Showing posts from January, 2018

Händel - Jephtha

ONP Garnier, Monday January 22 2018

Conductor: William Christie. Director: Claus Guth. Sets: Katrin Lea Tag. Lighting: Bernd Purkrabek. Video: Arian Andiel. Choreography: Sommer Ulrickson. Jephtha: Ian Bostridge. Storgé: Marie-Nicole Lemieux. Iphis: Katherine Watson. Hamor: Tim Mead. Zebul: Philippe Sly. Angel: Valer Sabadus. Orchestra and Chorus of Les Arts Florissants.

According to, "It has become almost customary to stage Handel’s oratorios, essentially turning them into operas. It makes sense, actually."

I'm not so sure. If oratorio were opera, we wouldn't need a different word for it. Some oratorios lack the dramatic cranks, levers and pulleys that make opera theatrical, and the protagonists may, in addition, lack distinct personalities. Claus Guth's production plugged away at it gamely in acts one and two of Jephtha the other night with a parade of ideas, videos, stage business and even some dancing of sorts, but Jephtha, stubbornl…

Puccini - La Bohème

ONP Bastille, Friday December 29 2017

Conductor: Manuel López-Gómez. Production: Claus Guth. Sets: Étienne Pluss. Costumes: Eva Dessecker. Lighting: Fabrice Kebour. Video: Arian Andiel. Choreography: Teresa Rotemberg. Mimì: Nicole Car. Musetta: Elena Tsallagova. Rodolfo: Benjamin Bernheim. Marcello: Artur Ruciński. Schaunard: Andrei Jilihovschi. Colline: Roberto Tagliavini. Alcindoro: Marc Labonnette. Parpignol: Antonel Boldan. Sergente dei doganari: Florent Mbia. Un doganiere: Jian-Hong Zhao. Un venditore ambulante: Fernando Velasquez. Orchestra and Choruss of the Opéra National de Paris. Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine, Choeur d’enfants de l’Opéra national de Paris.

Prompted by an exchange with internet chronicler Rowna Sutin, I took a look back over my 2017 schedule this weekend and decided it had been a good year. Highlights were discovering Snegurochka (and Aida Garifullina) in Tcherniakov's production; Bieito's very sound Carmen with Anita Rachvelishvili in the title role and…