Showing posts from March, 2014

Rameau - Platée

Opéra Comique, Paris, Monday March 24 2014

Conductor: Paul Agnew. Production: Robert Carsen. Choreography: Nicolas Paul. Sets and costumes: Gideon Davey. Lighting: Robert Carsen and Peter van Praet. Platée: Marcel Beekman. La Folie: Simone Kermes. Thalie: Virginie Thomas. Mercure, Thespis: Cyril Auvity. Clarine, Amour: Emmanuelle de Negri. Jupiter: Edwin Crossley-Mercer. Momus: João Fernandes. Cithéron, Momus in Prologue: Marc Mauillon. Junon: Emilie Renard. Chorus and orchestra: Les Arts Florissants.

Platée is one of a handful of works I like so much I can listen through at any time with pleasure, so I can’t say I was actually disappointed to see it on the Opéra Comique’s 2013-2014 schedule. But as the Paris Opera’s own production is excellent and has become a repertoire staple, and as staged Rameau remains a relative rarity even in France, I thought it was a shame we couldn’t have something different and wondered how Carsen’s take would measure up to Laurent Pelly’s benchmark, especia…

Chausson, Chausson, Paganini, Schumann

Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Wednesday March 19 2014
Chausson: Poème de l'amour et de la mer op. 19Chausson: Poème for violin and orchestra op. 25Paganini: I Palpiti for violin and orchestra, after Rossini's TancrediSchumann: Symphony n° 2 op. 61Ann Hallenberg: mezzo-soprano. Laurent Korcia: violin. Jean-Jacques Kantorow: conductor. Orchestre de chambre de Paris

In the last few years I've drifted away from concert halls and spent my time (and pots of hard-earned money) almost exclusively in opera houses. This is no doubt a mistake: hours and hours of second-rate music indifferently performed have probably corrupted my taste irretrievably. So my opinion on concerts should be taken with a big pinch of salt. This one, it seemed to me, was odd and frustrating. The combination of works was odd enough. But the order they were played in was odder still.

It seemed unfair on Ann Hallenberg to have her start with the strangest and most demanding piece of the evening. To me it w…

Gerard Mortier 1943-2014

He was infuriating, but perhaps that's partly why, in the end, we liked him and ended up missing him. Of course, there were (and still are) other reasons...

" ... la ligne neuve ouverte par Mortier.  Celle de renouveler l’Opéra, de le rendre contemporain et nécessaire, plus ouvert sur le monde d’aujourd’hui et à toutes les couches de la population sans perdre l’exigence de qualité..."

La Libre Belgique

See also Opera Cake