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Il turco in Italia at the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenSam Smith
As the curtain falls on Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s Madama Butterfly, the Royal Opera House swaps tragedy for comedy with the second revival of the same directors’ 2005 production of Il turco in Italia. Rossini’s thirteenth opera of 1814 is a comedy of errors involving a series of love triangles between various Turkish and Italian characters. The added twist is that many of these ‘errors’ are deliberately engineered by the poet Prosdocimo as he...
Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci at the Salzburg Easter FestivalHelmut Pitsch
The Salzburg Easter Festival has developed its international reputation for exceptional opera performances and exquisite concerts. Since the seperation from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra some years ago, the cooperation with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and its worldwide highly regarded conductor Christian Thielemann has been very fruitful. This year's festival presented the realisation of a new production of the famous Verismo twin package Cavalleria rusticana...
Anna Bolena at Zurich: fully bookedJorge Binaghi
You could see a lot of people asking for a ticket in front of the theatre, something quite impossible when one of the singers is Anna Netrebko (at the same time there were young people delivering pamphlets against the diva because her support to M. Putin in the case Ukraine). But it’s impossible to perform a difficult opera as this of Donizetti it only with a big name. The cast was a fine one, and for the ladies the choices were absolutely right (apart the fact that scissors are...
Plácido Domingo in the Met’s Ernani (2015)Thibault Courtois
Retirement in opera is a delicate thing, especially when it comes to legendary performers like Plácido Domingo. While I understand it is common in sport stadiums to see drunk frustrated fans screaming “TIME TO RETIRE” as an aging player is walking off the field, I had yet to see something comparable in an opera house. That was before last week. New York Times’ critic Anthony Tommasini’s review of this year’s Ernani at the Met in which he called for...
Manon at the Metropolitan Opera, New YorkThibault Courtois
The Met has gathered a lot of French talent around this short run of Massenet’s Manon: the bass-baritone Nicolas Testé as Count des Grieux, the tenor Christophe Mortagne as Guillot, Emmanuel Villaume in the pit, all of them in a production by Laurent Pelly. Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau star as Des Grieux and Manon. Mr. Grigolo is now at home at the Metropolitan Opera where he gave a recital and sang in three different productions in the last year. Grigolo’s...
Die Walküre at the Bayersiche Staatsoper MunichHelmut Pitsch
It is most probably Wagner's best selling opera, known for its romantic and musically most melodious arios, and naturally for the " Ride of the Walkyries ". This piece has made it to hit charts and has been used countlessly for dramatic film scenes. But this opera has much more to offer and is full of exciting duetts of most loving and caring characters: Wotan sacrificing his beloved son Siegmund and his warfare compagnion and daughter, more of a mental copy of himself,...