Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Metropolitan Opera in HD for 2021-2022

Disclaimer.  The contents of this list comes from Opera Wire.  I hope it is accurate.

Oct. 9, 2021 – Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky. The opera will be presented in its original 1869 version which appears to have no role for Marina.  This opera was presented in the longer version in 2010 in the same production which also starred René Pape in one of his greatest roles.

  • Production - Stephen Wadsworth
  • Conductor - Sebastian Weigle
  • René Pape - Boris
  • Alexey Markov
  • Stanislav Trofimov
  • David Butt Philip
  • Ain Anger
  • Maxim Paster 

 

 Oct. 23, 2021 – Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Terence Blanchard, libretto by Kasi Lemmons.  This opera had its premier in 2019 at Opera Theater of St. Louis.

  • Production- James Robinson and Camille A. Brown
  • Conductor- Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Angel Blue, Destiny/Loneliness/Greta
  • Latonia Moore - Billie
  • Will Liverman- Charles

 

Dec. 4, 2021 – Eurydice by Matthew Aucoin.  This is a new Orpheus opera having its Met premier.  The world premier was at the LA Opera 2/1/2020 just before everything shut down.

  • Production- Mary Zimmerman
  • Conductor- Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Erin Morley _ Eurydice
  • Joshua Hopkins, baritone - Orpheus
  • Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor - Orpheus' alter ego. 

 

Jan. 1, 2022 – Cinderella by Massenet is usually called Cendrillon, but will here be presented in an English-language translation. We had this with the same production in French with Joyce DiDonato in 2018.  This is a shorter, more family oriented version.

  • Production- Laurent Pelly
  • Conductor-Emmanuel Villaume 
  • Isabel Leonard - Cinderella
  • Jessica Pratt - Fairy Godmother
  • Emily D’Angelo - Prince Charming
  • Stephanie Blythe - MMe
  • Laurent Naouri - Pandolfe

 


Jan. 29, 2022 – Rigoletto by Verdi.  No more Rat Pack. This is a new production by Bartlett Sher.  I am so pleased we will all get to hear Quinn Kelsey's wonderful version of Rigoletto.

  • Production - Bartlett Sher
  • Conductor - Daniele Rustioni
  • Rosa Feola - Gilda
  • Piotr Beczala - Duke
  • Quinn Kelsey - Rigoletto

 

March 12, 2022 – Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. This is for Lise Davidsen, of course.  I am very happy with this choice.  When Brandon Jovanovich comes out at the end, we will know he is a god.

  • Production - Elijah Moshinsky
  • Conductor - Marek Janowski
  • Lise Davidsen - Ariadne
  • Brenda Rae - Zerbinetta
  • Isabel Leonard -  The Composer
  • Brandon Jovanovich -  Bacchus

 

March 26, 2022 – Don Carlos by Verdi.  Met Opera audiences will get a chance to see Verdi’s famed opera in its original French version for the first time in its history. Elina and Sonya were in a version from Paris in 2017.

  • Production - David McVicar
  • Conductor - Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Elina Garanca - Eboli
  • Matthew Polenzani - Don Carlos 
  • Sonya Yoncheva - Elisabeth
  • Étienne Dupuis - Rodrigue
  • Günther Groissböck - Philippe II
  • John Relyea - Grand Inquisitor

 


May 7, 2022 – Turandot by Puccini.  This is the traditional Zeffirelli production, and Anna Netrebko's Met role debut.

  • Production - Franco Zeffirelli
  • Conductor - Marco Armiliato
  • Turandot - Anna Netrebko
  • Calaf - Yonghoon Lee
  • Liu - Michelle Bradley

 

 

May 21, 2022 – Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti.

  • Production - Simon Stone
  • Conductor - Riccardo Frizza
  • Nadine Sierra - Lucia
  • Artur Rucinski - Enrico
  • Javier Camarena -  Edgardo
  • Matthew Rose -  Raimondo

 

June 4, 2022 – Hamlet by Brett Dean which had its world premier at Glyndebourne in 2017.

  •  Production - Neil Armfield
  • Conductor - Nicholas Carter
  • Brenda Rae - Ophelia
  • Rod Gilfry - Claudius
  • Allan Clayton -  Hamlet
  • Dame Sarah Connolly -  Gertrude
  • Sir John Tomlison - Ghost

Our list includes 3 new operas and new productions of Rigoletto and Lucia di Lammermoor.  In addition we can count the Met premier of the original French version of Verdi's Don Carlos.  This is pretty interesting stuff.

