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L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortilèges at La ScalaRaffaele Mellace
Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortilèges had been missing from La Scala stage for nearly 40 years, since 1978, when they had been presented as a diptych under George Prêtre’s baton. Their comeback in the production from the Glyndebourne Festival from 2012 (resumed in 2015) has been warmly welcomed by the Milanese audience as thoroughly enjoyable, brilliantly conceived entremets between the main courses of La fanciulla del...
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...