Saturday, April 24, 2010

Live Offerings - Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pick of the litter today seems to be the Metropolitan Opera Tosca with Patricia Racette and Konas Kaufmann, followed by Gluck's Armida with Ewa Podles on Czech Radio and Cavalli's La Calisto with Bejun Mehta. Here's the whole lineup of live offerings for this afternoon:

  • Metropolitan Opera International Broadcast (on numerous stations) - Puccini's Tosca, with Patricia Racette, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, David Pittsinger, John del Carlo, Eduardo Valdes, Jeffrey Wells, Richard Bernstein and Jonathan Makepeace, conducted by Fabio Luisi.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From the Vienna State Opera, an April 19th and 22nd performance of Bellini's I Puritani, with Désirée Rancatore, Christof Fischesser, José Bros and Mariusz Kwiecien, conducted by Jan Latham-König.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - Gluck's Armida, with Mireille Delunsch, Laurent Naouri, Charles Workman, Vincent Le Texier, Yann Beuron, Francoise Masset, Nicole Heaston, Valérie Gabail, Ewa Maria Podles, Brett Polegato, Magdalena Kožená, Sandrine Rondot and Myriam Sosson, conducted by Marc Minkowski.
  • Espace 2 - From the Grand Theatre in Geneva, Cavalli's La Calisto, with Sami Luttinen, Bruno Taddia, Anna Kasyan, Bejun Mehta, Christine Rice, Kristen Leich, Kristen Leich, Christine Rice, Fabio Trümpy, Mark Milhofer, Catrin Wyn-Davies, Ludwig Grabmeier, Mariana Florès, Mariana Florès, Dina Husseini, and Matthew Schaw, conducted by Andreas Stoehr.
  • Klara - From the Opera of Lausanne, Rossini's Otello, with John Osborn, Olga Peretyatko, Maxim Mironov, Riccardo Zanellato, Shi Yijie and Isabelle Henriquez, conducted by Corrado Rovaris.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From Opera Bastille in Paris, Symanowski's Krol Roger, with Mariušs Kwiecen, Erik Cutler, Olga Pasišcuka and Vojteks Smileks, conducted by Kazuši Ono.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From the Grand Theatre in Geneva, a November 9 performance of Chabrier's L'Etoile, with Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, René Schirrer, Jean Doyen, Fabrice Farina, Marie-Claude Chappuis, Sophie Graf, Blandine Staskiewicz and Jérôme Savary, conducted by Jean-Yves Ossonce.
  • KBIA2 & WDAV - NPR World of Opera: From Washington National Opera, Verdi's Rigoletto, with Carlos Alvarez, Lyubov Petrova, Joseph Calleja, Maigoratza Walewska, Andrea Silvestrelli, Magdalena Wor and Robert Cantrell, conducted by Giovanni Reggioli.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) & ABC Classic FM (Australia) - From the Metropolitan Opera, Verdi's Aida, with Stefan Kocán, Dolora Zajick, Hui He, Salvatore Licitra, Carlo Colombara, Carlo Guelfi, Elizabeth DeShong and Diego Torre, conducted by Marco Armiliato.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Live Offerings - Saturday, February 13, 2009

The Met broadcast is now underway, but most other offerings are just about to start:

  • Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (on numerous stations) - Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment, with Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Florez, Meredith Arwady, Maurizio Muraro, Donald Maxwell, Roger Andrews and Kiri te Kanawa, conducted by Marco Armiliato.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands - From La Monnaie in Brussels, a Gluck double bill: Iphigénie en Aulide, with Andrew Shore, Charlotte Hellekant, Véronique Gens, Avi Klembergand and Henk Neven; and Iphigénie en Tauride, with Nadja Michael, Stéphane Degout, Topi Lehtipuu, Werner van Mechelen and Violet Serena Noorduynconducted by Christophe Rousset.
  • France Musique - From Opera Bastille in Paris, a February 12th performance of Massenet's Werther, with Jonas Kaufmann and Lodovic Tezier.
  • KBIA 2 - NPR World of Opera: From the Chorégies Festival in Orange, France, Verdi's La Traviata, with Patrizia Ciofi, Vittorio Grigolo, Marzio Giossi, Laura Brioli, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Jean-Marie Delpas and Armando Noguera, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From La Monnaie in Brussels, Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, with Nadja Michael, Stéphane Degout, Topi Lehtipuu, Werner van Mechelen and Violet Serena Noorduynconducted by Christophe Rousset.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From Schlosstheater Schönbrunn, an August 2009 performance of Zeller's Der Obersteiger, with Bernhard Berchtold, Santiago Bürgi, Cornelia Zink, Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz, Donna Ellen and Anna Siminska, conducted by Herbert Mogg.
  • Espace 2 - From the Ukrainian National Opera, an October 31st performance of Lysenko's Taras Bulba, with Taras Shtonda, Alla Pozniak, Petro Priymak, Pavlo Priymak, Yevghen Orlov, Svetlana Golevska, Vasyl Kolybabiuk, Serghiy Skochelias, Viktor Dudar, Oleksandr Gourets, Andriy Gonkulov and Dmytro Gryshyn, conducted by Volodymyr Kozhukhar.
  • HR2 Kultur - From the Vienna State Opera, a June 20th performance of Strauss's Die Schweigsame Frau, with Jane Archibald, Kurt Rydl, Michael Schade, Janina Baechle, Adrian Eröd, conducted by Peter Schneider.
  • Klara - Starting at GMT 1900/EST 2:00PM - the Met's La Fille du Régiment.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, a November 21st performance of Verdi's Don Carlos, with Jonas Kaufmann, Marina Poplavska, Simon Keenlyside, Feruccio Furlanetto and Marianne Korneti, conducted by Semyons Bychkov.
  • MDR Figaro - From Staatsoper Dresden, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, with Krassimira Stoyanova, Elina Garanca, Michael Schade and Franz-Josef Selig, conducted by Christian Thielemann.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From Teatro San Carlo in Naples, a January 27th performance of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, with Gregory Kunde, Teresa Romano, Elena Monti,, Monica Bacelli, Francesca Russo Ermolli and Vito Priante, conducted by Jeffrey Tate.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera on a one-week delay: From Washington National Opera, Puccini's La boheme, with Adriana Damato, Vittorio Grigolo, Nicole Cabell, Paolo Pecchioli, Hyung Yun, Trevor Scheunemann, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) & Concert FM (New Zealand) - From the Metropolitan Opera, the historic broadcast (February 1, 1958) of Barber's Vanessa, with Eleanor Steber, Nicolai Gedda, Rosalind Elias, Regina Resnik, Giorgio Tozzi, George Cehanovsky and Robert Nagy, conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos.
  • And, last but not least, don't forget video feed of the the last (of 4) performance of the Indiana University production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, with Heather Youngquist, Joshua Lindsay, Andrew Kroes, Scott Hogsed, Nikhil Navkal, Samuel Green, Jane Rownd and Amanda Sesler, conducted by Arthur Fagen (Guest Stage Director: James Marvel, Set & Costume Designer: C. David Higgins).

