Thursday, 30 December 2010
Monday, 27 December 2010
Friday, 24 December 2010
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Here a review from www.amazon.com where you also can buy it. The recording is also on Spotify for all you downloaders!
Vivaldi's 1723 opera "Ercole sul Termodonte", his first to be performed in Rome, was a huge hit, pulling off what Oxford Professor of Music Reinhard Strohm described as "an aesthetic coup d'état in Roman opera".
Director Fabio Biondi has attempted a reconstruction from the surviving (complete) libretto, along with various musical manuscripts scattered across Europe. He supplies full analytical notes concerning the reconstruction in the accompanying booklet. Essentially much of what we have here is a modern creation cobbled together by Biondi, filling in the gaps; normally this kind of thing, knowing that it's not quite the real deal, would bother me a little when listening, but the sheer beauty of this recording wipes away such worries.
Rolando Villazón (Ercole) for me personally has the kind of voice which belongs more properly to a later age, of Rossini and Verdi; but I can forgive this choice given the rest of the cast.
As the Amazons: Vivica Geneaux (mezzo, Antiope) is an authoritative queen; Joyce DiDonato (mezzo, Ippolita) is outstanding as a fearsome warrior princess falling in love with Teseo, delivering tender love songs; the lovely Patrizia Ciofi (soprano, Orizia) is sadly a bit underutilised in terms of the number of arias she gets; Diana Damrau (soprano, Martesia) is delightful but maybe lacks a slight edge at times.
Playing Ercole's Greek companions: Romina Basso (Teseo), billed here as a mezzo, delivers real depth like a contralto, a solid performance in the trouser role and for me probably the standout performer of this set; Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor, Alceste) is just gorgeous as always and probably my favourite performer of the moment; Topi Lehtipuu (tenor, Telamone) is more like my idea of a baroque tenor though seems to have a tendency to try to imitate Villazón at times, especially when the two of them converse in the recitative.
Biondi's direction is excellent, the ensemble "Europa Galante" combines beautifully with the vocalists, and the sound in the recording is warm and space filling. The set comes as two discs in cardboard sleeves with sizeable accompanying booklet with notes, synopsis and libretto with translations, in English, French and German, all contained in a hinged cardboard box.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Today was the second and final peformance of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm. They were conducted by Daniel Harding, principal conductor of the orchestra of the evening, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. In view of the up-coming La Scala Pagliacci they were most likely Harding's try out of the verismo style at a safe distance from the nasty loggionisti at La Scala.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Hovsångare eller hovsångerska är en hederstitel instiftad av Gustav III. De först utnämnda hovsångarna var Elisabeth Olin och Carl Stenborg 1773.
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
For the first time in over 20 years Verdi’s magnificent opera Don Carlos will be performed in Gothenburg. Directed by Staffan Valdemar Holm.
Opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901).
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Opera in four acts
Music by Francesco Cilea
Libretto by Arturo Colautti after Eugéne Scribe and Ernest Legouvé's play
Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Orchestra of the Royal opera house
Chorus of the Royal opera house
Conducted by Mark Elder
Directed by David McVicar
Michonnet Alessandro Corbelli
Poisson Iain Paton
Quinault David Soar
Mademoiselle Jouvenot Janis Kelly
Mademoiselle Dangeville Sarah Castle
Prince De Bouillon Maurizio Muraro
Abbé De Chazeuil Bonaventura Bottone
Adriana Lecouvreur Angela Gheorghiu
Maurizio Jonas Kaufmann
Princesse de Bouillon Michaela Schuster
Cileas opera Adriana Lecouvreur is rarely staged. The opera has not been performed in London since 1906. Classicalify went to London to see the second performance.
Set in Paris in the year 1730 the story is about famed actress Adriana Lecouvreur who is in love with Maurizio the count of Saxony. The count has political support from the Princesse de Bouillon. When the princess finds out that Adriana is in love with the count she tries to end their affair by spreading false news that the count is dead. But fails. She wants Adriana killed.
