Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rosenkavalier on Ö1 today, Live Stream Tomorrow - Sophie Sub

Ileana Tonca, scheduled to sing Sophie in the 2014 Wiener Staatsoper performances of Der Rosenkavalier, will be filling in for Mojca Erdmann as Sophie -- tonight on the radio and tomorrow on the live webcast

I don’t know why Erdmann is not singing these performances, but I’m not sad. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two Boys, or Not Two Boys? – The Met Cops Out

Paul Appleby and Andrew Pulver
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
I keep reading that it’s the subject matter of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys that has kept it off the Met in HD playlist.
Met General Manager Peter Gelb said the adult themes ruled out the opera from inclusion in the company's high-definition theatre simulcasts.
Does the Met really think that the U.S. opera-going public is so narrow-minded, or close-minded, or unsophisticated (choose all that apply) to cope with this story? My guess is that they really just thought it wouldn’t sell. It may or may not, but will The Nose sell? Will hauling out the ancient La Boheme yet again sell? (Well, yes, probably. I guess that’s a bad example.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Otterphile – AsvO Sings the Wesendoncks (Encore)

This is Anne Sofie von Otter's performance of Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder with Marc Minkowski from last spring. I originally posted about this concert back then. It's no longer available at, but some kind soul posted it for us at the Toob, so we can enjoy it all over again. This clip even includes her encore of the final song, Träume. 

And as a bonus, here is an even more recent performance of the Wesendoncks with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, recorded in June 2013. I think this Träume may be even better than the two above!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Haïm Hair*

I am not talking about Haim, the Band, although they have hair, too. I am talking about Haïm, the conductor (conductress? conductrix?) and Baroque music guru. 

Emmanuelle Haïm is a talented and expressive musician, and a strong leader. A whole bunch of top-notch, not-necessarily-baroque-specialist singers have stepped on stage or into the recording studio with her, including Rolando Villazón, Joyce DiDonato, Topi Lehtipuu, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, Laurent Naouri, Ann Hallenberg, Véronique Gens, etc., etc.), plus the usual Baroque suspects.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Brunch – Magdelena Kožená Sings Mysliveček

This aria is included in her 2002 CD Le Belle Imagini, which I just noticed that I actually own. (It's good to flip through the library now and then!) 

There are some real (and somewhat rare) gems here, and her voice was very very flexible 11 years ago (I am sure it still is, but in this recording, I find her particularly impressive. 

The text (by Metestasio) and partial English translation can be found at

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Salzburg 2013 Cosi Finally on Ö1 Radio. Hooray!

© Michael Pöhn

Guess why Ferrando and Guglielmo are jumping for joy? 

Tonight, Austria's Ö1 Radio is finally broadcasting the Salzburg Festival Cosi Fan TutteThe broadcast is at 19:30 (which is about 1:30 PM Eastern Time), and it should stay in the archive for about a week on (the amazing and handy) 7 Tage Ö1 (A week of radio when you want it!)

The performances did not garner glowing reviews (the Maestro seems to have been lackluster at best). But the singing must be at least semi-stellar. I mean, look at this cast list:

Malin Hartelius – Fiordiligi
Marie-Claude Chappuis – Dorabella
Martina Janková – Despina
Martin Mitterrutzner – Ferrando
Luca Pisaroni – Guglielmo
Gerald Finley – Don Alfonso

Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Wiener Philharmoniker
Christoph Eschenbach

Recorded in the Haus für Mozart in August as part of the Salzburger Festspiele 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gratuitous Friday – David Bižić is Leporello

This video is a low-quality bootleg but more than we'd have otherwise. And it's a good one to have. I've posted bits of this before, which you can find by clicking on the David Bižić link below or looking for Peter Mattei on RnR. The full cast list is below the clip; they are stage-directed by Michael Haneke at the Opera Bastille. 

The whole performance (or nearly whole, anyway) is contained in this YOO_TOOB playlist. It’s quite worth listening through the muffled sound and watching the dimly lit stage to hear Peter Mattei, Véronique Gens, and David Bižić do their Mozart thing. The rest of the cast is pretty good too. Happy Friday! 

Filmed live on April 19, 2012 at Opera Bastille, Paris. 

