Video on demand NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Mozart – La Clemenza di Tito from La Monnaie, Brussels.
with Véronique Gens and Anna Bonitatibus
Link to La Monnaie website
Saturday 15 June at 18.00 BST on BBC radio 3
Rossini’s La Donna del Lago recorded in May at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
In the words of the BBC:
Based on Walter Scott’s The Lady Of The Lake, Rossini’s opera illustrates the Romantic fascination with Renaissance Scotland as a place of wild emotion and political confrontation. This new production by John Fulljames celebrates not only the historic Scotland in which the action of the opera takes place, but also the Scotland of the 19th century, the period of Rossini and Sir Walter Scott. The production highlights the beauty of the Scottish landscape, of which the heroine, Elena, is a symbol, while not forgetting the struggles and battles that feature in all retellings of Scottish history.
Elena, the Lady of the Lake, longs to be united with her true love, Malcom. But her father, the rebel Duglas, is determined that she will marry the Highland chief Rodrigo. Torn between love and duty, she finds her plight is made all the more complicated by Uberto, a handsome stranger who nobody seems to know much about.
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Elena – Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)
King James of Scotland – Juan Diego Flórez (tenor)
Malcom – Daniela Barcellona (mezzo-soprano)
Duglas – Simon Orfila (bass)
Rodrigo – Colin Lee (tenor)
Albina – Justina Gringyte (mezzo-soprano)
Serano – Robin Leggate (tenor)
A Bard – Christopher Lackner (baritone)
King’s Soldier – Pablo Bemsch (tenor)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Michele Mariotti, conductor
video courtesy of kyokolondon
Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes
ROH quick guide to the opera
Some audience reactions and comments
Q&A with Joyce DiDonato
Review from the FT
Ariadne auf Naxos recorded at the Vienna Staatsoper last year
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Christine Schäfer as The Composer and Daniela Fally as Zerbinetta
Opera matinee: Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos from the Vienna State Opera
General Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst conducts his Vienna forces in Richard Strauss re-telling of the myth of Ariadne. But with typical ingenuity, Strauss and his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, combine the serious classical story with commedia dell’arte slapstick as high and low art vie with one another for the public’s attention. This version of the opera, first heard in Vienna in 1916 contains some of the most Strauss’s most beautiful music.
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Ariadne….. Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano),
Zerbinetta….. Daniela Fally (soprano),
Bacchus….. Stephen Gould (tenor),
Harlequin, a player….. Adam Plachetka (baritone),
Scaramuccio, a player….. Carlos Osuna (tenor),
Truffaldino, a player….. Andreas Hörl (bass),
Brighella, a player….. Pavel Kolgatin (tenor),
The Composer….. Christine Schäfer (soprano),
His Music Master….. Jochen Schmeckenbecher (baritone),
The Dancing Master….. Norbert Ernst (tenor),
A Lackey….. Marcus Pelz (bass),
An Officer….. Daniel Lökös (tenor),
The Major-Domo….. Peter Matic (spoken role),
Naiad, a nymph….. Valentina Nafornita (high soprano),
Dryad, a nymph….. Margarita Gritskova (contralto),
Echo, a nymph….. Olga Bezsmertna (soprano)
Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst (conductor).
Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Access to free scores
Review from Bachtrack
Anyone who missed Joyce DiDonato’s Romeo in The Capulets and The Montagues from San Francisco Opera last year may like the chance to catch it on the radio or catch it again?
Giulietta: Nicole Cabell.
Romeo: Joyce DiDonato.
Tebaldo: Saimir Pirgu.
Lorenzo: Ao Li.
Capellio: Eric Owens.
San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Conductor: Riccardo Frizza.
Here is the San Francisco Opera page with the details, photos and video.
