MEYERBEER’S “LES HUGUENOTS”: A NEGLECTED GEM

cropped-logo-for-blog.jpg

Les Huguenots: a neglected gem

German born Giacomo Meyerbeer reigned as the most popular opera composer in Paris during the first half of the 19th century. After being out of favor for nearly 150 years, his masterpiece, Les Huguenots has begun to regain popularity largely through the dedication of singers and conductors who have “rediscovered” the beauty of Meyerbeer’s music.

The singers

Adolphe Nourrit  Julie Dorus-Gras  Cornélie Falcon  Nicolas Dérivis Nicolas Levasseur Adolphe Nourrit  Gilbert Duprez   Marietta Alboni

In the original cast of the premiere production in 1836 at the Paris Opera the lineup of stars was nothing but impressive.

Julie Dorus-Gras was the French-born and trained soprano who starred in Les Huguenots as Marguerite de Valois. By age 30 she had had a fine career in Belgium, but she had to flee the chaos of the Belgian Revolution and arrived in the French capital armed with nothing but a great coloratura soprano voice and recommendations from French conductors with whom she had worked at La Monnaie in Brussels.

After a spectacular debut as the Countess in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory she starred in a number of leading roles in the French capital’s opera houses.

Meyerbeer wrote the part of Valentine for Cornélie Falcon, a very young, very gifted, but very insecure singer who, by age 21 had become the highest paid singer – male or female – of her time and who, by age 25 had lost her voice largely due to a faulty vocal technique and the demands of a repertoire not suitable for such a young singer. A look at the score of Les Huguenots will make it more than clear that the role of Valentine is neither for the young nor for the technically insecure singer.

After a successful debut in Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable the year before Les Huguenots premiered, Marie-Louise Flécheux became a go-to house soprano at the Paris Opera, ideally suited to trouser-roles, due to her petite size and silvery voice. The aria, Noble Seigneurs, Salut! is clearly soprano stuff, with its frequent above-the-staff notes. But when Les Huguenots was revived again in 1848 at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Mademoiselle Flécheux had died from tuberculosis in her mid-twenties.

Meyerbeer had at his disposal the formidable Italian contralto Marietta Alboni, for whom he transposed the role of  Urbain and added the aria, Non, non, non, non, non, non! Vous n’avez jamais je gage.

The role of Raoul in Les Huguenots defies categorization. Adolphe Nourrit, the tenor who reigned as a Paris Opera superstar for more than fifteen years sang the premiere at  the age of 34. Three years later, Nourrit, despondent over the ill health that had taken a toll on what had once been a great voice, jumped to his death from the balcony of a hotel in Naples.

Most of the repertory Nourrit sang is largely neglected these days, but it is still possible to draw some conclusions about how Nourrit’s voice may have sounded and by extension, what kind of tenor is required to sing the role of Raoul in Les Huguenots.

Regardless of changing tastes, a high C is a high C, and, in Nourrit’s world, the tenor high C was still sung in a kind of beefed-up falsetto. As Nourrit’s arch-rival, Gilbert Duprez began to move into what had been exclusive Nourrit territory, the high C with the Italianate sound that we are used to hearing these days was just starting to gain popularity. In our time, tenors ranging from Franco Corelli in the 1960’s to today’s Michael Spyres have essayed the role with varying degrees of success, but most always with a full-throated high C.

Rossini, grumpy and short of patience in his dotage, was told that Tamberlik, the Italian tenor famed for his high C sharp sung full-out was coming to one of his soirées, he told the messenger to tell Signor Tamberlik to leave his damned high C# hanging in the foyer with his hat and coat, adding, He can take it away when he  leaves !

Simply told, the use of a full-throated sound in the upper reaches of the tenor repertoire back then was considered in bad taste. But high notes aside, Raoul de Nantes is the kind of role that demands both quality and quantity. The aria Plus blanche que la blanche hermine calls for the stylistic finesse and lyric sweetness in the upper range that only tenors such as Alain Vanzo (https://youtu.be/rh6QamIQGgg ) can summon. On the other hand,  the big Act IV duet with Valentine is pure heroic tenor territory.

Nicolas Levasseur and Nicolas-Prosper Dérivis were two of the great French basses of the 19th century, creators of a tradition of singing that continued well into the recorded era of the early 20th century with the great basses Marcel Journet and Pol Plançon.

Levasseur, sang the part of Marcel, with its unusual demands on the low range (an optional  low C at the end of the Lutheran Chorale in Act I) and agility in the Piff Paff aria. Dérivis, the higher voiced bass-baritone, was given the important role of the Count of Nevers.

