Sunday, 1 April 2012

Verdi - Ernani. MET, 2012. Hvorostovsky, Furlanetto, Meade

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In his role debut, the Siberian baritone smouldered from the off and was in imperious voice. The role lies quite high in the baritone range, but Hvorostovsky made light of the vocal challenges; ‘Lo vedremo, veglio audace’ was excellent, followed by a refined, cultured tone for ‘Vieni meco sol di rose’, never pushing the voice too hard, but singing tenderly for the most part. But it was the grand scena at Charlemange’s tomb which found Hvorostovsky at his finest, ‘Oh, de’ verd’anni miei’ sung with leonine strength and displaying his legendary long-breathed phrasing before leading the closing ensemble, ‘O sommo Carlo’. 

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Strauss - Ariadne auf Naxos. Fleming, cond. Thielemann 2012 Baden-Baden

Renee Fleming Shuns Casino, Sings ‘Ariadne’ in German Town - Bloomberg
“At this stage in my career, I don’t have to take any big risks,” Fleming says. “You want to take a calculated risk, not one that leads to people saying ‘yes, but there was that one time when she made that big mistake,’” she laughs. “It’s always a shame when that happens, especially if you’ve gotten by for decades without anything hugely tragic. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

Tchaikovsky - Iolanta 2012 (c Currentzis Scherbachenko Markov Cernoch Ulianov) Madrid

2 Composers and 2 Heroines, Collectively Moving Toward an Operatic Light -
From his eloquent shaping of the hymn-like music at the start of “Iolanta,” Teodor Currentzis proved a strong asset in the pit, and the Teatro Real’s chorus and orchestra responded handsomely. It was a miscalculation, however, to interpolate into “Iolanta” several minutes of chant-like music from Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which slowed momentum in the denouement to a crawl. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Don Pasquale at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées

 Opera Today : Don Pasquale at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées 
By Frank Cadenhead
The director, Denis Podalydès, a regular at the Comédie-Française, here stages his second opera and the characters had carefully defined roles but he stuck with the traditional path of “opera buffa” with its broad gestures and overwrought emotions./.../