Saturday, February 20, 2010

Live Offerings - Saturday, February 20, 2009

Many European stations are carrying the Met broadcast of Ariadne auf Naxos this week, so there a re fewer offerings than usual this week....

  • France Musique - From Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, a January 30th performance of Rossini's La Cenerentola, with Antonino Siragusa, Stéphane Degout, Pietro Spagnoli,
  • Carla Di Censo, Nidia Palacios, Vivica Genaux and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo.
  • Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (on numerous stations) - Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, with Nina Stemme, Kathleen Kim, Sarah Connolly, Lance Ryan, Jochen Schmeckenbecher, Anne-Carolyn Bird, (Tamara Mumford, Erin Morley, Tony Stevenson, Sean Panikkar, Mark Schowalter and Markus Werba, conducted by Kirill Petrenko.
  • KBIA2 & WDAV - NPR World of Opera: From Houston Grand Opera, Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Olga Guryakova, Marco Berti, Patrick Carfizzi, Raymond Aceto, Ryan McKinny, Maria Markina and Beau Gibson, conducted by Patrick Summers.
  • Espace 2 - From the Vienna State Opera, a December 14, 2009 performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, with Robert Dean Smith, Violetta Urmana, Yvonne Naef, Bo Skovhus, Franz Josef Selig, Clemens Unterreiner, Peter Jelosits, Wolfgang Bankl and Gergely Nemethy, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
  • Klara - From the Barbican Hall in London, a concert performance of Martinu's Julietta, with Magdalena Kozena, William Burden, Michel Andreas Jäggi, Rosalind Plowright, Zdenek Plech, Anna Stéphany, Jean Rigby, Frederic Goncalves and Roderick Williams, conducted by Jiri Belohlavek.
  • And later on this evening:
  • WFMT - Live from Chicago Lyric Opera, Opening Night of Berlioz' Damnation of Faust, with Paul Groves, Susan Graham, John Relyea and Christian Van Horn, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) & Concert FM (New Zealand) - From the Metropolitan Opera, Verdi's Stiffelio, with José Cura, Julianna Di Giacomo, Andrzej Dobber, Michael Fabiano, Phillip Ens, Jennifer Check and Diego Torre, conducted by Plácido Domingo.

Happy listening

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Friday, February 19, 2010

A Wagner Valentine

WAGNER: DIE MEISTERSINGER
Deutsche Oper, Berlin
February 14, 2010

Berlin’s Deutsche Oper gave its supporters a valentine of sorts on Valentine’s Day: a performance of Die Meistersinger. Nothing special about that, were it not for the presence of Klaus Florian Vogt as Walther von Stolzing. Despite a uniformly upper drawer cast that included Michaela Kaune as Eva, James Johnson as Sachs, and Markus Brück, Kristinn Siegmundson and Paul Kaufmann as Beckmesser, Pogner and David respectively, it seemed as though the stage darkened to a pin spotlight on Vogt, whenever he was on the boards, which, as those familiar with the work know, is most of the time.

In the seven years since I first heard Vogt as Lohengrin in Bremen, he has become, justifiably, I think, internationally known as one of the finest Wagner tenors of this age. Considering how few really great Wagner singers there have been in any age, his emergence into pre-eminence may be more a matter of luck than talent simply outing itself. What is extraordinary is that he is also emerging as one of the great voices of this or any other age. That is a real accomplishment in the light of how many singers of widely varying quality are vying for attention via their press agents, recording companies and media machines.

Some listeners have described his unusual sound as “boyish” while others have called it sort of “androgynous.” Actually, it is neither. Vogt played the horn at Hamburg’s Staatsoper, before a vocal teacher suggested that he might have a brighter future singing above the pit, rather than playing out of it.
 
Sometimes things work out.

Vogt’s sound in its current disposition is indeed reminiscent of a French horn played by Philip Miller or Dennis Brain: sweet in soft passages, penetrating and dominant under pressure. It is immediately recognizable, it commands attention even in the thick of competition from other voices and other instruments. It never tires the ear. I’ve never heard anything quite like it. It is, in the grandest sense of the word, unique.

