megabanniere72890

On Stage

Moritzburg2-Festival2013

The Moritzburg Festival’s twentieth anniversary: the German Marlboro

In 1993, violonist Kai Vogler and cellists Jan Vogler and Peter Burns were looking for a place in Saxony where they could hold a music festival on the model of the Marlboro Festival in the United States. Indeed, these musicians had played there and had very much liked the atmosphere and the concept behind that festival, located in bucolic Vermont. In the end, they chose the Moritzburg Castle, a masterpiece ...
ELENA (repetition) (Jean-Yves Ruf) 2013

Francesco Cavalli’s Elena, the lyrical discovery of Aix

At last! After a remarkable - albeit not very lyrical - premiere (The House Taken Over), a poor Rigoletto, a Don Giovanni with a dubious cast, the Aix festival eventually rose to the level it should always reach. Lifted by a young and talented cast, inventive staging, and exceptional musical conducting, the Elena by Francesco Cavalli was the welcome surprise of the 2013 festival. In the direct line of Venetian opera—of ...
itineraire baroque 2013

Baroque musique goes green in Périgord

You are fond of baroque music and dream of smelling the fresh scent of green grass out in countryside? If so, the Festival Itinéraire (the Itinerary Festival) in the green Périgord is made for you. Thanks to the initiative of organist and conductor Ton Koopman, the festival offers an array of baroque repertory over the course of a long weekend, including both well-known and less well known works, in local ...
Aleksandrs Antonenko (Otello), Anna Netrebko (Desdemona) © Aline Paley  (2)

Verdi and Wagner celebrated in Verbier

There was a spectacular cast for this concert, a tribute to the two-hundredth anniversary of the births of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Occupying the whole area from downstage to upstage, the entire Verbier Festival Orchestra along with the Collegiate Chorale left only a narrow strip of space on the forestage for the soloist to sing. As soon as Otello begins, Valery Gergiev unleashes an orchestral storm. The orchestra is superb ...
damnation faust (c)  Louise Leblanc

Québec: La Damnation de Faust, in an astonishing staging

The Québec Opera Festival has attained a new level of achievement, offering festival attendees a work reputed to be difficult, and which usually does not attract many people to the concert hall, even during a regular opera season. The premiere of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust took place before a sold-out house. And you can bet that subsequent performances will likewise enjoy full houses. Surely, this is the best production ...
ELEKTRA (Patrice CHEREAU) 2013

The Elektra-shock in Aix

The shock begins with the opening chords. The Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, explodes. Tonight, the violence contained in Strauss’ work is magnified, the orchestra gives its best, and the volume reaches a peak. Only seconds into the opera, we already know that the night will be fantastic. And fantastic it was. Beside the orchestra, which was excellent, the casting was finally worthy of an international festival. Evelyn Herlitzius ...
The Tales of Hoffmann Natalie Dessay (Antonia) and Christian Van Horn (Coppelius). ©Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera.

San Francisco’s Tales of Hoffman is Right on Target with Natalie Dessay

Let’s be clear right from the start: the joint effort of Barcelona, San Francisco and Lyon, vocally powerful in this production, is right on target. Because quite simply, precise, explicit, slimmed-down, fast-paced--in a word, successful--it unquestionably achieves its goal. No use rehashing the libretto’s history or the structure of these Tales. That would be opening too large a can of worms. Happily, our colleague Catherine Scholler has deciphered the puzzle ...
vasily_petrenko3-362x367

Julia Fischer and Vasily Petrenko: phenomenal!

This concert, starring violinist Julia Fischer and conductor Vasily Petrenko tackling two masterpieces of Russian music (namely Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 4) looked very promising. And indeed, it was sold out for a few weeks before the performance. These high expectations were met, and both musicians gave the audience and an energized Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France a concert that will be long remembered. For those who ...
Guide_Festivals_couv350px

The 2013 edition of the ResMusica Summer Festivals Guide

The 2013 edition of the ResMusica Summer Festivals Guide invites you to discover 10 artists and 30 dance and classical music festivals in France, Europe and North America. The guide opens with portraits of 10 striking artists - promising or already well established - who have in common that they take risks, think outside the box and renew the image of their art. The motto behind our selection of festivals is "sustainability". ...
Aben-Hamet. Crédits photographiques : © Festival Classica

Festival Classica : Aben-Hamet, resurrection of an impressive score

Théodore Dubois left only a small legacy to future generations of composers. His name has almost entirely disappeared from history and his work takes up very little space in encyclopedias and music textbooks. The Festival Classica in Saint-Lambert can be proud of hosting the premiere of Aben-Hamet in its original French version. This opera was first mounted in 1884 in Italian at the Théâtre-Italien. It is a special opera, written for ...
Ballet Preljocaj  Les Nuits (c) JC Carbonne

Angelin Preljocaj’s Oriental Nights

In his new ballet, Les Nuits (The Nights), Angelin Preljocaj presents a fantasised erotic vision of the Orient. Inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights, this show is a commission from Marseille–Provence 2013, the European Capital of Culture. It was premiered on May 29 at the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix, and it has come for the first time to Paris, which is the first stop on a ...
john_eliot-gardiner-362x361

In Paris, Happy Birthday Sir Gardiner

Oedipus-Rex is a curious work to celebrate a birthday. The opera-oratorio by Stravinsky with a libretto by Jean Cocteau translated into Latin by Cardinal Jean Daniélou (who died in the home of a prostitute), was a "very gruesome gift" according Diaghilev to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ballets Russes. It is with this work that John Eliot Gardiner made his tour for his 70th birthday with the LSO, with ...
Maurizio Pollini - © Mathias Bothor / DG

