Friday, February 28, 2014

More (Mostly Mozart) Operas Online – For Now

Like the clip I posted the other day, I don’t want to provide too much in this post to ID these videos, because it seems that sometimes when I provide a lot of information (which I always think is handy), they get pulled down quickly. I guess someone important must be following my blog!!

Some of these may stick around a while, and some may disappear tomorrow. So while you can, here are a few that (for various reasons) I encourage you to check out: 

(This photo is not from this production. 
In fact, I’m not 100% sure it's from a production of Traviata.)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another Video from That Production

This is not one of my personal highlights, but in the quest to direct my readers to as much video as possible from this production, here it is. (And I'm trying not to ID this clip to carefully, since it’d be nice if it were to stay online for a few days.)  

Hm, what do we think he's doing under that dress?! No wonder she’s singing sharp! 

And speaking of that dress, it’s too bad it’s such a hindrance to her on the stairs, because it really seems like the soprano should sweep out of there (not carefully pick her way up the steps) on the instrumental coda!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Four Tito Teasers from Staatsoper TV

The Bayersiche Staatsoper has kindly shared four short video excerpts from their webcast of La Clemenza di Tito. It's good to have another look. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Parto, ma tu ben mio – Tara Erraught at The Bayerische Staatsoper

Unfortunately, this clip is audio only, but it is “official” from the Staatsoper. I'm pretty sure it's not from last Saturday's broadcast, as I don't remember quite so much vibrato from Sesto*.  I am still on the lookout for a copy of the video (aren't we all?). I'm not sure I want to re-watch the whole opera, but I’d definitely like to re-view some of the arias and ensembles. 

Tara Erraught (Sesto)
Markus Schön (Solo Clarinet)
Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Musical direction: Kirill Petrenko
Live recorded at the Bayerische Staatsoper on February 7, 2014

*After writing this I looked below the clip at Soundcloud and saw the date. Well boo on me for not reading, but kudos to me for noticing the difference. Tara Erraught sounds over-parted here (over-partoed?) but she didn’t seem so during the live broadcast. Maybe this was opening night jitters.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

As Seen On Facebook – The Always-Gracious Malin Haretlius

It’s not surprising that Malin Hartelius is such a gracious lady! And I agree with her: Luftansa rocks (even when they accidentally assigned the same seat to both My Dad and me—we do have the same nameat least they fixed it right away!)

A Huge Thank You to the lady at the check in desk and the rest of her colleagues at Lufthansa, who mede get on my connecting flight from Sochi today. After checking out my luggage, I had 1/2 an hour before departure to get to the next terminal, check in and get to the plane. I made it! God Bless You!!!

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Barbara Hannigan Sings (and Conducts) Mozart

Barbara Hannigan is an incredibly talented singer/actress, and a champion of 20th and 21st century music. She is also a conductor. I keep trying to decide if her performance in this set of Mozart arias is super-impressive, or if she's just showing off. 

Of course, there are instrumentalists (usually pianists or violinists) who conduct their own concertos. Is this odd because she is a singer, because she is a woman, or both? Or is it way cool? I think the answer to all these questions is "yes." 

In the same concert (available on YT and on the GSO website) she also conducts a Rossini overture and vocal/performance works by Nono and Ligeti.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mozart (and Gluck) Monday from Ö1 Radio

Malin Hartelius on Ö1 Radio
(and some other singers, too...)

Malin Hartelius, Soprano
Marianne Crebassa, Mezzo
Andrew Staples, Tenor
Camerata Salzburg
Louis Langrée, Conductor
Mozartwoche #13 
Mozart & Gluck La clemenza di Tito

Mozart: Ouvertüre zu La clemenza di Tito KV 621    

Gluck:   Arie des Tito Nr. 6 Di quel sublime soglio    Mr. Staples 

Mozart: Arie des Tito Nr. 6 Del più sublime soglio    Mr. Staples 

Mozart: Arie des Sesto Nr. 9 Parto, parto, ma tu, ben mio   Ms. Crebassa

Gluck:   Arie des Sesto Nr. 10 Parto, parto, ma tu, ben mio   Ms. Crebassa

Gluck:   Ouvertüre, Rezitativ und Arie der Vitellia Nr. 14
              Ah! taci barbaro; Come potesti, oh Dio    Ms. Hartelius

Gluck:   Arie des Tito Nr. 16 Tu, infedel, non hai difese    Mr. Staples

Gluck:   Arie des Sesto Nr. 18 Se mai senti spirarti sul volto    Ms. Crebassa

Mozart: Rezitativ Nr. 22 und Rondo Nr. 23 der Vitellia 
               Ecco il punto, oh Vitellia; Non più di fiori vaghe catene

Mozart: Symphonie D-Dur KV 504 "Prague"

Monday Mahler with Christian Gerhaher (and a Little Mozart, too)

Too good to be true? Yes. Yes it is. The Berliner Philharmoniker never gives anything away, and so they fade out before the end of the song! But it's still worth posting and watching/listening. Plus it was time to turn the spotlight away from Matthias Goerne—briefly—to remind us how amazing Herr Gerhaher is.