Happy listening (and watching) . . . .

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Live Offerings - Saturday, February 6, 2009

Somewhat slimmer pickings than usual. The biggest curiosity will probably bed Placido Domingo singing the title role in Simon Boccanegra (usually tackled by baritones). Also two different performances of Verdi's Macbeth, and from La Scala, a live performance of Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's Faust. Here's the complete lineup:

  • DR P2 - From Geneva, Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Pietro Spangnoli, José Fardilha, Diana Damrau, Serena Farnocchia and Christoph Strehl, conducted by Kenneth Montgomery.
  • Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (on numerous stations)- Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, with Placido Domingo, Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello Giordano, James Morris, Nicola Alaimo and Richard Bernstein, conducted by James Levine.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands - Handel's Ariodante, with Ann Hallenberg, Karina Gauvin, Maarten Engeltjes, Jaël Azzaretti and Krystian Adam, conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana - From Ukrainian National Opera in Kiev, Lysenko's Taras Bulba, with T. Shtonda, A. Pozniak, P. Priymak, P. Priymak, Y. Orlov, S. Godlevska, T. Kuzminova, O. Gourets, V. Kolybabiuk, S. Skochelias, V. Dudar, A. Goniukov, D. Gryshyn, O. Boyko, M. Gubchuk and O. Vostriakov, conducted by V. Kozhukhar.
  • KBIA2 - NPR World of Opera: From Washington National Opera, Puccini's La Boheme, with Adriana Damato, Vittorio Grigolo, Nicole Cabell, Paolo Pecchioli, Hyung Yun and Trevor Scheunemann, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From La Scala in MIlan, Schumann's Szenen aus Goethes Faust, with Michael Volle, Dorothea Röschmann, Dimitri Ivashchenko, Steve Davislim, Irena Bespalovaite, Adina Aaron, Elena Zhidkova, Maria Radner and Jacheui Kwon, conducted by Pinchas Steinberg.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From Glyndebourne, Dvorak's Rusalka, with Ana Maria Martinez, Brandon Jovanovich, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Mikhail Schelomianski, Larissa Diadkova, Natasha Jouhl, Barbara Senator, Elodie Méchain, Diana Axentii, Alasdair Elliott and John Mackenzie, conducted by Jirí Behlohlávek.
  • Espace 2 - From the Vienna State Opera, a December 7, 2009 performance of Verdi's Macbeth, with Simon Keenlyside, Erika Sunnegardh, Stefan Kocan, Dimitri Pittas, Gergely Nemety, Donna Ellen and Alfred Sramek, conducted by Guillermo Garcia Calvo.
  • Klara - From Vlaamse Opera, Bernstein's Candide, with Michael Spyres, Jane Archibald, Graham Valentine, Thomas Oliemans, Andrew Ashwin, Katarina Bradic, Karan Armstrong, Keith Lewis, Adrian Fischer, Gijs Van der Linden, Milcho Borovinov and Thorsten Buettner, conducted by Yannis Pouspourikas.
  • HR2 Kultur - A November 1, 2009 performance of Act 2 of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, with Waltraud Meier, John Mac Master, Michelle Breedt, Franz Josef Selig and Kurwenal Michael Vier, conducted by Daniel Harding.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera (on a one week delay): From Bastille Opera in Paris, Verdi's Macbeth, with Dimitris Tiliakos, Violeta Urmana, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Stefano Secco, Alberto Nigro and Letitia Singleton, conducted by Teodor Currentzis.
  • ABC Classic FM (Australia) & Concert FM (New Zealand) - Another chance to hear the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Bizet's Carmen, with Elina Garanca, Barbara Frittoli, Roberto Alagna, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Earle Patriarco, Keith Jameson, Keith Miller, Trevor Scheunemann, Elizabeth Caballero and Sandra Piques Eddy, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
. . . And don't forget the live videocast of the Indiana University Lucia di Lammermoor tonightat 8:00PM EST.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Live Offerings, Saturday, November 21, 2009 - Part II

