I was reminded of this production by a recent blog post extolling its virtues. Carmen is by no means my favourite opera but I have chosen from it one of my favourite scenes. It contains consummate singing and acting – the singing from Kaufmann and the acting from Kasarova. The subtle, tiny changes in her facial expression, eyes and breathing, all without discernible body movement are just wonderful. A masterclass.
What would she like to be remembered for?
‘To have been a special personality, and for my acting.’
Kasarova on Carmen - Opernhaus Zürich 2008
“But I am always careful to wait for the right moment when adding new roles to my repertoire, and with this very special role I wanted to wait for a new generation of audience members to come along before presenting my Carmen. I didn’t want to do an old-fashioned version of her. I wanted it to be more psychological.
My characterisation always depends on the interpretation and style of the production, of course. A more traditional production with gypsies and flowers in the hair would have meant a different kind of acting from me. You can’t just do what you feel like. I felt lucky that the Zurich production was very modern, so Carmen herself was a modern young woman. This reduced the drama to its essence, and I was really impressed by how well the director moved the chorus around in a very natural and meaningful way.”
Full interview link
SUNDAY 10 AUGUST at 17.45 BST
Verdi’s La Traviata streamed live from Glyndebourne
NOW WATCH ON DEMAND UNTIL 17 AUGUST
The stream will appear HERE via The Telegraph
or HERE at Glyndebourne
Cast and creative
Review from The Guardian
Photo gallery and audience reaction
Also in cinemas at the same time
Review of this performance at The Arts Desk and Mark Ronan
Image via The Guardian
Now on BBC iPlayer for 4 weeks
TUESDAY 22 JULY at 18.30 on BBC RADIO 3
The Glyndebourne production of Der Rosenkavalier ( semi-staged )
live from the Royal Albert Hall, London
Photcredit: Bill Cooper
Link to programme on BBC iPlayer
18.30 – Act 1
19.40 – Interval
20.00 - Act 2
21.30 - Act 3
Marschallin ….. Kate Royal (soprano)
Octavian ….. Tara Erraught (mezzo-soprano)
Baron Ochs ….. Franz Hawlata (bass)
Sophie ….. Louise Alder (soprano)
Herr von Faninal ….. Michael Kraus (baritone)
Marianne ….. Miranda Keys (soprano)
Valzacchi ….. Christopher Gillett (tenor)
Annina ….. Helene Schneiderman (contralto)
Notary ….. Gwynne Howell (bass)
Italian Singer ….. Andrej Dunaev (tenor)
Innkeeper ….. Robert Wörle (tenor)
Police Inspector ….. Scott Conner (bass)
Glyndebourne Festival Opera, LPO, Robin Ticciati conductor.
I remember back in the 2011 Proms there was a “semi-staged” version of the Glyndebourne “Rinaldo” with Sonia Prina and Brenda Rae. There was mention then of defibrillators for the audience and I wonder if they will be necessary this time?
You can still watch the production on demand at BBC ARTS
WEDNESDAY 16 JULY at 17.30 on BBC RADIO 3
Christoph Loy’s production of Ariadne Auf Naxos
From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Photocredit: Catherine Ashmore/ROH
In the words of the BBC:
Radio 3 continues its survey of all of Strauss’s operas in this anniversary year, with a revival recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden of Christoph Loy’s production.
Karita Mattila stars as the Prima Donna who appears later as Ariadne and Roberto Sacca is the Tenor, later Bacchus in this often funny work which once again sets a libretto by Strauss’s greatest collaborator the librettist Hugo von Hoffmansthal. The work was originally intended as a short divertissement to be performed after Hoffmansthal’s version of Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme which itself had incidental music by Strauss. However it soon became clear that in this version the work wouldn’t be performed often due to the expense. So it was revised as an opera in a prologue and one act, albeit with a small orchestra and with another of Strauss’s great soprano roles.
Link to BBC iPlayer for programme, synopsis and photo gallery
Ariadne / The Prima Donna ….. Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Bacchus / The Tenor ….. Roberto Sacca (Tenor)
Zerbinetta ….. Jane Archibald (Soprano)
The Composer ….. Ruxandra Donose (Mezzo-soprano)
Harlequin ….. Markus Werba (Baritone)
Music Master ….. Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Dancing Master ….. Ed Lyon (Tenor)
Wig Maker ….. Ashley Riches (Baritone)
Lackey ….. Jihoon Kim (Bass Baritone)
Scaramuccio ….. Wynne Evans (Tenor)
Brighella ….. Paul Schweinester (Tenor)
Truffaldino ….. Jeremy White (Bass)
Officer ….. David Butt Philip (Baritone)
Naiad ….. Sofia Fomina (Soprano)
Dryad ….. Karen Cargill (Mezzo-soprano)
Echo ….. Kiandra Howarth (Soprano)
Major Domo ….. Christopher Quest (Speaker)
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Antonio Pappano (Conductor).
