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Showing posts from June, 2011

Offenbach - Les Brigands

Opéra Comique, Paris, Monday June 27 2011
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth. Production: Macha Makeïeff and Jérôme Deschamps.Costumes: Macha Makeïeff. Lighting: Marie-Christine Soma. Falsacappa: Eric Huchet. Fragoletto: Julie Boulianne. Fiorella: Daphné Touchais. Pietro: Franck Leguérinel. Le Comte de Gloria Cassis: Philippe Talbot. Le Baron de Campo Tasso: Francis Dudziak. Le Prince (Duc de Mantoue): Martial Defontaine. Le Chef des carabiniers: Fernand Bernadi. Antonio: caissier du prince: Loïc Félix. Carmagnola: Léonard Pezzino. Domino: Thomas Morris. Barbavano: Antoine Garcin. Pipo: Jean-Marc Martinez. Adolphe de Valladolid, un page: Marc Molomot. Princesse de Grenade: Michèle Lagrange. Zerlina, La Duchesse: Christine Rigaud. Le Précepteur: Ronan Debois. Chorus of the Toulon Opera. Orchestre Les Siècles.

Passing in 24 hours from one end of the French romantic spectrum to the other, I found myself mixing them up as I prepared to write and, for a brief moment, thinking dead chickens fe…

Meyerbeer - Les Huguenots

La Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday June 26 2011.
Conductor: Marc Minkowski. Production: Olivier Py. Sets and costumes: Pierre-André Weitz. Lighting: Bertrand Killy. Marguerite de Valois: Marlis Petersen. Valentine: Mireille Delunsch. Urbain: Yulia Lezhneva. Raoul de Nangis: Eric Cutler. Comte de Saint-Bris: Philippe Rouillon. Comte de Nevers: Jean-François Lapointe. De Retz: Arnaud Rouillon. Marcel: Jérôme Varnier. Cossé: Xavier Rouillon. Tavannes: Avi Klemberg. Thoré: Marc Labonnette. Méru: Frédéric Caton. Dame d’honneur: Camille Merckx. Une coryphée: Tineke Van Ingelgem. Deux bohémiennes: Camille Merckx, Tineke Van Ingelgem. Orchestra and chorus of La Monnaie.

La Monnaie decided to end the season with a grand gesture, pulling out all the stops to stage Les Huguenots for the first time since the 1930s, with as strong cast as it could muster under a famous conductor, directed by a famous producer and so, as they say in French, “creating an event,” with people searching the web for spare tic…

Mozart: Solemn Vespers for a Confessor; C Minor Mass.

Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Friday June 24 2011.
Conductor: Jérémie Rhorer. Sally Matthews, soprano. Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano. Rainer Trost, tenor. Nahuel di Pierro, bass. Le Cercle de l'Harmonie. Choeur Les Eléments.

I thought I’d better dash off a brief account of last night’s Mozart concert today, as tomorrow I have five hours of Meyerbeer in Brussels and may find myself with a lot more to write about. The magnificent C Minor Mass, so magnificent even I have a recording of it, was preceded by the smaller-scale and less magnificent Solemn Vespers, though they do contain one smash hit for the soprano.

I was, for once (and by accident; if I’d paid more attention I would have chosen seats elsewhere), on the front row. This naturally brings you a bit too close for comfort to the people on stage - at such close range they are all too human: you can see the un-hemmed trousers, the hairy nostrils, the state of their shoes (in baroque orchestras, usually terrible) the odd so…