But why has this opera been kept out of the repertory of many opera houses throughout the world?

The economics of Opera have a great deal to do with what is included in the season of an opera company and what is not. In the case of Les Huguenots, there are, first of all, the casting requirements.

In Meyerbeer’s masterpiece there are fourteen named roles to be filled, of which six must be assigned to first-tier singers. Then, as with most French Grand Operas, there is a ballet, a chorus, multiple set changes. But then, just looking at the repertory for the MET’s 2016-2017 season, there is plenty of large-scale operas there, even though one cannot think of one Verdi or Puccini or Mozart or Rossini or Donizetti or Bellini opera with fourteen principal roles. And most all operas have a chorus, many have a ballet and just about all have multiple sets.

The problem with Meyerbeer’s operas is in the casting. Suppose, for instance, that you – the Opera House Head Hunter – manage to hire a tenor either with Les Huguenots in his bag of tricks or one willing to learn that huge role. Now you contract him for the 2020-2021 season, hopeful that your tenor, you and all of us will still be around then.

Now you have another six roles to cast. If you are Peter Gelb and you can have your pick of the finest of the fine in the world, you will be foolish not to try to engage a first-rank dramatic  soprano for the role of Valentine. Ah yes, Sally Soprano, now engaged as the leading Hoch-Dramatische Sopran in Kleinburg, Germany recently did a production of Die Hugenoten in Hamburg and she received marvelous reviews for it! Hire her and pray that she will still have a functioning voice in 2020-2021.

If Ms. Soprano falls by the wayside or she has to cancel half-way there due to vocal troubles, who is there to take over in a few day’s notice?

It’s not like you need to replace an ailing Mimi for your La boheme or a hoarse mezzo for your Carmen. We are talking about an opera that has not received a major, fully-staged, first-tier U.S.A. production in many, many years. How many singers out there have Les Huguenots in their resumes?

Now, multiply the above scenario times six and you begin to get an idea as to why productions of Meyerbeer’s operas are as rare as hen’s teeth.

For more on this subject, check out:

  • Rossini: A study in Tragi- Comedy – Francis Toye
  • The Great Singers – Henry Pleasants
  • The Last Prima Donnas – Lanfranco Rasponi

On You Tube: Here are several special exponents of the elusive French style:

Eidé Noréna (1884-1968) – Au beau pays de la Touraine – Les Huguenots – 1930 https://youtu.be/3lHg-Ctkm4A

Sigrid Onegin (1889-1943) – Nobles SeigneursLes Huguenots -1929  https://youtu.be/VlW_Y0EG1xs

Pol Plançon (1851-1914) – Piff PaffLes Huguenots -1902 https://youtu.be/tEzFrPgCeLI

Nicolai Gedda  (born 1925) – Plus blanche que la blanche hermineLes Huguenots https://youtu.be/pF3XFUSaKX8

…And, to hear some of this music LIVE, come to the Music for All Seasons concert on October 2, where you will hear soprano Ashley Fabian, mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker, and tenor Allan Palacios Chan singing several arias from Les Huguenots. Reservations: musicseasons@zoomtown.com More information: http://www.musicforallseasonscincinnati.com

Rafael de Acha

CHORAL MUSIC IN CINCINNATI

logo for blog
All about music

The Vocal Arts Ensemble ( www.vaecinci.org ) has six pairs of concerts announced for its 2016-2017 season. With tickets priced from $10 (students) to $30 (reserved) it is hard to imagine the availability of a formidable professional chamber chorus led by a Grammy-award recipient, such as Craig Hella Johnson performing interesting choral music (much of it contemporary in premiere performances) at these prices anywhere else but in Cincinnati.

Sept 16 at 8 pm – The Hope of Loving Westwood Presbyterian, at 3011 Harrison Ave Sept 17 at 8 pm – The Hope of Loving at St. Barnabas Episcopal at 10345 Montgomery Rd.

In both programs three new works are featured: Jake Runestad’s  The Hope of Loving, VAI conductor Craig Hella Johnson’s Gitanjali Chants and Eric Whitacre’s Alleluia. 

Dec.9 at 8:00 pm – A Candlelit Christmas at St. Francis De Sales Church, 1600 Madison Rd

Dec. 10 at 8:00 pm – A Candlelit Christmas at St. Boniface Church, 1750 Chase Ave

March 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm – Considering Matthew Shepard at Gallagher Theatre at Xavier University, 3800 Victory Pkwy

March 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm – Considering Matthew Shepard at Gallagher Theatre at Xavier University, 3800 Victory Pkwy

In both programs, Craig Hella Johnson’s composition Considering Matthew Shepard will be performed by the VAE and an instrumental ensemble.