Last Pollini Perspectives concert in Pleyel : a culmination

It was the last concert in the 2011-2013 Pollini Perspectives series, and the Maestro ended his Beethoven component with the last three sonatas (Pollini will record the complete cycle very soon with Deutsche Grammophon). He was also assisted by his son Daniele, who appeared as a soloist in the first part of the concert. In juxtaposition with the Beethoven works, music by Pollini's fellow countryman and friend Salvatore Sciarrino was performed ...
Nancy, France : L'importance d'etre Constant

The Importance of Being Earnest, world premiered on stage in Nancy

The Opéra de Lorraine, honoring its mission as a “national opera”, is acting as a commissioner of new work, it hosting the premiere of the stage version of Gerald Barry’s fifth opera, The Importance of Being Earnest. The work was a originally a commission of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and of London’s Barbican Center, but had only been presented in a concert version in 2012, when it was a great ...
Gala icma 2013

Milan: The 2013 ICMA gala

This year’s annual gala of the International Classical Music Awards was held at the Milan Auditorium, where the laureates were treated to an enjoyable evening of music. The Symphony Orchestra of Milan Giuseppe Verdi, which was founded in 1993, has become one of the greatest symphonic ensembles in Europe under the baton of Riccardo Chailly and others. In addition to the symphonic orchestra, LaVerdi has broadened its range of activities ...
"The Flying Dutchman" Final Dress Rehearsal_March 6, 2013

In Los Angeles, Sensational Timely Debuts by Matos and Tomasson

Nikolaus Lehnhoff’s former production (Chicago, 2001; San Francisco, 2004), very slightly retouched, retains its freshness and all its brilliance here and, in particular, gets right down to essentials. Of course, some psychological elements still remain but the myth, which immediately clears up any ambiguity. is frankly and straightforwardly recounted, as it should be, with explicit precision and accessibility. The timeless universal sets and costumes, often sinister and even macabre, also ...
(c) Elisabeth Carecchio

Love of a young woman by Tamasaburo Bando

Kunqu is an ancient traditional theater, which does qualify as opera as it includes singing and dancing, along with musical accompaniement. This art was born in the fifteenth century and was included on the Unesco's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001. The kabuki master Tamasaburo Bando, who was named a « Living National Treasure »last year in his home country, Japan, created a new version ...
Le Barbier - Cyrille Cauvet

A quality Barber in Saint-Étienne

Alberto Zedda conducting a Rossini opera is always an important event. Even in the most famous of Rossini’s operas, this demonic conductor, together with an orchestra in a state of grace, managed to find and reveal to us new sonorities, details previously unsuspected within a constant flow. Such exceptional conducting would almost be enough for a superb performance, but the entire cast, delightfully, was outstanding, including very young singers in the ...
canizares 1- photo Marc Roger

Folle Journée in Nantes : the exquisite hour of French and Spanish music

This year, the theme was “L’heure exquise,” celebrating French and Spanish music from 1850 to the present. In that context, a great tribute was paid to the golden era of French music from the 1870s through the 1940s. Along with the most famous composers, such as Debussy, Ravel, Bizet, Albéniz, Falla, and Messiaen, the audience was given the opportunity to discover composers who until now have remained very little known, ...
Gergiev_Pleyel_3

Gergiev kicks off the complete Shostakovich’s symphonies in Paris

Valery Gergiev has returned to the marathon concert format that he first put together for the 2010-2011 season—back then it was for Mahler's complete orchestral works— this time with a series of all of Shostakovitch's concertos and symphonies over two seasons and eight concerts. The first two of those consisted of the alpha and omega of the symphonic corpus, with, sandwiched in between, the Piano Concerto no. 2 on the ...
louis langrée 2012

Louis Langrée conducts the Berlin Philharmonic

For any conductor, being invited by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert in its own hall, in a subscription concert is always a feat which made you part for to an exclusive club, a Champion’s League, so to speak. If French conductors have always been highly on demand abroad (while they struggle to find adequate positions in their home country) few have made it to the podium of this ...
Don-Quichotte-003@PatrickBerger-362x241

Don Quixote rejuvenated

José Montalvo is back as a full-fledged choreographer now that he has left his job as director of the Théâtre de Chaillot and his “partner” Dominique Hervieu. His latest creation, a refreshing, daring vision of Don Quixote of la Mancha, after a ballet by Ludwig Minkus, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, proves it. Montalvo had the smart idea to choose Patrice Thibaud as Don Quixote, the penniless hidalgo who fights against ...
Jansons-Mariss-Q4-redim-362x241

Mariss Jansons makes the Turangalîla-Symphonie his own

If there was ever a concert distinguished by the originality of its program and the quality of its interpreters, it was surely this one. It featured the vast, if not overwhelming, Olivier Messiaen’s symphony played by a Bavarian orchestra with Wagnerian sonorities rather than the typically French style of the composer, under the baton of a first-class conductor whose vision of Messiaen's work could only sharpen music lovers' curiosity. Right from ...
Schonebaum

In Montpellier, a tribute to Elliott Carter

When Jean-Paul Scarpitta decided to produce at the Corum of Montpellier the French premiere of What Next? by Elliott Carter, the only work by the American composer for the stage, and for only two performances, he could not guess he was about to give the best tribute to the American composer, who died on 5th November at 103 years old. The condensed format of this chamber opera (45 minutes) called for ...
Anna Caterina Antonacci et Nikolai Schukoff  © Charles Duprat/Opéra national

A disappointing Carmen at the Paris Opera

Carmen last production at the Paris Opera dates back to 1997 (performed until 2002), which explains the high expectations for this new production entrusted to the (mostly theater) director Yves Beaunesne. Sold out until the end of 2012, this opera by Bizet is shown in the version with dialogues; the libretto having nevertheless been adapted by the playwright Marion Bernède. In a unique and quite colorless set (a warehouse), Yves Beaunesne chose ...