Columns linked to Matthew Polenzani

Farewells with Der Rosenkavalier

Ilana Walder-Biesanz

Der Rosenkavalier is an opera about the passing of time and the need to let go. It’s a particularly appropriate, then, that the current Metropolitan Opera production marks goodbyes for two singers. Superstar soprano Renée Fleming is leaving the opera stage (though she will continue to perform in concerts and on Broadway), while mezzo-soprano Elina Garança has announced her intention to give up trouser roles (including, of course, Octavian). Elina will be very much...

Bavarian State Opera Gaetano Donizetti La Favorite

Helmut Pitsch

Wide open space on stage as the opera starts. Once more young German director Amélie Niermayer uses the overture for narrating already parts of the story. The new production of the Bavarian State Opera is her first appearance here. The first encounter of Leonor, the mistress of King Alphonse, and monk Fernand is love at first sight with immediate intimate embracing. Stage designer Alexander Müller Elmau created a dark neutral environment with some moveable metal blocks which...

An only correct Bohème is always a certain triumph

Xavier Pujol

For his version of La Bohème, created in 2009 for the English National  Opera and now shown at Liceu, Sir Jonathan Miller chose Paris in the thirties as its visual referent, the Paris that Cartier Bresson and Brassaï immortalised through photography. This is not the first time that the British director turns to well-known iconographic referents to visually frame an opera title. In 1982 he presented an inspired “mafia” Rigolettoset in Manhattan that became one...