Sunday, August 28, 2016
Compositions that are less frequently performed need to be explored further. Such is the case with this music: Verdi and Dvorak: String Quartets Dvorak: String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major, Op. 51 (B92) Performed by Yura Lee (violin), Katharine Gowers (violin), Florian Donderer (viola), Frans Helmerson (cello) Verdi: String Quartet in E minor Performed by Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Florian Donderer (violin), Hartmut Rohde (viola), Maximilian Hornung (cello) Today we have the privilege of counting these masterpieces among the crown jewels of the late 1800’s. In 1873, Verdi wrote a string quartet – the only work of chamber music in his entire output. It was intended to serve as a pastime during a long stay in Naples. Only later did he make clear to the world that he was not indifferent to this work’s quality. Six years later, Dvořák wrote his 10th String Quartet. Thus, this CD juxtaposes the Romantic styles of Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Here is the Verdi string quartet:
The view from the main stage Orchestra Pit at the Royal Opera House © ROH/Sim Canetty-Clarke, 2014 Eight Royal Opera productions will be broadcast over the coming months on BBC Radio 3 . Each broadcast will be available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast. Details are as follows: Il barbiere di Siviglia LIVE - 17 September 2016 (6.30pm BST) Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © ROH / Mike Hoban 2011 Rossini ’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) has a score that fizzes with musical brilliance, from Figaro’s famous entrance aria ‘Largo al factotum’ to the frenzy of the Act I finale, when the five principal voices all pile on top of each other. Werther - 15 October 2016 (6.30pm BST) Joyce DiDonato as Charlotte and Vittorio Grigòlo as Werther in Werther, Royal Opera House © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper Werther's excellent libretto, written by Edouard Blau and Paul Milliet , distills Goethe ’s Romantic masterpiece and intensifies Goethe’s depiction of two passionate people, each intent on hurting the other. The score displays Massenet ’s gift for melody, with the ‘Clair de lune’, ‘Lied d’Ossian’ and Charlotte’s ‘Prière’ now some of the composer's most loved music. This broadcast offers another chance to hear two of the finest performances at Covent Garden last Season from Joyce DiDonato and Vittorio Grigòlo . Il trovatore - 22 October 2016 (6.30pm BST) Željko Lučić as Count di Luna in Il trovatore, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Clive Barda Verdi ’s Il trovatore is probably best known for its ‘gypsy’ music: the Anvil Chorus , Azucena’s ‘Stride la vampa’ and Manrico’s heroic ‘Di quella pira’ are key examples. But Verdi wrote wonderful music for all four of his leads and the score boasts a host of thrilling ensembles and chorus numbers including the Count's aristocratic aria ‘Il balen del suo sorriso’ and Leonora’s prayer. Norma - 5 November 2016 (6.30pm GMT) Norma. The Royal Opera 2016/17 Season Bellini ’s bel canto masterpiece Norma is perhaps most acclaimed as a vehicle for the lead soprano – key arias include ‘Casta diva’, Norma’s Act I hymn to the chaste moon; and Act II’s ‘Dormono entrambi’, as she contemplates the unthinkable act of killing her children. But the opera’s dramatic potency rests in its breathtaking ensembles, most strikingly in Norma’s duets with Pollione and Adalgisa, the Act I trio ‘Vanne, sì: mi lascia, indegno’ and the blistering Act II finale. Così fan tutte - 12 November 2016 (6.30pm GMT) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, posthumous portrait by Barbara Kraft, 1819 Mozart ’s final collaboration with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte followed Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni and exemplifies the heights opera can reach when the skills of composer and librettist are perfectly matched. But Così’s reception has always been more complex than that of the other Mozart/Da Ponte operas, with the opera variously considered immoral, unfinished, cruel or simply odd since its 1790 premiere. Now finally accepted as one of Mozart’s masterpieces, it is celebrated as much for its nuanced depiction of love as for its glorious music. Der Rosenkavalier LIVE - 14 January 2017 (5.45pm GMT) Richard Strauss conducts at the Royal Albert Hall, 1947 © Philharmonia Orchestra Der Rosenkavalier was Richard Strauss ’s first original collaboration with the playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal , following quickly on the heels of Strauss’s adaption of Hofmannsthal’s play Elektra . It marked the start of one of 20th century opera’s most important artistic partnerships. Renée Fleming takes on the role of Marschallin in this new production, one of the great soprano roles in the repertory. The Nose and Les Contes d'Hoffmann will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in the coming months. Details of these broadcasts will be released shortly. The Royal Opera House and the BBC are partners . Please note broadcast schedules are subject to change.
