Nov 28, 2010

Evelino Pido: Otello / La Sonnambula - 2010

Otello ossia Il Moro di Venezia
Giaocchino Rossini

John Osborn : Otello
Anna Caterina Antonacci : Desdémone
Marco Vinco : Elmiro
Dmitry Korchak : Rodrigo
José Manuel Zapata : Iago

Orchestre et Chœurs de l'Opéra de Lyon
Evelino Pidò, conductor

Nov.7, 2010 - Concert version

La Sonnambula
Vincenzo Bellini

Michele Pertusi - Il Conte Rodolfo
Cornelia Oncioiu - Teresa
Natalie Dessay - Amina
Javier Camarena - Elvino

Orchestre et choeur de l'Opéra national de Paris
Evelino Pidò, conductor

Opéra National de Paris
Feb.15, 2010 - Mezzo broadcast

Sep 30, 2010

Récital Joyce DiDonato

Bis: "Parto, parto", La Clemenza di Tito, Mozart

Joyce DiDonato ended her 10-day recording session with the Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon by providing us Lyonnais with a glimpse of this new album, whose highlight was, for me, her exquisite rendering of Gluck's da capo aria from La Clemenza di Tito, "Se mai senti sporarti sul volto". She was here able to fully express the desperation of Sesto on his way to death. The aria in itself is beautifully written to start with (the oboe is literally to die for), but her interpretation was really mesmorizing.

Of course she excelled with her collatura in pieces such as "Non più mesta" from La Cenerentola, or "Amour, viens rendre à mon âme" from Orphée et Eurydice (adapted by Berlioz) - she can, indeed, "braver le trépas" with strength and determination.

It was no surprise either that she ignited the audience with her wonderful spirit, and her obvious love and devotion to the music. She took a few minutes before the last aria to share with us the impressions she had of her stay - and it seems she has discover the hidden treasure of Lyon - its food. She praised Maestro Ono for his musicality and attention to details, and I quite agree with her.

The orchestra sounded quite improved and much more focused than before Ono arrived two years ago. 
Sure there were some slight issues (the cellos and double bass were sometimes a bit off), but the musicality of the orchestra has grown tremendously, and they were able to convey nuances and a vitality that were indeed refreshing.
Poulenc's Sinfonietta was vibrant and exciting under the baton of Ono, but the overture of Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride was for me, the highlight of the orchestra. It started a bit heavy with the strings, but after the first few bars, the music really came to life and illuminated the whole opera house.

Overall a wonderful evening.

Aug 2, 2010

L'étranger, D'Indy

Action musicale in two acts (1898-1901), Op. 53
Vincent d'Indy, see also here for a very detailed biography in French

Texte de Vincent d'Indy, d'après Brant d'Henrik Ibsen
Création: Bruxelles, Théâtre de la Monnaie, 7 Janvier 1903

France Musique live broadcast
Montpellier, July 26, 2010

Synopsis & analysis, by Michel Fleury :
" Despite his goodness, the Stranger, who has settled in a fishing village, keeps out of the way of the inhabitants who fear him. A Christian hero fulfilling a divine mission of charity on earth, he must leave in order not to give in to human love shared with Vita, the fiancée of a dry, hard-hearted customs officer. During a tempest, the Stranger is the only one to go to the rescue of a sinking boat. Vita jumps into the dinghy to accompany him, and both perish in the fury of the waves.

This controversial libretto, sacrificing action to the symbol, has weighed heavily on the destiny of the work. Its religious resonance (is divine love compatible with human love?) is accentuated by the recourse to Gregorian themes. On the other hand, the richness and beauty of the music explain Debussy’s enthusiasm and admiration: clarified and totally transfigured, the Wagnerian heritage is resolved in a miraculous balance between vocal line and orchestra, harmonic colour and polyphony, realism and Impressionism, Germanic complexity and Mediterranean clarity. At a time of re-evaluating one of our finest musicians, the rediscovery of this great and beautiful work imposed itself. "

Despite the comments above, the score is rather uninteresting, especially if one knows and appreciates Puccini. The Germanic influence is also quite clear, but I reckon Edouard Lalo with Le roi d'Ys and Ernest Reyer with Sigurd have done a much better job of integrating it with the French knowledge of melodies and the Italian sense of passion.

