Tuesday, 30 June 2015

June 30th : world première of Ricky Ian Gordon's 'Morning Star' in Cincinnati

Today, Ricky Ian Gordon's new opera, Rising Star, with a libretto by William M. Hoffman after Sylvia Regan's 1940 play, will be performed for the first time in Cincinnati, at the SCPA's Corbett Theater.

It is the composer's 11th opera, after The Grapes of Wrath (2007), A Coffin in Egypt (2014) and Twenty-Seven (2014).
1910. New York’s Lower East Side. Their homeland now a memory, Becky Felderman and her children find hope in the promise of life in the New World. As decades unfold, their dreams are tarnished by hardships — the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, World War I, and the Great Depression. Their story is one of triumph and tragedy, struggle and sympathy, and a family that abides the trials of a lifetime. (reproduced from the Cincinnati Opera website)
The cast includes soprano Twyla Robinson (Becky), mezzo Elizabeth Pojanowski (Sadie), soprano Jennifer Zetlan (Fanny), soprano Elizabeth Zharoff (Esther), baritone Morgan Smith (Aaron Greenspan), tenor Andrew Bidlack (Irving Tashman), baritone Andrew Lovato (Harry Engel), Kenneth Shaw (Rabbi Engel), Jeanine De Bique (Pearl) and Larry D. Hylton (Prince). Christopher Allen conducts the Chorus and Orchestra. Ron Daniels directs.

The performance (2 acts) should last about 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

New recordings in my collection (CD and DVD)

I have recently acquired the following recordings of contemporary operas :

- Pierre Bartholomée : Œdipe sur la route, conducted by Daniele Callegari, with José van Dam, recorded at La Monnaie in Brussels in March 2003, released by Evidence (CD) ;
- Jaakko Kuusisto : The Canine Kalevala, conducted by the composer, recorded at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in July 2007, released by Ondine (DVD) ;
- Veli-Matti Puumala : Anna Liisa, conducted by Jan Söderblom, with Helena Juntunen and Jorma Hynninen, recorded in Espoo in February 2014, released by Ondine (CD) ;

- Aulis Sallinen : King Lear, conducted by Okko Kamu, with Matti Salminen, recorded at the Finnish National Opera in August 2002, released by Ondine (DVD) ;
- Rodion Shchedrin : The Left-Hander, conducted by Valery Gergiev, recorded at the Mariinsky-II in St Petersburg in July 2013, released by Mariinsky (CD) ;
- Ming Tsao : Die Geisterinsel, conducted by Stefan Schreiber, recorded in Stuttgart in February 2013, released by Kairos (CD).

Friday, 26 June 2015

New in my collection : program book for Huang Ruo's 'Paradise Interrupted'

Yesterday, I have received in the mail the program book published by Spoleto Festival USA for the world première performance of Huang Ruo's new opera, Paradise Interrupted.

It is a 140 pages book including the complete program for all concerts and performances of the 2015 Festival. It contains 8 pages dedicated to Ruo's opera :

- Strangers in Paradise, by Lindsley Miyoshi ;
- complete cast and crew ;
- director's note and synopsis ;
- composer's note ;
- biographies of the creative team members, with B & W photos.

Here is a link to the flickr folder containing the covers of all program books I have for contemporary operas.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Received in the mail this morning : program book for Marco Tutino's 'Two Women (La Ciociara)' from San Francisco

This morning, I have received in the mail the program book published by San Francisco Opera for the world première performance of Marco Tutino's new opera Two Women (La Ciociara), that took place on June 13th.

It is a 86 pages brochure. It contains :

- David J. Baker : Anna Caterina Antonacci : Italy's Most Galmorous Export ;
- synopsis ;
- complete cast and crew ;
- notes from director Francesca Zambello and conductor Nicola Luisotti ;
- Marina Romani in conversation with composer Marco Tutino ;
- Rape : Weapon of War (courtesy of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) ;
- Dolores McElroy : Two Women and World War II ;
- Artist profiles (with B&W photos) ;

The program is entirely in English.

The opera, co-commissioned and co-produced by San Francisco Opera and Teatro Regio Torino, will be performed in Italy in 2018.

Here is a link to the flickr folder with the covers of all program books I have for contemporary operas.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

New in my collection : program book for Navok's 'An unserem Fluss' in Frankfurt

I have received the program book published by Oper Frankfurt for the world première performance of Lior Navok's new opera An unserem Fluss. The world première happened on May 31st.

