Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorites by Year 2011

This year I seem to have traveled only to Santa Fe and Los Angeles.  Everything is unusual except Lucia and Walküre.  I reviewed 41 performances, including 6 DVDs, 18 HDs (?), and 17 live performances.

  • (ND) Natalie as Lucia HD  **  I loved Natalie Dessay in this.  When she comes out at the end you believe she has just murdered someone.  I feel grateful to the Met for letting me see this wonderful performance.    Met HD
  • (JK) Die Walküre in New York **  Lovely opera with Jonas Kaufmann, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Debbie Voigt.  Not my favorite though.  There's the machine, after all, and I was in at the beginning of James Morris as Wotan.  Travel

  • Capriccio HD  **  It's hard to decide whether or not one likes this opera.  People argue over which is more important, words or music.  In opera you would not want to do without either.  I've seen some pretty spectacular versions, though, all surprisingly in this production.  We had Kiri te Kanawa in SF.  Met HD

  • Griselda at Santa Fe **  This is by Vivaldi and is a terrible opera, saved only by the amazing singing of Isabel Leonard.  Travel 
  • Handel's Rodelinda in HD from the Met was another excellent Baroque opera this year.  HD

  • Jaroussky in Berkeley ** Apparently for love alone Philippe Jaroussky came to Berkeley to appear with Apollo's Fire.  I'm starting to like the new Baroque music AND countertenors.  It was a wonderful concert.   Local

  • Il Postino on TV  This came suddenly on my television and starred Placido Domingo.  It's an unusual opera because the two main roles are both tenors.  It is sad that the composer Daniel Catán died relatively young. TV
The singing award must go to Isabel Leonard.  Natalie Dessay should not be omitted.

I went to LA to see Il Turco in Italia but was disappointed.  This is also the year I missed the San Francisco Opera Ring for no sensible reason.  It's returning in 2018, and I already have my ticket.

Here is a somewhat more substantial list of new operas this year:

  1. Catán's Il Postino, was a world premier performances on television.
  2. Handel's Serse  (live at SFO).  Also called Xerxes. **
  3. Handel's Rodelinda live in HD from the Met starring Renée Fleming.**
  4. Menotti's The Last Savage was live in Santa Fe. **
  5. Purcell's The Fairy Queen was a DVD from Glyndeourne.
  6. Rossini's Le Comte Ory was HD from the Met. **
  7. Theofanidis's Heart of a Soldier was a live world premier at SFO. **
  8. Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts was live in San Francisco. **
  9. Turnage's Anna Nicole was a DVD.
  10. Vivaldi's Ercole sul Termodonte was a DVD
  11. Vivaldi's Griselda was live in Santa Fe. **

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

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