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2.10.04

Blogwatch/Operawatch

For the next installment of my series following up on the operas in my preview of the 2004–2005 opera season (see my recent posts on Hanjo and Pelléas et Mélisande), Isaac Mizrahi and the Mark Morris Dance Group return to New York City Opera with their production of Platée (1745), playing until October 16. Terry Teachout saw it this year and had this to say about it at About Last Night. See the reviews by Howard Kissel (An enviable combo creates a 'Platee' full of saucy fare, October 1) for the New York Daily News and James R. Oestreich (An Ill Wind Blows, Melodically, From Paris to La La La Land, September 26) for The New York Times.

Daphne at the Vienna State OperaI also noted a rare production of Richard Strauss's Daphne at New York City Opera. Alex Ross decided not to review the production for The New Yorker. (Felix Salmon responded to that decision here.) Terry Teachout was more positive at About Last Night. Tim Page made it up to New York to write a review ('Daphne': A Tree Finally Grows In Manhattan, September 10) for the Washington Post, and he more or less agrees with Alex Ross, that the musical side of the performance was great but the production underwhelmed. Anthony Tommasini's review (Oh, to Be a Tree Instead of a Girl!, September 10) for the New York Times was in the same vein but also critical of the opera itself ("Daphne fits a lot of philosophical mumbo jumbo into 90 minutes").

There is also a production of this opera at Vienna State Opera right now, for the first time in over 30 years. Semyon Bychkov conducts Walter Fink (Peneios), Marjana Lipovsek (Gaea), Ricarda Merbeth (Daphne), Michael Schade (Leukippos), and Johan Botha (Apollo). See the review, in German, by Wilhelm Sinkovicz (Ekstase in der Staatsoper, September 22) an an interview with tenor Michael Schade by Petra Haiderer ("Ich lebe meinen Traum", September 20) for Die Presse. By these accounts, German-Canadian tenor Michael Schade, who studied music at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, is an excellent Leukippos.

Anna L. Conti, who blogs at Working Artist's Journal, doesn't mind too much when musicologists write about art, so I was quite happy to read her comments about the production of Mozart's Così fan tutte at San Francisco Opera. They are also mounting a production of Billy Budd right now (see the Ionarts double review, Opera at Sea, of the Washington National Opera production).

Thanks to the folks at Gallery Driver's Art Blog Aggregator, who have picked up several recent Ionarts posts. If you are here because you followed a link from that site, please read a while and come back often.

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