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Boccanegra with an unexpected debut

Xavier Pujol

Barcelona. Gran Teatre del Liceu. 12/04/2016. Verdi, Simon Boccanegra. Leo Nucci, baritone. Barbara Frittoli, soprano. Josep Bros, tenor. Vitalij Kowaljow, bass. Àngel Òdena, baritone. Damián del Castillo, baritone. Francisco Vas, tenor. Raquel Lucena, soprano. Symphonic Orchestra of Gran Teatre del Liceu. Choir of Gran Teatre del Liceu. Massimo Zanetti, conductor. José Luís Gómez, stage director. Susana Gómez, rerun of the staging....

Otello at the Salzburg Easter Festival

Helmut Pitsch

Dark and mysterious is the start of this new production of Otello at the Easter Festival in Salzburg. Desdemona and Otello appear on the vast empty stage embracing each other till the music starts. A huge soft transparent piece of cloth is smoothly waving over the stage like a huge sail and vail. And here he is. Un angelo - the angel, an idea and addition to the cast by French director Vincent Boussard. Played by the dancer Sofia Pintzou, the angel accompanies the story throughout the...

Un ballo in maschera at the Bayerische Staatsoper

Helmut Pitsch

The Bavarian state opera continues its cycle of new productions of operas by Guiseppe Verdi. After Il Trovatore, Rigoletto and La Forza del Destino, it is now Un ballo in Maschera to get its new presentation, directed by the young German Johannes Erath. Being a talented musician originally, he started later to become a director and worked with Willy Decker and Peter Konwitschny. Once more, the libretto of this fine Verdi opera is rather simple, clear and straight forward. This fast...

Das Liebesverbot at Madrid: the ‘other’ Wagner

Jorge Binaghi

A  little known Wagner, and with a dubious reputation, basically because of its exclusion from the true ‘corpus’ at Bayreuth, wherefrom it was banned together with Die Feen and Rienzi by composer and family. It’s strange that in the most sacred place of Wagnerism it’s impossible to see an opera that, following a wonderful work by Shakespeare much more ambiguous, complex and finally interesting than the libretto written by the author, the typical ‘opera...

La Traviata at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata of 1853 is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world today. Based on Alexandre Dumas, fils’s play La Dame aux camélias, it tells of Violetta Valéry who is a famed Parisian courtesan. Beneath her apparently carefree exterior, however, she is suffering from tuberculosis and her world is shaken when she meets Alfredo with whom she falls in love. They run away together and live off the sale of her goods, but one day...

Götterdämmerung at the Liceu: Theorin, ideal Brünnhilde

Xavier Pujol

Amongst the performers that took part at the Götterdämmerung premiere at the Liceu the great highlight was the immense, anthological and unforgettable Brünnhilde by Iréne Theorin. Voice, power, dramatic engagement and understanding of the character put the Swedish soprano in a place to be considered one of the best Brünnhilde in the world, if not the best. Her final scene will remain in the memory of all for many years to come. The other...

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