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Showing posts from March, 2017

Bizet - Carmen

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ONP Bastille, Wednesday March 22 2017

Conductor: Bertrand de Billy. Production: Calixto Bieito. Sets: Alfons Flores. Costumes: Mercè Paloma. Lighting: Alberto Rodríguez Vega. Don José: Roberto Alagna. Escamillo: Roberto Tagliavini. Le Dancaïre: Boris Grappe. Le Remendado: François Rougier. Zuniga: François Lis. Carmen: Clémentine Margaine. Micaëla: Aleksandra Kurzak. Frasquita:Vannina Santoni. Mercédès: Antoinette Dennefeld. Moralès: Jean-Luc Ballestra. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris. Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine/Paris Opera Children's Choir.

I read that at the start of this run of Carmen Roberto Alagna was announced sick, though he still sang. I'm glad to say (and was glad to announce via Facebook to certain avid fans of his in the US) that on Wednesday night he was on peak form, the very picture of vocal health,  firing on all cylinders. His singing was as full, frank and generous as ever, with the outstanding French diction we're now used to from him.…

Monteverdi - Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria

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Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Monday March 6 2017

Conductor: Emmanuelle Haïm. Production: Mariame Clément. Sets and costumes: Julia Hansen. Lighting: Bernd Purkrabek. Ulisse: Rolando Villazón. Penelope: Magdalena Kožená. Giunone: Katherine Watson. Eumete: Kresimir Spicer. Amore/Minerva: Anne-Catherine Gillet. Fortuna/Melanto: Isabelle Druet. L'umana Fragilità/Pisandro: Maarten Engeltjes. Tempo/Antinoo: Callum Thorpe. Giove/ Anfinomo: Lothar Odinius. Nettuno: Jean Teitgen. Telemaco: Mathias Vidal. Eurimaco: Emiliano Gonzalez Toro. Iro: Jörg Schneider. Ericlea: Elodie. Le concert d'Astrée.

The most remarkable thing about this Ulisse was the cast – a glance at the list is telling. It’s unusual in a “HIP” performance of a work of this period not to have at least a few, if not indeed a majority of voiceless wonders who seem to have strayed out on stage from the back row of the church choir. It’s rare in opera of any kind to have a cast as consistently strong overall as this one…