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This Sunday, I will be speaking about blogging and the Verdi anniversary on a panel at Verdi's Third Century, a conference put on by the American Institute for Verdi Studies (at New York University). In the spirit of blogging, this discu...
This Sunday, I will be speaking about blogging and the Verdi anniversary on a panel at Verdi's Third Century, a conference put on by the American Institute for Verdi Studies (at New York University). In the spirit of blogging, this discussion wouldn't be complete without your thoughts! I would like to talk about how the Verdi anniversary has been recognized outside academia, and would love to hear your thoughts, recent Verdi experiences, and so on (comment at the bottom of this post!). (I am also giving a formal paper about ritual and repetition in Verdi production. Sorry, you can't contribute to that one unless you show up to ask a question afterwards.) I asked around on Twitter a few days ago and got some interesting thoughts. Many immediately confirmed my initial suspicion: Verdi Year mostly means seeing more Verdi. Verdi is at the core of most modern opera houses, and a few more Traviatas and maybe a Stiffelio tend to sneak into people's schedules without a major fuss. First: a lesson on social media. I put this question up around 8:30 in the morning, before I started work. No one responded. A few hours later I wondered out loud if that meant no one cared, and it turned out I was just too early, and suddenly everyone wanted to chat (this explains the tweet everyone is responding to below). Thanks to a retweet from the Royal Opera House, I got a lot of British responses. As Lucy put it, @RuthElleson @ZerbinettasBlog Possible problem: for many companies, every year is Verdi year? I've seen Rigoletto & Aida this year, but...! — Sphinx Étonnante (@singingscholar) October 4, 2013 For some people this was not entirely welcome: @ZerbinettasBlog Verdi Year = waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many Requiems.... — Catherine Carby (@bycarbytrain) October 4, 2013 There's also the 800-pound gorilla: Wagner. Verdi had competition, and seems to have been the less recognized of the two. @ZerbinettasBlog I think Verdi has been received shoddy treatment this bicentenary year, especially in the UK. — Mark Pullinger (@Mark_Pullinger_) October 4, 2013 @ZerbinettasBlog Not a single opera @bbcproms (compared with Wagner’s seven!) and one production @E_N_O (Konwitschny’s enthralling Traviata) — Mark Pullinger (@Mark_Pullinger_) October 4, 2013 I suspect there's a different kind of engagement between Wagner and Verdi audiences. Wagner audiences form societies and go to conferences (I went to a Wagner conference in January that had a handful of non-academics who flew to South Carolina just to hear papers about Wagner), while Verdi audiences tend to just go to operas. I liked Ruth's theory on this: @ZerbinettasBlog @singingscholar I made the point on here a while ago that Wagner obsessives tend to be obsessed by the operas themselves > — Ruth Elleson (@RuthElleson) October 4, 2013 @ZerbinettasBlog @singingscholar > whereas in my experience,Verdi obsessives are more interested in what their favourite singers do with it. — Ruth Elleson (@RuthElleson) October 4, 2013 This was backed up by some of the other responses: @ZerbinettasBlog Verdi yr gives me a Requiem in San Diego: Stoyanova, Blythe, Beczala, Furlanetto Also saw SF Attila last year w/Furlanetto — ML Hart (@MsMartha_writer) October 4, 2013 What has Verdi done for you recently? Please leave a comment or email me at likelyimpossibilities at gmail.com.
about 4 hours ago
Miah Persson and Florian Boesch sang Schumann with Malcolm Martineau at the Wigmore Hall for the latest of his Songlives series. In this recital we traced the different stages of Schumann's development as song composer. There were thirty...
Miah Persson and Florian Boesch sang Schumann with Malcolm Martineau at the Wigmore Hall for the latest of his Songlives series. In this recital we traced the different stages of Schumann's development as song composer. There were thirty seven songs, some of the fairly long, plus two encores, but the performances were so good that the evening seemed to end all too soon.
about 6 hours ago
By Stephen Brookes • The Washington Post • October 7, 2013 By just about any standard, Wynton Marsalis’s “Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration” is a huge work. Vast in scope and mighty in forces, it’s a jour...
By Stephen Brookes • The Washington Post • October 7, 2013 By just about any standard, Wynton Marsalis’s “Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration” is a huge work. Vast in scope and mighty in forces, it’s a journey through the history of African American music, weaving everything from New Orleans blues to hard-driving bop into a seamless whole. From a musical standpoint it’s a spectacular achievement, and the rafter-shaking, two-hour performance at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Sunday, presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society, was a must-hear event for any jazz lover.But the deeper power of “Abyssinian” may have been in the profound spirituality — and the sense of universal human connection — that seemed to run through it. Written in 2008 for Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, the work takes the loose form of a Mass, integrating sacred music (sung beautifully by the 70-member Chorale Le Chateau, under the baton of Damien Sneed) with the more secular playing of the 15-member Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.The result was something between a concert and a gospel service, a richly flavored musical epic that built to an almost ecstatic pitch. Ethereal hymns, foot-stomping blues, horns growling in Mingus-like ballads, rapturous gospel solos, a bit of free jazz, a hint of a New Orleans dirge — they all flowed together, unified by a kind of urgent, spiritual purpose. Never a mere pastiche, the freewheeling range of “Abyssinian” seemed aimed at a higher goal — and to judge by the roaring response of the audience, it achieved it.Marsalis probably couldn’t hope for more committed performers of this work. Chorale members and instrumentalists both took frequent, virtuosic solos, and Marsalis himself played a central role throughout. But as if to underscore the universalist feeling of the work, he stayed well out of the spotlight, delivering the occasional perfectly wrought solo from his seat in the four-person trumpet section: just another member of the family of man.
about 6 hours ago
Erwin SchrottOn October 10th, we celebrate the long-awaited bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth. Opera companies and music festivals across the globe have been programming a heavy dose of his music and numerous "Verdi Arias" CD's have ...
