Saturday, October 24, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reruns seem to be the order of the day. Most of the available "live" offerings have appeared elsewhere in previous weeks. Exceptions include a Budapest Rheingold from Bartok Radio, BBC 3's Carmen, yesterday's Lady Macbeth from Mtensk from the Vienna State Opera (being carried by three stations), the San Francisco Opera Don Giovanni, France Musique's Die Tote Stadt from Opera Bastille, and last, but certainly not least, the live La Traviata from Seattle Opera later on this evening (Charles Taylor's Germont pere will be worth a listen...).

Here's the complete lineup:

  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From Stadshallen in Göttingen, a May 13, 2008 performance of Handel's Acis and Galatea, with Christoph Prégardien, Julia Kleiter, Wolf Matthias Friedrich and Michael Slattery, condcuted by Nicholas McGegan
  • BBC Radio 3 - From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Bizet's Carmen, with Elina Garanca, Roberto Alagna, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Liping Zhang, Changhan Lim, Henry Waddington, Eri Nakamura, Louise Innes, Adrian Clarke and Vincent Ordonneau, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • CBC Two - From Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, with Matthew Polenzani, Erin Wall, Aleksandra Kurzak, Steve Davislim and Andrea Silvestrelli, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From the Vienna State Opera, Gounod's Faust, with Piotr Beczala, Kwangchul Youn, Soile Isokoski, Boaz Daniel, Hans Peter Kammerer, Roxana Constantinescu and Zoryana Kushpler, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • DR P2, Radio Clasica de Espana & Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From the Vienna State Opera, an October 23 performance of Shastakovich's Lady Macbeth from Mtensk, with Kurt Rydl, Marian Talaba, Angela Denoke, Misha Didyk, Donna Ellen and Michael Roider, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher.
  • Dwojke Polskie Radio - From the 2009 Glyndebourne Festival, Dvorak's Rusalka, with Ana Maria Martinez, Brandon Jovanovich, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Misza Szelomian'ski, Larissa Diadkova, Diana Axentii and Alasdair Elliott, conducted by Jirí Belohlávek.
  • Espace Musique - From the Vienna State Opera, Strauss's Die Schweigsame Frau, with Kurt Rydel, Janina Baechle, Adrian Eröd, Michael Schade, Jane Archibald, Caroline Weinborne, Michaela Selinger, Clemens Unterreiner, Janusz Monarcham and Walter Fink.
  • RTP Antena 2 - From Teatro da Música in Amsterdam, a June 7, 2008 performance of Messiaen Saint Francois d'Assise, with Camilla Tilling, Hubert Delamboye, Rom Randle, Donald Kaascg, Rod Gilfry, Henk Neven, Arman Arapian, Jan Willen Baljet and André Morsch, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher.
  • WETA - From the Grand Theater in Geneva, Verdi's Il Trovatore, with Tatiana Serjan, Irina Mishura, Zoran Todorovich, George Petean and Burak Bilgili, conducted by Evelino Pido.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From San Francisco Opera, Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Mariusz Kwiecien, Oren Gradus, Elza van den Heever, Twyla Robinson, Charles Castronovo, Claudia Mahnke, Luca Pisaroni and Kristinn Sigmundsson, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • WQXR - From San Francisco Opera, Korngold's Die Tote Stadt, with Torsten Kerl,
