Saturday, February 20, 2010

Live Offerings - Saturday, February 20, 2009

Many European stations are carrying the Met broadcast of Ariadne auf Naxos this week, so there a re fewer offerings than usual this week....

  • France Musique - From Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, a January 30th performance of Rossini's La Cenerentola, with Antonino Siragusa, Stéphane Degout, Pietro Spagnoli,
  • Carla Di Censo, Nidia Palacios, Vivica Genaux and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo.
  • Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (on numerous stations) - Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, with Nina Stemme, Kathleen Kim, Sarah Connolly, Lance Ryan, Jochen Schmeckenbecher, Anne-Carolyn Bird, (Tamara Mumford, Erin Morley, Tony Stevenson, Sean Panikkar, Mark Schowalter and Markus Werba, conducted by Kirill Petrenko.
  • KBIA2 & WDAV - NPR World of Opera: From Houston Grand Opera, Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Olga Guryakova, Marco Berti, Patrick Carfizzi, Raymond Aceto, Ryan McKinny, Maria Markina and Beau Gibson, conducted by Patrick Summers.
  • Espace 2 - From the Vienna State Opera, a December 14, 2009 performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, with Robert Dean Smith, Violetta Urmana, Yvonne Naef, Bo Skovhus, Franz Josef Selig, Clemens Unterreiner, Peter Jelosits, Wolfgang Bankl and Gergely Nemethy, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
  • Klara - From the Barbican Hall in London, a concert performance of Martinu's Julietta, with Magdalena Kozena, William Burden, Michel Andreas Jäggi, Rosalind Plowright, Zdenek Plech, Anna Stéphany, Jean Rigby, Frederic Goncalves and Roderick Williams, conducted by Jiri Belohlavek.
  • And later on this evening:
  • WFMT - Live from Chicago Lyric Opera, Opening Night of Berlioz' Damnation of Faust, with Paul Groves, Susan Graham, John Relyea and Christian Van Horn, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) & Concert FM (New Zealand) - From the Metropolitan Opera, Verdi's Stiffelio, with José Cura, Julianna Di Giacomo, Andrzej Dobber, Michael Fabiano, Phillip Ens, Jennifer Check and Diego Torre, conducted by Plácido Domingo.

Happy listening

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Live Offerings, Saturday, October 17, 2009

Several interesting offerings this afternoon, in particular:

  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From San Francisco Opera, Verdi's La Traviata, with Anna Netrebko, Charles Castronovo and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • BBC Radio 3 - From Covent Garden, Verdi's Don Carlo, with Jonas Kaufmann, Simon Keenlyside, Marina Poplavskaya, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Marianne Cornetti and John Tomlinson, conducted by Semyon Bychkov.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur & DR P2: From the 2009 Glyndebourne Festival, Dvorak's Russalka, with Ana Maria Martinez, Brandon Jovanovich, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Mischa Schelomianski and Larissa Diadkova, conducted by Jirí Belohlávek.
  • Klara - From the Vienna State Opera, a June performance of Gounod's Faust, with Piotr Beczala, Kwangchul Youn, Boaz Daniel and Soile Isokoski, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From Geneva's Grand Theatre, Berlioz's Damnation of Faust, with Elena Garancia and Paul Groves, conducted by John Nelson.
  • Sveriges P2 - The historic 1947 Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with Jussi Björling, Bidú Sayão, Nicola Moscona, John Brownlee, Thomas Hayward and Mimi Benzell, conducted by Emil Cooper.
  • NPR World of Opera - Yet another chance to hear the Washington National Opera performance of Handel's Tamerlano, with Placido Domingo, David Daniels, Sarah Coburn, Patricia Bardon, Claudio Huckle and Andrew Foster Williams, conducted by William Lacey.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Live Offerings, Saturday, October 10, 2009

The big news in radio in these parts has been the conversion of WQXR here in New York City - this week WQXR, which had previously been a commercial station owned by the New York Times, became a public radio station, owned and managed by WNYC. We were curious what would happen to their Saturday afternoon opera programming. In the coming weeks (before the start of the MEt season) they will be picking up the WFMT series, but first they will be inaugurating their new regime with this past summer's Bayreuth Festival Meistersinger.

Here's the rest of the live lineup:

  • BBC Radio 3 - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia, with Pietro Spagnoli, Juan Diego Florez, Joyce DiDonato, Alessandro Corbelli, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Jennifer Rhys-Davies, Changhn Lim, Bryan Secombe, Christopher Lachner, conducted by Antonio Pappano. On the opening night of this run, Di Donato fell and broke her leg but soldiered on to finish the performance. She performed the rest of the run in a wheelchair. Read her own account of the whole experience in her blog.
  • CBC Two - From Chicago Lyric Opera, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Patricia Racette, Frank Lopardo, James Westman and Katherine Goeldner, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From the Festivalul George Enescu at Opera Nationala in Bukarest, an August 30 performance of Enescu's Oedipe, with Mihai Lazar, Oana Andra, Franck Ferrari, Crina Zancu, Ionut Pascu, Horia Sandu, Vicentiu Taranu, Adriana Alexandru, Pompeiu Harasteanu, Valentin Racoveanu and Ecaterina Tutu, conducted by Oleg Caetani.
  • DR P2 & Klara - From the 2009 Rossini Festival in Pesaro, an August 9 performance of Rossini's Zelmira, with Kate Aldrich, Marianna Pizzolato, Alex Esposito, Juan Diego Flórez and Mirco Palazzi, conducted by Roberto Abbado.
  • Espace Musique & Latvia Klasika Radio - From Chorégies d’Orange 2009, Verdi's La Traviata, with Patrizia Ciofi, Laura Brioli, Christine Labadens, Vittorio Grigolo, Marzio Giossi, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Jean-Marie Delpas, Armando Noguera and Nicolas Courjat, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.
  • KBYU - From Utah Opera, a 2008 performance of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Barbara Shirvis, Scott Piper, Jon Kolbet, Andrew Oakden, Kirsten Gunlogson, Brent Turner, Dominick Chenes, Tyler Oliphant, Christopher Clayton and Rachel Willis-Sørensen, conducted by Joseph Mechavich.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana - From Teatro Real de Madrid, Berg's Lulu, with A. Eichenholz, J. Larmore, H. Shipp, G. Siegel, R. González, I. Mentxaka and M. J. Suárez, conducted by E. Inbal.
  • WETA - From Washington National Opera, Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, with Renee Fleming, Vittorio Grigolo, Kate Aldrich, Ruggero Raimondi, Oleksandr Pushniak, Girgory Soloviov, Jose Ortega, Yingxi Zhang and David B. Morris, conducted by Placido Domingo.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From San Francisco Opera, Puccini's Tosca, with Adrianne Pieczonka, Carlo Ventre, Lado Ataneli, Jordan Bisch, Dale Travis, Matthew O’Neill, Austin Kness and Kenneth Kellogg, conducted by Marco Armiliato.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Drottningholm Court Theatre, Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, with Ingelina Bohlin, Charlotte Hellekand, Matilda Paulsson, Christopher Ainslie, Lars Arvidson and Malin Christensson, conducted by Mark Tatlow.
  • XLNC1 - From San Francisco Opera, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, with Joyce DiDonato, Soile Isokoski, Miah Persson, Kristinn Sigmundsson, Jochen Schmeckenbecher and Robert McPherson, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • Dwojke Polskie Radio - From Netherlands Opera, Cavalli's Ercole amante, with Veronica Cangemi, Anna Bonitatibus, Anna Maria Panzarella, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Johannette Zomer, Mark Tucker, Jeremy Ovenden, Luca Pisaroni and Umberto Chiummo, conducted by Ivor Bolton.