Of the musical programs of the many churches of all faiths that dot the urban and suburban landscape of greater Cincinnati none can begin to compare with the scope of the free-admission Vespers at the beautiful St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park. The group is a mix of professional section leaders, such as the fine bass-baritone Jonathan Cooper, who often double as soloists and amateur volunteers. Jonathan is St. Thomas’ Director of Communications & Programs Coordinator (jcooper@stthomasepiscopal.org ) and he will gladly email a brochure to those interested.

The Season:

  • September 11, 2016, 5pm All-Bach Vespers in memory of the 15th anniversary of 9/11 Bach Cantata no. 70: Watch and Pray!; Cantata no.118: O Jesus, Light of my Soul and the Lamb of God section (Agnus Dei) from Bach’s Mass in B Minor.
  • October 16, 2016, 5pm Bach Vespers – Cantata no. 56 I Shall Gladly Bear the Cross
  • November 13, 2016, 5pm Brahms’ Requiem for All Souls’ Day
  • November 27, 2016, 5pm Bach Vespers for Advent Cantata no. 62 Come, Savior of the Heathen
  • Monday, December 19, 2016, 7:30pm Handel’ Messiah Sing-Along
  • January 15, 2017, 5pm Bach Vespers for Epiphany with the Cincinnati Camerata: Cantata no. 126: Sustain Us, Lord, With Your Word
  • February 12, 2017, 5pm Bach Vespers Cantata no. 18: Just as Rain and Snow Fall from Heaven
  • March 12, 2017, 5pm Bach Vespers for Lent Cantata no. 131: From the Depths I Call Unto Thee, O Lord
  • Friday, April 14, 2017, 7pm Good Friday St. John Passion – Heinrich Schütz
  • May 7, 2017,  5pm, Bach Vespers – Easter Cantata no. 166 Where Do You Go?
  • June 4, 2017, 5pm Bach Vespers for Pentecost Cantata no. 172: Ring Out, Songs and Strings!

~~~

MUSICA SACRA  ( www.musica-sacra.org ) has scheduled three free-admission Sunday afternoon concerts this season:

1)     All-Handel Fest on October 16 at the Basilica in Covington on October 16 at 3 PM

2)     Christmas Concert (Charpentier, Durante, Buxtehude, Mozart) on Sunday December 4 at 2:00 pm in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Hyde Park and…

3)      Spring Concert (Haydn, Bach, Vaugh-Williams) on Sunday March 26  at 3 pm in St. Boniface Church on the Northside.

Brett Scott leads the concerts, which feature a mix of amateur and professional musicians from the community.

~~~~

Rafael de Acha

 

OPERA WITHOUT WORDS

OPERA WITHOUT WORDS

Music for All Seasons’ October 2 concert at Historic Peterloon will not only feature vocal music but much music for instruments. Four outstanding soloists are lined up to perform in our concert, Sins of Old Age

https://youtu.be/1HusN9naDUg Un mot à Paganini, Elégie pour violon et pianoA word to Paganini, an elegy for violin and piano. In Rossini’s salon in the Chaussée D’Antin, the virtuoso on any particular evening would perform compositions like this one.

thWS7CPRY6

In our October 2 concert our very own Cincinnati virtuosa, Jennifer Roig-Francoli will perform this composition by the happily-retired composer

~~

https://youtu.be/DOv9b94Lcl0

The variations on a theme by Rossini for cello and piano by the violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini were a gift made to Rossini by his composer friend and Italian compatriot. The theme comes from Rossini’s opera Moses in Egypt, a solemn prayer sung by the title character: “From your star-studded throne, look upon our tears, o merciful, divine Redeemer.”

PHOTO KIM, SARA

At our Peterloon concert on October 2, cellist Sarah Kim will play this opera-without-words composition, accompanied at the piano by Jesse Leong.

~~~

https://youtu.be/mbzu_zlf_Z4

Rossini wrote the opera Cenerentola (Cinderella) at the height of his fame, Years later, his friend Frédéric Chopin took the melody of the final aria of the opera and set it as lively rondo of variations for flute and piano.

BONA, SUZANNE 1

At Peterloon, Cincinnati’s own piped piper Suzanne Bona will joyfully play the very happy variations on the aria Non piu mesta (No longer sad)

