MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Santa Fe Opera 2018: Ariadne, L’italiana, and Butterfly

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ANA MARÍA MARTÍNEZ (MADAME BUTTERFLY) AND JOSHUA GUERRERO (F.B. PINKERTON). PHOTO CREDIT: KEN HOWARD FOR SANTA FE OPERA, 2018

Here’s my report on the rest of the 2018 summer season at Santa Fe Opera* for Musical America. I write about Ariadne auf Naxos, L’italiana in Algeri, and Madama Butterfly. My review of the company’s new production of Doctor Atomic is here.

Santa Fe, NM—-During the long reign of founder John Crosby, Santa Fe Opera cultivated its reputation as a “Strauss house.” Yet only three of the composer’s operas had been presented under the company’s third general director, Charles MacKay, before he decided to include a brand-new production of Ariadne auf Naxos as a key attraction of his farewell season.

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[PDF here: Santa Fe 2018 MA reviews]
*Apart from Candide, the one production I had to miss.

Filed under: Musical America, Puccini, review, Rossini, Santa Fe Opera, Strauss

High Notes and High Jinks: Lawrence Brownlee as Count Ory

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Lawrence Brownlee; photo (c) Johnny Andrews/The Seattle Times

My profile of Lawrence Brownlee is out in today’s Seattle Times. The world-class tenor is back in town to star in Rossini’s Count Ory at Seattle Opera:

He’s in demand around the globe, a favorite of music lovers at the most prestigious venues for classical music.

But Lawrence Brownlee reserves a special fondness for Seattle.

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Filed under: Lawrence Brownlee, Rossini, Seattle Opera, singers

William Tell at the Edinburgh International Festival

My review of William Tell, given a concert performance by Gianandrea Noseda and the Teatro Regio Torino at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, is now live on Bachtrack:

A conspiracy theorist might ponder whether the programming of William Tell during the final week of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival, the day after the Salmond-Darling Scottish independence debate on the BBC, was intended as a propaganda move in support of the “yes” campaign.

Certainly the fervour of the opera’s grand finale, as the Swiss rise up in triumphant revolt against their hated imperial overlords, is so palpably rousing as to make one at least question the commonplace assumption of Rossini’s indifference to political matters.

And in a coincidence sure to fuel our conspiracist’s fantasies, the Milanese censor gave the green light for the opera’s staging at La Scala – several years after its 1829 première in Paris – only on condition that the setting be changed to Scotland, with the protagonist restyled as “Guglielmo Vallace”, and a name change from Gualtiero to “Kirkpatrick”.

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Filed under: conductors, opera, review, Rossini

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