Wagner created a real character in Walther von Stolzing, and the role gives Vogt an opportunity to act. His Walther is youthful, quick to anger and ardently passionate, but the passion is imbued with intelligence and humility. You get the impression that he’s really listening to Sachs, matter-of-factly sung by James Johnson, when the Master of the Mastersingers gives him a lesson in songwriting in the third act. And the Prize Song in the next scene becomes, in Vogt’s voice, a cumulative rather than repetitive precipitate of the Master’s tuition.

With such masterful singing in a work about the Art of Singing (among a few other things), it’s hard to comment on the able efforts put forth by Vogt’s colleagues: the aforementioned aural pin-spot on Vogt tended to occlude them. Nontheless, Michaela Kaune was an effectively flirtatious Eva, Markus Brück portrayed a delightfully irritating Beckmesser, Kristinn Sigmundsson’s height enabled him to present a grandly imposing Pogner, Ulrike Helzel sounded pleasantly youthful as Magdalena, and Paul Kaufmann as David showed hopeful signs of becoming an Almaviva with whom to be reckoned.

The Deutsche Oper’s new Music Director Donald Runnicles stepped in for the originally designated conductor, so his somewhat lackluster reading may have been the result of brief rehearsal time and the effort to avoid disasters in such a wildly complex work.

Götz Friedrich’s production from the mid-90s hold up well, primarily because it never strays far from the composer’s stage directions. In fact, it is a delight to see the festival in the final scene look and feel festive.

The current run of Meistersinger is part of the Deutsche Oper’s Wagner Weeks, in which most of the composer’s works -- including a new production of Rienzi -- are being presented over the course of several months. Rienzi has attracted a lot of press coverage, largely because its producer has turned it into a quasi-allegory in which the eponymous hero bears the appearance of a certain Austrian-born dictator. I haven’t seen it, so I can’t report much more, except to say, I’m looking forward to hearing the Leipzig Oper’s production this spring with none less than Elena Zhidkova as Orsini.

If you’re in Berlin this weekend, do what you must to get a ticket to Meistersinger on Sunday, providing that Vogt is singing. There’s only one bad seat in the house: the one you don’t get. But caveat emptor: it’s pretty much sold out.

©Sam H. Shirakawa

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Bon-Bons from Bonne Bonn

WAGNER : TANNHÄUSER
Theater Bonn
7 February 2010


I’ve made three trips to Bonn from Cologne in the past month (less than 30 minutes by train), twice to hear the last performances this season of Tannhäuser. As I suspected, the best thing about Klaus Weise’s new production is how new it looks.

Following the current trend, the musical format mixes the Dresden (1845) and Paris (1860) versions. For those members of the Great Unwashed who don’t know the key differences between the two versions: the Paris Edition has a ballet; the Dresden version has more singing, primarily in the second act. The mixed version going around these days purveys the ballet and more singing. For purists, this might not make sense: The later version is significantly more sophisticated. As the fat lady tauntingly told her husband though: All in all, there’s just more to love.

What’s truly to love in Bonn’s new production is Scott MacAllister. I never thought I would ever hear a Heinrich (that’s T’s first name) so well sung. All the more surprising, because I heard him sing a number of roles (mostly Mozart) 20 years ago in Mannheim, and I could not have imagined that I would ever hear him attempt, let alone achieve excellence in a Wagner opera. The voice in its current estate has no perceptible register breaks. It’s bright and open at the top, solid in the middle and below. The sound is clean, large and remains sweet under pressure: Think Bjørling meets early Max Lorenz. MacAllister needs at least one strophe of his Hymn to Venus to warm up, but once he hits his stride, he’s full-throttle right up to the final curtain. Of the 15-odd tenors I’ve heard as Tannhäuser over more than 30 performances, including Hans Hopf, James McCracken and Peter Seifert (and oh, yes, Pekka Nuotio, too), none come close to challenging him. Unfortunately though, the size of his midriff has increased in direct proportion to the outsize amplitude of his voice.

Elisabeth on 7 February was Ingeborg Greiner, who was satisfactory, following a nervous start. Far superior was Anna-Katharina Behnke, who sang the role in Bonn last month. She has grown musically by leaps since I first heard her as Aida in Halle about 12 years ago, but she remains an underestimated quantity.

