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Il trovatore at the Chorégies d'Orange

Emmanuel Andrieu

Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore is a legendary opera that returns often to the Chorégies d'Orange; older opera fans still remember the famous 1972 production featuring Montserrat Caballé at her zenith, the sonorous Lando Bartolini, the hair-raising Irina Arkhipova and thoroughbred Piero Cappuccilli in the principal roles. In 2015, the star for the evening is Roberto Alagna, who has appeared regularly on the stage of the Théâtre Antique since 1993, but who...

Die Eroberung von Mexico at the Salzburg Festival

Helmut Pitsch

The title is misleading as it is not mentioned to be a historical drama. The libretto of this opera is taken from surrealistic texts by Antonin Artaud dating from 1933, and are enriched by lyrics by Octavio Paz. It is actually a musical drama without a narrative, even it is linked to the historical fact of the conquest of America, but the composer's intention is more to accuse our civilisation, social organisation, capitalism, war and after all the central relation between man and...

Turandot at the Bregenz Festival 2015

Helmut Pitsch

Bregenz is always a big spectacle. Everything seems to be gigantic for the 7000 visitors of the so called Seebühne, the biggest opera stage built on a vast platform on Lake Constance. The audience arrives from all over the world demonstrating the international reputation this festival has achieved in its long lasting existence for technically nearly perfect sound installations, spectacular stagedesign and a pittoresque setting along the lakeshore. After a hot summer day, some winds...

An extraordinary Norma in Salzburg

Ilana Walder-Biesanz

Cecilia Bartoli is not the type of singer modern audiences are used to hearing as Norma. La Scintilla isn’t the sort of orchestra we’re used to, either, and the Biondi/Minasi edition of the score used for this production includes surprises even for experienced Bellini aficionados. It’s daring to re-interpret the music of such a popular opera, but this project has clearly been painstakingly researched and carefully put together. In the hands of a superbly talented cast and...

A dramatic evening with Plácido Domingo and friends

Ilana Walder-Biesanz

Plácido Domingo’s long reign as operatic royalty shows no sign of ending. In a concert celebrating forty years at the Salzburg Festival, he and his friends wowed an appreciative crowd with a well-chosen and expressively delivered program. Especially for a concert performance, the drama received an unusual amount of attention. The show opened with an atmospheric, icy prologue from the second act of Giordano’s Siberia, played by the fabulous Munich Radio Orchestra. The...

Carmen at Les Chorégies d'Orange... for Don Jonas Kaufmann

Alain Duault

Carmen in Orange is a classic!Here people have applauded some of the greatest, particularly Béatrice Uria Monzon who provided thrills for audiences on three occasions at the Théâtre Antique.But this time, Carmen was forgotten, and the 9,000 or so spectators had eyes (and ears!) only for Jonas Kaufmann’s Don José. Not that Kate Aldrich is a poor Carmen:she is beautiful and has a certain noblesse (almost too much, sometimes evoking...

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