Browsing: Opera

Author : (Gianmarco Segato)
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The music of George Frideric Handel has always been at the core of Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin’s repertoire. One of her earliest recordings, a 1999 Analekta disc of Handel arias with Tafelmusik under the direction of the late Jeanne Lamon, features two arias from Handel’s 1735 opera seria, Alcina. They provide a ­tantalizing early career glimpse of the present moment just as Gauvin has ­triumphed as Alcina in a new production built around her considerable talents by Czech opera director Jiří Heřman for Brno’s National ­Theatre. After its February 2022 première in the Czech Republic, the production travelled to Versailles…

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Author : (Gianmarco Segato)

Mother’s Day is the sort of manufactured holiday often cloaked in sentimentality and clichés. Long-stemmed red roses, exorbitantly overpriced brunches, ­cloying greeting-card poetry—all point to a skewed, idealistic view of motherhood. The commercialization of Mother’s Day does a disservice to the endlessly nuanced roles mothers play in all cultures, and the incredibly complex relationship their children have with them.  If Mother’s Day is all chocolates and ­bouquets, then opera’s mothers are contrastingly short-shrifted in another way, almost always portrayed as harridans and manipulators with a penchant for infanticide or suicide. But mostly they are distant, off-stage presences, usually only granted…

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Opera singers who boast contracts with big-name recording labels are rare these days, but American soprano Nadine Sierra can count herself among that select few. Her newly-released album on Deutsche Grammophon is entitled Made for Opera. Eschewing the more usual calling-card list of standard lyric soprano arias, Sierra takes a more curated approach, focusing on three iconic heroines, all of whom she has sung multiple times on stage. Verdi’s Violetta in La traviata, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Gounod’s Juliette from Roméo et Juliette are presented in most of their major arias and scenes. The Italian selections are injected with…

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Baritenor Michael Spyres, baritone-tenor; Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg; Marko Letonja, conductor. Erato, 2022 Tenor Michael Spyres is a name known to all opera buffs, his reputation hinging on a repertoire of light operatic fare. Critics rave about his performances of Italian arias by Donizetti and Bellini, but native French speakers give him high marks for his impeccable diction of lyrics in their own tongue. That said, the star vocalist has another ace in his deck. In his latest effort, entitled Baritenor and issued on the Erato label, he sticks to his usual range while dropping it a few steps into…

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Unreleased Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano, Maxim Vengerov, violin; Basel’s Kammerorchester (Switzerland), Muhai Tang, conductor Decca Classics, 2021 No one in the music world circumvented the pandemic, not even its most celebrated icons. Cecilia Bartoli, for one, spent her time away from the scene to dig into her own archives, the outcome of her searches resulting in the issuing of Unreleased late last year. “Unreleased is the result of many hours spent at home over a period of several months,” she explained. “While the restrictions […] have sometimes been difficult to bear, they have also offered us the opportunity to pause, breathe…

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Amata Dalle Tenebre (Deluxe edition) Anna Netrebko, soprano; Orchestra of the Teatro della Scala; Riccardo Chailly, conductor. Deutsche Grammophon, 2021 For her first solo album in five years, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has graced her long- awaited release (Amata Dalle Tenebre) with a visual component videotaped during the recording date that took place at Milan’s La Scala. Four video clips of as many arias are offered as part of the package. In these selections, the singer is not only seen performing, but donning the costumes for each role, these being Aida from Verdi’s eponymous opera, Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame,…

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REVIEW:  of the New York premiere of a new opera by Gordon Getty, “reimagined for film” – Goodbye, Mr. Chips, screened at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, March 2, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., sponsored jointly by Festival Napa Valley and NYCO (New York City Opera). The idea for an opera version of James’ Hilton’s 1934 novel, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, had been germinating in composer Gordon Getty’s mind for decades – ever since, as a young man, he saw a re-release of the celebrated 1939 film adaptation starring Robert Donat (in an Academy Award-winning performance as the eponymous character) and the…

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Over the past 20 years, Marie-Ève Scarfone has carved out an enviable place for herself on the Quebec music scene. Recognized as one of the most versatile pianists of her generation, she is known as much for her work as a vocal coach, repetiteur and chamber musician as for her work as a pedagogue. After several years of working with institutions such as the Opéra de Montréal and McGill University, performing all over the world and recording for the ATMA Classique and Analekta labels, she has chosen to continue her musical journey in Zürich. Originally from Montreal, she began her…

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New York City’s Irish Repertory Theatre this week concludes the run of its 2021-22 holiday production – a revival of artistic director Charlotte Moore’s 2002 musical adaptation of Dion Boucicault’s The Streets of New York – with a final performance on Sunday, January 30, at 3 p.m. The production is a thoroughgoing success – roistering, lyrical, stylish, and bursting with vitality. Dublin-born Dion Boucicault was one of the most successful and prolific actor-manager-dramatists of the 19th Century, and in 1857 he premiered one of his most spectacularly successful dramas, The Street of New York (originally titled The Poor of New…

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MysticGiorgia Fumanti, voix; Stefano Galante, piano; Galante Media OrchestraLabel: Vega2 (2021) Giorgia Fumanti already has more than a dozen albumsù to her credit. Supported by her lifelong producers, her manager husband Maurice Velenosi, and Stefano Galante, who also provides musical direction, the Italian singer offers here a repertoire of cult songs and instrumental pieces arranged especially for her soprano voice. The album jumbles together several great classics such as Piazzola’s Libertango, Ravel’s Boléro, Albinoni’s Adagio, Orff’s O Fortuna and Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. Added to this are other classics closer to our time, such as Now we are free from the…

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