Anna Magdalena Hofmann was an attractive Venus and Lee Poulis a dignified Wolfram. Both received a big round of applause at the curtain calls. The other principals carried out their duties efficiently: Ramaz Chikviladze (Hermann), Mirko Roschkovski (Walther), Mark Morouse (Biterolf), Mark Rosenthal (Heinrich der Schreiber), Marton Tzonev (Reinmar). No standouts though.

Stefan Blunier drew some excellent playing from the house orchestra.


Read more »

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

An Insomniac's Ring Cycle . . . '

For those who can't sleep tonight, there's always Wagner's Ring Cycle. Swiss Radio Crazy's Opera channel will be airing the complete Haitink Ring Cycle starting sometime after 9:00PM EST. This recording features Eva Marton (Brunnhilde), Siegfried Jerusalem (Siegmund), James Morris (Wotan), Cheryl Studer (Sieglinde), Reiner Goldberg (Sigfried), and Waltraud Meier (Fricka).

Enjoy!

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Live Offerings - Saturday, February 13, 2009

The Met broadcast is now underway, but most other offerings are just about to start:

  • Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (on numerous stations) - Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment, with Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Florez, Meredith Arwady, Maurizio Muraro, Donald Maxwell, Roger Andrews and Kiri te Kanawa, conducted by Marco Armiliato.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands - From La Monnaie in Brussels, a Gluck double bill: Iphigénie en Aulide, with Andrew Shore, Charlotte Hellekant, Véronique Gens, Avi Klembergand and Henk Neven; and Iphigénie en Tauride, with Nadja Michael, Stéphane Degout, Topi Lehtipuu, Werner van Mechelen and Violet Serena Noorduynconducted by Christophe Rousset.
  • France Musique - From Opera Bastille in Paris, a February 12th performance of Massenet's Werther, with Jonas Kaufmann and Lodovic Tezier.
  • KBIA 2 - NPR World of Opera: From the Chorégies Festival in Orange, France, Verdi's La Traviata, with Patrizia Ciofi, Vittorio Grigolo, Marzio Giossi, Laura Brioli, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Jean-Marie Delpas and Armando Noguera, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From La Monnaie in Brussels, Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, with Nadja Michael, Stéphane Degout, Topi Lehtipuu, Werner van Mechelen and Violet Serena Noorduynconducted by Christophe Rousset.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From Schlosstheater Schönbrunn, an August 2009 performance of Zeller's Der Obersteiger, with Bernhard Berchtold, Santiago Bürgi, Cornelia Zink, Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz, Donna Ellen and Anna Siminska, conducted by Herbert Mogg.
  • Espace 2 - From the Ukrainian National Opera, an October 31st performance of Lysenko's Taras Bulba, with Taras Shtonda, Alla Pozniak, Petro Priymak, Pavlo Priymak, Yevghen Orlov, Svetlana Golevska, Vasyl Kolybabiuk, Serghiy Skochelias, Viktor Dudar, Oleksandr Gourets, Andriy Gonkulov and Dmytro Gryshyn, conducted by Volodymyr Kozhukhar.
  • HR2 Kultur - From the Vienna State Opera, a June 20th performance of Strauss's Die Schweigsame Frau, with Jane Archibald, Kurt Rydl, Michael Schade, Janina Baechle, Adrian Eröd, conducted by Peter Schneider.
  • Klara - Starting at GMT 1900/EST 2:00PM - the Met's La Fille du Régiment.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, a November 21st performance of Verdi's Don Carlos, with Jonas Kaufmann, Marina Poplavska, Simon Keenlyside, Feruccio Furlanetto and Marianne Korneti, conducted by Semyons Bychkov.
  • MDR Figaro - From Staatsoper Dresden, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, with Krassimira Stoyanova, Elina Garanca, Michael Schade and Franz-Josef Selig, conducted by Christian Thielemann.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From Teatro San Carlo in Naples, a January 27th performance of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, with Gregory Kunde, Teresa Romano, Elena Monti,, Monica Bacelli, Francesca Russo Ermolli and Vito Priante, conducted by Jeffrey Tate.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera on a one-week delay: From Washington National Opera, Puccini's La boheme, with Adriana Damato, Vittorio Grigolo, Nicole Cabell, Paolo Pecchioli, Hyung Yun, Trevor Scheunemann, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) & Concert FM (New Zealand) - From the Metropolitan Opera, the historic broadcast (February 1, 1958) of Barber's Vanessa, with Eleanor Steber, Nicolai Gedda, Rosalind Elias, Regina Resnik, Giorgio Tozzi, George Cehanovsky and Robert Nagy, conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos.
  • And, last but not least, don't forget video feed of the the last (of 4) performance of the Indiana University production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, with Heather Youngquist, Joshua Lindsay, Andrew Kroes, Scott Hogsed, Nikhil Navkal, Samuel Green, Jane Rownd and Amanda Sesler, conducted by Arthur Fagen (Guest Stage Director: James Marvel, Set & Costume Designer: C. David Higgins).

