Monday 24 December 2007

Happy Christmas and New Year
Jose Cura sings music from Misa Criolla and Nuestra Navidad in the Christmas Concert from Asissi

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Dec 5: Happy Birthday to Josep Carreras & Jose Cura

Photo is from the Jose Carreras Gala in Vienna 2004, February 27: I have replaced the original conductor David Gimenez with Jose Cura, Agnes Baltsa was Carmen, and Josep Carreras was Don Jose.

Happy Birthday to both tenors!!!

Josep Carreras (b. Barcelona, Spain 1946 December 5th),
JOSE CARRERAS occupies a privileged position in the music world. Born in Barcelona, he studied music in his hometown. In 1970 he started his professional career in the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona in NABUCCO and LUCREZIA BORGIA.

His meteoric musical career resulted in early debuts at the world's most prestigious opera theatres and festivals, including the Theatre alla Scala of Milan ; the New York Metropolitan Opera House; San Francisco Opera; the Vienna Staatsoper; London's Royal Opera House; the Oper of Munich; Chicago's Lyric Opera; and the Festivals of Salzburg; Aix en Provence; Edimburgh and Verona.

José Carreras has collaborated with the most renowned orchestra conductors including Herbert von Karajan (an artistic and personal relationship which lasted over twelve years and included performances
in Salzburg, Berlin and Vienna), Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Chailly, Colin Davis, Giuseppe Sinopoli, James Levine, Carlo Maria Giulini, Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Metha, and with pre-eminent stage directors such as: Franco Zeffirelli, Jean Pierre Ponnelle, Giorgio Strehler, Luigi Comencini and Harold Prince.

His repertoire includes over sixty operas and has performed for Television, Cinema and Video several operatic films. His extensive discography includes over 150 recordings, notably 50 complete operas, oratories, popular and classical recitals. He has been awarded with many Gold and Platinum Discs world-wide.

He has given frequent recitals in the world's most famous halls: Carnegie Hall and the Avery Fisher Hall in New York; the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican Hall and the Royal Albert Hall in London; the Salle Pleyel in Paris, at the Musikverein and Konzerthaus of Vienna, the Berlin Philarmonie, Suntory Hall and NHK Hall in Tokyo, the Grosses Festspielhaus of Salzburg, the Philarmonie and the Hercules Saal in Munich, the Palau de la Música of Barcelona, the Teatro Real of Madrid, the Accademia Santa Cecilia of Rome.

Among the numerous national and international prizes and distinctions which have been bestowed upon José Carreras, there are an Emmy from the Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences of the United States; the Grand Prix du Disque from the Academy of Paris; the Luigi Illica Prize; a 1991 Grammy Award; the Sir Lawrence Olivier Award for his performance in "Stiffelio" at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Kammersänger and Lifetime Honorary Member of the Vienna Staatsoper; Honorary Member of the London Royal Academy of Music; he received the Gold Medal of the New York Spanish Institute; the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna ; the Gold Medal of Fine Arts bestowed by His Majesty the King of Spain; the Gold Medal of the City of Barcelona; the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalunya; Prince of Asturias Award 1991; Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier dans l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur de la République Française; Gran Croce di Cavaliere and Grande Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana; Honour Medal of the Bavarian Government, Grand Honour Award of the Austrian Republic, Komandor's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic, Commandeur de la Médaille du Sahametrei of the Royal Cambodian Government, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and The Albert Schweitzer Music Award 1996. Furthermore he is Honorary President of the Julian Gayarre International Singing Competition and Honorary President of the London Arts Orchestra.

He has also been awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Barcelona (Spain), the Universities of Loughborough and Sheffield (United Kingdom), the University Mendeleyev of Moscow (Russia), the University of Camerino (Italy), the Napier University in Edinburgh (Scotland), the Rutgers University (United States), the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (Spain) and, most recently, the University of Coimbra (Portugal). He is Honorary Member of the European Society for Medicine, of the Leukaemia Support Group and the European Haematology Association. He is also Honorary Patron of the European Society for Medical Oncology. He has been awarded the Gold Medal of the Catalan Transplant Society, the Diamond Tulip Award of the Stichting Day by Day Foundation of the Netherlands, the St. Boniface General Hospital Research Foundation 1996 International Award and in February 2004 the Golden Cross of the Social Solidarity bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen of Spain.

José Cura,

Chapter 1

For music lovers, it is a rare treat to come across an original: an artist whose talent, vision, and integrity set him apart from the rest; a singer whose distinctive voice is instantly and indelibly lodged in one's memory; an actor whose presence on stage breathes fresh life into tired characters; a conductor who, like the singer and the actor, cannot conceive music without a full dramatic meaning; a man whose passion and commitment are rivaled only by his intelligence and sense of humanity. Such an artist is José Cura.

Born in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, on 5 December 1962, José Cura's musical talent matured quickly: at 12 he was playing guitar under Juan di Lorenzo's guidance; at 15 he debuted as a choral director; and at 16 he began studies in composition with Carlos Castro and piano with Zulma Cabrera. In 1982, he entered the School of the Arts at the National University of Rosario to continue his musical education; the following year he became assistant conductor for the university choir. At 21, he won a grant to study at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires where he remained for six months. Cura continued to sing in the opera chorus while focusing on composition and conducting until 1988, when he began working with Horacio Amauri to develop proper singing technique.

Determined to make a career in opera, José Cura moved to Italy in 1991 and began voice training with Vittorio Terranova. In February 1992 he made his debut in Verona as the father in Henze's “Pollicino.” In Genoa he played Le Remendado in Bizet's “Carmen” and the Capitano de ballestrieri in Verdi's “Simon Boccanegra.” Cura was engaged in March 1993 for his first major role, starring as Jan in the Trieste production of Bibalo's “Signorina Giuglia.”

Signorina Giulia, Trieste: 'Jan, the servant, perfidious and cynical, was the young Argentine tenor José Cura, extraordinary as a singer-actor.' Trieste Oggi, April 1993

In the same year, he made his debut in the Straus operetta, “Ein waltzertraum,” and attracted critical attention for his performance as Albert Gregor in Janacek's “The Makropoulos Case.”

Cura began 1994 with a series of highly successful debuts: Ismaele in Verdi's “Nabucco” in Genoa and Don Alvaro in Verdi's “La Forza del Destino” in Turin were followed with Ruggero in the world premiere of the third version of Puccini's “La Rondine” (Turin) and Roberto in the same composer's rarely performed first opera, “Le Villi” (Martina Franca); the latter performance is particularly noteworthy for providing Cura's first complete opera recording.

Le Villi, Martina Franca: 'The Argentine tenor José Cura, a truly great performer with a vocal instrument beyond the common, very strong and expressive, imposed himself in the role of the main character, showing that he is an authentic spinto-drammatico tenor, a register today quite rare. Cura, besides a big and beautiful voice, has the stage power of a true actor.' Il Quotidiano, August 1994

La Rondine, Turin: 'The future looks bright for the Argentine tenor José Cura, who has a lyrical voice with brilliant top notes. The role showed off his considerable stage presence.' Opera, 1994

In November, he made his US debut in Chicago as Loris Ipanov in Giordano's “Fedora,” opposite Mirella Freni; he subsequently reprised the role in Trieste in 1995, in London in 1996, in Vienna in 1997 and 1998, and in Tokyo, Zurich and Lecce, Italy, in 1998.

