Jun 29, 2007

World Heritage

Just a few days ago, the Sydney Opera House made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Built from 1957 to 1973, based upon the vision of Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the initial budget of 7 millions dollars ended up... 16 times higher.

The Opera House is the youngest building to receive World Heritage status, and only the second to be so designated while its architect is alive (after the Brazilian capital complex in Brasilia, designed by Oscar Niemeyer).

The Sydney Opera House comprises three groups of interlocking vaulted shells that form the roof and set upon a vast terraced platform (the podium). The shells are faced in glazed off-white ceramic tiles that constantly change in a myriad of colours and hues at different times during the day and the seasons.

The interior of the complex and its two main auditoriums, the Opera Theatre and the Concert Hall, were completed by local government architects; the results, visually and acoustically, have never been considered equal to the magnificent exterior.

In 1999 the New South Wales state government engaged Utzon to provide plans for a multi-stage renovation of the Opera House to an updated version of his original intentions. While he is himself, now at age 88, no longer able to make the journey to Australia, his son Jan Utzon is working on the project and visiting the site regularly.

The Utzons' latest plan, revealed in April, is for a major restructuring of the Opera Theatre that would involve cutting into the sandstone underneath the building and lowering the auditorium's floor by four meters.

The building is situated on the tip of Bennelong Point in Sydney, a prominent peninsula projecting into Sydney Harbour and within close vicinity to the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Read more here and there.

Jun 21, 2007


... le nouveau podcast d'une heure d'Abeille Musique est entièrement dédié à l'opéra, avec des enregistrements méconnus du passé, des chorniques sur l'actualité lyrique à Paris et les disques d'Abeille Musique. Et en prime, en co-animateur, un certain Benoît dont la voix traduit cruellement la sexualité. A écouter sans modération!

Jun 20, 2007


Fosse de l'orchestre Opéra de Lyon 5 mai 2007

Jun 9, 2007

2008 alla Scala

The new season, beginning December 7, 2007, is online, with an introduction here. It seems every opera in Europe is routing for Wagner (Tristan und Isolde in December), Donizetti's Maria Stuarda (January 2008, also in Lyon and Brussels, but in Milan, it will be sung by Anna Catarina Antonacci & Mariella Devia, what a great cast) and Alban Berg's Wozzeck (February, also in Paris next season). So, what's left? Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (October 2008)? Not for me. Franz Lehar's Die lustige Witwe (November 2008)? Not for me either. Giordano's Andrea Chénier (June 2008)? Talk about an opera rarely played elsewhere! No, seriously. What's exciting?
Except for Puccini's Il Trittico (March 2008) & La Bohème (July 2008) I really find nothing else. But Puccini is a must-be next year (150th anniversary of his birth). Leo Nucci as Gianni Schicchi & Nino Machaidze as Lauretta ; Barbara Frittoli as Suor Angelica are attractive. The cast on Il Tabarro, not so much. This Trittico will be conducted by Riccardo Chailly, in a new production by Luca Ronconi (unless they come back to some other 1950 Zeffirelli production like they did this year with Donizetti's La fille du régiment).
The big problem with La Bohème is Zeffirelli... Back at the helm, again, with yet another out-of-date production...