  • Marie/Marietta: Emily Magee, Lucas Meachem, Katharine Tier, Ji Young Yang,: Daniela Mack, Alek Shrader, Andrew Bidlack, Bryan Ketron and Ben Bongers, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • NPR World of Opera - From the 2009 Aix en Provence Festival, Mozart's The Magic Flute, with Marlis Petersen, Magnus Staveland, Anna-Kristiina Kaapola, Daniel Schmutzhard, Sunhae Im, Marcos Fink and Kurt Azesberger, conducted by Rene Jacobs.
  • XLNC1 - From San Francisco Opera, Verdi's La Traviata, with Anna Netrebko, Charles Castronovo, Dwayne Croft, Leeann Sandel-Pantaleo, Renee Tatum, Andrew Bidlack, Dale Travis, Austin Kness and Kenneth Kellogg, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • Bartok Radio - From Budapest, a June 11 performance of Wagner's Das Rheingold, with Johan Reuter, Oskar Hillebrandt, Fekete Attila, Christian Franz, Hartmut Welker, Michael Roider, Thomas Jesatko, Ain Anger, Németh Judit, Herczenik Anna, Kovács Annamária, Korondi Anna, Fodor Gabriella and Schöck Atala, conducted by Stephen D´Agostino.
  • France Musique - From Opéra Bastille in Paris, Korngold's Die Tote Stadt, with Robert Dean Smith, Ricarda Merbeth, Stéphane Degout, Doris Lamprecht and Elisa Cenni, conducted by Pinchas Steinberg.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Haydn's Orlando Paladino, with Henriette Bonde-Hansen, Joan Martin-Roya, Marcel Reijans, Kenneth Tarver, Peter Gijsbertsen, Sharon Rostorf-Zamir Jörg Schneider, Elena Monti, Martijn Cornet, conducted by Alessandro De Marchi.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila, with Torsten Kerl, Marianna Tarasova, Micho Borovinov, Nikola Mijailovic, Thorsten Büttner, Onno Pels, Gijs Van der Linden and Tijl Faveyts, conducted by Tomáš Netopil.
  • Klara - From Vienna, a January 25 concert performance of Vivaldi's Ercole su'l Termodonte, with Vivica Genaux, Roberta Invernizzi, Emanuela Galli, Stefanie Iranyi, Carlo Allemano, Romina Basso, Philippe Jaroussky and Philippo Adami, conducted by Fabio Biondi.
  • Radio Tre - From Teatro la Fenice (or possibly Teatro Malibran??) in Venice, an October 9 performance of Handel's Agrippina, with Lorenzo Regazzo, Ann Hallenberg, Florin Cezar Ouatu, Veronica Cangemi, Xavier Sabata, Ugo Guagliardo, Milena Storti and Roberto Abbondanza, conducted by Fabio Biondi.
  • Lyric FM - Carlo Pedrotti's opera Tutti in maschera (Everyone in Masks) from last year's Wexford Festival Opera. Bass-baritone Enrico Marabelli heads the cast.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera (on a one-week delay): From Washington National Opera, Handel's Tamerlano, with Placido Domingo, David Daniels, Sarah Coburn, Patricia Bardon, Claudio Huckle and Andrew Foster Williams, conducted by William Lacey.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - From Opéra Bastille in Paris, Szymanowsky's King Roger, with Mariusz Kwiecien, Eric Cutler, Olga Pasichnyk, Stefan Margita, Wojtek Smilek and Jadwiga Rappé, conducted by Kazushi Ono.
  • KING - Live from Seattle Opera, Verdi's La Traviata, with Nuccia Focile, Dimitri Pittas and Charles Taylor, conducted by Brian Garman.
  • ABC Classic FM - From the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Rimsky-Korsakov's The Maid of Pskov, with Alexei Tanovitski, Irina Mataeva, Gennady Bezzubenkov, Nikolay Gassiev, Yuri Vorobyev, Pavel Shmulevich, Mikhaol Vishnyak, Varvara Solovyeva, Ludmila Kanunnikova and Olga Legkova, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Live Offerings, Saturday, October 17, 2009

Several interesting offerings this afternoon, in particular:

  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From San Francisco Opera, Verdi's La Traviata, with Anna Netrebko, Charles Castronovo and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • BBC Radio 3 - From Covent Garden, Verdi's Don Carlo, with Jonas Kaufmann, Simon Keenlyside, Marina Poplavskaya, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Marianne Cornetti and John Tomlinson, conducted by Semyon Bychkov.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur & DR P2: From the 2009 Glyndebourne Festival, Dvorak's Russalka, with Ana Maria Martinez, Brandon Jovanovich, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Mischa Schelomianski and Larissa Diadkova, conducted by Jirí Belohlávek.
  • Klara - From the Vienna State Opera, a June performance of Gounod's Faust, with Piotr Beczala, Kwangchul Youn, Boaz Daniel and Soile Isokoski, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From Geneva's Grand Theatre, Berlioz's Damnation of Faust, with Elena Garancia and Paul Groves, conducted by John Nelson.
  • Sveriges P2 - The historic 1947 Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with Jussi Björling, Bidú Sayão, Nicola Moscona, John Brownlee, Thomas Hayward and Mimi Benzell, conducted by Emil Cooper.
  • NPR World of Opera - Yet another chance to hear the Washington National Opera performance of Handel's Tamerlano, with Placido Domingo, David Daniels, Sarah Coburn, Patricia Bardon, Claudio Huckle and Andrew Foster Williams, conducted by William Lacey.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Live Offerings, Saturday, October 10, 2009

The big news in radio in these parts has been the conversion of WQXR here in New York City - this week WQXR, which had previously been a commercial station owned by the New York Times, became a public radio station, owned and managed by WNYC. We were curious what would happen to their Saturday afternoon opera programming. In the coming weeks (before the start of the MEt season) they will be picking up the WFMT series, but first they will be inaugurating their new regime with this past summer's Bayreuth Festival Meistersinger.

Here's the rest of the live lineup:

  • BBC Radio 3 - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia, with Pietro Spagnoli, Juan Diego Florez, Joyce DiDonato, Alessandro Corbelli, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Jennifer Rhys-Davies, Changhn Lim, Bryan Secombe, Christopher Lachner, conducted by Antonio Pappano. On the opening night of this run, Di Donato fell and broke her leg but soldiered on to finish the performance. She performed the rest of the run in a wheelchair. Read her own account of the whole experience in her blog.
  • CBC Two - From Chicago Lyric Opera, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Patricia Racette, Frank Lopardo, James Westman and Katherine Goeldner, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From the Festivalul George Enescu at Opera Nationala in Bukarest, an August 30 performance of Enescu's Oedipe, with Mihai Lazar, Oana Andra, Franck Ferrari, Crina Zancu, Ionut Pascu, Horia Sandu, Vicentiu Taranu, Adriana Alexandru, Pompeiu Harasteanu, Valentin Racoveanu and Ecaterina Tutu, conducted by Oleg Caetani.
  • DR P2 & Klara - From the 2009 Rossini Festival in Pesaro, an August 9 performance of Rossini's Zelmira, with Kate Aldrich, Marianna Pizzolato, Alex Esposito, Juan Diego Flórez and Mirco Palazzi, conducted by Roberto Abbado.
  • Espace Musique & Latvia Klasika Radio - From Chorégies d’Orange 2009, Verdi's La Traviata, with Patrizia Ciofi, Laura Brioli, Christine Labadens, Vittorio Grigolo, Marzio Giossi, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Jean-Marie Delpas, Armando Noguera and Nicolas Courjat, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.
  • KBYU - From Utah Opera, a 2008 performance of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Barbara Shirvis, Scott Piper, Jon Kolbet, Andrew Oakden, Kirsten Gunlogson, Brent Turner, Dominick Chenes, Tyler Oliphant, Christopher Clayton and Rachel Willis-Sørensen, conducted by Joseph Mechavich.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana - From Teatro Real de Madrid, Berg's Lulu, with A. Eichenholz, J. Larmore, H. Shipp, G. Siegel, R. González, I. Mentxaka and M. J. Suárez, conducted by E. Inbal.
  • WETA - From Washington National Opera, Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, with Renee Fleming, Vittorio Grigolo, Kate Aldrich, Ruggero Raimondi, Oleksandr Pushniak, Girgory Soloviov, Jose Ortega, Yingxi Zhang and David B. Morris, conducted by Placido Domingo.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From San Francisco Opera, Puccini's Tosca, with Adrianne Pieczonka, Carlo Ventre, Lado Ataneli, Jordan Bisch, Dale Travis, Matthew O’Neill, Austin Kness and Kenneth Kellogg, conducted by Marco Armiliato.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Drottningholm Court Theatre, Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, with Ingelina Bohlin, Charlotte Hellekand, Matilda Paulsson, Christopher Ainslie, Lars Arvidson and Malin Christensson, conducted by Mark Tatlow.
  • XLNC1 - From San Francisco Opera, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, with Joyce DiDonato, Soile Isokoski, Miah Persson, Kristinn Sigmundsson, Jochen Schmeckenbecher and Robert McPherson, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • Dwojke Polskie Radio - From Netherlands Opera, Cavalli's Ercole amante, with Veronica Cangemi, Anna Bonitatibus, Anna Maria Panzarella, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Johannette Zomer, Mark Tucker, Jeremy Ovenden, Luca Pisaroni and Umberto Chiummo, conducted by Ivor Bolton.
  • Bartok Radio - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, an historic broadcast of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini, with Douglas Robinson, Nicolai Gedda, Jules Bastin, Robert Massard, Roger Soyer, Derek Blackwell, Robert Lloyd, Raimund Herincx, Hugues Cuénod, Christiane Eda-Pierre, Jane Berbié and Janine Reiss, conducted by Colin Davis.
  • France Musique - From La Scala in Milan, a July 6 performance of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with David Daniels, Rosemary Joshua, Daniel Okulitch, Natasha Petrinsky, Gordon Gietz, David Adam Moore, Deanne Meek, Erin Wall, Matthew Rose, Andrew Shore, Christopher Gillett, Graeme Dandy, Adrian Thompson and Simon Butteriss, conducted by Andrew Davis.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - An historic Metropolitan Opera broadcast: from February 21, 1959, Verdi's Macbeth, with Leonie Rysanek, Leonard Warren, Carlo Bergonzi, Jerome Hines, William Olvis, Carlotta Ordassy, Harold Sternberg, Gerhard Pechner and Osie Hawkins, conducted by Erich Leinsdorf.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, a May 23, 2008 performance of Rossini's Tancredi, with Bernarda Fink, Rosemary Joshua, Lawrence Brownlee, Anna Chierichetti, Federico Sacchi and Elena Belfiore, conducted by René Jacobs.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From Kungliga Operan in Stockholm, Handel's Xerxes, with Katarina Karnéus, Matilda Paulsson, Katarina Leoson, Malin Byström, Ailish Tynan, Lars Arvidson and Mark Stone, conducted by Andreas Stoehr.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - Auber's Fra Diavolo, Sumi Jo, Doris Lamprecht, Kenneth Tarver, Marc Molomo, Antonio Figueroa, Vincent Pavesi, Thomas Dolié and Thomas Morris, conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire.
  • Espace 2 & Radio Slovenia Tretji - From l'Opéra National de Paris, a February 21 performance of Gounod's Mireille, with Inva Mula, Charles Castronovo, Franck Ferrari, Sylvie Brunet, Alain Vernhes, Nicolas Cavallier, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Amel Brahim Djelloul, Sébastien Droy and Ugo Rabec, conducted by Marc Minkowski.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From the 2009 Glyndeboune Festival, Dvorák's Russalka, with Mischa Schelomianski, Ana Maria Martinez,, Larissa Diadkova, Brandon Jovanovich, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Natasha Jouhl, Barbara Senator, Elodie Mechain, Alasdair Elliott, Diana Axentii, Alasdair Elliott, conducted by Jirì Belohlàvek.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera, on a one week delay: from the Vienna State Opera, Tchaikovsky's Eugen Onegin, with Simon Keenlyside, Tamar Iveri, Ramon Vargas, Ain Anger, Nadia Krasteva and Aura Twarowska, conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - From the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Haydn's Orlando Paladino, with Pietro Spagnoli, Marcel Reijans, Kenneth Tarver, Peter Gijsbertsen, Laura Cherici, Nikolay Borchev, Elena Monti and Martijn Cornet, conducted by Alessandro De Marchi.
  • KING - From San Francisco Opera, Korngold's Die Tode Stadt, with Torsten Kerl, Emily Magee, Lucas Meachem, Katharine Tier, Ji Young Yang, Daniela Mack, Alek Shrader Andrew Bidlack, Bryan Ketron and Ben Bongers, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australaia) - From Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, with Philippe Talbot, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Allyson McHardy, Stéphane Degout, Françoise Masset, Jennifer Holloway, Bruno Calucci, Jaël Azzaretti, François Lis, Jérôme Varnier, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and Aurélia Legay, conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm.

