28 November 2008

Barenboim Met debut today with Tristan

Daniel Barenboim is making his Metropolitan Opera debut today with Tristan und Isolde.

Barenboim's responsibilities in Chicago, Bayreuth, and Berlin has made a Metropolitan debut impossible until now.

The cast includes Katarina Dalayman as Isolde, Michelle DeYoung as Brangäne, Peter Seiffert as Tristan, Gerd Grochowski as Kurwenal a René Pape as the cuckolded King Marke.

24 November 2008

Concertgebouw Best Orchestra in the World

A panel of leading international critics has ranked Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra no 1, defeating orchestras like Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Bavarian Radio Symphony.

It is the magazine Gramophone who has asked eleven critics to rank the best orchestras in the world. The panel included three British critics from the Gramophone, two Americans, two Asians and one each from Le Monde (France), Die Welt (Germany), De Telegraaf (the Nether-lands) and Die Presse (Austria).

These are the best orchestras, according to Gramophone's critics:

1 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
2 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
3 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
4 London Symphony Orchestra
5 Chicago Symphony Orchestra
6 Bavarian Radio Symphony
7 Cleveland Orchestra
8 Los Angeles Philharmonic
9 Budapest Festival Orchestra
10 Dresden Staatskapelle
11 Boston Symphony Orchestra
12 New York Philharmonic
13 San Francisco Symphony
14 Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra
15 Russian National Orchestra
16 Leningrad Philharmonic
17 Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
18 Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
19 Saito Kinen Symphony Orchestra
20 Czech Philharmonic

02 November 2008

Stockholm Ring on Swedish TV

The Complete Stockholm Ring is to be broadcast on Swedish TV this autumn

SVT2 Saturday 18 October kl 19.45: Das Rheingold
SVT2 Saturday 8 November kl 19.40: Die Walküre
SVT2 Saturday 29 November kl 19.35: Siegfried
SVT2 Saturday 20 December kl 19:00: Götterdämmerung


05 September 2008

Bayreuth 2010: Annette Dasch and Evelyn Herlitzius

AFP, referring an interview Katharina Wagner has made with the German daily Welt Online, can report the following:

Annette Dasch is to sing Elsa (new production of Lohengrin). 2010 Evelyn Herlitzius is to sing Ortrud (Stage director: Hans Neuenfels, conductor: Andris Nelson)

Sebastian Baumgarten is to produce a new Tannhäuser

Christian Thielemann
will conduct and Adrienne Pieczonka is to sing Senta in a new production of The Flying Dutchman. No director has been named.

No Ring director has been chosen yet. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has been mention in the media, but seems out of the question.

Frau Wagner says that she is "keeping open the option of the Festspielhaus for Rienzi.

21 June 2008

Oslo's New Opera

Den Norske Opera. Foto: Per-Erik Skramstad

I went to the new Opera House today, and finally took some pictures of this fantastic house. It is really beautiful, inside and outside. Please remember sun glasses if you are planning a visit. The white building and the white ground is really straining the eyes.

The program so far has been very disappointing, with no new Norwegian operas, and no exciting productions, at least not for me. The greatest disappointment was the cancelling of a new production of Tannhäuser by Stefan Herheim, who will probably make a scandal in Bayreuth this summer with his time journey Parsifal.

The West-Eastern Divan concert in August (Die Walküre Act 1) is the first event I can't miss. Die Walküre is next must-see - in February 2009. No conductor announced yet, but stage director is Folke Abenius. And this is the cast:
Siegmund: John Keyes
Wotan: Terje Stensvold
Sieglinde: Ingebjørg Kosmo
Brünnhilde: Catherine Foster
Hunding: Carsten Stabell
Fricka: Hege Høisæter
Helmwige: Toril Carlsen
Gerhilde: Ingjerd Oda Mantor
Ortlinde: Itziar Martinez Galdos

Here are some picture:

Den Norske Opera. Foto: Per-Erik Skramstad

Den Norske Opera. Foto: Per-Erik Skramstad

19 May 2008

Decca releases Giant Box set with all Wagner operas

Decca will be releasing a Giant Box set with all Wagner operas recorded at the Bayreuth Festival at an unbelievable bargain price on 17 June (33 CDs - $62.99). The box include all the operas that are being played at the Bayreuth Festival, that is:

Das Rheingold
Die Walküre
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Tristan und Isolde
Der fliegende Holländer

Most of these recording will be second or fifth choice for Wagnerians collecting recordings. I get a kinda "let's take what we have"-feeling watching the production list. What do you think?