It is a 44 pages brochure. It contains :

- complete cast ;
- synopsis ;
- an article on Lior Navok's work until this last operas ;
- an article by Rafik Schami, Angst im eigenen Land ;
- a discussion between stage director Corinna Tetzel, composer Lior Navok and Deborah Einspieler ;
- an article by Chadi Bahouth, Zündstoff Wasser ;
- several articles on the political situation in Israël and Palestine ;
- English synopsis ;
- several colour photos of the production ;

It is entirely in German. Only the synopsis is available in English.
You can see the covers of all program books for contemporary operas I have in this flick folder.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

June 13th : world première of Marco Tutino's 'Two Women' in San Francisco

Today, Marco Tutino's new opera, Two Women, with a libretto in Italian by Fabio Ceresa and the composer, will be performed in San Francisco, at the War Memorial Opera House.

It is Tutino's 13th opera, since Pinocchio in 1983. The composer's lyrical output includes The Servant (2008) and Senso (2011). The libretto, based on Alberto Moravia's novel La Ciociara, was first transformed into a script by Luca Rossi, then adapted to the opera stage.
As the Allies invade Italy toward the end of World War II, a strong-willed widow and her 16-year-old daughter flee Rome for the nearby mountains in a vain attempt to find safety. (reproduced from the San Francisco opera website)
The complete libretto (two acts) is available for download from the San Francisco opera website.

The cast includes soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cesira), soprano Sarah Shafer (Rosetta), tenor Dimitri Pittas (Michele) and baritone Mark Delavan (Giovanni). Nicola Luisotti conducts the chorus and the orchestra. Francesca Zambello directs. The opera should last about 2 hours and 40 minutes, including the intermission.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

June 12th : world première of 'The Cure' by Harrison Birtwistle in Aldeburgh

Today, Harrison Birtwistle's new chamber opera, The Cure, with a libretto by David Harsent, will be premiered in Aldeburgh (Britten Studio in Snape).

In the last 50 years, Harrison Birtwistle has been a major opera composer in the UK. Between Punch and Judy (1967) and The Cure, he composed two major operas for the Royal Opera House in London : Gawain (1990) and The Minotaur (2008). This work, like several others in Birtwistle's output, has been inspired by classical mytholoy.
Taking as its starting point Jason’s triumphant arrival home with the Golden Fleece, The Cure casts an intense focus on the magical rejuvenation of his father by his sorceress lover Medea. ‘I came across a few lines from John Gower’s poem Confessio Amantis’, says Birtwistle, ‘that describe the moment when, at night and under a full moon, Medea goes out to gather herbs with which to make a potion that will rejuvenate Jason’s father Aeson: Upon hir clothes gert sche was, / Al specheles and on the gras / Sche glod forth as an Addre doth... It seemed, to me, like a beginning... and so it was.’ (reproduced from the Aldeburgh Festival website)
Singers Elizabeth Atherton and Mark Padmore will be accompanied by the London Sinfonietta conducted by Geoffrey Paterson. Martin Duncan directs. The Cure is the second part of a double bill evening starting with The Corridor (2009). It should last about 50 minutes. Next week, after three performances in Aldeburgh, the show will move to the Linbury Studio Theatre in London.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

June 5th, 2015 : world première of Daniel Schnyder's 'Yardbird' in Philadelphia

Today, Daniel Schnyder's opera, Charlie Parker's Yardbird, with a libretto in English by Bridgette A. Wimberly, will be performed in Philadelphia, at the Perelman Theatre.

It is the composer's fourth opera, after The Tempest (based on Shakespeare, Bern, 1996) Abraham and Casanova (2005).
In that empty twilight between life and death, tortured jazz soloist Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece, revisiting the inspirations, demons, and women who fueled his creative genius. (reproduced from the Opera Philadelphia website)
The cast includes tenor Lawrence Brownlee (Charlie Parker), soprano Angela Brown (Addie Parker), soprano Rachel Sterrenberg (Chan Parker), soprano Angela Mortellaro (Doris Parker), baritone Will Liverman (Dizzy Gillespie), Chrystal Williams and Tamara Mumford. Corrado Rovaris conducts and Ron Daniels directs.

The opera should last about 90 minutes, with no intermission. It will be broadcast on WRTI-FM on July 4th.