chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
There are two new productions running at the COC; a fun Così fan tutte with Sir Thomas Allen, Tracy Dahl and a fabulous quartet of lovers and an inriguing, Kennedy era, Un ballo in maschera with a superb performance by Adrienne Pieczonka. I also got out to York Uni to see The Beggar's Opera and to UoT to see works by student composers. There were recitals by Tracy Dahl and the COC Ensemble Studio and I wrote a bit of a rant about misconceptions about modern/contemporary music.
chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
Yesterday I got the chance to interview Sir Thomas Allen; baritone, opera director and Chancellor of Durham University.  You can read the highlights or listen to the whole thing here.

Into 2014

Jan. 5th, 2014 10:34 am
chickenfeet: (Default)
2014 kicked off with my annual physical because nothing says "Happy New Year" like a finger up one's arse.  I seem to be in reasonably good shape bar this cough that won't go away and rather high blood pressure.  Those two mean I have the bumper fun bag of inhalers and meds to work with for the time being.  Also I'm being good about exercising again (so far).

Work now includes a rather intimidating strategy project on top of everything else but no definitive word about my future post March 30th.

Recent DVD reviews include Busoni's Doktor Faustus; a christmas present from the lemur, a rather unthrilling Elektra from Baden-Baden and Puccini's Il Trittico from the Royal Opera House.  Live performances are a bit thin on the ground right now but I'll kick into high gear on January 18th when COC starts up again with Così fan tutte.  I'm hoping to interview Sir Thomas Allen ahead of the premier.

Otherwise it's snow, freezing rain and arctic temperatures.



chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
Live reviews:

Richard Margison at Koerner Hall
Against the Grain's choreographed Messiah

On video disk:

Thaïs with Renée Fleming and Tom Hampson
A rather good Rape of Lucretia from ENO
A less satisfactory Gloriana from Covent Garden
A weirdly spectacular Orfeo ed Euridice from Les Fura dels Baus

On CD:

An interesting and unusual Christmas album; Christmas at Casa Diva

and more thoughts of the COC's Rufus Wainwright commission


chickenfeet: (mew)
The COC announces its first new opera project since 1999. Rufus Wainwright gets another go at writing an opera.  My take, and better, the comments on my take are here.  I also liked Peter Tiefenbach's tweet.  "Neef hat der Ihrfisch gesprungen".

Also two more DVD reviews; a rather unsatisfactory Tristan und Isolde and a very good Turn of the Screw.

chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
DVD review of Christof Loy's production of Die Frau ohne Schatten which could hardly be more different from the Wernicke production at the Met.

Blu-ray review of Jake Heggie's rather excellent Moby Dick at San Francisco Opera.

The COC Ensemble Studio competition gala
at the Four Seasons Centre last night.

chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
An intense Dido and Aeneas on Blu-ray.

I go to the National Ballet to celebrate Britten's 100th and see a programme of new works.

chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
Topher Mokrzewski's take on the Rob Ford debacle

Joel Ivany's production of Korngold's Silent Serenade

First class Blu-ray of Die Zauberflöte from Simon Rattle and Robert Carsen


Also the lemur and I are off to New York on Monday for a few days of kulchur which will involve several galleries and Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Met.  First though I have a Mozart Requiem to attend to commemorate a year since the death of the young sister of a friend.  It's in a good cause.

Plague

Oct. 30th, 2013 03:02 pm
chickenfeet: (death)
The cough I mentioned a few days ago turned into a really nasty viral infection. I had to leave the Opera 5 gig on Sunday at the interval; pale, sweating and coughing my guts up. Since then I've been having trouble sleeping as every time I move slightly I start to cough again. All in all it's been a rough few days. I did see the quack yesterday. She's reasonably sure it's only a virus but did, comfortingly, mention an outside chance of whooping cough, TB or cancer. I think I'm on the mend and may even brave the office tomorrow if I get a good night's sleep. Apart from the second half of Sunday's show I've missed Opera Atelier's Abduction from the Seraglio and will miss Talisker's Cities of the Mind gig tonight. I may be able to catch the last performance of the Opera 5 show tomorrow if things go really well. I've been in the workforce for 35 years and this is the largest number of days I've lost to one illness.

Review of tenor Chris Gillett's somewhat irreverent books on life as a jobbing singer.

The Metropolitan Opera's HD broadcast of Shostakovich's The Nose.

Patricia Petitbon shakes her booty in a Blu-ray recording of Berg's Lulu from Salzburg.

Messiah Wars.  The line up for the holiday season in Toronto.

chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
The second cast of COC's fun La Boheme at the Four Seasons Centre

Robert Pomakov and the Gryphon Trio give world premier of Bohdana Frolyak’s I Dream a Dream

Fun Blu-ray production of Haydn's rarely performed Orlando Paladino

 

chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
Back to the Four Seasons Centre again last night for a second look at Peter Grimes.  This time with Ben Heppner in the title role.  More...
chickenfeet: (four seasons centre)
Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur gets the all star treatment at Covent Garden.  More...

The free concert season in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is kicked off by the artists of the Ensemble Studio and a special guest.  More...

chickenfeet: (Default)
Michael Sturminger's Giacomo Variations looks much the same on DVD as it did in the theatre.

There's only one DVD version of Britten's Albert Herring and it dates back to 1985 but it's a good one.

Belshazzar

Sep. 17th, 2013 06:28 pm
chickenfeet: (cute)
Christof Nel does a very good job of staging Handel's Belshazzar.  More...
chickenfeet: (spear)
Krzysztof Warlikowski’s 2011 production of Cherubini’s 1797 opéra comique Médée is dramatic and well sung.  More...
chickenfeet: (Default)
Benjamin Britten's reworking of Pepusch and Gay's The Beggar's Opera was recorded by the BBC in 1963 and is now available on DVD.  More...
chickenfeet: (srscat)
Loose TEA Theatre's readaptation of Peter Brook's adaptation of Bizet's Carmen featured a rather stunning performance by Cassandra Warner in the title role.  More...
chickenfeet: (spear)
The final instalment of Kasper Holten's Copenhagen Ring is clever and satisfying.  More...
chickenfeet: (Default)
Meyerbeer's Dinorah is a very strong candidate.  More...

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