Saturday, June 21, 2008

URGENT RED ALERT!! FRAU at GMT 1630 / EDT 12:30 PM!!

The Subject-head says it all. A sudden switcheroo(!!!!!): the start time is one half hour earlier than previously stated -- now at GMT 1630 / EDT 12:30 PM!!

Enjoy! -- and catch it in time!!!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Two banner events in the next 36 hours!

  • MET Web Stream / WQXR - Met Summer Concert: Live in Prospect Park
    The Met's summertime tradition of free outdoor performances returns with a special one-night only event in Prospect Park. Celebrate the start of summer with two of opera's biggest stars - Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna- singing popular arias and duets. Ion Marin conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in the operatic event of the summer, sponsored by Bank of America.


Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna have sometimes been referred to as "The Love Couple" of opera, but together or apart, they always generate the kinds of thrills in actual performance that make some opera lovers reach for extravagant comparisons. You can judge for yourself how extravagant at GMT 0000 / EDT 8:00PM (Friday) this evening, when WQXR and the official Metropolitan Opera Web Stream carry tonight's Gala Concert at Prospect Park under the stars. Ion Marin leads Gheorghiu and Alagna and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in popular arias and duets. This is a special one-night only event, marking the beginning of summer.


  • WFMT Opera Series (numerous stations) - From Lyric Opera of Chicago, Richard Strauss's Frau ohne Schatten-- Sir Andrew Davis conducts a cast featuring Deborah Voigt as the Empress, Christine Brewer as Dyer’s Wife, Jill Grove as the Nurse, Robert Dean Smith as the Emperor, Franz Hawlata as Barak, Quinn Kelsey as the Spirit Messenger, Stacey Tappan as Voice of the Falcon, John Easterlin as Hunchbacked Brother, Daniel Sutin as One-Eyed Brother, and Andrew Funk as One-Armed Brother, and the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.


Maybe the most exciting Web event of the entire summer will be this Saturday's airing of this past season's performance of Richard Strauss's finest opera, Frau ohne Schatten (Woman without a Shadow), from the Chicago Lyric Opera. This performance received rave reviews at the time. It will be heard this coming Saturday afternoon on the Net and over the air at GMT 1700/EDT 1:00PM! It looks as if this performance may have beaten the jinx that this work habitually must endure, because it's almost impossible to cast with all five principal roles done by equally gifted singers who each possess both genuine vocal power and genuine musicality.

The last time I remember a cast of such magnitude was in the late '60s, when Karl Boehm led performances featuring Leonie Rysanek, Christa Ludwig, Irene Dalis, James King and Walter Berry. Since then, there have always been one or two roles that have been "undercast", making the overall experience not the transcendent odyssey through some of humanity's deepest feelings that Strauss clearly intended. The role of the Dyer's Wife in particular (sung by Christa Ludwig in that marvelous '60s ensemble) has suffered terribly since and has now been ghettoized inside the unmusical throats of downright bizarre character singers only. This for a part that was first written for the celebrated Lotte Lehmann!!

I have personally heard, either "live" or over the air, each one of the five singers in this Chicago revival within the past 18 months, and I can vouch that each of them has given real musical pleasure during that period.

Although I didn't regard Voigt this past season as a truly authentic Isolde, primarily because her lower register does not have the richness of texture and color that I expect in an Isolde, her voice today soars effortlessly in its upper reaches, as demonstrated in this past season's account at Carnegie Hall of Strauss's Four Last Songs. This song cycle is considerably closer to the vocal "map" of the Empress's role in Frau ohne Schatten than is Isolde, and I heard Voigt do a splendid Empress at the Met just a few seasons back that showed me the role is a perfect fit for her. The fact that this season she was able to display the same qualities in Strauss's autumnal song cycle reassures me when it comes to the leading role in Frau ohne Schatten.

As for Brewer, every time I've heard her, she has shown unfailing beauty of tone through the most dramatic and heroic vocal territory, and it will be a pleasure hearing the Dyer's Wife truly sung, after the kind of anti-musical vandalism it has routinely received for the past generation.

Smith's Tristan, heard this past season at the Met, was one of the few I've heard that showed not a bit of fatigue in the final act (no mean feat!), and his approach was always musical and lyrical. He may not have the sheer power of James King in the role of the Emperor (in that superb '60s ensemble), but he should have the same musicality.

Hawlata also maintains an authentic musicality whenever he performs, and I always appreciate that.

Finally, it is rare indeed for a Magdalene to dominate the second act of Wagner's Meistersinger, but, on a recent star-studded occasion, Grove's Magdalene more than held her own, making an indelible mark in her impatience with David at the opening of the act, in her melifluous delivery, still brimming over with mischief, of the exchange where Magd. decides to appear at the window as Eva, and in her soaring cries of alarm during the riot at the act's close. Here is a star, and her Nurse in Frau ohne Schatten should be exciting.

