Don Giovanni is Mozart at his mature zenith. He makes his musical statements directly with optimum economy and, even after more than two centuries, the dramatic scope of his work remains a source of wonder to operagoers. Charles Gounod called Don Giovanni “an unequalled and immortal masterpiece, the pinnacle of lyrical drama.”
Descending into the concrete cavern that is Ambika P3, at the University of
Westminster, I reflected that the bunker-like milieu was a fitting venue for
Royal Academy Opera’s production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s May
Night, which updated the original early-19th century locale to
the beginning of the Soviet era.
The English Concert’s travelling Orlando has been collecting
rave reviews. Here’s another one from Amsterdam, the last stop on their
tour before Carnegie Hall.
In 1728 Handel was down on his luck, following the demise of his ‘Royal
Academy’. Ever the entrepreneur, the following year he made a scouting tour of
Italy in search of the best singing talent and, returning with seven new virtuosos
— including the castrato Senesino.
Bryan Hymel, Irene Roberts & Julius Drake at Rosenblatt Recitals
Strong revival for Richard Jones 2011 production with cast mixing returnees and dÈbutantes
Last year for his 60th anniversary as conductor, Bernard Haitink celebrated with one of his first orchestra’s the Dutch Radio Philharmonic. That performance of Mahler’s Fourth turned out such a success, he returned for another round at the NTR Saturday Matinee at the Concertgebouw.
It is not often that a major work by a forgotten composer gets rediscovered
and makes an enormously favorable impression on today’s listeners. That has
happened, unexpectedly, with Herculanum, a four-act grand opera by
FÈlicien David, which in 2014 was recorded for the first time.
In Musical Exoticism (Cambridge 2011) Ralph P. Locke undertook an
extensive appraisal of the portrayal of the ‘Other’ in works dating
from 1700 to the present day, an enquiry that embraced a wide range of genres
from Baroque opera to Algerian rap, and which was at once musical, cultural,
historical, political and ethical.