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26.6.11

In Brief: June Opera Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • Nico Muhly's new opera, Two Boys, premiered Friday night at English National Opera. Mark Berry has an early report: "For Muhly’s music is the real problem. I had thought that Donizetti hit rock bottom with respect to operatic composition until hearing this score. It does not even have the courage to become truly unbearable, in the manner of Muhly’s mentor, Philip Glass." [Boulezian]

  • Another perspective on the premiere of Two Boys, from William Robin: "In several choral numbers, easily the best parts of the opera, Muhly transformed the unrelenting buzz of the Internet into a kind of ecstatic glossolalia, in which hundreds of words are layered atop each other to create a tableau of chanted gibberish (a technique already known to anyone familiar with the composer’s album Mothertongue)." [Washington Post]

  • Norman Lebrecht saw Two Boys in a box. He kicked off his shoes and drank coffee and was reminded of the experience of the Duke of Wellington in his box at the opera. Also, Nico Muhly made a really effective and widely viewed promotional video for the opera. Muhly has apparently saved the entire genre of opera from an ignominious death but I have no idea what it sounded like. [The Telegraph]

  • Speaking of things I wish I could see and hear in Washington, Francesca Zambello's American Ring cycle was finally completed -- at San Francisco Opera. Philip Kennicott reports. [Washington Post]

  • Tim Smith informs us that we have only a few days to watch the online video of Die Meistersinger from Glyndebourne. Also, mark August 21 on your calendar, when the Glyndebourne production of The Turn of the Screw will also be streamed online. [Clef Notes]

  • Janáček's Cunning Little Vixen is one of my favorite operas, so I admire Alan Gilbert for programming it with the New York Philharmonic. Reports of the success of this performance have varied, but here is a report from Seth Colter Walls. [Washington Post]

  • More opera and more in your online listening bonanza this week: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde from the Opéra de Lyon (online for only a few more days); the world premiere of Pascal Dusapin's Morning in Long Island, Concert N°1 with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, plus Leonidas Kavakos playing the Brahms violin concerto; Harry Christophers and the Sixteen singing music by Victoria at Sherborne Abbey; David Fray with the Orchestre National de France (Schoenberg's piano concerto); Brahms's German Requiem with the Orchestre National de Lille; more from Lugano with Martha Argerich and friends; and a recital by Joshua Bell in Prague. [France Musique]

  • Online video, too: La Venexiana's performance of Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria. [Cité de la Musique Live]

  • Also, online video of the opening concert of the Rheingau Musik Festival, with Paavo Järvi conducting Mahler's fifth symphony and Elīna Garanča singing Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder. [ARTE Liveweb]

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