~~~

https://youtu.be/X9f2kOF6EIA

PHOTO LEONG, JESSE

Here is a waltz that dares you to dance. Titled Anti-dancing waltz, Rossini wrote it for his own amusement and dared any upstart pianist to play it note-perfect. Jesse Leong, our pianist for the October 2 concert will take up the challenge.

~~~

TINA GUTIERREZ AND FRIENDS

12400857_1548520565468968_6799416555596254584_n

Tina Gutierrez, Lutenist and photographer

UNDER THE RADAR TREASURES

Here is another instance of the under-the-radar treasures that abound in Cincinnati. This is truly last minute, but if, like us, you are free for something free on Sunday…

Multi-talented musician, photographer Tina Gutierrez and friends, including fellow photographer Matt Zory and soprano Jackie Stevens will give the lucky music and art lovers who get the word and attend, an aural and visual treat this coming Sunday, August 22 at 4 PM in the Courtyard, Iris BookCafe and Gallery, 1331 Main Street, Over the Rhine.

Tina and Matt will perform music for lute and bass from five centuries, ranging from the English Renaissance to a new composition by Ellen Ruth Harrison. Their photographs, part of the exhibit Table to Walls, are now on display at the Iris Gallery.

In addition to being photographers, Tina Gutierrez is a lutenist and player of early stringed instruments and director of the Shakespeare Band. Matthew Zory is assistant principal bassist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Jackie Stevens is a busy singer now working on her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at CCM.

https://youtu.be/NzyL0a5LLLoJackie Stevens, soprano sings John Dowland’s Now o Now with Tina Gutierrez and William Willits, lutes

Rafael de Acha

 

CHAMBER MUSIC IN CINCINNATI

CHAMBER MUSIC IN CINCINNATI

Here follows an overview of three musical organizations that contribute to our lively music scene in Cincinnati. For details beyond those listed here please go to their websites.

LINTON

LINTON CHAMBER MUSIC

September 18, 19 -Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio – works by Shostakovich, Schubert, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Pas de Trois (world-premiere)

October 23, 24 – Anne-Marie McDermott, piano, Ida Kavafian, violin, Steven Tenenbom, viola, Peter Wiley, cello – works by Beethoven, Roberto Sierra and Dvořák

February 26, 27 – Louis Langrée piano and Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano – Brahms Lieder, French Art Songs

March 26, 27 – Jaime Laredo, violin, Jinjoo Cho, violin, Hsin-Yun Huang, viola, Eric Wong, viola, Sharon Robinson, cello – works by Prokofiev, Brahms and Dvořák

April 23 – Maria Bachmann, violin, Hsin-Yun Huang, viola, Edward Arron, cello and Adam Neiman, piano – works by Turina, Chausson, and Fauré.

May 14 and 15 – Anthony McGill clarinet, Demarre McGill, flute, Michael McHale, piano, Timothy Lees, violin- works by Poulenc, Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, Bartók, and Dvořák.

Linton Chamber Music Sunday Series First Unitarian Church 4:00 PM

Encore! Linton Series Monday Series Congregation Beth Adam 7:30 PM

Further Information: info@lintonmusic.org (513) 381-6868

~~~

 ARIEL

ARIEL QUARTET AT CCM

Tuesday September 8, 8 PM – BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1; JÖRG WIDMANN: String Quartet No. 3 ; SCHUMANN: Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44. Featuring Soyeon Kate Lee, piano

Tuesday October 25, 8 PM – MOZART: String Quartet No. 14 in G Major, K. 387; SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73; DVOŘÁK: String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op.

Tuesday January 24, 2017, 8 PM – BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3; BARTÓK: String Quartet No. 6 in D Major, Sz. 114; SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 (“Trout Quintet”). Featuring Rachel Calin, bass and Ran Dank, piano

Friday March 10, 2017, 8 PM – WIESENBERG: Between the Sacred and the Profane; FAIROUZ: Prophesies (World Premiere); BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID. Subscription packages are $75 for 4 concerts.

