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Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenSam Smith
Don Giovanni of 1787 is one of three operas that Mozart wrote with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (the others being Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte). It tells of the eponymous hero, or rather antihero, who effortlessly conquers thousands of women. Although in the process he makes many enemies, the ladies he has cheated have a habit of coming back for more or trying to save him, and in the end he is responsible for his own downfall. When the ghost of the...
An exciting, dramatic Lulu in MunichIlana Walder-Biesanz
The Bayerische Staatsoper’s new production of Lulu has one focus: the drama. Kirill Petrenko leads the Staatsorchester at a brisk pace that keeps the plot moving. Dmitri Tcherniakov’s stark staging keeps the action on the front of the stage. A cast of committed and talented singing actors make the opera’s bizarre series of events a gripping story. The stage is a maze of glass. Reflections multiply the characters in all directions, and people watch each...
Don Giovanni at the Teatro Olimpico VicenzaHelmut Pitsch
It is always magic and miracolous to enter the 'Teatro Olimpico' in Vicenza. Built by the world famous architect Andrea Palladio in the shape of an antique Greek amphitheatre in the 16th century, it is now the home of the 'settimane musicali', a fine festival of opera and chamber music in its 24th year. It is its intimate athmosphere, the very personal service and the unforgetable ambience and the extraordinary acoustics of the location which make it a prestigous event for...
Norma at the Teatro la FeniceHelmut Pitsch
It is a special Premiere and therefore there is a prestigous mixture of VIPs in the audience of the Teatro la Fenice : politics, people from arts, fashion and design. The Venice Art Biennale, one of the biggest international art events and the Teatro la Fenice have established a joint project, selecting at every exhibition of the Biennale a young artist to direct a new opera production at La Fenice. This year, it is Vincenzo Bellini's tragic masterpiece Norma, and Kara Walker, an...
Così a tragedy?Xavier Pujol
Mozart described his Così fan tutte as a dramma giocoso. The Venetian stage director, Damiano Michieletto, who debuted at Liceu with this production created for La Fenice in 2013, is interested a lot more in the dramatic or even tragic side of it, than in the giocoso element. It starts with a distorted take on Don Alfonso’s character, who turns from a “vecchio filosofo” to a cynical, embittered alcoholic who manipulates and mistreats the characters. From...
Turandot at the Teatro alla ScalaRaffaele Mellace
Turandot started its world-wide successful career from the stage of La Scala in Spring 1926, one and half year after the death of its author. The staging of Puccini’s last and unfinished masterpiece – hailed by a renowned study as “The End of the Great Tradition” of Italian opera – under Toscanini’s baton was a major event. La Scala’s choice to open its special season for Expo 2015 (running non-stop from May 1rst to October 31rst) strikes us...