Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Must-See Monteverdi from France

Technically, Magdalena Kožená and Rolando Villazón are the "star power" in this program. Ms. Kožená really does shine (RV, not quite so much, but we still love him), especially in her solo turns as Octavia and the lamenting Nymph (She seems to be pregnant again, which lends a special poignancy to her Octavia. I'm surprised no director has explored the idea of Octavia being pregnant when Nero dumps her. Maybe someone has and I just haven't seen it.)

But the real stars here are Emanuelle Haïm and the vocalists and instrumentalists of her Concert d'Astrée. 

The program, a "Monteverdi Gala" performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées last February, contains opera excerpts and madrigals, and it's great fun. And of course, the music-making is marvelous as usual. Conductor, musicians, and the audience all seems to be having a great time. And you will, too!  

(Unless you don't like Monteverdi, in which case, you won't enjoy this concert at all.)

Meanwhile, here's the concert, as seen on the Arte Concert website: 

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