Beginning Aug. 22, tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or at e-Box Office

~~~

CHAMBER MUSIC CINCINNATI

CHAMBER MUSIC CINCINNATI

Emerson QuartetSeptember 28, 2016, 7:30 p.m. – works by Mozart, Dvorak and Shostakovich

Brentano Quartet and Jonathan BissFriday, October 21, 2016 – works by Beethoven

Altius QuartetTuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 – works by Mozart, Bartok and Beethoven

Fauré Piano QuartetMonday, February 13, 2017 – works by Kirchner, Fauré and Brahms

Augustin Hadelich and Joyce YangMonday, March 20, 2017 – works by Beethoven, Brett Dean, Mozart, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky

Paul Lewis, pianoWednesday, April 5, 2017, 7:30 p.m. – works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Weber

Tickets: $30 single concert; $150 – 6 concerts

All concerts are in the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater at 7:30 PM

Chamber Music Cincinnati: 513-342-6870, admin@cincychamber.org

~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMERMUSIK CONTINUES WITH RHYTHMIC STRINGS

 

635936544054443001-Chee-Yun-2-

Violinist Chee Yun

Summermusik continues with Rhythmic Strings

August 20, 2015 Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra – SUMMERMUSIK at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Soloist: Chee Yun, violin. Guest Conductor: Christopher Zimmerman.

Elgar – Introduction and Allegro for String Orchestra and Quartet

Piazzolla – The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires 

Beethoven – Symphony no. 7

The second concert of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s 2016 SUMMERMUSIK played to a loyal following last night in the Corbett Theatre of the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, featuring an Elgar rarity, Tango King Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and Beethoven’s Seventh. The CCO musicians were in rare form, led by visiting conductor Christopher Zimmerman, who drew a responsive final ovation at the end of the evening. The extraordinary violinist Chee Yun was the featured soloist in Astor Piazzolla’s Argentinian homage to his native Buenos Aires.

Introduction and Allegro for String Orchestra and Quartet is a mid-career effort by that most English of English composers, Edward Elgar. Unfettered by the academic restraint of Edwardian England and pitting the sound of the full orchestra to that of a string quartet in one continuous movement, the demands on the players are extensive. CC O regulars Amy Kiradjieff, Manami White, Heidi Yenney and Patrick Binford excelled as the string quartet.

Astor Piazzolla once said: “I was always asked about melody, never about rhythm. But when I had it dawn on me that melody has to have a rhythmic backbone, then I started to enjoy the swing that is part of the tango and then I really got into jazz…mixed with the classical…” The Argentine master of the Nuevo Tango who mixes, in his own words, the classical with the popular incorporates into The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires the impolite angularity, crisscrossing melodies and blunt rhythms of a kind of popular music that reflects the moves of a dance of cool seduction and dominance. His is resolutely urban, romantic at the core music that comes from the bowels of the River Plate docks, from the bordellos and dives of Buenos Aires, a city where spring is brief, summer long, autumn melancholy, and winter is grey.

Violinist Chee Yun made a stunning impression, playing Piazzolla’s music with just the perfect Latin feel and with dazzling technical prowess, supported by Maestro Zimmerman’s assertive conducting. The string section of the CCO did especially work here, with first cello Patrick Binford an eloquent partner of Ms. Yun’s.

By the time of the composition and first performance of Beethoven’s seventh symphony, the composer was recovering from one of his frequent bouts of ill health. Yet one would never know this from this music, so optimistically melodic and resolutely positive in its dance-like rhythms that Richard Wagner was moved to call it“…the apotheosis of the dance.” Orchestrated for the typical orchestra of Beethoven’s time: 8 woodwinds, 2-to-4 brass, timpani and strings, this, of all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies sounds perfect when played by an ensemble the size and quality of the CCO.