Happy listening (and watching) . . . .

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Live Offerings - Saturday, February 6, 2009

Somewhat slimmer pickings than usual. The biggest curiosity will probably bed Placido Domingo singing the title role in Simon Boccanegra (usually tackled by baritones). Also two different performances of Verdi's Macbeth, and from La Scala, a live performance of Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's Faust. Here's the complete lineup:

  • DR P2 - From Geneva, Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Pietro Spangnoli, José Fardilha, Diana Damrau, Serena Farnocchia and Christoph Strehl, conducted by Kenneth Montgomery.
  • Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (on numerous stations)- Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, with Placido Domingo, Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello Giordano, James Morris, Nicola Alaimo and Richard Bernstein, conducted by James Levine.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands - Handel's Ariodante, with Ann Hallenberg, Karina Gauvin, Maarten Engeltjes, Jaël Azzaretti and Krystian Adam, conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana - From Ukrainian National Opera in Kiev, Lysenko's Taras Bulba, with T. Shtonda, A. Pozniak, P. Priymak, P. Priymak, Y. Orlov, S. Godlevska, T. Kuzminova, O. Gourets, V. Kolybabiuk, S. Skochelias, V. Dudar, A. Goniukov, D. Gryshyn, O. Boyko, M. Gubchuk and O. Vostriakov, conducted by V. Kozhukhar.
  • KBIA2 - NPR World of Opera: From Washington National Opera, Puccini's La Boheme, with Adriana Damato, Vittorio Grigolo, Nicole Cabell, Paolo Pecchioli, Hyung Yun and Trevor Scheunemann, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From La Scala in MIlan, Schumann's Szenen aus Goethes Faust, with Michael Volle, Dorothea Röschmann, Dimitri Ivashchenko, Steve Davislim, Irena Bespalovaite, Adina Aaron, Elena Zhidkova, Maria Radner and Jacheui Kwon, conducted by Pinchas Steinberg.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From Glyndebourne, Dvorak's Rusalka, with Ana Maria Martinez, Brandon Jovanovich, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Mikhail Schelomianski, Larissa Diadkova, Natasha Jouhl, Barbara Senator, Elodie Méchain, Diana Axentii, Alasdair Elliott and John Mackenzie, conducted by Jirí Behlohlávek.
  • Espace 2 - From the Vienna State Opera, a December 7, 2009 performance of Verdi's Macbeth, with Simon Keenlyside, Erika Sunnegardh, Stefan Kocan, Dimitri Pittas, Gergely Nemety, Donna Ellen and Alfred Sramek, conducted by Guillermo Garcia Calvo.
  • Klara - From Vlaamse Opera, Bernstein's Candide, with Michael Spyres, Jane Archibald, Graham Valentine, Thomas Oliemans, Andrew Ashwin, Katarina Bradic, Karan Armstrong, Keith Lewis, Adrian Fischer, Gijs Van der Linden, Milcho Borovinov and Thorsten Buettner, conducted by Yannis Pouspourikas.
  • HR2 Kultur - A November 1, 2009 performance of Act 2 of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, with Waltraud Meier, John Mac Master, Michelle Breedt, Franz Josef Selig and Kurwenal Michael Vier, conducted by Daniel Harding.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera (on a one week delay): From Bastille Opera in Paris, Verdi's Macbeth, with Dimitris Tiliakos, Violeta Urmana, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Stefano Secco, Alberto Nigro and Letitia Singleton, conducted by Teodor Currentzis.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) & Concert FM (New Zealand) - Another chance to hear the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Bizet's Carmen, with Elina Garanca, Barbara Frittoli, Roberto Alagna, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Earle Patriarco, Keith Jameson, Keith Miller, Trevor Scheunemann, Elizabeth Caballero and Sandra Piques Eddy, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
. . . And don't forget the live videocast of the Indiana University Lucia di Lammermoor tonightat 8:00PM EST.

