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*+-Andris Nelsons has garnered a lot of attention during his first season as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—much coverage in the local and even national press; receptions for the public and an exhibition with a talking hologram at Symphony Hall; placards on buses around Boston and in the subway. He threw out a ball for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The BSO organization wants him talked about by the man and woman on the street—especially the younger set. It remains to be seen whether a new younger audience will be drawn to the BSO. Eventually, it’s the music that will matter, not publicity.
*+-“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.
*+-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 […]
*+-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 […]
*+-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 […]
*+-A couple of years ago the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and conductor Riccardo Chailly visited Boston and gave a wonderful Symphony Hall concert of Richard Strauss tone poems. The orchestra, with a lot of young members, played splendidly, with great group spirit. And Chailly gave extraordinary purpose and meaning to the music. He and the orchestra under his leadership showed care and commitment with every bar, every note, and fashioned each piece into a compelling organic whole. Wow! one felt. Friends of mine in New York heard the same program a week later there and had much the same reaction.
*+-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 […]
*+-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] […]