  • Bartok Radio - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, an historic broadcast of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini, with Douglas Robinson, Nicolai Gedda, Jules Bastin, Robert Massard, Roger Soyer, Derek Blackwell, Robert Lloyd, Raimund Herincx, Hugues Cuénod, Christiane Eda-Pierre, Jane Berbié and Janine Reiss, conducted by Colin Davis.
  • France Musique - From La Scala in Milan, a July 6 performance of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with David Daniels, Rosemary Joshua, Daniel Okulitch, Natasha Petrinsky, Gordon Gietz, David Adam Moore, Deanne Meek, Erin Wall, Matthew Rose, Andrew Shore, Christopher Gillett, Graeme Dandy, Adrian Thompson and Simon Butteriss, conducted by Andrew Davis.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - An historic Metropolitan Opera broadcast: from February 21, 1959, Verdi's Macbeth, with Leonie Rysanek, Leonard Warren, Carlo Bergonzi, Jerome Hines, William Olvis, Carlotta Ordassy, Harold Sternberg, Gerhard Pechner and Osie Hawkins, conducted by Erich Leinsdorf.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, a May 23, 2008 performance of Rossini's Tancredi, with Bernarda Fink, Rosemary Joshua, Lawrence Brownlee, Anna Chierichetti, Federico Sacchi and Elena Belfiore, conducted by René Jacobs.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From Kungliga Operan in Stockholm, Handel's Xerxes, with Katarina Karnéus, Matilda Paulsson, Katarina Leoson, Malin Byström, Ailish Tynan, Lars Arvidson and Mark Stone, conducted by Andreas Stoehr.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - Auber's Fra Diavolo, Sumi Jo, Doris Lamprecht, Kenneth Tarver, Marc Molomo, Antonio Figueroa, Vincent Pavesi, Thomas Dolié and Thomas Morris, conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire.
  • Espace 2 & Radio Slovenia Tretji - From l'Opéra National de Paris, a February 21 performance of Gounod's Mireille, with Inva Mula, Charles Castronovo, Franck Ferrari, Sylvie Brunet, Alain Vernhes, Nicolas Cavallier, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Amel Brahim Djelloul, Sébastien Droy and Ugo Rabec, conducted by Marc Minkowski.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From the 2009 Glyndeboune Festival, Dvorák's Russalka, with Mischa Schelomianski, Ana Maria Martinez,, Larissa Diadkova, Brandon Jovanovich, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Natasha Jouhl, Barbara Senator, Elodie Mechain, Alasdair Elliott, Diana Axentii, Alasdair Elliott, conducted by Jirì Belohlàvek.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera, on a one week delay: from the Vienna State Opera, Tchaikovsky's Eugen Onegin, with Simon Keenlyside, Tamar Iveri, Ramon Vargas, Ain Anger, Nadia Krasteva and Aura Twarowska, conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - From the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Haydn's Orlando Paladino, with Pietro Spagnoli, Marcel Reijans, Kenneth Tarver, Peter Gijsbertsen, Laura Cherici, Nikolay Borchev, Elena Monti and Martijn Cornet, conducted by Alessandro De Marchi.
  • KING - From San Francisco Opera, Korngold's Die Tode Stadt, with Torsten Kerl, Emily Magee, Lucas Meachem, Katharine Tier, Ji Young Yang, Daniela Mack, Alek Shrader Andrew Bidlack, Bryan Ketron and Ben Bongers, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australaia) - From Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, with Philippe Talbot, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Allyson McHardy, Stéphane Degout, Françoise Masset, Jennifer Holloway, Bruno Calucci, Jaël Azzaretti, François Lis, Jérôme Varnier, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and Aurélia Legay, conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, September 12, 2009