I had to give up my annual Digital Concert Hall subscription, but there are programs that are worth paying a few bucks to see, one-at-a-time. (Including the Schumann Faust concert!) Or pay for a month, then stay home and watch non-stop to get the most for your Euro.

Meanwhile, today’s post was going to be my debrief of Saturday’s La Clemenza di Tito from Munich, but I am still mulling it over. I've had two good conversations with My Dad about it, and I am working on conclusions. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gratuitous Friday – Matthias Goerne Smiles!

German baritone Matthias Goerne smiles...but apparently not often.
On the February 2014 issue of Opera Now

His angst is confirmed in this quote from his Opera Now interview:
 Even if I'm happy, things in the world around seem almost unbearable. 
But he's still my favorite* Baripsycho, 
and boy, is he magical in this exquisite Schubert Lied: 

Matthias Goerne & Helmut Deutsch

*For this week, anyway. I waver between Herr Goerne and Christian Gerhaher.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

La Clemenza Online this Weekend from the Bayerische Staatsoper

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's LA CLEMENZA DI TITO 

Toby Spence, Kristine Opolais, Tara Erraught, 
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Angela Brower and Tareq Nazmi 

Don't miss the online broadcast on 

Live and free of charge from Bayerische Staatsoper: 
Saturday, February 15, 7:00 PM Munich Time (1 PM NYC Time).

Publio and Tito

Sesto and Vitellia

(More photos and another video after the jump.)

Brokeback Mountain – Part 2: Two Drafts and a Princess Phone

So I guess I made my point yesterday that the music of Brokeback Mountain – The Opera just isn’t that engaging. In fact, it's so unengaging, that early in the performance, I started focusing on the surroundings, right down to tiny details that shouldn’t matter. 

The sets ranged from non-existent to claustrophobic: two household sets are squeezed onto the stage, making it look like a used furniture warehouse. Maybe that’s the point: the men are suffocating under the constrained, traditional lives they’ve built to deny their true natures. But if the set is going for ultra-realism (sometimes—the homes anyway) it’d help to use period props.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brokeback Mountain – Part 1: A Missed Opportunity

Charles Wuorinen’s compositional style is not operatic; and he seems to shy away from emotion. I am not sure why he bothered to write an opera. At the moment I cannot think of a less operatic composer. And I don’t mean that everything has to be neo-romantic and diatonic and pretty. Wuorinen’s style is 12-tone and (usually) serial—not styles that lend themselves to lyricism. On the other hand, Alban Berg managed to write very lyrical (still dissonant, but still lyrical) music using 12-tone serialism, and so have other composers.

Wuorinien and Proulx added some extra scenes to flesh out the women’s characters, apparently feeling that too much male voice singing would wear on the listener. In reality, however, it’s the music itself that’s wearing. Britten and Janacek made all-male textures work beautifully and dramatically.

Monday, February 10, 2014

As Seen on Facebook...

This shout-out to Alban Berg by Thomas Hampson, who is preparing his Met role debut:
A rebuttal by David Daniels to a review of the UK version of the recent English Concert Theodora, (he's not participating in the UK/Europe run) and a candid rehearsal photo from Carnegie Hall, featuring our beloved Dorothea Röschmann:

And this from David Bižić (who is starring in Don Giovanni in Vienna with several other artists of interest):

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tribute to Maestro Claudio Abbado from France Musique

Last week's edition of the France Musique radio program Lirico Spinto is a 90-minute tribute to Claudio Abbado's work in the opera house.

Even if you have heard and/or have most or all of Abbado's opera recordings for Decca and Deutsche Grammophon, there's some great listening here. Excerpts from commercial releases include the entire Act 1 Finale of  Die Zauberflöte, and the Act 2 Finale of Fidelio. In addition, there are bits from live La Scala performances of Macbeth, Aida, and Boris Godounov. The Aida excerpt (from 1972) features Domingo and Arroyo; and it is particularly exciting!