The composition’s opening was given a stately opening by the orchestra, quickly moving into a joyfully played vivace filled with passages meant for the woodwinds to shine. Following a tad sluggish Allegretto, the lively Scherzo was led and played with as much whimsy as this listener has heard, and the final Allegro con brio was injected with the sort of energy that dares an audience not to rise to their feet with the final notes – which is precisely what happened.

635936568456899426-Zimmerman-casual-shot

Christopher Zimmerman, a candidate for the position of Music Director of the CCO evidenced finesse and keen insights into the music in the program: a vibrant Beethoven, a fiery Piazzolla, and an elegant Introduction and Allegro. This is a gifted young maestro whose qualifications will make the selection work of the CSO’s management immensely difficult.

Rafael de Acha

 

 

THE MET OPERA ON RADIO AND SCREEN

1380x591_rosenkavalier_top1

Renee Fleming and Elina Garanča in DER ROSENKAVALIER

THE MET OPERA ON RADIO AND SCREEN

Saturday Matinee Broadcasts

From the time many of us started listening to the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts Milton Cross was the familiar voice who introduced so many of us to the joys and mysteries of Opera. Peter Allen followed him until the 2003-2004 season, at which point Margaret Juntwait, together with Ira Siff took over until last year, when Mary Jo Heath stepped up to the microphone.

With the start of the MET High Definition video-casts on movie screens in 2006, many opera lovers opted to leave the comforts of home to travel to the nearest cinema on occasional Saturdays to enjoy these HD presentations that can bring one all that much closer to the real thing: the live performance.

But since watching the MET live would necessitate traveling to NYC, paying New York hotel prices and spending several hundred dollars for decent seats at the MET, we in Cincinnati can enjoy the best substitutes: the MET HD presentations and the Saturday Matinee Broadcasts on WGUC FM.

Here follows a complete list of both with dates and casts. For more details, go to www.metopera.org. In the listing below you will find an asterisk next to those dates where both a radio broadcast and an HD presentation take place on the same day at the same time.

WHERE IN CINCINNATI AND NORTHERN KENTUCKY

 Springdale 18: Cinema De Lux, 12064 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45246

Rave Florence 14, 7860 Mall Road, Florence, KY 41042

Newport Levee 20 with IMAX, 1 Levee Way, Suite 4100, Newport, KY 41071

Cinemark Oakley Station, 3025 Disney Street, Cincinnati, OH 45209

Regal Deerfield Towne Center Stadium 16, 5500 Deerfield Boulevard, Cincinnati, OH 45040

Milford 16, 500 Rivers Edge, Milford, OH 45150

 THE SEASON

Several new productions promise well-rehearsed casts of top-of-the-line singers. Among those, there is much looking forward to Roméo et Juliette in January starring as the ill-starred lovers Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo. Damrau returns in February to join the fast-rising tenor Javier Camarena in one of the two central roles of Bellini’s I Puritani, with baritone Aleksei Markov and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni as the other two leading members of the cast.

In March, Gerald Finley essays the title role of Rossini’s final opera, William Tell. Sung in French and with a top notch cast of nine principals, this epic work should prove to be a season highlight and a career turning point for both Finley and tenor Bryan Hymel.

The last broadcast of the season features Renee Fleming as the Marschalllin in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. Opposite her Elina Garanča is Octavian and Erin Morley sings Sophie.

Neither new nor “not-that-again” warhorses, several productions have strong selling points.

OCTOBER 8 – 12 PM – Tristan und Isolde – Wagner – Rattle, Stemme, Gubanova, Skelton, Nikitin, Pape (HD ONLY) A new production Running time: 5 hours.

1380x591_tristan_und_isoldeNina Stemme sings the Liebestod: https://youtu.be/5_URHPD05oI in Tristan und Isolde

dongiovani_span

Simon Keenlyside as Don Giovanni

OCTOBER 22, 12:55 PM – Don Giovanni – Mozart – Luisi, Gerzmava, Bystrom, Malfi, Villazon, Keenlyside, Rose (HD ONLY)

DECEMBER 3 – 12:30 PM – Manon Lescaut – Puccini  – Armiliato; Netrebko, Álvarez, Maltman,

DECEMBER 10 – 1 PM – * L’Amour de Loin – Saariaho – Mälkki; Phillips, Mumford, Owens. A new production of a contemporary work by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho

DECEMBER 17 – 1 PM – Salome – R. Strauss – Debus; Naglestad, Herrera, Siegel, Wang, Lučić

DECEMBER 24 – 1 PM – Hansel and Gretel – Humperdinck  – Jurowski; Schäfer, Coote, Plowright, Langridge, Held

DECEMBER 31 – 1 PM – L’Italiana in Algeri – Rossini – Levine; DeShong, Barbera, Alaimo, Abdrazakov