Overall a forgettable score - but I could never have had this opinion if the Montpellier's festival hadn't had the great idea to exhume this work.

Jul 28, 2010

Thielemann's view on Schubert's 9th

Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 9 in C major D944

Munchner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Christian Thielemann

Live Recording (Bayern 4)
Philharmonie am Gasteig, München
January 2006

I did not enjoy Thielemann's view, which I find heavy, solemn and military at times.
Schubert's madness is buried under a Spartan tempo, rigorous and inexpressive, and all the lightness the score often contains is hidden behind a lifeless and constrained performance that does not represent, for me, Schubert's music.

Apr 10, 2010

Luthier lyonnais

4 rue Terraille, Lyon

Mar 18, 2010

Get a virtual ticket & watch Rigoletto

The Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium will stream Rigoletto live on its website Opera Live on March 23, 2010 (8 pm Paris time).

You'll need to buy a virtual ticket to watch the program (that comes an information package about the singers and the production); 4€ for a Standard Quality video, 6€ for a video in High Quality.

Mar 12, 2010

Opéra Le Peletier

Paris Opera House from 1821 to 1973.

Opera Le Peletier, Paris, 1865

1873, just before the fire destroyed the place
(hence the building of the Garnier Opera)


Mar 11, 2010

Sneak peak: Lyon 2010-11 season [Villazon to direct Werther]

Even if the new season hasn't been revealed yet, the big news is already buzzing through town: Rolando Villazon will direct his first opera in Jan/Feb 2011 in Lyon, Werther (with Karine Deshayes).

I wonder if, having sung the role so many times, he thinks he can bring a vision to Massenet's piece. I doubt it, but of course, I wouldn't want to miss it either...

Next season will also feature :
  • Tristan und Isolde conducted by Kirill Petrenko, with Gary Lehman
  • Verdi's Luisa Miller directed by David Alden, conducted by Kazushi Ono, with Ermonela Jaho
  • Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias, played with Darius Milhaud's Boeuf sur le toit (both rarities) conducted by Lyon-born Ludovic Morlot (premiere in Lyon)
  • Stravinsky's Le Rossignol conducted by Kazushi Ono
  • Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy in March, shown separately over the past few years, conducted by Stefano Montanari
  • Rossini's Otello conducted by Evelino Pido [1]
  • Rachmaninov's Aleko and Monna Vanna
  • a Joyce DiDonato recital 

This 2010-11 season looks nothing like the current one, thank God.

[1] A new concert-versions cycle is announced for the next few years with Pido: after Donizetti's queens-cycle, this one should be all about Bellini.

Mar 5, 2010

Garnier makeover



Rénovation extérieure du palais Garnier
Feb.20, 2010

More pictures here.

Feb 14, 2010

An die Musik

Franz Schubert
An die Musik, D537

Feb 13, 2010

Dessay's Sonnambula on

Bellini's La Sonnambula will be broadcast live from the Palais Garnier monday evening on

Broadcast Monday Feb.15 starting at 7:30pm (Paris time).

Feb 3, 2010

When Gounod meets Corneille

Start 0'40

" Source délicieuse "
Charles Gounod

Jan 25, 2010

Kaufmann's Werther broadcast

Massenet's Werther will be broadcast live tomorrow on Arte, but also on the web via Arte Live Web, the Paris Opera Website or (countries restrictions on the latter, but the broadcast will be available for all on Feb.3rd).

Broadcast Tuesday Jan.26 starting at 8:30pm (Paris time).

Jan 15, 2010

Live from Liège

The Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium will stream Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi live on its website Opera Live on Feb.2, 2010 (8 pm Paris time).

The cast includes Patrizia Ciofi as Giulietta and Laura Polverelli as Romeo.