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  1. #136
    Banned Top Contributor Member
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    Very sad news. Nobody could sing that the mill is on the fire like he did.

  2. #137
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    action-art based on Der Ring, corresponding to Bavarian State Opera's new production with Kent Nagano and Andreas Kriegenburg. I would go participate in the installation if I could get to Europe.

    I'm going to post the trailers from this new Ring because I think they are Awesome.

    (has anybody seen my post on the "stage your own opera" thread where I talk about how Rhine Scene 1 is about dancers?)


    gotta appreciate a young, Swash-ready Hunding (funny story: That kid is a Curtis student and I saw him sing Orestes when the philadelphia orchestra did Elektra, my friend said "Wouldn't it be cool if we saw a Hunding the same age as the Walsungs? That kid we saw play Orestes could be awesome for it) little did we know...
    Also: Love what they did with the Ride!

    Has anybody been following things about this Ring? I'm sure on Nagano's good faith alone it shall garner much attention. I would buy a dvd if I could.

  3. #138
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    So sad to hear about Fischer-Dieskau. One of my all-time-favorite baritones.

  4. #139
    treemaker
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    Here is the New York Times article on Mr. Fischer-Dieskau's death.

  5. #140
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    The June 2012 issue of Opera News magazine has arrived, and it contains an interview with lovely Leah Crocetto. We beat Opera News to the task since we published an exclusive interview with her before they did!

    Some other news from this issue:

    The HD Summer Encores schedule is Anna Bolena on June 13, Le Comte Ory on June 20, Don Giovanni on June 27, Les Contes d'Hoffmann on July 11, Lucia di Lammermoor on July 18, and Der Rosenkavalier on July 25.

    The Met has released Met Opera on Demand, a new app for the iPad that allows streaming access to their videos.

    Sir Thomas Allen will be *directing* an opera for Boston Lyric Opera, and will sing in it too: Cosě fan tutte. BLO's new season includes three more productions (all four are new productions): Madama Butterfly, Der Fliegende Holländer, and the world premičre of James MacMillan's Clemency.

    The winners of the 2012 National Council Auditions have been announced (this is old news, but anyway): soprano Janai Brugger, mezzo Margaret Mezzacappa, countertenor Andrey Nemzer, tenor Matthew Grills, and baritone Anthony Clark Evans.

    Tenor Issachah Savage won the Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition, held in New York on March 3.

    The Sound Bites section features beautiful soprano Corinne Winters, singing Micaela in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis's new Carmen this month. She's headed to Wolf Trap Opera as Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress, and will be seen at ENO next year as Violetta.


    Next, Girls of Summer contains a series of interviews with ladies who will be performing in American summer opera festivals. The list includes Measha Brueggergosman in Cincinatti Opera's Porgy and Bess; the beautiful Elizabeth Futral in Kaija Saariaho's one-woman opera Émilie at the Lincoln Center Festival; "our" Lea Crocetto in Santa Fe Opera's Maometto II; Stephanie Blythe singing a concert of Kate Smith's songs in Great Barrington, MA; Ava Pine in Forth Worth Opera's Lysistrata from Mark Adamo, lovely Kelly Kaduce in Cincinatti Opera's Pagliacci, and Unsuk Chin, the composer of Alice in Wonderland, which is getting its US premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this month in an all-new production; Ewa Podles in Rossini's poorly known opera Ciro in Babilonia at Caramoor; Patricia Racette and Patti Lupone in concert at Chicago's Ravinia Festival; Michelle Johnson singing Aďda for the Glimmerglass Festival, the charming Zulimar López-Hernández in Don Giovanni at Des Moines Metro Opera; Joyce Castle in Oklahoma! at Central City Opera; Karen Ziemba doing Sweeney Todd for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Maria Kanyova with San Francisco Opera in Nixon in China, Marjorie Owens also in Des Moines Metro Opera's Don Giovanni; and finally, 90-years-old veteran Phyllis Curtin who will be reciting poetry at Tanglewood.

    On pages 30 through 43 we find the schedule for a total of 49 American summer festivals (mostly opera festivals, but included in this total there are a few non-operatic classical music festivals), in 22 states.

    The reviews section contains:

    American productions

    Handel's Rinaldo in Chicago, a mixed review praising the orchestra and all the singers especially David Daniels, but complaining of the choreography and omnipresent dancers.