The radio broadcast stream is here on Monday 4 February at 04.00 GMT so if you live on the west coast USA …. that’s good for you!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Even though you may not be celebrating your New Year just now, the thought is the same …
Here’s a toast to health and happiness in 2013
Urte berri on * Bonne année * Sretna nova godina * Godt nytår * Gelukkig nieuwjaar
Onnellista uutta vuotta * Prost Neujahr * שנה טובה * Boldog új évet *
Felice anno nuovo * Laimīgu Jauno gadu * Szczęśliwego nowego roku *
С Новым Годом * šťastný nový rok * Feliz año nuevo * Щасливого Нового Року
Blwyddyn newydd dda * สวัสดิ์ดีปีใหม่
And my tip for today ….
If you love someone – tell them. Today. Tomorrow may be too late.
Wiener Staatsoper May 2012
Elina Garanča in the role of Sesto and Juliane Banse as Vitellia
Here is advice from our correspondent in the Netherlands who has recently been on a fine opera spree, which she calls “Mezzo indulgent”, to see, amongst other goodies, the above mentioned production. White Shirt lovers, opera lovers and Garanča fans ( not necessarily in that order ) should take a look at the Wiener Staatsoper web site to hear and see a little of what they may be missing.
Live from The Metropolitan Opera, New York
Saturday 4th February 2012 at 18.00 UK time
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Smitten Smeaton serenading!
Princess Elizabeth (Clare Cashman) , Anna Bolena (Anna Netrebko)
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Link to BBC radio 3 NOT ON iPLAYER
Also listen via Met Opera Radio
Anna Netrebko portrays the ill-fated queen driven insane by her unfaithful king, in Donizetti’s tragic two-act opera. She sings one of opera’s greatest mad scenes as Henry VIII abandons her and takes up with Jane Seymour, previously her lady-in-waiting.
Anna Bolena ….. Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Giovanna Seymour ….. Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo-soprano)
Enrico VIII ….. Ildar Abdrazakov (bass)
Smeaton ….. Tamara Mumford (contralto)
Lord Riccardo Percy ….. Stephen Costello (tenor)
New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Marco Armiliato (conductor).
Tara Mumford as the ill fated musician Mark Smeaton
THE PRODUCTION TEAM
Production: David McVicar
Set Designer: Robert Jones
Costume Designer: Jenny Tiramani
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Andrew George
Met Opera online brochure
Access to Free scores
Review and photos from Theatre Jones
Review from The Washington Post
Thursday 19th January 2012 at 14.00 uk time on BBC radio 3
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Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito, opera seria in two acts, K. 621
BBC iPlayer time now expired
This performance of Mozart’s final opera was given as part of the London Symphony Orchestra’s eighteen day residency at the 2011 Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Synopsis from the Festival
Titus ….. Gregory Kunde (tenor),
Vitellia ….. Carmen Giannattasio (soprano),
Sesto ….. Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano),
Annio ….. Anna Stephany (mezzo-soprano),
Servilia ….. Amel Brahim-Djelloul (soprano),
Publio ….. Darren Jeffery (bass),
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Chorus,
London Symphony Orchestra,
Sir Colin Davis (conductor).
The imposing gateway into Aix town hall
I was lucky enough to be in Aix in 2010. I was unlucky enough to miss the Festival completely. Aix itself is a charming town with wonderful architecture, extraordinary fountains, green spaces, buzzing markets and many attractions to tempt the tourist – especially those wishing to shop!
I was in the company of a local person and so found the Théâtre de l’Archevêché (tucked away in a courtyard and not what I expected) where many of the operas, including this Clemenza di Tito, are staged.
Here is a virtual tour. If you locate the gated archway just beyond the pros arch upstage left – that’s as far as I got and taking photos at such a weird angle was not successful. But here are some interesting photos, taken by an opera lover from near Aix, of some renovation work being done last year.
* Here is a link to the theatre if you would like to learn more. *
* Wiki information about this opera*
* Free scores from IMSLP*
video from OperaOfTheYear
This year’s Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 10 – 15 July 2012 – Programme
By the way, if you do ever find yourself in Aix you MUST try callison - a marzipan-like confectionary made of sweet almonds and preserved fruits and a speciality of the area.