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

One Chicago patron has written us, giving us a taste of the excitement generated by this ensemble:


"I never expected to see FRAU live and with 5 superb singers. Well, 4 were well known to me, from other productions. Dean Smith was the unknown. The performance was so thrilling that I immediately booked a second trip and just trusted someone would turn in a decent seat for the sold-out night that I could return. It worked. And was equally satisfying the 2nd time.

Although all 5 were superb, Brewer 'stole the show' for me. The beauty of her voice was breathtaking. As we will all hear in a few days!"


Bottom line: I fervently hope many of you can tune in this Saturday afternoon at GMT 1700 / EDT 1:00PM and enjoy!

Happy listening.....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Live offerings - Saturday, June 14, 2008 - Part III

And now for those live items starting at GMT 1800/EDT 2:00PM and later....

Espace 2 - From Opéra Royal de Wallonie, a May 3rd performance of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, with Patricia Ciofi, Marianna Pizzolato, Danilo Formaggia, Diana Axentii, Federico Sacchi and Mario Sacchi, Conducted by Luciano Acoccella.
Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava -

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Live offerings - Saturday, June 14, 2008 - Part II

To continue with programs brginning at GMT 1730/EDT 1:30PM and later .... still more live offerings, several of surpassing interest:

  • BBC Radio 3 - From English National Opera, Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, with Janice Watson, Sarah Connolly, John Tomlinson, Sarah Tynan, Andrew Shore, adeleine Shaw, Stuart Kale, Janice Cairns, Barry Banks, Nicholas Folwell and James Gower, conducted by Edward Gardner (it's not clear whether this will be sing in German or English).
  • Espace Musique - Roussel's Padmâvati, with Sylvie Brunet, Finnur Bjarnasson, Alain Fondary, Yann Beuron, Laurent Alvaro, François Piolino, Blandine Folio Peres and Alain Gabriel, conducted by Lawrence Foster.
  • France Musique - From the théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, a March 19th concert performance of Hande;'s Orlando, with Christophe Dumaux, Elena de la Merced, Jean-Michel Fumas, Rachel Nicholls, Alain Buet, conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Houston Grand Opera, the World premiere production of Daniel Catan's Salsipuedes, a Tale of Love, War and Anchovies, 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.
  • MDR Figaro - From Weimar, a July 9, 2007 performance of Liszt's Die Legende von der Heiligen Elisabeth, with Renatus Mészár, Dagmar Pecková, Mario Hoff, Melanie Diener, Alexander Günther, Dennis Palsa, and Klara Fröhlich, conducted by Carl St. Clair.
  • NRK Klassik & NRK P2 - Yet another chance to hear the performance of Verdi's La Traviata from Vienna State Opera, with Krassimira Stoyanova, Sophie Marilley, Waltraud Winsauer, Piotr Beczala, Zeljko Lucic, Gergely Nemeti, Marcus Pelz, Eijiro Kai, Dan Paul Dumitrescu, and Wolfram Igor Derntl, conducted by Renato Palumbo.
  • Radio Osterreich International - A February 23rd performance of Rossini's La Cenerentola, with Vivica Genaux, Maxim Mironov , Fabio Maria Capitanucci, Bruno de Simone, Raffaella Milanesi, Giorgia Milanesi and Giovanni Furlanetto, conducted by Giuliano Carella.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From Leipzig, a February 24th performance of Wagner's Rienzi, with Stefan Winke, Marika Schönberg, Pavel Kudinov, Elena Zhidkova, Jürgen Kurth and Christopher Robertson, conducted by Axel Kober.
  • Espace 2 - From Opéra Royal de Wallonie, a performance from early June of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, with Patrizia Ciofi, Marianna Pizzolato, Danilo Formaggia, Diana Axentii, Federico Sacchi and Mario Sacchi, conducted by Luciano Acoccella.

And that's the remaining live offerings for this afternoon...

Happy listening,

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Live offerings - Saturday, June 14, 2008 - Part I

