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Showing posts from November, 2016

42nd Street

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Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, Saturday November 26 2016

Conductor: Gareth Valentine. Production and choreography: Stephen Mear. Sets and costumes: Peter McKintosh. Lighting: Chris Davey. Julian Marsh: Alexander Hanson. Dorothy Brock: Ria Jones. Peggy Sawyer: Monique Young. Billy Lawlor: Dan Burton. Maggie Jones: Jennie Dale. Bert Barry: Carl Sanderson. Ann Reilly: Emma Kate Nelson. Andy Lee: Stephane Anelli. Pat Denning: Matthew McKenna. Abner Dillon: Teddy Kempner. Phyllis Dale: Chantel Bellew. Lorraine Flemming: Charlie Allen. Diane Lorimer: Emily Goodenough. Ethel: Jessica Keable. Oscar: Barnaby Thompson. Mac, Doctor, Thug 1: Scott Emerson. Châtelet Orchestra.

The Châtelet’s “Christmas” show and director Jean-Luc Choplin’s parting shot before he quits the job and the house shuts for renovation, is 42nd Street. For those who don’t know it, 42nd Street is an unashamedly escapist patchwork of numbers from various depression-era film musicals involving choreographer Busby Berkeley. The th…

Strauss - Capriccio

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Palais de la Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday November 13 2016.

Conductor: Lothar Koenigs. Production: David Marton. Sets and costumes: Christian Friedländer. Costumes: Pola Kardum. Lighting: Henning Streck. Die Gräfin: Sally Matthews. Der Graf, ihr Bruder: Dietrich Henschel. Flamand, ein Musiker: Edgaras Montvidas. Olivier, ein Dichter: Lauri Vasar. La Roche, der Theaterdirektor: Kristinn Sigmundsson. Die Schauspielerin Clairon : Charlotte Hellekant. Monsieur Taupe: François Piolino. Eine italienische Sängerin: Elena Galitskaya. Ein italienischer Tenor: Dmitry Ivanchey. Der Haushofmeister: Christian Oldenburg. Diener: Zeno Popescu, Nabil Suliman, Vincent Lesage, Bertrand Duby, Kris Belligh, Pierre Derhet, Maxime Melnik, Artur Rozek. Eine junge Tänzerin: Florence Bas, Margot-Annah Charlier, Germaine François. 

From "Wie schön ist die Prinzessin Salome" in Sweden to "Bezaubernd ist sie heute wieder!" in Belgium in one weekend... Fortified with a choucroûte royale à l’alsaci…

Chamber Concert, Allhelgonakyrkan, Stockholm

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Allhelgonakyrkan, Stockholm, Saturday 12 November 2016

Bengt Forsberg: piano. Ann Hallenberg: mezzo-soprano. Mina Fred: viola.
Bengt Forsberg, Mina Fred: Improvisation for viola and piano.Max Reger: Suite Number Two in G minor for solo viola, op 131d: AndanteSten Broman: Fantasy, Fugue and Chorale for viola and pianoClara Schumann: four songsJohannes Brahms: two songs for alto, viola and piano, op.91Robert Fuchs: viola sonataEncore - Johannes Brahms: Wiegenlied.  An interesting, eclectic programme for this rather sparsely-attended chamber concert in the wooden Allhelgonakyrkan church in Stockholm, where record snowfalls for the time of year made getting around quite tricky and probably kept some regulars away.

The evening opened surprisingly with a totally contemporary – intrinsically, since it was done on-the-spot – improvisation by the excellent Bengt Forsberg, well known to many as Anne-Sophie Von Otter’s usual accompanist, and Mina Fred on the viola, starting with the former rooting…

Strauss - Salome

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Kungliga Operan (Royal Swedish Opera), Stockholm, Friday November 11 2016

Conductor: Lawrence Renes. Production: Sofia Jupither. Sets: Lars-Åke Thessman. Costumes: Maria Geber. Lighting: Linus Fellbom. Herod: Michael Weinius. Herodias: Katarina Dalayman. Salome: Erika Sunnegårdh. Jochanaan: Josef Wagner. Narraboth: Jonas Degerfeldt. Herodias’s Page: Karin Osbeck. First Jew: Klas Hedlund. Second Jew: Anders Blom. Third Jew: Pierre Gylbert. Fourth Jew: Nils Hübinette. Fifth Jew: Erik Rosenius. First Nazarene: Joris Grouwels. Second Nazarene: Martin Hedström. First Soldier: Mattias Milder. Second Soldier: Lennart Forsén. Cappadocian: Ian Power. Slave: Anna Danielsson. Kungliga Hovkapellet (Royal Swedish Orchestra).

A good night out in Stockholm with this very sound Salome and an excellent dinner in the same building after, which is more than you can hope for in Paris.

Sweden’s Royal Opera, as well as having a good orchestra, as you might expect, fielded a very strong cast of principals, i…

St Petersburg Phil - Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky

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Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Wednesday November 9 2016

Conductor: Yuri Temirkanov. Piano: Boris Berezovsky. Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. 
Rachmaninoff: Concerto for piano No. 3 op. 30.Stravinsky:  The Rite of Spring I like Yuri Temirkanov very much. His conducting is precise and matter-of-fact and undemonstrative, his gestures, when he makes any at all, are restrained and however agitated the score may get there’s no mad arm-waving or wild writhing around on the podium. His face gives little away.

The sound he cultivates is relatively dry and restrained as well: no lush wallowing, some quite daring tempi, and, though his orchestra could, if asked to, play extremely loud, no absolute extremes of loudness, even in a piece like Le Sacre. He comes across as having almost a kind of scientific detachment, as if conducting constructivist ballets, seemingly giving equal weight to all parts. As a result, you hear inner harmonies and details you never heard before. The words tha…

Weill - Die Dreigroschenoper

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Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Thursday October 27 2016.

Musical direction: Hans-Jörn Brandenburg, Stefan Rager. Production, sets and lighting: Robert Wilson. Costumes: Jacques Reynaud. Lighting: Andreas Fuchs, Ulrich Eh. J. J. Peachum: Jürgen Holtz. Celia Peachum: Traute Hoess. Polly Peachum: Johanna Griebel. Macheath: Christopher Nell. Tiger Brown: Axel Werner. Lucy Brown: Friederike Nölting. Jenny: Angela Winkler. Filch: Georgios Tsivanoglou. Walter: Luca Schaub. Matthias: Martin Schneider. Jakob: Boris Jacoby. Bob: Winfried Peter Goos. Jimmy: Raphael Dwinger. Ede: Jörg Thieme. Smith: Uli Pleßmann. Kimball: Michael Kinkel. Betty: Anke Engelsmann. Old prostitute: Ursula Höpfner-Tabori. Vixen: Marina Senckel. Dolly: Claudia Burckhardt. Molly: Gabriele Völsch. Messenger: Gerd Kunath. Voice: Walter Schmidinger. Das Dreigroschenoper Orchester.

Bob Wilson is often criticised or mocked for supposedly always doing the same thing: “Pharaohs in profile against a blue background,” as Le Fi…