The summer festival season comes to an official end with the Last Night of the Proms - and half of all the radio stations we list seem to be carrying it. But there are a few other items of interest to hear this afternoon: From Pesaro, Rossini's La Scala di Seta with Ann Malavasi, a repeat of this summer's Bayreuth Festival Tristan und Isolde with Robert Dean Smith, and from Dortmund Verdi's I Due Foscari with Francisco Casanova. Here's the complete lineup:
  • Dr P2 - From the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, an August 10 performance of Rossini's La Scala di Seta, with Anna Malavasi, Olga Peretyatko, Paolo Bordogna, Carlo Lepore and José Manuel Zapata, conducted by Claudio Scimone.
  • CBC Two - From the Canadian Opera Company, a February performance of Dvorak's Russalka, with Julie Makerov, Michael Schade, Richard Paul Fink, Irina Mishura and Joni Henson, conducted by John Keenan.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From Schloss Weikersheim, and August 1 performance of Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, with Sebastian Pilgrim, Viktoria Varga, Patrick Ruyters, Dorothee Schlemm, Artur Grywatzik, Camille Butcher, Martin Platz, Gae¨l Mercier and Glenn Desmedt, conducted by Peter Kuhn.
  • Espace Musique - From Festival international d'opéra baroque de Beaune 2009, Handel's Ariodante, with Ann Hallenberg, Karina Gauvin, Maarten Engeltjes, Jaël Azzaretti, Kristian Adam and Sergio Foresti, conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From the 2009 Bayreuth Festival, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
  • Radio 4 Nertherlands - From Netherlands Opera, Halévy's La Juive, with Angeles Blancas Gulin, Dennis O'Neill, John Osborn and Annick Massis, conducted by Carlo Rizzi.
  • WETA - From the Grand Theatre in Geneva, Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, with Marc Laho, Nicolas Cavallier, Stella Doufexis, Patricia Petibon, Rachel Harnisch, Maria Riccarda Wesseling, Francisco Vas, Bernard Deletre, Gilles Cachemaille and Eric Huchet, conducted by Patrick Davin.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From San Francisco Opera, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, with Samuel Ramey, Dimitry Vsevolod Grivnov, John Uhlenhopp, Vladimir Ognovenko, Vitalij Kowaljow, Andrew Bidlack, Ji Young Yang, Jack Gorlin, Catherine Cook, Daveda Karanas, Matthew O’Neill, Nicolai Janitzky, Kenneth Kellogg and Valery Portnov, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Washington National Opera, Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, with Renee Fleming, Vittorio Grigolo, Kate Aldrich, Ruggero Raimondi, Oleksandr Pushniak, Girgory Soloviov, Jose Ortega, Yingxi Zhang and David B. Morris, conducted by Placido Domingo.
  • XLNC1 - From San Francisco Opera, Mozart's Idomeneo, with Kurt Streit, Alice Coote, Genia Kühmeier, Iano Tamar, Alek Shrader, Robert MacNeil, Kenneth Kellogg, Mary Finch, Natasha Ramirez Leland, Chester Pidduck and David Kekuewa, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - Handel's Partenope, with Christine Schäfer, Kurt Streit, David Daniels, Patricia Bardonová, Florian Boesch and Matthias Rexroth, conducted by Christophe Rousset.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From Dortmund, a performance from earlier this summer of Verdi's I Due Foscari, with Renato Bruson, Francisco Casanova, Monan Feubel, Alexander Teliga, Viktor Sawaley and Francisca Devos, conducted by Carlo Montanaro.
  • Bayern 4 Klassik, BBC Radio 3, Catalunya Musica, DR P2, Dwojke Polskie Radio, France Musique, KBYU, Klassikaraadio, KUSC, MDR Figaro, Musiq3, NDR Kultur, Radio Clasica de Espana, Radio Oesterreich International (RAI), Radio Tre (RAI), RBB Kulturradio, RTP Antena 2, Sveriges Radio P2, WCLV, WDR3, WFMT and YLE Klassinen - Last Night of the Proms from the Royal Albert Hall in London, with Sarah Connolly conducted by David Robertson, featuring works by Knussen, Purcell, Haydn, Mahler, Villa-Lobos, Arnold, Ketelby, Gershwin, Piazzola, Handel, Arne, Parry and Elgar.
  • Klara - From the Aix en Provence Festival, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, with Magnus Staveland, Marlis Petersen, Anna-Kristiina Kaapola, Daniel Schmutzhard, Sunhae Im, Marcos Fink, Kurt Azesberger, Inga Kalna, Anna Grevelius, Isabelle Druet, Konstantin Wolff, Joachim Buhrmann, conducted by René Jacobs.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera (on a one-week delay) - From Washington National Opera, Janacek's Jenufa, with Patricia Racette, Catherine Malfitano, Kim Begley, Judith Christin, Raymond Very, Charles Robert Austin, Janice Meyerson, Leslie Mutchler, Elizabeth Andrews Roberts, Jeffrey Wells, Christina Martos and Madgalena Wor.
And later on this evening:
  • WQXR - From the Conceretgebouw, Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - From La Scala, Milan, Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with David Daniels, Rosemary Joshua, Emil Wolk, Daniel Okulitch, Natasha Petrinsky, Gordon Gietz, David Adam Moore, Deanne Meek, Erin Wall, Matthew Rose, Andrew Shore, Christopher Gillett, Graeme Danby, Adrian Thompson and Simon Butteriss, conducted by Andrew Davis.
Happy listening,