    Cosě fan Tutte by New York City Opera was said to be highly entertaining but occasionally bizarre, including Don Alfonso cavorting in a bear costume, and Despina having physical relations with a canon. There is also some nudity as all four lovers shed their clothes at the end. While three of the singers are praised, Sara Jakubiak is said to have pitch problems, and the orchestra is disparaged for not keeping coordination with the singers.

    Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Boston Lyric Opera is said to have straightforward and the cast of young singers is considered to be good. The orchestra and conductor also get kudos.

    Dallas Opera's new incursion into contemporary chamber opera territory with Peter Davies's chilling 1980 work The Lighthouse gets a very favorable review, regarding both the opera itself and the production, as well as the cast and the state-of-the-art venue.

    Sarasota Opera's four latest productions get each briefly reviewed in one article. Otello gets from the Opera News reviewer lavish praise. Apparently it was a very gripping performance of the full, uncut work. Barber's and Menotti's Vanessa achieves more subdued praise. Lucia di Lamermoor with Kathleen Kim is valued for the young soprano's vocal performance but her acting abilities get questioned. The male singers in this production are judged to be good. Finally, Sarasota Opera's Carmen is considered to be dull and disappointed in almost all regards, with only soprano Danielle Walker being spared.

    International Productions:

    Lyon Opera gave a world premiere Of Jérome Combier's Terre et Cendres. Musically the reviewer seems to have liked the work, but the end verdict is mixed, being called "bleak but moving."

    Olivier Py's uncut production of Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots in Strasbourg in collaboration with La Monnaie of Brussels is said to have "gratuitous nudity and an akward exploration of physicality" but in spite of this, the reviewer seems to believe that Py was able to pull it off. Gregory Kunde (whom we know from the remarkable Les Troyens in the famous blu-ray with Sir Gardiner) is said to have started "defeated" but to have been able to grow into the vocal role, ultimately being triumphant. Soprano Mireille Delunsch did not impress the reviewer as much, while French mezzo Karine Deshayes gets the highest praise. The orchestra was also irregular, having started by showing some ensemble trouble, but was able to become solid over the long 290 minutes of the work.

    In Brussels, La Monnaie revived Norwegian stage director Stefan Herheim's controversial Rusalka in which she is a prostitute and the Water Gnome one of her victims. Among other things, the production features grotesquesly fat-suited naked women, people with fish heads, and people wearing their coats backwards. The result according to the Opera News reviewer is a crass and nonsensical mess with profound divorce between music and staging.

    La Scala had a Regie production as well, of one of my favorite operas, R. Strauss' Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Director Claus Guth made of it the dream of a mental patient in an upscale private clinic. The production is called "mean-spirited." Musically, however, singers, orchestra, and conductor are said to have performed exceedingly well and to have deserved long applause at the end.

    David McVicar directed a new production of The Rake's Progress in his native Glasgow. The reviewer considered Mr. McVicar's work as "impeccable stagecraft," the cast sung well, and Scottish Opera scored a clear hit that drew enthusiastic applause.

    The Recordings section has as Critic's Choice Antonio Pappano's 2011 Werther from Covent Garden released by DG, with Sophie Koch and - guess who? Rollando Villazón! Well, I'm glad to learn from the reviewer that Villazón actually did very well and seemed fully recovered from his throat surgery and vocal problems. He is said to have been frim and vibrant in this spinto workout. Sophie Koch, Pappano, and the ROH Orchestra all collect high marks from the reviewer.

    Other CDs reviewed include:

    Marek Janowsky's 2011 Meistersinger released by Pentatone is reviewed as brilliant and extraordinary, especially regarding the orchestra and conducting, but singers also get good words.

    Ohio Light Opera's release of Herbert's The Fortune Teller under the Albany label conducted by Steven Byess in 2011 is giving a winning verdict.

    Handel's Il Pastor Fido released by Harmonia Mundi with La Nuova Musica under the baton of David Bates gets a mixed review, with some of the singers being unconvincing.

    Tedora Gheorghiu's CD of a selection of music written for Anna de Amicis with Les Talents Lyriques under Christophe Rousset also gets a mixed verdict, with the singer being faulted for her youth and lack of polishing, while also being considered impressive in some numbers.

