Thursday, February 23, 2017
Angela Gheorghiu’s new recording is titled ‘Live from Covent Garden’, and it features the following music: Bellini: Casta Diva (from Norma) Brediceanu: Câte flori pe deal in sus (from Le Seceris) Charpentier, G: Depuis le jour (from Louise) Cilea: Ecco: respiro appena. Io son l’umile ancella (from Adriana Lecouvreur) Handel: Lascia ch’io pianga (from Rinaldo) Loewe, F: I Could Have Danced All Night (My Fair Lady) Massenet: Allons! Il le faut pour lui-même!… Adieu, notre petite table (from Manon) Mozart: Porgi amor (from Le nozze di Figaro) Puccini: Tu che di gel sei cinta (from Turandot) Un bel di vedremo (from Madama Butterfly) O mio babbino caro (from Gianni Schicchi) Performed by Angela Gheorghiu (soprano), with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Ion Marin conducting. Angela Gheorghiu is an artist Who has an astounding voice, and she enjoys a special relationship with London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she first captured the imagination and hearts of the world’s opera-lovers. This recital with orchestra showcases Gheorghiu in roles she has championed in the theatre or on record (Adriana Lecouvreur, Madama Butterfly, Manon), and provides glimpses of the magic she brings to Bellini, Mozart and Handel – and the music of her native Romania and Broadway. Here is Ms. Gheorghiu in the opera Toscanini, with the Vienna State Opera company:
Staff at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe have called a ‘warning strike’ in pursuit of a six percent pay rise. The company’s latest production is a Clinton-Lewinsky themed version of Handel’s Semele.
It’s the latest in German shlock opera – a staging of Semele by director Floris Visser in Karlsruhe, at the Badisches Staatstheater, recast as the tawdry affairs of a former president. Jennifer France plays Lewinsky, Ed Lyon is the prez. Yes, that’s just how it was.
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff The subtly nuanced period performance under Nicholas Cleobury was deliberately at odds with this often uncomfortable update by Mid Wales Opera‘Myself I shall adore!” The narcissistic aria sung by Semele – airhead and pleasure-seeking daughter of the King of Thebes – must have instantly spelt “selfie” to director Martin Constantine. His production of Handel’s musical drama for Mid Wales Opera contrives a relentlessly contemporary take on the Greek myth: a FaceTime opera where it is less deus ex machina than deus est machina. In the hands of the pervy population of Thebes, laptops, all-seeing iPads and iPhones watch every move of their princess’s dalliance with the god Jupiter. But this is innocently vicarious by comparison with the spectacle ordained by her father Cadmus (Emyr Wyn Jones), whom Constantine makes the head of a nasty cult sect. Forced – in manacles – to marry Athamus, Semele makes her escape thanks to Jupiter’s thunderbolts, with king and populace also getting more than a bit lightning-singed. Continue reading...
Deshayes/Academia Montis Regalis/De Marchi (Sony)Sonya Yoncheva’s increasingly starry trajectory has her heading towards more fulsome-voiced heroines but Handel is not unknown territory for the Bulgarian soprano, who started off in the baroque hothouse Les Arts Florissants. Her expansive, red-blooded approach to these arias and duets – 10 by Handel, one by Purcell – won’t suit all tastes, but her singing is genuinely distinctive, thoughtful and never less than convincing. The selection leans towards weighty laments – Agrippina’s Pensieri is a highlight – but in lighter numbers, including Alcina’s Tornami a vagheggiar, she sounds as fresh and agile as one could want. The Academia Montis Regalis offer vigour if not always the last word in poise or refinement; Lascia ch’io pianga could be the soundtrack to a state procession. Karine Deshayes’s fruity mezzo-soprano is well matched with Yoncheva in duets from Rodelinda and Theodora. The latter, like Dido’s Lament, is in English – but best to listen without thinking too hard about that. Continue reading...
Great composers of classical music