Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Rush to Judgement – A Reflection Sparked by 2018 Bayreuth

An excerpt from the latest Bayreuth Lohengrin provoked critical comments from opera fans. We know there are many who are willing to criticize a production sight-unseen. Others will reserve judgement till they at least see photos or maybe a 5-minute video.

My readers know by now that I will argue that it’s not fair to pass judgement on a performance without seeing/hearing/experiencing the whole thing.

With most "non-traditional" stagings, it's very hard to grasp a production from excerpts. (Granted, this Lohengrin bit is a nice long excerpt.) Neuenfels' Lohengrin just seems gimmicky if you only see one scene, aria, or chorus; but it made sense (to me) once I watched it through. Decker's Traviata (like it or not) makes a lot more sense when you see it from start to finish, rather than just the Brindisi. And, (one of my unsung—so to speak—favorites) Richard Jones' Boheme from Bregenz (2002) kind of weirded me out until I saw the whole thing.

All we are saying is, “Give (the) Piece a Chance.”

P.S. At this moment, while writing about Lohengrin, I'm listening to a stream of Die Meistersinger, and experiencing what my granddaughter would call "cognitive dissonance" (even though I am pretty certain she's not quite sure what cognitive dissonance means!)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

James Jordan’s Afternoon Delight – Parterre Saturday Webcasts

Those of us who feel lost in the summer without our Saturday Met broadcasts, look no further. Parterre Saturday Afternoon (now playing its ninth show as I type) offers rare/historical/interesting/beautiful (choose all that apply) performances streamed in real time from Parterre Box Presents La Cieca blog site and on YouTube as operazine

Even better, the streams remain on YouTube for future listening. I just caught up with the stream from last week featuring Beverly Sills singing Mozart and Strauss.

Today, in between acts of Gounod’s Faust (an opera I rarely seek out, but always love when I come across it), James offers a two-part interview with tenor Michael Fabiano. James is a font of operatic knowledge to begin with. And Parterre's followers offer humorous and informative thoughts, opinions, gossip, and trivia in the comments sections.

If you're looking for me next Saturday, I'll be at my computer (or on my phone) lisetning to Parterre Saturday Afternoon! Bravo James!! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NYC Opera Seeking Transgender Singer

I have so many things to write about: four Hoffmann productions; a Lucia di Lammermoor; a Flying Dutchman; the new La Clemenza di Tito audio recordingBut this item needs immediate attention and requires no commentary from me. New York City Opera seeks a transgender singer to create a role in a new opera. 

About Stonewall

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the event, Stonewall is a moving and explosive new American opera that captures the rage, grit, humor and, finally, hope of the LGBTQ community’s uprising in a Greenwich Village dance club on one hot night in June 1969. The work follows a diverse group of characters whose lives collide at that pivotal moment in history when the police push them too far and they find the courage to fight back.
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