Fred Plotkin: “How could she sing in such a wide range of styles, from Mozart to bel canto (she sang Norma, Maria Stuarda and rare Rossini) to Verdi, Puccini and the verismo composers? She liked to say, ‘you sing using technique and your brain and the voice responds.'”
Buenos Aires Lírica presented Verdi´s "Ernani" in 2006 and it was an excellent idea, for it is one of the best of Verdi´s First Period operas, and the Colón incredibly presented it only in 1965. Ten years later the Colón seems uninterested to program it, so it is quite justified to bring it back. The 2006 occasion had been convincing in two key roles: Gustavo López Manzitti as a stalwart Ernani and Omar Carrión as a noble Carlo. Svetlana Volosenko was a good Elvira and Homero Pérez-Miranda a dramatic though rather woolly Silva. The sure hands of Carlos Vieu led the orchestra and Mario Perusso did an acceptable staging. This time the strongest link in what may be called a Mercosur cast was the powerful Brazilian bass Sávio Sperandio and the weakest the Platense Lisandro Guinis as Carlo: he lacks presence and a fluid vocal line. Elvira was interpreted by the Paraguayan soprano Monserrat Maldonado with a sense of drama though little refinement and Ernani by the Uruguayan Nazareth Aufe, expressive and correct; however, he needs more metal in the timbre. Juan Casasbellas was the very musical conductor, and the American Crystal Manich did the traditional staging, blessedly not changed to the present century but according to the libretto, placed in 1519-20. The stage designs of Noelia González Svoboda were good in the initial two acts but the chapel is poor, and the last act isn´t "a terrace"; the use of the same woody drop of the First Tableau was a mistake. Good costumes by María Emilia Tambutti and adequate lighting (Rubén Conde). In my early teens I read in French Victor Hugo´s "Hernani" along with its famous Prologue, and I understood why it provoked a scandal at the time of its première in 1830. As Claudio Ratier writes in his excellent comments (I wish the Colón were as thorough as he is) it is "the banner of French Romanticism, a proclamation in defense of freedom". Hugo´s theatre has long been considered old hat, but his intense belief in values that are now forgotten appealed to me, and they still do. And they persist in the libretto of Francesco Maria Piave for Verdi, although for some reason Hugo didn´t like it. Later in my teens I had two experiences that convinced me of the quality of Verdi´s opera. One was the Cetra recording, with the magisterial Carlo of Giuseppe Taddei. The other was the viewing of "Ernani" at the beautiful old Met ("The Golden Horseshoe") in New York, with a fantastic masculine cast: Leonard Warren, Mario Del Monaco, Cesare Siepi; only Zinka Milanov was in decline by then. The 1965 Colón performances also had admirable singers: Cornell MacNeil´s magnificent Carlo, and the very good Ernani of Flaviano Labò and Silva of Jerome Hines; Margherita Roberti was a step below but still good; and Previtali was a convinced Verdian. The French have always been interested in Spain and you may remember Corneille´s "Le Cid" as a basic reference. I read an article about "Ernani" that calls Silva the villain: he isn´t, Carlo is until the Third Act. Carlo is no less than Charles I of Spain, crowned Charles V of the Sacred Roman Germanic Empire precisely in the Third Act, at Charlemagne´s Chapel at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen now), in 1520. Remember: Spain in 1519 (first two acts) is a country of extremes: in 1492 Columbus discovers America but both the Moors and the Jews are chased out of Spain; Torquemada is the terrible chief of the Inquisition. A unified Spain from then on, but one with frequent abuses. Charles was born in Ghent; crowned Charles I in 1516 when he was only 16, he knew almost no Spanish. Son of Juana la Loca, grandson of the Catholic Kings (Ferdinand and Isabel), he had to mature fast, but it was only after 1522 and a bloody purge of the revolt of the "comuneros" that Spain began to accept him. Before then, however, he took lands of noblemen. And that´s when Hugo´s Ernani comes in, for he is of noble family, but Carlo runs him into exile by a "bando"(edict); he becomes a "bandit" (that´s the real sense of the word). Three men love Elvira but she only loves Ernani; Silva (her uncle) and the young King are the other pretenders. When Ernani disguised as a pilgrim is accepted in Silva´s castle by the laws of hospìtality he learns that Silva will marry Elvira (she thinks Ernani is dead); Ernani reveals himself and both are about to duel when the King´s arrival is announced; Silva shows an hidalgo´s loyalty and he hides Ernani. Carlo claims the bandit but Silva has given his word to save him. Honor is above all, "the Silvas don´t lie". The King takes Elvira as hostage; the others plan revenge. But the conspirators lose in the Third Act, and the new Emperor, invoking Charlemagne, pardons them. In the Fourth Act Silva accomplishes his revenge: he has warned Ernani that if he hears three horn calls he must commit suicide; Ernani fools himself into believing that Silva would pardon him, but the old man is inexorable and Ernani obeys (he had given his word: values again). All this with music that boasts several splendid arias, duets, trios and concertantes, plus a chorus, "Si ridesti il Leon di Castiglia", that Italians took as a call to independence. For Buenos Aires Herald
From 2014/15 Deutsche Bühnenverein statistics, just released: 1 La Traviata (Verdi) 31 productions, 286 performances 2 Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) 30 productions, 285 performances 3 Carmen (Bizet) 26 productions, 247 performances 4 Hansel und Gretel (Humperdinck) 207 performances Magic Flute and H&G are targeted at children and Christmas audiences. So, no surprises here. Among more recent works, Peter Grimes (Britten) had 35 performances and The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky) 30.
