Saturday, February 23, 2008

A good looking Carment and some BEl Canto

On paper, today's Carmen from the Metropolitan Opera looks like one of the most promising broadcasts of the current Met Season. It stars Olga Borodina and Marcelo Alvarez as Carmen and Don Jose. I saw Borodina's Carmen a few years back, and I still remember it as one of the most musical Carmens I've ever heard in person. I'm hoping, since it was only a few years ago, that Borodina can still do the music as much justice today. As for Alvarez, the last time I heard him I liked him too, and he gets regular raves abroad for all his work in French repertoire. So I'm hoping for the best from him too in a French-tenor role like Jose.

As for the two supporting roles, Micaela and the Toreador Escamillo are being sung by Krassimira Stoyanova and Lucio Gallo. I've always enjoyed Gallo's recordings, but I've never heard him live. Stoyanova, however, I've heard in person twice, and I've been thrilled by her each time. I heard her sing Donizetti's longest role for a prima donna, Anne Boleyn, and she sounded as fresh at the end as at the beginning! And her Nedda in Paggliacci at the Met was riveting, both musically and dramatically. She's now one of my favorites: She combines expert dramatic projection with a resilient technique and a lovely and pingy voice.

So on paper, this could be a superb performance of Carmen, well worth hearing.

Besides the Met's Carmen, there are several live bel canto offerings, including a Norma with Gruberova and Cura and two Rossini operas - Guillaume Tell from Rome and La Cenerentola on Espace 2.

Here's the lineup for tomorrow, with some additional items of interest on Sunday:

  • France Musique - From Théâtre des Champs-Elysées à Paris, a January 12th performance of Rossini's Cyrus à Babylone, with Nora Gubisch, Cyril Auvity, Daniel Auchincloss, Sophie Daneman, Till Fechner and Pierre-Yves Pruvot, conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire.
  • Metropolitan Opera (numerous stations) - Bizet's Carmen with Olga Borodina, Marcelo Alvarez, Krassimira Stoyanova, Lucio Gallo, Rachelle Durkin, Edyta Kulczak, Juan-Paul Fouchecourt, John Hancock and Jeffrey Wells, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.
  • Radio Oesterreich International - From Rome, a November 28th performance of Rossini's Guillaume Tell, with Michele Pertusi, John Osborn, Alex Esposito, Norah Ansellem, Frédéric Caton and Darren Jeffrey, conducted by Antonio Pappano.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From Vienna, a performance of Bellini's Norma, with José Cura, Dan Paul Dumitrescu, Edita Gruberová, Elina Garanca, Caroline Wenborne and Marian Talaba, conducted by Friedrich Haider.
  • Espace 2 - Rossini's La Cenerentola, with Maxim Mironov, Fabio Maria Capitanucci, Bruno De Simone, Raffaella Milanesi, Giorgio Milanesi, Vivica Genaux, Giovanni Furlanetto and Todd Camburn, conducted by Giuliano Carella.
  • Klara & Radio Tre (RAI) - From Vienna State opera, a February 5th performance of Mozart's Così fan tutte, with Barbara Frittoli, Angelika Kirchschlager, Ildebrando d’Arcangelo and Francesco Meli, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From the 2007 Salzburg Festival, Tchaikovsky's Eugen Onegin, with Peter Mattei, Anna Samuila, Jozefs Kaizer, Ekaterina Gubanova and Ferruccio Furlanetto, conducted by Daniel barenboim.
On Sunday:
If you have missed any Met broadcasts so far this season, there is still opportunity to catch some of them again, as the stations in New Zealand and Australia are now carrying the Met broadcasts on a three- and four-week delayed basis:
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - The Met broadcast of Rossini's Barber of Seville, with Elina Garanca, José Manuel Zapata, Franco Vassallo, Bruno Praticò and Peter Rose, conducted by Frédéric Chaslin.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) - The Met's broadcast of Wagner's Die Walküre, with Clifton Forbis, Mikhail Petrenko, James Morris, Deborah Voigt, Lisa Gasteen, Michelle DeYoung, Kellie Cae Hogan, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Laura Vlasak Nolen, Jane Bunnell, Claudia Waite, Leann Sandel-Pantaleo, Edyta Kilczak and Mary Phillips, conducted by Lorin Maazel.

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