Opera and sweet delights – perfect!
Well, here’s a scorefull -
complete with White Shirt, fabulous boots and bonus rose ….
The irrepressible, irresistible Sarah Connolly as Octavian
REVIEW of THIS 2012 production from Mark Ronan’s Theatre Reviews
English National Opera is reviving it’s 2008 David McVicar production of Der Rosenkavalier for seven performances between January 28th and February 27th 2012 Bookings
Sarah Connolly – ‘one of the glorious Octavians of our time’ (Observer) – returns as the ardent young ‘Knight of the Rose’, with Sophie Bevan as the innocent Sophie. Amanda Roocroft makes her role debut as the Marschallin, the worldly ‘older woman’ who graciously cedes her teenage lover to a younger rival. Also returning from the 2008 cast are Sir John Tomlinson as Baron Ochs and Andrew Shore as Faninal.
Can there be a down side? … Yes. It’s in English!
Review from The Guardian of the 2008 production
and from Musical Criticism.com
Sarah Connolly with Janice Watson as the Marschellin
Every time I watch the DVD of the 2004 production of Der Rosenkavalier from the Opernhaus Zurich ( believe it or not, I have seen it more than once! ) I seem to notice something new. It is usually something musical which draws my attention apart from, of course, the fabulous character observations, divine singing, eye-catching costumes and scenery and phenomenal orchestral playing. But this last time I was struck by something which surely must be a deliberate production ploy from Sven-Eric Bechtolf or from Chloé Perlemuter the TV director, that is the use of threes with one person or object coming between the other two.
Those familiar with this production will easily recognise these first two images which show the Marschallin standing between Octavian and his new love Sophie. Although seeming to give her blessing to the relationship and departing on a loving note she does present a very significant barrier between them and one wonders if her spectre will ever leave them.
Following “Marie Therese – Hab’ mir’s gelobt”
Sophie von Faninal – Malin Hartelius
Octavian, Count Rofrano, – Vesselina Kasarova
But surely there must be a special significance when Octavian and Sophie sing
“Ist ein Traum” with a tree between them?
The tree appears also as a barrier between Octavian and his first love in “Wie Sie befiehlt, Bichette”
and even in the tender scene between “Du bist mein Bub” and “Warum ist Tag?”
Of course Ochs presents a formidable but humorous filling to the romantic sandwich!
and again in the kitchen scene he is an obviously unwanted and feared third party.
But what of the strange old man?
The figure of Destiny? Fate coming between the young lovers even at the birth of their romance?
And, perhaps most poignant of all ….
After singing the incredibly moving soliloquy “Es ist gut. Geht nur wieder”
the Marschallin pauses in between two chairs. A taste of things to come?
Of course I maybe way off-beam with this theory – there are more example if you look carefully.
Coincidence with the camera angles?
Just pretty picture making?
Any thoughts anyone?
Our beloved trouser mezzos frequently have a hard time in their story lines. Emotionally fraught, love sick, full of jealousy, anguish, indecision, hatred, revenge and many other emotions which result in a tortured expression. How refreshing, therefore, to catch a fleeting glimpse of a smile.
Here’s one from Sesto.
Vesselina Kasarova as Sesto and Dorothea Röschmann as Vitellia
in a scene from Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito Wiener Staatsoper 2003
Let’s hope you have cause to smile ….
A tête à tête with a friend?
Erika Sunnegardh as Salome in WNO 2009 production
Maybe fancy dress party?
What about a few friends round for dinner?
Some outdoor pursuits perhaps?
… or something MUCH more adventurous?
La Clemenza di Tito. Salzburg 2003
Whatever you have in mind
Wiener Staatsoper Live – Alcina DVD Arthaus Musik 2011
Một hai ba, yo
Santé [ not forgetting to look in the eyes! ]
Whoever or whatever you may be toasting ..