Top Opera House Instagrams to follow © (Left to right) Bolshoi Theatre, Royal Opera House, Lincoln Centre, Sydney Opera House, Kungliga Operan and Teatro alla Scala 'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players', so said William Shakespeare over 400 years ago. It's a saying that still rings true – the art of performance, whether on stage or off, has entranced people for centuries. And while the artistry of the performers should never be called into question, there's undoubtedly something special about these stages. Beautiful structures inside and out, set in the heart of cities across the world, let's take a look at the world's most breathtaking opera house Instagram accounts: La Scala - Milan, Italy Built in 1778, La Scala is one of the oldest opera houses in the world. The auditorium was originally illuminated with 84 oil lamps, with another thousand lighting the rest of the theatre. With pre-electric technology however, came increased risk of fire and so buckets full of water were hung on the walls around the auditorium. Aspettando la prova antegenerale de/waiting for the pre-dress rehearsal of #LafanciulladelWest in scena dal/on stage from 3 al/to 28 maggio/May #riccardochailly #opera #puccini #lascala #teatroallascala #robertcarsen A photo posted by Teatro alla Scala (@teatroallascala) on Apr 27, 2016 at 9:23am PDT Kungliga Operan - Stockholm, Sweden King Gustave III turned away the French Opera Troupe in the years before The Royal Swedish Opera was built because he wanted to create an opera house that could perform Swedish productions. The Kungliga Operan was constructed next to the Royal Palace on the Norrström River and so the national home of opera and ballet was born. In a cruel twist, the king was actually murdered at his beloved opera house; he was shot at a masked ball in 1792. The assassination would later inspire Verdi's Un ballo in maschera . Knappt två veckor till säsongsstart och det ska fejas och det ska fixas. Nu har stora ljuskronan kommit ner för sin årliga upp-piffning! Den 19 augusti har vi nypremiär på Carmen! //Roy, guide & gästpostare på Operan #kungligaoperan #livetpåoperan #lifeattheopera #sommarpåoperan A photo posted by Kungliga Operan (@kungligaoperan) on Aug 7, 2015 at 12:35am PDT Teatro Colón - Buenos Aires, Argentina Teatro Colón was built in 1857 as a performance venue for overseas companies stopping in the Argentine capital. It was nearly 70 years before the theatre saw its resident opera and ballet companies established. The interior design echoes the European style, but the ceiling was repainted by Argentinian landscape painter Raúl Soldi in the 1960s. His inspiration was the South American sky. Cúpula A photo posted by Teatro Colón (@teatrocolon) on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:20am PDT Lincoln Center - New York City, USA Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III was part of the 1950s initiative to create a new cultural hub in New York. He reportedly raised more than half of the $185 million need to build the complex. The center features a huge variety of dance, music and film performances and is home to The Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Ballet . The #blizzard begins. Stay safe and warm, East Coasters. #snow #lincolncenter #nyc #newyork #blizzardof2015 #architecture A photo posted by Lincoln Center (@lincolncenter) on Jan 26, 2015 at 5:14pm PST The Bolshoi - Moscow, Russia Surviving both revolution and fire, the Bolshoi Theatre has been rebuilt several time during its history. Its iconic facade can be seen on the Russian 100 ruble banknote. The theatre was closed for six years in 2005 for some serious renovation work that was said to have cost upward of 25.5 billion rubles (£650 million) and during this period, performances were held at the Great Kremlin Palace. The Bolshoi Ballet regularly perform at Covent Garden as part of their London Seasons . Большой театр сегодня празднует свое 240-летие! Спасибо, что остаетесь с нами! The Bolshoi celebrates the 240th anniversary today! Thank you for staying with us! #большойтеатр #большой #балет #большойбалет #опера #юбилей #bolshoi #bolshoitheatre #ballet #bolshoiballet #opera #anniversary #happybirthday A photo posted by Большой Театр (@bolshoi_theatre) on Mar 28, 2016 at 8:05am PDT Glyndebourne - Sussex, UK Glyndebourne Opera House is in the grounds of an English country house beside the South Downs in East Sussex. Its famous summer festival has happened every year since 1934 – apart from a brief closure during World War II. Works are