Further live offerings for this afternoon:

  • Dwojke Polskie Radio - Is also carrying the Szymanowski Król Roger from the Liceu; a correction: Josep Pons is the sonductoir (and not the singer Juan Pons, as I ahd eal;rier supposed).
  • France Musique - From Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, a November 9 performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale, with Nicola Alaimo, Laura Giordano, Mario Cassi, Francisco Gatell and Gabriele Spina, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
  • NPR World of Opera - From the Vienna State Opera, Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Ildebrando d'Arcangelo, Rene Pape, Ricarda Merbeth, Soile Isokoski, Michael Schade, Michaele Selinger, Boaz Daniel and Eric Halfvarson, conducted by Constantinos Carydis.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From Palais Garnier in Paris, Gounod's Mireille, with Inva Mula, Charles Castronovo, Franck Ferrari, Alain Vernhes, Sylvie Brunet, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Sébastien Droy, Nicolas Cavallier and Amel Brahim-Djelloul, conducted by Marc Minkowski.
  • Radio Oesterreich International (OE1) - From Theater an der Wien, an October 22 performance of Vivaldi's Armida al Campo d'Egitto, with Sara Mingardo, Furio Zanasi, Monica Bacelli, Raffaella Milanesi, Marina Comparato, Romina Basso and Martin Oro, conducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini.
  • Cesky Rozhlas-3 Vltava - From trhe Metropolitan Oper archives, a 1959 broadcast pf Verdi's Macbeth, with Leonie Rysanek, Leonard Warren, Carlo Bergonzi, Jerome Hines, William Olvis, Carlotta Ordassy, Gerhard Pechner, Harold Sternberg, Osie Hawkins, Calvin Marsh, Emilia Cundari and Mildred Allen, conducted by Erich Leinsdorf.
  • Klara - Is running a full day of Purcell programming, and in their opera slot listen to Glyndebourne performance of Purcell's The Fairy Queen, with Lucy Crowe, Claire Debono, Anna Devin, Carolyn Sampson, Robert Burt, Ed Lyon, Andrew Foster-Williams, Sean Clayton, Adrian Ward, and Lukas Kargl, conducted by William Christie.
  • Latvia Radio Klasika - From the Grand Theatre in Geneva, a February 28 performance of Strauss's Salome, with Alan Held, Nikola Bellere Karbone, Hedviga Fasbindere and Kim Begley, conducted by Gabriele Ferro.
  • NDR Kultur - From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a September performance of Verdi's Don Carlo, with Jonas Kaufmann, Maria Poplavskaya, Simon Keenlyside, Sonia Ganassi, Ferruccio Furlanetto and John Tomlinson, conducted by Semyon Bychkov.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From Opéra Berlioz, Le Corum, Montpellier, a July 13 performance of Bellini's Zaira, with Ermonela Jaho, Varduhi Abrahamyan, Shalva Mukeria, Wenwei Zhang, Franck Bard, Marianne Crebassa and Carlo Kang, conducted by Enrique Mazzola.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - In their weekend late-night archival broadcast slot, tonight hear an October 25, 1963 broadcast of Leoncavallo's's La Boheme, with Angelo Loforese, Guido Mazzini, Fernando Lidonni, Giorgio Tadeo, Osvaldo Scrigna, Osvaldo Scrigna, Walter Brunelli, Antonio Petrini, Bianca Maria Casoni, Florida Assandri Norelli and Maja Sunara, Orchestra Sinfonica e coro di Milano della Raiconducted by Pietro Argento; tomorrow night hear Puccini's La Boheme, with Agostino Lazzari, Rolando Panerai, Enrico Ciampi, Franco Calabrese, Aristide Baracchi, Melchiorre Luise, Elena Rizzieri, Graziella Sciutti, Walter Artioli and Egidio Casolari, Orchestra Sinfonica e coro di Milano della Rai conducted by Nino Sanzogno.

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, October 03, 2009

Live Offerings, Saturday, October 3, 2009 -- Part I

Offerings for this afternoon:

  • BBC 3 - From Glyndebourne, Dvorak's Rusalka, starring Ana Maria Martinez, with Jiri Belohlavek conducting.
  • Espace Musique- We can catch another Rusalka with notables Richard Paul Fink and Irina Mishura included in the cast.
  • RTP Antena 2- And we can catch another Jirí Belohlávek performance, as he conducts Smetana's Bartered Bride.
  • WETA- And yet another Jirí Belohlávek performance, this time Janacek's Jenufa.
  • Cesky Rozhlas 3 - Vltava- William Christie conducts Monteverdi's Orfeo.
  • DR P2 - We hear Gounod's Mireille, with Inva Mula and Charles Castronovo, Marc Minkowski conducting.
  • Radio Clasica de Espana - More Gounod, as we hear his Faust, starring Piotr Beczala and Soile Isokoski.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous staions) is carrying the San Francisco Opera Der Rosenkavalier, with Joyce DiDonato, Soile Isokoski, Miah Persson, Kristinn Sigmundsson and Jochen Schmeckenbecher, conducted by Donald Runnicles
  • WUOT - Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, starring Simon Keenlyside, Tamar Iveri and Ramon Vargas.
  • XLNC1 - Puccini's La Boheme, starring Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala and Quinn Kelsey.

