All 2017 Features

Rimsky and Ravel: Not such strange Bedfellows
Saturday, February 18, 2017 |  Ravel also heard music from Russia, including works of the giants of the time, Glinka and Tchaikovsky, as well as the “mighty five”, which included Rimsky-Korsakov. ... The Russian had already made a huge impression with his early work from 1868, based on yet another Arabian myth, the tale of Antar. ... In 1910, Ravel was working for the Ballets Russes in Paris, working on the score for Daphnis and Chloe under the ever-watchful eye of Diaghilev. At the same time, the composer was asked to write incidental music for a play, based on the Antar story. ... Not only was the music from the Symphonic Suite incorporated, there were also extracts from Mlada, two other songs by Rimsky and portions of Felicien David’s symphonic ode, Le Desert. To add to the mystique of the story, Mata Hari herself appeared in the dance scenes. 
Wednesday, February 08, 2017 |  Four men in my family were executed by the Nazis. Hans von Dohnanyi, my father, honored in Yad Vashem, was killed in the Nazi concentration camp Sachsenhausen shortly before the Second World War ended. At the same time the world-renowned theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, brother of my mother, my godfather, was executed in the concentration camp Flossenbürg. In 1930 Bonhoeffer began his studies in New York City at the Union Theological Seminary and learned to love and admire the United States of America. 
Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts 2016-17: Dvořák’s Rusalka – Kristine Opolais & Brandon Jovanovich; conducted by Mark Elder [Showing on Saturday February 25]
Sunday, February 05, 2017 |  Rusalka is by far the most popular and performed of Antonin Dvořák’s ten operas and understandably so. The story is ostensibly a fairytale, but it also touches on many themes important to the modern psyche – identity, compromise, relationships, even damage to nature and the environment. ... The prince appears to the sound of hunting horns. He has felt strangely drawn to the lake without knowing why. He sees Rusalka, falls in love, and carries her away to his castle. There Rusalka’s inability to communicate generates commentary from the staff as well as noble acquaintances. The prince begins to find Rusalka’s apparent coldness, owing to fear, wearisome – and feels she cares little for him. ... ‘Song to the Moon’ has been a perennial favourite. The Prince’s music requires a heady lyric-dramatic tenor – he has glorious music to sing. ... The cast assembled by Metropolitan Opera is impressive. Kristine Opolais, famous for her Puccini interpretations, takes on the title role. Her sense for the theatrical should bring a searing portrayal. The Prince is sung by Brandon Jovanovich... 
Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts 2016-17: Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette – Vittorio Grigolo & Diana Damrau; conducted by Gianandrea Noseda [Showing on Saturday January 21]
Thursday, January 12, 2017 |  Roméo et Juliette, whilst not as regularly staged as Charles Gounod’s most-popular opera Faust, is the other of his numerous stage-works that retains a toe-hold in the repertoire. ... It is one of many operas based on Shakespeare’s tale of doomed young love, and is perhaps the most faithful to the play’s full narrative. ... Romeo and Juliet are the adolescent offspring of two noble families in Verona, the Capulets and the Montagues, at enmity for generations. ... Gounod’s music is always tuneful and beautiful, and in many ways is representative of the best of French Romantic opera. ... The ill-fated lovers are sung by Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau... 


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