Peter Mattei - Don Giovanni 
Paata Burchuladze - Il Commendatore 
Patricia Petibon - Donna Anna 
Saimir Pirgu - Don Ottavio 
Véronique Gens - Donna Elvira 
David Bizic - Leporello 
Nahuel Di Pierro - Masetto 
Gaëlle Arquez - Zerlina 

Marius Stieghorst - Conductor
Michael Haneke - Stage Director
Christoph Kanter - Sets
Annette Beaufaÿs - Costumes
André Diot - Lighting
Alessandro Di Stefano - Maestro del coro

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wiener Staatsoper Launches Live Streams with Rosenkavalier

The Vienna State Opera announced its first live streaming event: Der Rosenkavalier with Renée Fleming as the Marschallin, Sophie Koch as Octavian, Mojca Erdmann as Sophie and Peter Rose as Ochs in Otto Schenk’s production, under the baton of Adam Fischer. 

It will cost 14 Euros to watch live; *5 Euros for an on-demand version (viewable for 7 days). It's too bad it's not free, but it's totally understandable why not. I do appreciate their saying, 
... the artists will receive a fair share of the revenue of each stream." 

Britten's War Requiem – Netrebko, Bostridge, and Hampson

As Seen on Facebook:

Listen to the entire new recording of Britten's War Requiem before it comes out!

The Guardian Article  


You can listen to it at
Soundcloud for about another week.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

For the 3 Other People Who Missed It – CSO & Muti: Verdi Requiem

I found out about it as the live performance was drawing to a close, so I decided to wait and watch/listen to the whole thing from the beginning. For the three people besides me who missed it, here is a link to the webcast replay, and to a few reviews. 

Video On Demand

A Few Reviews
Verdi Requiem – October 10, 2013

DUAIN WOLFE chorus director

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gerhaher Sings Schumann in Hohenems

Gerold Huber and Christian Gerhaher in Salzburg
Just in case you can't get enough of Christian Gerhaher (accompanied by Gerold Huber) singing Schumann (I can't), here is a broadcast of his Liederabend from the lovely Markus-Sittikus-Saal in Hoenems, Austria. This was recorded on September 22, 2013. It was transmitted this morning on Ö1 Radio, so it should be available for another seven days. The program is listed below.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gratuitous Friday – Boaz Daniel (and Jonas Kaufmann) in Don Carlo

Among the cast of thousands in the Bayerische Staatsoper La Fanciulla del West, one of the standout singers (besides the obvious) is baritone Boaz Daniel as Sonora. I decided he'd be good for a gratuitous post, so I took to the Toob of U to find a clip. Lo and behold, who should be in this clip from Don Carlo with Mr. Daniel but...Jonas Kaufmann. This is the famous duet, warmly sung and acted; check especially the interaction that takes place during the orchestral coda. This is one of the official videos from the BSO. Happy Friday.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lawrence Brownlee's Tiny Desk Concert at NPR

Most of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts feature relatively obscure indie, folk, rock, or jazz performers. This program is not Rossini (Lawrence Brownlee's specialty), but it's probably the first appearance of an opera singer in this series. Mr. Brownlee sings three spirituals in this little concert.

Here's a bit of the blurb from the NPR website:
...there's a special place in Brownlee's heart for African-American spirituals. Growing up in Youngstown, Ohio, Brownlee sang gospel music in church, and now he's returning to that tradition by releasing a new album, Spiritual Sketches — and singing selections from it here in the NPR Music offices.
Brownlee bases much of his operatic success on his sturdy church-music grounding. "I would say that the flexibility I have with my voice is in large part because I sang gospel in church," Brownlee told NPR in 2007. "It's a lot of improvisational singing with a lot of riffs or runs."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wo ist Wozzeck? (And Other Videos We'd Like to See)

Simon Keenlyside
So, it's been three days already, and no sign of the Wozzeck webcast. Come on, people! Of course, it might have hit the Toob and already been snatched offline by the vigilant Staatsoper folks. But I won't give up hope. 

Meanwhile, here is a photo from a Don Giovanni performance (also at the BSO) I'd like to have seen/heard. It was taken by Kyle Ketelson and posted at his Skydrive site, along with a whole bunch more photos from the production. If DR in a ski jacket and mask isn't enough for you, you're sure to find something else intriguing when you check out the rest of the photos

Dorothea Röschmann 

Here's the enticing cast list:

Don Giovanni Simon Keenlyside
Der Komtur Goran Jurić
Donna Anna Elza van den Heever
Don Ottavio Bernard Richter
Donna Elvira Dorothea Röschmann
Leporello Kyle Ketelsen
Zerlina Laura Tatulescu
Masetto *Tareq Nazmi

(Unfortunately, this was a very short-lived revival: only three performances!)

