Dubbed a “spieloper,” Hans Pfitzner’s Das Christelflein (“The Christmas Elf”) casts a magical, yet appropriately cool, spell, even in the warm days of late May, the time of this review.
Catherine Bott is an English soprano in her fifties with decades of career and an extensive discography, but even in the world of early music, where she has spent most of her time, one could not say she is a marquee name.
“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring”, quoth the great poet Alexander Pope in 1709.
Should Opera Today readers want to test where they would place themselves on a spectrum ranging from “completely politically incorrect” to “utterly politically correct,” the Hyperion Helios re-release of Sidney Jones “Japanese musical play” The Geisha surely will do the trick.
The general aversion of the listening public to vocal music can nowhere be more easily seen than in the comparative success of the operatic and instrumental works of the Italian baroque.
There was a great northward swing of composers from Italy to Paris and London in the 1820s and 1830s. Actually, this has been going on for a long time, but was temporarily halted by the Napoleonic wars.
Few works seem more seminal to our understanding of J. S. Bach than the church cantatas, written over a wide chronological swath of his career, sometimes as part of occasional duties, other times in what was clearly a frenzy of steady prolificity.
Sergio Seggalini, former editor of OpÈra International (now OpÈra Magazine), is the artistic director of both La Fenice and the Festival of Martina Franca.
“What a difference a sound makes” goes the song (or something like that).