Friday, December 14, 2018

Favorites by Year

My interest is primarily in opera that is being presented now.  It would be colossally boring for me to see the same ancient productions over and over. Nevertheless I do enjoy a surprisingly large amount of different things.

This is just something fun and is constantly a work in progress.  I went through the blog from the beginning to find the things that stood out in my memory.  I am only including the things I liked and have trimmed it down to around 10 per year.  If you're looking for pans, this isn't the place.  I like a lot of stuff, but you will notice that La Boheme only appears twice.

My goal with opera is simply to fall in love.  I prefer new opera performances because I'm not very likely to fall in love with people from the long ago past.

** live, live stream or HD
## top 20 all time


This list is limited to performances that took place in 2018.  This was another year without travel, but there is so much on the internet these days that it hardly matters.  There is no order.

Full cast
  • Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte . I saw only one Mozart this year, and it was this overdone, rather silly circus.  Nevertheless I loved it because it slanted the plot toward the arrogance and egotism of the men.  ** Met HD
  • (AN)Verdi's Aida  with Anna Netrebko and Anita Rachvelishvili  I loved Anna and Anita together and was surprised to see the same old production made to look new.  ** Met HD
Lisette Oropesa wins the singing prize for both Lucia and Les Huguenots.

New operas for me this year were:


For the sake of my budget I made no opera trips farther away than San Francisco this year.  To compensate the international opera festivals brought me an overwhelming selection of live streams.

  • Gounod's Roméo et Juliette in HD is mentioned for intense sexiness. Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau projected wonderful youthfulness.   Met HD
  • (JK)(AH) Giordano's Andrea Chénier from Munich with Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros.  I can't decide if I prefer this one.   Live Stream.  ##

  • Rossini's opera Semiramide from Munich starred Joyce DiDonato in fine form.  It was exciting to hear Semiramide sung by a mezzo.   Live Stream.
  • Jean-Philippe Rameau's Le temple de la Gloire was brought to us by Berkeley's Philharmonia Baroque.  It featured traditional Baroque dancing.    Local
  • (AN) Lohengrin from Dresden with Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala.  This was mainly for fun but produced a DVD.   Live Stream.

  • Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier from the Met with the spectacular cast assembled by Peter Gelb for Renée Fleming's retirement.    Met HD  ##

  • Richard Strauss's Elektra from San Francisco.  This included a modern production and Christine Goerke as Elektra.    Local  ##
The singing prize goes to Quinn Kelsey for his magnificent Rigoletto.

For me there was much to love from all over the world in 2017.  New operas for me:

  • John Adams's Girls of the Golden West given its world premier by the San Francisco Opera (Live).
  • Thomas Adès's The Exterminating Angel in HD from the Met (HD)
  • Alma Deutscher's Cinderella made its American premier at Opera San Jose and was streamed.
  • Jonathan Dove's Flight which was presented by Opera Parallele, (Live)
  • Sebastian Fagerlund's Autumn Sonata from Finland (F),
  • Handel's Theodora from Glyndebourne (F),
  • Jimmy López's Bel Canto which was shown on television (F),
  • Vicente Martín y Soler's The Chastity Tree by  performed by West Edge (Live),
  • Kirke Mechem's Tartuffe done live at CSUS,
  • Mussorgsky's Sorochyntsi Fair from The Opera Platform (F),
  • Rameau's Le Temple de la Gloire which was performed by Philharmonia Baroque (Live),
  • Arthur Sullivan's Patience presented by Sacramento Lyric Opera (Live),
  • Leonardo Vinci's Artaserse from an old film (F),
  • Carl Maria von Weber's Oberon from Munich (LS),
## top 20 all time
** live, live stream or live in HD













** live, live stream or live in HD

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