More to come!

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, September 26, 2009 - Part II

Further offerings for this afternoon:

  • Cesky Rozhlas 3-Vltava - From Brno, Blažek's Verchovina, with Vilém Pr(ibyl, Richard Novák, Anna Barová, Jarmila Palivcová, Jir(í Olejníc(ek, Jir(í Bar, Václav Halír, František Kunc, Stanislav Bechynský, Josef Škrobánek, Daniela Suryová, Jan Hlavík, Vladimír Krejc(ík, Jaroslav Souc(ek, Josef Klán, Jarmila Krátká, Pavel Polášek, conducted by František Jílek.
  • Radio Tre (RAI) - Direct from Teatro Olimpico di Roma, IL FLAUTO MAGICO secondo l'ORCHESTRA DI PIAZZA VITTORIO, with Omar Lopez Valle, Papageno, El Hadij Yeri Samb, Petra Magoni, Sylvie Lewis, Awalys Ernesto Lopez Maturell, Carlos Paz Duque, Houcine Ataa, Raul Scebba, Ziad Trabelsi, John Maida, Gaia Orsoni, Zsuzsanna Krasznai, Pino Pecorelli, Evandro Dos Reis and Sanjay Kansa Banik, conducted by Mario Tronco.
  • WFMT - This evening will air the Opening Night of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Season: Puccini's Tosca, with Tosca, with Deborah Voigt, Vladimir Galouzine, James Morris and Dale Travis, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

And a late correction: KAMU is not carrying the San Francisco La Boheme, as we has originally listed, but will air the San Francisco Opera Der Rosenkavalier, with Joyce DiDonato, Soile Isokoski, Miah Persson, Kristinn Sigmundsson and Jochen Schmeckenbecher, conducted by Donald Runnicles.

Happy listening,

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Live Offerings - Saturday, September 26, 2009 - Part I

  • Sveriges Radio P2 - already underway, from Göteborg Opera, Börtz's Goya, with Anders Larsson, Anders Lorentzon, Fredrik Zetterström, Michael Weinius, Mats Persson, Linus Börjesson, Iwar Bergkwist, Johan Schinkler, Henric Holmberg, Ann-Kristin Jones, Ann-Marie Backlund, Katarina Giotas and Natalie Hernborg, conducted by Joakim Unander.
  • BBC Radio 3 - From the Grand Theatre in Leeds (Opera North), the British premiere of Gershwin's Let 'em Eat Cake, with William Dazeley, Rebecca Moon, Steven Beard, Nicholas Sharratt, Martin Hyder, Rob Edwards, Richard Morris and Graham Howes, conducted by Wyn Davies.
  • CBC Two - From the Vienna State Opera, Strauss's Die Schweisame Frau, with Kurt Rydel, Michael Schade, and Diana Damrau, conducted by Peter Schneider.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From the Vienna State Opera, a February 13 performance of Verdi's Stiffelio, with José Cura, Hui He, Anthony Michaels-Moore, Gergely Németi, Alexandru Moisiuc, Benedikt Kobel and Elisabeta Marin, conducted by Michael Halász.
  • DR P2 - From the Aix-en-Provence Festival, a July 30 performance of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, with Daniel Behle, Marlis Petersen, Anna-Kristiina Kaapola, Daniel Schmutzhard, Sunhae Im, Marcos Fink and Kurt Azesberger, conducted by René Jacobs.
  • Espace Musique & Radio Oesterreich International (OE1)- From Festival de Radio-France et Montpellier 2009, Bellini's Zaira, with Ermonela Jaho, Varduhi Abrahamyan, Shalva Mukeria, Wenwei Zhang, Gezim Myshketa, Franck Bard and Marianne Crebassa, conducted by Enrique Mazzola.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands & France Musique - From Paris Opera, Gounod's Mireille, with Inva Mula, Charles Castronovo and Franck Ferrari, conducted by Marc Minkowski.
  • RTP Antena 2 - From the 2009 Bayreuth Festival, Wagner's Parsifal.
  • WETA - From the NPR World of Opera archives, from Houston Grand Opera, Verdi's Aida, with Zvetelina Vassileva, Marco Berti, Dolora Zajick, Gordon Hawkins, Tigran Martirossian, Bradley Garvin and Tamara Wilson, conducted by Carlo Rizzi.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From San Francisco Opera, Puccini's La Boheme, with Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala, Quinn Kelsey, Norah Amsellem, Oren Gradus, Brian Leerhuber, Dale Travis, Chester Pidduck, Colby Roberts, Ryan Hedrick, David Kekuewa and Jere Torkelsen, conducted by Nicola Luisotti.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Capitole Theatre in Toulouse, Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, with Bernard Richter, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Allyson McHardy, Stephane Degout, Fancoise Masset, Jennifer Holloway, Bruno Calucci, Jael Azzaretti and Francis Lis, conducted by Emmanuelle Haim.
  • XLNC1 - From San Francisco Opera, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore, with Inva Mula, Ramon Vargas, Giorgio Caoduro, Alessandro Corbelli and Ji Young Yang, conducted by Bruno Campanella.
  • NRK P2 & NRK Klassisk - From The Metropolitan Opera, the February 1, 1947 broadcast of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with Bidú Sayão, Jussi Björling, Mimi Benzell, Claramae Turner, John Brownlee, Nicola Moscona, Anthony Marlowe, Kenneth Schon, Thomas Hayward, George Cehanovsky, Philip Kinsman and William Hargrave, conducted by Emil Cooper.

