'Most of the fair’s exhibitors are showing multiple artists, but Barron
stands out for the self-contained strength of its presentations, most of
which could have stood alone: loopy, brilliant acrylics of naked
centaurs and coffee cups with breasts by the Tehran-based former
professional wrestler Reza Shafahi.'
Le Studio - Philharmonie, Paris, Sunday 27 January 2018
Actor/narrator: Eric Ruf. Dancer: Alban Richard. Soloists of the Orchestre de Paris and the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
When I was a teenager, on one of my first forays abroad, I had the good fortune to be invited to stay with a cultivated Swiss family in Lausanne, who opened up intriguing new worlds for me. They had real paintings, parquet floors, oriental rugs, a grand piano, and what they called their salon de l’art brut, a spare room kept empty but for their own improvised artworks. They introduced me to the first opera I ever knew and owned on record, Les Mamelles de Tirésias, which would later play a part in my getting into university, as I talked about Apollinaire's play when discussing the theatre of the absurd during my entrance interview. They also introduced me to Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat, the words to which the whole family seemed able to chant merrily by heart while it was on their gramophone, (which was hi…
The vocation of the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de Musique Romantique Française is the rediscovery and international promotion of the French musical heritage of the long nineteenth century (1780-1920). Its interests range from chamber music to the orchestral, sacred and operatic repertories, not forgetting the lighter genres characteristic of the ‘esprit français’ of the nineteenth century (chanson, opéra-comique, operetta). The Centre was inaugurated in 2009 and has its headquarters in a Venetian palazzo dating from 1695 which was specially restored for this purpose. [From the Bru-Zane website]
Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed rediscovering some rare French operas through Bru Zane’s recordings, so I was glad to see they were planning a l…
Conductor: Bertrand de Billy. Production: Andrei Serban. Sets: Peter Pabst. Costumes: Graciela Galán. Lighting: Joël Hourbeigt. Otello: Roberto Alagna. Iago: George Gagnidze. Cassio: Frédéric Antoun. Roderigo: Alessandro Liberatore. Lodovico: Paul Gay. Montano: Thomas Dear. Desdemona: Aleksandra Kurzak. Emilia: Marie Gautrot. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris. Maîtrise des Hauts‑de‑Seine/ONP Children’s Chorus.
I’ve said it before and even so I’m going to say it again: there seems to be no logic (other than the director’s whim) to the Paris Opera’s decisions to keep or discard productions. Warlikowski’s outstanding Parsifal, seen only once, was replaced by something less outstanding on the grounds it was already ten years old. But already, 15 years ago, I left this dismally conventional Otello (“Bergerac,” muttered my neighbour the other night, meaning the standard was deeply provincial) at the interval. In other words, Paris k…