    Lucy Crowe's CD "Il Caro Sassone: Handel in Italy" with The English Concert and Bicket in the Harmonia Mundi catalog is mostly reviewed in unfavorable terms, with the blame falling on the singer.

    Berlioz gets interpreted by Les Musicians du Louvre-Grenoble in a double CD that includes among other pieces Les Nuits d'Été and Harold in Italie under Minkowski for the Naďve label. Vocal parts are sung by Anne Sofie von Otter with partial success - she is said to still be very good but age has taken its toll. The orchestral rendition of Harold in Italie on the other hand is considered to be very successful.

    The Historical Recordings section contains reviews for Sony Classical 2cd release of Cav-Pag with Farrell, Miller, Chookasian, Tucker, Bardelli for Cav, and Amara, Corelli, Colzani, ghitti, Marsh for Pag, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Nello Santi, from 1964 in the old Met building. Both get high marks.

    The Creators of Verismo, Vol. 1 is a 2CD set with excerpts from operas by Boito, Giordano, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, Mascheroni, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, and Thomas, with various singers and orchestras, released by Marston. Like is often the case with such compilations, the reviewer talks of a hit and miss, with some outstanding singers together with others who don't make the cut.

    The Video review section gets as Critics Choice, Patricia Petibon's Lulu blu-ray from the 2010 Salzburg Festival released by Unitel (attention, there are two recent Petibon Lulus). The Vienna Philharmonic under Marc Albretcht gets a standing ovation from the reviewer, and so do the singers. Ms. Petibon is given very high marks - first of all, for her great acting which is no surprise - but she is also said to perform vocally above what one would expect of her voice due to "sheer, crazed force of will." The reviewer expresses concern about what these brave efforts from Ms. Petibon will do to her voice, overtime. The production by Nemirova, however, is considered to have failed, as well as set design.

    The Liceu's Die Entfürung aus dem Serail is next, with Damrau, released on DVD and blu-ray by Unitel, is said to be musically exemplairy. Diana Damrau is said to have delivered a sensational Konstanze, and the entire cast is considered to be good, as well as conductor Ivor Bolton. Herbert Murauer's sets however "leave a lot to be desired" and Christof Loy's staging is called "controversial at best."

    The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino's Aďda on Arthaus Musik blu-ray and DVD with conductor Zubin Mehta, Chinese soprano Hui He in the title role and Luciana D'Intino as Amneris has the added interest of featuring acclaimed cinema director Ferzan Ozpetek. With a few downsides, this production is very favorably reviewed by Opera News. Mr. Ozpetek has chosen a traditional approach to the staging, and this seems to have been a winning decision.

    From Opera Australia's own label comes the next blu-ray, the Gale Edwards production of La Bohčme reset to the early 1930's Berlin, that is said to be interesting and even illuminating. While the reviewer strangely doesn't say anything about conductor Lü and the orchestra, singers are mostly well received, except for Takesha Meshé Kizart whose voice is called inconsistent. Apparently this production is sensual and also counts on inventive camera work. Audio quality is not as good.

    A 2008 concert was release on DVD by Delos, featuring Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanosvsky, mostly with arias from various Verdi operas except for Faust. It is part of Hvorostovsky's Moscow series of concerts with friends. The reviewer has only good things to say of both singers.

    A very good documentary is praised next, the Teresa Berganza Master Classes on Le Nozze di Figaro and on Don Giovanni, available on DVD by Mélisande Films.

    The Historical Video section brings us Patricia Munsel's Melba - a feature film in which the soprano portrays the life story of Nellie Melba. While the movie itself is said to be very bad and untrue to the real events, there is merit in listening to Munsel portraying several roles that she shared with Melba. Image and sound for this old movie are deficient.

    Also released on DVD is The Stingiest Man in Town, a 1956 musical TV adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. We see Munsel again, and she is said to be at her best, looking lovely and singing gorgeously.

    The Books section contains three books that are all three well received by the reviewers:
    The Castrato and His Wife by Helen Berry, with the real life story of castrato Giusto Tenducci who was a pupil of Caffarelli.
    French Grand Opera and The Historical Imagination, by Sarah Hibberd, contains very interesting newly discovered facts that challenge some of the ideas taken for granted - for example, that La Muette de Portici truly inspired a revolution.
    Verdi in America: Oberto Through Rigoletto by George W. Martin which analyzes the stage-worthiness of many early Verdi stagings in the United States.