Fedora, Chicago: 'May God bless the mother that gave you birth.' Exito, December 1994

Cura capped the year with a gala concert at the Teatro Colón, marking his solo debut in Argentina's most important musical venue.

He continued adding roles to his expanding repertoire in 1995. In February, he returned to Italy to star as Paolo il Bello in the Palermo production of Zandonai's “Francesca da Rimini.” In June Cura debuted in London's Royal Opera House (ROH), Covent Garden, in the title role of “Stiffelio” on the opening night of the Verdi Festival.

Stiffelio, London: 'What made last night particularly thrilling was the Opera House debut performance of Argentinean tenor, José Cura, in the title role... His Stiffelio sucks the audience into a personality festering with piety, priggishness, hypocrisy, and irrepressible rage.' Evening Standard, June 1995

Stiffelio, London: 'The Argentine tenor is tall and imposing of stature, and the top of his voice is thrillingly free and secure…He has a nice line in flashing eyes and flaring nostrils, and neatly suggested the man's fundamentalist smugness in the early scenes. Above all there is an elemental power to his stage persona which is well suited to the role.' The Times, Jun 1995

Stiffelio, London: '... Cura is a real find, an Otello in waiting.' Independent, June1995

In July he sang his first Cavaradossi (“Tosca”) at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago. That September he made his first appearance on stage in Paris in the Opéra Bastille's production of “Nabucco” and in November, he starred in his first “Fedora” in Europe at Covent Garden.

Nabucco, Paris: '... the fascination arrives with the Argentinean José Cura, a Latin-burning Ismaele. This brilliant tenor, easy and natural, has a golden career ahead of him.' Tribune de Genève, September 1995

Fedora, London: '[Cura] is a superb actor, a convincing-looking hero and an intelligent, spontaneous and gifted musician…I have no doubt that Cura, with his unusually distinctive sound and equally abundant talent, will also rise to the dreaded super-tenor status as special hero by appointment to the cognoscenti.' Evening Standard, Nov 1995

In 1996, Cura built upon his burgeoning reputation and solidified his position as one of the most promising tenors of his generation. Following his portrayal of Osaka in Mascagni's allegorical opera “Iris” at the Rome Opera in January (available on CD), he returned to London to star in Saint-Saëns' “Samson et Dalila,” a role for which he has received universal acclaim. For his debuts in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Cura added two roles to his repertoire, Pollione in Bellini's “Norma” and Don José in “Carmen.”

Samson et Dalila, London: 'The young Argentinean never seems to put a foot wrong. His Samson is full of soul; a commanding and vibrant tenor performance that captures the Hebrew leader's weaknesses with as much theatrical devotion as his god-like strengths....' Evening Standard, January 1996

Samson et Dalila, London: 'There's superbly musical singing from the Samson of José's a handsome, firm, incisive sound, and Cura makes a powerful presence of the stage. The audience was ecstatic.' Independent on Sunday, February 1996

Norma, Los Angeles: '...and yet it is because of a tenor that fans will be clamoring for tickets for Norma, if not for other reason than to say that they saw José Cura then. The young Argentine, making his local debut Thursday, has being singing professionally for only a few years. But Cura has it all. He has that special presence that causes you to never stop noticing him when he is on stage. He is exceptionally good-looking and could easily suit popular television or film. He sings with a firmness of voice that is smooth across the registers yet commandingly virile. His pitches are dead-on. He gives each phrase a natural musical shape, he can act, and it surely doesn't hurt that he happens to be a conductor and composer. Best of all, Cura proved an ensemble player of the most noble sort, doing nothing to upstage the performance only enhance it.' Los Angeles Times, September 1996

Norma, Los Angeles: '... it was José Cura, as Pollione, with his breezy strutting, his chiseled gold coin looks, and his silvery incandescent voice, who announced the arrival of a huge new talent.' Downtown News, September 1996

Carmen, San Francisco: 'Blessed with dashing good looks and a dancer's presence, the young Argentine tenor made a riveting impression. If his technique is a little reckless, the thrill of the voice is undeniable.' San Francisco Chronicle, October 1996

After performances in Verdi's “Il Corsaro” in Turin and Puccini's “Tosca” in London, Cura traveled to Melbourne and Sydney to take part in the Puccini Spectacular, a show specifically developed for his Australian debut.

Tosca, London: 'The young Argentinean super-tenor-to-be has already made two immensely impressive Covent Garden role debuts this season, first as Ipanov in the gripping revival of Fedora and more recently as Samson in Saint-Saëns' opera. Cura's performances are always profoundly moving, expertly paced, and vividly acted, his Cavaradossi is no exception.' Evening Standard, April 1996

Puccini Spectacular, Sydney and Melbourne: 'By popular acclaim the night belonged to José Cura, the audience roaring its approval of the personable young tenor at the curtain calls. He is highly impressive in straight-from-the-shoulder passages. The powerful timbre and vigorous delivery in such sections tends to outshine his equally effective interpretations of ''E lucevan le stelle'' and ardent, non-hysterical ''Nessun dorma''.' The Age, May 1996.

Other key roles included Le Villi, Leoncavallo's “Pagliacci” and Giordano's “Andrea Chénier” at Opernhaus Zurich, Mascagni's “Cavalleria Rusticana” at the Ravenna Festival (conducted by Riccardo Muti and broadcast on Italian television), and “Pagliacci” at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw (conducted by Riccardo Chailly and televised live). In December, he starred in the Puccini segment of the BBC “Great Composers” documentary, telecast in December 1997.

Tuesday 4 December 2007

Terje Stensvold Wiener Staatsoper Debut

Wotan in
6. Dezember 2007

Terje Stensvold

Der Norweger Terje Stensvold war vorerst an der Norwegischen Staatsoper fest angestellt, wo er zahlreiche Hauptrollen sang, u. a. Mephisto, Jago, Don Giovanni, Danilo, Figaro, Klingsor und Gianni Schicchi. Im Jahre 2000 begann seine internationale Karriere, die ihn u. a. an Häuser wie die Opéra La Monnaie in Brüssel, nach Monte Carlo, an das Royal Opera House Covent Garden, an die Hamburgische Staatsoper, die Oper Frankfurt, nach Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Barcelona, an die Deutsche Oper Berlin, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin und Komische Oper Berlin führte. Zu seinen wichtigsten Partien zählen Scarpia (Tosca), Holländer (Der fliegende Holländer), Pizarro (Fidelio), Jochanaan (Salome), Barak (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Balstrode (Peter Grimes) und Dr. Schön (Lulu). Derzeitigen Pläne umfassen u. a. Wotan/Wanderer in der Neuinszenierung von Wagners Ring des Nibelungen an der Königlichen Oper Stockholm, an der Deutschen Oper Berlin und in Frankfurt, Pizarro in Covent Garden London, Berlin und Barcelona, Barak in Amsterdam und Philip II. (Don Calos) mit der Canadian Opera Company Toronto. Terje Stensvold ist auch als Konzertsänger sehr gefragt. An der Wiener Staatsoper debütiert er in der Saison 2007/08 als Wotan in der WALKÜRE am 6. Dezember und ist hier im Frühjahr außerdem als Holländer (April) und als Jochanaan (Mai) zu hören. Letztere Partie hat er schon im April 2007 im Rahmen des Gastspiels der Wiener Staatsoper in Zaragoza gesungen.
Wiener Staatsoper website

Monday 26 November 2007

Hotels in Vienna and Budapest

I almost always book my hotels via It is multi-lingual and you can get hotel room to special HRS price and you get many details about the hotels.

