Sound and Clouds and Thunder (14)

[I thought we could do with some female disdain in charge at the moment: Anja Harteros (Alcina), “Ma quando tornerai” aka “Cry Me A River” in Handel’s “Alcina”, Vienna 2010. (in case this embeds wrongly at pt. 1 again: it’s part 21/25).- Clip with thanks to LyriqueMGK. For the full video-version, check here as of 39’00 (#HippyThing), and for a 2009 in-house from Milan (Carsen’s production, but still Harteros), head over to Gudrun’s]

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Liveblogging Rossini’s “Semiramide”(Munich 2017) on Sunday


[Imperial Picnic: Daniela Barcellona (Arsace) and Joyce DiDonato (Semiramide) in Rossini’s “Semiramide”, Munich/Staatsoper 2017]

Bayerische Staatsoper Munich is livestreaming their Rossini “Semiramide” this upcoming Sunday, Feb. 26th, at 5:00 p.m. (UTC+1).

We’re joining in.

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Egklecticism, well-framed: “Peer Gynt” at Theater an der Wien


Usually, neither Peer Gynt (#ExtensiveWhiteAble-BodiedManpain) nor Werner Egk – whose behavior during the NS regime had a decidedly brown tinge  – would make me want to go to the opera, but the staging in this is case is by Peter Konwitschny, and has Bo Skovhus and Maria Bengtsson in the leads. It also features Natascha Petrinsky, who left a lasting impression on me as Amneris in the Konwitschny staging of “Aida” back in 2008 – enough, in fact, to have me mark this production in my calendar as soon as it was announced. (#WillShowUpForTheMezzos)

“Peer Gynt” – not that removed from Faust in that regard – asks the core question of what life’s purpose can be, especially if a person defies convention, and how to find absolution when all intents have failed. In both cases, the answer is in finding purpose: having something left to do, recognizing something as fruitful (nevermind the predominantly female body count racked up on the side).

Konwitschny manages to turn the question into something timeless and more universal in his trademark, alert personenregie and his keen eye for the intersection of individual and overarching narratives. There is a serene mastery to this evening that creates moments both gutting and fun, and never needs to show off or rely on smoke and mirrors.
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