Things we are missing:

Die Meistersinger with Lise Davidsen and Antonio Pappano.  This is something I would really like to see.  Otto Schenk is their current production.

Most of the rest is repeats of recent HD broadcasts.

Metropolitan Opera in HD for 2020-2021 -- Cancelled

More news:  I regret to say the entire 2020-21 Met season has been cancelled.  We await the 2021-22 season announcement.


Jan 16, 2021 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Die Zauberflöte.   This is the old Julie Taymor production and will be done in German. 
  • Conductor Gustavo Dudamel
  • Production Julie Taymor 
  • Pamina Christiane Karg 
  • Queen of the Night Kathryn Lewek 
  • Tamino Stanislas de Barbeyrac 
  • Papageno Thomas Oliemans 
  • Sprecher Christian Van Horn 
  • Sarastro Stephen Milling


Jan 30, 2021 Charles Gounod Roméo et Juliette
  • Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Production Bartlett Sher
  • Juliette Nadine Sierra, she sang this for us in San Francisco this season.
  • Stéphano Julie Boulianne 
  • Roméo Stephen Costello  
  • Tybalt David Portillo 
  • Mercutio Joshua Hopkins 
  • Capulet Laurent Naouri 
  • Frère Laurent Ildar Abdrazakov 


Mar 27, 2021 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni   This is the old Michael Grandage production with an excellent cast.
  • Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Production Michael Grandage
  • Donna Anna Ailyn Pérez 
  • Donna Elvira Isabel Leonard 
  • Zerlina Hera Hyesang 
  • Don Ottavio Ben Bliss 
  • Don Giovanni Peter Mattei 
  • Leporello Gerald Finley 
  • Masetto Alfred Walker 
  • The Commendatore Ryan Speedo Green


Apr 17, 2021 Jake Heggie Dead Man Walking  This is a new production of an opera new to the Met.  It's not new to me since I was at the world premier.
  • Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Production Ivo van Hove 
  • Sister Rose Latonia Moore 
  • Sister Helen Prejean Joyce DiDonato 
  • Mrs Patrick De Rocher Susan Graham 
  • Joseph De Rocher Etienne Dupuis 


Apr 24, 2021 Richard Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten.  This is a spectacular cast.
  • Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Production Herbert Wernicke 
  • The Empress Elza van den Heever
  • The Dyer's Wife Nina Stemme
  • The Nurse Evelyn Herlitzius
  • The Emperor Klaus Florian Vogt
  • Barak Michael Volle
  • The Geisterbote Ryan Speedo Green


May 8, 2021 Giuseppe Verdi Nabucco.  This will be Netrebko's first Abigaille.
  • Conductor Marco Armiliato 
  • Production Elijah Moshinsky
  • Abigaille Anna Netrebko
  • Fenena Varduhi Abrahamyan
  • Ismaele Najmiddin Mavlyanov
  • Nabucco George Gagnidze
  • Zaccaria Dmitry Belosselskiy 



May 22, 2021  Vincenzo Bellini Il Pirata.  This is a new opera for me.
  • Conductor Maurizio Benini 
  • Production John Copley
  • Imogene Diana Damrau 
  • Gualtiero Javier Camarena
  • Goffredo Nicolas Testé 


Friday, September 18, 2020

Thursday, September 17, 2020

News

 

 

 I regret to show this announcement:

"Hello friends, I want to share with you that I have tested positive for COVID-19 and am currently in the hospital for medical treatment. I am doing well but also have COVID-related pneumonia, so I need medical supervision. I knew of course there was always going to be a risk that I might get infected. But I don’t regret going back to performing because I strongly believe that we need culture, now as ever. I am expected to make a full recovery thanks to the wonderful care I’m receiving. 
We are very, very grateful that Yusif and Tiago have tested negative for the virus. Yusif has tested positive for antibodies so he is clear to perform, which makes me very happy. Thank you all for the well wishes and continued support."

from Anna Netrebko 

We can only hope for the best.

P.S.  There is news that Anna is singing in hospital.

P.P.S.  Anna was in hospital for her birthday, Sept. 18, but as of this morning, Sept. 23, has been released and is recuperating.