A wonderful opera that deserves to be performed more often. Cilea may seem, today,an obscure one compared to those of his contemporaries, Mascagni, Leoncavallo and above all Puccini.
The general public may feel insecure to see an opera that is unknown to most of us.
But that shouldn't stop you. Opera is not hard to understand. It's music and words.
You don't have to be educated in opera history and speak italian to enjoy this opera.
Just go and enjoy yourself. The chance to see Kaufmann and Gheorghiu perform together is very rare. They perform to great satisfaction. Kaufmann is born to play this part. Gheorghiu shows again she is the top soprano of the Royal opera house. Classicalify still remembers with great joy her amazing performance in La Traviata last summer. Go see this prodcution. It's worth it.
Make sure Gheorghiu sings. She is known to cancel her performances. But she loves to sing at Covent Garden so hopefully she will sing all her performances.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Shirley Verrett, the vocally lustrous and dramatically compelling American opera singer who began as a mezzo-soprano and went on to sing soprano roles to international acclaim, died Friday morning at her home in Ann Arbor, Mich. She was 79.
The cause was heart failure after several months of illness, said her daughter, Francesca LoMonaco.
In her prime years Ms. Verrett was a remarkably complete and distinctive operatic artist. She had a plush, rich and powerful voice, thorough musicianship, insightful dramatic skills, charisma and beauty. If she never quite reached mythic status, she came close.
After singing the soprano role of Lady Macbeth in a landmark 1975 production of Verdi’s “Macbeth” at La Scala in Milan, demanding Milanese critics and impassioned Italian opera fans called her La Nera Callas (the Black Callas) and flocked to her every performance.
Her Lady Macbeth is preserved on a classic 1976 Deutsche Grammophon recording, conducted by Claudio Abbado. And in the early 1980s, she was so popular in Paris that she lived there with her family for three years.
In the early days, like black artists before her, she experienced racial prejudice, as she recounts in her memoir, “I Never Walked Alone.” In 1959 the conductor Leopold Stokowski hired her to sing the Wood Dove in a performance of Schoenberg’s “Gurrelieder” with the Houston Symphony, but the orchestra’s board would not allow a black soloist to appear. To make amends, a shaken Stokowski took Ms. Verrett to the Philadelphia Orchestra for a performance of Falla’s “Amor Brujo,” which led to a fine recording.
By her own admission, Ms. Verrett’s singing was inconsistent. Even some admiring critics thought that she made a mistake by singing soprano repertory after establishing herself as one of the premiere mezzo-sopranos of her generation, riveting as Bizet’s Carmen and Saint-Saëns’s Delila. A contingent of vocal buffs thought that her voice developed breaks and separated into distinct registers.
To Ms. Verrett the problem was not the nature of her voice but health issues. During the peak years she suffered from allergies to mold spores that could clog her bronchial tubes. She could not predict when her allergies would erupt. In 1976, just six weeks after singing Adalgisa in Bellini’s “Norma” at the Metropolitan Opera (a role traditionally performed by mezzo-sopranos), she sang the daunting soprano title role on tour with the Met, including a performance in Boston that earned a frenzied ovation. In his Boston Globe review, the critic Richard Dyer wrote that “what Verrett did added her Norma to that select company of contemporary performances that have enlarged the dimensions of operatic legend.”
Yet, in 1979, when New Yorkers finally had the chance to hear Ms. Verrett’s Norma at the Met, her allergies acted up and undermined her singing, as Ms. Verrett recalled in her memoir. Among her 126 performances with the Met, however, were many triumphs.
In 1973, when the company opened its historic production of Berlioz’s “Troyens,” starring Jon Vickers as Aeneas, Ms. Verrett sang not only the role of Cassandra in Part I of this epic opera, but also Dido in Part II, taking the place of the mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, who had withdrawn because of an illness, a tour de force that entered Met annals.
