15 October 2009

New York Philharmonic receives $2.4 million to digitize the orchestra’s archives

New York Philharmonic receives $2.4 million grant from the Leon Levy Foundation to digitize 1.3 million pages of the orchestra’s archives.

Leonard Bernstein’s marked conducting scores will be first material released, according to www.leonardbernstein.com.

“I’ve been here 25 years, and this is life-changing,” said Barbara Haws, the Philharmonic’s archivist to The New York Times. “Access is one thing, but since we’re digitizing these documents, you’ll also have the ability to see details you’ve never been able to see: a score marked by Mahler in 1909 and used by Bernstein in 1959, a conductor making marks in the heat of the moment, some old and faded, can now be enlarged, which is just magical. On a single page there are multiple experiences reflected over time.”

A tad off topic, but this is Bernstein conducting Wagner:

08 October 2009

The Road to the LA Ring

According to the Los Angeles Opera, the first "Road to the Ring" events have set a path to the Festival and garnered enthusiasm from participants across the region.

Search lights brought people from miles away to view Charles Sherman's Ring of Inclusion sculpture on Sunset Boulevard August 28. In mid-September, artists from the California Art Club gathered downtown at California Plaza and in Pasadena at Maranantha High School to paint models enacting scenes from the Ring in plein air.

In anticipation of the September 26 opening of LA Opera's first-ever production of Siegfried, the Speakers Bureau has been on the road lecturing about the opera at public libraries throughout Los Angeles. James Conlon, LA Opera's Richard Seaver Music Director, discussed Wagner's monumental work at the Broad Stage on September 24. Achim Freyer, Ring Director/Designer, conversed with journalist Matthew Gurewitsch at the Goethe Institut on September 29th.

23 September 2009

James Conlon on the Ring cycle

As part of the "Road to the Ring," you can enjoy a rare "up-close" encounter with Maestro James Conlon, the Music Director of LA Opera, at the Broad Stage, Thursday 24 September 7:30PM 2009.

The Ring cycle, one of the most influential works of Western art, follows the adventures of gods, heroes and mythical creatures struggling for posession of a magic ring that grants domination over the entire world.

Renowned for his interpretations of Richard Wagner's repertoire, Maestro Conlon will conduct his first Ring cycle in the United States as part of LA Opera's 2009/10 Season.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Reserve seats on the Event page

The Broad Stage
1310 11th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

31 August 2009

Stukas (1941) - scene from Festspielhaus

A short scene from the feature film "Stukas" (1941), directed by Karl Ritter, was made in the Festspielhaus at Bayreuth. The scene shows a depressed and apathetic bomber being cured by listening to Götterdämmerung at the Festspielhaus. The music – which he says would have sounded even better played "vierhändig" on a piano (!) – gives him spirit and energy to return to the battle field.

More on "Stukas"
Wagner music in movies

29 March 2009

Final Schenk Rings at Metropolitan

This spring is your last chance to experience "Otto Schenk's landmark production" of Der Ring des Nibelungen, as the Metropolitan Opera calls it. I have one or two reservations about the "landmark" statement, but if I had been over there, I sure would have liked to see it live. It is of course available on DVD.

Rheingold, Das - Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 1:00 PM
Walküre, Die - Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 12:00 PM
Siegfried - Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 12:00 PM
Götterdämmerung - Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 12:00 PM

Rheingold, Das - Monday, April 27, 2009 - 8:00 PM
Walküre, Die - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 6:30 PM
Siegfried - Thursday, April 30, 2009 - 6:00 PM
Götterdämmerung - Saturday, May 2, 2009 - 6:00 PM

Rheingold, Das - Monday, May 4, 2009 - 8:00 PM
Walküre, Die - Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - 6:00 PM
Siegfried - Thursday, May 7, 2009 - 6:00 PM
Götterdämmerung - Saturday, May 9, 2009 - 6:30 PM

If you want to experience Iréne Theorin, who recently made her Met debut, your first opportunity is Die Walküre 11 April. The cast is great. This could be a wonderful evening:

Conductor: James Levine
Brünnhilde: Iréne Theorin
Sieglinde: Waltraud Meier
Fricka: Yvonne Naef
Siegmund: Johan Botha
Wotan: James Morris
Hunding: John Tomlinson

The cast for Siegfried in the same cycle 18 April:
Conductor: James Levine
Brünnhilde: Iréne Theorin
Erda: Jill Grove
Siegfried: Christian Franz
Mime: Gerhard Siegel
Wanderer: James Morris

16 March 2009

Parsifal and Kundry reborned – Kiseljov's Parsifal in Brno

I have received information about a pantomime production of Parsifal in Brno and would like to share it with you:

"Vladimir Kiseljov, the 25 years-old Czech director, stage designer and President of Richard-Wagner-Society Brno, had on 20. April 2008 in the theatre Reduta Brno in Czech republic fulfilled his dream – to show on stage his concept of the whole Richard Wagners Parsifal as a pantomime – initiation mysterium.

The performance was consulted and recommended by Hans Schavernoch and is probably the first realisation of whole Wagners Parsifal as a pantomime on the complete recording of Wagners score played from 6 loudspeakers around audience, which create in some places of this stage mystery an effect of voices from the heaven, slowly moving up above the audience. This staging presented two actors of Parsifal (1. young and 2. reborned "Erlöser" in Act 3) and 3 actresses of Kundry, because we see them in long time distance in the circulation of their incarnations, till they together at the end became an ideal one being of the "Erlöser", which is only Parsifal and Kundry together, after their near-Tantric ritual of reaching the Grail – state of mind. Salvation comes after the fullfilling of lost capability of live and love of at least two beings together, which through their compassion and love, cojuction of the oposit men and women principles brings salvation to the whole world.

The hidden philosophic intentions of Wagners drama are shown on the stage with gestures and situations, which go not only descriptive to saying of characters- many times we see a counterpoint between what they say, and what they realy think and do. We see mixture of Hindu mudras and gnostic-christian gestures in rituals, which would like to reborn the forgotten rituals of old. But with no provocation or vulgarity, only with humility, which comes from a conection of Wagners "Parsifal" and his Hindu-drama "Die Sieger".

Light in this performance breaths close with Wagners music, shows living unity with the dramatic hearth of Wagners Parsifal. The audience can almost touch the actors, no long distance between actors and audience, which can create sense of farness of the action an his theme. More about this perfomance you may find on www.kiseljov.ic.cz under "Parsifal ND Brno".

Next actions of the Richard-Wagner-Society Brno are exhibitions of paintings and performances of Vladimir Kiseljov, which are inspired and acompanied by Wagners, Bruckners and Rimsky-Korsakovs Music and interpretation of those musical works from sight of philosophy, music and visual dramatic art.

Those actions také place in Brno, Praha, Ostrava, Jihlava (as a part of international music festival Mahler Jihlava 2009) and other cities of Czech republic. One of the actions is a performance, when Vladimir Kiseljov live in front of an audience with music relizes his wall-paintings of Wagners Parsifal – on 22. 6. 2009 in „Galery of Critics“- Adria Palace in the centre of Praha. Other actions of Wagners Society of Brno you will find on www.wagnerbrno.cz.