In addition to the radio program listings, the web page contains embedded full-length videos (as seen on YT) of:
  • Macbeth
  • Il Viaggio a Reims
  • Lohengrin
  • Don Giovanni

It looks like this audio program will be available for two years (but my French comprehension is neither strong nor reliable.) Just in case the website is wrong (or I am), go listen ASAP! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Two Tom Randle Tracks

Over the years, I have managed to take little notice of Tom Randle (sorry Tom!). Once he turned up in Brokeback Mountain, I decided to find out more. Then I decided to share with you. 

Here are two audio tracks: one of an interview, in which he chats about his career and his recent (at the time) apperance as Steva in Jenufa; the other clip is two arias from Handel's Esther. Quite Lovely! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gratuitous Friday – Miah Persson is Sifare

Richard Croft & Miah Persson
Yes, I know it's only Thursday, but I couldn't wait to re-share this clip. I am re-posting this absolutely wonderful performance—the performance that caused me to fall in love with Miah Persson—for two reasons: 

1.   The original post has been simply slammed with spam. It's very annoying, especially since the post is a year and a half old.
2.   I just heard Christiane Karg sing this in a Mozartwoche concert on Ö1 Radio. She was wonderful, but frankly, I just like this performance better. That being said, I do encourage my readers to go listen to that concert. It also includes two symphonies by Muzio Clementi (of piano sonatina fame), one of which (surprisingly) contains rather extensive variarations on God Save the King.

But more importantly to my readers: In between the Clementi symphonies, soprano Christine Karg (whose "big break" was singing in the same M22 festival series of operas that this video clip in taken from) sings a nice variety of early Mozart opera arias, including this one from

But before you go listen to that concert, listen once again to the lovely and talented Miah Persson sing Lunga da te, mio bene.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Release of Jonas Kaufmann's Winterreise

From the Blurb @ JK's official website:

After over 20 years of working together and countless performances of Winterreise, Jonas Kaufmann and his piano-partner Helmut Deutsch finally commit the Olympus of the Lied repertoire to disc. 

Jonas Kaufmann says about the work: “Against the background of all the horror stories that bombard us today, we are undoubtedly rather more hardened than Schubert’s contemporaries and yet even today’s listeners can still find this cycle affecting. Even as interpreters we always find ourselves sucked into the emotional undertow of these songs, although we know perfectly well what to expect. I think that Winterreise has the same sort of cathartic effect as a Greek drama: the emotional experience purges the soul. The work has an almost meditative effect on me, because Schubert expressed these emotional depths with a clarity and a simplicity that I ultimately find consoling and that allows me to regain my own inner balance.”

Meanwhile, I also learned—courtesy of a lovely blog called Salazar's Opera Family Circle—about several upcoming DVD releases featuring JK (hooray!):
  • Ariadne auf Naxos from the Wiener Staatsoper
  • Don Carlo, also from the Wiener Staatsoper
  • Parsifal aus Der Met 

There goes my February and March lunch money!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Miah Persson and Lisa Della Casa on Ö1 Radio (but not together!)

Sunday was a great day to listen to Austria's Ö1 Radio! From the Mozartwoche 2014:

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu with: 

Miah Persson, Soprano; Maximilian Schmitt, Tenor; Michael Nagy, Bass; the RIAS Kammerchor; Berlin Freiburger Barockorchester; directed by René Jacobs.

And from the archives, on Apropos MusikDie Arabellissima: an hour-long tribute to Lisa Della Casa featuring music by Mozart, R. Strauss, Wagner, and Lehár.

These two programs are available in archive for about 5 more days. Meanwhile, there are more gems coming from the Mozartwoche, including, on February 16, a concert of excerpts from both Gluck's and Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito featuring Malin Hartelius and...some other singers (who cares who else is there?)

Here is a listing of all of the Mozartwoche concerts scheduled this month on Ö1 Radio.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Brunch - Mattias Goerne Talks About (and Sings) Schubert

From Spanish television: Some clips of Herr Goerne (my baritone-crush of the month) rehearsing/recording An Sylvia and speaking (in English, Gott sei dank) about his series of Schubert Lieder recordings. 

And here is the full song:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

NPR Piece on Brokeback Mountain – The Opera

Here is a news piece from NPR that includes interviews with the librettist and composer, and tantalizingly brief musical snippets from the opera.

"From a powerful short story in the New Yorker to a major motion picture, Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain now takes the stage in Madrid as a new opera, composed by Pulitzer winner Charles Wuorinen." 

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