web site. Ms. Sass did tell Almaviva verbally and in person that Opera Lively was allowed to use photos from her web site. There were no specific credits found, so that is why they haven't been quoted.



    © Opera Lively - Disclaimer: this exclusive interview is copyrighted by Opera Lively with all rights reserved, and is not to be reproduced without express authorization. Brief excerpts can be used after consultation (use the Contact Us form) as long as proper credit and a link to the full interview on Opera Lively are provided. Links to the interview can be posted without authorization.
    ...
    by Published on July 17th, 2012 08:08 PM
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    As part of our extended coverage of Santa Fe Opera's production of the brand new critical edition of Rossini's Maometto II, we talked to Maestro Frédéric Chaslin, who had been holding for the last three years the position of Chief Conductor at Santa Fe Opera. [Opera Lively interview # 42]


    Frédéric Chaslin made his SFO company debut in 2009 leading the highly acclaimed production of Verdi’s La Traviata. Conductor, pianist, composer and author, Chaslin was born in Paris and educated at the Paris Conservatoire and the Salzburg Mozarteum. With an operatic and symphonic repertory that ranges from Bach to contemporary music, he has appeared with major opera companies and at international festivals in New York, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome and Venice and with all the major Parisian orchestras. He served as music director of the Rouen Opera, general music director of Germany’s Nationaltheater Mannheim, chief conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and a resident conductor at the Vienna Staatsoper.

    Maestro Chaslin made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2002 conducting Il Trovatore, and subsequently The Tales of Hoffmann, Sicilian Vespers, The Barber of Seville and La Boheme. In 2005 he led the Los Angeles Opera production of Romeo and Juliet starring Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko.

    As pianist Maestro Chaslin has appeared with major orchestras in Austria, Japan, Italy and Israel. As composer he has written orchestral pieces, movie soundtracks and operas. His opera Wuthering Heights has been recorded by the London Philharmonic and London Symphony Chorus. His latest book, Music in Every Sense is an in-depth look at aspects of modern music and its relationship with the audience. It has been published in French and German and will soon appear in English.
    ...
    by Published on July 16th, 2012 08:19 PM
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    Dear readers, you can find here formidable Baroque and Bel Canto specialist mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux's answers to our questions. The entire interview is now available (this space before had only a teaser with five answers). Luiz Gazzola was impressed with how lovely and charming Ms. Genaux was during the interview. [Opera Lively interview # 34]


    © Opera Lively - Disclaimer: the copyright to this exclusive interview belongs to Opera Lively with all rights reserved, and is not to be reproduced without authorization. Brief excerpts can be used after consultation (use the Contact Us form) as long as proper credit and a link to the full interview on Opera Lively are provided. Links to the interview can be posted without authorization.


    The dazzling, vocally distinctive, theatrically engaging singer continues to garner kudos for her compelling performances on the world's great musical stages, not only for her extraordinary technique and the beauty of voice, but also for her vibrant character portrayals. She is consistently lauded as one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Baroque and bel canto music and continues to explore new avenues in this area.


    Singer: Vivica Genaux
    Born in: Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1969
    Fach: Mezzo-soprano
    Recently in: Vivaldi, Il Farnace, Opéra National du Rhin and other European cities


    ...
    by Published on July 16th, 2012 08:19 PM
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    Luiz Gazzola had the privilege of interviewing in London Danielle de Niese exclusively for Opera Lively. [Opera Lively interview # 40] She is friendly and enthusiastic, and so vivacious! It is a pity that the interview has to be published in writing, since it cannot render the singer’s lively intonation and emphatic phrasing. Talking to her was a genuine pleasure. We have edited out some of the colloquial language, but not all, to reproduce the flavor of this friendly talk. Read on below this delightful interview, after our customary blurb about the artist's facts, biography, and discography. In addition to Almaviva, another Opera Lively journalist, MAuer, contributed with questions.


