Archive for the ‘Q reviews’ Category

Messiaen’s St-François d’Assise at the Nederlandse Opera

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

St-François d’Assise

Opera in three Acts and eight Scenes

Libretto and Music by Olivier Messiaen

A New Production of the Nederlandse Opera
Première Performance of 1 June 2008
Het Musiktheater, Amsterdam

Musical Direction: Ingo Metzmacher
Director: Pierre Audi
Sets and Lighting: Jean Kalman
Costumes Angelo Figus
Video: Ervan Huon
Dramaturge: Klaus Bertisch
Choral Director: Martin Wright
Resident Orchestra and Choir of the Nederlandse Opera

L’ange: Camilla Tilling
Saint François: Rod Gilfry
Le lépreux: Hubert Delamboye
Frère Léon: Henk Neven
Frère Massée: Tom Randle
Frère Élie: Donald Kaasch
Frère Bernard: Armand Arapian
Frère Sylvestre: Jan Willem Baljet
Frère Rufin: André Morsch

an account by KEN QUANDT

The saints have shown us many ways to live a perfect life. Yet somehow the lesson we tend to come away with is that the saints are special, rather than their lives. We know they would not have it this way, that they want us to know and to use what they have learned in our own lives rather than idolize them; and we know this because this is what their lives and actions always teach us. Therefore we need to be told their lives over and over again. Saint Francis is a perfect case. As we come to know him, we are stunned by his humility – not because we wish we were less proud, but because his humility, as it is described by the stories of his life, is so credible.
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“Parsifal” at the Bastille

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Parsifal

a stage-consecrating festival play in three acts

Music and Libretto by Richard Wagner

Paris Opera at Bastille
Performance of 17 March 2008

Musical Direction: Hartmut Hänchen
Mise en Scène: Krzysztof “Buy-a vowel” Warlikowski
Sets and Costumes: Malgorzata Szczesniak
Lighting: Felice Ross
Video: Denis Gueguin

Director: Miron Hakenbeck
Choral Director: Winfried Maczewski

A New Production

Gurnemanz: Franz Joseph Selig
Kundry: Waltraud Meier
Amfortas: Alexander Marco-Buhrmester
Parsifal: Stig Anderson (for Christopher Ventris)
Titurel: Victor von Halem
Orchestra and Choruses of the Paris Opera

an account by KEN QUANDT

Like the Grail, this is an opera that only feeds the watcher who delights in the good. As such it should be less popular than it is, but the music is so beautiful it will never disappear from the repertoire. Thus, it presents a challenge to music lovers and opera lovers: Find the good.
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Q Review: “Pelleas et Melisande” at Covent Garden

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Pelléas et Mélisande

an opera in five acts

Music by Claude Debussy
Libretto by Maurice Maeterlinck

Royal Opera House at Covent Garden
Performance of 21 May 2007

Conductor: Simon Rattle
Director: Stanislas Nordey
Set Designer: Emmanuel Clolus
Costume Designer: Raoul Fernandez
Lighting: Philippe Berthomé

A co-production with the Salzburg Easter Festival

Mélisande: Angelika Kirchschlager
Golaud: Gerald Finley
Arkel: Robert Lloyd
Pelléas: Simon Keenlyside

an account by KEN QUANDT

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Sunday, March 18th, 2007

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Q review: “Recovered Voices” at the LA Opera

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Recovered Voices

Recovering a Musical Heritage
The Music Suppressed by the Third Reich

LA Opera – James Conlon, Musical Director
March 7 (Première Performance)
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

an account by KEN QUANDT

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