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Volume 19 Issue 9 - June/July/August 2014

  • Text
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • August
  • Festival
  • Quartet
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  • Sept
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From the very first bars

From the very first bars of the overture,you know that the live 1962 Don Giovannifrom Munich conducted by Joseph Keilberthwith the Bayerisches Staatskapelle will bespectacular! Here is the cast: George London(Giovanni), Gottlob Frick (Commendatore),Hildegard Hillebrecht (Donna Anna),Nicolai Gedda (Don Ottavio), Sena Jurinac(Donn’Elvira), Benno Kusche (Leporello),Albrecht Peter (Masetto) and AnnelieseRothenberger (Zerlina). A dream cast ifthere ever was one and it is a truly sparklingperformance. It’s on Andromeda (ANDRCD918, 3 CDs) and very inexpensive. Dynamiclive sound…not a note is wasted or unheard. Amust-have.Through the GLIMMERGLASSBRUCE SURTEESHARRY HELEOTIShe GlimmerglassFestival evolved from theGlimmerglass Opera,founded in 1975 and is nowthe second-largest summeropera festival in the UnitedStates. Every summer therotating repertory companymounts performances of fourproductions selected fromgrand opera, the Broadwaystage and new and lesserknowncompositions. In thetrue sense of a festival, thereare special events includinginteresting and informativetalks by composers andartists and guest speakers.There are nearby galleriesand museums. The operasare presented in the Alice BuschOpera Theatre about 13 kms northof Cooperstown. For anyone notfamiliar with “Glimmerglass” it is thename used by author James FenimoreCooper, referring to Otsego Lake onwhich the Glimmerglass State Park issituated.Francesca Zambello, the distinguishedstage director whose workmay be seen on several outstandingnew releases on Blu-ray discs includingPorgy and Bess from San Francisco and DonGiovanni from Covent Garden, has been theGlimmerglass’ artistic and general directorsince 2011. Her personality and enthusiasmilluminate every aspect of the festival.The four offerings for 2014 are MadameButterfly, Carousel, Ariadne auf Naxos andAn American Tragedy.Christine GoerkeTobias PickerMadame Butterfly willbe directed by Zambelloand conducted by JosephColaneri. Pinkerton is tobe sung by Dinyar Vania,Cio-Cio-San by Yunah Leeand Sharpless by AlekseyBogdanov. The balance ofthe cast has been chosenfrom members of theFestival’s Young Artistprogram. The costumes arefrom the San Diego Opera.Carousel, Rogers andHammerstein’s secondcollaboration, is based onthe 1909 play Liliom by the Hungarian authorFerenc Molnár. Instead of Budapest, the storynow unfolds on the coast of Maine and thecharacters are very mid-century American.Carousel was Rogers’ favourite among hismusicals and Time magazine thought sotoo, naming it the “best musical of the 20thcentury.” This new production is performedwith a full orchestra and, thankfully, with nosound reinforcement.Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos isthe setting of his playwright Hugo vonHofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s play.The amusing behind-the-scenes goingsonin preparation for the staging of theserious opera form an opera within an opera.This anticipated new production, directedby Zambello, features artist in residenceChristine Goerke in the title role. Goerke isthe acclaimed American dramatic sopranowho will sing the role of Brunnhilde in theCOC’s Die Walküre in Toronto in 2015 andwill be the MET’s Brunnhilde in their 2018/19Ring Cycle.An American Tragedy is an opera by TobiasPicker based on Theodore Dreiser’s novel.Many will have an idea of the story fromthe 1951 movie, A Place in the Sun. One ofthe Special Events at last year’s festival wasPicker recounting and illustrating the evolutionof his opera, including an adventure onBig Moose Lake in the Adirondack Mountainswhere the original murder (?) that inspiredDreiser took place. We are looking forward tohow Picker and his librettist worked it out inthis revised version.Special Events this summer include amasterclass with Jessye Norman, “ChristineGoerke in Concert,” a masterclass withJonathan Miller and Justice Ruth BaderGinsburg, who once again shares her passionfor opera and muses on law in the arts.Check out the performance dates for theoperas, their casts and all the Special Eventsby simply Googling “Glimmerglass.” It’sa six hour drive from Toronto including aleisurely lunch.HalfTones keeps going right though the summer!For the news as it breaks, updates, listings and special offers:Sign up for HalfTonesThe WholeNote’s mid-month e-letter.Scan the code or go to thewholenote.com/halftones to register.You can also get HalfTones by following @TheWholeNote on Twitteror ‘Liking’ The WholeNote at facebook.com/LikeTheWholeNote.Dates withHalfTonesVol. 1 #10: TuesdayJune 17 2014Vol. 1 #11: MondayJuly 7 2014Vol. 1 #12: TuesdayAugust 12 201484 | June 4, 2014 – Sept 7, 2014 thewholenote.com

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