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Oedipe at the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenSam Smith
Composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher (Yehudi Menuhin was one of his pupils), George Enescu (1881-1955) is regarded by many as Romania’s most important musician. His sole opera Oedipe is generally acclaimed to be his greatest masterpiece, and yet, in Britain at least, it has been somewhat neglected. This is the first time it has ever appeared at the Royal Opera House, while the production, which premiered in Brussels in 2011, also represents the first time that the work...
West Side Story in Salzburg, the operatic emotionLa Rédaction
Cecilia Bartoli made it a habit as the artistic director of the Whitsun Festival of Salzburg: for every new edition since 2012, the mezzo-soprano incarnates a female role so that each year is the opportunity to present “a new facet of femininity”. And in order for the 2016 edition to match the 400th anniversary commemoration of William Shakespeare, Cecilia Bartoli chose Romeo and Juliet for this lyrical event. The author’s piece had obviously...
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bavarian State OperaHelmut Pitsch
It is David Bösch fifth direction at the Bavarian State Opera and this new creation shows the characteristics of his work and his stage designer Patrick Bannwart. The whole story takes place in a dark and miserable, nearly apocalyptical environment to be dedicated to the late 70s - costumes by Meentje Nielsen. The city of Nuremberg is preparing the prestigious open air event of Johannisnacht and the Meistersinger competition on the mainsquare. The star of the evening, Munich...
I Capuleti e i Montecchi, DiDonato and Ciofi’s great success a...Xavier Pujol
The dramatic intensity at the heart of Romeo and Juliet’s theme is such that not only can it travel in the Western culture from Shakespeare to Bernstein being reborn in each generation, but it also survives, almost intact, the heavy bel canto rhetoric. Build upon Felice Romani’s inflamed verses up to a cliché, which at no point come from the Shakespearian referent (we only wish they did), I Capuleti e i Montecchi is still an imperfect Bellini that, although...
La fanciulla del West at La ScalaRaffaele Mellace
With the current La Scala production of Puccini’s La fanciulla del West Robert Carsen reminds us where opera comes from and what it originally dealt with: myth. Not of course classical myth of late-Renaissance Florentine earliest operas, but rather the modern myth Puccini chose after Madama Butterfly to experiment a further path in the hey-day of his success: the myth of the Golden West – as the title of David Belasco’s original play calls it. A myth which has been able...
Tannhäuser at the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenSam 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...