Erwin SchrottOn October 10th, we celebrate the long-awaited bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth. Opera companies and music festivals across the globe have been programming a heavy dose of his music and numerous "Verdi Arias" CD's have been released. We sifted through the countless productions of Aida, Rigoletto, Traviata and other Verdi operas to find a performance that stood out as a "can't miss" production. A performance of the inexplicably underperformed Les vêpres siciliennes at the Royal Opera House in London jumped off the page at us. Not only is barihunk Erwin Schrott singing Jean Procida, but he's surrounded by an amazing cast that includes tenor Bryan Hymel as Henri and soprano Marina Poplavskaya as Helene under the baton of Antonio Pappano.Erwin Schrott sings "Palerme! O mon pays!... Et toi, Palerme..." Les vêpres siciliennes is in five-acts and was originally written in French for the Paris Opéra. It was translated into Italian shortly after its premiere in June 1855. The libretto was written by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier from their work Le duc d'Albe, which was written in 1838 and offered to Halevy and Donizetti before Verdi agreed to set it to music in 1854.The story is loosely based on a historical event, the Sicilian Vespers of 1282, using material drawn from the medieval Sicilian tract Lu rebellamentu di Sichilia. After its June 1855 Paris premiere, an Italian libretto was quickly prepared using a new title because Verdi realized that it would have been impossible to place the story in Sicily. Based on Scribe's suggestions for changing the location, it became Portugal in 1640 while under Spanish control. This version was first performed at the Teatro Regio in Parma on December 26, 1855.Performances at the Royal Opera House will run from October 17 through November 11. The November 4th performance will be broadcast to movie theaters worldwide, so check the website for a showing near you.
184 about 14 hours ago
On this, the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Swan of Busseto, La Cieca invites the cher public to share reminiscences of great Verdi performances—and YouTube clips, of course! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bESE8JDA5Y
On this, the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Swan of Busseto, La Cieca invites the cher public to share reminiscences of great Verdi performances—and YouTube clips, of course! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bESE8JDA5Y
310 about 14 hours ago
From the Royal Opera House press office: “Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya has fallen ill and unfortunately has had to withdraw from singing the role of Hélène in Les Vêpres siciliennes in the final rehearsals and the first three...
From the Royal Opera House press office: “Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya has fallen ill and unfortunately has had to withdraw from singing the role of Hélène in Les Vêpres siciliennes in the final rehearsals and the first three performances in October. Marina Poplavskaya hopes to be able to sing the remaining five performances as scheduled. The role of Hélène will now be sung on 17, 21 and 24 October by Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian.”   Here’s a sample of Haroutounian in Verdi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Ti94fQF2E
about 7 hours ago
Sign up with Amazon for a FREE voucher that gives you £2 off any Amazon MP3 purchase. There's no minimum spend, so you can just put it towards a couple of tracks if you like. There are no catches that I can see, but you might want to unt...
Sign up with Amazon for a FREE voucher that gives you £2 off any Amazon MP3 purchase. There's no minimum spend, so you can just put it towards a couple of tracks if you like. There are no catches that I can see, but you might want to untick the box that signs you up to Amazon Local emails.
about 8 hours ago
To me Patrice Chéreau will be remembered as one of the great men of 20th century theater, a man who embraced opera and elevated it to the heights that assured its status of gesamtkunstwerk to our days. He will also be [and should be] re...
To me Patrice Chéreau will be remembered as one of the great men of 20th century theater, a man who embraced opera and elevated it to the heights that assured its status of gesamtkunstwerk to our days. He will also be [and should be] remembered as a great man who had courage and intellectual audacity to take Wagner away from the hands of fascists & right wingnuts and show the world that The Ring can be interpreted in a radically new way, as to resonate with our time and with us. He was one of the precursors of the modern day theatrical language in which theater offers a quality that no TV or cinema can offer; in which a pure human emotion transcends the limits of mostly poor operatic librettos thanks to his ability to distinguish those emotions and shape them on the stage in a very peculiar way (cf. his stagings of the two operas by Berg).Naturally, the late Chéreau did not have that same vigor to defy the crowds of those who believe that "art must be beautiful" or that "the opera staging is about the colored tableaux", but still remained true to his art that we dearly loved and deeply respected. RIP
about 11 hours ago
My beloved tribute to Martha Moedl, one of the greatest artists in opera history. All selections are announced (73 min.)
My beloved tribute to Martha Moedl, one of the greatest artists in opera history. All selections are announced (73 min.)
187 10 days ago
The Metropolitan Opera has commissioned an adaptation of the Euripides play “Iphigenia in Aulis” from composer Osvaldo Golijov and intends to give the long-delayed work its world premiere during the 2018-19 season. The compan...
The Metropolitan Opera has commissioned an adaptation of the Euripides play “Iphigenia in Aulis” from composer Osvaldo Golijov and intends to give the long-delayed work its world premiere during the 2018-19 season. The company originally announced a Golijov commission six years ago in collaboration with the English National Opera and said it tentatively was slated [...]
about 18 hours ago