    This issue ends with the Obituary of Louise Ireland Humphrey, then the Dateline with this month's performances, and fineally in the Coda section there is an amusing piece by Julie Connelly on the issue of operatic costumes, called The Dress-Up Games.

    I have enjoyed this issue of Opera News as one of the best in recent months (I had been a little discouraged with a drop in quality and interest of the articles, but this issue is good). I recommend its purchase as an isolated issue for those who are not subscribers.

    (This post was made into an article for our News section, In Print sub-section, where it figures with some bold fonts to facilitate the highlighting of the main points)
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); May 19th, 2012 at 10:29 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  6. #141
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanGesamtkunstwerk View Post
    action-art based on Der Ring, corresponding to Bavarian State Opera's new production with Kent Nagano and Andreas Kriegenburg. I would go participate in the installation if I could get to Europe.

    I'm going to post the trailers from this new Ring because I think they are Awesome.
    Wow.

    Thanks for posting, AGKW. Those clips are indeed awesome--and yes, they do confirm all you said about Das Rheingold and dance!

    I will definitely be on the lookout for this production on DVD.

  7. #142
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    In other news, the Met will soon have a new general manager:

    Latest Met Aria: Bad Opera News Is No News

  8. #143
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    In other news, the Met will soon have a new general manager:

    Latest Met Aria: Bad Opera News Is No News
    From the article: "We think Opera News does an excellent and a vital job in covering opera.” So, Opera News will not be reviewing Met opera productions any longer. Not to worry folks, calm down, calm down. Opera Lively will fill the gap!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  9. #144
    Schigolch
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    If someone can't stand even the tamed and timid criticism of a publication like Opera News, he is really lined up for some major upset.

  10. #145
    Senior Member Involved Member jflatter's Avatar
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    Don't worry Norman Lebrecht is going to save the day.....ahem

    http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddi...w-boycott.html

  11. #146
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    If someone can't stand even the tamed and timid criticism of a publication like Opera News, he is really lined up for some major upset.
    I agree. Mr. Gelb has to be able to stand that people don't approve of the things he does. The review wasn't even that negative, at least compared to what others (Tomassini, Zachary Woolfe, James Jorden, the opera blogosphere at large) have written.

    This, on top of the Met Futures fiasco and the WQXR kerfuffle, I think might be the straw that is at least close to breaking the camel's back.


    And Normal Lebrecht; bless him.

  12. #147
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Look! They changed their mind:

    Opera News Will Continue to Review Metropolitan Opera Production

    May 22, 2012


    Opera News Will Continue to Review Metropolitan Opera Production

    In view of the outpouring of reaction from opera fans about the recent decision to discontinue Met performance reviews in Opera News, the Met has decided to reverse this new editorial policy. From their postings on the internet, it is abundantly clear that opera fans would miss reading reviews about the Met in Opera News. Ultimately, the Met is here to serve the opera-loving public and has changed its decision because of the passionate response of the fans.

    The Met and the Met Opera Guild, the publisher of Opera News, have been in discussions about the role of the Guild and how its programs and activities can best fulfill its mission of supporting the Metropolitan Opera. These discussions have included the role of reviews in Opera News, and whether they served that mission. While the Met believed it did not make sense for a house organ that is published by the Guild and financed by the Met to continue to review Met productions, it has become clear that the reviews generate tremendous excitement and interest and will continue to have a place in Opera News.

    http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope....aspx?id=22660

  13. #148
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    It's just getting worse and worse.
    Probably what happened is that Mr. Gelb twisted the arms of the Guild and now we'll be only reading favorable reviews of Met productions on Opera News.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  14. #149
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    I think the Guild and the Board twisted the arm of Gelb. If he does, as he says, make all artistic desicions, I think the review ban was a way for him to flex his censor muscle on something he somehow vaguely wrests some control over. What I think happened is that the Board and Guild saw the shitstorm going on on Twitter and in the opera blogs and sat Gelb down and tried to talk some sense into him. At least that's what I hope happened.

    But it's not unlikely that the reviews will be kinder. And that is really a shame.

  15. #150
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    I don't know, Aksel, if you read the comments in Norman's blog, it looks like Gelb has been replacing people in the Guild board with people he trusts. And they depend financially on him. It's more likely that the twisting arm power is with him, not with them.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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