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Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, New YorkThibault Courtois
“Roberto Alagna and Jonas Kaufmann take turns playing Carmen’s desperate lover, Don José” may be a quote from the online brochure of the Opera House you started in one of your opera fanatic dreams. In real life, it is a quote from the Metropolitan Opera’s website. Jonas Kaufmann will be singing for the last two shows of the run early March while Roberto Alagna has covered the whole month of February. Any good vocal coach will tell you that French is the...
Juan Diego Flórez and Joyce DiDonato in the Met’s La Donna del...Thibault Courtois
Strangely, it is the first run ever of La Donna del Lago at the Met, almost two hundred years after it received its premiere. One could argue that this operais rarely put on stage notably because it is an opera for very rare singers with natural Rossini voices able to reach every corner of a 3800 seats concert hall. However, the piece has been capitalizing some interest for the past five years thanks to two superstars who added some of the most difficult arias of this opera to their...
Don Giovanni – Metropolitan OperaThibault Courtois
It is always a bit sad when the curtain goes up in front of an half empty opera house. There is of course the awfully cold February New York weather, no to mention the particularly unpopular Michael Grandage’s production – a large number of critics have described it as not daring enough and boring – that premiered here at the Met in 2011. One could think the cast should be helping: Petter Mattei as Don...
Lucia di Lammermoor - Bayerische Staatsoper MunichHelmut Pitsch
This tragic lovestory between youngsters of two rivalizing families is a beloved subject in literature and opera plots. The young Polish director Barbara Wysocka is in charge of this new production of Gaetano Donizetti's masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor in Munich. She transfers the original medieval story into the modern times: the United States during the 60s with some references to well known Hollywood movies. The stage design by Barbara Hanicka brings the audience into a demolished...
Der Fliegende Holländer at the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenMelanie Eskenazi
Hot on the heels of the triumphant new production of Andrea Chenier with the A team of Pappano / Kaufmann, comes this revival of Tim Albery's 2009 Fliegende Holländer with a similar top level pairing of Nelsons / Terfel. After some less than iconic first nights in the house, it was not just a delight but a relief to be able to say with confidence, twice within a couple of weeks, that this is what one of the world's great lyric theatres is all about. From the opening...
Charles Gounod's Cinq Mars - Theater an der WienHelmut Pitsch
Charles Gounod definitely plays an important role in the development of classical French music. His voluminous musical heritage includes all genre whereas lyrics and the 'song', in particular under the French form of 'melodie,' are central. He has created 12 operas of which only Faust and Romeo and Juliette remained in the calendars of the Opera houses. So it is most honorable that Palazzetto Bru Zane, the centre of romantique French music has chosen Gounods opera Cinq...