The German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch, who held positions at the Vienna Symphony, the Bavarian State Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra. passed away on Friday. We will miss his musicianship dearly!
The Met announces their new season on Tuesday Feb. 26 but thanks to Parterre.com we have a better idea of what the season looks like. As I previously posted on my rumors, these are the official operas with dates and moreupdated casts. Enjoy!
Ramon Vargas and Barbara Frittoli star in the Met's Revival of Nicolas Hytner's Don Carlo. Ferruccio Furlanetto, Anna Smirnova and Dimitri Hvorostovsy round out the cast. Lorin Maazel returns to the Met Pit.
La Scala premiered their new Nabuco with a spectacular cast that includes the amazing Liudmyla Monastyrska and veteran baritone Leo Nucci. The production will land in London in April. Here is the full production.
Wagner's final opera Parsifal is a work that can test your patience in many instances. Its music lacks the melodic abundance of such works as the Ring Cycle or Tristan und Isolde. Wagner decides to go for a few simple melodies that repeat throughout the night. The result is music that transcends the evening, one that elicits emotion and most importantly that brings drama to this sometimes long evening.
On this night the Met opened its first new production of the work since 1991. The production by Francois Girard was met by enthusiastic applause but also with a slew of boos. The Met audiences seem to have become accustomed to booing any new production even if it did not disrespect the work. Girard's production is the complete opposite of Otto Schenk's magnificent natural production which had no symbolism and which opted to show the story in richly designed sets. Girard opts for a symbolic work that strays from the pageantry and allows for the singers, the effects, and the music to do the work.
The production is set in a post apocalyptic era where the world has fallen to pieces. There is a divide in society between the sinners and the knights of the holy grail. The opening of the production shows a black curtain that reflects on the audience. According to Girard, the curtain represents our own search for spirituality and fundamental principles of compassion and temptation. The curtain then becomes translucent as the prelude is played and a number of bodies appear sitting in seats all dressed in black. One by one they begin to stand up leaving Parsifal in the middle. The men take their suit jackets off leaving them with their pure white shirts while the woman are left in the dark with their hair over their face. The men move to the right while the women move to the left. The separation in society is vivid through a crack representing a dried river. The women never cross to the other side.
Jonas Kaufmann leads a stellar cast in Francois Girard's new production of Parsifal. Danielle Gatti conducts the Metropolitan Opera with a cast that also includes Rene Pape, Katarina Dalayman, and Peter Mattei.
The Met press office: “Dwayne Croft will sing the role of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen on February 9, 13, and 16,replacing Teddy Tahu Rhodes, who determined in rehearsals that the role was no longer suitable for his voice. Casting for the performances on February 20, 23 matinee, 26, and March 1 will be announced at a later date.”
The Chicago Opera has announced their new season with Anna Maria Martinez (Rusalka, Otello), Jonas Kaufmann (Gala Concert), Joyce Didonato (La Clemenza di Tito), Joseph Calleja (La Traviata) and Johan Botha (Otello) leading an all star season. Falk Struckmann (Otello), Brandon Jovanovich (Rusalka), Isabel Leonard, Nathan Gunn (Barber of Seville) and Thomas Hampson (Parsifal) will also take part in the season.
The Met has released photos of their upcoming Parsifal production with Jonas Kaufmann and Katarina Dalayman. From the looks of it their will be a lot of blood involved in the production and it looks visually striking.