The Giant Wagner Box with all Operas for $62.99


CDs 1& 2
Der fliegende Holländer
Anja Silja / Fritz Uhl / Josef Greindl / Franz Crass
Wolfgang Sawallisch

CDs 3-5
Silja / Wolfgang Windgassen / Eberhard Wächter /
Josef Greindl
Wolfgang Sawallisch

CDs 6-8
Anja Silja / Astrid Varnay / Jess Thomas / Ramon Vinay
Wolfgang Sawallisch

CDs 9-11
Tristan und Isolde
Birgit Nilsson / Wolfgang Windgassen
Karl Böhm
This classic Tristan is also sold separately

CDs 12-15
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Hannelore Bode / Jean Cox / Bernd Weikl / Karl Ridderbusch / Hans Sotin
Silvio Varviso
This recording has also been available separately (difficult to find now)

Der Ring des Nibelungen
CDs 16 & 17
Das Rheingold
Annelies Burmeister / Wolfgang Windgassen / Theo Adam /
Gustav Neidlinger
Karl Böhm

CDs 18-21
Die Walküre
Birgit Nilsson / Leonie Rysanek / James King / Theo Adam
Karl Böhm

CDs 22-25
Birgit Nilsson / Wolfgang Windgassen / Theo Adam
Karl Böhm

CDs 26-29
Birgit Nilsson / Wolfgang Windgassen / Josef Greindl /
Gustav Neidlinger
Karl Böhm

CDs 30-33
Waltraud Meier / Peter Hofmann / Hans Sotin / Simon Estes
James Levine

The Giant Wagner Box with all Operas for $62.99

06 March 2008

Warlikowski's new Parsifal at the Bastille Opera

Waltraud Meier stars as Kundry in a new and provocative production of Parsifal at the Bastille Opera in Paris.

Jorg von Uthmann has a review for Bloomberg News of the production which is directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski.

Uthmann comments that Warlikowski does his best to play down the religious side of the opera. The slow tempi that has been a trademark for this "holy" opera, is rejected by conductor Hartmut Haenchen. I guess his fast reading (3 hours and 55 minutes, according to Uthmann) is part of the de-sanctifying project of this production.

Much of Act I is performed as an oratorio with the singers sitting in front of a screen on which, from time to time, primitive drawings appear. If you know the story, you recognize the Cross, the lance and the chalice. If not, you are as lost as a blameless fool.

Before the prelude of the third act, there were angry protests among the audience when the final scene of Roberto Rossellini's 1948 movie Germany Year Zero, showing the suicide of a boy in the ruins of Berlin, appeared on the curtain.

Uthmann is more satisfied with the orchestra (led by Hartmut Haenchen) and the soloists than the direction. He is satisfied with Waltraud Meier (of course), Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor), Franz Josef Selig (Gurnemanz) and Victor von Halem (Titurel).

Opera Bastille, Paris
Read Uthmann's review on Bloomberg.com here
Hartmut Haenchen's homepage

Other reviews:
Mostly Opera
Le Monde
International Herald Tribune

04 March 2008

Bayreuth Festival schedule 2008

For the latest updates,
see Wagneropera.net


25. Juli Parsifal I
26. Juli Tristan I
27. Juli Meistersinger I
28. Juli Rheingold I
29. Juli Walküre I
31. Juli Siegfried I
02. August Götterdämmerung I
03. August Parsifal II
04. August Meistersinger II
05. August Tristan II
06. August Parsifal III
07. August Meistersinger III
08. August Rheingold II
09. August Walküre II
10. August Parsifal *
11. August Siegfried II
13. August Götterdämmerung II
14. August Tristan III
15. August Meistersinger IV
16. August Parsifal V
17. August Siegfried *
18. August Tristan IV
19. August Meistersinger V
20. August Rheingold III
21. August Walküre III
23. August Siegfried III
25. August Götterdämmerung III
26. August Tristan V
27. August Meistersinger VI
28. August Parsifal VI

Search for Bayreuth Festival recordings

The artists


Dirigent Daniele Gatti

Inszenierung Stefan Herheim
Bühnenbild Heike Scheele
Kostüme Gesine Völlm
Amfortas Detlef Roth
Titurel Diógenes Randes
Gurnemanz Kwangchul Youn
Parsifal Christopher Ventris
Klingsor Thomas Jesatko
Kundry Mihoko Fujimura
1. Gralsritter Arnold Bezuyen
2. Gralsritter Friedemann Röhlig
1. Knappe Julia Borchert
2. Knappe Ulrike Helzel
3. Knappe Clemens Bieber
4. Knappe Timothy Oliver
Klingsors Zaubermädchen Julia Borchert Martina Rüping Carola Guber Anna Korondi Jutta Maria Böhnert Atala Schöck
Altsolo Simone Schröder

