Monday, March 31, 2014

Royal Opera House 2014-15 season

The Royal Opera House has announced its 2014-15 season with many of the great stars attached to sing at the theater. Jonas Kaufmann, Annetrebko, Placido Domingo, Nina Stemme, Vittorio Girgolo, Bryn Terfel, Anne Sophe Von Otter, Kristine Opolais, Mariusz Kwiecien. Dimitri Hvorostovsky, and Rolando Villazon. 
Compete List of Operas
Autumn Season
Anna Nicole
Mark-Anthony Turnage
Dir: Richard Jones
Cond: Antonio Pappano
A tale of sex, celebrity and scandal: Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera explores the dramatic life and death of Anna Nicole Smith.
  • Anna Nicole – Eva-Maria Westbroek
  • Virgie – Susan Bickley
  • The Lawyer Stern – Rodney Gilfry
  • Old Man Marshall – Alan Oke
  • Blossom – Allison Cook
  • Doctor – Andrew Rees
  • Larry King – Peter Hoare
  • Aunt Kay – Rebecca de Pont Davies
  • Billy – Grant Doyle
  • Mayor – Wynne Evans
  • Donald – Jeremy White
  • Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
11 | 16 | 18 | 20 | 24 September at 7.30pm; 13 September at 7pm

Giuseppe Verdi
Dir: David McVicar
Cond: Maurizio Benini (except 6 Oct) / Paul Griffiths (6 Oct)
Corruption and innocence collide in Verdi’s remarkable opera. David McVicar’s staging emphasizes the depravity at the heart of the court of Mantua.
  • Duke of Mantua – Saimir Pirgu (12, 15, 20 mat, 23, 27, 30 Sept; 3, 6 Oct) / Piero Pretti (17, 21 mat Sept)
  • Rigoletto – Simon Keenlyside (12, 15, 20 mat, 23, 27, 30 Sept; 3, 6 Oct) / Dimitri Platanias (17, 21 mat Sept)
  • Gilda – Aleksandra Kurzak (12, 15, 20 mat, 23, 27, 30 Sept; 3, 6 Oct) / Eri Nakamura (17, 21 mat Sept)
  • Sparafucile – Brindley Sherratt (12, 15, 20 mat, 23, 27, 30 Sept; 3, 6 Oct) / Alexander Tsymbalyuk (17, 21 mat Sept)
  • Maddalena – Justina Gringyte (12, 15, 20 mat, 23, 27, 30 Sept; 3, 6 Oct) / Nadezhda Karyazina §
  • Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
12 | 15 | 17† | 23 | 30 September at 7.30pm; 20 September at 12.30pm; 21 September at 2pm; 27 September at 7pm
3** | 6 October at 7.30pm
§ Jette Parker Young Artist
† BP Big Screen Live Relay
**Sign-language interpreted

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Royal Opera House Cinema 2014-15 Schedule Leaked

Yesterday the cinema schedule for the Royal Opera was leaked. The link was immediately taken down but the schedule is as follows: 
The official program of the Live Cinema Season 2014/15

Thursday 16 October 2014 [7:15pm]
The Royal Ballet

MacMillan: MANON (live)

Cast tbc

Monday 27 October 2014 [7:15pm]
The Royal Opera

Verdi : I DUE FOSCARI (live)

New Production
Plácido Domingo / Francesco Meli / Conductor: Antonio Pappano

Wednesday 26 November 2014 [7:15pm]
The Royal Opera

Donizetti: L’ELISIR D’AMORE (live)

Vittorio Grigolo / Lucy Crowe / Bryn Terfel / Conductor: Daniele Rustioni

Tuesday 16 December 2014 [7:15pm]
The Royal Ballet


Cast tbc

Thursday 29 January 2015 [7:15pm]
The Royal Opera

Giordano: ANDREA CHÉNIER (live)

New Production
Jonas Kaufmann / Eva-Maria Westbroek / Conductor: Antonio Pappano

Tuesday 24 February 2015 [7:15pm]
The Royal Opera


Bryn Terfel / Conductor: Andris Nelsons

Tuesday 17 March 2015 [7:15pm]
The Royal Ballet

Petipa: SWAN LAKE (live)

Cast tbc

Wednesday 1 April 2015 [7:15pm]
The Royal Opera


Anne Sofie von Otter / Willard White / Christine Rice
Conductor: Mark Wigglesworth

Tuesday 5 May 2015 [7:15pm]
The Royal Ballet

Ashton: LA FILLE MAL GARDÉE (live)

Cast tbc

Wednesday 10 June 2015 [7:15pm]
The Royal Opera

Puccini: LA BOHÈME (live)