More to come shortly . . .

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being Bohemian

Picture, if you will, a student production of Puccini's La Boheme, staged as an opera within a documentary. Well, Sam Shirakawa was in Munich on June 17th for the premiere of just such a production. He reports:
A production by
the Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding, Munich

Premiere 17 June 2009

I usually anticipate attending student productions of operas with a mix of curiosity and dread. They bait curiosity because you never know if a future Caruso or Callas may be taking the stage. They arouse dread because there is nothing quite so dreadful as a vocally dreadful performance of an opera.

In recent years, though, I’ve found that student opera performances of opera are getting better. Professional preparatory academies seem to be turning out singers who appear more confident in knowing they have the right stuff. The tension arising from having a now-or-never opportunity to prove it endows their performances with that extra dollop of excitement that’s becoming increasingly rare at “big” opera houses.

That shared anxiety between performers and audience produced an especially exciting performance of La Boheme on 17 June at the Theater Academy of Bavaria August Everding (Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding) in Munich, primarily because the singing was so good. I frequently had to remind myself that these are students -- most of them around 30 years old and taking their vocal training at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München -- because they’re not merely ready for prime time, they are performing as though they are in prime time.

The Mimi, Myung-Joo Lee, from South Korea, is in full possession of a warm lyric soprano that opens out effortlessly above the staff. Her “Mi chiamamo Mimi” had a melancholy timbre reminiscent of Ileana Cotrubas. But she had her own way with the sad nostalgia reflected in “Donde lieta uschi...”

As her lover Rodolfo, Jun-Ho You, also from South Korea, displays a tightly focused lyric-spinto tenor, some of whose inflections remind me of Jussi Björling. His upper register is thrilling, but maintaining its bracing freshness is the challenge he and all those with similarly bright potential face.

American-born Vanessa Goikoetxea is a Musetta who is a born showgirl -- leggy and shamelessly flirtatious. Her middle and upper registers contain a fine resin that gives her voice an unusual personality. Her options are wide open.

Christian Ebert’s sonorous Marcello is a guy who can’t live with his Musetta, but can’t live without her either. His ample warm baritone points to Posa via Onegin. Nice sound. I wonder if he’s listened to Gerhard Hüsch....

Benjamin Appi and Tareq Nazmi are excellent respectively as Schaunard and Colline. The roles of Benoit and Alcindoro are so well characterized, that you need to check the program to realize that Thomas Stimmel sings both. Mauro Peter deserves a bigger part than Parpignol.

The cast has the good fortune of having a first-class professional orchestra in the pit, the Munich Radio Orchestra, under the steady guidance of Ulf Schirmer, whose stints include the Vienna State Opera and, beginning next season, Music Director of the Leipzig Opera.

Both singers and orchestra are blessed with the superior acoustics of the Prinzregententheater, which is the Akademie's own performing space. Small wonder. The house was completed in 1901 by architect Max Littman, who based his concept on the designs of Gottfried Semper and Otto Brückwald for Wagner's Festspielhaus in Bayreuth. The acoustics of the "House on the Green Hill" are unique, but the

sonorities of the Prinzregenten Theater are thrillingly similar, especially after its recent renovations, which have also revitalized the Jugendstil decor in the access areas. It is a spectacular setting for any kind of performance. The building's interior is a must-see if you visit Munich -- but you must have a ticket for an event.

The singers also have a good deal more to do than sing. Balazs Kovalk's staging sets out to capture a slice of life through a documentary-in-the-making about bohemian life in modern-day Paris. The concept is relevant because Puccini’s music is the mother of all western film scores. (And how many shows have you seen that are shameless recycles of Boheme and Butterfly?) So the cast must not only enact the lives of starving Parisian artistes, but also enact those lives before multi-cams and crews. The audience can see portions of the taping on monitors and scrims and witness the difference between “Being and Seeming,” as a program note puts it -- or reality and appearance.

Theoretically it works: you get a behind-the-cameras look at Life In The Making. But I couldn’t help remembering what Wolfgang Wagner once told me, when I asked him why Leonard Bernstein never conducted at Bayreuth. “Bernstein insisted that his contract include a documentary on the rehearsals and preparations for the production,” he said. “I learned long ago, that when you allow film crews, everybody plays to the cameras. You lose the impact of what is LIVE. You can’t really rehearse for the performance.”

Indeed, the presence of a camera crew on stage vitiates the impact of the drama and tends to siphon off the impact of the music into a separate realm. There are simply too many people on stage in the love scene of the first act, for example, when only two of them -- the lovers -- really matter.