  • Klara - Already underway, a performance of Wagner's Götterdämmerung from Vlaamse Opera, with Lance Ryan, Jayne Casselman, Robert Bork, Christina Niessen, Sara Fulgoni, Werner Van Mechelen, Attila Jun, Sara Fulgoni, Corinne Romijn, Christina Niessen, Hendrickje Van Kerckhove, Xenia Konsek and Corinne Romijn, conducted by Ivan Törzs.
  • KUSC - From LA Opera, a performance of Puccini's La Bohème with Maija Kovalevska, Massimo Giordano, Laquita Mitchell, Luca Salsi, Oren Gradus, Brian Leerhuber and Philip Cokorinos, conducted by Plácido Domingo.
  • CBC Two - Another chance to hear a performance form Lyric Opera of Chicago, Handel's Guilio Cesare, with Danielle de Niese, David Daniels, Maïte Beaumont, Patricia Bardon, Christophe Dumaux, Wayne Tigges, Gerald Thompson and Darren Stokes, conducted by Emanuelle Haim.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From the Vienna State Opera, a June 7th performance of Strauss' Capriccio, with Renée Fleming, Bo Skovhus, Michael Schade, Adrian Eröd, Franz Hawlata and Angelika Kirchschlager, cinducted by Philippe Jordan.
  • DR P2 - A May 31st performance of Verdi's I due Foscari, with Leo Nucci, Francisco Casanova and Manon Feubel, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • Dwojke Polskie Radio - From Vienna a November 2, 2007 performance of Wagner's Die Walküre, with Johan Botha, Ain Anger, Juha Uusitalo, Nina Stemme, Eva Johansson, Michaela Schuster, Caroline Wenborne, Alexandra Reinprecht, Aura Twarowska , Zoryana Kushpler, Amanda Mace, Sophie Marilley, Daniela Denschlag and Cornelia Salje, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst.
  • KBYU - Another chance to hear Lyric Opera of Chicago's performance of Verdi's La Traviata, with Renée Fleming, Matthew Polenzani, Thomas Hampson, Philip Kraus, Buffy Baggott, Marjorie Owens, David Portillo, Phillip Dothard and Paul Corona,k conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From Geneva, a September 22, 2007 performance of Berlioz Les Troyens, with Anna Katerina Antonacci, Anne Sofie von Otter and Kurt Streit, conducted by John Nelson.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana & Radio Tre (RAI) - both stations are running homages to Leyla Gencer who died earlier this year.
  • RTP Antena 2 - From Boston, a January 16, 2007 performance of Lully's Psyche, with Carolyn Sampson, Karina Gauvin, Yulia van Doren, Teresa Wakim, Amanda Forsythe, Mireille Lebel, Ricard Bordas, José Lemos, Jason McStoots, Colin Balzer, Zachart Wilder, Matthew Shaw, Aaron Engebrecht and Oliver Laquerre, conducted by Paul O’Dette.
  • WFMT Opera Series (numerous stations) - From Lyric Opera of Chicago, a performance of Puccini's La Bohème, with Elaine Alvarez, Robert Aronica, Nicole Cabell, Quinn Kelsey, Andrea Silvestrelli, Levi Hernandez and Dale Travis, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

And that's only the 1700/1:00PM slot! More to come...

Happy listening

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008 - Live offerings

Some interesting live offerings today: from the Holland Festival comes Messiaen's Saint Francois d'Assise with Camilla Tilling and Rodney Gilfry; from LA Opera a Don Giovanni with Erewin Schrott, Alexandra Deshorties, Charles Castronovo and Maria Kanyova; From Budapest, Siegfried (Act 2 now underway) with Christian Franz and Alan Titus; France Vivace is airing the 1955 Bayreuth Siegfried with Windgassen, Varnay, Hotter and Neidlinger, conducted by Keilberth; BBC 3 is carrying an Opera North performance of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with Leonardo Capalbo as Romeo; From Vienna Staatsoper, a number of stations are presenting Richard Strauss' Capriccio with Renée Fleming, Bo Skovhus, Michael Schade and Angelika Kirschlager, Philippe Jordan conducting; from l'Opéra de Lyon comes Porgy and Bess; from Genoa, Radio Tre is airing the Italian premiere of a Tan Dun opera, Tea: A Mirror of Soul . . . . details follow:

  • Bartok Radio - From Budapest, a performance of Wagner's Siegfried, with Christian Franz, Michael Roider, Alan Titus, Hartmut Welker, Walter Fink, Cornelia Kallisch and Susan Bullock, Gál Gabi conducting.
  • LRT Klasika and CBC Two - for those who missed it, another chance to hear La Traviata from Vienna with Krassimira Stoyanova.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands - Live from Amsterdam's Holland Festival, Messiaen's Saint Francois d'Assise, with Camilla Tilling, Rodney Gilfry, Hubert Delamboye, Henk Neven and Tom Randle, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher.
  • KUSC - From LA Opera, a performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Erwin Schrott, Kyle Ketelson, Charles Castronovo, Alexandra Deshorties and Maria Kanyova, conducted by Hartmut Haenchen.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, a March 29th performance of Roussel's Padmâvatî, with Sylvie Brunet, Finnur Bjarnasson, Alain Fondary, Yann Beuron, Laurent Alvaro, François Piolino and Blandine Folio Peres, conducted by Lawrence Foster.
  • Dwojke Polskie Radio, DR P2, Radio Oesterreich International & Sveriges Radio P2 - From the Vienna State Opera, a performance of Strauss' Capriccio with Renée Fleming, Bo Skovhus, Michael Schade, Adrian Eröd, Angelika Kirchschlager and Franz Hawlata, conducted by Philippe Jordan.
  • France Vivace - From Testament's reissue of the 1955 Bayreuth Ring Cycle, Wagner's Siegfried, with Wolfgang Windgassen, Hans Hotter, Astrid varnay and Gustav Neidlinger, conducted by Joseph Keilberth.
  • RTP Antena 2 - From Paris, a February 2007 performance of Handel's Ricardo Primo, with Geraldine McGreevy, Nuria Rial, Lawrence Zazzo, Tim Mead, Curtis Streetman and David Wilson-Johnson, conducted by Paul Goodwin.
  • WFMT Opera Series (numerous stations) - From Lyric Opera of Chicago, Handel's Julius Caesar, with David Daniels, Danielle de Niese, Patricia Bardon, Maite Beaumont, Chistophe Dumaux, Wayne Tiggs, Gerald Thomson and Darren Stokes, conducted by Emmanuelle Haim.
  • BBC Radio 3 - From Opera North, a performance of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with Leonardo Capalbo, Bernarda Bobro, Grant Doyle, Peter Wedd, Frances Bourne, Geoffrey Dolton, Peter Savidge, Nicholas Sharratt, Yvonne Howard and Henry Waddington, conducted by Martin Andre.
  • Espace Musique & WDAV - From Paris, a performance of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, with René Schirrer, Laura Claycomb, Toby Spence, Laurent Naouri, Hilary Summers, Jane Henschel, Ales Briscein and Ugo Rabec, conducted by Edward Gardner.
  • France Musique - From l'Opéra de Lyon, a May 17th concert performance of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, with Derrick Lawrence, Janice Chandler-Eteme, Timothy Robert Blevins, Ronald Samm, LaVerne Williams, Magali Léger, Rodney Clarke, Kristin Lewis, Bernard Abervandana, Keel Watson, Odile Dovin, Larry Hylton and Phumzile Sojola, conducted by William Eddins.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Washington National opera, Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani, with Maria Guleghina, Franco Farina, Lado Ataneli, Vitalij Kowaljow, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Robert Baker, Corey Evan Rotz, J. Austin Bitner and James Shaffran, conducted by Placido Domingo.
  • NRK KLASSISK & NRK P2 - From Opéra Bastille in Paris, Berg's Wozzeck, with Simon Keenlyside, Jon Villars, David Kuebler, Gerhard Siegel, Roland Bracht, Angela Denoke, and Ursula Hesse v.d. Steinen, conducted by Sylvain Cambreling.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From La Monnaie in Brussels, a performance of von Weber's Euryanthe, with Gabriele Fontana, Kurt Streite, Jolana Fogašová, Detlef Roth, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Robin Tritschler and Hendrickje van Kerckhoven, conducted by Kazushi Ono.
  • Espace 2 - From Teatro Lirico de Cagliari, an April 24th performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's La Légende de la Ville invisible de Kitège et de la Vierge Fevronia, with Tatiana Monogarova, Vitaly Panfilov, Mikhail Gubsky, Vsevolodovic Kazakov, Gevorg Hakobyan, Marika Gulordava, Riccardo Ferrari, Stefano Consolini, Alessandro Senes, Valery Gilmanov, Alexander Naumenko, Rosanna Savoia, Elena Manistina, Gianluca Floris and Marek Kalbus, conducted byAlexander Vedernikov.
  • Klara - From Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, with Patrizia Ciofi, Marianna Pizzolato, Diana Axentii, Danilo Formaggia, Federico Sacchi and Mario Cassi, conducted by Luciano Acocella.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From Munich, a December 11th performance of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera, with Ramon Vargas and Violeta Urmana, conducted by Marko Armiliato.
  • WQED - The Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Concert, held February 24th, with the Metropolitan opera Orchestra conduted by Stephen Lord.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - LIVE, from Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, the Italian premiere of Tan Dun's Tea: A Mirror of Soul, with Seiko Haijing, Fu Lan, Nancy Allen Lundy and Lu Ning Liang, conducted by Lawrence Renes.
  • Lyric FM - From the Vienna State Opera, Verdi's La forza del destino, with Nina Stemme and Salvatore Licitra, conducted by Zubin Mehta.
  • KING - From Lyric Opera of Chicago,a reairing of last week's offering, Tchaikovsky's Eugen Onegin, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Dina Kuznetsova and Frank Lopardo, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - From Opera Australia, Puccini's Il Trittico, with Nicole Yuol, Carlo Barricelli, Jonathan Summers, Graeme Macfarlane, Stephen Bennett, Elizabeth Campbell, Michael Martin, Hye Seoung Kwon, Milijana Nikolic, Henry Choo and Teresa La Rocca, conducted by Andrea Licata.

Happy listening.....

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