 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Joyce


This is the recital from the Metropolitan Opera starring Joyce DiDonato with Carrie-Ann Matheson on the piano and the ensemble Il Pomo D'Oro.  I'm going to tell who accompanies each piece.

  • “Addio Roma” from Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Il Pomo D'Oro
  • Didon’s Final Scene from Berlioz’s Les Troyens, Matheson.  I am very impress with Carrie-Ann Matheson as accompanist.
  • “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” by Gustav Mahler, Matheson.  Wonderful Mahler.  Sing more Mahler for us.

A clip from Maria Stuarda is inserted here while Joyce takes a break.

  • “Oh Shenandoah” Traditional
  • “As with rosy steps the morn” from Handel’s Theodora, Il Pomo D'Oro
  • “Illustratevi, o cieli” from Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Il Pomo D'Oro
  • “Dopo notte atra e funesta” from Handel’s Ariodante, Il Pomo D'Oro.  This is the most heavily florid piece on the program so far.  It's nice to hear Joyce sing some coloratura.

The second pause comes here.  They have put in an interview concerning Dead Man Walking.

  • “I Dream a World” (World Premiere) by Kenyatta Hughes, arranged by Craig Terry, with text by Langston Hughes, Matheson and cello.
  • “Intorno all’idol mio” From Cesti’s Orontea, Il Pomo D'Oro.
  • “Voi che sapete” From Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Matheson.  This is the role Joyce made her Met debut in.
  • “La vie en rose” By Louiguy, arranged by Craig Terry, Matheson.  And now for something completely different.  Joyce has given herself much to enjoy. 
  • “Canción al árbol del olvido,” Op. 3, No. 2 by Alberto Evaristo Ginastera, Matheson.
  • “You'll Never Walk Alone” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, arranged by Craig Terry, Matheson.

This is all about lonliness, isolation and leaving.  She has chosen each piece for love, and it is a great success.  Sing what you love.  


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Damnation of Faust Rerun


Conductor...................James Levine
Production..................Robert Lepage

Faust.......................Marcello Giordani
Marguerite..................Susan Graham
Méphistophélès..............John Relyea
Brander.....................Patrick Carfizzi

Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust is tonight's stream from the Metropolitan Opera, 2008.  See my discussion here of how it fits into the stream of Faust operas and plays.  The expense of installing the complex Lepage production has prevented it from being revived.  This is our only opportunity.  I am enjoying the complex but pleasing staging.  It allows for large masses of people moving on and off, dancing, birds flying, etc.  These fill the long stretches of instrumental interludes.  The opera was intended by Berlioz for the concert stage, but I am enjoying this staging.  If I remember correctly, the people who managed the Paris opera did not like Berlioz.

It is important to remember that Robert Lepage is the creator of Cirque de Soleil.  This explains the presence of acrobats who climb around the set.  We even have three of them being crucified.  They disappear suddenly when the scene changes.  Giordani and Relyea climb all over the set like the acrobats.  Lepage tends to forget that singers and acrobats have very different professions.

This is an excellent cast.  I sometimes wonder what has become of John Relyea. This is one of my favorite performances of Marcello Giordani.  The pervasive legato of Berlioz seems to suit him very well.

The set is more a commenting tableau than a staging.  Events are suggested rather than shown, but it stays true to the story. 

"D'amour l'ardente flamme" was performed by Susan Graham and Pedro Diaz Cosme on English horn.  This is a highlight of this opera and was quite gorgeous.

I enjoyed seeing this again.  Thank you.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Ariadne auf Naxos from Vienna


Conductor Peter Schneider
Director Sven-Eric Bechtolf

Ein Musiklehrer Markus Eiche
Der Komponist Rachel Frenkel
Der Tenor (Bacchus) Stephen Gould
Zerbinetta Erin Morley
Die Primadonna (Ariadne) Lise Davidsen

This has popped into my awareness just at the right moment.  It is Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos from the Wienerstaatsoper, 2017.  My copy has no subtitles.  We begin with this wonderful view of the rich man's garden and progress to the artists' dressing room.  Everyone does their own makeup.

I'm here for Lise Davidsen, of course.  In the opening scene Rachel Frenkel earns a mention.  She is an excellent Komponist, who appears only at the beginning.  Originally this opera consisted of only the second act which appeared after a play by Moliere.  In our production she appears around the set in the second half.

