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Mozart’s “Classic” Flute

Raffaele Mellace

The Berlin iconic director Peter Stein has been put in charge of the main project of Teatro alla Scala Opera Academy for 2016: Mozart’s Magic Flute currently shown in Milan. Such end-of-summer productions (by now almost a tradition) provide the young singers enrolled in the program with a unique opportunity to test their talents on the main stage in the final segment of the Scala season. The Director’s main aim has been to transform the singers-to-be in proper actors,...

Luigi Nono's Prometeo at the Luzern Festival

Helmut Pitsch

Luigi Nono is one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century. He was born in Venice into a wealthy family and studied music and law in Padua. For further education he moved to Germany, where he became friend with Hans Werner Henze, Karl Heinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez, all of them musical leaders of the Avant-garde. Notable for his strong political left wing orientation, his musical heritage and influence are enormous. He experimented with new sound possibilities and involved...

Sonya Yoncheva is Norma at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

In 1898 Giuseppe Verdi described Vincenzo Bellini as being ‘rich in feeling and in an individual melancholy of his own’. The associated musical traits can be found in abundance in Norma of 1831, with academic David Kimbell suggesting that the composer’s most astonishing achievement in the opera was ‘amid all the more obvious excitements of musical Romanticism, to have asserted his belief that the true magic of opera depended on a kind of incantation in which...

Stefan Vinke and Petra Lang in Lohengrin at the Wiener Staatsoper

Helmut Pitsch

'There is happiness' and two burning hearts in a soft landscape as a big painting decorates the transparent curtain, as part of this new interpretation of the opera by young Richard Wagner. This reference to the libretto by the master is designed by Director Andreas Homoki who sets the legend of this divine hero and his swan in a very traditional Bavarian environment. The Munich Hofbräuhaus seems to be the model of the stage design and so does the traditional Bavarian costums...

Faust’s first time in Salzburg

Raffaele Mellace

Surprisingly, a major title of the French operatic tradition such as Gounod’s Faust had never been staged before at the Salzburg Festival. It happened this year in a production signed by Austrian director Reinhard von der Thannen, responsible for sets and costumes as well. However solid the cast was, the main focus of the production was certainly von der Thannen’s staging  – and with good reason (one could actually tell right from the programme notes, entrusted to...

Thaïs at the Salzburg Festival 2016

Helmut Pitsch

Jules Massenet is one of the great representative of the French Grande Opera. He has left a remarkable heritage of operas but only few have made it continously into the calendar of the opera theaters. Thaïs premiered in 1894 as one of the rarely staged masterpieces which makes it from time to time into concert halls in concert version. The composition was originally arranged for the Opera comique in Paris but was first shown in the Opera Garnier, where it had been performed the most...

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