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, August 2,, 2009

We are in Geneva, New York, this weekend visting a dear friend and attending two performances of a double bill of Mozart's The Impresario and Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury at the Smith Opera House, a lovely gem of a house in Geneva built in the 1890's and lovingly restored a decade or so ago. It's been lot's of fun so far. We went to the opening night last night. The production is being directed and conducted by Al Bergeret (of NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players fame). Some lovely singing and acting all around.

And now..... Bayreuth beckons. The broadcast of Götterdämmerung has begun and other nice, juicy live offerings are in the offing for later on today: more Wagner, including rebroadcasts of Meistersinger and Rheingold,

  • Dwojke Polski Radio, Radio 4 Netherlands, Radio Clasica de Espana, Bartok RadioCesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From Bayreuth, the final installment of Wagner's Ring, Götterdämmerung is just underway, with Christian Franz, Ralf Lukas, Hans-Peter König, Andrew Shore, Linda Watson, Edith Haller, Christa Mayer, Simone Schröder, Martina Dike, Edith Haller, Christiane Kohl, Ulrike Helzel and Simone Schröder, conducted by Christian Thielemann.
  • MDR Figaro - From Stuttgart, a concert performance of Handel's pastorale, Acis and Galatea, with Christoph Prégardien, Julia Kleiter, Michael Slattery and Wolf Matthias Friedrich, conducted by Nicol Matt.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - Let the rebroadcasts of the Bayreuth Festival begin! Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, with Alan Titus, Artur Korn, Charles Reid, Rainer Zaun, Adrian Eröd, Markus Eiche, Edward Randall, Hans-Jürgen Lazar, Florian Hoffmann,l Martin Snell, Mario Klein, Diógenes Randes, Klaus Florian Vogt, Norbert Ernst, Michaela Kaune, Carola Guber and Friedemann Röhlig, conducted by Sebastian Weigle.
  • CBC TWO - A rebroadcast from Vienna State Opera, of Gounod's Faust, with Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu and Kwangchoul Youn, condcuted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • DR P2 - From Den Jyske Opera in Aarhus, an August 2008 performance of Wagner's Der Fliegende Hollander, with John Lundgren, Majken Bjerno, Sten Byriel, Jens Krogsgaard, Mette Ejsing and David Danholt, conducted by Giordano Bellincampi.
  • Espace Musique & WETA - A rebroadcast from Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, of Berlioz' Béatrice et Bénédict, with Joyce Di Donato, Charles Workman, Jean-François Lapointe, Elodie Méchain, Jean-Philippe Laffont and Nathalie Manfrino, conducted by Sir Colin Davis.
  • KBYU - From Los Angeles Opera, Wagner's Das Rheingold, with Stacey Tappan, Lauren McNeese, Beth Clayton, Gordon Hawkins, Michelle DeYoung, Vitalij Kowaljow, Ellie Dehn, Morris Robinson,; Eric Halfvarson, Beau Gibson, Wayne Tigges, Arnold Bezuyen, Graham Clark and Jill Grove, conducted by James Conlon.
  • RTP Antena 2 - From Budapest, an October 10, 2008 performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, with Tünde Szabócki, Zita Váradi, Thomas Moser, Friedmann Kunder, Attila Fekete, Béla Perencz and Gábor Bretzconducted by Adam Fischer.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - Fron Los Angeles Opera, Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, with Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Anthony Dean Griffey, Robert Wörle, Donnie Ray Albert, John Easterlin, Mel Ulrich, Joe Stevn Humes, Catherine Ireland, Karen Vuong, Rena Harms, Natasha Flores, Sharmay Musacchio, Priti Gandhi, Derek Taylor and Mark Kelley, conducted by James Conlon.
  • XLNC1 - From Los Angeles Opera, Braunfels' The Birds, with Désirée Rancatore, Brandon Javanovich, James Johnson, Stacey Tappan, Martin Gantner, Thrush Valerie Vinzant, Courtney Taylor, Brian Mulligan, Matthew Moore, John Kimberling, Daniel Armstrong, Renee Sousa, Rebecca Tomlinson, Ayana Haviv, Nicole Fernandes, Tara Victoria Smith, Adriana Manfredi, Helene Quintana, Amber Erwin and Jennifer Wallace, conducted by James Conlon.
  • Bayern 4 Klassik, MDR FIgaro, NDR Kultur, RBB Kulturradio & WDR 3 - These German stations are beginning a four week traversal of this year's Bayreuth Ring, starting today with Das Rheingold, and continuing for the next three Saturdays.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Houston Grand Opera, Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen, with Lisa Saffer, Hector Vasquez, Jennifer Root, Ekaterina Gorlova, Fiona Murphy, Meredith F. Flores, Alina Slavik, Jon Kolbet, Allan Lawrence, Maria Markina, Laurie Lester, Rebeka Camm, Albina Shagimuratova, Alicia Gianni, Ryan McKinny, Bradley Garvin, Beau Gibson, Liam Bonner and Tamara Wilson, conducted by Patrick Summers.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) & Concert FM (New Zealand)- A rebroadcast of an April 9th performance from Deutsche Oper Berlin of Respighi's Marie Victoire, with Takesha Meshé Kizart, Markus Brück, German Villar, Stephen Bronk, Jörn Schümann and Simon Pauly, conducted by Michail Jurowski.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - A rebroadcast of a December 3, 2008 performance from opera Bastille in Paris of Werther's Werther, with Rolando Villazon, Susan Graham and Ludovic Tézier, conducted by Kent Nagano.
  • Latvia Klasika Radio - A rebroadcast from Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London of Wagner's Der Fliegende Hollander, with Bryn Terfel,Hand Peter Keonig, Anja Kampe and Torsten Kerls, conducted by Mark Albrecht.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From the Festival della Valle d'Itria, Richard Strauss's revision of Gl;uck's Iphigenie en Tauride (Iphigenie auf Tauris), with Olga Kotlyarova, Liu Song-Hu, Marcello Nardis, Giorgi Turabelidze, Alessandra Gioia, Pietro Lisi and Anna Schiavulli, conducted by Ramon Tebar.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera on a one week delay: From Washington National Opera, Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment, with JiYoung Lee, Jose Bros, Victoria Livengood, Simone Alberghini, Obed Urena, Matthew J. Minor and Madeleine Gray, conducted by Riccardo Frizzi.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) - From Muziektheater in Amsterdam, Cavalli's Ercole amante (Hercules in Love), with Luca Pisaroni, Veronica Cangemi, Anna Bonitatibus, Jeremy Ovenden, Anna Maria Panzarella, Marlin Miller, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Umberto Chiummo, Johanette Zomer, Mark Tucker and Tim Mead, conducted by Ivor Bolton.
  • So far it looks like Bayern 4 Klassik, Bartok Radio and Catalunya Musica will be the only stations carrying tomorrow's Bayreuth Parsifal live, but keep checking our Bayreuth Page, as we will update it if and as we learn more (also the rebroadcast season has begun).
Happy listening,