Bertolt Brecht might have loved this view of Boheme. Intentionally or inadvertently -- I can’t discern which -- Kovalik’s production gives new meaning to the term Brecht invented: Verfremdungseffekt, or, for want of a better translation, alienation. Brecht coined this term to force his audiences to pull back from emotional involvement in the plot and characters and to push them toward viewing the proceedings on stage critically.

The intervention of a video/film documentary crew within any setting, not to mention a love duet, rudely yanks everybody back from plugging into “reality.” But here is where Kovalik ups the ante: the shots the crew is recording -- close-ups, wide angles, pans, and so on -- are shown on monitors and mini-Imax screens, thereby thrusting the audience in the direction of yet another reality. Or the appearance of another reality.

Exploring levels of reality -- or the illusions of those realities within the framework of the stage as “the place devoted to articulating the conflicts between past and possible worlds, the dialogues between our perceptions of mundane experience and our desires” -- is at the root of the Akademie’s primary objectives under the guidance of Klaus Zehelein, who has been its president since 2006.

Zehelein was General Manager of Stuttgart’s State Opera for 15 seasons before he came to lead the Akademie. During his tenure, the Annual Survey of German Critics voted the Stuttgarter Staatsoper “Opera House of the Year” six times. He has accrued international recognition as both pedagogue and all-around man of the theater. When he decided to make a change, he received offers from several high-profile theaters including the Salzburg Festival and the Berlin State Opera. Zehelein declined them all, opting to take over the Akademie, one of Germany’s foremost teaching institutions for the performing arts. He explained at the time, that he wanted to do his part in securing the future of the performing arts by bringing young artists and technicians to the highest standards.

He also wants to further the cause of live theater as a forum. As he warns in the Welcome Page of the Academie website:
“If we abandon the stage, by consigning it to the compromises of mundane superficialities, we betray that part of our lives that constitutes an indispensable necessity for existence, which we risk losing beyond recall.
In times when the prospects of continued financial support for the performing arts look increasingly grim, Zehelein appears to be steering the Academie on a steady course. Hopes for his ability to enable the Academie to surmount the economic realities that are now threatening the arts everywhere may prove illusory. But his leadership through the challenges he now faces may well turn out to be exemplary, indeed the stuff of legend.

© Sam H. Shirakawa
Production photos © A. T. Schaefer

Revised 6/23/09 - 1:45PM EDT - added production photos; removed some theater photos.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

More Than Glamor?

Sam has moved on to Berlin where he caught Jonas Kaufmann's Cavaradossi:

Deutsche Oper Berlin
16 May 2009

Germany now has a star tenor and he's getting the star treatment: Photographs on music magazine covers, and billboards, shallow interviews, plus a High-C contract to be the bedroom eyes behind the wheel of BMW.

His name, by the bye, is Jonas Kaufmann.

A sold-out celeb-strewn crowd flocked to the Deutsche Oper in Berlin to hear him as Cavaradossi this past Saturday. The assembled Prussians, many dressed to the tens, gave him a hero's welcome, even though he's a native Bavarian. Nobody's perfect.

It would have been His Night, if it hadn't been for the Tosca -- Nadja Michael -- and the Scarpia -- Ruggero Raimondi, both of whom were willing to share the stage with Kaufmann but not concede it to him.

In fact, Raimondi received the biggest hand at the final curtain calls -- and with good reason. It was he who gave the most involved portrayal of the evening. What a pleasure to find that some opera singers are as good if not better than they ever were. While Tito Gobbi's Scarpia often left the impression of a sadistic bureaucrat, Raimondi, who made his Met debut in 1974, delivered an object lesson in implied, unspeakable malevolence.

Nadja Michael reportedly is no favorite among rear rung regulars at the Deutsche Oper, but she managed to keep the usual booing at bay at this performance. Hers is a huge but wieldy voice, capable of dynamic swings that sound inevitable rather than interpolated: an especially effective "Vissi d'arte."

Which brings me to swingin', I mean, singing Kaufmann. No doubt: he has more than glamor -- He manifests intelligence and imagination. His large, dark tenor is already casting a shadow toward late Verdi and, of course, the W word. In fact, he's set for Lohengrin at the Munich Festival this July. But for me on Saturday night, he also cast a shadow on his musical taste -- milking alargandi nearly to the point of full stop -- crooooooning "O dolci mani..." with enough syrup to induce sugar shock. Bitte, nicht so schleppend, Lieber Jonas!

It's not clear if veteran conductor Pier Giorgio Morandi -- who is new to me -- had a hand in the liberties Kaufmann took. Even though he received some catcalls, no one could deny that Morandi steered the orchestra effectively, while eliciting some details that I've seen in the score, but rarely have heard.

The production by Boleslaw Barlog dates from 1969. Like Barlog himself, who is now in his 90s, it shows no signs of wear.

