Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Puccini: Manon Lescaut Webcast from Bayerische Staatsoper 7/31/2015

July 31, 2015, 8.15 p.m. (C.E.T.)

Giacomo Puccini
New production
Musical Direction: Alain Altinoglu
Stage Direction: Hans Neuenfels
With Kristine Opolais, Jonas Kaufmann a.o.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vocal Joys (and more) from the Verbier Festival

Joyce DiDonato sings Berlioz 
Malin Hartelius, Marie-Claude Chappuis, and others led by Ton Koopman in Mozart's Requiem
Mark Padmore singing Schubert, Tippet, and Purcell
Thomas Quasthoff conducts Bach's St. Matt (with Mark Padmore, Manuel Waiser, Christine Karg, Bernarda Fink, Mauro Peter, and Christopher Maltman) 
Daniela Barcelona, Piotr Beczala and others singing Verdi
Matthias Goerne as Bartok's Bluebeard

Plus a ton of wonderful orchestral and chamber music! See the full list of programmes (some already in archive, and some still to come) at  Go! Watch! Listen!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Orfeo and Eurydice and Franco and Malin (for a few more days)

There're only a few more days to catch this concert version of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice (the Vienna version, with some extras, like the zippy Act 1 finale) on Laurence Equilbey conducts with Franco Fagioli as Orfeo, Malin Hartelius as Euridice, Emmanuelle de Negri as Amore, the accentus choir, and the insula orchestra. How could you go wrong!?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dutch National Opera Rosenkavalier Promo (Ewwww or Hmmmmm?)

So, after learning of HEM's upcoming debut as Sophie, I hopped over to the DNO site to learn more about their upcoming production of Rosenkavalier and found this:

(click this link to see the animated version)

Intriguing or Creepy? You be the judge. 

Alls I'm sayin' is I don't think die alte Marschallin is supposed to be an octogenarian! Who comes up with these ad campaigns? Someone with a minimal knowledge of the opera I guess. Imagine the description the designer was given: "This old broad is messing around with a hot teenage boy... now go design something!" 

Maybe not, but I wonder...

You can also see the video without the text across it. If you wanna..

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gratuitous Soprano Duet – Aber der Richtige (aus Arabella)

Sigh! I didn't get to see all of this in the live webcast. I am hoping an enterprising might have snagged 'n' shared it. Meanwhile, I found this kindly posted by the Bayerische Staatsoper. Anja Harteros and Hanna-Elisabeth Müller…

Sigh….that’s all…just…sigh!

Well, there is one more thing. I am tempted into a bit of fantasy opera casting. I am thinking, well, AH has sung the Marschallin, and HEM will be a marvelous Sophie (she makes her debut as Sophie in Amsterdam this fall). Who would be your choice of Octavian to place between them?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Jonas Kaufmann and Kate Aldrich in Carmen Live Tomorrow

More live opera this weekend: 
Saturday, July 11, 4:45 Eastern U.S. Time 

Kate Aldrich (Carmen) 
Inva Mula (Micaëla) 
Hélène Guilmette (Frasquita) 
Marie Karall (Mercédès)
Jonas Kaufmann (Don José) 
Kyle Ketelsen (Escamillo) 
Jean Teitgen (Zuniga) 
Olivier Grand (Le Dancaïre) 
Florian Laconi (Le Remendado) 
Armando Noguera (Moralès)

Choir of the Angers-Nantes Opera, Choir of the Opera Grand Avignon
Choir of the Nice Opera, Mastery Des Bouches Du Rhône
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France 
Mikko Franck musical direction
Louis Désiré stage director, set designer, costumes 

Gratuitous Friday Benjamin Appl Sings Beethoven

Here is Benjamin Appl with Jonathan Ware, performing Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte at the Ravinia Festival (Chicago), Summer 2010. I fell in love with his recent Schubert recital from Schwarzenberg. His singing is so expressive that you don't need to see him to "get" what he's doing. But it doesn't hurt, either! Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Arabella from the Bayersiche Staatsoper (Live on July 11)

From the STAATSOPER.TV website:

Bayerische Staatsoper will at 7 p.m. on Saturday, 11 July show the new production of Arabella by Richard Strauss with Anja Harteros in the title role.

With this opera, the film director Andreas Dresen will make his debut at Bayerische Staatsoper. Standing on the podium of Bayerisches Staatsorchester will be the Swiss conductor and musical director of the Paris Opera, Philippe JordanAnja Harteros will be participating in a Festival premiere for the fourth time after her premiere performances in Alcina (2005),Lohengrin (2009) and Il trovatore (2013). Singing at her side will be Kurt Rydl (Count Waldner), Doris Soffel (Adelaide),Hanna-Elisabeth Müller (Zdenka) and Joseph Kaiser (Matteo). Thomas J. Mayer, who was heard most recently at Bayerische Staatsoper as Wotan in Der Ring der Nibelungen (2012 and 2015), will be performing Mandryka.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Happy 90th Birthday, Nicolai Gedda

There are a lot of musical birthdays this month. Here's one that might have slipped by us, if not for the diligence of Ö1 Radio in Austria. They are broadcasting not one but three programs to celebrate tenor Nicolai Gedda's 90th birthday. This man could sing anything. And he did. And he sounded good doing it for many many years. 

