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La Juive at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich

Helmut Pitsch

It is still a rare possibility to assist to this opera, even if it was once a big success in the whole Europe after its world premiere in Paris 1835. The subject of this Grande Opera seems more than actual and modern again. It demonstrates the fight between religions, prosecution and religious discrimination, linked with the fate of two strong competing men opposed and confronted by fatal love, faith power and a virtuous girl. It is a dark story with a tragic end : dark and...

An only correct Bohème is always a certain triumph

Xavier Pujol

For his version of La Bohème, created in 2009 for the English National  Opera and now shown at Liceu, Sir Jonathan Miller chose Paris in the thirties as its visual referent, the Paris that Cartier Bresson and Brassaï immortalised through photography. This is not the first time that the British director turns to well-known iconographic referents to visually frame an opera title. In 1982 he presented an inspired “mafia” Rigolettoset in Manhattan that became one...

Der Rosenkavalier at La Scala

Raffaele Mellace

Quite remarkably, as demanding as this opera is, and outside a German-speaking country, Der Rosenkavalier has recently become fixture of La Scala seasons, now appearing in its third production within the last 13 years. This time, the deep and yet lighthearted, bittersweet comedy turned out again a favorite of the Milanese audience, which had been graced with a very early staging back in March 1911, barely six weeks after the Dresden world premiere. Harry Kupfer, former director of the...

Tannhäuser at the Longborough Opera Festival

Helmut Pitsch

England is well known for the number of familiar small festivals, located in pittoresque estates, in the most beautiful landscapes. This specific symbiosis of nature and art has gained its value for opera lovers. Longborough Opera Festival, as one of those, has built up over the last years a reputation for high quality opera performances in a very personal environment. Leslie and Martin Graham have devoted their time to opera and established a team of very qualified professionals to run...

Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Glyndebourne Festival

Helmut Pitsch

This year's opening production of the highly regarded Glyndebourne opera festival is Rossini's well beloved masterpiece of Barbiere di Siviglia. Annabel Arden was already responsible for several productions in Glyndebourne and returns with a rather traditional mediterranean setting, involving most lively action rather on the edge of exaggeration. There is sufficient wit and comic in the splendid original libretto and music of this opera buffo, so there is no need for...

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Glyndebourne Festival

Helmut Pitsch

Over 80 years of existence, a wonderful setting in the hills of South England and high quality performances have made Glyndebourne a high reputable festival. Everybody who has ever been there will never forget the remote familiar atmosphere with sheep on the fields nearby the picnic on the impeccable lawns, and this relaxed relation of nature and art. A perfect location and attitude for experiencing an opera, especially the monumental piece of Meistersinger by Richard Wagner. It...

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