But sometimes you choose wrong hotel. I never found Hotel Schönbrunnerstrasse, Vienna. Probably went in the wrong direction, I was armed only with a Google map. But I remembered last time in Vienna when I stayed in hotel 900 meters from the opera, I saw a hotel closer to Karlplatz and Staatsoper, Papageno. So I went to Westbahnhof and the internet cafe and book a room in Hotel Papageno. Better for me, no need to take U-bahn to Staatsoper, I could just walk, and closer than my earlier hotel. Not mention easier when I was going to Budapest by train, just a few stations with U-Bahn to Westbahnhof.

My hotel in Budapest was K+K Opera, a great hotel only few meters from the opera house and I mean few (20 meters max). And it just wonderful, great hotel, nice people, wonderful rooms and bath-tub. Wellness centre and free internet in the rooms. I never tried the wellness centre and I did not have my laptop with me so I never tried it in the internet in my room. But I did get to use one of the 3 pc's in the lobby. Breakfast was good and varied. Another lovely room. So next time in Budapest I will try to get a room in this hotel, K+K Opera.

My taxi from the Budapest train station, Budapest Keleti, to my hotel costed 4000 HUF. Did I pay too much. I also took a taxi from the hotel to the airport, that costed 6000 HUF. My hotel arranged that and I needed to pay by credit card, I had only 5000 HUF left, so they asked that the taxi had possibility for customers to pay by credit card.

My plane from Budapest was 0905, so I asked the hotel reception about the best and cheapest way to get to the airport and when to leave. So I was advised to take taxi (ca. 20 minutes ride), 6000 HUF and leave 7 am. Minibus was another possibility but 1 hour and 4500 HUF so I would have to leave earlier and maybe miss breakfast (0630).

Premiere: Elektra in Budapest 2007-11-24 with A. Baltsa

2007-11-24 Elektra (R.Strauss), Magyar Állami Operaház

Klytämnestra = Agnes Baltsa
Elektra = Nadine Secunde
Chrysothemis = Bátori Éva
Aegisthos = Gulyás Dénes
Orestes = Perencz Béla
Orestes nevelője - Cser Krisztián
Klytemneistra bizalmasa - Balogh Tímea
Uszályhordozónő - Polyák Valéria
Fiatal szolga - Megyesi Zoltán
Öreg szolga - Szegedi Csaba
A felügyelőnő - Kukely Júlia
1. szolgáló - Balatoni Éva
2. szolgáló - Érsek Dóra
3. szolgáló - Mester Viktória
4. szolgáló - Fodor Beatrix
5. szolgáló - Wierdl Eszter

Kovács János, conductor

Magyar nyelvű feliratok / Hungarian text Mesterházi Máté
Rendező / Director Kovalik Balázs
Díszlettervező / stage designer Antal Csaba
Jelmeztervező / costume designer Benedek Mari
Karigazgató / Chorus Master Szabó Sipos Máté

It is Premiere of Elektra and the opera house is wrapped in red on this occasion. Only two things bothered me: that my seat got very uncomfortable after 70 mins plus of Opera, real pain in my ..., and the end where Orest kills both his sisters with a machine gun, so totally unnecessary.

Nadine Secunde was great as Elektra (no surprise there), Eva Batori was wonderful as Chrysothemis. Agnes Baltsa was magnetic as Klytämnestra.

The production: Modern and set in a bath. It started startlingly with the opera house completely dark and then suddenly some light and the thunder of Straussian music. And unlike the Vienna production we could see the people and different types and real human being. The very self-assured über-type of woman, from the more submissive one. But to be onstage without shoes, naked but for some bathrobe or just a towel wrap round the bodies, I would guess they look forward to get dressed again. Some nakedness occurred, only male, and for a short time. Elektra had a black dress (dressed as widow), Chrysothemis in white (dressed as a bride). Klytämnestra also had black dress and a white fur robe. Orest dressed very formally but with sunglasses. Aigist had only a white bathrobe which made him very self-conscious when taking the bow at the end.

The changing of color lighting the stage was very well done. So naturally it got to be very red during some parts of the Elektra/Klytämnestra scene. The symbolism when Klytämnestra was killed was perfectly. No such symbolism for Aigist.

In the end after the murders:Chrysothemis was first greeted by Orestes people as Princess and goes out to dress herself as a new Klytämnestra. Elektra also changes out with the old puff, and a white robe is over the old black. But Elektra is not ready for the happiness, she struggles with the Agamemnon tree to Klytämnestra's bed, the power lies in the bed. She is clearly exhausted. But instead of having her die in the bed of mental exhaustment Orest has her killed with a machine gun. Two shots is heard, so when Orest is supposed to kill Chrysothemis with his second bullet, all Eva Batori can do is to drop dead with no sound.

The end ruined it, when Orest kills his sisters that does not make it a Real Greek Tragedy, but if his two sisters died just of exhausted minds when Orest should celebrate his triumph. THAT WOULD BE Greek Tragedy.

More about this Elektra

Tosca in Vienna 2007-11-23 with Jose Cura

Tosca with José Cura as Mario Cavaradossi.

Tosca no 517:
Inszenierung Margarethe Wallmann
Bühnenbild und Kostüme: Nicola Benois

I missed a great Scarpia, Ruggero Raimondi is always great as Scarpia. Amarilli Nizza was Ok as Tosca. Liked her Vissi d'arte. José Cura and the conductor was not always in agreement. Cura wanted to be faster. He was also acting in a way inconsistent with the times, Neapolitan time. This was a very traditional Tosca with beautiful settings. It was a beautiful E lucevan le stelle. The end duet Tosca/Cavaradossi was great (good). But Nizza could not help herself when she leaped from the castle one might have thought this was one of the first Toscas in this production, very old fashioned (at least from the -50s). One arm raised....

2007-11-23 Tosca (G.Puccini), Wiener Staatsoper

Mario Cavaradossi = José Cura
Floria Tosca = Amarilli Nizza
Baron Scarpia = Marco Vratogna
Cesare Angelotti = Boaz Daniel
Der Mesner = Lars Woldt
Spoletta = Benedikt Kobel
Sciarrone = Clemens Unterreiner
Ein Schließer = Goran Simic

Paolo Carignani, conductor

Saturday 24 November 2007

From Opera to Opera, Vienna -> Budapest

Two days, two countries, two operas: Tosca in Vienna with Jose Cura as Mario Cavaradossi was an old production, really old. Elektra in Budapest with Agnes Baltsa was a brand new production and I was there, at the premiere.

I did get some fine photos of the singers after the opera from stage. Jose Cura had already gone when we stood at the stage door, but I have already plenty of photos of him. Budapest with Elektra, premiere day so I did not wait in the cold for Agnes Baltsa. It was freezing cold (for me) so I went to my hotel. Lucky not far from the opera house.