Happy listening . . . .

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Friday, February 05, 2010

A Rocket to Mannheim

DIE FLEDERMAUS / ROBERTO DEVEREUX
National Theater, Mannheim

Why do you want to come all the way to Mannheim just to hear such an old production of Die Fledermaus? asked a lifelong Mannheimer and operagoer.

“Because I need some ear candy,” I replied.

Mannheim has supplied an estimable variety of ear candy to the world for well over three centuries. Most notably: Mozart visited the city four times and spent a total of 176 days here. Some of the venues where he made music are still functioning. The so-called Mannheim School made its home here. The Court Orchestra under Carlo Grua (1700-1773) won renown as one of Europe’s finest ensembles. In the last century, its opera house, first established in 1779, became a way station for such up-and-coming musicians and singers as Artur Bodansky, who led the German wing of the Metropolitan Opera from 1915 to his death in 1939, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Donald Runnicles, Jun Märkl, Adam Fischer; Inge Borkh, Diana Damrau, Franz Mazura, Jean Cox and Scott McAlister.

With such a formidable history that is continually in the making, performers in Mannheim have a lot to live up to, and they know it. Of the 30 odd performances I’ve heard here since 1990, only a few have been lackluster. (A couple of disasters -- yes -- but interesting catastrophes.)

During my most recent stay, I attended two consecutive performances at the National Theater: a production of Die Fledermaus, dating from 1978, and the premiere of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux in concert-format, apparently the first time ever that this opera has been performed professionally in Mannheim. So it came as a surprise to me, how lively and vital the 30 year-old production of Fledermaus came across, whereas the premiere of Devereux seemed somewhat phlegmatic in comparison.

I doubt that any Fledermaus can match the sparkle and fizzle that the Metropolitan Opera’s mounting nearly always manages to produce, but Mannheim comes close. Friedrich Meyer-Oertel clearly conceived his production with fun as the guiding principal, and the principals, bit-players and chorus at this performance were determined to play out this comedy of manners with mirth always in mind.

Particularly rewarding for me was to hear Eisenstein sung by a tenor, as Johann Strauss originally intended. I never heard Uwe Eikötter before, but I’d like to hear him again. He has precisely the right lilt in his voice as he tries to play a not-so good-natured trick on his wife. A mellow sweetness in the timbre suggests he might do well to attempt a more ambitious Fach than Melot, Monostatos and Pong -- parts he apparently regularly sings.

Cornelia Ptassek took a while to get inside Rosalinda, but by the time she got to her rousing Czardas in the second act, she turned into a spouse not to be trifled with.

I’m told that Diana Damrau made Adele into one of her signature roles during her stay in Mannheim, but Katharina Göres at this performance left little to long for. She has clean coloratura, a bright top and an attractive stage personality -- a package that could take her to stages far beyond Germany. Whether she has Damrau’s dramatic range and vocal allure, remains to be seen.

Edna Prochnik as Orlovsky was delightful to experience, not merely because she reveals an incipient vocal temperament that portends bigger roles. She is also a refreshing change from the counter-tenors that I’ve encountered too frequently in this role. Which brings to mind a suggestion for the idea-starved directors, whose da-duh productions of this wonderful work I’ve had to endure in the past couple of years: How about an Orlovsky performed by a counter-tenor in an evening gown?

