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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...
Don Pasquale, Jenufa, Tosca: A Weekend at the Vienna OperaAlain Duault
A weekend at the Vienna Opera will convince you that this house, under the the masterful hand of Frenchman Dominique Meyer, is always in good health. In mid-April this year, audiences were able to spend three days seeing three facets of what determines the quality of such an institution - while at the same time enjoying one of those moments that make opera legendary! On Friday, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale brought together an almost ideal quartet: tenorissimo Juan...
Rigoletto : It’s in the Box !Alain Duault
Rigoletto is one of the cornerstones of the repertory of a great opera house like the Paris Opera: you cannot, must not miss it. But at the same time you can’t simply keep repeating conventional images of it. It needs to be part of that ceaselessly shifting movement that still today makes us talk about opera, even in the case of these works from the past. In 1851, Verdi was 38 years old: Rigoletto is thus an opera from his mature period – but most of all...