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Showing posts from December, 2014

Happy New Year

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Alexander Pirogov sings Shaklovity's aria from Khovanshchina.

Berlioz - L'Enfance du Christ

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Bozar, Brussels, Sunday December 21 2014

Conductor: Ludovic Morlot. Vierge Marie: Stéphanie d'Oustrac. Saint-Joseph: Lionel Lhote. Hérode: Paul Gay. Le père de famille / Polydorus: Frédéric Caton. Le récitant / Centurion: Yves Saelens. Orchestra & Chorus of La Monnaie, Reflection Vocal Ensemble, La Monnaie Children’s Choir.

Pendant dix ans Marie, et Joseph avec elle / Virent fleurir en lui la sublime douceur, / La tendresse infinie / A la sagesse unie.

“Sagesse” is probably not a word you’d usually apply to Berlioz, whose music is always full of surprises, often quite startling ones; but “sublime douceur” and “tendresse infinie” seem to sum up well the score of L’Enfance du Christ, one of his milder efforts.

Sunday afternoon’s performance at the Bozar in Brussels showed little sign of conductor, Ludovic Morlot having recently stated:

"I can only note that the orchestra and I have not succeeded in sharing a common artistic vision”.

He will be leaving at the end of the month,…

Mozart - Don Giovanni

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La Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday December 7 2014

Conductor: Ludovic Morlot. Production: Krzysztof Warlikowski. Sets & Costumes: Malgorzata Szczesniak. Lighting: Felice Ross. Video: Denis Guéguin. Don Giovanni: Jean-Sébastien Bou. Il Commendatore: Sir Willard White. Donna Anna: Barbara Hannigan. Don Ottavio: Topi Lehtipuu. Donna Elvira: Rinat Shaham. Leporello: Andreas Wolf. Masetto: Jean-Luc Ballestra. Zerlina: Julie Mathevet. Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie.

You can't win them all. After a series of successful productions (in my view at any rate: his Makropoulos Affair is one of the Bastille’s best ever), I suppose Krzysztof Warlikowski was bound to come a cropper at some stage, and that was exactly how French daily Le Figaro chose to head its review "Don Giovanni : Warlikowski se casse les dents", i.e. Warlikowski comes a cropper. You expect something novel, thoughtful and interesting from him, but here he disappointed by dishing up what any lesser "regie" …