Read dehggial’s thoughts on the production
Review in The Guardian
Audience reactions to opening night
MONDAY 14 JULY at 19.15 on BBC RADIO 3
Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Photocredit: Bill Cooper/ROH
In the words of the BBC:
Donizetti’s tragic opera Maria Stuarda portrays the bitter rivalry between the Scottish Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I of England. They never actually met in real life, but in the operatic version the sparks fly in all directions as Donizetti sets a fictitious confrontation between the two queens. In this new staging by directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser, Bertrand de Billy conducts a star cast with Joyce DiDonato and Carmen Giannattasio.
Christopher Cook presents live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with guest Roger Parker and interviews with the directors and cast.
Link to BBBC iPlayer for programme, synopsis & photo gallery
Maria Stuarda…..Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo-soprano)
Elisabetta…..Carmen Giannattasio (Soprano)
Leicester…..Ismael Jordi (Tenor)
Lord Cecil…..Jeremy Carpenter (Baritone)
Talbot …..Matthew Rose (Bass)
Anna Kennedy…..Kathleen Wilkinson (Mezzo-soprano)
ROH Orchestra & Chorus, Bertrand de Billy (Conductor)
* 19.30 Act 1
* 20.45 Interval
* 21.10 Act 2
Review from the FT
The Arts Desk
From The Arts Desk Q&A
Sebastian Scotney interviews Brigitte Fassbaender
“I had life-long self doubt.
But this belongs with it. You must never feel content with yourself”
The interview on BBC radio 3 is still available
This link is now working correctly
Broadcast on TUESDAY 1 JULY 2014 at 18.45 BST on BBC RADIO 3
Manon Lescaut live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
with Opolais, Kaufmann and Pappano
Photocredit: Bill Cooper/ROH
Puccini’s Manon Lescaut in a new production by Jonathan Kent
For links to useful stuff about this production click here
Manon Lescaut ….. Kristine Opolais (Soprano)
Chevalier des Grieux ….. Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Lescaut ….. Christopher Maltman (Baritone)
Geronte de Ravoir ….. Maurizio Muraro (Bass)
Singer ….. Nadezhda Karyazina (Soprano)
Edmondo ….. Benjamin Hulett (Tenor)
Dancing Master ….. Robert Burt (Tenor)
Lamplighter ….. Luis Gomes (Tenor)
Innkeeper ….. Nigel Cliffe (Baritone)
Sergeant ….. Jihoon Kim (Bass Baritone)
Naval Captain ….. Jeremy White (Bass)
ROH orchestra and chorus, Antonio Pappano (Conductor)
BBC iPlayer time expired
Manon, who has shown a taste for pleasure, is on her way to a convent on the orders of her parents when she meets the young student Des Grieux. The pair fall in love and elope to Paris, but when the elderly Geronte offers Manon a life of wealth and luxury, her head is turned. Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 30 years.
Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes
This was a programme on BBC4 TV
22 June at 19.30 BST
In the words of the BBC:
This BBC Four documentary examines what it takes to be a world-class opera house in 2014 and reveals how, through 80 years of passion, dedication and commitment to the art form, Glyndebourne has become one of the most beloved opera companies in the world.
Marking the 80th anniversary of Glyndebourne Festival, Glyndebourne: The Untold History, filmed this year, explores the beginnings of the opera house which sprang from the romance between founder John Christie and his opera singer wife, Audrey Mildmay, and provides an insider’s view on the company as it prepares to present a new production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, an opera which, like Glyndebourne itself, incorporates both tradition and innovation. The 90-minute film tells the story of the creation of this unique opera house and shows how it grew from the love story of John Christie and Audrey Mildmay into the international house of today. It will also show the making of the new production of Der Rosenkavalier in the 150th anniversary year of the composer Richard Strauss. We discover how Der Rosenkavalier is entwined with the history of the Christie family and with Glyndebourne itself through the connections between Strauss and Carl Ebert, Rudolf Bing and Fritz Busch, the trio of German émigrés who were essential to Glyndebourne’s early success 80 years ago. The new production of Rosenkavalier, directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Glyndebourne’s new Music Director, Robin Ticciati, is the first new production of the opera in 32 years at the festival. Audiences will witness the journey from the early explorations of the music and libretto, through the development of the designs, staging and costumes, to meet some of the production’s principal singers, as well as the costume and prop makers who help turn the creative team’s vision into a reality. The complete performance can be seen on BBC Arts Online (bbc.co.uk/arts) alongside the special Glyndebourne Festival collection. Glyndebourne: The Untold History offers viewers unparalleled insight into the Glyndebourne Festival 2014 production of Der Rosenkavalier, available to watch in full on BBC Arts Online from 22 June, and demonstrates the commitment, rigour and pioneering spirit which Glyndebourne brings to everything it does.
iPlayer time expired
For those without immediate access to BBC TV – the programme should be available on BBC iPlayer afterwards or you may like to browse the History of Gyndebourne in Pictures from The Guardian.
