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Posts Tagged ‘Rossini’

Thumbnail : Handling Handel: Mark Morris’ Acis and Galatea, plus more Handel, Monteverdi, BLO’s I Puritani, the Met’s Cenerentola, and other adventures in opera-land

Handling Handel: Mark Morris’ Acis and Galatea, plus more Handel, Monteverdi, BLO’s I Puritani, the Met’s Cenerentola, and other adventures in opera-land

The Mark Morris Dance Group was back in Boston with the East Coast premiere of a major new work, Handel’s ravishing pastoral opera Acis and Galatea, under the aegis of the Celebrity Series of Boston, one of the co-commissioners. I loved it. Or to put it more accurately, I’m in love with it, and saw three of its four performances at the Shubert Theatre. Morris has now staged several complete operas and one Handel oratorio. At least two of these are generally regarded as his masterpieces: Purcell’s one-act opera, Dido and Aeneas (1989), in which all the singers are offstage and the dancers play the main characters; and Handel’s L’Allegro,il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1988), in which the singers are also offstage, and there are no charactersBut in Rameau’s delectable Platée (1997) and in Morris’s productions of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Handel and Haydn Society, 1996; the Metropolitan Opera, 2007), singers played the leading roles and appeared on stage along with the dancers.

Thumbnail : Vilde Frang Amazes. Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Satisfy.

Vilde Frang Amazes. Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Satisfy.

Here in San Francisco we are fortunate to experience in fairly rapid succession the world’s great violinists, especially the young ones rising. (And sometimes the older ones falling: Pinchas Zukerman’s recent rough and scrapie visit with the Royal Philharmonic was disappointing—a soaring career tumbling for the nets). But it has generally been a feast: James Ehnes, Simone Lamsma, and now Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, just to name a few. Given the level of excellence these days, it is sometimes hard to pick a winner and know what winning means. All are remarkably good. But I’ll go out on a limb here.

Thumbnail : Vivica Genaux talks to Michael Miller about Acting, Regieoper, and Taking the Waters: the Interview, Part III

Vivica Genaux talks to Michael Miller about Acting, Regieoper, and Taking the Waters: the Interview, Part III

[Read Part I] [Read Part II] (Transcribed by Andrew and Lucas Miller) Vivica Genaux has recently appeared in a George London Foundation recital at the Morgan Library, and Vivaldi’s opera Ercole has recently been released in a superb recording by EMI with Europa Galante led by Fabio Biondi, in which she sings the part of Antiope. This […]

Thumbnail : Rossini’s Ciro in Babilonia at Caramoor, with Ewa Podleś, Jessica Pratt, and Michael Spyres; Will Crutchfield conducting

Rossini’s Ciro in Babilonia at Caramoor, with Ewa Podleś, Jessica Pratt, and Michael Spyres; Will Crutchfield conducting

Ciro in Babilonia
Gioachino Rossini. music
Francesco Aventi, libretto

The concert (or “semi-staged,” if you prefer) performances at Caramoor are a treasure, as one of the few venues in America where one can hear bel canto opera correctly sung in a context which attempts to recreate the text and performance of bel canto opera in a practical balance of scholarship and showmanship. Bel Canto at Caramoor is a delight for audiences and singers alike, because, as Vivica Genaux, who has sung there several times, said, “at Caramoor it’s all about the music.” It’s not some eccentricity of a more than usually serious singer that the music comes first. I’d venture to say that the music tells us almost everything we need to know about opera, especially in Rossini, who first developed his technique by working with singers. What we discover through research into performance practice cannot literally enable us to recreate the exact sound of the original performance, much less its effect on its audience. However, the music of a particular, bygone period makes no sense at all, unless certain basics of the original performance practices are followed. What you hear at Caramoor today shows progress from the early efforts of Callas, Sutherland, and Sills and the musicians who worked with them. What Will Crutchfield has achieved gives us, as the audience, a viable grounding in the technique and style of Bel Canto. Above all, this music has to be sung with the whole voice.

Thumbnail : Vivica Genaux, to appear with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi at Carnegie Hall, on Thursday, Feb. 2, talks to Michael Miller, Part 2 of 3

Vivica Genaux, to appear with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi at Carnegie Hall, on Thursday, Feb. 2, talks to Michael Miller, Part 2 of 3

[Read Part I] [Read Part III] (Transcribed by Alan Miller.) MM: Harnoncourt will have the Concertgebouw…and I think maybe he started with the Vienna Philharmonic having them use gut strings… VG: Good for him. MM: And approaching a period style. I should think that would be a great—how do you say?—experience for orchestral musicians, to have […]

Thumbnail : Vivica Genaux, who is about to tour the U.S. with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi, talks to Michael Miller, Part 1 of 3

Vivica Genaux, who is about to tour the U.S. with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi, talks to Michael Miller, Part 1 of 3

[Read Part II] [Read Part III] Vivica Genaux will tour the U. S. with Fabio Biondi and Europe Galante in February with a spectacular program based on their best-selling recording Vivaldi Pyrotechnics. I was fortunate to catch her in New York last month while she was on her way to Pittsburgh for her annual sessions with […]

Thumbnail : Bel Canto at Caramoor, Review: Guillaume Tell by Gioachino Rossini

Bel Canto at Caramoor, Review: Guillaume Tell by Gioachino Rossini

William Tell by Gioachino Rossini Bel Canto at Caramoor Saturday, July 9 at 7:30pm ~ Venetian Theater Friday, July 15 at 7:30pm (repeat performance) ~ Venetian Theater Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Will Crutchfield, conductor Cast:  William Tell – Daniel Mobbs, bass-baritone Matilde – Julianna Di Giacomo, soprano Arnold – Michael Spyres, tenor Jemmy – Talise […]

Thumbnail : Bel Canto at Caramoor, a Preview: William Tell by Gioachino Rossini

Bel Canto at Caramoor, a Preview: William Tell by Gioachino Rossini

William Tell by Gioachino Rossini Bel Canto at Caramoor   To read our review of the performance, click here. Saturday, July 9 at 7:30pm ~ Venetian Theater Friday, July 15 at 7:30pm (repeat performance) ~ Venetian Theater William Tell – Daniel Mobbs, bass-baritone Matilde – Julianna Di Giacomo, soprano Arnold – Michael Spyres, tenor Jemmy […]

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  • 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 most of the opera, sometimes reached
    Larry Wallach
  • A Singer’s Notes 92: The Cherry Orchard
    The Cherry Orchard At Historic Park-McCullough in North Bennington, VT July 31 – August 9 Most remarkable in Living Room Theatre’s The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov on Friday night was a natural sounding translation of the play – something I have rarely heard. This was accomplished by the young actress who also played Anya, along with Randolyn Zinn. […] The post
    Keith Kibler
  • A Singer’s Notes 91: TMC Forever, and A Little Bit of Marlboro
    The Tanglewood Center Music Orchestra took on an enormous challenge in their first outing this summer. The Bruckner 4th Symphony is a magnificent leviathan of a piece which requires everything of its players and its conductor. The young French horn section deserves multiple plaudits. This work is one of the supreme tests of orchestral horn […] The post A Sin
    Keith Kibler
  • Two Weekends in the Country: The BSO and the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, the new Clark, Mass MoCA, and Boston Midsummer Opera’s Bartered Bride
    As life in the city slows down, life in the country west of Boston ratchets up. I went out to the Berkshires to catch as much as I could of Tanglewood’s fiftieth Festival of Contemporary Music, this year curated by Boston composers and longtime Tanglewood faculty members John Harbison (a composition fellow in 1959) and Michael Gandolfi (a fellow in 1986). Th
    Lloyd Schwartz