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In Brief: Call Your Mother Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • As noted a couple weeks ago, Belgian bass-baritone José van Dam is retiring from the operatic stage this year. He chose to make his exit, of course, from the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, with a final production of Jules Massenet's Dom Quichotte. Get to know this rarely performed opera, in a stylish production by Laurent Pelly with Marc Minkowski conducting (please, let a DVD be planned), and mark one of the great operatic careers with the streaming video from Arte. No telling how long it will be available. [L'Express]

  • A nice feature by Anne Midgette on conductor Antony Walker, who will lead the Washington Concert Opera's performance of La Cenerentola later today. [Washington Post]

  • Critical consensus is mostly that Jake Heggie's new opera, Moby Dick, is a winner. Steve Smith weighs in. [New York Times]

  • Composer John Adams will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra this week, in a program that concludes with Edward Elgar's magnificent Enigma Variations. Adams shares his thoughts about the work, which you might not expect to appeal to someone like Adams, at his blog. He may go a bit far when he says that the piece is "historically the first piece of British symphonic music of any quality -- ever." Also, it is rich that Adams is so negative about the text of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, by Cardinal Newman: this from the man who set, in Doctor Atomic, one of the worst librettos of recent history. [Hell Mouth]

  • Tyler Green suggests an art work that the White House might want to show and thereby draw attention to it and the issues raised by it. [Modern Art Notes]


kishnevi said...

Ahem... may I suggest that Newman's text is so brimful of Catholic spirituality that to a non Christian it does in fact sound rather weak, and that it works as a libretto is testimony to Elgar's greatness, and not Newman's.

Charles T. Downey said...

Fair enough. It just seems to me, however, that Adams is in no position to judge, on the basis of the some of the weak texts that he has chosen to set, often on the advice of Peter Sellars, in works like "Doctor Atomic" and "El Niño."