I must up early in the morning for my flight back home. So I will not write much now about the operas. Except:

Tosca, the conductor was slower than Jose Cura sometimes, I do not blame the conductor. Nizza made her debut as Tosca in Vienna. She was better than in Verona as Aida (I think), but she has some old fashioned ways sometime. And Jose Cura he was really acting like a modern man when this should be Napoleatan time. And I missed Ruggero Raimondi as Scarpia. Vratogna was not Raimondi, otherwise he was good.

Elektra, I liked the production. It is set in modern times in a swimmingpool/sauna atmosphere. I guess a lot of people was happy when they finally could get dressed instead of with bathrobes and less. Beautiful Agnes Baltsa, wonderful Nadine Secunde. This production would almost be perfect if only Orestes did not shoot his two sisters with a machine gun in the end. No Greek tragedy this, only cynismen that won.

Friday 23 November 2007

In Vienna 23.11.2007 before the opera

I am in Vienna, at last. Did not think it would be so stressful. First I almosz missed the airport bus to Oslo Airport. It was not that my bus was delayed... Second. The stress of finding that boarding had already started for my flight, had I known I would not have been so patient in the security line. Running and then when we are onboard, we heard it is fog in Vienna, we will be 50 minutes delayed. And yes we were. 1 hour delayed.

And in Vienna: I thought I had chosen a great hotel, but now I have changed that to a hotel I know how to find. My legs hurts after going a long way, probably in the wrong direction. Now, if the taxi drivers near Westbahnhof had looked more like taxi drivers back home then I would probably be relaxing in Hotel Schönbrunnerstrasse.

More later, now I need to eat. And go to my new hotel. (U-Bahnhof Westbahnhof.....)

Wednesday 21 November 2007

About the new Elektra in Hungarian

Népszabadság Online: Elektra - vitán felül

Agnes Baltsa és Nadine Secunde már Athénban is együtt énekelte az Elektrát ... Erről is mesélt a mezzoszopránsztár, Agnes Baltsa, aki beszélgetésünk ... - 87k

Agnes Baltsa és Nadine Sacunde nemrég Athénban énekelték ezeket a ... Baltsa, aki nem először jár Magyar-országon, a következőket mondta: "A Carmen ... -

Fidelio - Agnes Baltsa is az Operaház vendége lesz

Két világsztár is jön az Operába Richard Strauss: Elektra című operájára. ... Agnes Baltsa talán ismertebb a hazai közönség előtt, sőt az opera zenészei ... - 47k

HírTV - Kultúra :: Az Operaház legfontosabb premierje (+képriport)

A rendezés modern és érdekes, és végre Elektra szerepét egy gyönyörű ruhában játszhatom el!" Baltsa, aki nem először jár Magyarországon, a következőket ... • online kulturális magazin •

Richard Strausz: Elektra Egyfelvonásos tragédia Rendező: Kovalik Balázs Díszlet: Antal Csaba Jelmez: Benedek Mari Szereplők: Agnes Baltsa / Kovács Annamária ... - 130k -

Photos of new Production of Elektra in Budapest

Agnes Baltsa and Nadine Secunde
November 13, 2007
The facade of Budapest's Opera House has been wrapped in red sheets in preparation for the premiere of Elektra next Saturday. The performance, directed by Balázs Kovalik, will feature Nadine Secunde in the title role. Agnes Baltsa will sing the role of Clytemnestra.

November 17, 2007
The Hungarian State Opera is preparing for its most important premier of the year, a production of Richard Strauss's Elektra with Agnes Baltsa and Nadine Secunde on November 24.
The production is a milestone for the Hungarian State Opera and serves as an attempt to raise its international profile, said director Balázs Kovalik at a press conference before the premiere.
The production is extraordinary because of its impressive set as well as because of its two famous leads. It takes place in an abandoned bath dominated by a cube symbolising the world.
"This performance makes very big demands of the performers, but also from a technical point of view: It will not be easy to work with Csaba Antal's gigantic stage props, which have been built with engineering precision," said Kovalik.
Agnes Baltsa
Photo: Máté Nándorfi
Secunde, also speaking at the press conference, joked that she had sung in 25 productions of Elektra, but had not seen a single Greek column in any of them.
"As far as I am concerned, the first consideration should be the stage and the acoustics, which is why my heart was lifted when I saw the outstanding work of these Hungarian artists," she said.
"The production is modern and interesting, and finally I get to wear a beautiful dress as Elektra," she added.
Baltsa said she had good memories of working with the members of the Hungarian State Opera.
Nadine Secunde as Elektra and Béla Perencz Béla as Orestes in Richard Strauss's opera Elektra, directed by Balázs Kovalik. The Hungarian State Opera will premiere the production on November 24. Photo: Péter Kollányi (MTI)
"I was in a production of Carmen (in Budapest), and I worked with the Hungarian State Opera chorus on several occasions in Japan," she said.
János Kovács, who will conduct the orchestra at the premiere, said he had learned much from Secunde and Baltsa, making the production profitable for everybody.
Elektra - with Secunde and Baltsa in the lead roles - will be performed on November 24 and 28, and on December 1. The production will premiere with a new cast, including Annamária Kovács, Szilvia Rálik, Zsuzsanna Bazsinka and Attila Wendler on December 8.

Friday 16 November 2007

Norma on radio (Cura, Gruberova) 16.11.07


GMT 1830/EST 1:30PM
GMT 1830/EST 1:30PM

Budapest, HUNGARY

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Opera: Kapcsoljuk a Bécsi Staatsopert - Vincenzo Bellini: Norma - kétfelvonásos opera I. felvonás
Szövegét Felice Romani írta
Vez.: Friedrich Haider
Km. A Bécsi Staatsoper Ének- és Zenekara
Szereposztás: Norma - Edita Gruberová, Pollione - José Cura, Adalgisa - Elina Garanca, Oroveso - Dan Paul Dumitrescu, Clotilde - Elina Garanca
2000/3:00PM: - kb.21. Az operabarátok negyedórája
A belcanto újkori dívája: Edita Gruberová
Magyar Kornél összeállítása
2015/3:15PM: Kapcsoljuk a Bécsi Staatsopert - Vincenzo Bellini: Norma - kétfelvonásos opera II. felvonás
Szövegét Felice Romani írta
Vez.: Friedrich Haider
Km. A Bécsi Staatsoper Ének- és Zenekara
Szereposztás: Norma - Edita Gruberová, Pollione - José Cura, Adalgisa - Elina Garanca, Oroveso - Dan Paul Dumitrescu, Clotilde - Elina Garanca (2 hrs., 35 min.)


192K WMP 9

64.1K G2 RP 8
32K WMP 9 M
32K G2 RP 8

SP[ECIAL PROGRAM: Tiešraide no Vines Valsts operas – V.Bellini opera Norma.
Elina Garanca, Edita Gruberova, Hose Kura, Vines Valsts operas koris un
orkestris, dirigents Fridrihs Haiders. (3 hrs.)

Austrian radio ORF.

Ö1 Programm Fr, 16.11.2007
16. November 2007
19:30 Uhr

Mehr dazu in den
Ö1 Highlights
Vincenzo Bellini: "Norma"

Mit Edita Gruberova (Norma), Elina Garanca (Adalgisa), José Cura (Pollione), Dan Paul Dumitrescu (Oroveso), Caroline Wenborne (Clotilde) und Marian Talaba (Flavio). Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper, Dirigent: Friedrich Haider (Übertragung aus der Wiener Staatsoper)
(Übertragung in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound)

In der Pause:
"Norma" - Bellinis Oper abseits der gängigen Aufführungspraxis : Kompositionsweise, Fassungen, Besetzungsvarianten.

