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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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  • 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