No, opera is not misogynist
4 secrets for better high notes
Talking with singers: Matthew Polenzani
Recording Dame Smyth: "Pretty good - for a woman."
Predictably, Smyth's music has not received the same recognition and appreciation as that of her male contemporaries like Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Grieg. "Pretty good - for a woman," was among the tiring sentiments by critics of Smyth's day.Read More
Schoenberg in Hollywood & a heap of excess
Alas, if only the final product understood the virtues of restraint! Its frequent dips into genre-based excess often veered into garish, meandering displays that more often than not proved so distracting it lost sight of the work's soul.Read More
"Star-cross'd lovers" cross artistic lines in new co-production
"I'm glad that Charles Gounod is a French composer because I can understand the opera in my own language. In many ways, Gounod's score is so far away from the Prokofiev score. Prokofiev's music is imminently danceable, the chords and harmonizations are rich and original. But Prokofiev's score is very dark while Gounod infuses a lot of colour, humour and drama."Read More
Wherefore art thou, opera?
It becomes an important responsibility of artists to comment on the topics of the day, no matter how messy or fraught. It can no longer stand for us present a particular historic piece of theatre art "as-is" and to satisfy ourselves with platitudes about how "that's how it was written, it's just of its time".Read More
Silent Night ages well in Minnesota revival
What is most remarkable about this opera, is how it really transfers the movie effectively to the stage. I really felt like I was watching the movie! Many of the memorable scenes were recreated very accurately. Minnesota Opera has proved once again their extraordinary talent at bringing new operas to life.Read More
Am I allowed to hate Silent Night?
And I'm sorry, but I did hate it. These are words I've almost never uttered about an opera, and it doesn't feel good to be typing them now. The work's overall message - that if we can only see the humanity in our opponents, then we might be able to put an end to the violence of war - rings hollow when the fascism and authoritarianism that rose out of the ashes of the Great War (something the libretto only acknowledges in passing) are looming once again in the 21st century.Read More
"Catharsis" is the wrong word: Britten's War Requiem
There was bile on Tovey's tongue that rang into Roy Thomson Hall, and its effect lingered long enough to dovetail into the first bars of the War Requiem. I have always found something magnetic and charismatic about Tovey, and as silly as it may sound, to hear him indulge in a brief moment of personal feelings about the meaning of war and commemoration felt akin to hearing a friend's firsthand experience with tragedy.Read More
Quartet breathes the divine into Verdi Requiem
performance. Each instance of the "Dies Irae" theme, in which the chorus competes with a bombastic orchestra, was performed with gusto and confidence. The choir also excelled in its polyphony, with the challenging "Sanctus" and "Libera me" fugue performed well on this night.Read More
Wacky & silly Médecin malgré lui an over-the-top delight
But of course, Stephen Salters proved to be the definitive star of the night with the way he played the role of Sganarelle. Salters proved to be an extremely versatile performer whose comedy was absolutely on point throughout the whole, be it from his tasteful vocal colorations in his drinking song to the exasperation towards his near-hanging at the end of the opera.Read More
Resources & visibility for IRCPA's New Singing Stars
Following the concert, IRCPA awarded its annual "Career Blueprint" to soprano Sara Schabas, who had wowed the crowd - both live and those watching and listening live on The New Classical FM - with her crystalline singing of a snippet of Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier.Read More