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Juan Diego Flórez returns to a Liceu in a State of EmergencyXavier Pujol
Normality comes back at Liceu – a kind of normality which we now know will never be a return to the past. This is being done in a brave, slow and difficult way, both for the staff and artists as well as for the audience. Juan Diego Flórez was due to offer a recital at Liceu last May and, after the pandemic forced it to be rescheduled, it was eventually divided into two sessions, on the 21st and 23rd October, in order to accommodate every person that had bought a ticket in...
Music is our language - Rolex calls for the preservation of musicLa Rédaction
"perpetual music", a project initiated by Artists must speak, make music, and perform: that is their language, that is their soul. Even if it is not reflected in politics, art and culture are part of our society, and as much a part of our life as eating, drinking or breathing. Artists cannot survive without performances and have thus fallen into a deep existential crisis due to the Coronavirus crisis, with its...
An Entertaining and Worthwhile The Marriage of Figaro at the L...Sam Smith
The Marriage of Figaro of 1786 is one of three operas on which Mozart collaborated with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (the others being Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte). It is based on the second of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaurmarchais’ trilogy of Figaro plays, while the first was later to be immortalised by Rossini in The Barber of Seville. It centres on the day on which Figaro, valet to Count Almaviva, tries to wed Susanna, maid to...
Jette Parker Young Artists Take Centre-Stage in Susanna at the...Sam Smith
Handel’s Susanna of 1749 takes its story from Chapter 13 of the Book of Daniel. Set during the Babylonian captivity, it sees Susanna’s husband Joacim have to leave her for a period. Two Elders of the community who are besotted with her use his absence as an opportunity to try to force themselves upon her while she is bathing. When, however, she resists their advances, in revenge they invent a story that they caught her in an adulterous act and she is consequently...
Natalya Romaniw Reigns Supreme in Madam Butterfly at the Londo...Sam Smith
Set in Japan, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly of 1904 explores the relationship between the American naval officer Pinkerton and the Nagasaki born Cio-Cio-San, who he both affectionately and patronisingly calls Madam Butterfly. She takes their marriage extremely seriously, even converting to Christianity the day before their wedding and consequently being ostracised by her family. He, on the other hand, sees his union as being akin to his Japanese house,...
Strong Singing but Questionable Staging: Luisa Miller at the L...Sam Smith
Luisa Miller is not one of Verdi’s total rarities, but it does not grace major opera houses with anywhere near the same frequency as his most popular creations. The work, however, has much merit as, for example, Act II ends with an allegro in three mounting stages that, although quickening towards an animated finish, is not like a conventional stretta. Written in 1849, it is regarded as coming at the beginning of the composer’s ‘middle period’, with...