Anna Netrebko / Joseph Calleja / Conductor: Dan Ettinger

Sunday 5 July 2015 [2:45pm]
The Royal Opera

Rossini: GUILLAUME TELL (live)

Gerald Finley / John Osborn / Conductor: Antonio Pappano

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Andrea Chenier Review

Umberto Giordano's "Andrea Chenier" is a major part of the operatic canon, but has rarely been performed regularly at the Metropolitan Opera. The last time Met audiences got a chance to see the verismo masterpiece was in 2007 when American tenor Ben Heppner took on the title role. For the revival on Monday, March 24, Argentinean tenor Marcelo Alvarez took on the work's eponymous character with Patricia Racette and Zeljko Lucic filling out the cast.
The production Nicolas Joel debuted back in 1996 and despite being inherently traditional in its trappings, remains modern in its intelligent use of space. "Chenier" does not really lend itself to a modern update or transposition of the action to a different locale of time period. The French Revolution is not simply mentioned in a few passing statements, but dominates the action of the work from the start to the finish. Continue Reading 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vienna State Opera 2014-15 season Features Anna Netrebko, Juan Diego Florez and Angela Gheorghiu

After a number hours in which the Vienna State Opera's website crashed, I finally have a list of works which will be performed this year. The reason for slow connection was because the company announced the season and puts all tickets on sale immediately. 

The upcoming season will see 223 staged opera performance and will include six new productions listed below: 
  • The Tempest (Austrian premiere) 14 June 2015 c: Thomas Ades, d: Robert Lepage, with Adrian Eröd, Audrey Luna, Stephanie Houtzeel, David Daniels

    • Idomeneo 5 October 2014 c: Christoph Eschenbach, d: Kasper Holten, with Michael Schade, Margarita Gritskova, Maria Bengtsson, Chen Reiss 
    • Khovanshchina 15 November 2014 c: Semyon Bychkov, d: Lev Dodin, with Ferruccio Furlanetto, Christopher Ventris, Herbert Lippert, Andrzej Dobber, Ain Anger, Elisabeth Kulman, Norbert Ernst
    • Rigoletto 20 December 2014 c: Franz Welser-Möst, d: Pierre Audi, with Piotr Beczala, Simon Keenlyside, Valentina Nafornită, Elena Maximova 
    • Elektra 29 March 2015 c: Franz Welser-Möst, d: Uwe Eric Laufenberg, with Anna Larsson, Nina Stemme, Anne Schwanewilms, Falk Struckman 
    • Don Pasquale 26April 2015 c: Jesús López-Cobos, d: Irina Brook, 
 with Michele Pertusi, Juan Diego Flórez, Alessio Arduini, Valentina Nafornită

    The company will see the return of a number of stars including Juan Diego Florez in L'Elisir d'Amore and La Cenerentola, Placido Domingo and Maria Guleghina in Nabucco, Anna Netrebko in Anna Bolena and Angela Gheorghiu in Werther. Kristine Opolais and Piotr Beczala will perform Rusalka while Olga Peretyatko will bring her acclaimed Elvira in I Puritani. Another highlight will be Aleksandrs Antonenko in Tosca and Pique Dame. Elina Garanca will bring her acclaimed Octavian to Der Rosenkavalier while Ramon Vargas will sing Don Carlos, Werther, and Simon Boccanegra. Nina Stemme will also return as Minnie in La Fanciulla del West. For more Click Here 

    Monday, March 24, 2014

    Kaufmann tries out Otello

    As everyone already knows Jonas Kaufmann and Renee Fleming performed a concert together to great success. Here is a clip of the Otello duet which saw Kaufmann perform it for the first time.

    Andrea Chenier Opens Tonight

    Andrea Chénier Returns

    Giordano's masterpiece opens at the Metropolitan Opera with Marcelo Alvarez in the title role, Patricia Racette as Maddalena and Zeljko Lucic as Gerard. The production by Nicolas Joel will be conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. The opera will be livestreamed on the Met website and on Sirius. Tell us what you think of the performance!  

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    Netrebko To Sing La Boheme At ROH?

    It looks like Anna Netrebko will bring her acclaimed Mimi to the Royal Opera House. Intermezzo reveals that Jennifer Rowley will join the Russian Diva as Musetta. How true this information is yet to be confirmed. The season is supposed to be announced at the end of the month.

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

    Notable DVD and CD Releases for the Month of March and April

    The next two  months will see the releases of many great artists including a number of Jonas Kaufmann releases.