A brief history of this opera festival by Rupert Christiansen
This production of Der Rosenkavalier features at The Proms on July 22, available on radio 3
Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
With Kaufmann, Opolais and Pappano.
Photocredit: Bill Cooper/ROH
Some useful bits and pieces:
Manon Lescaut will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on 1 July from 18.45 BST.
Photocredit: Gregor Hohenberg via The Telegraph
And here’s Kaufmann in The Telegraph!
Kaufmann talks about the opera – in English!
And his radio 3 interview is still available
It may be a cunning marketing ploy but hey, why not make the most of this?
There’s something here for most music lovers – including Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare (Connolly) the Paris Clemenza di Tito ( the one with the potato) The Magic Flute with Damrau and Pape, Written on Skin from Aix, DiDonato in Hercules, McVicar’s Salome, Kasarova’s Zurich Barber of Seville and many many more.
Add to that lots of documentaries, ballets and hundreds of concert performances and I sense a replete audience.
Link to Medici TV
Those lovely people at Arte TV have made the Christoph Marthaler production (Teatro Real Madrid) available to watch on line.
It was filmed on 21 May 2014 and can be viewed free HERE
Anne Sophie von Otter is Nicklausse
Cast and creative
Some time ago I posted a photo of a Lamborghini Sesto Elemento concept car and it sparked off an interesting conversation about which cars would be driven by which opera characters
Here’s a beautiful 1938 Maybach
image via coachbuild.com
Sleek and classy or rather staid?
Cardiff Singer of the World 2011 - Valentina Naforniţa
photocredit: Christopher Dunlop
Born in Moldova and currently based in Vienna where she is a member of the ensemble at the Wiener Staatsoper, Valentina was the youngest ever winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. She also received the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize.
Future appearances at the Wiener Staatsoper: *Musetta - La Bohème
*Gilda - Rigoletto *Adina - L’elisir d’amore *Pamina - Die Zauberflöte
Salzburg Festival 2014 Zerlina - Don Giovanni
Valentina stepped in at the last minute to make her role debut as Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito at the Wiener Staatsoper on 15/18 May. In director Jürgen Flimm’s production, Naforniţa joined tenor Toby Spence (Tito), soprano Véronique Gens (Vittelia) and mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier (Sesto). It was conducted by acclaimed Mozart interpreter, Ádám Fischer.
Valentina also appears as a guest of Elina Garanča in the concert “Classics in the Alps” at Kitzbühel on July 5. The concert also features The Vienna Boys’ Choir. Tickets now on sale
It will be very interesting to chart the progress of this young singer. I admit to being surprised at the result of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2011 -Naforniţa was not my choice for the prize as I favoured both the Russian mezzo Olesya Petrova and the Ukranian baritone Andrei Bondarenko. But Naforniţa had stunning Audrey Hepburn looks, good stage presence ( although her pointy elbows were both alarming and distracting ) and had been given excellent advice on wardrobe. She is also very slight of stature and one wonders what comments would be forthcoming from Dame Kiri who is renowned for her thoughts on weight, stating recently that you need “beef on you if you’re going to sing”.
Official website Facebook page
Wiener Staatsoper website
Valentina’s performances in the Cardiff Singer of the World final are HERE
An interesting interview with soprano Anne Schwanewilms
David Nice at The Arts Desk
Photocredit: Teatro Alla Scalla
SATURDAY 10 MAY at 18.00 GMT on BBC radio 3
Rossini’s La Cenerentola live from the Metropolitan Opera, New York
Sparkly frock. Sparkly cast.
Live from The Met in New York, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, a comic opera in two acts adapted from the Cinderella fairy tale by Perrault. Maestro Fabio Luisi conducts the Metropolitan Opera House Orchestra and Chorus with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Angelina, La Cenerentola, and tenor Juan Diego Florez as Don Ramiro, the prince who eventually rescues her from Don Magnifico, her evil stepfather, sung by baritone Alessandro Corbelli, changing her life for ever. Margaret Juntwait presents.
Link to BBC iPlayer for 7 days, synopsis and photos
Angelina ….. Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo-soprano)
Clorinda ….. Rachelle Durkin (Soprano)
Tisbe ….. Patricia Risley (Soprano)
Don Ramiro ….. Juan Diego Florez (Tenor)
Dandini ….. Pietro Spagnoli (Bass)
Don Magnifico ….. Alessandro Corbelli (Baritone)
Alidoro ….. Luca Pisaroni (Bass)
New York Met Opera Chorus/Orchestra, Fabio Luisi (Conductor).