In his New York magazine review the critic Alan Rich wrote that Ms. Verrett was “glorious to behold, and her luscious, pliant voice is at this moment in prime estate.” And in the Met’s 1978-79 season Ms. Verrett sang Tosca to Luciano Pavarotti’s Cavaradossi in a production of Puccini’s “Tosca” that was broadcast live on public television, which is available on a Decca DVD.
At her best, Ms. Verrett could sing with both mellow richness and chilling power. Her full-voiced top notes easily cut through the orchestral outbursts in Verdi’s “Aida.” Yet as Lady Macbeth, during the “Sleepwalking Scene,” she could end the character’s haunting music with an ethereal final phrase capped by soft, shimmering high D-flat.
Shirley Verrett was born on May 31, 1931, in New Orleans, one of five children. Her parents were strict Seventh-day Adventists. Her father, who ran a construction company and moved the family to Los Angeles when Ms. Verrett was a young girl, was a decent man, Ms. Verrett recalled in her book, though he routinely punished his children by strapping them on the legs.
Her parents encouraged Ms. Verrett’s talent, but wanted her to pursue a concert career in the mold of Marian Anderson. They disapproved of opera. When they made their first trip to Europe in 1962 to hear their daughter sing the title role in “Carmen” at the Spoleto Festival, they “got down on their knees and prayed for forgiveness,” Ms. Verrett wrote.
In 1951, she married James Carter, who was 14 years her senior and proved a controlling and abusive husband. Ms. Verrett left that impulsive marriage when she discovered a gun under her husband’s pillow. During the first years of her career she was known as Shirley Verrett-Carter.
In 1963 she married Lou LoMonaco, an artist, who survives her, along with her daughter, who was adopted, and a granddaughter.
Her happy marriage came two years after she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, having studied at the Juilliard School. Carmen was the role of her 1968 Met debut. Other important roles with the Met included Azucena from Verdi’s “Trovatore,” Eboli from Verdi’s “Don Carlo” and Leonora in Donizetti’s “Favorita” in 1978, a new production mounted for Ms. Verrett and Pavarotti.
During the late 1970s and 1980s, Ms. Verrett had a close association with Sarah Caldwell, the conductor and stage director who ran the Opera Company of Boston, winning devoted fans among Boston opera buffs for her Aida, Norma, Tosca and other roles.
In 1981, in what was then a bold act of colorblind casting, Ms. Caldwell had Ms. Verrett sing Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello,” opposite the tenor James McCracken in the title role. Ms. Verrett’s skin color was only somewhat lightened to portray Desdemona. The intensity and vulnerability of her singing cut to the core of the character of the winsome, naïve Desdemona.
Ms. Verrett also sustained a lively rivalry with another black mezzo-soprano-turned-soprano, Grace Bumbry. In later years, she was a professor of voice at the University of Michigan.
In 1994, about to turn 63 and with opera well behind her, Ms. Verrett made her Broadway debut as Nettie Fowler in the Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” at Lincoln Center. Nettie’s defining moment comes when she sings “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which Ms. Verrett adapted for the title of her memoir.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Anthony Freud, OBE, General Director and CEO of Houston Grand Opera, noted that Opera
Australia and HGO have collaborated on several important initiatives in recent seasons, including the acclaimed production of Peter Grimes which HGO presents as part of its 2010/11 season: "It is a thrill to work with Opera Australia on a groundbreaking new production of these important operas, and we look forward to bringing Houston Grand Opera's first-ever Ring to the stage," he said.
successful conclusion of its fundraising campaign. "Bringing the Ring to Houston for the first time is an important step for the company artistically and for our audience as well. It will require significant resources,” added Freud. “We are visiting with all of our stakeholders to ensure that we can take this step securely and that our mission to produce opera of the highest quality is fulfilled.”
director and our own music director, Patrick Summers,” Freud continued, adding that Summers's leadership and development of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra since joining the company in 1999 was one of the major factors in the decision to mount a Ring in Houston. Just last season, Summers conducted Lohengrin, the company's acclaimed first entrée into Wagnerian repertoire in a decade; reviewing the performance in Opera News, critic Gregory Barnett stated, “Under Summers's ever-alert and sensitive direction, the eighty-piece Orchestra – at times commenting with crispness and agility, at times shaking the walls with sweeping, transcendent climaxes – took its rightful place beside the singers as a narrative instrument...(and) the Houston audience could bask in Wagner's orchestral detail without losing a note of the singing.”
