Saturday, 15 October 2011

Harteros cancels Don Carlo in Berlin

In den Vorstellungen DON CARLO am 23. und 26. Oktober 2011 singt Seth Carico anstelle von Simon Pauly die Partie des 3. Flandrischen Deputierten. In allen Vorstellungen singt Matthew Peña anstelle von Jörg Schörner die Partien des Herold sowie des Grafen Lerma. Am 23., 26. und 29. Oktober singt anstelle von Anja Harteros Lucrezia Garcia die Partie der Elisabeth.

Viking opera in Malmö, Sweden

The Swedish opera "Tirfing" by Wilhelm Stenhammar opens tonight at Malmö Opera. Vikings and trouser role lead mezzo. What more can we ask for? The opera hasn't been played in Sweden for over 100 years... Is this maybe a revival for old Swedish opera? Well, go to Malmö and see for your self.

Musik: Wilhelm Stenhammar

Libretto: Anna Boberg

Dirigent: Arnold Östman

Regi: Per-Erik Öhrn

Scenografi: Lars Östbergh

Kostym: Constance Hoffman

Ljus: Zerlina Hughes

Rörelseinstruktör: Patrik Sörling

Hervor: Martina Dike

Angantyr: Bengt Krantz

Konung Gudmund: Bengt Krantz

Gullväg: Ulrika Mjörndal

Vidar: Daniel Hällström

Herden: Daniel Hällström

Barden: Jakob Högström

Friday, 14 October 2011

2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize awarded to Maestro Riccardo Muti

Maestro Riccardo Muti was awarded the 2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a festive ceremony of celebration and musical inspiration held at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm on Thursday evening, October 13. This Prize of one million dollars, established by Birgit Nilsson herself, is the most generous prize in the world of classical music.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Ingvar Wixell - Favourites

Ingvar Wixell 1931-2011

One of Swedens greatest baryton singers has passed away. Classicalify is very sad.
Ingvar Wixell passed away recently at the age of eighty at his home in Malmoe Sweden.
Classicalify heard him as the music teacher in 2003 in Strauss opera "Ariadne" and stood outside the stage door to have his autograph. He was a charming and warm person and his voice was very special. Ingvar was only 21 when he heard his first opera and his mind was maid. Opera or nothing. He studied at the academy of music in Stockholm and went the same year as Birgit Nilsson. He maid his debut in Mozarts "The Magic Flute" in 1955 and the rest is history as the say. He was named kammersänger at the Deutsche oper in Berlin 1970.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A solid Tosca from Toulouse

On a recent visit to Toulouse, Classicalify didn't miss out on a chance to catch some opera at the Théâtre du Capitole, bien sûr. Toulouse is justifiably proud of it's opera, given the high level of quality on offer in this house. Classicalify saw the old war horse Tosca in a production shared with the Maggio Musicale in Florence. What met the eye was a more or less standard old fashioned stage production, with no particular idea or insightful view from the director of this often played piece. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, when it comes to Tosca.

In the pit was music director Tugan Sokhiev, serving up a dramatic reading of the score. The orchestra played well, if not with the perfect blend and polish you expect from a world class ensemble. If something was missing from Mr Sokhiev it was a certain Puccinian flow, of drawing out some melodies and of giving more presence to inner voices in this luscious score.

On the vocal side, Tosca herself, sung by Catherine Naglestad, ruled the evening. This is a well schooled voice, well placed and with a solid technique. The timbre in itself is warm and round and it has true spinto qualities. Add the fact that Mrs Naglestad can scale down her voice to a true pianissimo, and yet anchor solid top notes and you have a pretty good Tosca voice. Her Tosca is not on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but a normal woman driven to acts that are completely alien to her. On the minus side is an Italian pronunciation that sounds distinctly American, and maybe a lack of the last degree of beauty in the timbre. Also a certain blandness sometimes creeps in, both in the vocal delivery and the sharpness of characterization.

The night's Cavardossi was Vladimir Galouzine, probably a bigger name than Mrs Naglestad on the international opera circuit. This is a big voice, no doubt. And for some roles, it probably is a major voice. But for Puccini and Cavaradossi, Mr Galouzine could use some of the varied dynamics that his Tosca so masterfully mastered. This is consistently loud and monotonous singing. The timbre in itself is not what you would describe as melting, but distinctly slavic in tone. The voice really blooms and develops overtones in the highest register, though. The most memorable moment was not surprisingly a heroic and glass shattering Vittoria outburst.

Scarpia was sung by Frank Ferrari and if the evening's Cavaradossi showed off some huge high notes, Ferrari's Scarpia often completely disappeared when the vocal line went upwards. This was not caused by the orchestra drowning Mr Ferrari, but probably by a faulty vocal production. Otherwise it was a rather civil Scarpia that harassed our Tosca, with some nice vocal underlinings. What was lacking was the raw power and lust that for example Bryn Terfel brings to this role.

In all a solid night at the opera, if not something for the record books.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

CD's for fun or pleasure...Classicalify like!

ROH Covent Garden Ring 2012

Today Classicalify got an invitation by mail from ROH Covent Garden to book tickets for the coming Ring Cycles autumn 2012. The cast is of course world class and so are also the prices... The cheapest (Lower and Upper slips and standing) are £44 then raising to £1000.

Booking open on Tuesday 25 October via phone, online or in person.

Antonio Pappano conducts and Bryn Terfel sings Wotan/Wanderer.

Here are the dates for the four Rings:

Cycle One
Das Rheingold 24 September, 2012 7.30–10.10pm Die Walküre 26 September, 2012 4–9.50pm Siegfried 29 September, 2012 3–9pm Götterdämmerung 1 October, 2012 4–10.30pm
Cycle Two
Das Rheingold 2 October, 2012 7.30–10.10pm Die Walküre 4 October, 2012 5–10.50pm Siegfried 7 October, 2012 3–9pm Götterdämmerung 9 October, 2012 4–10.30pm
Cycle Three
Das Rheingold 16 October, 2012 7.30–10.10pm Die Walküre 18 October, 2012 5–10.50pm Siegfried 21 October, 2012 3–9pm Götterdämmerung 24 October, 2012 4–10.30pm
Cycle Four
Das Rheingold 26 October, 2012 7.30–10.10pm Die Walküre 28 October, 2012 3–8.50pm Siegfried 31 October, 2012 5–11pm Götterdämmerung 2 November, 2012 4–10.30pm