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by Nicholas Jones
Today we went to the cineplex to watch the latest Met HD Live broadcast: there are five more this spring! Thank you, Peter Gelb! This one was Susan Graham and Placido Domingo in Gluck’s amazing opera, Iphigénie en Tauride, or Iphigenia in the land of the Scythians (my translation). Graham and Domingo both had colds — they called it a NYC epidemic — but they sounded pretty darn good.
For me, coincidentally, this opera, which Gluck adapted from a little-known Greek tragedy by Euripides, came on the heels of four wonderful lectures at Oberlin by Toronto classicist Victoria Wohl, about how strange Euripides’ plays are, and how that strangeness can clue us into their political and ideological messages.
Whatever it meant there, it was not sung in a hall like the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. And that aspect of scale must have been part of what it meant.
In the Met, the singers’ voices have to be BIG. In the HD simulcasts, you get to meet the singers backstage. Here were Graham and Domingo, both obviously struggling with colds, talking to us and host Natalie Dessay, perky as always. Domingo almost sadly gestured to the microphone he was holding for the interview, and commented “we don’t get to use these onstage.” Read the rest of this entry »
by Laura Genemans
This past Saturday, the Akron Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Christopher Wilkins and the Akron Symphony Chorus under the direction of Maestro Hugh Ferguson Floyd in no uncertain terms established its excellence and value in this area as an exceptional musical force.
Verdi’s La forza del destino: Overture opened the program and established the tonal three notes representing the forces of destiny. Thanks to the excellent pre-concert talk by Maestro Wilkins you knew what to listen for. Without words, the orchestra created pictures with the entrance of the strings followed by the lyrical “gypsy-like” melody from the clarinet and flute. The continual movement between the strings (celli and viola) and winds wove the story taking you to your inevitable destiny – concluding with the low brass. The music carried you due to the way the ensemble followed each other letting the Maestro lead – never releasing that thread of interest and tension.
Opera Circle in a Preview of Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi, on September 26, 2009 at the Cleveland Bridge Project. Amy Scheetz (Romeo), Dorota Sobieska (Giulietta) and Ray Liddle (Lorenzo), accompanied by music director and pianist Jacek Sobieski and violinist Wanda Sobieska. This opera will be presented with chorus and orchestra on November 6 and 8 at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, Cleveland.
Nigel Redden, director of Lincoln Center Festival, and Gary Hanson, executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, announced on Tuesday afternoon a new multi-year residency for the Orchestra at the Lincoln Center Festival to begin in 2011 and continue in 2013 and 2015.
From July 13-17, 2011, Franz Welser-Möst will conduct four concerts juxtaposing Bruckner’s Symphonies 5, 7, 8 and 9 with works by John Adams, and will also give a master class on Bruckner at the Juilliard School.
The 2013 and 2015 residencies will include fully staged productions from the Vienna State Opera with Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra in the pit of the David H. Koch Theater (Welser-Möst will become General Music Director of the VSO in 2010, in the same year as Dominique Meyer, currently of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysees in Paris becomes Intendant). The second and third residencies will also include concert performances and possibly ballet.
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