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William Christie, the Sun King of Baroque Opera
Quite a daring choice for a young American musician in the 1970s to consider a career as a harpsichordist! Nevertheless, this was indeed the choice of William Christie, notably taught by Ralf Kirkpatrick and Kenneth Gilbert; but his true path lay elsewhere: the few recordings show a soloist who was much less talented than his compatriot Scott Ross or his protégé Christophe Rousset. The small ensemble that he created in 1979, Les Arts Florissants, was originally a profoundly...
The Paris Opera presents its 2018-2019 anniversary season, at the meeting point between tradition and modernity
As a national opera, the Paris Opera has historically taken on the role of preserving France's operatic heritage and bringing French opera to life. For all that, opera is obviously a distinctly living art form and since the beginning of his mandate at the head of the Parisian establishment, Stéphane Lissner has also been committed to contributing to updating the repertoire and has been working to diversify the cultural range of France's famous Opera. This is the reason for...
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...