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10.1.06

Opera Preview 2006

This is not a complete list of opera around the world, of course, only a selection of operas this season that interest me. To see reviews of the operas we were following in the fall, go to the Opera Preview, Fall 2005.

JANUARY
Bedrich Smetana, The Bartered Bride
Conducted by Charles Mackerras, staged by Francesca Zambello
January 6 to 20
Royal Opera House at Covent Garden

A Mozart Celebration (excerpts of historic Met radio broadcasts of Mozart operas)
Saturday, January 14, 1:30 pm
Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast

John Carbon, Benjamin (on life of Benjamin Franklin, premiered in 1987)
January 19 to 21 (in honor of 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth)
Roschel Performing Arts Center, Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, Pa.)

Osvaldo Golijov, Ainadamar
January 22, 24, and 26
Lincoln Center, Rose Theater (New York, N.Y.)
See my comments on the Santa Fe Opera production this summer (Summer Opera: Ainadamar in Santa Fe, August 2, 2005)

Franco Alfano, Cyrano de Bergerac
January 26 to March 16
Metropolitan Opera
On the Met radio broadcast on Saturday, February 4, 1:30 pm

Mozart, The Abduction from the Seraglio (semi-staged)
January 26 to 28
National Symphony Orchestra
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Adolphe Adam, Le Torédor ou l'Accord parfait (opéra comique based on Feydeau)
January 29
Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne

Bohuslav Martinů, Juliette
January 31 to February 16
Directed by Richard Jones
Opéra national de Paris

--> See more of the Ionarts Opera Preview 2006.

3 comments:

jfl said...

The Mackerras / Zambello Bartered Bride was reviewed in todays' Financial Times:

WIth a push and a shove The Bartered Bride can just about do as a holiday show. It mixes high spirits and plenty of dancing, throws in a visit to the circus, and leads to a feel-good ending - not another Die Fledermaus, the trad. New Year entertainment, but a reasonable substitute.
This revival of the Ryoal Opera's 1998 production carries on through most of January. Of course, champagne is not the toast in Smetana's simple tale of Behmain life.
Slivovitz is the national drink here, a more potent substance that should perhaps be a pointer to the stronger emotions that sometiems surface in this opera.
On the face of it Francesca Zambello's prodcution (sung here in English) is true to the work. It is set in the Boehmian countryside, in period and in costume, and has a good sense of humour.
And yet there is a brash showbiz slickness about it that soon starts to set one's teeth on edge. Do the chorus always have to be kitted out in matching poster-paint colours? Do the local harvest festivals really involve men dressed as haystacks with huge carrots as noses?
"Now welcome to the West End stage our visitors all the way from Bohemia!", the prdction seems to shout. "You'll love them - they're really quaint."
Without a believable world around them the main characters struggle to touch the heart. The present cast brings back some singers from previous performances, so Susan Gritton is once again the spirited Marenka, Robert Tear a nicely puffed-up Ringmaster and Timothy RObinson the inevitable caricature of sttering Vasek.
To these are no added Simon O'Neill as a clarion-voiced Jenik, Peter Rose as a Kecal with proud low bass notes (if not a very specific character) and Susan Bickley and Donald Maxwell as the more important pair of parents.
It is down in th epit that the true feelings of bonhomie survives. Charles Mackerras has returned to give Smetana's fizzing score all the unforced wit and affection it deserves, setting the pulse racing as only a conductor who has lived and breathed the music all his life can do. The Ryoal Opera is lucky to have him. So are we all. He remains the real toast of the evening. (Three out of Five Stars) - Richard Fairman

Charles T. Downey said...

Thanks for that, Jens!

jfl said...

sorry for the occasional mis-spellings... i was trying out my blind-typing skills; chosing speed over accuracy.