Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Finally this afternoon we will have a rebroadcast from last summer's Bayreuth Festival -- Tristan und Isolde with Robert Dean Smith and Nina Stemme. Plus what looks to be a luscious Tamerlano with Bejun Mehta, Bruce Ford and Sandrine Piau; Karina Gauvin in a performance of Scylla et Glaucus; and, celebrating Halloween, two Humperdinck offerings:

  • RADIO TRE (RAI) - At noon EDT, Britten's War Requiem with Christine Brewer, Ian Bostridge and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Antonio Pappano; later in the afternoon, from Maggio Musicale in Florence, Rossini's Tancredi with Raúl Giménez, Darina Takova, Daniela Barcellona, Marco Spotti, Barbara Di Castri and Nicola Marchesini, conducted by Riccardo Frizza.
  • BAYERN 4 KLASSIK - From Munich a live performance of Humperdinck's Königskinder, with Robert Gambill, Annette Dasch, Roman Trekel, Dagmar Peckova, Daniel Lewis Williams and Ulrich Reß, conducted by Fabio Luisi.
  • DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR and MUSIQ3 - From Teatro Communale in Florence, a September performance of Verdi's I Lombardi alla prima crociata, with Massimiliano Pisapia, Erwin Schrott , Katia Pellegrino, Dimitra Theodossiou, Marco Spotti, Enrico Cossutta, Cesare Lana, Ramón Vargas and Daniela Schillaci, conducted by Roberto Abbado.
  • ESPACES MUSIQUES (French Radio Canada) - From Geneva, a performance of Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, with Franz-Josef Kapellmann, Nadine Denize, Anke Vondung, Camilla Tilling, Pierre Lefebvre and Katia Velletaz, la conducted by Armin Jordan.
  • FRANCE MUSIQUES - An October 8th performance from Opéra Royal au Château de Versailles of Jean-Marie Leclair's Scylla et Glaucus, with Salomé Haller, Céline Scheen, Jean-Christophe Henry, Marc Manodritta, Robert Getchell, Gaëlle Le Roi, Karina Gauvin, Salomé Haller, Nicolas Achten, Didier Chevalier, Cécile Dibon-Lafarge, Solange Añorga, Nicolas Achten, conducted by Joël Suhubiette et Christophe Rousset.
  • KLARA, SVERIGES RADIO P2 and ESPACE 2 - Yet another rebroadcast of the Covent Garden performance of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Andrea Gruber, Jose Cura and Mak Delevan.
  • LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA - The rebroadcast of the Bayreuth Tristan und Isolde, with Robert Dean Smith, Nina Stemme, Kwangchul Youn, Andreas Schmidt, Alexander Marco-Buhrmester and Petra Lang , conducted by Eiji Oue.
  • RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS - From Amsterdam, a live performance of Händel's Tamerlano, with Bejun Mehta, Bruce Ford, Sandrine Piau, Patricia Bardon, Kristina Hammarström, Lars Arvidson and Jennifer Hanna, conducted by Christophe Rousset.
  • NPR WORLD OF OPERA - From Houston Grand Opera, Salsipuedes, a Tale of Love, War and Anchovies by Daniel Catan (World Premiere), with Ana Maria Martinez, Zheng Cao, Chad Shelton, Scott Hendricks, James Maddalena, Oren Gradus, Nicholas Phan, Laquita Mitchell, Heidi Stober, Joseph Evans and Pablo Bracho, conducted by Guido Maria Guida; also available is last weeks broadcast of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Patricia Racette, Paul Charles Clarke, and Peter Coleman-Wright, conducted by Patrick Summers.
  • WQXR - If you missed the Ana Netrebko, Rolando Villazón La Traviata when it was first broadcast live some months back, here is another chance to catch it before its release as a Deutsche Grammophon recording .
  • BBC RADIO 3 - Covent Garden continues its Ring Cycle with a performance of Siegfried, with John Treleaven, Lisa Gasteen, Gerhard Siegel, John Tomlinson, Peter Sidhom, Philip Ens, Sarah Fox and Jane Henschel, conducted by Antonio Pappano.
  • CBC TWO - From Vienna, a performance of Massenet's Werther, with Marcelo Alvarez, Adrian Eröd, Elina Garanca, Ileana Tonca, conducted by Philippe Jordan.
  • CESKY ROZHLAS 3 -VLTAVA - Smetana's LIBUŠE, with Drahomíra Tikalová, Jindrich Jindrák, Zdenek Kroupa, Ivo Žídek, Karel Berman, Milada Šubrtová, Jirí Joran, Ivana Mixová, Helena Tattermuschová, Sylvia Kodetová, Eva Hlobilová and Antonín Votava, conducted by Alois Klíma.
  • MDR FIGARO - From Moscow, a performance of Rimski-Korsakow's Der Goldene Hahn, with Dmitri Stepanowitsch, Michail Vekua, Dmitri Kontratkow, and Denis Makarow, conducted by Felix Korobow.
  • NRK ALLTID KLASSISK and NRK P2 - From the Proms, London's Royal Albert Hall, a July concert performaance of Purcell's The Fairy Queen, with Mhairi Lawson, Julia Gooding, Susan Hemington-Jones, Rebecca Outram, Danil Auchincloss, Marc Le Brocq, Peter Harvey and Jonathan Best, conducted by Raul McCreesh.
  • LYRIC FM - From this past summer's Wexford Festival, a performance of Donizetti's Maria de Rohan, with Église Gutierrez, Yeghishe Manucharyan and James Westman, Conducted by Antonino Fogliani.

