International

Abbado Celebrated In Dresden Concert He Was To Lead

By George Loomis
DRESDEN - Following Claudio Abbado's death, the Dresden Music Festival turned the conductor's scheduled appearance into a June memorial in the Frauenkirche, with an orchestra that sprouted from his efforts.

Strauss’ ‘Feuersnot’ Rings Authentic In Al Fresco Staging

By Rebecca Schmid
DRESDEN – As part of the 150th anniversary celebration of Richard Strauss, the Dresden State Opera and Dresden Music Festival collaborated on a semi-staged production of the composer's early opera Feuersnot.

European Opera Trek: Refreshment In Shock And Awe

By Susan Brodie
Robert Carsen's circus-themed Rigoletto in Brussels, Andreas Kriegenburg's shattering Die Soldaten in Munich and Herbert Wernicke's joyful staging of Bach's Actus Tragicus in Stuttgart highlight a bracing operatic spring.

On Roller Coaster Tour: ‘Troyens’ To ‘Elegy’ and ‘Carmen’

James L. Paulk
A quick sampling of European opera houses left mixed impressions, from a wondrous Berlioz production at La Scala and Henze's rarely performed Elegy for Young Lovers at La Fenice to a radical take on Bizet at the Komische Oper.

Chausson’s ‘Arthus,’ Updated to WWI, Can’t Shed ‘Tristan’

By Susan Brodie
STRASBOURG – L'Opéra National du Rhin scooped a rarity of the Opéra de Paris 2014-15 season with Le Roi Arthus. But the mixed-era production was cartoonish and the cast struggled with Wagnerian vocal demands.

Viennese Unleash Twin Thrillers In ‘Wozzeck, Salome’

By Patrick J. Smith
NEW YORK - In a highlight of the New York operatic season, Carnegie Hall's Vienna: City of Dreams festival gave Wozzeck and Salome in consecutive concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Welser-Möst and Nelsons conducting.

Wuorinen’s Opera Misses Tenderness Of ‘Brokeback Mtn.’

By Susan Brodie
MADRID - Brokeback Mountain, a new opera by Charles Wuorinen and Annie Proulx about forbidden love between two ranch hands, echoes Wyoming's mountain grandeur. But one longs for a character to sing his heart out.

Handel’s ‘Theodora’ Generously Served By Bicket Forces

By John W. Lambert
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The English Concert is touring the U.S. and Europe with Handel's Theodora, led by Harry Bicket. It's a trans-oceanic artistic endeavor with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street holding up the Yankee side.

Stripped Staging Buffs The Golden Comedy In ‘Giasone’

By James L. Paulk
SYDNEY - Pinchgut Opera's production of Cavalli's Giasone, evidently an Australian premiere, is deliciously witty, verging on burlesque and sung to the Baroque hilt by an all-Australian cast.

Bedeviled ‘Ring’ Seemed Doomed, Then Curtain Rose

By James L. Paulk
MELBOURNE - Despite setbacks, including cancellations by a conductor and several key singers, Opera Australia's imaginative new production of Wagner's 'Ring' cycle was splendid from Rhinemaidens to immolation.

Moniuszko’s ‘Halka’ Flies Polish Opera Banner in Ukraine

By Raymond Sokolov
LVIV, Ukraine -- The Warsaw Chamber Opera performed in Lviv, once a city of Poles, on the 95th anniversary of Polish independence, offering a heartrending romance, set in early-modern Poland, about a peasant girl who falls for the son of a rich landowner.

New Mariinsky II Reflects Gergiev’s Focus on Acoustics

By Gil French
Aside from his seemingly obsessive over-commitment, Valery Gergiev is an artistic director who has his priorities right. In planning the Mariinsky II Theatre, he started with acoustics, or, as he put it, "Bad acoustics are a non-starter, a killer."

Singapore Youths Parlay Zeal Into Vibrant Orchestra

By Robert Markow
Singapore high school grads bound for other professions didn't want to give up their music, so they formed the self-governing Orchestra of the Music Makers. Five years later, they're still playing concerts and raising millions of dollars for charitable causes.

Salzburg Festival, Lacking a Rudder, Drifts Into Future

By John Rockwell
Spending a week this August in Salzburg, observing its plush glamour and fretting over its underlying indirection, leads me to the contemplation of its future and, more deeply, its mission. Both seem foggy at best.

New Glass Opera Marks Opening of Grand Linz House

By Gil French
The Musiktheater am Volksgarten houses a stage with multiple turntables, platforms and lifts, from which the farthest seat is about 80 feet. Its versatility was on full display for the world premiere of Spuren der Verirrten by Philip Glass.

Wagner’s Mystique Still Resonates at Controversial Bayreuth Festival

By Scott Cantrell
This isn't a Ring year at Bayreuth, the playlist this summer comprising the other "major" operas. The renowned acoustics are indeed amazing, with a distinctive glow of resonance. Here's a 2012 Festival roundup -- Tannhäuser, Dutchman, Tristan, Parsifal and Lohengrin.

MCANA Reports: In Bayreuth, Five Operas in Five Days

By MCANA Critics
In Bayreuth, members of the Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) experienced five operas in five days (August 18 – 23, 2012).

From Dresden to Leipzig and Back Again: Opera in Saxony

By Richard S. Ginell
The distance between Dresden and Leipzig is only 62 miles, and to see one city without visiting the other would seem to be an opportunity missed if you have the time.

From Dresden to Leipzig and Back Again: Opera in Saxony

By Richard S. Ginell
The distance between Dresden and Leipzig is only 62 miles, and to see one city without visiting the other would seem to be an opportunity missed if you have the time.  While they are amazingly similar in population currently – Dresden as of 2010 has 523,000 residents while Leipzig comes within a whisker of that total at 522,000! – and both have deep connections with the great composers, they are not twin cities.  Leipzig is more of a trade center with a more bustling street vibe; it was also a book

Rebounding Dresden Stages A Music Festival

     Looking at Dresden today –  with the Baroque splendor of the restored Semperoper and Frauenkirche in the same neighborhood as drab Communist architecture and a modern indoor shopping mall off the Altmarkt that could be located anywhere – you are confronted with the abrupt clash between the very old, the very new, and the recent past. It is the home of Raphael's "Sistine Madonna;" the city where "Der Fliegende Holländer," "Tannhäuser,"
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