performed in the purpose-built opera house (rebuilt in 1994), but much of the day is spent outside, where audiences are encouraged to dress up in black-tie and bring a picnic to enjoy in the garden. @whitecubeofficial at Glyndebourne opens this weekend - to celebrate our Shop have collaborated with White Cube artist Raqib Shaw in developing this beautiful organic wool blanket - perfect for a Glyndebourne #picnic or to use as a luxurious throw. Ps Don’t forget to visit the Shop for all your picnicking needs! Product details: Limited edition blanket featuring the print: Phileas and I Under the Full Moon - A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016) is on sale now. Link in profile Sam Stephenson A photo posted by Glyndebourne (@glyndebourne) on May 18, 2016 at 6:50am PDT Sydney Opera House - Sydney, Australia Inspired by the ship sails that sail Sydney Harbour, the city's famous opera house is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. More than 8 million people visit the theatre to marvel at the concrete shells designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon - visitors can even climb them on a tour. Following a dispute with other stakeholders during the build, Utzon left Australia never to return. He famously never saw his masterpiece in its completed state. We have our head in the clouds this morning! #sydneyskies #sydneyoperahouse A photo posted by Sydney Opera House (@sydneyoperahouse) on Jun 26, 2016 at 3:51pm PDT Paris Opéra - Paris, France The Paris Opéra perform in two very different spaces in the French capital. Built in the 19th century, the Palais Garnier is the older of the company's two theatres, and has become an important landmark in the city alongside the Notre Dame and the Louvre . The second site Opéra Bastille , now the main facility of the Paris National Opera , was designed to provide a ‘populace and modern’ space for audiences. Incontournable : le Grand Foyer du Palais Garnier. #art #architecture #visite #mustsee #PalaisGarnier #PaulBaudry ©Jean-Pierre Delagarde/OnP A photo posted by Opéra national de Paris (@operadeparis) on Jul 27, 2016 at 5:09am PDT Opéra de Monte Carlo - Monaco The Salle Garnier was designed by the same architect who created the Palais Garnier in Paris. Monaco’s version is much smaller, seating only 524 compared to the Parisian version which can seat an audience of over 2,000. The Salle Garnier was used to celebrate the centenary of Monte Carlo by King Rainier III and his American film star wife, Grace Kelly . Lieu de création depuis 1879, l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo baigné par la mer méditerranée rejoint l'aventure instagram. Photo: Jean Grisoni #opera #operademontecarlo #montecarlo #principautedemonaco #monaco #garnier #sallegarnier #igers #igersfrance A photo posted by Opéra de Monte-Carlo (@opera_de_monte_carlo) on Oct 28, 2014 at 5:29am PDT Teatro San Carlo - Naples, Italy Said to be the oldest ‘continuously active’ public opera house still in existance, Naples is home to the oldest horseshoe shaped auditorium in the world. Rossini , Donizetti , Verdi were all composers in residence here. The interior inspired subsequent opera houses around Europe and includes gold decoration, sumptuous blue upholstery and 184 boxes. Che programmi avete per il prossimo #weekend? A #Pasqua e #Pasquetta vi aspettiamo al #TeatroSanCarlo per dei turni speciali di #visiteguidate ! Tutte le info sul nostro sito nella sezione #News...#guidedtour #tour #Napoli #Naples #Italia #Italy #Feste #effettosancarlo A photo posted by Teatro San Carlo (@teatrosancarlo) on Mar 31, 2015 at 10:03am PDT Royal Opera House - London, UK Home to The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, the auditorium of the Royal Opera House has been relatively untouched since it was completely rebuilt after a fire in 1858 (caused by a cannon misfiring on stage). The ROH will be getting some big improvements to its front of house spaces over the next two years, thanks to the Open Up project, so expect plenty of stunning photos of our new surroundings. We also hosted the first ballet-inspired Instameet, #BalletBeauty . Welcome to Instagram, ROH supporters @Rolex #101031 A photo posted by Royal Opera House (@royaloperahouse) on Nov 28, 2015 at 2:10am PST Which opera houses are you following on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.
Giuseppe Verdi (10 October 1813 - 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdis masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.
Great composers of classical music