Summers and Armfield have collaborated on all of the company's Britten operas, most recently
on an acclaimed production of The Turn of the Screw (2010), and will join forces for Peter Grimes this season. The Ring cycle marks Armfield's first encounter as director with the operas of Richard Wagner.
Grand Opera over the course of four seasons, as follows: 2014 - Das Rheingold; 2015 - Die Walküre; 2016 - Siegfried; and 2017 - Götterdämmerung.
German composer Richard Wagner composed the Ring as a series of four operas based loosely on stories from Norse mythology. Although Wagner is renowned for his many other operatic works including Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde and Der Fliegende Holländer, the Ring Operas are by far his best-known works and took nearly thirty years to develop. In all the Ring Operas span 15 hours of live opera.
the Edinburgh Festival. Mr. Armfield is an accomplished theater director, having recently directed Ionesco’s Exit the King on Broadway to critical acclaim. He has directed for all of Australia’s state theatre companies and for international opera companies such as Welsh National Opera, Zurich Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Mr. Armfield holds the title Officer of the Order of Australia, which he was given for his service to the arts. Further awards and honors include six Helpmann Awards at Dublin International Festival of the Arts for Cloudstreet and multiple Green Room Awards and Sydney Critics’ Circle Awards in the category of best director. Mr. Armfield is Artistic Director of Company B at the Belvoire Theatre in Surry Hills, Australia, where his most recent new production is the world premiere of Tommy Murphy’s play Gwen in Purgatory, a collaboration with La Boite Theatre Company. His production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos was presented by Boston Lyric Opera last spring, and will be seen at both Welsh National Opera and Canadian Opera Company this season.
and has since conducted more than thirty operas here, including Wagner’s Lohengrin last fall and
Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Puccini’s Tosca last winter. His HGO world premieres include Brief Encounter by André Previn; Three Decembers (Last Acts) and The End of the Affair by Jake Heggie; The Refuge by Christopher Theofanidis; and Resurrection by Todd Machover. Maestro Summers also led the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree, which is available on CD from Albany Records. He recently conducted the world premieres of Moravec’s The Letter at the Santa Fe Opera and Heggie’s Moby Dick at the Dallas Opera, to great acclaim. His diverse credits at the Metropolitan Opera include Salome and Madama Butterfly. Other highlights include A Streetcar Named Desire, Ariodante and Three Decembers (Last Acts) at San Francisco Opera, where he has been appointed principal guest conductor; La Cenerentola at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; and Verdi’s Nabucco and Puccini’s Turandot with Opera Australia. Maestro Summers led the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s on Renée Fleming’s Grammy Award-winning solo recording Bel Canto, available from Decca.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Staging ... Calixto Bieito
Stage designer ... Rebecca Ringst
Costumes ... Ingo Krügler
Dramaturgy ... Bettina Auer
Choir ... André Kellinghaus
Light ... Franck Evin
Armida ... Elena Semenova
Hidraot ... Carsten Sabrowski
Der Mann mit der Schlange ... Norman Shankle
Artemidoro ... Christoph Schröter
Ubaldo ... Günter Papendell
Der dänische Ritter ... Thomas Ebenstein
Phénice ... Annelie Sophie Müller
Sidonie ... Julia Giebel
Aronte ... Hans-Peter Scheidegger
Der Hass ... Karolina Gumos
Ein Dämon in Gestalt der Melissa ... Anna Borchers
Der Mann mit der Schlange ... Carsten Wykrota
Friday, 29 October 2010
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Kate Royal Soprano
Magdalena Kozena Mezzo soprano
Berlin Radio Choir
Arnold Schönberg "A survivor from Warsaw"
for narrator, male chorus and orchestra.