Happy listening,

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Giuseppe Filianoti in Lucia - Dress Rehearsal - 10/24/2005

I was able to attend today's Dress Rehearsal at the Metropolitan for its Lucia di Lammermoor, opening this coming Thursday, Oct. 27th. As well as being the first Lucia of the season, it will be the Met debut for its Edgardo, Giuseppe Filianoti. The other three principals were Elizabeth Futral, Charles Taylor and John Relyea. Unfortunately, both Futral and Relyea sounded in trouble, but that could simply have been a function of the Rehearsal being in the late morning/early afternoon (starting at 11:00 A.M.)

Filianoti, on the other hand, sounded in no trouble at all. I urge those in the New York area to attend his debut this coming Thursday. It promises to be an exceptional evening. I can't remember the last time a tenor moved me so in this role, and yet, physically, Filianoti is not much of an actor. His is a very severe, stylized presence on stage. Everything he does is geared instead to the phrasing of the music, and there is a patrician sensibility to his singing, somewhat reminiscent of Carlo Bergonzi, although he is a more plausible figure as the "hero". His phrasing strongly recalls Bergonzi's: inexhaustible breath, long-lined skeins of song, stretching sometimes beyond two lines of verse! And all is done musically, with a superb sense of poetic shape to the utterance that never seems encumbered by technical, physical effort; above all, it is the natural ebb and flow, almost like cultivated speech, that stays with one.

The Tomb Scene should make an indelible impression, even if it is only half as fine as what we heard today. The tones in his opening recit were innately affecting, but there was also keen imagination at work in hushed phrases like the first "Tu delle gioe in seno". And then in the "Fra poco a me ricovero", we heard the phrasing he can do. When is the last time we've heard "tu lo dimentica rispetta almeno chi muore" on one breath, with a poignant rallentando yet! It is a measure of the gleam and ease of his top notes, together with the endless supply of breath, that he was able, later on, to shape climactic phrases as sweeping, effortless vocal statements with the pingy top tones "fitting" in freely and musically, rather than cleaving phrases with an exclamation point in the amateurish way of too many others.

Filianoti was at his most imaginative in "Tu che a Dio". He sang the reiterations of "bell'alma inamorato" as wistful, soft echoes of the ones before, sometimes without stopping for breath. The effect was to impart a feeling of Edgardo already losing his life spark, even before plunging the dagger through his heart.

The suicide itself was presented in an oddly ritualized way, with no attempt at realism -- it seemed, anyway. Instead, it came off as an austere, almost abstract evocation of something picturesque from an ancient time. For some, not too convincing, perhaps, but it suited the highly stylized presentation of the music that we were hearing. At the same time, the voice throbbed with immediate feeling. In the da capo, Filianoti delivered "Ti rivolgi, ah" with the "ah" tailing off into a seemingly spontaneous, but utterly musical, sigh. Later, deep into the melodic refrain of the da capo, his singing followed a line of contemplation ... tension ... contemplation ... tension, as if holding Death itself at bay. And the top notes now pealed out. A final gesture almost like a ballet dancer, but still restrained, and the tone itself simply died away on the last "ciel".

This man sings with heart; he doesn't merely make the sounds to earn his paycheck, he seems to be listening as intently as any paying auditor to the "story" that Donizetti's inspired music is "telling" him. And he delivers that "story" with an openness and lack of contrivance that is deeply affecting. The voice is beautiful: it is not big, and when not fully warmed up, the middle can be slightly nasal, but the top is always beautiful and open, both gleaming and simpatico, and by the time of the "Maladetto sia l'istante" in Act II, the whole instrument was clear and of a piece.