We have been contemplating over the last few weeks the tough life that our beloved trouser mezzos have on stage. With weapons to wield and dangers to face how on earth do their stage personas sleep at night? I guess the answer may have to do with the more pleasant aspects of what they are required to do. But, hang on a minute! – snuggling up to a voluptuous soprano may not be everyone’s idea of a good time. I wonder what these fabulous singers make of this part of their performing life? Actually, if they find woman to woman romancing difficult or unappealing doesn’t it show what amazing actresses they are to be so convincing?
Here are a few examples …..
All photos are screen grabs from video except for the last one which is The Guardian
Octavian prepares the way for some serious
Whereas Isolier seems to have it all, - and then some!
Brigitte Fassbaender and Gwyneth Jones,Der Rosenkavalier, München 1979
This Octavian has a huge range of pillows (!) on which to rest his head.
Kiri te Kanawa and Tatiana Troyanos, Der Rosenkavalier, New York, 1982.
…. as does this one. Now there’s a smile of contentment!
Pillows galore and some meaningful R & R for Ruggiero
but this Octavian obviously has a lot to learn.
First Rule of White Shirt Wearing …
When romancing a lovely soprano, cuffs must be rolled!
… and goodness knows what’s going through the mind of Prince Charamant!!
Photograph: Tristram Kenton
Whatever meaningful moments you have in store
HAVE A WONDERFUL WHITE SHIRT WEEKEND!
If you have arrived at this page looking for information about
Elina Garanča, her schedule and her baby — CLICK HERE
Since the expected White Shirt traveller did not arrive, here are the correct answers.
Both Smorgy and KateK were so nearly there but Howells and Troyanos obviously sound very similar!
1. Garanca/ von Otter
2. von Otter/ Koch
3. Kasarova/ Garanca
4. Howells/ Graham
5. Koch/ Troyanos
6. Graham/ Kasarova
7. Troyanos/ Howells
Good guessing everyone and thank you for having a go!
Richard Strauss was inordinately fond of the female voice, and “Der Rosenkavalier” is famed for the beautiful music of the three female-voice roles which comprise its protagonists: Sophie, Octavian, and the Marschallin. This love triangle culminates in the exquisite trio and duet which end the opera.
Octavian, Count Rofrano, one of the most beloved characters in White Shirt opera.
“Marie Thérèse”, his lover, one of the most recognised names and poignant,
deeply felt phrases sung in any opera.
But which voice goes with which picture? Can you recognise a voice from only two words?
You will probably recognise your favourite but what of the others?
Try and sort out the recordings and photos.
Whatever you are up to and whatever the weather ….
( posted as a comment to the review in der Standard )
link to der Standard review published on the 28th September
link to Kurier also on 28th
link to Operainwien ( Dominik Troger ) 1st October
(photos: Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn)
If there is anyone out there – and I’m sure there must be – who can suggest further links on this subject then please let us all know! Has anyone seen both productions and can make comparisons, for instance?
Have you got yours yet?
Vesselina Kasarova as Ruggiero with Anja Harteros as Alcina
The long awaited date arrived two days ago. On 31st August the DVD of the Vienna State Opera’s production of Handel’s “Alcina” was released and opera lovers, mezzo lovers, Handel lovers, Baroque lovers and especially Kasarova/Harteros lovers, will be feeling mounting excitement as they wait for their copy to be delivered to their door.
The production, by Adrian Noble, was a first for this opera house as it was thought that the more intimate sounds of a baroque orchestra were not suited to the venue. However it went ahead in November last year after a huge amount of White Shirt anticipation and some really lucky people, including White Shirts, attended – some more than once! Our very own Thadieu was good enough to post her impressions at the very first opportunity. This was followed by posts containing reviews, lots of wonderful photographs and then, the minute some clips appeared on YouTube the White Shirt Alert went out.We knew that a DVD would be released because Thadieu saw the cameras at one of the performances.