Complaining.  The voice/orchestra balance is terrible.  In the second half the purported audience is shown at the rear of the stage.  This would be the rich man and his guests.  The singers all turn towards us, of course, which seems rude.  The set for the second half is grand pianos thrown all around.  One realizes that if everything was changed at the last minute, it would all be exactly as chaotic as this staging.

I have not come in vain.  While Lise sings “Es gibt ein Reich,” Der Komponist walks slowly as though in a trance down from the onstage audience.  He cannot believe what he hears.  Such a glorious legato which moves effortlessly from low to high, from soft to loud we have never heard before. The upper register is gorgeous.  The clowns come out before she finishes, so there is no opportunity to clap.  This is a great lady.  It's always wonderful to have someone new to love.
You might also want Erin Morley for your Zerbinetta.

This is one of Strauss's more significant tenor roles, and it very well suits the Heldentenor we have here. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Lise Davidsen from Norway


Lise Davidsen with James Baillieu, piano.
 
I have changed the picture to this one that shows both of the faces of the performers in Lise Davidsen's Metropolitan Opera sponsored recital on Saturday.  For the performance they were dressed in normal recital clothes.

Lise began with what is already her signature piece:  “Dich, teure Halle” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser and followed it with “Allmächt’ge Jungfrau” from the same opera.  I reviewed her performance of this at Bayreuth in 2019 and said: "Lise Davidsen is utterly magnificent.  I adore her 'Dich teure Halle.'"  It's somewhat less impressive with piano but is still excellent.  I have also seen her in a production of Fidelio from the Royal Opera described here.

In a similar vein she performed “Es gibt ein Reich” from R. Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.  This also displays perfectly her suitability for German repertoire.  I enjoyed this very much.

Operatic pieces included one Verdi,  “Morrò, ma prima in grazia” from Un Ballo in Maschera, and one Puccini, “Sola, perduta, abbandonata” from Manon Lescaut.  All of her operatic selections were easy for her.  She is never pushing or struggling with the notes.  She has been taught an excellent legato as well.  Or perhaps she comes by it naturally.
Operatic works were alternated with song repertoire.
  • “Ved Rondane,” Op. 33, No. 9 By Edvard Grieg 
  • “En Svane,” Op. 25, No. 2 By Edvard Grieg 
  • “Våren,” Op. 33, No. 2 By Edvard Grieg
  • “Säf, säf, susa,” Op. 36 By Jean Sibelius 
  • “Var det en dröm?” Op. 37 By Jean Sibelius 
  • “Ruhe, meine Seele!” Op. 27, No. 1 By Richard Strauss 
  • “Cäcilie,” Op. 27, No. 2 By Richard Strauss 
  • “Heimliche Aufforderung,” Op. 27, No. 3 By Richard Strauss 
  • “Morgen!” Op. 27, No. 4 By Richard Strauss  
She finished with pieces approaching pop songs, ending with "I could have danced all night" where we were invited to sing along.
  • “Johnny” By Benjamin Britten 
  • “Heia, heia, in den Bergen ist mein Heimatland” From Kálmán’s Die Csárdásfürstin 
  • “O lovely night!” By Landon Ronald 
  • “When I have sung my song to you” By Ernest Charles 
  • “I Could Have Danced All Night” From Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady
Thats Norwegian, Finnish, German, Italian, and English.

She grows on me very quickly.  The Queen of Norway loves her.  This is an excellent  selection of pieces for her voice.  She sings from a place of joy and peace.  And she's 6'2".  We should await a long career.

She was hosted by Christine Goerke.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Giusto Ciel



Early in my madness for Cecilia Bartoli this tune by Rossini was one of my favorites. It's just shown up on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Elina sings Wagner

 
I have fallen quite by accident into a film of the Wiener Philharmoniker directed by Christian Thielemann with mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča singing Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder at this year's Salzburg Festival.  For many years these were my favorite Wagner.

This is something I sang myself.  Which means my head is full of ideas of how it should go.  Tempo, legato, etc.  It can't be helped.  Maybe it's just not Wagnerian enough.  I think it wouldn't have occurred to me that it should be like Schumann.  There's no evidence that she looks at him.  She's not required to, you know.  Now looking back at these songs I hear that they are not like a Wagner opera at all.  Perhaps she's right.  The orchestra claps and stands.

The concert goes on.