Tuesday, May 31, 2016
I was a young boy when I first watched and listened to a live performance of this opera. I remember the feeling of excitement and passion that was sung and acted in this story. Now we have a new recording that tells this story in a somewhat different way. Bizet: Carmen Recorded at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, 2011 The singers are Béatrice Uria-Monzon (Carmen), Roberto Alagna (Don José), Erwin Schrott (Escamillo), Marina Poplavskaya (Micaëla) With the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Marc Piollet conducting. In this production at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, controversial stage director Calixto Bieito sees in Carmen the embodiment of the mythical gypsy and touches upon sensitive issues such as racism, xenophobia and right-wing politics. Bieito conjures up a sensual and realistic atmosphere full of powerful symbolism. An outstanding quartet of vocal stars, led by a “splendid and sensual” (El Periódico) Béatrice Uria-Monzon in the title role, delivers one of the most exciting Carmens in recent years: Roberto Alagna as Don José, Erwin Schrott as Escamillo and Marina Poplavskya as Micaëla. SUBTITLES: French (original language), English, German, Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Korean
Venue: Deutsche Oper Berlin (Berlin German Opera) Address: Bismarckstraße 35, 10627 Berlin, Germany Dates/Times: April 16 2016 at 7:30 PM April 22 2016 at 7:30 PM April 24 2016 at 6:00 PM Ticket prices are about 100 Euros per person Opera: Bizet, Georges Carmen, Opéra comique in four acts The Deutsche Oper Berlin presents Georges Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, a work that scandalised the audience at its premiere at the Paris Opéra Comique in 1875, but is now among the most performed and best loved operas in the repertoire. Carmen’s absolute need for freedom and her insistence on relationships based on complete independence and equality make her irresistible to Don José, who nonetheless proves unable to tolerate her urge to defend her liberty. A victim of his own desire, he is finally driven to destroy his lover and himself with her. To convey this tragic material Bizet succeeded in using the medium of an opéra comique that presents us with all the emotions and traits of the human condition – levity, drabness, silliness and stoniness, seduction and playfulness, cruelty and destiny. In French with German surtitles.
Reimagined in 1950s Cuba and directed by Christopher Renshaw, Carmen la Cubana will open at the Théâtre du Châtelet over 140 years after Paris debutIt is Carmen, but not as we know it, and almost certainly not as French composer Georges Bizet intended. A new version is mixing opera and the Broadway adaptation with some Latin American cha-cha-cha thrown in for good measure. Continue reading...
The Grange Festival launches this summer at Grange Park, having evicted Wasfi Kani’s Grange Park Opera, which had been running there since 1997. It clearly needed a jewel in its crown, or a currant on its bun, to deflect attention from Wasfi’s rival new venture in Surrey, trailed in this morning’s FT. The currant is Teodor Currentzis, superhyped and sometimes controversial director of Perm Opera in Russia. His orchestra Musica Aeterna will present two concert performances of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. The fully-staged operas are Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Carmen and Albert Herring. Press release follows. The Grange Festival’s Artistic Director, Michael Chance, today announced details of the first operas to be presented by the newly-formed company. Opening in June 2017, The Grange Festival is dedicated to building on the great tradition of opera productions in the award-winning theatre of The Grange, Hampshire. Audiences will be able to enjoy a wider range of work there than ever before, with each new production bringing together carefully selected world-class artistic teams to create experiences of the highest quality. In its first season, The Grange Festival presents three operas that have never been staged at The Grange before: Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Bizet’s Carmen and Britten’s Albert Herring. The Grange Festival is unique among UK opera companies in having an opera singer as its artistic director. For the 2017 season’s first new production, Chance himself will take on the musical direction of the first staging at The Grange of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, in the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth and perfectly matched to the famous Greek revivalist architecture of The Grange. Chance has invited eminent British theatre director Tim Supple, to create a visually-arresting production, without conductor, which fully utilises the intimacy of The Grange theatre, and that captures the radical freshness which audiences at the premiere of this revolutionary work may have experienced nearly four hundred years ago. Bizet’s Carmen is one of the world’s most popular operas and for its first performances at The Grange will reunite director Annabel Arden and designer Joanna Parker, widely praised for their extraordinary work together on such productions as Opera North’s Andrea Chénier and Royal Opera House’s Café Kafka, and currently working together on Glyndebourne’s forthcoming Il barbiere di Siviglia. It will be conducted by the French conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud. Considered one of the foremost champions of French opera, Tingaud was Associate Conductor of Opéra Comique, Paris, and is known to UK and Irish audiences from his regular appearances at Wexford Festival, English National Opera and with many of our finest orchestras. Exactly 70 years on from its first performances at Glyndebourne, Britten’s Albert Herring (described by Sviatoslav Richter, no less, as “the greatest comic opera of the century”) is another pillar of the inaugural season. Chance is bringing together the perfect Britten team of conductor Steuart Bedford, chosen by Britten to replace him when he became too ill to conduct the world premiere of Death in Venice, and director John Copley, who also knew Britten, and whose distinguished career has made him one of the most beloved figures in the opera world. In a coup for the company’s inaugural season, Chance has secured a rare UK appearance for firebrand conductor Teodor Currentzis and his exciting orchestra Musica Aeterna, resident in Perm. Their ongoing recording cycle of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas has been widely praised for its radical rethinking of these great and much loved works. The Grange Festival audiences will be able to experience this dynamic partnership in two concert performances of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, which hint at The Grange Festival’s long-term ambition to create a wider range of theatrical experiences than ever before in this inimitable setting.
Every label should have one. press release: Ksenija Sidorova signs exclusive Deutsche Grammophon contract and unveils fresh vision of Carmen in stunning yellow label debut album Countless artists, authors and other sharp creative minds – from Manet and Peter Brook to Nabokov and Nietzsche – have drawn deep inspiration from Carmen. Ksenija Sidorova is the latest to reimagine the tragic heroine of Bizet’s opera. The Latvian accordionist, a massive musical talent with the blazing energy of a comet, marks her Deutsche Grammophon debut with an album driven by her identification with Bizet’s famously free-spirited femme fatale. Ksenija’s Carmen gives new life to some of the most popular of all classical melodies, presented here in seductively fresh arrangements. She describes the character of Carmen as, above all, “a projection of the heart’s most intimate desires”. In response, her album, influenced by Latin, Asian, European and North American musical styles, offers an intoxicating mix of tone colours and pulsating rhythms. Ksenija’s Carmen, set for international release on 3 June 2016, presents an authentic reflection of the Riga-born artist’s charismatic personality. “Carmen fascinates me,” she notes. “Of course I wanted to bring something new to this music, to let Carmen speak with a different voice. The accordion doesn’t have to breathe like a singer, so there are no restrictions to what I can do with this music. I could be daring and passionate, just like Carmen, and share in the multicultural musical ideas created by my wonderful collaborators.” There’s much more Carmen to come from Ksenija thanks to a run of performances that opens in Dortmund in April and continues in Latvia and Chicago later in the year. “I feel that people of all ages are ready to connect with Carmen and so I want to take this project on the road.”
The film director Wim Wenders was supposed to have staged the Wagner centennial Ring at Bayreuth in 2013. But he fell out with Katie two years earlier and nothing came of it. Now, ‘after a long flirtation ‘, Wenders has agreed to stage Bizet’s Pearl Fishers for Barenboim in Berlin next year. He’s 70 years old and it will be his first opera. A bit like Woody Allen in LA.
Great composers of classical music