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La Cenerentola at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival

Helmut Pitsch

This year the Salzburg Whitsun Festival was dedicated to Gioacchino Rossini and his works. The festival opened with a new production of La Cenerentola. A special opportunity to meet the artistic head of the festival, Cecilia Bartoli, in one of her renowned roles on stage. The audience could feel the joy and energy she put into her appearence on stage and singing. Damiano Michieletto and his stage designer Paolo Fantin created a typical Italian ambiance. Alidoro...

Simon Boccanegra at Semperoper Dresden

Helmut Pitsch

It was a long expected event, being the first Verdi Premiere of the musical director Christian Thielemann. Highly regarded for his Wagner and Strauss Interpretations his admirers in the sold out Semperoper were reluctant to get acquainted with his talent for Italian operas. One could feel the excitement throughout the orchestra and all participants. Sensible, very symphonic and romantic was his conducting of this dramatic dark tragedy of the unlucky giftful genovese doge. As always...

Berlioz's Les Troyens triumph at La Scala

La Rédaction

Milan’s Teatro alla Scala was one of the first theatres to take on the arduous task of staging Les Troyens, at a time when Berlioz’s work was a matter of complete indifference to the public.In an epoch-making Italian edition, Giulietta Simionato amd Mario Del Monaco were able to restore their full dimension to the principal roles, thanks in part to the presence of Rafael Kubelik at the rostrum.Leaving it up to the English to go back to the original version some...

Otello, Christmas for Easter on the Champs Elysées

Albina Belabiod

Absent from Paris operas for nearly twenty years – aside from an annual recital featuring exorbitant ticket prices – the theatrical Bartoli was awaited as impatiently as if she had been Christmas Eve. The prospect was especially exciting because it was an opera by Rossini, one of her favourite composers, whom the singer had chosen to celebrate her reunion with the French public. In fact, two years after a very acclamed passage at the Zurich Opera, the Théâtre des...

Lady Macbeth of the district of Mtsensk - Vlaamse Opera

Helmut Pitsch

All too realistic, detailed, once again an enourmous sensitive direction of the Catalan enfant terrible Calixto Beito. He is ideally accompagnied and followed - for this Lady Macbeth of Mtensk - by the cast and his team, with stage designer Rebecca Ringst, costume designer Ingo Kruegler and light by Michael Bauer. The audience experiences the thriller of the inhuman circumstances of the land ruling family Izmailjow and their fatal extinction as well as the desperate life of...

Manon Lescaut - Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

Helmut Pitsch

After days of intensive negotiations, strike initiativesn and protest demonstrations, there was finally green light for this new production of Puccini's Manon Lescaut. Budget reductions, restructuring plans with layoffs and general political tensions led to a confrontation between syndicates, employees and workers, on one side, and management and politicians, on the other side, culminating in the acclaimation to close the opera house totally by the Lord mayor of Rome if this Premiere...

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