All tagged Opera - General
Audio: John Gibbons reveals (and defends) the operas to be covered in his next Graham School course, and discusses some of the works he cosidered, but didn't make the cut. 10-minute audio file.
On this date in 1917, Alexander Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie (A Florentine Tragedy) was premiered in Stuttgart. It is the first of two operas that Zemlinsky (1871-1942) based upon the works of Oscar Wilde. Der Zwerk (The Dwarf) followed in 1922.
Last Wednesday, the Metropolitan Opera unveiled its latest new media strategy: the Met Player. Over 150 operas from the past 71 years are available for listening or viewing on your computer. The oldest is a 1937 Carmen with Rosa Ponselle, the newest are from the 2007-2008 high definition move theater broadcasts, including definitive performances of La Fille du Regiment (Dessay, Flores) and Eugene Onegin (Fleming, Hvorostovsky), and the Tristan und Isolde featuring Deborah Voight and Robert Dean Smith.
The Met’s study guide for Satyagraha asked the reader to consider Glass’s decision to set the original Sanskrit, rather than an English translation. I think it is a sound decision, despite the fact that it would appear to be motivated by essentially the same factors which prompted Stravinsky to set Oedipus Rex in Latin. Latin, not Greek!
For the first time in my life I listened today, with undivided attention, to Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, in an admirable performance from the Met. I carefully read the quite helpful study materials available from the Met’s website. My point of view is likely to be less valuable than that of a Glass aficionado, since love is a prerequisite for understanding. Furthermore, my comments may either seem like a betrayal to those who agree with my customary aesthetic agendae, or insufficiently laudatory to those who already esteem this work. This post is likely to please no one, more’s the pity.
Every winter it seems like “something’s going around at work” but this is ridiculous! Six singers have made unscheduled Met debuts in the past two weeks, and one, the American tenor Robert Dean Smith, offered a Tristan that ought to go down as one of those “Were you there?” moments.
Several comments on yesterday’s Met Opera broadcast of Prokofiev’s War and Peace.
Anyway, I got to thinking: What operatic characters get lost in their operas? Maybe I should send the question to the Metropolitan Opera Quiz, and win their super-duper prize package, but such is my loyalty to Holdekunst readers that I offer it here first, gratis.
Reviewing Wagner’s Gotterdammerung, conducted by James Levine at the 1997 Bayreuth Festival, with Deborah Polaski as Brunnhilde, Wolfgang Schmidt as Siegfried, Eric Halfvarson as Hagen, and Hanna Schwartz as Waltraute. Staged by Alfred Kirchner, with sets and costume design by Rosalie. On DVD. Watch a video preview of the Immolation scene.