Chris Tengel im Gespräch mit dem Belcantospezialisten Dr. Thomas Lindner
EBU-Fanfare (4x)
Länge: 00:20 min

Komponist/Komponistin: Vincenzo Bellini
Textdichter/Textdichterin, Textquelle: Felice Romani
Titel: Norma, Oper in 2.Akten (Live aus der Wiener Staatsoper)
Solist/Solistin: Jose Cura/Pollione
Solist/Solistin: Dan Paul Dumitrescu/Oroveso
Solist/Solistin: Edita Gruberova/Norma
Solist/Solistin: Elina Garanca/Adalgisa
Solist/Solistin: Caroline Wenborne/Clotilde
Solist/Solistin: Marian Talaba/Flavio
Chor: Chor der Wiener Staatsoper
Orchester: Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper
Leitung: Friedrich Haider
Label: Eigenmaterial Wr.Staatsoper
Länge: 141:00 min

Komponist/Komponistin: Vincenzo Bellini
Titel: Norma: aus "Casta Diva"
Solist/Solistin: Joan Sutherland
Orchester: London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Leitung: Richard Bonynge
Label: Decca
Länge: 00:35 min

Komponist/Komponistin: Vincenzo Bellini
Titel: Norma: aus "Casta Diva"
Solist/Solistin: Joan Sutherland
Orchester: London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Leitung: Richard Bonynge
Label: Decca
Länge: 00:30 min

Komponist/Komponistin: Vincenzo Bellini
Titel: Norma: aus dem Duett Norma-Adalgisa/I
Solist/Solistin: June Anderson, Daniela Barcellona
Orchester: L'Europa Galante
Leitung: Fabio Biondi
Label: TDK
Länge: 00:45 min

Komponist/Komponistin: Vincenzo Bellini
Titel: Norma: aus dem Terzett Norma- Adalgisa-Pollione/I
Solist/Solistin: June Anderson, Daniela Barcellona
Orchester: L'Europa Galante
Leitung: Fabio Biondi
Label: TDK
Länge: 00:58 min

Komponist/Komponistin: Vincenzo Bellini
Titel: Norma: aus dem Duett Norma-Adalgisa/II
Solist/Solistin: Grace Bumbry, Lella Cuberli
Orchester: Orchestra Sinfonica di Bari
Leitung: Michael Halasz
Label: Dynamic
Länge: 00:30 min

Komponist/Komponistin: Vincenzo Bellini
Titel: Norma: aus der Szene Norma-Oroveso- Chor/II
Solist/Solistin: Joan Sutherland, Richard Cross
Orchester: London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Leitung: Richard Bonynge
Label: Decca
Länge: 03:03 min
Weitere Informationen:

Diese Sendung wird in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound übertragen. Die volle Surround-Qualität erleben Sie, wenn Sie Ö1 unter "OE1DD" über einen digitalen Satelliten-Receiver und eine mehrkanalfähige Audioanlage hören.

Mehr zu "OE1DD" in

Die nächste Opernübertragung finden Sie hier

Tuesday 30 October 2007

My November plan for 2007

As I say on my website
NEXT (november): Tosca in Vienna with José Cura,
Elektra in Budapest with Agnes Baltsa.

But: I also wanted to go to Cologne to see José Cura as Turriddu/Canio in Cav/Pag. So my dream was like November 23 Tosca in Vienna with JC, November 24 Elektra in Budapest with AB, November 25 Cav/Pag in Cologne with JC AND then AGM meeting of José Cura Connexion in Vienna on November 26 and Norma with José Cura in Wiener Staatsoper on November 27.

First: Almost impossible to get tickets to Bellini's Norma in Wiener Staatsoper with Edita Gruberova Norma, Elena Garancia Adalgisa, José Cura Pollione, but one comfort you can hear it over the radio, Thank You, ORF.

So I got tickets to Elektra in Vienna in October (19, been there), and for Tosca in November (23) and cancelled my stand-by for Norma. I also got ticket for Elektra in Budapest with Agnes Baltsa (November 24).

Second: I am late I know, but getting news that José Cura is wonderful in this CavPag really made me think, maybe. November 10th, too expensive with the flight. Could have done it, but I don't... It would be too stressful I think. And then it was November 25 option. But I really think that would be too stressful for me. But I could have done it like. Oslo-Vienna (nov 23) flight, Vienna-Budapest (nov 24) train, Budapest - Dusseldorf (nov 25), Dusseldorf-Cologne train same day, and then from Cologne with train and then flight back to Olso on November 26. That would be crazy....

SO: My itinary is

Friday 23rd: Early flight to Vienna (thank God I have to take the night bus to Oslo to come early enough, it is just a matter of sleeping in your bus seat). If I had to get up earlier than 5 I would have been just .... but sleeping in the bus. Arriving in Oslo 5.30. That's OK.
with José Cura

Saturday 24th: Train to Budapest. Early but not too early. Memo to myself find a hotel in Vienna, Budapest (

Sunday 25th: Flight back home via Munich. Early but HOPEFULLY not too early. But this means home in reasonable time.

Of course that leaves out the AGM for JCx. But then I would not need to take out 3 days from work with this plan.

So I think it is OK.

Sunday 21 October 2007

PostFinance Classics: Agnes Baltsa in Switzerland

PostFinance Classics

Agnes Baltsa – emotion and passion in one voice

2007 will see the twelfth edition of the PostFinance Classics. PostFinance has engaged Greek mezzo soprano Agnes Baltsa, a world-famous opera singer.

The programme

  • Agnes Baltsa will sing arias from romantic Italian and French operas.
  • The programme includes excerpts from Don Carlos, Italiana in Algeri, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci as well as arias by Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet.
  • The singer will be accompanied by the Württemberg Philharmonic conducted by Srboljub Dinic.

Concert brochure (PDF, German)

Concert dates/venues 2007

Geneva, Victoria HallTuesday, 11 December 20078.30 p.m.
Basel, StadtcasinoFriday, 14 December 20077.30 p.m.
Berne, Kultur-CasinoTuesday, 18 December 20077.30 p.m.
Lucerne, Culture and Convention CentreThursday, 20 December 20077.30 p.m.
Zurich, TonhalleSaturday, 29 December 20077.30 p.m.

Advance sales

Order your tickets at PostFinance Ticket:

Have your PostFinance Card ready. Tickets available while supplies last.