Hanns Zichler narrator
Gustav Mahler symphony nr 2 c-minor. "Auferstehung"
For big orchestra, choir and soloists.
"A survivor from Warsaw" is a dramatic piece written by Schönberg in 1947.
The initial inspiration came from the Russian dancer Corinne Chochem to pay tribute to the jewish victims in the holocaust. They desided to work on the piece together. But it didn't work.
So Schönberg wrote the piece on his own.
The narration depicts a story of a survivor from Warsaw during the second world war. He doesn't remember how he ended up living in the sewers.
He tells the story of how SS soldiers held a roll call group of jews. How the old and young prisoners were beaten beacuse they didn't round up quickly enough.
Six minutes of drama that ends with the words from Deuteronomy 6:7 "and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up".
Immediatly after six minutes the next piece began just 3 seconds after the last note.
Mahlers second symphony works well together with Schönberg.
Classicalify has heard this symphony live before. But not like this.
Mahler is very special in many ways. He tells the conductor what to do and not to do.
Simon Rattle knows this symphony by heart. It was a performance entirely as Mahler would have wanted it. Everything is here. The fierce tempo and the sound of fire in the first movement that makes you jump almost. A funeral march with people going through different moods.
Second movement ( Andante) is the remembrance of joyful times in the life of a deceased.
The third and fourth movement "Urlicht" are from Das Knaben Wunderhorn.
The fourth movement sung by Magdalena Kozena wife of the conductor, had all the right notes but there was something missing. Classicalify has heard Anna Larsson twice singing this symphony and Anna is just the best. Kozena is to light.
Kate Royal is wonderful in the soprano parts and Classicalify hope to hear her soon again.
The last movement is the longest but worth waiting for. The text is from Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock " Arise again". Telling us that what has died will arise and bring us closer to god.
It is a symphony worth hearing many times. And the Berlin Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras today. Go to Berlin and hear them. It's worth it.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Classicalifys favorite conductor Claudio Abbado has recieved the gold medal of Circulo de Belllas Artes. Claudio is on tour with Lucerne Festival Orchestra performing Gustav Mahlers symphony nr 9. In a ceremony presided by the mayor of Madrid Alberto Ruiz Gallardon.
The medal was given by the president of Circulo de Bellas Artes Juan Miguel Hérnandez de Léon
with the following words:
"A guardian angel for young muscians and for being a commited and innovative director".
Abbado has said the "most important thing for young people starting out in this profession is to "make music together".
Attending the ceremony was also the six spanish musicians from LFO.
One of them José Vincente Castello said: "Abbado is able to pass on, to share his joy of music, is a dream come true working for him".
Monday, 18 October 2010
(Concert performance in Italian with English surtitles)
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Monday, 11 October 2010
In der Neuproduktion von Antonin Dvořáks Rusalka (Vorstellungen am 23., 26., 28., 31. Oktober und 4. November 2010) wird Kristīne Opolais die Titelpartie anstelle von Nina Stemme übernehmen. Frau Stemme sieht sich aufgrund ihrer stimmlichen Weiterentwicklung seit Unterschrift des Vertrages leider nicht mehr in der Lage, Repertoire wie Rusalka zu singen, was sie sehr bedauert. Kristīne Opolais gibt mit dieser Partie unter der Musikalischen Leitung von Tomáš Hanus und der Regie von Martin Kušej ihr Debüt an der Bayerischen Staatsoper.Kristīne Opolais wurde in Lettland geboren und studierte Gesang an der dortigen Musikakademie sowie bei Margreet Honig in Amsterdam. Von 2003 bis 2007 war sie Ensemblemitglied an der Lettischen Nationaloper in Riga. 2006 folgte ihr Debüt als Tosca an der Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin. Weitere Stationen ihrer Karriere führten sie an die Mailänder Scala, die Wiener Staatsoper, an die Opéra de Lyon sowie an das Teatro Regio in Turin. Außerdem war sie bei renommierten Festivals wie den Salzburger Festspielen oder in Aix-en-Provence zu Gast. Ihr Opernrepertoire umfasst u.a. Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Gräfin Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Violetta Valéry (La traviata), Lisa (Pique Dame), Liù (Turandot), Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly). Im Konzert war sie mit Werken von u.a. Mozart, Verdi, Richard Strauss, Mahler und Britten zu erleben. Debüt an der Bayerischen Staatsoper in der Spielzeit 2010/11: Titelpartie Rusalka.http://kristineopolais.com/
She died earlier today in her home in Switzerland. She was 83.