Happy listening . . . .

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

RED ALERT! -- Sunday, October 4, 2009

UPDATE: As of 4;00AM Sunday, we are again able to put up pages to the site. All seems to be back to normal....

RED ALERT

We are having difficulties uploading pages to Operacast.com. The provider is having difficulties and not accepting pages at the moment. Hopefully, this Blog posting will post successfully, alerting Operacast.com users that we are aware of the problem. We can only hope that it will be corrected in a few hours, even though the outlook on a weekend for this kind of problem being corrected quickly may be bleak.

Regrets to all,

Liz & Geoffrey Riggs, Webmasters

www.operacast.com

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, October 3, 2009 - Part III

And on we go with live listings for today:

  • Espace 2 - From Bucharest, an August 9 performance of Enesco's Oedipe, with Franck Ferrari, Oana Andra, Mihai Lazar, Stefan Schuller, Horia Sandu, Valentin Racoveanu, Pompeiu Harasteanu, Adriana Alexandru, Crina Zancu, Ecaterina Tutu, Vicentiu Taranu, Ionut Pascu and Mihnea Lamatic, conducted by Oleg Caetani.
  • Klara - From Vlaamse Opera, a September 25 performance of Berg's Wozzeck, with Gabriel Suovanen, Wozzeck Noëmi Nadelmann, Marie Ales Briscein, Tambourmajor Peter Bronder, Hauptmann Friedemann Röhlig, Doktor Thorsten Büttner, Andres Katarina Bradic and Margret Milcho Borovinov, conducted by Martyn Brabbins.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From Opera Royal de Wallonie, Auber's Fra Diavolo, with Sumi Jo and Kenneth Tarver, conducted by Jean Claude Malgoire.
  • Radio Slovenia Klasika - Also airing the Rossini Zelmira from Pesaro.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From the Royal Albert Hall in London, a July 19 performance of Handel's Partenope, with Inger Dam-Jensen, Tuva Semmingsen, Andreas Scholl, Christophe Dumaux, Bo Kristian Jensen and Palle Knudsen, conducted by Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From the 2009 Maggio Musicale in Florence, Verdi's Rigoletto, with James Valenti, Alberto Gazale, Désirée Rancatore,, Konstantin Gorny, Chiara Fracasso,, Giorgia Bertagni Armando Caforio, Roberto Accurso, Luca Casalin, Andrea Cortese, Miriam Artiaco, Vito Luciano Roberti and Elisa Luppi, conducted by Stefano Ranzani.
  • Lyric FM - From Teatro dell' Opera in Rome, Gluck's Iphegenie en Aulis, with Krassimira Stoyanova, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera (on a one week delay): From the Capitole Theatre in Toulouse, Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, with Bernard Richter, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Allyson McHardy, Stephane Degout, Fancoise Masset, Jennifer Holloway, Bruno Calucci, Jael Azzaretti and Francis Lis, conducted by Emmanuelle Haim.
  • KING - Another chance to hear Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov from San Francisco Opera, with Samueal Ramey, Vsevolod Grivnov, John Uhlenhopp, Vladimir Ognovenko, Vitalij Kowaljow, Andrew Bidlack, Ji Young Yang, Jack Gorlin, Catherine Cook, Daveda Karanas, Matthew O’Neill, Nicolai Janitzky, Kenneth Kellogg and Valery Portnov, conducted by Ian Robertson.
  • Classid FM (Australia) - From Vienna State Opera, Strauss's Die Schweigsame Frau, with Kurt Rydl, Janina Baechle, Adrian Eröd, Michael Schade, Jane Archibald, Caroline Wenborne, Michaela Selinger, Clemens Unterreiner, Janusz Monarcha and Walter Fink, conducted by Peter Schneider.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - Another chance to catch Beethoven's Fidelio from the BBC Proms, with Waltraud Meier, Simon O'Neill, Gerd Grochowski,, John Tomlinson Adriana Kucerova, Stephan Rügamer and Viktor Rud, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Happy listening.....

