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Preview: Royal Opera 2017/18 Season
Although Kasper Holten left the post of Artistic Director of the Royal Opera in March 2017, he played the leading role in programming its 2017/18 season and, with a good blend of new productions and strong revivals, it looks to be a particularly fine one. Some composers whose operas have been neglected in recent seasons get a look-in, while several contemporary composers also have the opportunity to present new works. Add in the fact that many evenings feature some of the world’s...
Lohengrin, metaphor of the artist
The tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who was kept away from the scenes for a few weeks because of a hematoma on his vocal cords, returns to Opera Bastille, alongside Martine Serafin, Evelyn Herlitzius and Wolfgang Koch, directed by Philippe Jordan, as Lohengrin, an emblematic role of the Wagnerian repertoire, "incarnating purity and heroism on earth". While waiting for the premiere of "Lohengrin" at the Opéra Bastille on January 18th, we return to the genesis and meaning...
The Tales of Hoffmann, Grand Finale or Revival?
Long considered an amusing “operetta maker”, Jacques Offenbach, the symbol of Parisian gaité under the Second Empire, left his Contes d’Hoffmann to posterity just before dying (he never saw the premiere). A darkly fantastical work on the search for the absolute and the feminine ideal, which became a masterpiece of French romanticism, proving to be resolutely modern in its construction. In a few days we’ll be able to hear The Tales of Hoffmann first at the...
Bellini, a Meteor in the Romantic Firmament
After Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Monserrat Caballé or recently Cecilia Bartoli, Sonya Yoncheva will be Norma for the first time, in the new production of the Royal Opera House in London, conducted by Antonio Pappano and set by Àlex Ollé (in a new setting which seems to be of a very catholic inspiration, taking place in the transalpine Gaule occupied by the Romans of the original libretto. Yoncheva taking on the role is far...
5 questions to Bryan Hymel
In a few years, the american tenor Bryan Hymel became one of the most sought singer by the greatest opera houses in the world such as the Metropolitan Opera or Covent Garden. His repertoire is large but his affinities with french language and his clear and heroic voice make him an ideal performer for Berlioz's works as Les Troyens or Damnation de Faust. On the occasion of a concert at the Festival Castell Peralada in Spain, we have met...
Faust: the tragic illusion of Marguerite
Breaking with the image of Goethe’s work (which the writer himself deemed impossible to adapt), Charles Gounod’s Faust is often perceived as a comic opera, a light entertainment fit only for arousing the enthusiasm of the broadest audience, especially with its popular arias (starting with “Je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir”, popularised by Tintin’s Castafiore). Despite this, the work is far more dense than it seems, revealing Gounod’s conflicts...