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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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  • The Bard Music Festival at 25: Franz Schubert and his World
    My leading thought goes against much of what the Bard Music Festival and my own values, for that matter, stand for. And just read Keith Francis' provocative series, The Great Composers?, the latest installment of which has just been published. I've missed only one Bard Festival since 2006, and I've heard great music by Elgar, […]
    Michael Miller
  • A Singer’s Notes 98: No Amontillado, just Ale
    The much-maligned poetry of Edgar Allan Poe still bristles with excitement when one hears it. High and mighty Emerson called it a bunch of "jingles." The musical reference is appropriate. A poem like "Annabelle Lee" is basically a sound event. The sonic Poe I have in my imagination was revered by the French, Baudelaire in […]
    Keith Kibler
  • A Treasurable Account of Poe’s Last Hours from the Berkshire Theatre Group, with David Adkins and Kate Maguire, Closing 10/26
    You can't really blame the Berkshire Theatre Group for billing Eric Hill's splendid entertainment, POE, as a Hallowe'en show. As the holiday approaches, Poe's chilling stories and poems are rolled out in all the many forms they have assumed since their assimilation into two great cultural phenomena, American Literature and American Pop Culture, over the […]
    Michael Miller
  • A Singer’s Notes 97: It’s Hot Outside—Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Clicks at Oldcastle Theatre, Bennington
    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is an obsessive work which makes wildly different demands on its actors. Renata Eastlick as Maggie starts us off which what amounts to a twenty-five to thirty-minute monologue. She did this superbly. It was just overbearing enough. Listening to her was the excellent Loren Dunn who played her husband […]
    Keith Kibler