Her family has said that she died peacefully in her sleep.
One of the last legends in opera is no more.
She leaves a long legacy of recordings and performances behind.
Classicalify has many of them. She sang 256 performances of 23 roles in Sidney.
She did her first concert in Sidney 1947 as Dido by Purcell.
In 1950 she won the prestigious Mobil Quest award that gave her a name.
She made her London debut at the Royal Opera in Mozarts The Magic Flute two years later as the first lady. She auditioned three times. In 1954 she sang Countess Almviva in The Marriage of Figaro also by Mozart. The critics got their eye on her.
She sang Donizetti, Mozart,Bellini and a lot more.
She is famous for singing along with Pavarotti in Donizettis La fillé du Regimant which marked his debut in London. Dame Joan is survived by husband Richard Bonynge, son Adam and grandchildren.
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
BUT we are now happy to announce that we got a new chance when Royal Opera House Covent Garden stage this in November. Today booking started and Classicalify was lucky to get the last ticket "up by the gods" (Amphitheatre).
In Berlin they gave two concert performances, in London it will be a full stage production!
ARE we lucky or not?
Of course we suspect La Gheorghiu will withdraw (as usual), but what the hell, if Jonas is singing it's more than worth it!
Saturday, 2 October 2010
The magnificent Bartoli has two releases coming in October. The wonderful and funny "Clari" by Halévy from Opernhaus Zürich some years ago is now (finally) being released. Classicalify saw the performance in Zürich and was pleased to hear and see La Ceci. She is much loved in Zürich and was applauded as soon as she entered on stage. We are looking forward to experience it again, now on DVD.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Malmö Opera har fått ökade resurser och ska göra 50 procent mer föreställningar. Något som gör att teaterchefen Bengt Hall behöver hjälp och förstärkning. Den givne personen att vända sig till blev Stefan Johansson, som arbetat tillsammans med Bengt Hall under dennes tid på operan i Stockholm, där de tillsammans byggt upp ett dramaturgiat. Nu väntar samma uppgift i Malmö. Det handlar inte om att återinföra delat chefskap. Bengt Hall är som vd fortsatt den som har yttersta ansvaret. Stefan Johanssons tjänst löper parallellt med hans tjänstetid, men ett halvår längre, fram till mitten av 2013, för att man ska få kontinuitet i organisationen.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Saturday, 4 September 2010
2. Tamerlano, HWV 18: Empio, per farti guerra
3. Acis & Galatea, HWV 49: Love in her eyes
4. Samson, HWV 57: Total eclipse
5. Semele, HWV 58: Where’er you walk
6. Athalia, HWV 52: Gentle airs, melodious strains
7. Israel in Egypt, HWV 54: The enemy said
8. Jephtha, HWV 70: Waft her, angels, through the skies
9. Partenope, HWV 27: La gloria in nobil alma
10. Messiah, HWV 56: Comfort ye / Ev'ry valley
11. Trio Sonata in G minor, HWV 393: I. Andante
12. Trio Sonata in G minor, HWV 393: II. Allegro
13. Trio Sonata in G minor, HWV 393: III. Largo
14. Trio Sonata in G minor, HWV 393: IV. Allegro
Thursday, 2 September 2010
Jonas Kaufmann meldte ellers fra til en opera i det sydtyske i sidste uge.
