Last night (Wednesday, January 5) I went to a nearby movie theater for replay of the December 11 HD transmission of "Don Carlo" from the Metropolitan Opera. It was great. The most outstanding of a fine cast was Marina Poplavskaya, as Elisabetta. The basses were great as well, especially Ferruccio Furlanetto as Filippo and the unnamed comprimario who sang the role of the monk who seems to be the supposedly dead Emperor Carlo V. It's a great way to see first rate opera productions without having to travel far or pay opera house prices. Here is a link to a page giving locations outside the United States. For the United States, there are so many locations that you have two options, and then you enter your location to find nearby theaters. This is the page where you begin. And here's a page with the schedule for the rest of the season. They show dates for "encore performances" in the U.S. and Canada. I don't know if they are available in other countries. The live performances are Saturday matinees in New York, which means Saturday evenings in Europe.
I definitely want to see "Nixon in China," "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Il Trovatore," and "Die Walküre." If you aren't already an opera fan, my top recommendation would be "Il Trovatore." It's full of glorious music. I wish I had got to this sooner, because "Don Carlo" is even better, IMO. But both are fine examples of Verdi at his best.
You gotta try it. Even the ticket taker left the door to the theater open so he could hear it and occasionally came in to take a peek at last night's show.
This week the BSO is also doing opera in concert performances: "Oedipus Rex" by Stravinsky and "Bluebeard's Castle" by Bartók. Here's what the BSO website says about it:
And here's a link to their page, for further information. As usual, it can be heard over WCRB's stream at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, with "pre-game" show beginning an hour earlier. The Thursday performance is part of my subscription, so I'll be there. I don't expect it to be as great as "Don Carlo." Less than 60 years separates to dates of composition, but the music of Stravinsky and Bartók is so different from Verdi's as to seem to come from a different world, one in which I am much less at home. But the performances tonight could be exciting and gripping in their own way.
Onto the next year!
2 weeks ago