A war ‘between love and politics’: so librettist Antonio Salvi summarised the conflict at the heart of Handel’s 1737 opera, Berenice. Well, we’ve had a surfeit of warring politics of late, but there’s been little love lost between opposing factions, and the laughs that director Adele Thomas and her team supply in this satirical and spicy production at the ROH’s stunningly re-designed Linbury Theatre have been in severely short supply.
Una cosa rara, ossia Bellezza ed onest‡. Dramma giocoso in two acts.
Music composed by Vicente MartÌn y Soler (1754–1806). Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte from the comedy La luna de la Sierra by Luis VÈlez de Guevara.
Anne Bogart directs East Coast premiere of Ruders & Bentley’s take on Margaret Atwood’s novel.
A strange concert, this, in that, although chorally conceived, it proved strongest in the performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto: not so much a comment on the choral singing as on the conducting of Dan Ludford-Thomas.
?It was the final performance of the premiere season of Darko Tresnjak’s production of Camille Saint-SaÎns’ Samson et Dalila. Four tenors later.†
Dido and Aeneas, Il ritorno d’Ulisse and Tchaikowsky’s L’Enchantresse, the three operas of the OpÈra de Lyon’s annual late March festival all tease destiny. But far more striking than the thematic relationship that motivates this 2019 festival is the derivation of these three productions from the world of hyper-refined theater, far flung hyper-refined theater.
Every man ‘who burns with a thirst for knowledge and life and with curiosity about the nature of good and evil is Faust … [everyone] who aspires to the Unknown, to the Ideal, is Faust’.
Prima la music, poi la parole? It’s the perennial operatic conundrum which has exercised composers from Monteverdi, to Salieri, to Strauss. But, on this occasion we were reminded that sometimes the answer is a simple one: Non, prima le voci!
I first heard Barbara Hannigan in 2008.
Scheppelmann heads to the Pacific Northwest following leadership roles in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East