If I had to say which two things struck me most about his singing, they were his ease and freedom up to the top, which allowed him to concentrate (seemingly) solely on conveying myriad feelings through song, and the most imaginative musicianship I have heard in any current tenor. These, combined with beautiful diction and a genuinely supple throat, make the role of Edgardo something lofty, almost mystical in its effect. It may not have the red-blooded impact of a Di Stefano, but it has its own humanity, an utterly distinctive persona, arresting and thoroughly individual.

I look forward keenly to hearing from others here who may be able to make it to the Met this Thursday.

Happy listening!

Geoffrey Riggs

Monday, October 24, 2005

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, WWNO, the public radio station there that we list on OperaCast, went off the air. They are now back on the "air", albeit only streaming on the internet, broadcasting from the studios of Georgia Public Radio in Atlanta. They are presently soliciting donations to help cover the extraordinary costs they are incurring to keep their stream up and running. We encourage our visitors to support WWNO's efforts. Please give generously.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Saturday, October 22, 2005 . . . continued

Some interesting and curious offerings are on the boards for this Saturday.

  • ESPACE MUSIQUES (French Radio Canada) - A rebroadcast of the Covent Garden performance of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Andrea Gruber and Mark Delevan.
  • RDP ANTENA 2 - A May 2004 performance from Göttingen of Handel's Rinaldo, with Diana Moore, Dominique Labelle, Cyndia Sieden, Cécile van de Sant, Christophe Dumaux and Andrew Foster-Williams, conducted by Nicholas McGegan.
  • DR P2 - An April 2005 performance from Geneva of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, with Joyce Di Donato, Gabriele Fontana, Eric Cutler, Giovanni Furlanetto and Marzio Giossi, conducted by Evelino Pidò.
  • KLARA - From the Pesaro Festival, a performance of Rossini's Bianca e Falliero, with Daniela Barcellona, Maria Bayo, Ornella Bonomelli, Dario Benini, Carlo Lepore and Francesco Meli, conducted by Renato Palumbo.
  • MUSIQ3 and RADIO OESTERREICH INTERNATIONAL - From Vienna, a live performance of Catalani's La Wally, with Violeta Urmana, Dan Paul Dumitrescu, Francesco Hong, Ambrogio Maestri, Elisabetta Scano and Nadio Krasteva, conducted by Carlo Franci.
  • RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS - From Brussels, an October 7th performance of Claus' Thyeste, with Dale Duesing, John Daszak, Harry Peeters, Helena Rasker and Lorenzo Caròla, conducted by Stefan Ashbury.
  • NPR WORLD OF OPERA - From Houston Grand Opera, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Patricia Racette, Paul Charles Clarke, Nicholas Phan, Mika Shigematsu and Peter Coleman-Wright, conducted by Patrick Summers.(On Saturday and again on Sunday one can still catch last week's NPR World of Opera offering, Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila from Wshington National Opers, with Olga Borodina, Carl Tanner, Alan Held and Kyle Ketelson, conducted by Giovanni Reggioli).
  • KBYU - A January 2005 Utah Symphony performance of Janacek's Jenufa, with Cynthia Clayton, Josepha Gayer, Michael Hendrick, Robert Breault and Judith Forst, conducted by Robert Tweten.
  • NRK ALLTID KLASSISK and NRK P2 - Yet another performance of Jenufa, this one from Prague, featuring Drahomíra Drobková, Eva Urbanová, Jitka Svobodová, Tomás Cerný and Ales Briscein, conducted by Jirí Kout.
  • CESKY ROZHLAS 3-VLTAVA - A performance from Bavarian State Opera of Verdi's La Forza del Destino with Franco Farina, Violeta Urmana, Mark Delavan, Kurt Moll and Dagmar Pecková, conducted by Fabio Luisi.
  • ESPACE 2 - From Prague, a performance of Smetana's Dalibor, with Vilem Pribyl, Jindrich Jindrak, Gita Abrahamova, Daniela Sounova-Broukova, Antonin Svorc, Karel Prusa, Milos Jezil and Bohuslav Marsik, conducted by Ridijaroslav Krombholc.
  • FRANCE MUSIQUES - From Opere Bastille, a performance of Hindemith's Cardillac, with Alan Held, Angela Denoke, Christopher Ventris, Hannah Esther Minutillo and Charles Workman, conducted by Kent Nagano.
  • SVERIGES RADIO P2 - Somewhat of a curiosity, from Goteborg Opera, a performance of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, in Swedish, with Ulricha Johnson, Johan Rabaéus, Sara Jangfeldt, Ulf Eklund, Lars Bethke, Camilo Bresky, Magnus Borén, Hans Josefsson, Peter Harryson, Lillis påkläderska, Marianne Schell and Johan WikströmRalph, conducted by Hans Ek.
  • CATALUNYA MÚSICA - From Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, a performance of Ponchielli's La Gioconda, with Deborah Voigt, Elisabetta Fiorillo, Ewa Poslés (I presume they mean Podles?), Richard Margison, Carlo Guelfi (replacing an indisposed Juan Pons), Carlo Colombara, Josep Miquel Ribot, Joan Plazaola and Celestino Varela, conducted by Daniele Callegari.
  • RADIO TRE (RAI) - Had originally scheduled a live Tosca from Naples, which has been cancelled due to a strike, so they will carry a 2003 Paris performance of Handel's Serse with Ann Sophie von Otter, Lawrence Zazzo, Silvia Tro Santafé, Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, Sandrine Piau, Giovanni Furlanetto and Antonio Abete, conducted by William Christie.
  • LYRIC FM - A performance from the Wexford Festival of Floyd's Susanna, with Emily Pulley, Simon O'Neill, Stephen Kechulius and Glenn Alamilla, conducted by David Agler.

