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Tannhäuser at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Following Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser of 1845 is acclaimed as Richard Wagner’s second mature opera and, set in thirteenth century Germany, tells of the eponymous minstrel-knight. Feeling that the world does not understand his art as a singer, he has fled to Venusberg where he enjoys the love of Venus. After being there for a while, however, he longs for his former life and thinks about the sweet, innocent Elisabeth who he left behind. Venus reluctantly releases...

Don Pasquale, Jenufa, Tosca: A Weekend at the Vienna Opera

Alain Duault

A weekend at the Vienna Opera will convince you that this house, under the the masterful hand of Frenchman Dominique Meyer, is always in good health.  In mid-April this year, audiences were able to spend three days seeing three facets of what determines the quality of such an institution - while at the same time enjoying one of those moments that make opera legendary! On Friday, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale brought together an almost ideal quartet: tenorissimo Juan...

Rigoletto : It’s in the Box !

Alain Duault

Rigoletto is one of the cornerstones of the repertory of a great opera house like the Paris Opera: you cannot, must not miss it. But at the same time you can’t simply keep repeating conventional images of it. It needs to be part of that ceaselessly shifting movement that still today makes us talk about opera, even in the case of these works from the past. In 1851, Verdi was 38 years old: Rigoletto is thus an opera from his mature period – but most of all...

Boccanegra with an unexpected debut

Xavier Pujol

Barcelona. Gran Teatre del Liceu. 12/04/2016. Verdi, Simon Boccanegra. Leo Nucci, baritone. Barbara Frittoli, soprano. Josep Bros, tenor. Vitalij Kowaljow, bass. Àngel Òdena, baritone. Damián del Castillo, baritone. Francisco Vas, tenor. Raquel Lucena, soprano. Symphonic Orchestra of Gran Teatre del Liceu. Choir of Gran Teatre del Liceu. Massimo Zanetti, conductor. José Luís Gómez, stage director. Susana Gómez, rerun of the staging....

Otello at the Salzburg Easter Festival

Helmut Pitsch

Dark and mysterious is the start of this new production of Otello at the Easter Festival in Salzburg. Desdemona and Otello appear on the vast empty stage embracing each other till the music starts. A huge soft transparent piece of cloth is smoothly waving over the stage like a huge sail and vail. And here he is. Un angelo - the angel, an idea and addition to the cast by French director Vincent Boussard. Played by the dancer Sofia Pintzou, the angel accompanies the story throughout the...

Un ballo in maschera at the Bayerische Staatsoper

Helmut Pitsch

The Bavarian state opera continues its cycle of new productions of operas by Guiseppe Verdi. After Il Trovatore, Rigoletto and La Forza del Destino, it is now Un ballo in Maschera to get its new presentation, directed by the young German Johannes Erath. Being a talented musician originally, he started later to become a director and worked with Willy Decker and Peter Konwitschny. Once more, the libretto of this fine Verdi opera is rather simple, clear and straight forward. This fast...

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