Whilst we were waiting for the release of said DVD we could watch, listen and anticipate because Thadieu made a playlist and posted lots of our favourite Kasarova arias.
I could not get to the Vienna production but was fortunate to go to The Barbican last November to see the concert version which had just been successful in Paris. Seeing and hearing Frau Kasarova live was top of my Opera Bucket List and suffice to say I was bowled over* by the experience. I took my camera and made a shaky attempt at capturing the event so I could remember in detail but I was fortunate that Intermezzo allowed me to use her much more professional photos. The concert version gave me a fabulous view of the remarkable Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, Grenoble. The orchestral ensemble playing and accompanying was second to none and I immediately became an avid fan. The one disappointment I had with the production was that the wonderful Anja Harteros was indisposed and was replaced by Inga Kalna – lovely singer with poise but I could detect no chemistry at all between Ruggiero and Alcina. It will therefore be very interesting indeed when she reprises the role at the Weiner Staatsoper in late September with Frau Kasarova. If you visit their site you will find a good photo gallery and an even better video. By doing so you may well begin to understand why some of us are preparing to be VERY HAPPY INDEED!
*Bowled over is a very English expression and really means … transformed into a raving fan-girl.
If you love incomparable singing to a fabulous baroque orchestra combined with remarkable and compelling acting and have become interested in joining the queue for this fabulous DVD, then see Thadieu’s link
Since it is White Shirt Weekend I cannot go with posting an Alcina photo.
Whether you are waiting for your DVD, waiting for Godot or just waiting ……
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Handel’s ”Rinaldo”, live, semi – staged, sung in Italian
Photo from the Proms performance
Sonia Prina (centre) and friends
Some reviews are in …..
The most interesting words in this description are surley “semi-staged” This can mean anything from singers wandering about a bit to full costumed action. Below we have photos from the Glyndebourne Rinaldo production earlier in the year [ which had very mixed reviews, see below, ] If the costumes and staging are anything like these photos then I fear for anyone in the audience with a blood-pressure problem!
performed at Glyndebourne. Photos:Bill Cooper
iPlayer time now expired
Glyndebourne Festival Opera makes its annual visit to the Proms with a new production of Handel’s Rinaldo. Handel sets the action in the first Crusade, giving ample opportunity for battle scenes, a love story, abduction, magic, disguise and ultimately, a gracious conquering hero. For Handel this was his first opera written for the London stage, so he was out to impress, filling it with vivid, exciting and poignant arias, including the famous ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’.
The young knight Rinaldo is in love with Almirena, daughter of Goffredo, the leader of the Crusade. They are laying seige to the Saracens in Jerusalem, who are led by Argante. Argante’s lover Armida is a powerful sorceress, and she attacks Rinaldo’s forces and abducts Almirena.
19.00 - Act I.
8.05 – “Twenty Minutes” : Handel’s Henry V. Ruth Smith explores intriguing parallels between Rinaldo and Shakespeare’s Henry V…… or - time to make a cup of tea!
8.25 – Rinaldo Act II.
9.15 – “Twenty Minutes” : The Stone That Moved. The myth of Taliesin, the sixth-century Welsh poet and shape-shifter, is remembered as the focus of a wet late 1960s childhood holiday near Aberystwyth by poet Gwyneth Lewis….. or - time to make another cup of tea!
9.35 - Rinaldo Act III.
Sonia Prina - contralto (Rinaldo)
Varduhi Abrahamyan – mezzo-soprano (Goffredo)
Tim Mead - counter-tenor (Eustazio)
Anett Fritsch – soprano (Almirena)
Brenda Rae - soprano (Armida)
Luca Pisaroni bass-baritone (Argante)
William Towers counter-tenor (A Christian Magician)
Glyndebourne Festival Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Ottavio Dantone
Here is the curtain call from Glyndebourne ( courtesy of OperaCurtainCalls )
Review from The Telegraph
Review from The Independent
Comments on the Glyndebourne web site
Glyndebourne web site for more photos and 3 audio samples