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, June 20, 2009

Here's today's live lineup:

  • BBC Radio 3 - From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a double bill: Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, with Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, Lucas Meacham, Anita Watson, Sara Fulgoni, Eri Nakamura, Pumeza Matshikiza, Iestyn Davies and Ji-Min Park; and Handel's Acis and Galatea, with Charles Workman, Danielle de Niese, Paul Agnew, Ji-Min Park, Matthew Rose, Juliet Schiemann and Philip Bell, both conducted by Christopher Hogwood.
  • CBC Two - From Vancouver Opera, a May 2009 performance of Strauss's Salome, with Mlada Khudoley, Greer Grimsley, John Mac Master and Judith Forst, conducted by Jonathan Darlington, followed by an interview with Dame Gwyneth Jones.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, a live performance from the Schlosstheater Neues Palais of Haydn's Philemon und Baucis, with Lothar Odinius, Ruth Sandhoff, Ruby Hughes, and Magnus Staveland, conducted by Gary Cooper.
  • DR P2 - From Deutsche Oper and April 9th performance of Respighi's Marie Victoire, with Takesha Meshé, Markus Brück, German Villar and Jaco Huijpen, conducted by Michail Jurowski.
  • Dwojke Polskie Radio & WETA- From Flemish Opera in Antwerp a February 13 performance of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa, with Nikolai Putilin, Mikhail Kit, Leandra Overmann, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Viktor Lutsiuk, Milcho Borovinov and Thorsten Büttner, conducted by Dimitri Jurowski.
  • Espace Musique - From La Scla in Milan, Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with David Daniels, Rosemary Joshua, Emil Wolk, Daniel Okulitch, Natacha Petrinsky, Gordon Gietz, David Adam Moore, Deanne Meek, Erin Wall and Matthew Rose, conducted by Andrew Davis.
  • France Musique - From Opéra de Lyon a January 27 performance of Prokofiev's The Gambler, with Misha Didyk, Kristine Opolais, Alexander Teliga, Marianna Tarasova, Maria Gortsevskaja, Francesco Lorenz and Andrew Schroeder, conducted by Kazushi Ono.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands - From Nationale Reisopera, Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, with Sophie Daneman, Paul Agnew, Eugénie Warnier, Maarten Koningsberger and Frans Fiselier, conducted by Jed Wentz.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana - From la Salle Métropole in Lausanne, a March 8 performance of Handel's Faramondo, with M. Emanuel Cencic, S. Karthäuser, M. de Liso, I. S. Sim, P. Jaroussky, X. Sábata, F. Bettini and J. Ebert, conducted by D. Fasolis.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, with Deborah Voigt, Tristan - Clifton Forbis, Brangäne - Petra Lang, Kurwenal - Jason Stearns and Stephen Milling, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
  • XLNC1 & KING - From Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, with Nicole Cabell, Nathan Gunn, Eric Cutler and Christian Van Horn, conducted by John Mauceri.
  • KUSC - From Los Angeles Opera, Wagner's Die Walküre, with Placido Domingo, Michelle DeYoung, Linda Watson, Vitalij Kowaljow, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Eric Halfvarson, Ellie Dehn, Susan Foster, Melissa Citro, Erica Brookhyser, Margaret Thompson, Buffy Baggott, Jane Gilbert and Ronnita Miller, conducted by James Conlon.
  • Bartok Radio - Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann, with Marc Laho, Patricia Petibon, Maria Riccarda Wesseling, Rachel Harnisch, Stella Doufexis, Nicolas Cavallier, Eric Huchet, Francisco Vas, Gilles Cachemaille, Bernard Deletré, René Schirrer and Nadine Denize, conducted by Patrick Davin.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Berlioz' Beatrice et Benedict, with Joyce di Donato, Charles Workman, Nicolas Cavallier, Nathalie Manfrino, Jean-Francois Lapointe, Jean-Philippe Laffont and Elodie Mechain, conducted by Sir Colin Davis.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From Vienna, a February 8 performance of Bizet's Carmen, with Veselina Kasarova, Jose Cura, Ildebrand d'Archangelo, Geniia Kumeier, conducted by A. Fisher.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From the Vienna State Opera, Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Ildebrando d'Arcangelo, Alexandru Moisiuc, Ricarda Merbeth, Michael Schade, Roxana Briban, Rene Pape, Boaz Daniel and Michaela Seliger, conducted by Constantinos Carydis.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From the Vienna State Opera, a June 18 performance of Strauss's Die schweigsame Frau, with Kurt Rydl, Adrian Eröd, Michael Schade and Jane Archibald, conducted by Peter Schneider.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From Stockholm, Berwald's Drottningen av Golconda, with Carrie Nilsson, Marianne Öhrn, Ingvar Wixell, Erik Sundquist, Uno Ebrelius and Sven-Erik Jacobsson, conducted by Tor Mann.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, with Bryn Terfel, Hans Peter König, Anja Kampe, Torsten Kerl, Clare Shearer and John Tessier, conducted by Marc Albrecht.
  • Espace 2 - From l'Opéra de Lausanne, Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, with Fabio Capitanucci, John Osborn, Sabina Puertolas, Luciano Di Pasquale, Deyan Vatchkov, Isabelle Henriquez, Alexandre Diakoff, Manrico Signorini and Sacha Michon, conducted by Günter
  • Klara - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Rossini's Matilde di Shabran, with Aleksandra Kurzak, Vesselina Karasova, Enkelejda Shkosa, Juan Diego Flores, Alfonso Antoniozzi, Mark Beesley, Marco Vinco, Carlo Lepore, and Bryan Secombe, conducted by Carlo Rizzi.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From Teatro San Carlo in Naples, a March 23 performance of Berlioz' La Damnation de Faust, with José Bros, Sonia Ganassi, Erwin Schrott, Maurizio Lo Piccolo, Bernadette Siano, Loredana Conte and Antonello Cossia, conducted by George Pehlivanian.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera on a one week delay - From Teatro dell'Opera in Rome, Gluck's Iphigenie en Aulis, with Krassimira Stoyanova, Alexey Tikhomirov, Avi Klemberg, Ekaterina Gubanova and Beatriz Diaz, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - From Parco della Musica in Rome, Vivaldi's Orlando furioso, with Romina Basso, Manuela Custer,. Sylva Pozzer, Anna Rita Gemmabella, Jordi Domenech, Xavier Sabata and Lorenzo Regazzo, conducted by Andrea Marcon.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) - From Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Handel's Partenope, with Christine Schäfer, Kurt Streit, David Daniels, Patrica Bardon, Florian Boesch and Matthias Rexroth, conducted by Christophe Rousset.

Happy listening,

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, April 18, 2009 - Part II

If you missed the start of the Met's Matinee Ring Cycle, you can catch it late this evening on Australian Radio (ABC Classic FM) .... Stephen Gould in Peter Grimes looks like a definite listening possibility .... From Radio Oesterreich International, an interesting-looking cast for Damnation of Faust .... Another chance to hear Rolando Villazon in magnificent form in a late March performance of Werther from Opera Bastille .... Here's the the lineup:

  • Espace 2 - From the Grand-Théâtre in Geneva, an April 9th performance of Britten's Peter Grimes, with Stephen Gould, Gabriele Fontana, Peter Sidhom, Carole Wilson, Julianne Gearhart & Laurence Misonne, Elizabeth Sikora, Michael Howard, Clive Bayley, Adrian Thompson, Daniel Belcher, Simon Kirkbride, Luke Clare-Wrigley and Dominique Dupraz, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
  • KBIA2 - NPR World of Opera: from Houston Grand Opera, Donizetti's Don Pasquale, with John Del Carlo, Heidi Stober, Norman Reinhardt and Brian Leerhuber, conducted by Patrick Summers.
  • MDR Figaro - A historic April 9, 1959 broadcast of Handels Poros, with Pietro Metastasio, Günther Leib, Philine Fischer, Margarethe Herzberg, Hellmuth Kaphahn, Werner Enders and Franz Stumpf, conducted by Horst Tanu-Margraf.
  • NRK Klassisk - a rebroadcast of Massenet's Werther from Opera Bastille in Paris, with Rolando Villazon, Susan Graham, Adriana Kucerova, Ludovic Tezier, Christian Jean, and Christian Treguier, conducted by Kent Nagano.
  • Radio Oesterreich International - From Wiener Konzerthaus, an April 2nd concert performance of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust, with Olga Borodina, Ramón Vargas, Ildar Abdrazakov, Ante Jerkunica and Nina Bernsteiner, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From Göteborg Opera, a February 27th performance of Carl Unander-Scharin's Sömnkliniken, with Ann-Christine Larsson, Mats Persson, Karl Rombo, Peter Loguin, Linus Flogell, Susanne Sundberg and Erika Andersson, conducted by Martin Andersson.
  • Klara - From the Vienna State Opera, a performance of Bizet's Carmen, with Vesselina Kasarova, José Cura, Ilderbrando d'Arcangelo, Genia Kühmeier, Janusz Monarcha, Ileana Tonca, Sophie Marilley, Hacik Bayvertian, Clemens Unterreiner and Benedikt Kobel, conducted by Asher Fisch.
  • Latvia Klasika Radio - From Vienna, a September 8, 2008 performance of Verdi's Stiffelio, with José Kura, Hui He and Anthony Michaels-Moore, conducted by Mihaels Halašs.
  • RBB Kulturradio - From Dresden, Handel's oratorio, Jeptha, with Markus Schäfer, Miriam Meyer, Britta Schwarz, Patrick Von Goethem, Gotthold Schwarz, Birte Kulawik, conducted by Matthias Grünert.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera (one week delayed): From Bavarian State Opera, Verdi's Macbeth, with Zeljko Lucic, Nadja Michael, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Dimitri Pittas and Fabrizio Mercurio, conducted by Nicola Luisotti.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - From the Metropolitan Opera in New York, a rebroadcast of Dvorak's Rusalka, with Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Stephanie Blythe, Aleksandrs Antonenko and Kristinn Sigmundsson, conducted by Jirí Belohlávek.
  • ABC CLassic FM (Australia) - From the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the start of the Matinee Ring Cycle, Wagner's Das Rheingold, with James Morris, Charles Taylor, Garrett Sorenson, Kim Begley, Yvonne Naef, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Jill Grove, Richard Paul Fink, Gerhard Siegel, Franz-Josef Selig, John Tomlinson, Lisette Oropesa, Kate Lindsey and Tamara Mumford, conducted by James Levine.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Damnation Redux - Friday, November 14, 2008

Some comments on Sam Shirakawa's squib on the Met's new production of The Damnation of Faust, based on my own observations at Friday evening's performance:

G and I sat near the back of the Family Circle, but off to one side. I was not aware of the whirring of the projectors from the lighting booth above the Family Circle, so I suspect Sam heard the racket because he was sitting closer to the center of the Family Circle. Since Opening Night, the Met may also have worked to dampen the noise.

I agree with Sam about the the two-dimensionality of the production. This was especially obvious in the dance sequences where the dancers all moved laterally to and fro across the stage, but the stretches of stage they had to work with amounted to wider than normal catwalks.

Some of the video effects were striking - one of the more arresting images came late in the second act: as Méphistophélès stalks Faust to seek his signature on the deed, one by one the trees with their fall foliage wither as Méphistophélès advances across the stage towards his quarry - chilling and effective.

As for the singing, Susan Graham was wonderful throughout, perhaps the best I had ever heard her, with warm and plangent tone, long-breathed phrasing and generally good diction. Patrick Carfizzi, as the drunkard, Brander, made the most of his aria, with admirably clear diction. I have always loved Carfizzi's voice and presence and wonder why he has not been given meatier roles (I suspect he could handle Méphistophélès with more panache than John Relyea did tonight).

Relyea looked smashing in his red leather suit and feathered cap, but I wish his singing had more of the French suavity required for the role. His serenade in Part III passed without note (or applause). After such a promising beginning as a young singer, his singing has become more throaty and constricted over the last few seasons. Marcello Giordani's singing was coarse and unstylish all evening, and his diction was unintelligible.

Sam is right about James Levine's conducting, and I also agree with Sam that it was distracting to watch the reflection of him conducting in the onstage screens all evening. I am sure no one in the production staff ever went upstairs to see if there would be reflection problems for those sitting in the gods....

Altogether a mixed bag - Berlioz's music and his orchestrations are constantly dazzling, and the ending was sublime, but the singing was more disappointing that one might wish. Still I wouldn't want to have missed this extraordinary event.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Digital Damnation - Metropolitan Opera / November 7, 2008

Sam Shirakawa attended the Opening Night of the Met's new production of La Damnation de Faust. Here is his squib:

If you were sitting in the uppermost tier (Balcony/Family Circle) of the Metropolitan Opera on Friday night, you could both see and hear the much vaunted computer-driven settings that are flashed onto the stage in the new production of Berlioz' Le Damnation de Faust -- the composer's discursive take on Goethe's epic.

See AND hear?

The whirring motors driving/cooling the projectors in the booth protruding from the ceiling were so loud, that you were hard put to hear anything from the stage or pit registering below mezzo-forte--which was often.

The complexities of Robert Lepage's pretty and pretty interactive production are outlined in Daniel Wakin's New York Times article, so I won't rehash them here.

But...