The advantages for you:

  • You pay CHF 15 to 20 less for tickets
  • We will send you the programme as a free gift (worth CHF 5)
  • PostFinance does not charge an advance sales or handling fee

In cooperation with:

Friday 19 October 2007

Elektra with Agnes Baltsa, Vienna 2007-10-19

19. Oktober 2007

(51. Aufführung in dieser Inszenierung)

Musikalische Leitung: Michael Boder
nach einer Inszenierung von: Harry Kupfer
Bühnenbild: Hans Schavernoch
Kostüme: Reinhard Heinrich
Chorleitung: Janko Kastelic

Klytämnestra: Agnes Baltsa
Elektra: Deborah Polaski
Chrysothemis: Silvana Dussmann
Aegisth: Michael Roider
Orest: Ain Anger*
Pfleger des Orest = Wolfgang Bankl*
Vertraute = Zsuzsanna Szabó
Schleppträgerin = Daniela Denschlag*
junger Diener = Herwig Pecoraro
alter Diener = Marcus Pelz
Aufseherin = Waltraud Winsauer
1. Magd = Janina Baechle*
2. Magd = Zoryana Kushpler*
3. Magd = Sophie Marilley*
4. Magd = Ǻsa Elmgren
5. Magd = Caroline Wenborne

(* Rollendebüt an der Wiener Staatsoper)

Beginn: 20.00

Only Agnes Baltsa could make me see this opera and only AGNES BALTSA made it worth the time

Boring, boring, boring.... But Agnes Baltsa is GREAT. This opera needs so much, it is dark and so much monologue, beautiful music. Elektra is sung by Deborah Polaski, her voice is sometime too weak, the orchestra is heavy, and then where is the excitement the intense feeling, I did not feel it. Her sister is sung by Silvana Dussmann, and her we have a singer and actress who can transmit feelings. But it is Elektra who is supposed to outshine everybody else. Even the brother Orest sung by Ain Anger is more exciting and Aigist too (Michael Roider).

Agnes Baltsa as Klytemnestra is in a league of her own. She owns the stage, she is interesting, you see how this woman is totally crazy in her misunderstandin of it all.

But a great Elektra performance needs an Elektra who is shaking your world, here I did not find that. That Chrysothemis would outshine Elektra, what a concept...

But Klytemnestra is QUEEN!!!!!!! Hail, Agnes Baltsa! The Greeek mezzo... DIVA

UPDATE: Herwig Pecoraro was Junger Diener not Benedikt Kobel as previously stated

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Barcelona's last Andrea Chenier, October 17, 2007

Direcció d'escena / Dirección de escena / Stage Director Philippe Arlaud
Escenografia / Escenografía /Set Design Philippe Arlaud
Vestuari / Vestuario / Costume design Andrea Uhmann
Il·luminació / Iluminación / Light Design Philippe Arlaud
Coreografia / Coreógrafo / Choreography Keith Morino
Producció: The New National Theatre Foundation -Tokio

2007-10-17 Andrea Chenier (Giordano), Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Andrea Chenier
= José Cura
Carlo Gérard
= Carlos Álvarez
Maddalena de Coigny
= Deborah Voigt
= Marina Rodríguez Cusí
Comtessa de Coigny
= Viorica Cortez
Madelon = Irina Mishura
= Miguel Ángel Zapater
Pietro Fléville
= Enric Serra
Fouquier Tinville
= Enric Serra
= Philip Cutlip
= Francisco Vas
El mossèn
= Josep Ruiz
= Vicenç Esteve Corbacho
Un Majordom
= Vicenç Esteve Corbacho
= Manel Esteve Madrid

Pinchas Steinberg
, conductor

Photo from Barcelona Liceu: José Cura and Daniela Dessi

"Questo azzurro sofà là collochiam."
In this production the Majordomo said blanco (white) instead of azzurro (blue) because in this production almost all were dressed in white, and then some tricolor. In this production Madame la Guillotine was omnipresent and the director heavy-handedly gave us the message of the revolution is eating its own, all acts ended with people unstage being murdered. In this Andrea Chenier there was no doubt that Chenier and Maddalena died along with alot of people that we had seen alive in other acts, Roucher, Bersi etc. Only children was alive to show the flag and be revoltioneers.

Wonderful José Cura as Andrea Chenier! Anna Shafajinskaia had been called to the Opera house to maybe step in for a sick Deb Voigt. That would have been very interesting!! But La Voigt did not feel that ill. I can understand that to sing in Liceu, it would be hard to say another must sing for me today. Deborah Voigt is not my ideal as Maddalena di Coigny. She is acting very well, althought I find her portrayal to girlish, (loved Maria Guleghina in the DVD from Bologna), and I find it hard to war up to her voice.

Carlos Alvarez was wonderful as Gerard. Very youthful, and this Gerard was really like
Contessa said:
Quel Gérard! L'ha rovinato il leggere!

This Carlo Gerard was destroyed by the reading of books.

I did not take any photos inside the Liceu. I was too nervous, but the good thing with that is that I could concentrate on applauding. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At the stage door: conductor, Roucher, Voigt, .... No José Cura and I waited a LONG time. But Carlos Alvarez came, but I did not take his photo, I did not take any photos at all in Barcelona. I talked to him. Told him how great I found him in this production and even mentioned how much I liked his Macbeth in the DVD with Maria Guleghina. WOW, Carlos Alvarez!!!!! I talked...
.. but no photos.

Comtessa de Coigny = Viorica Cortez
Madelon = Irina Mishura

Irina Mishura was not Comtessa

Monday 15 October 2007

10 years with Jose Cura and beyond

A story about first time I saw José Cura live, but also about changes from just websites to blogs. (Photo: historic photo of my website)

José Cura
It began in 1997 when I first saw José Cura live onstage. Of course it really started earlier with the first time I heard the name José Cura... But I do not remember that. I remember 1997, October 13th in Vienna and I got a ticket to hear my favorite mezzo (Agnes Baltsa) as Fedora and the 4th tenor as José Cura was often called then as Loris in Giordano's opera FEDORA. Why was I in Austria, in Vienna at that time, what other opera did I probably see before deciding to buy a ticket. And then I made the mistake I have vowed never to do again, I chose the cheap ticket for 300 Austrian Schilling instead of the expensive one.

So my first time with José Cura live was in a restricted view seat. And it was RESTRICTED, almost after if José Cura was there or not. Act 1, no Loris = José Cura, no view, except those three times I could hang out of the box and get a climpse of Agnes Baltsa in her red dress as Fedora. Act 2 with the party in Fedora's house in Paris, I saw very little except when Agnes Baltsa and José Cura was together then I could see them (when I tried to put my head far out of the box). But hardly any of the party business where I sat. Act 3 finally lucky I got to see "all" of it.

I did not find that José Cura was so great then. But then I saw him again a year later in the same role also with Agnes Baltsa as Fedora, I had a better seat, and I found him improved. So Josep Carreras (José Carreras) was almost history for me and José Cura was my next tenor to follow. I do not love him as an opera singer all time, but I find him exciting and interesting to follow. Other tenors might be great more often but often they are boring to follow. If I compare tenor Carreras nowadays or today's Cura, Cura wins without doubt. But when I compare Carreras from the 1980s, 1990s and Cura today, it is harder.

José Cura vs. Josep Carreras
1996 was the best year for me with a wonderful Samson et Dalila with Josep Carreras and Agnes Baltsa in great form in Zurich. In 1998 I got to compare Carreras/Cura as Loris in Zurich/Vienna with Agnes Baltsa as Fedora. And they were both great. In 2000, in Zurich I got to compare Jose Cura as Samson to 1996 Carreras as they both sang with Agnes Baltsa. And I loved them both.