Happy listening!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A quick note : BBC RADIO 3 will be reairing the Opera Bastille Tristan und Isolde with Ben Heppner and Waltraute Meier, starting right about NOW....

Saturday, October 15, 2005

This Afternoon's Lineup

Some of the more interesting offerings on the net this afternoon include the continuation of the Netherlands Opera Ring Cycle with Siegfried; from French Radio Canada, a rerun of the Opera Bastille Tristan und Isolde with Ben Heppner and Waltraud Meier; a performance of Schubert's Alfonso und Estrella; from Teatro San Carlo in Naples; a February 2004 performance of L'elisir d'amore with Matthew Polenzani; Rossini's Guillaume Tell with Thomas Hampson, Marcello Giordano and Iano Tamar; from Teatro Real in Madrid, a performance of Don Giovanni with Carlos Alvarez, Maria Bayo, Sonia Ganassi and José Bros; a rerun of The Maid of Orleans with Mirella Freni from Washington Opera; and various and sundry tributes to Luciano Pavarotti on the occasion of his seventieth birthday (celebrated on October 12th of this past week).

Here's the complete rundown:


  • RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS - Wagner's Siegfried from De Nederlandse Opera, with Albert Dohmen, Anne Gjevang, Stig Andersen, Nadine Secunde, Oleg Bryjak and Graham Clark, conducted by Helmut Haenschen.
  • ESPACES MUSIQUES (French Radio Canada) - a rerun of the May 2005 Opéra Bastille Tristan und Isolde, with Ben Heppner, Waltraud Maier, Jukka Rasilainen, Yvonne Naef, Franz-Josef Selig, Toby Spence and Alexander Marco-Buhrmeister, conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen. [There is some confusion about the start time for this broadcast - I would tune in at Noon Eastern Time to see if it is starting earlier than their usual 1:00pm start time due to the length of the opera.]
  • DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR - a concert performance from August of this year of Schubert's Alfonso und Estrella, with Dorothea Röschmann, Kurt Streit, Matthias Goerne, Christian Gerhaher and Hanno Müller-Brachmann, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
  • KLARA - From Antwerp an October 13th performance of Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, with Mariana Svetkova, Jeffrey Dowd, Stephanie Houtzeel, Sine Bundgaard, Sten Byriel, Guy De Mey, Quirijn de Lang, Pascal Charbonneau, Huube Claessens, Patrick Henckens, Hendrickje Van Kerckhove, and Corinne Romijn, conducted by Ivcan Törz.
  • RDP ANTENA 2 - Live from Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore, with Matthew Polenzani, Mary Dunleavy, Pietro Spagnoli, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, and Cristina Pastorello, conducted by Paolo Arrivabeni.
  • NPR WORLD OF OPERA - From Washington National Opera, a performance of Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila, with Olga Borodina, Karl Tanner, Alan Held and Kyle Ketelson, conducted by Giovanni Reggioli.
  • BBC RADIO 3 - La Simphonie du Marais revives Lully's tragic opera Isis, with Françoise Masset, Isabelle Desrochers, Valérie Gabail, Guillemette Laurens, Robert Getchell, Howard Crook, Bertrand Chuberre, Bernard Deletré and Renaud Delaigue, conducted by Hugo Reyne.
  • CESKY ROZHLAS 3-VTAVA - From Pollack Hall in Montreal, Händel's Alcina, with Karina Gauvin, Christine Brandes, Krosztine Szabó, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Nathaniel Watson, Benjamin Butterfield and Shannon Mercer, conducted by Bernard Labadie.
  • MDR FIGARO - A rerun of the Covent Garden La Fanciulla del West, with José Cura, Andrea Gruber and Mark Delavan, conducted by Piero Faggioni.
  • NRK P2 - Hans Gefors opera Skuggan, based on a novel by H.C. Andersen.
  • RADIO OESTERREICH INTERNATIONAL - A September 19th performance from Wiener Staatsoper of Rossini's Guillamue Tell, with Thomas Hampson, Marcello Giordani and Iano Tamar, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • ESPACE 2 - A Septemebr 28th performance from Lausanne of Verdi's Rigoletto, with Giuseppe Filianoti, Carlos Almaguer, Nicoleta Ardelean and Jean Teitgen, conducted Paolo Arrivabeni.
  • LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA, SVERIGES RADIO P2 and RADIO SLOVENIA TRETJI - From Teatro Real in Madrid, Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Carlos Álvarez, María Bayo, Sonia Ganassi, María José Moreno, José Bros, Lorenzo Regazzo and José Antonio López, conducted by Víctor Pablo.