    The final part of the ring cycle "Gotterdammerung" from La Scala will be released. Lance Ryan, Irene Theorin, Mikail Peterenko and Waltraud Meirer star in this production which was conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The DVD comes out a few months after the release of the first three operas. It is unknown if Arthaus will release a box set.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Gheorghiu Replaces Netrebko

    Angela Gheorghiu will replace Anna Netrebko in Baden Baden in the new production of Gounod's Faust. The soprano known for cancelling ironically has been on the rescue mission as of later. She recently  savid the day when Harteros pulled out of a high profile concert last month. Now Gheorghiu's Marguerite replaces Netrebko's in both Hamburg andBaden Baden.
    Netrebko was to have sung the role in four theaters but decided to leave the production because she did not feel her voice suited it anymore.
    Netrebko will instead give a concert in Baden-Baden with arias from Macbeth, Trovatore, Manon Lescaut, Adriana Lecouvreur, etc., on Tuesday, 10th (June). Faust-ticketholders wil be allowed to buy discounted tickets for that concert, but the Faust-tickets can't be returned.

     The Baden Baden production will be directed by Bartlett Sher and will also star Erwin Schrott and Charles Castronovo.  

    Diana Damrau Conducts

    After Having Surprised Audiences with Cartwheels at the La Sonnambula, the soprano Diana Damrau continued her antics at a Carnegie Hall Concert. She conducted the Vienna Philharmonic.

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    Royal Opera House Rumors

    The Royal Opera House is taking a while to announce their season but there are some things that are rumored for next season. 
    Mariusz Kwiecien  has already announced on his website that he will be joined by Saimir Pirgu in Steffen Aarfing's production of Szymanowski's King Roger in June of 2015.
    Meanwhile Dmitri Platanias will sing the title role of Nabucco, which will be revived for the first time since the new production premiered. The Royal Opera will also stage Andrea Chenier  with Jonas KaufmannEva-Maria Westbroek and Željko Lucic. The production will most likely be featured in the Live in Cinemas series. 
    Another big opera will be Verdi's I Due Foscari. The production will star Maria Agresta as Lucrezia and Placido Domingo who will also perform Simon Boccanegra. Once again these are all rumors and things can change by the time the company announces the season. 

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Werther Final Scene

    The Met has posted the final scene for Massenet's Werther. After a glitch that occurred in movie theaters the company decided to release the material to compensate audiences. 

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

    La Sonnambula Review

    Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Sonnambula at the Met. While I hated the production and was utterly confused throughout the night, Diana Damrau was incredible and Javier Camarena was a break out.

    Here is a snippet of my review. For the full review you'll have to click on the link below. Enjoy!

    Opera is often considered the ultimate art form in which all other forms come together to create a potent whole. It is often unrealistic to expect the wholes to come together in perfect harmony every single time an opera is staged and often times the transcendence of certain elements is more than enough to make up for other subpar qualities in a performance. This is precisely what happened on Friday March 14 when the Met Opera revived Bellini's "La Sonnambula" for the first time since 2009.
    The first major touchstone of Friday's performance was soprano Diana Damrau, who was making her role debut as Amina. Damrau is one the finest artists in the opera world today and always seems to maintain a wondrous balance between her vocal dynamism and her terrific acting ability. Click Here For the full Review

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Jonas Kaufmann signing

      Today at the Met Opera shop Jonas Kaufmann signed CDs and DVDs for his fans. The tenor however requested that he did not want pictures taken. The signing was one of the busiest in years with more than 200 people in attendance. The lineup went all the way to the subway but fans waited patiently to meet the tenor. However here are some pictures of the event. 

    There is more at our facebook page if you click here

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    No Thomas Hampson Tonight

    Daniel Sutin will sing the title role in tonight’s performance of Berg’s Wozzeck, replacing Thomas Hampson, who is recovering from bronchitis.”  This is the second performance that Hampson cancels as he missed opening where Matthias Goerne filled in. 

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    Deutsche Oper Berlin 2014-15 Season with Rolando Villazon headlining

    The Deutsche Oper Berlin has announced its 2014-15 season. The season will feature a number of great stars including Rolando Villazon in Don Carlo, Elina Garanca in Der Rosenkavalier, and Lyudmila Monastyrka takes on Abigaille. There will be a Lohengrin with Klaus Florian Vogt, Anja Harteros, and Waltraud Meier. Harteros will also be in  Tosca and a single concert Ariadne auf Naxos
     The premieres are:
    • Oresteia by Xenakis - in the Deutsche Oper car park
    • The Rape of Lucretia - c.Nicholas Carter d. Fiona Shaw - the Glyndebourne production will be shown in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele
    • Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk  c.Donald Runnicles d.Ole Anders Tandberg, with Evelyn Herlitzius and Sir John Tomlinson
    • La rondine c. Roberto Rizzi Brignoli d. Rolando Villazon 
    • Roméo et Juliette c. Donald Runnicles d.Sasha Waltz
    • Faust c. Marco Armiliato d.Philipp Stölzl, with Teodor Ilincai, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Krassimira Stoyanova