Memories, website, blogs
Before year 2000 I was already on net with my OperaDuets homepage on Yahoo!Geocities. Which seem to just has expired. I call myself operaduets because I love opera as in the acting and interacting and when singing duets it is really the best pluss at that time I had 2 opera singers that were my favorites Agnes Baltsa and Josep Carreras, and I loved (first I didn't) the Opera Duets CD from Sony Classics when Baltsa/Carreras sang opera duets from Werther, Cavalleria Rusticana, Trovatore, Carmen and La Traviata with Placido Domingo as conductor. So OPERADUETS

And then Geocities was no longer my site, I chose Homestead to put my fansite and my travel reviews of opera.... And then after a while I started to pay for using Homestead, I needed the more professional homestead, when my pages and sites grew. And now I have three website I own. First was, then and latest Then I have my fansites for Agnes Baltsa, Josep Carreras & José Cura.

And I love Verdi's opera Stiffelio, so I made one about Stiffelio/Aroldo. I love more tenors than I can follow so I made 4tenors.

And now I am blogging...

Today and forward
So now where am I. At home, getting ready to go to Barcelona to see José Cura as Andrea Chenier and to Vienna to see Agnes Baltsa as Klytämnestra in Strauss' ELEKTRA.

Saturday 13 October 2007

Opera - NRK P2 Andrea Chenier

Opera - NRK

P2 lørdag 13. oktober kl 19.30 Opera: Andréa Chenier av Umberto Giordano

Andrea Chénier: José Cura, tenor.
Maddalena de Coigny: Deborah Voigt, sopran.
Carlo Gérard: Carlos Álvarez, baryton.
Bersi: Mariana Rodríguez Cusí, mezzosopran.
Madelon: Irina Mishura, mezzosopran.
Roucher: Miguel Ángel Zapater, bassbaryton.
Pietro Fléville: Enric Serra, baryton.
Fouquir Tinville: Enric Serra, baryton.
Mathieu: Philip Cutlip, baryton.

Kor og orkester fra Gran Teatre de Liceu.
Dirigent: Pinchas Steinberg.

Play recording

Jose Cura in opera by Giordano, 10 years ago and now

It is now 10 years since I first saw Jose Cura live, he sang Loris Ipanoff in Giordano's opera FEDORA with Agnes Baltsa as Fedora.

And today is another chance to hear Jose Cura singing Andrea Chenier from Barcelona, September 29, 2007. From Operacast:




Opera: Giordanos Andréa Chenier (P2)
Andréa Chenier, opera i fire akter, av Umberto Giordano (1867-1948).
Libretto: Luigi Illica.
Andrea Chénier: José Cura, tenor.
Maddalena de Coigny: Deborah Voigt, sopran.
Carlo Gérard: Carlos Álvarez, baryton.
Bersi: Mariana Rodríguez Cusí, mezzosopran.
Madelon: Irina Mishura, mezzosopran.
Roucher: Miguel Ángel Zapater, bassbaryton.
Pietro Fléville: Enric Serra, baryton.
Fouquir Tinville: Enric Serra, baryton.
Mathieu: Philip Cutlip, baryton.
Kor og orkester fra Gran Teatre de Liceu.
Dirigent: Pinchas Steinberg.
Fra Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 29. september (3 hrs.)

Sunday 30 September 2007

2007.09.29 - SR2/ LR3 Andrea Chenier, Barcelona (radio)

2007.09.29 - LR3



Sestdienas vakars Operā.
Tiešraidē no Barselonas Gran Teatre del Liceu – Umberto Džordāno opera
Andrē Šeņjē.
Debora Voigta, Hosē Kura, Karloss Alvarezs, Irina Mišura, Gran Teatre del
Liceu koris un orķestris, diriģents Pinkass Šteinbergs


P2 Live opera

Torsdag 30 augusti 2007 - Söndag 30 september 2007

P2 Live Opera

lördag 29 september 2007 19:45

"Andrea Chénier" av Umberto Giordano.

Längd: 255 minuter

Format: Real Audio - Windows Media

P2 Live Opera

lördag 22 september 2007 18:15

"Trojanerna" av Hector Berlioz.

Längd: 345 minuter

Format: Real Audio - Windows Media

Luciano Pavarotti till minne

torsdag 6 september 2007 21:30

Pavarotti har tystnat. P2 sänder ett musikporträtt där den store italienske tenoren sjunger bland annat Bellini, Puccini och Donizetti. Ett minnesprogram signerat Per Feltzin.

Längd: 60 minuter

Format: Real Audio - Windows Media

Wednesday 26 September 2007

Komische Oper Berlin, Fledermaus, Premiere 2007-09-23

Die Fledermaus

Komische Operette in drei Akten von Johann Strauß
Libretto von Richard Genée
So | 23.09.2007 | 19:00 Uhr

Weitere Aufführungen ..

09. | 25. | 30. September
06. | 06. | 14. Oktober
02. | 17. | 28. November
04. | 13. | 14. | 18. | 23. | 25. | 31. Dezember
13. Januar
27. | 27. Juli

Musikalische Leitung ... Markus Poschner
Inszenierung ... Andreas Homoki
Ausstattung ... Wolfgang Gussmann
Chöre ... Robert Heimann
Lichtgestaltung ... Franck Evin

Gabriel von Eisenstein = Klaus Kuttler
Rosalinde = Gun-Brit Barkmin
Frank = Martin Winkler
Prinz Orlofsky = Karolina Gumos
Alfred = Christoph Späth
Dr. Falke = Günter Papendell
Dr. Blind = Thomas Ebenstein
Adele = Natalie Karl
Ida = Saskia Krispin
Frosch = Peter Renz

Tagesspiegel - 24. Sept. 2007
Zum 60. Gründungsjubiläum: Andreas Homoki und Markus Poschner beglücken die Komische Oper Berlin mit einer „Fledermaus“. Von Frederik Hanssen Von Frederik ...
Die Welt - 24. Sept. 2007
Mit der Neuinszenierung der Operette von Johann Strauß katapultiert sich die Komische Oper lustvoll zurück ins 19. Jahrhundert, in die Zeit der Uraufführung ... - vor 1 Stunde gefunden
VON JÜRGEN OTTEN Mit diesem Stück fing alles an. Im Dezember 1947, Berlin war eine zerstörte und zerteilte Stadt, da hob sich in der Behrenstraße in Mitte ...
Deutschlandradio - 25. Sept. 2007
Von Georg-Friedrich Kühn Im Dezember 1947 wurde mit Johann Strauß' "Fledermaus" die Berliner Komische Oper eröffnet. Regisseur damals war Gründungsintendant ...
Neues Deutschland - 24. Sept. 2007
Von Ekkehart Krippendorff Als Walter Felsenstein vor sechzig Jahren »inmitten von Zerstörung, in aller materiellen und geistigen Bedrängnis Deutschlands« (1 ...
Andreas Homoki inszeniert die Strauß-Operette an der Komischen Oper in ihrer biederen Pracht
Von Volker Blech

The Critics was not convinced by this production. "Too much laughs on the stage, not so much from the audience". The Regisseur has taken the operetta too serious, not enough Champagner-sprudl, only Sekt (no real Champagne).

First I loved it then I didn't. Intermission between act 2 and 3 said the programme-heft. But in reality it was in the middle of act 2. Which did in a way make sense and too the ball room from the drunken mind of Eisenstein was also a good idea. But then the prison scene was still a ballroom with all the furniture fallen down, it did not make sense. The newspapers did not like how Frosch was reduced to a nobody, no good comedy/comedian there. And the end was too cynic for an operetta. With Adele back as a chamber maid and Eisenstein to jail and Rosalinde with her Alfredo having supee at Eisenstein home. Too cynic.