Happy listening,

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Offerings for Saturday, October 8, 2005

As usual, there are some choice offerings for our aural delectation this afternoon, including two Wagner music dramas:

ESPACE MUSIQUES (French Radio Canada) - Rossini's Tancredi from the Canadian Opera Company, with Ewa Podles, Michael Colvin, Nicoleta Ardelean, Robert Pomakov and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, conducted by Will Crutchfield.

DEUTSCHLANDFUNK - From Wildbad, a September 2005 performane of Meyerbeer's Semiramide, with Deborah Riedel, Philippo Adami, Fiona Janes, Wojtek Gierlach,
Olga Peretyatko and Leonardo Silva, conducted by Richard Bonynge.

ESPACE 2 and SVERIGES RADIO P2 - A live performance of Wagner's Tannhäuser from Geneva, Switzerland, with Kristinn Sigmundsson, Stephen Gould, Dietrich Henschel,
John MacMaster, Alexandre Vassiliev, Ulfried Haselsteiner, Nina Stemme, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet and Katia Velletaz, conducted by Ulf Schirmer.

FRANCE MUSIQUES - From the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, a performance of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda Gabriele Fontana, Joyce di Donato, Eric Cutler, Giovanni Furlanetto, Marzio Giossi and Cecil Marion Ammann, Evelino Pido conducting Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

KLARA - Jan van Vlijmen's Thyeste, with Dale Duesing, John Daszak, Helena Rasker and Harry Peeters, conducted by Stefan Asbury.

LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA - Verdi's Rigoletto with Mark Delevan, Diana Damrau, and Tito Beltran, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS - De Nederlandse Opera begins its season with a complete Ring Cycle. Today we will hear Wagner's Das Rheingold, with Albert Dohmen, Werner van Mechelen, Frode Olsen, Mario Luperi and Michaela Kaune, conducted by Hartmut Haenchen. Tomorrow we will hear Die Walkure. Siegfried and Gotterdammerung follow next Saturday and Sunday.

RDP ANTENA 2 - From Hamburgs Staatsoper, a performance of Keiser's Der lächerliche Printz Jodelet, with Jörn Schümann, Inga Kalna, Julia Sukmanova, Anke Herrmann, Tamara Gura, Jan Buchwald, Moritz Gogg, Michael Smallwood, Andreas Hörl, Christoph Genz and Christoph Pohl, conducted by Alessandro De Marchi.

NPR WORLD OF OPERA - From Washington National Opera, Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans, with (the seemingly ageless) Mirella Freni, Sergei Leiferkus, Corey Evan Rotz, Evgeny Nikitin, Phillip Skinner, Viktor Lutsiuk, Maïra Kerey, Vladimir Moroz, Trevor Byron Scheunemann and Feodor Kuznetzov, Stefano Ranzani conducting.

DR P2, NRK ALLTID KLASSISK and NRK P2 - A chance to rehear the Covent Garden performance of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, with José Cura, Mark Delavan, Andrea Gruber and Jonathan Lemalu, conducted by Piero Faggioni.

BBC RADIO 3 - From Covent Garden, a performance of Nielsen's Maskerade, with Michael Schade, Emma Bell, Kyle Ketelsen, Gail Pearson, Brindley Sherratt and Kari Hamnøy, conducted by Michael Schønwandt.
Happy listening....