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Tag Archives: 8212

The bad and the beautiful

The bad and the beautiful

The bad and the beautiful After last week’s Dido and Aeneas,  “Trove Thursday” offers a completely different take on the Trojan War: Offenbach’s irreverent La Belle Hélène featuring the beauteous Véronique Gens as the much-desired Helen of Troy.  I can’t believe it’s been 30 years since I first heard Gens in two small parts at the US premiere of the legendary Les Arts Florissants production of Lully’s Atys. She was just 20 years old when ... Read More »

Quando le sere senza Placido

Quando le sere senza Placido

Quando le sere senza Placido Perhaps we should start with what the Philadelphia Orchestra’s opening night concert, for better or worse, was not: a gala evening starring Plácido Domingo. As has been documented here and elsewhere, the Philadelphians swiftly dropped Domingo after #MeToo revelations surfaced in August. David Fox (continues): The decision carries extra resonance, of course, because Yannick Nézet-Séguin is the music director of both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Met. Cameron Kelsall: Yes, ... Read More »

Dido it again

Dido it again

Dido it again “Trove Thursday” began in September 2015 with Berlioz’s Les Troyens, so to mark its fourth anniversary (and 190th installment) it returns to another setting of that tragic tale: Purcell’s remarkably concise Dido and Aeneas in a pair of fascinatingly different interpretations led by two “Nicks.” Tatiana Troyanos and Jon Vickers love and part paced by Nicola Rescigno while period-performance pioneer Nikolaus Harnoncourt steers the doomed affair between Bernarda Fink and Gerald Finley. ... Read More »

Global charming

Global charming

Global charming Rameau’s deliciously exotic omnibus Les Indes Galantes receives new productions this fall in both Paris and Geneva so “Trove Thursday” previews its five discrete parts via a crazy-quilt spun from six different performances spanning 45 years—from 1974 to 2019! Indes Galantes is one of Rameau’s most often performed and recorded works, but unlike Platée or Hippolyte et Aricie or Castor et Pollux, it isn’t a single unified piece but an opéra-ballet consisting of a prologue and ... Read More »

The Lady in the vanguard

The Lady in the vanguard

The Lady in the vanguard As we await the Met’s latest Lady Macbeths, “Trove Thursday” remembers the company’s very first via Leonie Rysanek’s NYC debut in a concert performance of Verdi’s Shakespeare masterpiece less than a year before her first Met appearance 60 years ago in the same role—plus the flaming diva in a bonus Verdi “bleeding chunk” from a week after that Macbeth. Rysanek made her US debut at the San Francisco Opera as Senta in ... Read More »

Sadko, but true

Sadko, but true

Sadko, but true August means last-chance getaways so “Trove Thursday” escapes to an exotic place with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko featuring an all-star Bolshoi cast: Vladimir Atlantov, Tamara Milashkina, Elena Obraztsova, Zurab Sotkilava and Yuri Mazurok. Productions of Rimsky’s operas are relatively rare outside the former Soviet Union but a friend caught a recent Sadko in Ghent. Although he reported the production was of the most annoying and capricious regie sort, he was entranced by the music. ... Read More »

The boys of summer

The boys of summer

The boys of summer After two mezzo miscellanies, “Trove Thursday” turns to a quintet of baritone/bass voices: Matthias Goerne, Simon Keenlyside, Georg Nigl, Thomas Quasthoff and René Pape performing works by Pfitzner, Sibelius, Adams, Martin and Schubert. 2019 is the bicentenary of the birth of the great Walt Whitman—a gay poet who loved opera—mandating the inclusion of a setting of The Wound Dresser hence the presence of Nigl, an Austrian baritone with whom I was previously unfamiliar. ... Read More »

To comfort you

To comfort you

To comfort you Following Verdi’s fiery version last month, “Trove Thursday” features its two favorite baritones in a pair of more comforting settings of the Requiem: Fauré’s with Ying Fang and Peter Mattei plus Ruby Hughes and Gerald Finley performing Duruflé’s. One wonders if Fauré was thinking of Brahms when he composed his Requiem, as it echoes the German composer’s use of soprano and baritone soloists in Ein Deutsches Requiem? And surely Duruflé must have modeled his ... Read More »

An old-fashioned wedding

An old-fashioned wedding

An old-fashioned wedding Gundula Janowitz turns 82 tomorrow so “Trove Thursday” celebrates one of my favorite singers with a pair of novelties: a complete Prodanà Nevesta (aka Die Verkaufte Braut, of course) by Smetana plus extended excerpts from a broadcast of Spontini’s La Vestale in its rarely heard original French version. The very first opera recording I owned was an LP of highlights from the Otto Klemperer Die Zauberflöte and it made me a lifelong fan of ... Read More »

Going for the gold

Going for the gold

Going for the gold The 150th anniversary of Berlioz’s death will be commemorated by a European tour of Benvenuto Cellini beginning next month, and as a preview “Trove Thursday” presents a broadcast of Cellini (in English) starring Berlioz tenor par excellence Michael Spyres as the flamboyant goldsmith. Cellini, which has had just a single run at the Met 15 years ago, tends to be referred to as a glorious mess but it’s been done more often recently ... Read More »

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