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Boesmans - On purge bébé !

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La Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday December 18 2022 Conductor: Bassem Akiki. Production: Richard Brunel. Sets: Etienne Pluss. Costumes: Bruno de Lavenère. Lighting: Laurent Castaingt. Bastien Follavoine: Jean-Sébastien Bou. Julie Follavoine: Jodie Devos. Aristide Chouilloux: Denzil Delaere. Clémence Chouilloux: Sophie Pondjiclis. Horace Truchet: Jérôme Varnier. Toto: Tibor Ockenfels. Toto (as a child): Martin da Silva Magalhães. La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra. Photos: Jean-Louis Fernandez/La Monnaie My 2022 operatic agenda ended with  On purge bébé , Philippe Boesmans' eighth and last opera (completed after his death in 2021 by his friend Benoît Mernier, with advice from Sylvain Cambreling), at La Monnaie in Brussels: an hour and twenty minutes of sheer, scatological fun, revolving around the enfant roi Toto’s constipation (Toto, short for Hervé we are told, is, by the way, actually seven, not a toddler), a contract for 300,000 chamber pots, and of course (the vaudeville is by Feydeau,

2023

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Opéra Magazine's December recording of the month

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Opéra Magazine 's December 2022 pick of the month in its recordings listings, with the publication's highest 'Diamond' accolade, is John Nelson's Berlioz CD pairing Les Nuits d'Eté by Michael Spyres with Harold en Italie , on Erato. 'Dazzling Berlioz,' says the reviewer (in French, of course). 'Taking up the challenge of the complete Nuits d'Eté , Michael Spyres climbs to the summits, with the complicity of John Nelson.'  On YouTube (at the time of writing, at least), the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg offers the whole CD in a playlist.  

Offenbach - La Périchole

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Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Tuesday November 15 2022 Conductor: Marc Minkowski. Production and Costumes: Laurent Pelly. New dialogues: Agathe Mélinand. Sets: Chantal Thomas. Lighting: Michel Le Borgne. La Périchole: Antoinette Dennefeld. Piquillo: Stanislas de Barbeyrac. Don Andrès de Ribeira: Laurent Naouri. Le Comte Miguel de Panatellas: Rodolphe Briand. Don Pedro de Hinoyosa: Lionel Lhote. Guadalena/Manuelita: Chloé Briot. Berginella/Ninetta: Alix Le Saux. Mastrilla/Brambilla: Eléonore Pancrazi. Frasquinella: Natalie Pérez. Le vieux prisonnier/Le Marquis de Tarapote: Eddy Letexier. Le premier notaire: Mitesh Khatri. Le deuxième notaire: Jean-Philippe Fourcade. Les Musiciens du Louvre. Chorus of the Bordeaux Opera. All photos: Vincent Pontet / TCE Many people must have been as pleased as I was to see Marc Minkowski and Laurent Pelly were scheduled to pair up again, after twenty years or more (eek!), for La Périchole . Pelly is no more infallibly brilliant than any other direc

Opéra Magazine's November 2022 recording of the month

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Opéra Magazine 's November pick of the month, with their top ' Diamant ' award, is Matthew Locke's Psyche , with a long cast (of 13) including the likes of Lucile Richardot and Marc Mauillon, and the Ensemble Correspondances under Sébastien Daucé, on Harmonia Mundi. 'Fascinating Psyche ,' they write. 'What joy to rediscover Matthew Locke's rare and superb Psyche (... which) reemerges in all its variety, originality and extreme richness (...) on all counts, this is now the reference recording.'

Strauss - Der Rosenkavalier

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La Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday October 30 2022 Conductor: Alain Altinoglu. Production: Damiano Michieletto. Sets: Paolo Fantin. Costumes: Agostino Cavalca. Lighting: Alessandro Carletti. Die Feldmarschallin Fürstin Werdenberg: Julia Kleiter. Der Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau: Martin Winkler. Octavian: Julie Boulianne. Herr von Faninal: Dietrich Henschel. Sophie: Liv Redpath. Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin: Sabine Hogrefe. Valzacchi: Yves Saelens. Annina: Carole Wilson. Ein Polizeikommissar/Ein Notar: Alexander Vassiliev. Der Haushofmeister bei der Feldmarschallin/Der Haushofmeister bei Faninal: Maxime Melnik. Wirt: Denzil Delaere. Ein Sänger: Juan Francisco Gatell. Drei adelige Waisen: Annelies Kerstens, Marta Beretta, Marie Virot. Eine Modistin: Lisa Willems. Ein Tierhändler: Alain-Pierre Wingelinckx. La Monnaie Orchestra, Chorus, Choral Academy and Children's Chorus. All photos: Matthias Baus/La Monnaie My post on Paris's Salome was way too long so, paradoxical though it may be, I&#

Strauss - Salome

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ONP Bastille, Thursday October 27, 2022 Conductor: Simone Young. Production: Lydia Steier. Sets and video: Momme Hinrichs. Costumes: Andy Besuch. Lighting: Olaf Freese. Salome: Elza van den Heever. Herodes: John Daszak. Herodias: Karita Mattila. Jochanaan: Iain Paterson. Narraboth: Tansel Akzeybek. Page der Herodias: Katharina Magiera. Erster Jude: Matthäus Schmidlechner. Zweiter Jude: Éric Huchet. Dritter Jude: Maciej Kwaśnikowski. Vierter Jude: Mathias Vidal. Fünfter Jude: Sava Vemić. Erster Nazarener: Luke Stoker. Zweiter Nazarener: Yiorgo Ioannou. Erster Soldat: Dominic Barberi. Zweiter Soldat: Bastian Thomas Kohl. Cappadocier: Alejandro Baliñas Vieites. Ein Sklave: Marion Grange. Orchestra of the Opéra National de Paris. Photos: Agathe Poupeney/ONP My new season opened with two Strauss works: Der Rosenkavalier in Brussels on Sunday, and before that, this new production of Salome . The ONP seemed determined to court scandal (or do I just mean excite interest?) by issuing warnings