Friday, December 30, 2016

Favorites by Year 2016

I traveled twice this year, first to Berlin for Strauss, and then to Paris.  I reviewed 46 performances, including 1 audio only, 8 HDs, 21 live, 2 movies and 14 streams.

For another perspective on 2016 see KK Awards.

Favorite Performances


  • (JK) Jonas Kaufmann at La Scala was a Fathom Events broadcast of a concert.  This is available on DVD and may be a better version than the CD recording.  Fathom Event

  • Elektra ** at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin.  This was a fabulous cast, Evelyn Herlitzius, a very workable production and Donald Runnicles. This was the best of the Strauss in Berlin. Travel Live
  • Elektra in HD **  The Met Elektra was close behind Berlin in excellence.  This is a great opera which could be seen on the Met On Demand.    Met HD


  • Roberto Devereux in HD **  This was the third in Sondra Radvanovsky's tour de force three queens cycle at the Met.  Her portrayal of Elizabeth I was spectacular.  I liked the staging very much.   Met HD

  • Jenůfa at SFO.  **  This was the highlight of the San Francisco Opera season with Karita Mattila in peak form.  The intensity was at times overwhelming.   Local Live ##20
  • Les Indes Galantes from Munich **  The Rameau music was so gorgeous that one didn't mind the regie production.  The world needs more Rameau.  Live Stream.
  • Béatrice et Bénédict by Berlioz from Glyndebourne. **  It is shocking to me that I have never seen this charming opera performed before.  The English love it because the story is from Shakespeare, and it was a Shakespeare year.  Live Stream.

  • Vĕc Makropulos at SFO **  Perhaps the San Francisco Opera will do Janáček every year.  Nadja Michael made this very special.   Local Live ##20
  • Tristan und Isolde in HD **  Simon Rattle conducted the most glorious Tristan of my lifetime.   Met HD ##20

Singer of the Year



I'm going to award the singing prize to Sondra Radvanovsky.

Didn't like


I was disappointed in the overall quality of Strauss conducting in Berlin.  The subtlety was missing.

New to Me Opera


  1. Thomas Adès' Powder her Face (1995) live at West Edge,**
  2. Hector Berlioz' Béatrice et Bénédict (1862) streamed from Glyndebourne,
  3. Terence Blanchard's Champion (2013) live at Opera Parallèle*
  4. Cavalli's Eliogabalo (1668) streamed from Paris
  5. Domenico Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto (1792) live at CSUS,**
  6. Handel's Agrippina (1710)was live at West Edge,**
  7. Paul Hindemith's Sancta Susanna (1922) live in Paris.**
  8. Heinrich Marschner's Der Vampyr (1828) live in Berlin,**
  9. Jean-Philippe Rameau's opéra-ballet Les Indes galante (1735) streamed from Munich,
  10. Bright Sheng's Dream of the Red Chamber (2016) live from San Francisco Opera,**
  11. Siegmeister's Darling Corie (1954) was live at CSUS,**
  12. Stockhausen's Donnerstag aus Licht (1980) streamed from Basel,
  13. Strauss's Die ägyptische Helena (1928) live in Berlin,**
  14. Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae (1952) live in Berlin**
##20 top 20 all time
** live, live stream or live in HD 
 

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