The big surprise of the evening, though, was Wolfgang Neumann as Alfredo. Yes, the Wolfgang Neumann everybody who has survived his Siegfried and Tristan loves to hate! Rarely, have I experienced Alfredo so electrifyingly sung and non-acted! And on this occasion, he was even funny. Neumann sings his farewell this spring in Mannheim, but surely he has more than enough voice left to return for an occasional turn as Alfredo.

At this performance, Lars Møller, Thomas Jesatko and Uwe Schönbeck were cast as Dr. Falke, Frank and Frosch respectively. Møller eschewed the manipulative side of the role and made the most of the merry side of Eisenstein’s sidekick. Jesatko enlivened the party scene, and Schönbeck clearly had the audience in his bottle the moment he stepped on stage as the inebriated jailer. Oskar Pürgstaller’s Blind was a treat.

The linking entity between Fledermaus and Devereux was Alexander Kalajdzic on the podium. He is among the batch of younger conductors cutting their teeth on the international circuit. Currently, the Zagreb native is wrapping up his tour of duty as first Kappelmeister in Mannheim. Next season, he moves on to become Generalmusikdirector at Bielefeld’s opera house.

On Friday night he generated high voltage with his reading of Fledermaus. It became clear at the outset of the overture, that he has Strauss the Younger in his blood, and he communicated his affinity with this music with bodacious enthusiasm. On Saturday, though, his wattage sputtered: possibly because the house orchestra, still after nearly 300 years one of the finest in Europe, seemed disinterested during Devereux. Several back-stand violinists were leaning back in their seats throughout the evening, and the winds and brass generally lacked punch in the big ensemble passages. I would have expected this at Fledermaus. After all, it was the upteenth performance of an old production, but the musicians played like New Year’s Eve. Devereux was a premiere and a First for Mannheim. Yet, the orchestra sounded as though nobody wanted to go to the party.

The seeming lack of enthusiasm among the players seemed to infect the principals, all of whom were performing their respective roles for the first time. Ludmila Slepneva has sufficient power and technique to essay Elizabetta, but she seemed preoccupied with the notes rather than the music. And the notes to which she devoted such care were thrifty on ornamentation. Her voice on this occasion also had a tendency to spread at the top in some instances, while turning shrewish at others. Nonetheless she turned out an effective “Vive Ingrato” in the final scene. Comparisons with singers of the past who have scored in this role are admittedly silly. But Slepnova has formidable competition in this Fach from contemporaries such as Alexandrina Pendatchanska. There’s an Elisabetta!

Marie-Belle Sandis fared better as Sara, Elisabetta’s rival for the affections of Roberto Devereux. Hers is a dark mezzo that retains its warmth from top to bottom. She is not exactly suited for Sara, but she came closest to surmounting the lethargy around her.

Juhan Tralla in the eponymous role sounded the most energetic of the three principals, but it became apparent that he has yet to master his part. He has a pleasing and flexible lyric instrument that holds up under pressure, but he too seemed preoccupied with getting out the notes, rather than enlivening them.

The rest of the principal roles were capably rounded out by Thomas Berau (Nottingham), Mihail Mihylov (Raleigh) and Christoph Wittmann (Cecil).

Thinking back on these two performances and the marked contrast in effect, it occurs to me that Fledermaus is a German/Austrian work that was performed by German-speaking artists, whereas Devereux is an Italian work that was played out on this occasion with quite possibly no Italians onstage. Admittedly, most of the live performances of Devereux I’ve heard have been sung by non-Italians, but the Italianate stylistic panache was always there. At the same time, I failed to sense a Germanic or northern European approach to the music, as is palpable in numerous pirate recordings of Donizetti operas in German. Are we now in a New Age of an intra-national style of performing opera?

© Sam H. Shirakawa

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Indiana University to Videocast Four Lucias

On Friday and Saturday evenings (8:00PM EST and 0100GMT) Indiana University will be airing a live videocast of its production of Lucia di Lammermoor. There will be two different performances broadcast on consecutive nights, each with a different cast.

And then, they will do it all over again next weekend - videocasting the final two performances.

So, altogether we will have four opportunities to see this production. Once the run is over, the University has told us that they will pick the best performance by each cast and make those two performances available as videos on demand.

Kudos to Indiana University's video team for making all four performances available.

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