At least 5 superb shows to see for free on the Internet
Below is the list of 6 brilliant shows with links:
(1) Ariadne auf Naxos [dir- Philippe Arlaud, cnd- Christian Thieleman, cast: Renée Fleming, Sophie Koch, Jane Archibald, Robert Dean Smith, Nikolay Borchev, Steven Humes,…]
Production is not particularly interesting (i.e. Claus Guth production of this opera — and the one by Robert Carsen– remain unbeaten), but the conservative crowd was all excited because of Christian Thielemann. He did well although, IMO, Kent Nagano conducts this opera much better. Excellent cast dominated by Sophie Koch.
(2) Otello by Rossini [dir- Moshe Leiser & Patrice Caurier, cnd- Muhai Tang, cast: John Osborn, Cecilia Bartoli, Javier Camarena, Peter Kalman, Liliana Nikiteanu,…]
Witty and interesting production by which Moshe and Patrice confirmed that they are ones of the most intelligent and talented directors today (probably more intelligent than talented). With such an atrocious libretto, witty producers were indispensable. Good job! Although the hype was all about Cecilia Bartoli, John Osborne stole the show (big time!)
Here is your link where you can see the show.
(3) Péleas et Mélisande [dir- Robert Wilson, cnd- Philippe Jordan, cast: Stéphane Degout, Elena Tsallagova, Anne Sofie Von Otter, Franz Josef Selig, Vincent Le Texier, Jérôme Varnier]
It’s the legendary Bob Wilson production that deserves to be seen once in life. 2012 is the year of Debussy, the cast and the orchestra were good, and I’m sure it will sound better on video than in the huge hall of Opéra de Bastille. Wholeheartedly recommended!
(4) Eugene Onegin [dir- Krzysztof Warlikowski, cnd- Pietari Inkinen, cast: Simon Keenlyside, Pavol Breslik, Ekaterina Scherbachenko, Alisa Kolosova…]
Not the best Warikowski, but it’s still Warlikowski…—> Must see absolument!
Live webcast will start this Saturday at 7 p.m. (CET) on this link.
(5) Rusalka [dir- Stefan Herheim, cnd- Adam Fischer, cast: Tatiana Monogarova, Pavel Cernoh, Annalena Persson, Willard White…]
This is my favorite Herheim show together with Lohengrin. Even if it will allow you to see only a small fraction of brilliance of this gem –with respect to what you get during the live performance– it is definitely the show not to miss. It is very regie but its spectacular side will hopefully help those who reject the inventive opera director to reconsider their positions. And yes – Tatiana Monogarova rocks!
Free online streaming will open next Tuesday (March 27) and it will be available for 3 weeks on this link.
(6) L’incoronazione di Poppea [dir- Jean-François Sivadier, cnd- Emmanuelle Haïm, cast: Sonya Yoncheva, Max Emmanuel Cencic, Ann Hallenberg, Mathias Vidal, Amel Brahim-Djelloul, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Patrick Schramm…]
This is arguably the most beautiful opera ever; this new production received rave reviews, the subtle theater by Sivadier troubled many people but apparently everyone was enchanted after the show. Our beloved Sonya Yoncheva was fantastic — all reviewers are gushing over her vocal and scenic presence, and they all emphasize the passionate performance by Max Cencic, Ann Halenberg and Matias Vidal.
The show was recorded a week ago and will be available for 6 months on Arte Live Web, starting from next Monday March 26.
TV and Radio treats, most on-demand so they won’t hold up your social plans. You could see the New Year in with Lang Lang and Howard Skempton on BBC Radio 3 but for me, from 1800hr, it’s La Traviata from The Royal Opera House with Beczala, Perez and Keenlyside. This production has been done so many times that it’s become pretty tired, but this second of the four casts was a surprise hit.
The opera is a vehicle for sopranos who always sound amazing, since Violetta is written wonderfully for voice, flatteriung every woman who sings it. Papa Germont is a vehicle for big name baritones because they don’t have to sing all that much for their fee and star billing. And Alfredo’s are often cast with up and coming media darlings. So along comes Piotr Beczala, and suddenly the perspective switches. It’s like hearing the opera with fresh ears, from Alfredo’s point of view. Beczala is extremely experienced and has one of the most beautiful lyric voices in the business. When I hear him, I think what Fritz Wunderlich might have been had he lived. Beczala has another advantage in that he understands his roles from within, so the singing flows from deep sources. So La Traviata takes on new life. “It’s like falling in love all over again,” said a friend. A good experience ! (review here)
On New Year’s Day you can catch Maris Janssons live from the Musikverein, Vienna on TV and on Radio from 10.15. The current production of Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Royal Opera House is worth catching at 1445 on January 1st It’s enjoyable on its own terms, once you get your head around the fact that it’s more good natured Donizetti than Wagner. (review here) It’s unidiomatic but but at least genial, and not as bland as Walt Disney Wagner at the Met.
Mozart The Magic Flute from the Lucerne Festival should be worth hearing too. Daniel Harding conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, whose personnel he has been connected with for years. The cast is mostly English or resident in England, which might be interesting.
Wild cards : Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, one of his better “American” works, not that that’s saying much. Much more unusual is the programme that places Beethoven‘s Egmont Overture in context, with readings from the original source. It also includes Sibelius’s Kung Christian II. The performance isn’t particularly rivetting, but the piece is worth hearing, even if it’s very early work. It precedes the symphonies and more ambitious works like The Tempest but has affinities with his Kalevala pieces.