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Tannhäuser at the Longborough Opera FestivalHelmut 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 FestivalHelmut 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 FestivalHelmut 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...
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...