Meanwhile, there still is time to see a few other operas that are available online. Here are six to choose from:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hello, Ragazzi! (Random Thoughts while Listening to Puccini)

I wonder if Japanese people find Madama Butterfly slightly embarrassing and annoying with its fake Japonaiserie. I wonder this because I found it odd, while listening to La Fanciulla del West, to hear the chorus singing, "Hello, ragazzi," "Whisky per tutti," and other cowboy-like phrases. (Not to mention, "doo dah, doo dah day," which, as far as I know, is not actually from the old west!) 

Whisky Milk Punch at The Bite House.
Come to think of it, Madama Butterfly also has fake American-nesses: that Star-Spangled Banner quote and Pinkerton's inquiry, "Milk punch o' whisky?" to name two.

What exactly is milk punch? I just read a suggestion that there's a comma missing; apparently it was supposed to be, "Milk, punch, or whisky?" On the other hand, there are recipes for milk punch. (Which came first: the drink or the opera?) 

Or, maybe they meant “milk punch with whisky.” (Yes, my mind does wander.)

I also noticed that Puccini has stolen some melodic bits from Phantom of the Opera for La Fanciulla. I wonder if Sir Andrew is aware of this...

Monday, October 7, 2013

La Fanciulla del Wien

Tomasz Konieczny, Nina Stemme, and Jonas Kaufmann in the Wild, Wild West.
Part 1

Science Fiction Double Feature: Stravinsky and Stockhausen – An Opera-ish Oratorio and an Instrumental Excerpt

Saturday afternoon, I was browsing around the web, mostly enjoying clicking all the links posted at, a great site that lists lots of opera (and vocal) performances available online, to see which ones I might actually be able to watch. I was excited to find out I can actually access many recordings on France TV’s Culturebox website. Another great feature is the Operapedia section, which carries links to synopses, articles, and even some libretti and scores.

Anyway, I eventually landed back at Arte LiveWeb, already a favorite site, for what turned out to be an odd double* feature. I noticed they were about to broadcast Helicopter Quartet  from Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht (Wednesday from Light). The Elysian Quartet was at that very moment preparing to take flight from the Nuit Blanche Festival in Paris.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kaufmann & Stemme: La Fancuilla del West

Jonas Kaufmann & Nina Stemme in Puccini's La Fancuilla del West. Some brief excerpts below. It's better than nothing...and a good start!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Watch Bayerische Staatsoper Performances Live Online

Keenlyside and Denoke as Wozzeck and Marie, 2009
© R. Walz, Opera National de Paris
In 2013/14, the Bayerische Staatsoper will present its second season of selected performances as live streams, free of charge online via STAATSOPER.TV– and, for the first time, in full HD. These will include all of the new productions by the new General Music Director Kirill Petrenko. 

2013/2014 Season

October 6, 2013
7.00 P.M. (C.E.T.)
Alban Berg
Conductor Lothar Koenigs
Director Andreas Kriegenburg
With Simon Keenlyside, Angela Denoke a.o.

December 1, 2013
6.00 P.M. (C.E.T.)
Richard Strauss
New production
Conductor Kirill Petrenko
Director Krzysztof Warlikowski
With Johan Botha, Adrianne Pieczonka, Deborah Polaski, Wolfgang Koch, Elena Pankratova a.o.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Apropos Musik - Ö1 Radio offers Live Opera Excerpts from Vienna

Apropos Music is Vienna State Opera's radio magazine on Ö1 Radio. This week, they broadcast excerpts from live performances recorded last month (September 2013) at the Wiener Staatsoper. I really appreciate the opportunity to hear more “live” opera, even if only in excerpts. The musical performances include bits from La Traviata, Tosca, Carmen, Tristan und Isolde, Otello, and quite a few from Simon Boccenegra. Thanks to this program, I now know:

Gratuitous Friday – Daniel Behle is Don Ottavio

This is from the recent Paris Don Giovanni. 

Act 2: Il mio tesoro intante

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another Vest-Pocket Concert – Kaufmann's Spring Winterreise

Jonas Kaufmann performed Schubert's Die Winterreise last spring in Vienna (Audio Only—in amazing audience surround sound—koff koff). But, we get to hear it, and that's what counts! Thank you, intrepid vest-pocket bootlegger vocal music fan!

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