© Sam H. Shirakawa

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Live Offerings - Saturday, April 11, 2009 - Part III

Still more offerings, starting later on this afternoon:

  • Radio Tre (RAI) - From the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, a March 4th performance of Wagner's Der Fliegende Höllander, with Bryn Terfel, Anja Kampe, Hans-Peter König, Torsten Kerl, Clare Shearer and John Tessier, conducted by Marc Albrecht.
  • WDAV - NPR World of Opera (one week delayed): From the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov's The Maid of Pskov, with Alexei Taovitski, Irina Mataeva, Nikolai Gassiev, Gennady Bezzubenkov, Yuri Vorobyev, Mikhail Vishnyak and Varvara Solovyeva, conducted by Valery Gergiev
  • WOMR - On their program after the Met Broadcast is over, catch Anna Russell's Ring Analysis.
  • Concert FM (New Zealand) - Another chance to hear the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Patricia Racette, Maria Zifchak, Marcello Giordani and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Patrick Summers.
  • KWAX - From the 2008 Oregon Bach Festival, a performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, with Sibylla Rubens, Ingeborg Danz, Lothar Odinius, Nathan Berg and Michael Nagy, conducted by Helmut Rilling.
  • ABC CLassic FM (Australia) - Another chance to catch the Metropolitan Opera's broadcast of Bellini's La Sonnambula, with Jennifer Black, Jeremy Galyon, Natalie Dessay, Jane Bunnell, Bernard Fitch, Juan Diego Flórez and Michele Pertusi, conducted by Evelino Pidò.

Happy listening . . . .

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Live Offerings - Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some promising live, live offerings: Marshner's Der Vampyr from Bologna; Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov from English National Opera; and Opera Ireland's performance of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

More chances to hear historic Met broadcasts: Beethoven's Fidelio from 1966 with Nilsson, King, et al; Verdi's Otello with Vickers, Te Kanawa (Met debut) and Stewart.

From Houston Grand Opera (all part of the WFMT opera Series): Mozart's Magic Flute and Abduction from the Seraglio, Britten's Billy Budd.

And THIS, just in (as of 1PM EST): WRTI in Philadelphia has preempted its airing of the WFMT Opera Series Billy Budd to offer us the Academy of Vocal Art's performance of Donizetti's Anna Bolena, with Angela Meade (who filled in so affectingly for Sondra Radvanovsky in Trovatore at the Met last season), Taylor Stayton, Olivia Vote, Ben Wager, Cynthia Cook, Nicholas Masters, and Noah Van Niel, conducted by Christopher Macatsoris. Starts at 1830/1:30PM. NOT TO BE MISSED!!!

Take a look and listen:

  • Espace Musique - From Pacific Opera Victoria, Blitzstein's Regina, with Kimberly Barber, Kathlenn Brett, Robyn Driedger-Klassen, Doug MacNaughton, Gregory Dahl, Dean Elzinga, Lawrence Williford, Tracie Luck, DeAndre Simmons and Louise Rose, conducted by Timothy Vernon.
  • LRT Klasika - From Vienna, Gounod's Faust, with Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
  • KBYU - A rebroadcast of this summer's Bayreueth Festival performance of Wagner's Parsifal.
  • CBC Two - A double bill: From Los Angeles Opera, Puccini's Tosca, with Neil Shicoff, Adrianne Pieczonka, Juan Pons and Robert Pomakov, conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong; and from Opera Australia, Puccini's Suor Angelica, with Nicole Youl, Hye Seoung Kwon, Milijana Nikolic, Elizabeth Campbell, Dominica Matthews, Rosemary Gunn, Elizabeth Ellis, Adele Johnston and Teresa La Rocca, mezzo-soprano, conducted by Andrea Licata.
  • Deutschlandradio Kultur - From Gdansk, Poland, a June 28th performance of Siegfried Wagner's Der Schmied von Marienburg, with Marek Kalbus, Till Schulze, Anton Leiß-Huber, Christoph von Weitzel, Karl Schneider, Maacha Deubner, Johannes Föttinger, Therese Glaubitz, Ralf Sauerbrey and Rebecca Broberg, conducted by Frank Strobel.
  • DR P2 - From Lausanne, an April 25th perforomance of Hande's Julius Cæsar, with Andreas Scholl, Yannis Francois, Stéphanie d'Oustrac, Max Emanuel Cencic, Elena de la Merced, Christophe Dumaux, Riccardo Novaro and Florin Cezar-Ouatu, conducted by Ottavio Dantone.
  • France Musique - From l'Opéra Bastille in Paris, an October 13th performance of Janácek's La petite renarde rusée (The Cunning Littel Vixen), with Jukka Rasilainen, Michèle Lagrange, David Kuebler, Roland Bracht, Paul Gay, Elena Tsallagova and Hannah Esther Minutillo, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
  • Radio 4 Netherlands, Radio Clasica de Espana & Radio Tre (RAI) - From Teatro Comunale in Bologna, a live performance of Marschner's Der Vampyr, with Harry Peeters, Carmela Remigio, John Osborn, Detlef Roth, Roberto Tagliavini, Manuela Bisceglie, Paolo Cauteruccio, Donata D'Annunzio Lombardi, Thomas Morris, Mario Bolognesi, Gabriele Ribis, Conal Coad, Monica Minarelli, Adrian Sampetrean and Karl Heinz Macek, conducted by Roberto Abbado.
  • RTP Antena 2 - From l'Opéra Bastille in Paris, a March 8th performance of Verdi's Luisa Miller, with Ana Maria Martínez, Elisa Cenni, Ramón Vargas, Vincent Morell, Andrzej Dobber, Ildar Abdrazakov and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Massimo Zanetti.
  • WFMT Opera Series (on numerous stations) - From Houston Grand Opera, Britten's Billy Budd, with Andrew Kennedy, David Brooks Horn, Tommy Ajai George, Ryan McKinny, Richard Sutliff, Philip Cutlip, Beau Gibson, Chad Freeburg, Rodell Rosel, Liam Bonner, Jeremy Galyon, Phillip Ens, Joseph Evans, Wesley Landry, Daniel Belcher, James J. Kee, Gwynne Howell and David Ziemnicki, conducted by Patrick Summers.
  • WQXR - From Houston Grand Opera, Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio, with Karen Armstrong, Paul Groves, Andrea Silvestrelli, Heidi Stober, Nicholas Phan and Richard Spuler, conducted by William Lacey.
  • XLNC1 - From Houston Grand Opera, Mozart's The Magic Flute, with Rebekah Camm, Eric Cutler, Patrick Carfizzi, Albina Shagimuratova, Raymond Aceto, Jon Kolbet, Alicia Gianni, Chen-Ye Yuan, Tamara Wilson, Maria Markina and Jamie Barton, conducted by Steven Sloane.
  • BBC Radio 3 - Live from English National Opera, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, with Peter Rose, John Graham-Hall, David Stephenson, Brindley Sherratt, Gregory Turay, Yvonne Howard, Jonathan Veira, Anton Rich, Sophie Bevan, Ann Grevelius, Deborah Davison, James Gower, Paul Napier-Burrows, Charles Johnston, Philip Daggett, and Robert Murray, conducted by Edward Gardner.
  • Bartok Radio - From Teatro Regio in Turin, an October 9th performance of Cherubini's Medea, with Anna Caterina Antonacci, Cinzia Forte, Sara Mingardo, Giuseppe Filianoti, Giovanni Battista Parodi, Erika Grimaldi, Luisa Francesconi, Diego Matamoros, conducted by Evelino Pido.
  • NPR World of Opera - From Washington National Opera, yet another chance to hear Handel's Tamerlano, with Placido Domingo, David Daniels, Sarah Coburn, Patricia Bardon, Claudio Huckle and Andrew Foster Williams, conducted by William Lacey.
  • Lyric FM - Live from Opera Ireland, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with Yunah Lee and Keith Olsen, conducted by Bruno dal Bon.
  • NRK Klassisk & NRK P2 - From Opéra Garnier in Paris, Gluck's Iphegenie en Tauride, with Mireille Delunsch, Stéphane Degout, Yann Beuron, Franck Ferrari, Salomé Haller, conducted by Ivor Bolton.
  • Radio Oesterreich International - From the Metropolitan Opera, an historic broadcast of Beethoven's Fidelio (January 22, 1966), with Birgit Nilsson, James King, Geraint Evans, Otto Edelmann, Mary Ellen Pracht, Charles Anthony and Sherill Milnes, conducted by Karl Böhm.
  • Sveriges Radio P2 - From this past summer's Bayreuth Festival, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
  • Espace 2 - From the Metropolitan Opera, an historic broadcast of Verdi's Otello, with Jon Vickers, Kiri Te Kanawa, Thomas Stewart, Jean Kraft, William Lewis, Andrea Velis, Robert Goodloe, Paul Plishka and David Holloway, conducted by James Levine.
  • Klara - From Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, an August 29th performance of Strauss's Elektra, with Larisa Gogolevskaya, Elena Vitman, Elena Nebera, Vasily Gorshkov, Eduard Tsanga, Pavel Shmulevich, Ludmila Kanunnikova, Ludmila Kasyanenko, Andrey Popov, Andrey Spekhov, Irina Loskutova, Olga Legkova, Kristina Kapustinskaya, Maria Uvarova, Tatiana Kravtsova and Lia Shevtsova, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Happy listening . . . .

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Irina Rindzuner as Turandot

Sam Shirakawa has been lurking on the Upper East Side:

Dicapo Opera -- 10 October

Just when I was beginning to despair that Birgit Nilsson was really the End of the Wagnerian Line, up pops a voice that appears to be fulfilling The Promise of a new dynasty.

But I had a problem with Irina Rindzuner at the dress rehearsal of Dicapo Opera Theater's up-coming Turandot: her voice is simply too big for Dicapo's intime home in the cellar of a church on the Manhattan's East Side. When Rindzuner fired off those notes above the staff with such laser beam accuracy, I could feel my gums rattling.

The voice is huge, but it also is beautiful. It's even from top to bottom and opens out gloriously as it ascends to those killer Bs and above. As with most quality singers of her ilk, Rindzuner has vibrato to spare, but it's tight and torrid. Think Eugenia Burzio meets Magda Olivero, but not quite as devouring as either.

Skeptical? Check her out on YouTube. As they used to say about Leider, Lawrence and Big F, the documentation is but a shadow.

Maybe it's fortunate that Rindzuner is only covering Santuzza at the Met this season. But given some of the Wiener Schnitzel scheduled for this year's Ring Cycle, she'd be a sensation there, if she stepped in.

Best not to say too much, because I attended a dress rehearsal.

The rest of the cast was noteworthy, but some of them were marking, so no names will be mentioned here. For all I know, Rindzuner was marking too. The US economy should only have such reserves.

Turandot begins a four-performance run this Friday at their home on East 76th Street at Lexington.

Sam H. Shirakawa

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