    Photo Copyright DECCA-photo by Chris Dunlop, used with permission

    © Opera Lively - Disclaimer: this exclusive interview is copyrighted by Opera Lively with all rights reserved, and is not to be reproduced without express authorization. Brief excerpts can be used after consultation (use the Contact Us form) as long as proper credit and a link to the full interview on Opera Lively are provided. Links to the interview can be posted without authorization.

    Artist: Danielle de Niese
    Born in: Melbourne, Australia, in 1979; moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1990. Lives in Glyndebourne, Sussex, England, since 2009
    Fach: lyric soprano (also coloratura)
    Recently in: Australian tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra
    Next in: Summer concerts - Festival del Sole, singing Baroque arias; Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, Napa Valey, California, July 17, 2012 [www.castellodiamorosa.com]. Central Park, New York City, July 25, 2012 (free). Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City, July 27, 2012 (free). ...
    by Published on July 16th, 2012 08:19 PM
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    Opera Lively's envoy Luiz Gazzola travelled to London to attend the Royal Opera House / David McVicar / Antonio Pappano new production of Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens, together with two other staff members, sospiro and Soave_Fanciulla. After the opera we had the pleasure of meeting in person backstage outstanding soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, one of our favorite artists. Her performance in the show was her usual extremely compelling work, given that she is not only a gifted singer, but also a spectacular actress who is able to portray dramatic roles to perfection. A few days later she granted us the exclusive interview that follows [click on Read More than scroll down for the complete interview]. Mary Auer, another Opera Lively journalist, also contributed with questions]. [Opera Lively interview # 41]

    © Opera Lively - Disclaimer: this exclusive interview is copyrighted by Opera Lively with all rights reserved, and is not to be reproduced without express authorization. Brief excerpts can be used after consultation (use the Contact Us form) as long as proper credit and a link to the full interview on Opera Lively are provided. Links to the interview can be posted without authorization.



    All pictures are being used with authorization and were kindly provided by the Royal Opera House Press Office, and are to be credited as follows: © ROH 2012 / Bill Cooper for all production pictures, except for Ms. Antonacci's head shot, also provided by the ROH, but credited to Pietro Spagnoli, 2011. ...
    by Published on July 16th, 2012 12:05 PM
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    Maometto II
    , opera in two acts, premiered in Naples (Teatro di San Carlo) on December 3, 1820, and rewritten with many changes for La Fenice in Venice in December 1822. The present version is the Neapolitan version, under the critical edition prepared by Hans Schevellis, edited by Philip Gossett. Sung in Italian, with individual English or Spanish Opera Titles available in front of each seat.

    Music by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Cesare della Valle

    Conductor – Frédéric Chaslin
    Director – David Alden
    Scenic and costumes designer – Jon Morrell
    Lighting designer – Duane Schuller
    Choreographer – Peggy Hickey

    Cast:

    Anna Erisso – Leah Crocetto
    Calbo – Patricia Bardon
    Paolo Erisso – Bruce Sledge
    Maometto – Luca Pisaroni
    ...
    by Published on July 14th, 2012 11:03 PM
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    Tosca, opera in three acts (1900)
    Music by Giacomo Puccini
    Libretto by Giuseppe Giocosa and Luigi Illica
    Sung in Italian with English and Spanish opera titles in each seat
    This review is of the performance on July 13, 2012

    Conductor Frédéric Chaslin
    Stage Director Stephen Barlow
    Scenic and Costume Design Yannis Thavoris
    Lighting Duane Schuler

    Cast in order of vocal appearance:

    Cesare Angelotti - Zachary Nelson
    A sacristan - Dale Travis
    Mario Cavaradossi - Brian Jadge
    Floria Tosca - Amanda Echalaz
    Baron Scarpia - Raymond Aceto through August 8, then Thomas Hampson August 11-24
    Spoletta - Dennis Petersen
    Sciarrone - Christian Bowers
    A shepherd boy - Stefan Biller
    Jailer - Christopher Remmel

    Remaining performances: July 20, 30 at 8:30 PM; August 8, 11, 15, 18, 21, 24 at 8 PM

    Ticket information: click [here]

    All production pictures used in this review are being used with authorization of the Santa Fe Opera Press Office, and are credited to Ken Howard
    ...
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