Today I binged on Opera most of the day.
In the morning I watched a very fine Flying Dutchman, courtesy of OPERA VISION, taped live at the Latvian National Opera, with the formidable bass-baritone Egils Siliņš, impressive vocally and dramatically as the Dutchman, and soprano Vida Miknevičiūtė a marvelous Senta.
How amazing it is to some of us who grew up as musicians during the 60’s and 70’s that the world of opera, once insular and inaccessible to many nationalities, now spans dozens of countries – some once seemingly isolated and remote – each with its own crop of world-class singers. Witness, if you will, the rapid and impressive ascent of Latin American, Asian and African opera singers now forging international careers.
WQXR had a broadcast of a live performance of Rossini’s William Tell from Opera Southwest, with the young baritone Shawn Anderson, son of the late baritone Al Anderson.
Just to assemble the cast to take on Rossini’s farewell to opera is a challenge. The central role is sizeable but does not present major vocal hurdles to the baritone who undertakes it. Shawn Anderson acquitted himself honorably, singing elegantly in idiomatic French. The rest of the cast was up to the challenge, as well including the very length of the opera, which clocked in at around four hours.
Rafael de Acha