Here are links to the three programs, all available for 7 days after the (broadcast date):
Nicolai Gedda – on his 90th Birthday (3/3) (Coming soon, on July 9)

The second program also contains some excerpts from an entertaining 1998 interview in which, among other things, Herr Gedda discusses some of the great maestros he worked with and asserts that "there are no boring [opera] roles. Only boring singers and boring actors."

Brief bio of NG from Wikipedia:
Nicolai Harry Gustav Gedda was born in Stockholm [July 11, 1925] to a Swedish mother and a half-Russian father. Gedda was raised by his aunt Olga Gedda and his adoptive father Mihail Ustinov (a distant relative of Peter Ustinov), who sang bass in Serge Jaroff's Don Cossack Choir and was cantor in a Russian Orthodox church. Gedda grew up bilingual in Swedish and Russian. From 1929 to 1934 they lived in Leipzig, Germany, where young Nicolai learned German. They returned to Sweden after Hitler came to power. In school he later learned English, French and Latin. After leaving school he learned Italian by himself.
Gedda worked first as a bank teller in a local bank in Stockholm. One day he told a client that he was searching for a good singing teacher, and the client recommended Carl Martin Öhman, a well known Wagnerian tenor from the 1920s, who is also credited with discovering Jussi Björling. Later he also taught the Finnish bass Martti Talvela. Öhman was enthusiastic about Gedda and took him as a pupil, at the beginning without payment, because Gedda was at the time supporting his parents. After a few months he obtained a scholarship and was later able to pay for Öhman's singing lessons.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Another Marriage of Figaro? Really?

Do we need another Le Nozze di Figaro? Well, I do. It's my favorite opera. And Luca Pisaroni as Figaro makes any Nozze a don't-miss performance! In honor of his recent San Francisco appearance (and in lieu of a recording of those performances), here he is. There are some other singers and a conductor, too. 

Figaro – Luca Pisaroni
Susanna – Rosemary Joshua
Il Conte Almaviva – Pietro Spagnoli
La Contessa Almaviva – Annette Dasch
Cherubino – Angelica Kirchschlager
Marcellina – Sophie Pondjiclis
Antonio – Alessandro Svab
Bartolo – Antonio Abete
Don Basilio – Enrico Facini
Barbarina – Pauline Courtin
Don Curzio – Serge Goubioud
Conductor  Rene Jacobs

Monday, July 6, 2015

Benjamin Appl: Life as a Singer (BBC Interview)

German baritone Benjamin Appl didn't just suddenly appear on the music scene (Barihunks® has been following him for a bit), but he's new on my horizon. I am borderline obsessed with his recent Schwarzenberg Schubert recital (still available from Ö1 Radio for a few more days). 

Although still young, Benjamin has been busy, studying and performing in Europe, the UK, and the United States.  He is a BBC New Generation Artist; and during the 2015/16 season he also will be an ECHO Rising Stars artist, appearing in recital at the major venues throughout Europe. A few of his recital performances can be found on YT (stay tuned); and I am on the lookout for a recording of his recent Wigmore performance (broadcast on BBC Radio 3 a few months ago), and any others that may be out there. 

Here is Herr Appl's recent interview with the BBC:

Friday, July 3, 2015

More Vocal Delights on Ö1 Radio

More programs from Ö1, archived for seven days after the (first broadcast).

Helen Donath 75th Birthday Retrospective on Stimmen Hören (July 2)

Vintage Thomas Hampson (Samuel Ramey, Gregory Kunde, Denyce Graces, and June Anderson) in a 1993 EMI recording of Thomas' Hamlet (30 June)

Obscure Bizet on Apropos Musik: Beyond Carmen (30 June)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Lieder Board - Recitals from Schwarzenberg and Schwetzingen

Benjamin Appl, Baritone
On Austrian Radio Ö1 from Schwarzenberg – available for 7 days after the (first broadcast):
Diana Damrau (June 29)
**Benjamin Appl (July 1)

And later this summer:
Luca Pisaroni (August 26)

The Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele – archived for about a year (and you can also herunterlauden (download) many of them):
Christiane Karg (All Baroque – not Lieder, per se)
Philippe Jaroussky (from 2014)

Of course, in Schwetzingen, there's lots more than lieder. They have choral music, solo instrumental recitals, and chamber music programs, too.  
Here is the full 2015 archive list.

**Update 7/3/15 - I was just starting to think I really wasn't into Lieder anymore. But after listening to Herr Appl's recital twice and a half, I am totally back in! Don't miss this programme!

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