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Live Offerings - Saturday, October 3, 2009 - Part II

Starting at 1:30PM EDT:

  • Bartok Radio - From Lyric Opera of Chicago, a November 7, 2008 performance of Berg's Lulu, with Marlis Petersen, Jill Grove, Buffy Baggott, Craig Irvin, Scott Ramsay, Wolfgang Schöne, William Burden, Jan Buchwald, Thomas Hammons, Rodell Rosel and Bradley Garden, conducted by Andrew Davis.
  • France Musique - From the 2009 Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Rossini's Zelmira, with Alex Esposito, Kate Aldrich and Juan Diego Florez.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Vienna State Opera, Tchaikovsky's Eugen Onegin, with Simon Keenlyside, Tamar Iveri, Ramon Vargas, Ain Anger, Nadia Krasteva and Aura Twarowska, conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
  • MDR Figaro - From Semper Oper, the September 6 finals concert of their vocal competition, conducted by Markus Poschner.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From Covent Garden in London, Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, with Elina Garaca, Anna Netrebko, Dario Schmunck, Eric Owens and Alastair Miles, conducted by Mark Elder.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From Flemish Opera in Antwerp, a February 13 performance of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa, with Nikolai Putilin, Mikhail Kit, Leandra Overmann, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Viktor Lutsiuk, Milcho Borovinov, Vesselin Ivanov and Thorsten Büttner, conducted by Dmitri Jurowski.

Still more to come.....

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Live Offerings, Saturday, October 3, 2009 -- Part I

Offerings for this afternoon:

  • BBC 3 - From Glyndebourne, Dvorak's Rusalka, starring Ana Maria Martinez, with Jiri Belohlavek conducting.
  • Espace Musique- We can catch another Rusalka with notables Richard Paul Fink and Irina Mishura included in the cast.
  • RTP Antena 2- And we can catch another Jirí Belohlávek performance, as he conducts Smetana's Bartered Bride.
  • WETA- And yet another Jirí Belohlávek performance, this time Janacek's Jenufa.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3 - Vltava- William Christie conducts Monteverdi's Orfeo.
  • DR P2 - We hear Gounod's Mireille, with Inva Mula and Charles Castronovo, Marc Minkowski conducting.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana - More Gounod, as we hear his Faust, starring Piotr Beczala and Soile Isokoski.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous staions) is carrying the San Francisco Opera Der Rosenkavalier, with Joyce DiDonato, Soile Isokoski, Miah Persson, Kristinn Sigmundsson and Jochen Schmeckenbecher, conducted by Donald Runnicles
  • WUOT - Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, starring Simon Keenlyside, Tamar Iveri and Ramon Vargas.
  • XLNC1 - Puccini's La Boheme, starring Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala and Quinn Kelsey.

More to come!