The mammoth five-level grid that Lepage imposes on the proscenium is so shallow that the stage becomes a giant computer screen on which singers and dancers move up, down and across, but never to and fro. It's all in your face, oddly two-dimensional, and somehow heartless. You get some sense of depth from the reflector scrims at the rear of the grid, but they also mirror (irritatingly, I might add) the lights on the music stands in the orchestra pit, as well as James Levine sawing away on the podium.

So shallow a stage space, however, turned out to be a boon for the singers trying to project over the augmented orchestra and the droning projector motors, lest we forget that opera is primarily about singing. The title role is a killer, but Marcello Giordano seemed to have no problems scaling its heights on Friday night. John Relyea cut an imposing figure as Mephistopheles and cut through dense orchestral thickets without effort. Susan Graham may be listed on the roster as a mezzo-soprano, but her as-usual flawless portrayal of Marguerite smacked more of Schwarzkopf than of Suzanne Danco. (I can't say anything about her rendition of " D'Amour l'ardente flamme" because she was no match for the projector motors going full tilt.) The chorus--also augmented--seemed muffled throughout the performance, especially in the penultimate pandemonium, where literally all hell breaks loose.

It's easy to take James Levine for granted, because he almost always makes everything work. Berlioz more often than not requires a traffic cop on the podium rather than a conductor, and Levine steered the orchestra, chorus and cast through choppy straits with his customary elan.

For all the high falutin' digital decor in this production, poor Susan Graham sicut Marguerite had to ascend to Heaven the old-fashioned analogue way -- schlepping step by step up a frail ladder into the flies. But maybe that's LaPage's ultimate point: Paradise awaits at the top of a five-story walk-up.

© Sam H. Shirakawa

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

BERLIOZ Romeo et Juliette

Another squib from Sam Shirakawa --

Philadelphia Orchestra 16 October 2008

I never have understood why Berlioz composed Romeo et Juliette. I know, I know. It's a paean to the British actress who eventually became his wife. I understand too that he apparently was looking for a means of expressing transcendent longing by transcending every means he was using to express it.

Ah the French! Never tiring of searching for a way to say "fuck me" without actually saying it.

As a result, Beau Berlioz ended up with an entity that's never quite an adequate substitute for the actual sensation. Romeo et Juliette is frequently operatic but it is not an opera, it is short of a cantata but much too long on cant, it aspires to be a kind of a symphony but it remains bereft of... You get the idea: It's a mishmash. But it's a mishmash that left a searing impression on what Balzac called the "brains of Paris" at its wildly successful first performances in the autumn of 1839.

Love, as mentioned already, played a huge role in its composition: the composer's adoration of Shakespeare and the bard's play, as well as his passion for Harriet Smithson, the English actress with whom he fell in love, while witnessing her portrayal (in English) at the Odeon. All this made more remarkable by the realization that Berlioz' command of languages excluded English.

Odd too is the composer's use of a text by Emile Duchamps. Much of it is derived from a version of Romeo and Juliet that was popular at the time by the English actor and entrepreneur David Garrick. No matter how much sauce béchamel you may ladle on to it, Duchamps' text is trop liquide compared to the ambrosial verbal harmonies of the source material.

While the hot 'n' heavy passion Berlioz poured into what he called a "Dramatic Symphony" (what symphony should not be dramatic?) remains unmistakable in the score even today, it takes inspiration of a special sort to pull it off in performance -- the kind of oomph that Leopold Stokowski and even Eugene Ormandy were able to conjure up virtually at will when they were on the podium of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where the work now is in the midst of a four-performance run in the City of Brotherly Love. For good or ill, the Orchestra has changed beyond recognition, and its current Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit is more intent upon laying wreaths in memory of Berlioz than on reviving the spirit of the music at its creation.

So the net-net impression left by the first performance in the current series of R & J at Verizon Hall was one of admiration rather than epiphany. Dutoit revealed the contours of this odd work efficiently, drawing some nice performances from the vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra, but without uncorking the magic that palpably intoxicated its first audiences.

Berlioz assigned the bulk of the solo vocal line to the bass role of Friar Laurence, who appears toward the end of the work to exhort (at some length) the warring Capulets and Montagues to bury their hatchets. British baritone David Wilson-Johnson carried out his duty flawlessly, spinning out a fine cantilena, where there often was little melody to latch onto. Papa Laurence is a thankless role; I hope Wilson-Johnson received merit pay for flying in to do it.

I wondered if Rumanian mezzo-soprano Roxana Denose and American tenor Gregory Kunde (making his Orchestra debut) would be as good at story-telling if they had to speak their brief lines, instead of singing them. Churlish as it might be to say it, these parts offer these gifted artists little to chew on. I also wondered why Berlioz used these vocal parts for telling what happened rather than for enacting what took place. There are no soaring lines to speak of, no invocations to l'amour, no protracted expressions of longing. Some of that is left to the Philadelphia Singers Chorale under the direction of David Hayes, the rest is left to the Orchestra, both of which performed satisfactorily on 16 October.

I must admit I longed for Stoki's ghost to stoke some fire into the proceedings. There was hélas no sign of him, possibly because he never conducted the work with the Orchestra. In a few weeks one of the most underrated conductors of the 20th century is set to conduct Wagner with the Philadelphians. Stokowski, Ormandy et le auteur will surely be listening...

Performances of Romeo et Juliette continue on tonight and 21 October in Philadelphia.

Sam H. Shirakawa

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