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Aribert Reimann's Medea at Komische Oper BerlinAchim Dombrowski
Aribert Reimann – now in his 80ies – is one of the most important and prominent contemporary German composers. Since composition of his opera Lear (first performed with grand success at Munich State Opera in 1978), he considered the creation of another stage work based on one of the huge mythological characters of world literature, Medea. But it's only when discovering the Austrian writer Grillparzer’s adaptation (first performed in 1821) that the subject...
Klaus Florian Vogt and Anja Harteros: Tannhäuser at the Bayeri...Helmut Pitsch
There was a lot to see and somehow nothing. Romeo Castellucci is the Italian director of this new and highly expected production of Tannhäuser at the Munich Nationaltheater, whose history is strongly linked with the oeuvre of Richard Wagner. Romeo Castellucci showcases strong and intense pictures in a continuous but nonetheless uneasy and unclear to follow flow of symbolic acts, and in a way absorbed in the story plot. Laureate in set design and painting in Bologna, he founded the...
La fille du régiment at the Liceu: Propelled to glory in two m...Xavier Pujol
Very often the experience of opera takes on an exclusively artistic or aesthetic character and we live it as an experience of the spirit. Sometimes, though, the experience of opera resembles more that of a sports event, or a risk sports event to be more precise. We are then in front of a form of vocal athletics. It is a different experience, with lots of adrenaline, very gratifying in the moment and perhaps less so in the long term. La fille du régiment, by Donizetti, is an...
Don Carlo at the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenSam Smith
Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo, which premiered in 1867 in Paris as Don Carlos, exists in several versions, and, depending on which is performed, is either his longest or one of his longest operas. Although the first performance was in French, Nicholas Hytner’s 2008 production for the Royal Opera House employs the Modena version of 1886, which is one of several to utilise an Italian libretto. Don Carlo ; © ROH, Catherine Ashmore Don Carlo ; © ROH, Catherine...
A memorable Met gala looks backwardsIlana Walder-Biesanz
On May 7th, the Metropolitan Opera threw a special gala to celebrate 50 years at the “new Met” in Lincoln Center. The design of the new Met has been debated and criticized since its construction, but one thing is certain: it has been an artistic home to many of the world’s greatest singers. They were there in full force and full voice on Sunday for this nostalgic celebration. Angela Meade, Michael Fabiano, Günther Groissböck sing “Qual...
Farewells with Der RosenkavalierIlana 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...