JANUARY 7 – 1 PM – * Nabucco – Verdi – Levine; Monastyrska, Barton, Thomas, Domingo, Belosselskiy

Placido Domingo and Liudmyla Monastyrska sing the baritone-soprano duet from Nabucco: https://youtu.be/7JCESciC5y8

JANUARY 14 – 1 PM – La Boheme – Puccini – Rizzi; Pérez, Phillips, Fabiano, Arduini, Lavrov, Horn, Carlo

JANUARY 21 – 1 PM – * Roméo et Juliette – Gounod – Noseda; Damrau, Grigolo, Madore, Petrenko – A new production

100900946_cxxposter_2

Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau in Romeo et Juliette

Vittorio Grigolo sings Ah, leve toi soleil! From Romeo et Juliette : https://youtu.be/DG-5lALjJb0

JANUARY 28 – 1 PM – Il Barbiere di Siviglia – Rossini – Benini; Yende, Korchak, Mattei, Muraro, Petrenko

FEBRUARY 4 – 1 PM – Rigoletto – Verdi – Morandi; Peretyatko, Volkova, Costello, Lučić, Mastroni

FEBRUARY 11 – 1 PM – Carmen – Bizet – Ettinger; Agresta, Margaine, Álvarez, Ketelsen

FEBRUARY 18 – 1 PM – I Puritani –Bellini – Benini; Damrau, Camarena, Markov, Pisaroni – A new production

Javier Camarena and Diana Damrau sing A te, o cara from I Puritani https://youtu.be/XaenHON8upw

FEBRUARY 25 – 1 PM – * Rusalka – Dvořák  – Elder; Opolais, Dalayman, Barton, Jovanovich, Owens – A new production

Kristine Opolais sings the Song to the Moon from Russalka: https://youtu.be/rtBPD95zBYE

MARCH 4 – 1 PM – Werther – Massenet – Gardner; Christy, Leonard, Grigolo, Bižić, Muraro

MARCH 11 – 1 PM – * La Traviata – Verdi – Luisotti; Yoncheva, Fabiano, Hampson

thE70JQSDH

Gerald Finley in Guillaume Tell

MARCH 18 – 1 PM – * Guillaume Tell – Rossini  – Luisi; Rebeka, Brugger, Pizzolato, Hymel, Finley, Spotti, Youn, Relyea – A new production. Running time: 4:30 hours.

Bryan Hymel sings Asile Hereditaire from Guillaume Tell https://youtu.be/mnhIHz6qtIM

MARCH 25 – 1 PM – * Idomeneo – Mozart  – Levine; Heever, Sierra, Coote, Polenzani, Opie

APRIL 1 – 1 PM – Fidelio – Beethoven – Weigle; Pieczonka, Müller, Vogt, Portillo, Grimsley, Struckmann, Groissböck

APRIL 8 – 1 PM – Tristan und Isolde – Wagner  – Rattle; Stemme, Gubanova, Skelton, Nikitin, Pape – A new production Running time: 5 hours.

APRIL 15 – 1 PM – Aida – Verdi – Rustioni; Stoyanova, Urmana, Massi, Gagnidze, Morris, Howard

APRIL 22 – 1 PM – * Eugene Onegin – Tchaikovsky – Ticciati; Netrebko, Maximova, Dolgov, Hvorostovsky, Kocán

APRIL 29 – 1 PM – Der Fliegende Holländer – Wagner – Nézet-Séguin; Wagner, Zajick, Morris, Bliss, Volle, Selig

MAY 6 – 1 PM – Cyrano de Bergerac – Alfano – Armiliato; Racette, Alagna, Ayan, Frontali

MAY 13 – 1 PM – * Der Rosenkavalier- R. Strauss – Weigle; Fleming, Garanča, Morley, Polenzani, Brück, Groissböck – A new production

GUITARS ALL OVER CINCINNATI

classical guitarThe most popular of instruments is appearing all over the Cincinnati area in the next few months. Here’s a quick overview of concerts in the Cincinnati area in which the guitar figures prominently:

Sunday, August 21 – 4:00 PM – CHEE YUN, violin and RICHARD GOERING, guitar at the Greenacres Arts Center

http://www.artful.ly/cincinnati-chamber-orchestra

Saturday, September 17- 8:00 Pm – JAMES MEADE at St. John’s Unitarian Church

www.cincinnatiguitarsociety.org

Sunday, September 18 – 2:30 PM – THIBAUT GARCIAXavier Univ. Classical Guitar Series

www.xavier.edu/musicseries

Tuesday, September 20 – 8:00 PM MARY STUCKY, mezzo-soprano and RODNEY STUCKY, guitar and lute – CCM (SEE ELSEWHERE ON THIS BLOG THE POST “ARTISTS-MENTORS-TEACHERS”)

LEVASSOR DUOMUSIC LIVE@LUNCH

Tuesday, October 4 – 12 NOON- Christ Church Cathedral (http://cincinnaticathedral.com/music-live )

And Tuesday, October 11 – 8:15 PM  At Temple Beth Adam (1000l Loveland Madeira Road)

Sunday, October 9 – 4 PM – OSCAR GHIGLIA in a Solo Recital – CCM

Friday, October 28 – 5:00 PM – CHRISTINA DARDING – Chamber Music Recital – CCM

Saturday, October 29 – 8:00 PM – JORDAN DODSONCincinnati Guitar Society – St. John’s Unitarian Church – www.cincinnatiguitarsociety.org

Tuesday, November 8 – BICYCLE BUILT FOR THREE (Voice, Flute, Guitar)

RICHARD GOERING, guitar – MUSIC LIVE@LUNCHChrist Church Cathedral

http://cincinnaticathedral.com/music-live

Tuesday, November 8 – 8:00 PM – CCM CLASSICAL GUITAR ENSEMBLE – CCM

Sunday, November 20 – 7:00 PM – CLASSICAL GUITAR CHAMBER MUSIC – CCM

Tuesday, November 22 – 7:00 PM – MARTHA MASTERSXavier Classical Guitar Series

www.xavier.edu/musicseries

In addition to all the above concerts the fans of guitar music would do well to check out the following websites, in which upcoming out-of-town events are announced:

