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Don Giovanni – Metropolitan Opera

Thibault 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 Munich

Helmut 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 Garden

Melanie 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 Wien

Helmut 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...

Les Contes d’Hoffmann - Met Opera (jan 2015)

Thibault Courtois

            The perfect opera nights are what we are all craving for. How much does it take for your opera experience to feel perfect? Dozens of singers, musicians and technicians have to be perfectly in sync for several hours, which is already something: the basics we all agree on. Then, it gets more personal. Who is singing? Do you need this big name on the program for your night to be perfect? Your seat? Close enough? Does someone...

La Traviata with Sonya Yoncheva - Met Opera (jan. 2015)

Thibault Courtois

            Willy Decker’s Traviata premiered in Salzburg in 2005 with Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko. It had already generated huge DVD sales and had become one of the most iconic contemporary productions across the opera world when Peter Gelb picked it up in 2010 for the Metropolitan Opera, consequently getting rid of the cherished but aging 1996 Franco Zeffirelli’s production. Needless to say, even though New...

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