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Posts Tagged ‘James Levine’

Thumbnail : John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby in Boston

John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby in Boston

“So we beat on, boats against the currents, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Nick Carraway’s concluding insight in The Great Gatsby is one of the great closing sentences in literature, and one of the great images of our human helplessness to escape the past. It’s also the line that ends John Harbison’s Gatsby opera, which—13 years after its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera—just had its first complete Boston performance, in a concert version produced by Emmanuel Music (the musical organization Harbison co-founded in 1970 with Craig Smith at Boston’s Emmanuel Church, mainly to play all of Bach’s cantatas as part of every Sunday’s liturgy). Harbison is now Principal Guest Conductor at Emmanuel, which has long been associated with his music, including the very first public performance, in 1997, of the first two scenes from The Great Gatsby.

Thumbnail : BSO Appoints Andris Nelsons as its New Music Director

BSO Appoints Andris Nelsons as its New Music Director

Given some of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s distinguished elder statesmen music directors—Karl Muck, Pierre Monteux, Serge Koussevitzky, Charles Munch, Erich Leinsdorf, James Levine—it’s probably surprising that they have appointed 34-year-old Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons to succeed James Levine as the BSO’s 15th music director since 1881. Still, it’s useful to remember that the BSO also […]

Thumbnail : James Levine Withdraws from Met Conducting Assignments through the End of Next Season; a Word for Jonas Alber

James Levine Withdraws from Met Conducting Assignments through the End of Next Season; a Word for Jonas Alber

The Metropolitan Opera has released the following announcement, which comes as no surprise. What struck me above all is that Fabio Luisi was not able to conduct the last two performances of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung on May 9 and May 12 matinee. I very much hope that the responsible parties will consider Jonas Alber for these dates. Former General […]

Thumbnail : The Lyricism of Despair: Wozzeck at the Met

The Lyricism of Despair: Wozzeck at the Met

Wozzeck music by Alban Berg, libretto by the composer adapted from Georg Büchner’s dramatic fragment, “Woyzeck” Metropolitan Opera House Saturday April 16 at 1:00 pm Conductor, James Levine Production, Mark Lamos Set and Costume Designer, Robert Israel Lighting Designer, James F. Ingalls Stage Director, Gregory Keller. Cast Wozzeck – Alan Held Marie – Waltraud Meier […]

Thumbnail : Orfeo ed Euridice (Vienna version, 1762) at the Met

Orfeo ed Euridice (Vienna version, 1762) at the Met

Orfeo ed Euridice (Vienna version, 1762) Music by C. W. Gluck (1714-1787) Libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi Metropolitan Opera January 24, 2009 Orfeo – Stephanie Blythe Euridice – Danielle de Niese Amore – Heidi Grant Murphy Joshua Greene – Harpsichord Conductor – James Levine Production – Mark Morris Set Designer – Allen Moyer Costume Designer […]

Thumbnail : Hector Berlioz, La Damnation de Faust, Metropolitan Opera, November 7, 2008

Hector Berlioz, La Damnation de Faust, Metropolitan Opera, November 7, 2008

Faust – Marcello Giordani Marguerite – Susan Graham Méphistophélès – John Relyea Brander – Patrick Carfizzi Conductor – James Levine Production – Robert Lepage [Debut] Associate Director – Neilson Vignola [Debut] Set Designer – Carl Fillion.[Debut] Costume Designer – Karin Erskine [Debut] Lighting Designer – Sonoyo Nishikawa [Debut] Interactive Video Designer – Holger Förterer [Debut] […]

Thumbnail : Gary Lehman and Janice Baird Sing Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera

Gary Lehman and Janice Baird Sing Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera

About twenty minutes into Act II, Deborah Voigt became ill, left the stage, and the curtain was lowered. After a fifteen-minute delay, the act resumed at “Sehr lebhaft” with Janice Baird singing the role of Isolde.
The evening began with Peter Gelb’s suave announcement that Ben Heppner was ill and recovering at home in Canada. He reminded the audience that only perhaps five tenors in the world were able to sing Tristan, but a replacement had been found, a tenor named Gary Lehman, who would be singing the role for the first time in public. Great promises he did not make.

Thumbnail : Alfred Brendel, Deborah Voigt, James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra: Mozart, Webern, Berg, Strauss, Salome

Alfred Brendel, Deborah Voigt, James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra: Mozart, Webern, Berg, Strauss, Salome

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra James Levine, Music Director and Conductor Deborah Voigt, Soprano Alfred Brendel, Piano Webern, Six Pieces for Orchestra Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491 Berg, Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6 R. Strauss, Final Scene from Salome It comes as particularly sad news that Alfred Brendel will retire from public recitals […]

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  • A Singer’s Notes 95: The Henry Plays at Shakespeare and Company
    Jonathan Epstein undertook a courageous and largely successful project making an evening’s performance out of the Henry plays. I could have used a little more Doll Tearsheet and a little less Ancient Pistol, but I understand choices have to be made. The narrative was clear throughout, and there were some surprising and gently humorous touches […]
    Keith Kibler
  • A Singer’s Notes 94: Local Excellence… and a Rare Unamplified Performance of a Broadway Musical!
    Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre once again filled its house and earned rave applause for its production of Gianni Schicchi, by Giacomo Puccini. This opera which seems so straight out and comfortable is actually a very hard score, both vocally and orchestrally. It could fairly be called the most intricate of Puccini’s compositions. This is why it […]
    Keith Kibler
  • A Singer’s Notes 93: Denève, the TMC Orchestra, and Berlioz; McGegan and Handel; Bernstein’s Candide at Tanglewood
    The excellent Stephane Denève chose two works of Hector Berlioz for his TMCO concert. Wholly remarkable was a performance of Les Nuits d'Été. The maestro gave these songs a sound I've never heard before. It was ravishingly quiet to begin with, not unlike the nearly silent playing Simon Rattle can achieve in his Mahler performances. […]
    Keith Kibler
  • Murder Myth Married to Music—Lizzie Borden Wields her Axe at Tanglewood
    In Jack Beeson and Kenward Elmslie’s 1965 retelling, Lizzie Borden is unequivocally presented the murderer of her step-mother and father; in the opening moments, as the orchestra starts up with a scream of outrage, Lizzie runs onstage with an axe and plants it firmly in the middle of the family table. It remains there for […]
    Larry Wallach