Introducing the winter-spring season, ROH Chief Executive Tony Hall explains the (perhaps a tad spurious) Olympic ‘concept’ which has inspired the season’s programming, the five interlocking rings of the Olympic insignia motivating the performance of a series of works staged in ‘cycle form’.
Founded in 1984, the Basel Chamber Orchestra has developed a penchant for
programmes which combine the modern and unfamiliar with the traditional and
Three La BohËmes in ten days, a critic’s nightmare that was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
This year is a big year for the Met. Of the seven new productions on the roster, two are the last two installments of a much-anticipated Robert Lepage Ring.
This buoyant, refreshing performance of Haydn’s late oratorio, The Seasons, by Paul McCreesh’s superb Gabrieli Consort and Players conjured
a calendric kaleidoscope of seasonal climes, from the warm bucolic breezes of spring to summer’s fierce suns and flashing storms, from autumnal harvests and hunts to the frozen mists and fiery hearth-sides of winter.
Composed during the spring hunting season of 1684, for a patron and performance venue unknown, Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s brief six-scene Opera de Chasse (‘Hunting Opera’), ActÈon, has remained seldom performed and something of a mystery.
War and destruction is everywhere these days, not least in Pesaro where Graham Vick staged a lethal MosÈ in Egitto last August, nor less so in San Francisco where baritone Thomas Hampson perished as Rick Rescorla in Heart of a Soldier last September.
Lise Lindstrom, who made a notable splash in the opera world (debuts at La Scala and at the Met) with her portrayals of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, has recently undertaken the still more demanding role of Salome.
Hugo Wolf is a hard sell. Technical expertise isn’t enough. The secret to singing Wolf is expressing the unique personality in each song. Wolf, perhaps more than any other composer, creates miniatures that open out into mini-operas when performed well.
Richard Strauss’s opera Ariadne auf Naxos presents challenges in casting not only because of the vocal line and identity associated with individual characters but also because of its nature as a self-comment on the musical stage and the requisite dramatic skills thus needed.