www.Louisville.edu/music/guitarfest and www.cleguitar.org  and www.columbusguitarsociety.org   and www.indianaguitar.org

 

 

CATACOUSTIC CONSORT’S 16th SEASON

a18f5460-4b02-4756-82fc-ed5ddb79ad6c1. With His Air of Angels: Purcell Fantasies for Viola da Gamba Consort 7:30pm, September 17, Church of the Advent, Walnut Hills, OH A concert of the heavenly Purcell viol fantasies, considered the most beautiful English music ever composed. A collaborative concert with Wildcat Viols. This program will later be recorded for a CD.
2. In Song Lay My Desire: Italian Song with Melissa Harvey & Meg Bragle 3:00pm, November 13, Trinity Episcopal Church, Covington, KY Catacoustic was formed 15 years ago with the express purpose of exploring the richness of Italian monody at the dawn of a new art for: opera. The rich musical textures, similar to a painting of Caravaggio, will engage and delight your senses.
3. Noël, Noël: A French Candlelight Christmas 7:30pm, December 3, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Terrace Park, OH Usher in the magic of the Christmas season with Catacoustic and music from Baroque-era France for flutes, viols, voice, and more.
4. Catacoustic Presents: The Baroque Cello 3:00pm, February 19, Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati, OH Internationally famous Jaap ter Linden is perhaps the greatest Baroque cellist of our time. He will treat us to a virtuoso sampling of music for this soulful instrument.
5. The Catacoustic Orchestra: Playing Music by Telemann and Bach 8:00pm, March 25, University of Cincinnati, Werner Recital Hall, Cincinnati, OH Music from the high Baroque by Bach and Telemann for viol and orchestra featuring the new Catacoustic Baroque orchestra.
To purchase SEASON TICKETS:
Season ticket holders get a $25 discount (one free concert)! Order all five concerts (normally $125) for $100 if purchased before the first concert (September 17).
Purchase tickets online at www.catacoustic.com or pay with a check via mail to: Catacoustic Consort, PO Box 6281, Cincinnati, OH  45206.1. With His Air of Angels: Purcell Fantasies for Viola da Gamba Consort 7:30pm, September 17, Church of the Advent, Walnut Hills, OH A concert of the heavenly Purcell viol fantasies, considered the most beautiful English music ever composed. A collaborative concert with Wildcat Viols. This program will later be recorded for a CD.
2. In Song Lay My Desire: Italian Song with Melissa Harvey & Meg Bragle 3:00pm, November 13, Trinity Episcopal Church, Covington, KY Catacoustic was formed 15 years ago with the express purpose of exploring the richness of Italian monody at the dawn of a new art for: opera. The rich musical textures, similar to a painting of Caravaggio, will engage and delight your senses.
3. Noël, Noël: A French Candlelight Christmas 7:30pm, December 3, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Terrace Park, OH Usher in the magic of the Christmas season with Catacoustic and music from Baroque-era France for flutes, viols, voice, and more.
4. Catacoustic Presents: The Baroque Cello 3:00pm, February 19, Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati, OH Internationally famous Jaap ter Linden is perhaps the greatest Baroque cellist of our time. He will treat us to a virtuoso sampling of music for this soulful instrument.
5. The Catacoustic Orchestra: Playing Music by Telemann and Bach 8:00pm, March 25, University of Cincinnati, Werner Recital Hall, Cincinnati, OH Music from the high Baroque by Bach and Telemann for viol and orchestra featuring the new Catacoustic Baroque orchestra.
To purchase SEASON TICKETS:
Season ticket holders get a $25 discount (one free concert)! Order all five concerts (normally $125) for $100 if purchased before the first concert (September 17).
Purchase tickets online at www.catacoustic.com or pay with a check via mail to: Catacoustic Consort, PO Box 6281, Cincinnati, OH  45206.

TWO OPENINGS AT THE PLAYHOUSE

th

  • The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (www.cyncyplay.com) opens its 2016-2016 Season with previews starting on September 3, 2016 and an opening night set for September 8, then running until October 1 with A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, based on John Irving’s novel. Adapted by Simon Bent the play is set in America during the turmoil-ridden 1960’s.
  • At the Playhouse’s Thompson Shelterhouse things start with previews on September 24 and an opening on September 29 of Ayad Akhtar’s DISGRACED, a Pulitzer-Prize winning drama about a Muslim couple – a lawyer and his artist wife – who host a dinner party during which table talk degenerates into an argument about ethnicity, faith and politics.