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In Brief

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

  • Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is making a recording of Handel's Alcina with Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco. If you loved her recording of Floridante, with the same team, as much as we did, you will share my excitement. Joyce has been writing an absolutely absorbing account of the recording session in Italy. [Yankee Diva]

  • Alex Ross has received a real, honest-to-God, copy of his new book. Chapeau! [The Rest Is Noise]

  • Gerard Mortier appears to have taken leave of his senses and programmed the most daring opening season for his new tenure at New York City Opera, in 2009. The first year alone will bring New Yorkers Ian Bostridge in Death in Venice, The Rake's Progress, Einstein on the Beach, Saint François d'Assise d'Assise, and Nixon in China. Holy. Fucking. Shit. Will the company take a huge bath with Mortier, or will it become the most exciting opera destination in North America? [New York Sun]

  • What singers do to prepare for operatic roles is astounding -- when they really prepare, that is. To wit, read how Anne-Carolyn Bird is working on learning Susanna for her upcoming debut. [The Concert]

  • The Department of Homeland Security, ever vigilant in the face of the growing Elgar threat, has prevented musicologist Nalini Ghuman, a professor at Mills College but a British citizen, from re-entering the United States. Other musicologists are raising questions about why her residency has not been renewed. Her name is suspiciously "furrin." [Dial "M" for Musicology]

  • The Met kicks off its fall season with a blockbuster performance of Lucia di Lammermoor on Monday night. Leon Dominguez has been dreaming about the sound of the glass harmonica in the mad scene. Needless to say, it is Natalie Dessay, and I will have my Sirius Stiletto recording while I listen. [Sieglinde's Diaries]

  • William Christie and Les Arts Florissants will perform Stefano Landi's Il Sant'Alessio at Lincoln Center, on October 29 and 30. Will one of the those dates fit into my schedule? They need to work out a way to bring these performances to Washington. [Playbill Arts]

  • Best Maria Callas tribute. Anywhere. [Vilaine Fille]


Anonymous said...

Thank you. *blush*


P.S. RE: Mortier, well, it's ABOUT F*CKING TIME for "Saint François," wouldn't you say? The others actually strike me as rather cautious. I would be more impressed with Saariaho (esp. "L'Amour de loin" or a new "Turandot" finale) or new operas by, say, Alexandra du Bois and other emerging composers.

Charles T. Downey said...


Well, I did wonder about the lack of premieres, but it does take some time to make commissions and all that. It is indeed about time for Saint François, an opera that I adore in all its strangeness. Will it be performed in the reportedly odd and ineffective staging done in Paris in 2004?

Saariaho would have been a great choice, too. Hopefully, Adriana Mater will be on the docket in the future. Or, dare we hope, a commission for a new opera?

Garth Trinkl said...

I would strongly have preferred that Gerard Mortier and NYCO had chosen to stage the East Coast premiere of the fairly new Philip Glass's and Christopher Hampton's "Waiting for the Barbarians" (based upon J.M. Coetzee and premiered in Erfurt, Germany and produced in Texas)rather than the Glass/Wilson "Einstein on the Beach", from 1976. (I support Mr Mortier's commissioning of new operas by Philip Glass and Bernice Johnson Reagon. And I recall attending the NYCO world premieres of operas by Leroy Jenkins and Anthony Davis, in the 1980s, at the NY State Theater, which attracted the multi-racial audiences that Mr Mortier is again hoping to attract more than 20 years later.)