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    Maria Stuarda coming to DVD

    So its finally coming after months of waiting. Erato has finally announced that it will release the acclaimed production of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda. The release comes as no surprise as the company has been consistent in release Joyce Didonato's performances from all over the world including the Met.  This production was one of the highlights of last years season and it also stars Matthew Polenzani and Elza Van Den Heever. Maurizio Benini conducted David McVicar's production.  

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Thomas Hampson Cancels Wozzeck

    The Met is reporting that : “Matthias Goerne is stepping into the title role in tonight’s opening night performance of Berg’s Wozzeck, replacing Thomas Hampson, who has withdrawn due to illness.” 

    They also reported that “The Met approached Goerne, who was in New York performing at Carnegie Hall, yesterday evening when the company’s artistic staff learned of Hampson’s withdrawal. Goerne sang a solo recital at Carnegie Hall and then considered the offer overnight before agreeing. He is currently en route to the Met where he will rehearse with Maestro James Levine and the company’s staff directors. In a serendipitous twist, Goerne attended Monday morning’s dress rehearsal of Wozzeckas a guest, allowing him a chance to see the production in advance.”

    Bayerische Staatsoper 2014-15 Season

    The Bavarian State Opera have announced their 2014-15 season with six new productions and a numbr of a list singers. The following are the new productions:  
    • Věc Makropulos - Conductor: Tomáš Hanus  Production: Árpád Schilling with Nadja Michael in the title role. 
    • Manon Lescaut - Conductor: Alain Altinoglu Production: Hans Neuenfels - Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann
    • Lucia di Lammermoor - Conductor: Kirill Petrenko  Production: Barbara Wysocka - Diana Damrau and Pavol Breslik head the  cast
    • Lulu - Conductor: Kirill Petrenko  Production: Dmitri Tcherniakov - Marlis Peterson and Bo Skovhus 
    • Pelléas et Mélisande (festival) - Conductor: Constantinos Carydis  Production:Christiane Pohle 
    • Arabella (festival) - Conductor: Philippe Jordan  Production: Andreas Dresen - Anja Harteros and Thomas Mayer star.
    Other highlights in the season include the Kriegenburg Ring cycles which will be conducted by  conducted by Kirill Petrenko and stars Evelyn Herlitzius, Stuart Skelton, Stephen Gould and Anja Kampe.
    Harteros will sing revivals of Tosca, Il trovatore, Don Carlo and La forza del destino. The latter is with Jonas Kaufmann.
    Rolando Villazon will also return to L' Contes d'Hoffman.
     Kristine Opolais tackles Eugene Onegin, with Mariusz Kwiecen in the title role. Opolais will also perform La Clemenza di Tito and Madama Butterfly. Irene Theorin and Evelyn Herlitzius share the title role in  Elektra.
    The legendary Edita Gruberova will return for  Roberto Devereux and Don Carlo will also feature Rene Pape, Ramon Vargas and Simon Keenlyside. Tristan und Isolde will be conducted by Philippe Jordan, features Pape with Waltraud Meier and Peter Seiffert.

    Tell us what your most excited about!

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    Kaufmann Cancels Werther

    Jean-François Borras will make his Met debut in the title role of Massenet’s Werther at this evening’s performance, replacing Jonas Kaufmann, who is ill.

    Werther Review Link

    Jonas Kaufmann and Sophie Koch in

    Transcendent Genius. Those are among the best words to describe what transpired on the Metropolitan Opera stage of Friday, Feb. 28. From the stage production to the cast members, to the orchestra, to even the audience members, the performance of Massenet's masterpiece "Werther" was a communal experience of visceral intensity and immediacy.
    The work has not had an auspicious career at the noted opera house. Friday's performance was just the 78th time the opera had been performed at the house; the last time the Met put up a performance of the work prior to this run was in 2003-04. The revival of the work required a new production and for this year's run, Met general manager Peter Gelb turned to director Richard Eyre to inject "Werther" with new life. Eyre previously directed the Met's current "Carmen" production; his take on the work is rather "conservative" by modern standards but is extremely focused on character development and includes some subtle metaphors and symbols to enrich the work. It is this approach that he takes for his "Werther" and the execution of the work is spot-on. Continue Reading