All 2018 Features

Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts 2017-18: Puccini’s La bohème [Showing on February 24]
Monday, February 19, 2018 |  Since its premiere in Turin in 1896, where it met with a modest reception, La bohème, Puccini’s fourth opera quickly gained and retains huge popularity. ... The first encounter of Rodolfo and Mimi is one of the most-famous love-scenes in all opera, famous arias abound. ... As ever the Met has assembled a super cast for this latest revival of the production originally staged by the great Franco Zeffirelli – it’s a classic. As Rodolfo is Michael Fabiano, singing in his home city. Mimi is Sonya Yoncheva. 
Feature Review – New World Symphony’s New Works: Michael Tilson Thomas conducts…
Saturday, February 10, 2018 |  The New World Symphony is an organization that doesn’t do anything halfway. A training ground for music conservatory graduates who are headed for a career in orchestral performance, it operates from its state-of-the-art facilities in Miami. Performances inside New World Center’s concert hall – a building crafted by the celebrated architect Frank Gehry – are shared with anyone who happens to be outside the building via a live “WALLCAST”, a simulcast multi-camera video projection of the performance with high-end audio. ... Michael Tilson Thomas launched the program thirty years ago. ... Fragments of works by J. S. Bach, Berio, Janáček, Prokofiev, Saariaho and Schulhoff serve mainly as a manifestation of what a person with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder experiences inside their head. 
Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts 2017-18: Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore [Showing on February 10]
Friday, February 02, 2018 |  L’elisir d’amore is described as a Melodramma giocoso, although many productions play more to the comic side than the melodramatic one. The opera was premiered in Milan in 1832; it was the most popular of Donizetti’s stage-works in his lifetime and remains enduring and endearing. ... The setting is a rural village in northern Italy. Nemorino, a peasant, is hopelessly in love with Adina, a wealthy landowner. She is changeable and likes to be the centre of attention. She is reading the story of Tristan and Isolde to the local populace, Nemorino included, and remarks on the absurdity of the love potion. ... Metropolitan Opera has assembled a great cast. Matthew Polenzani sings Nemorino, which will suite him well, and as Adina we have Pretty Yende, this role something of a calling-card for her. Having a native Italian for Dulcamara is vitally important, here the charismatic Ildebrando d’Archangelo who should fit the bill perfectly. 
Feature Review – BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion: Leonard Bernstein [January 27]
Sunday, January 28, 2018 |  While the LSO, with Marin Alsop and Simon Rattle, had already kicked off the Leonard Bernstein centenary celebrations, the most concentrated focus on Bernstein the composer came with the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s latest Total Immersion day. ... The other non text-based piece is Prelude, Fugue and Riffs which ended the lunchtime concert, from the fervent hands of Professor of Jazz, Scott Stroman, who explained how affected he had been growing up in Indiana by seeing Bernstein’s Young People’s concerts. His nineteen-strong student jazz band more than filled Milton Court Concert Hall... ... Vadim Gluzman was the spruce soloist in Serenade (1954), written for Isaac Stern and inspired by Bernstein’s reading of Plato’s Symposium and taking the idea of the nature of love... ... Words to be sung – which is where we’d started earlier in the day – is where we ended, with Songfest in what is only London’s third full performance since Bernstein conducted the UK premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1982... 
Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts 2017-18: David McVicar's production of Puccini’s Tosca with Yoncheva, Grigolo & Lučić [Showing on January 27]
Friday, January 12, 2018 |  Since its premiere in January 1900 Puccini’s Tosca has been an audience favourite. ... Cavaradossi admits the lady’s features are to his own lover, the operatic diva Floria Tosca. ... He has escaped from imprisonment by the Chief of Police Baron Scarpia. ... At this moment news arrives that Napoleon’s forces rallied and have defeated the Naples forces at the Battle of Marengo. ... Her most famous aria is ‘Vissi d’arte’ – a rather curious episode in the second Act where, whilst Scarpia is demanding sexual favours, the action stops and the soprano pours out her heart to her God. ... For various reasons there have been numerous cast changes, including Opolais, Kaufmann and Terfel withdrawing. The cast now includes Sonya Yoncheva as Tosca. ... Vittorio Grigolo is Cavaradossi, one that should suit his impassioned style. As Scarpia there is the imposing Serbian baritone Željko Lučić... 
Feature Review: From ICA Classics – BBC Legends box sets and Guido Cantelli, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer
Tuesday, January 02, 2018 |  The second volume of BBC Legends, now courtesy of ICA, reissues a further twenty discs. ... As bonus tracks, another stellar violinist, Nathan Milstein, is heard, playing Paganini, Falla and Nováček (1957) – very fine – and where a pianist is needed, it’s Ernest Lush. Next Thomas Beecham’s Royal Festival Hall accounts of Sibelius 2 (BBCSO, 1954) and Dvořák 8 (RPO, 1959), the performances exciting, expressive and atmospheric, even explosive; and also RFH, 1961, Sviatoslav Richter mesmerising in piano music by Haydn and Prokofiev... ... The Russian connection continues with the Borodin Quartet, its members as in 1962, attending Edinburgh and playing Shostakovich (No.8), Borodin (No.2) and Ravel. Benjamin Britten had his Russian confreres (including Richter, Rostropovich and Shostakovich) and on Disc Fourteen he stylishly conducts Tchaikovsky’s Suite No.4... ... The ICA Classics triptych – featuring Guido Cantelli, Herbert von Karajan and Otto Klemperer, mostly with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London... 

 

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