Tristan und Isolde

Dirigent Peter Schneider
Inszenierung Christoph Marthaler
Kostüme & Bühnenbild Anna Viebrock
Tristan Robert Dean Smith
König Marke Robert Holl
Isolde Iréne Theorin
Kurwenal Jukka Rasilainen
Melot Ralf Lukas
Brangäne Michelle Breedt
Junger Seemann Clemens Bieber
Ein Hirt Arnold Bezuyen
Ein Steuermann Martin Snell

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Dirigent Sebastian Weigle
Inszenierung Katharina Wagner
Bühnenbild Tilo Steffens
Kostüme Michaela Barth
Hans Sachs Franz Hawlata
Veit Pogner Artur Korn
Kunz Vogelgesang Charles Reid
Konrad Nachtigall Rainer Zaun
Sixtus Beckmesser Michael Volle
Fritz Kothner Markus Eiche
Balthasar Zorn Edward Randall
Ulrich Eisslinger Hans-Jürgen Lazar
Augustin Moser Stefan Heibach
Hermann Ortel Martin Snell
Hans Schwarz Andreas Macco
Hans Foltz Diógenes Randes
Walther von Stolzing Klaus Florian Vogt
David Norbert Ernst
Eva Amanda Mace
Magdalene Carola Guber
Ein Nachtwächter Friedemann Röhlig

Das Rheingold

Dirigent Christian Thielemann
Inszenierung Tankred Dorst
Bühnenbild Frank Philipp Schlößmann
Kostüme Bernd Ernst Skodzig
Wotan Albert Dohmen
Donner Ralf Lukas
Froh Clemens Bieber
Loge Arnold Bezuyen
Fasolt Kwangchul Youn
Fafner Hans-Peter König
Alberich Andrew Shore
Mime Gerhard Siegel
Fricka Michelle Breedt
Freia Edith Haller
Erda Christa Mayer
Woglinde Fionnuala McCarthy
Wellgunde Ulrike Helzel
Flosshilde Simone Schröder

Die Walküre

Dirigent Christian Thielemann
Inszenierung Tankred Dorst
Bühnenbild Frank Philipp Schlößmann
Kostüme Bernd Ernst Skodzig
Siegmund Endrik Wottrich
Hunding Kwangchul Youn
Wotan Albert Dohmen
Sieglinde Eva-Maria Westbroek
Brünnhilde Adrienne Dugger
Fricka Michelle Breedt
Gerhilde Sonja Mühleck
Ortlinde Anna Gabler
Waltraute Martina Dike
Schwertleite Simone Schröder
Helmwige Edith Haller
Siegrune Wilke te Brummelstroete
Grimgerde Annette Küttenbaum
Rossweisse Alexandra Petersamer


Dirigent Christian Thielemann
Inszenierung Tankred Dorst
Bühnenbild Frank Philipp Schlößmann
Kostüme Bernd Ernst Skodzig
Siegfried Stephen Gould
Mime Gerhard Siegel
Der Wanderer Albert Dohmen
Alberich Andrew Shore
Fafner Hans-Peter König
Erda Christa Mayer
Brünnhilde Adrienne Dugger
Stimme des Waldvogels Robin Johannsen


Dirigent Christian Thielemann
Inszenierung Tankred Dorst
Bühnenbild Frank Philipp Schlößmann
Kostüme Bernd Ernst Skodzig
Siegfried Stephen Gould
Gunther Ralf Lukas
Hagen Hans-Peter König
Alberich Andrew Shore
Brünnhilde Adrienne Dugger
Gutrune Michaela Kaune
Waltraute Christa Mayer
1. Norn Simone Schröder
2. Norn Martina Dike
3. Norn Edith Haller
Woglinde Fionnuala McCarthy
Wellgunde Ulrike Helzel
Flosshilde Simone Schröder

Search for Bayreuth Festival recordings

07 January 2008

Siegfried's Horn Call by Annamia Eriksson

This video shows Annamia Eriksson playing Siegfried's horn call (from the opera Siegfried). This horn call wakes up Fafner, the dragon. The video is part of a promo for a production of the Ring at the Royal Swedish Opera. Annamia Eriksson plays the part very well, with rich nuances.

I like these kind of promotional stunts from opera companies. It is surprisingly few that show creative powers to reach out to the audience (and potential audience). Wake up, lads - it's 2008.

You can read more about Annamia Eriksson at Kammarensemblen.com.
A English horn solo from Tristan und Isolde can be heard in this clip

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