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Disdaining the Master's Art

Sam Shirakawa went to Cologne last week to see Wagner's Die Meistersinger:

WAGNER: DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG
26 September 2009
Cologne

As I was leaving the Cologne Opera House, following a performance of Die Meistersinger last Saturday night. I couldn’t help but overhear two women conversing behind me:

“I didn’t understand the production at all,” said one in a distinctive Kölner accent.

“Neither did I,” replied the other.

I could barely keep myself from turning around to add: “And neither did I.”

Uwe Eric Laufenberg’s new production starts off with all the characters, with the exception of Walther von Stolzing, in period costumes--possibly the Wilhelmenian era. He is sporting a tie-less black suit that could possibly bear a Hugo Boss label. He is also snapping photos with a camera that is presumably digital. (The flash didn’t function on Saturday night.) The set sketches out a church -- presumably St. Katharine’s Church in Nuremberg. Is Walther then a visitor from the future?

In the second Act, the outdoor setting, top hats and bustles suggest the same period. Walther’s white satin dress coat suggests that he has quickly adjusted to the fashions of the times.

The interior of Hans Sachs’ house in the final act, though, is decked out in what looked like 1960s Bargain Outlet or maybe DDR Moderne. And the final scene takes place, not on the meadows outside Nuremberg’s walls, but on the plaza outside the Cologne Opera House -- presumably NOW. A mini-Jumbotron flashes a video montage of Cologne’s history over the past century, using archive photos, newsreels and other films, many of which I have never seen before. As a bonus, televised excerpts of from an earlier production of Meistersinger (no sound though) are interspersed with the other images.

Confusing? Distracting? No, just awful.

Thanks largely to Markus Stenz’s leadership at the podium, the performance withstood most of the on-stage shenanigans. Stenz’ love of Wagner was palpable in every measure of the score, as he moved the musical impulses in a seamlessly ascendent direction from start to finish. Only in the final scene did the powerful images on the Jumbotron overwhelm the thrust of the music. Despite a flub here and there, the Gürzenich Orchestra produced continuous incandescence.

Before the performance started an announcement from the stage informed the audience that Marco Jentzsch (Walther) and Johannes Martin Kränzle (Beckmesser) were suffering from colds and asking for indulgence. Kränzle fared better of the two. In fact, his scrivener was one of the most touchingly sung I have experienced live. Kränzle plays Beckmesser as an infatuated middle-age schoolboy. The desperate desire to please in his protracted second act serenade was well-nigh embarrassing.

Jentzsch, singing the role for the first time, got through the first two acts with style and in full, rounded voice. In the third act, he nursed his voice through the first scene and managed to deliver a prize-winning Prize Song in the finale. Given the circumstances, it’s difficult to assess what appears to be potential revealed, rather promise fulfilled. Jentzsch is young, tall and good-looking with a bright sizable tenor in the middle range. Since he sang most of the exposed upper notes between F and A in half voice, it’s impossible to say whether he’s in full possession of The Right Stuff for middle-weight Wagner.

Astrid Weber delivered a charming, occasionally neurotic Eva. Her voice shows signs of turning acidic at the top, but it retained its focus throughout the long evening.

Carsten Süß as David has two voices -- a candy-sweet lower and middle voice and another voice in the upper register that falls back into the head. If he can knead the two voices into one instrument, he could become a Lohengrin to be reckoned with.

The two glories of the evening were Bjarni Thor Kristinsson as Pogner and Robert Holl as Sachs. I never have heard Kristinsson before, and I wondered where I’ve been keeping myself. If you remember Gottlob Frick and Kurt Boehme, remember this: they live on in Kristinsson.

I’ve heard Robert Holl here and there for many years, but it’s hard to believe that nearly four decades have gone by since he started making the rounds on the international opera circuit. He is one of those blessed few singers who last long enough to implement the experience they acquire. Holl is still going strong and sounding better than ever.

As he struck a solid F in Sach’s peroration, I wondered what he thinks of some of his colleagues, who, though much younger, can barely make it through a performance.

© Sam H. Shirakawa

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