Hans profil på Facebook meldte faktisk om forkølelse så sent som fredag middag.
Men folk kunne jo altid tage til Berlin og se en kæmpeplakat af ham i stedet, skrev han!
Jo tak. Så længe han ikke ville gentage den dumme dobbeltfejl forleden - det dumme drama med en syg Rolando Villazón i første akt og et vrangvilligt Tivoli i andet.
Manden kom altså. Og han gav landets kongefamilie, kendteste skibsreder, fremmeste indehavere af kors og bånd og stjerner plus alle os andre en uforglemmelig oplevelse.
Men verden forvandler sig lige for øjnene og ørerne af den spændte sal. Stjernen viser sig foran orkestret:
Jonas Kaufmann! Tysk tenor på 41 somre. Begavet med et godt hoved og det helt rigtige udseende.
Og nej: Ikke med den sædvanlige komet foran karrieren. Kaufmann har arbejdet sig op langsomt og passet på sin stemme. Han kan synge to en halv time uden antydning af tudser i talerøret - takket være en stensikker teknik i struben.
At kalde ham en klassisk førsteelsker er for resten heller ikke helt retfærdigt. For han er meget mere den aften. Manden synger sig helt ind i både kenderes og ikkekenderes hjerter - takket være et lige så stensikkert og desværre halvglemt fænomen ved navn smag.
Alle bliver fanget af hans stemme fra første sekund. Om den lyder som på hans plader? Den er om muligt mørkere i virkeligheden. Han kan godt brøle alle de høje tenortoner ud, hvis han vil. Men han er mindst lige så fantastisk i mezza voce, som man siger - altså i melodier med tyste virkninger, med tale, med hvisken. Dét kan Villazón for eksempel ikke prale ad længere.
Det er ikke bare bevægende. Det er helt overrumplende. Og han overdriver ikke engang showet omkring sig. Han underspiller det snarere, laver afværgende håndtegn, antyder en selvironi i sit smil.
En af de store sange fra Carmen ender som aftenens højdepunkt. På grund af hans langsomme byggen op, hans uendelige variationer nede i halsen, hans spil mellem lukket mund og åben mund. Den slags gør en kæmpe forskel. At han så ikke har den store stemme nede i bunden, tager man bare med.
Og sådan får alt pludselig en ende. Ak.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
From 1906 to 1922 he was Artistic Director and chief conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony, the first full-time professional orchestra in Sweden. In this capacity, he organized many performances of music by contemporary Scandinavian composers. Briefly, in 1909, he held the position of director of music at Uppsala University, where he was succeeded in the following year by Hugo Alfvén.
Wilhelm Stenhammar died of a stroke at 56 years of age in Jonsered in the historic province of Västergötland. He is buried in Gothenburg.
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Gustav Mahler is inescapable in this, the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Next year is the anniversary of his death and more Mahler to come. I doubt if either year will produce a performance like the one Classicalify heard recently with Abbado and his hand-picked festival orchestra. The first movement is notable for crises. Abbado mantained a steady stream in the great build-ups and expertly avoided losing momentum. The second movement was held within a regular pulse and with fierce accents. Producing sophisticated and coarse sounds.
In the third Abbado highlighted the contrast between earthly parody and the glimpses of heaven provided by the solo trumpet, and brought the movement to thrilling conclusion.
The last movement was played with richness and transparancy. The lush passages was filled with a powerfull brass-section. As the violins slowly winded down towards the end I had tears running down my face and could hear my own heartbeats. As the final note was whispered with such feeling and tendernes there was a silence in the audience I have never experienced before.
It was total silence for three minutes and then the applause started. It was twenty minutes of standing ovation. An amazing evening.
Friday, 20 August 2010
Regi och ljus: Linus Fellbom
Scenografi: Lars Östbergh
Kostym: Camilla Thulin
Mask: Kjerstin Elg
Ljud: Terese Johansson