MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Seattle Symphony’s Dvořák-Fest Begins

In honor of Trifonov’s 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Classical Instrumental Solo (The Carnegie Hall Recital on DG).

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Daniil Trifonov: (c) Dario Acosta Daniil Trifonov: (c) Dario Acosta

My review of the Seattle Season’s opening concert of the season — including pianist Daniil Trifonov’s spectacular SSO debut — is now live on Bachtrack:

Music by Antonín Dvořák was included on Ludovoc Morlot’s first-ever programme leading the Seattle Symphony, which took place in October 2009. At the time – two years before coming on board as music director – Morlot was a visiting conductor, and he offered the barest sampling of his thoughts on Dvořák (three of the Legends).

continue reading

View original post

Filed under: Uncategorized

Thy Choiring Strings

BB

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

–Hart Crane, To Brooklyn Bridge

Filed under: photography, poetry

Consuming Consumption: TB on the Opera Stage

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Mimi-deathbed

On the TB angle in Puccini (for San Francisco Opera’s La bohème:

“But if she’s dying of that dreadful disease, how could she still sing such gorgeous music?” It’s a question opera-goers often get asked when trying to describe what happens at the climax of one of the most beloved works in the repertoire. In the famous scene from the film Moonstruck, the character played by Cher —who is seeing La Bohème for the first time — notices the paradox and declares, “I didn’t know she was going to die!”

But Mimì’s tragic demise isn’t a medical documentary: it’s depicted in the context of a cultural and artistic tradition in which a wide range of diseases — whether of the body or of the mind — carried powerful symbolic meanings. Influenced by the legacy of Italian opera as well as by Wagner, Puccini was intimately familiar with the sudden…

View original post 60 more words

Filed under: Uncategorized

Die Meistersinger

My new essay on Die Meistersinger for the Metropolitan Opera’s program book (production starts 2 December 2014):

In the spring of 1861, Richard Wagner endured the very worst humiliation of his mature career—a humiliation of Beckmesserian proportions. The high-profile revival of his early opera Tannhäuser, thoroughly revised for its Paris premiere, caused such a scandalous uproar that Wagner pulled up stakes and canceled the production after only three performances. That failure reinforced his burning sense of resentment against the opera capital of the world, where he had already experienced crushing rejection nearly two decades before.

continue reading (essay starts on p. 42 of pdf)

Filed under: essay, Metropolitan Opera, Wagner

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

RSS Arts & Culture Stories from NPR