2014 marks a year of celebration recognizing the 150th birthday year of the German late-Romantic orchestral, operatic and lied master composer, Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Arabella (premiered 1933, Dresden) was the last of the half dozen Strauss works to feature a libretto by the great Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal. This production, from the most recent Salzburg Easter Festival is, after Capriccio, the second of three Richard Strauss operas C Major is releasing in honor of the composers birth, life and work. The star-laden cast includes soprano Renèe Fleming, baritone Thomas Hampson, Albert Dohmen (Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, MET) and Gabriela Beaková (Wiener Staatsoper, Covent Garden). With Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden, the music of Richard Strauss is in the best of hands. (ORF) Thielemann gets the best out of the cast…especially Renée Fleming with her luxurious soprano.
“Kurt Rydl crowns a fine stage career with a gloriously eccentric impersonation of La Roche…The singing honours belong entirely to Angelika Kirchschlager as Clairon.” (BBC Music Magazine). “this Countess's preference for 'Ton' over 'Wort' is clear from the start…The greatest pleasure of the performance, for me, undoubtedly comes in the wonderful playing of the Staatsoper orchestra, the sweet, tender strings and the mellifluous horns in particular; and Christoph Eschenbach conducts a leisurely and loving account of Strauss's gorgeous score.” (Gramophone Magazine)
Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, set in Sri Lanka, is known above all for its unforgettable duet for tenor and baritone, but it its score is full of delightful and dramatic music. When recently staged at the Metropolitan Opera in New York it proved a major success, both for the production by Penny Woolcock and the musical performance, conducted by Paolo Noseda, with (once again) Diana Damrau as the priestess Leïla and, as the two men competing for love, the tenor Matthew Polenzani (Nadir) and the baritone Mariusz Kwiecien (Zurga). Woolcock’s concept brought the production up to date, with photographic and video references to the 2004 tsunami, and offered a superb ‘aquatic’ spectacle during the overture: the whole stage appeared to be beneath the Indian Ocean and acrobatic divers ‘swam’ down from the surface (located in the flies of the theatre).
Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein is the world premiere of Liam Scarlett’s new full-length ballet. A story of betrayal, curiosity, life, death and, above all, love, exploring the very depths of human nature. Laura Morera takes the role of Elizabeth, Federico Bonelli is Victor, and Steven McRae is the creature. Koen Kessels conducts Lowell Liebermann’s newly commissioned score in this collaboration between The Royal Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.
Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro is an unforgettable opera about love, desire and the primal force of uncontrollable passion. Concluding the Salzburg Festival’s highly successful Mozart / Da Ponte cycle, director Sven-Eric Bechtolf sets this emotional tour de force in a stately English country house during the 1920s. The renowned Vienna Philharmonic ensures an exceptional evening of music from Mozart’s birthplace. “Everything about the show exuded immediacy and naturalness: the intriguingly updated production by the director Sven-Eric Bechtolf; the winning performances of a compelling cast; and the supple, glowing playing that the conductor Dan Ettinger drew from the Vienna Philharmonic…”. (The New York Times)
According to Anglagard‘s own discography, playing at Progfest in 1993 was one of their earliest live gigs. The young group at work had just released their first album Hybris and what you hear is a young group at work whose ambition and hunger steamrolled over their few deficiencies. This debut album and its follow up Epilog were two of the first to light a fire under what was a growing revival in the symphonic progressive rock of the 70s…