The Orlofsky was just someone from the opera ballett dressed up to be a nobleman from Russia. Adele was just a joke to the people at this "ball". This was supposed to be a more tradional Fledermaus but really it was still REGIE-Theater where the regisseur just impose his ideas to an opera/operetta.

Singing was good. They were not really good in dialogue, could not hear every word. Acting good. But this was an operetta without brio...

Thursday 20 September 2007

Off to Berlin, for a wedding and some operetta

A wedding and a christening on the same day.

So it is going to be like this. Thursday: Night bus to Oslo.
Friday: Flying to Berlin (not alone this time, this is family business) and in Berlin out in the KNEIPE. I'll bet I will be tired by then.
Saturday: First in CHURCH, and then PARTY.
Sunday: BRUNCH, boat sight-seeing and then Komische Oper Berlin with OPERETTA Fledermaus.
Monday: FREE, I guess that mean shopping but my mother might have other ideas.
Tuesday: Flight home and then bus whole way to my home and on Wednesday WORK.

Saturday 8 September 2007

Agnes Baltsa to sing in Hannover, September 15

Oper Hannover erfolgreich in der Spielzeit 2006/07 Theater im ZDFtheaterkanal

In 10 Tagen beginnt die neue Saison mit einem festlichen Eröffnungswochenende. Am 15. September ist die griechische Mezzosopranistin AgnesBaltsa der Stargast beim Festkonzert zugunsten der Stiftung Staatsoper Hannover. Am 16. September wird die Spielzeit offiziell eröffnet unter dem Motto "Es muss was Wunderbares sein ...". 24 Mitglieder des Opernensembles stellen gemeinsam mit dem Niedersächsischen Staatsorchester Ausschnitte aus dem Spielplan der neuen Saison vor.

Niedersächsische Staatstheater (Oper)
Opernplatz 1
Deutschland - 30195 Hannover
Telefon: +49/511/999900
Telefax: +49/511/99991999
Telefon: +49/511 /99991111
Telefax: +49/511/99992984
Mo. - Fr.: 10 - 19.30 Uhr
Sa.: 10 - 14 Uhr

Thursday 6 September 2007

Luciano Pavarotti dies...

From Reuters:
Pavarotti dies at 71
Thu Sep 6, 2007 1:45AM EDT
By Gilles Castonguay

MODENA, Italy (Reuters) - Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti, hailed by many as the greatest tenor of his generation, died early on Thursday after a long battle with cancer, his manager Terri Robson said.

"The great tenor Luciano Pavarotti died today at 5 a.m. at his home in Modena," Robson said in a statement. He was 71.

"The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life.

"In fitting with the approach that characterized his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness."

The rotund, black-bearded tenor known as "Big Luciano" helped bring opera to the masses and performed to vast stadium audiences round the world.

He shot to fame with a stand-in appearance at London's Covent Garden in 1963 and had soon had critics gushing about his voluminous voice.

His last public singing performance was at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin in February 2006.

In July last year, Pavarotti underwent surgery in New York for pancreatic cancer and retreated to his villa in Modena. He had to cancel his first planned public reappearance a few months later.

Pavarotti was taken to a hospital in Modena last month and treated for more than two weeks. He was released on August 25, and spent his final hours at home with family and friends nearby, the statement said.

Wednesday 5 September 2007

September woes

Sad month, it is getting colder. Dessi and Armiliato were going to Norway for La Boheme, but got sick. It is that kind of month. Cold and getting sick or almost sick. Had the performance in Oslo been better then I would have been happier.

Jose Cura, my fav tenor is going to sing Don Jose in Bucuresti, September 8th. AND I would so like to see him again in Bizet's Carmen. But no, my enemies time and money denies me that. I am also worried that my membership in Jose Cura Connexion, his official fanclub, will lapse. I was maybe too late in paying.

Agnes Baltsa, my fav mezzo, have two concerts, one in Vienna on September 13, but the one concert I am really interested in is in CHINA on September 27th "A tribute to Maria Callas". And I am not totally crazy, so I am NOT going.

But October will be OK, I just have to take care of myself and not getting sick.

October 17-20 Barcelona-Vienna
2007-10-17 Andrea Chenier (Giordano), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona)
Andrea Chenier = José Cura
Maddalena di Coigny = Deborah Voigt
Carlo Gérard = Carlos Álvarez
2007-10-19 Elektra (Strauss), Wiener Staatsoper
Klytämnestra = Agnes Baltsa
Elektra = Deborah Polaski
Chrysothemis = Silvana Dussmann

Totally forgot: will be in Berlin to be present at a wedding and a christening so I am going to see Die Fledermaus at Komische Oper Berlin.

More me at the opera in 2007, see my website.

Monday 3 September 2007

2007-09-01 La Boheme (G. Puccini), Den Norske Opera (Oslo)

Opera i 3 akter av Giacomo Puccini

Libretto: Luigi Illica og Giuseppe Giacosa
Fremføres på italiensk
Norske overtekster
Spilletid: ca. 2t 30min

Sesongpremiere: 29/8
Spilledager: 31/8, 1/9, 3/9, 17/9, 19/9

Musikalsk ledelse: Phillipe Auguin
Regi: Wilhelm Sandven

Scenografi: Herman Bendixen

Kostymer: Kari Andersen/ Herman Bendixen

Kormester: Steffen Kammler

Den Norske Operas kor
Den Norske Operas orkester

Standing ovation for what?

Must have been for Puccini and his opera. Not for this performance, not in my book anyway. Luca Canonici as Rodolfo was a disappointment, vocally and acting. Act 1 was a mess. Janne Berglund was too healthy to be Mimi. Act 1 meeting did not feel romantic. Act 2 was better but did not like the voice of Musetta. Act 3+4 was best. But I did not feel anything when Mimi died.

Even with a fever and almost no voice would Dessi/Armiliato had been better than this, and a standing ovation would have been very much in order.

2007-09-01 La Boheme (G. Puccini), Den Norske Opera (Oslo)

Mimi = Janne Berglund
Rodolfo = Luca Canonici
Marcello = Ole Jørgen Kristiansen
Musetta = Manon Strauss Evrard
Colline = Carsten Stabell
Schaunard = Paul Kong
Benoit = Ragnar Ulfung
Alcindoro = Markus Kvits
Parpingol = Arild Eriksen

Philippe Auguin, conductor

Friday 17 August 2007

CANCELLED: Dessi/Armiliato sing La Boheme in Oslo (Norway)

UPDATE: Cancelled due to illness. La Boheme goes on without Dessi/Armiliato. I say only: Get well, soon!!!!!!!!!!

They are singing La Boheme in Oslo on September 1 & 3, 2007.
Lucky to have them, Daniela Dessi and Fabio Armiliato two fantastic Italian Opera singers.

BUY tickets online:

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La Boheme (G. Puccini), Den Norske Opera

Mimi = Daniela Dessi

Rodolfo = Fabio Armiliato

Marcello = Ole Jørgen Kristiansen

Musetta = Manon Evrad

Colline = Carsten Stabell

Schaunard = Paul Kong

Benoit = Ragnar Ulfung

Alcindoro = Markus Kvits

Parpingol = Arild Eriksen