Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has performed just about everything Handel ever wrote, except the composer’s 1743 oratorio Joseph and His Brethren. This Baroque rarity recounts Joseph’s reconciliation with his Jewish family in Egypt. The oratorio gave Handel the opportunity to depict the grandeur of the Pharaoh’s court and the faith of Joseph’s estranged brothers in a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity.
Sandrine Piau sings "Prophetic Raptures" from Joseph and his Brethren:
Performances are on December 14th in San Francisco, December 15th in Palo Alto, and December 16th and 17th in Berkeley. Tickets are available online.
Cutlip will also be performing the much more familiar Messiah with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra from December 8-10 in San Francisco, Berkeley and Rohnert Park. Tickets are available online.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
|Daniel Okulitch and Matthew Worth|
The duo premiered the piece at the Fort Worth Opera Festival in April 2016 to great acclaim. They'll be joined by many of the same cast members, including mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack as Jackie Kennedy, soprano Talise Trevigne as the housekeeper Clara Harris and the agent of fate Clotho, tenor Sean Panikkar as the secret service agent Henry Rathbone and the agent of fate Lachesis and Cree Carrico as Rosemary Kennedy.
Musical excerpts from JFK:
JFK delves into the hours President John F. Kennedy spent in Fort Worth, Texas immediately before his assassination in Dallas. The opera explores the subconscious of this complicated couple, examining their physical and emotional pain, their joy and love, and their metamorphosis into American myth.
Opéra de Montréal co-commissioned the piece with the Fort Worth Opera and the American Lyric Theater. The opera opens on January 27, 2018 and runs through February 3, 2018. Tickets are available online.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Berlioz, who was inspired to compose the piece after reading Goethe's dramatic poem Faust, referred to the piece as a "légende dramatique" (dramatic legend), rather than an opera. The piece is often performed in symphony halls rather than opera houses, due to its structure as a hybrid between an opera and a cantata.
In addition to Méphistophélès' serenade "Devant la maison," "Une puce gentile" and "Voici des roses," the piece is known for Marguerite's dramatic aria "D'amour l'ardente flamme" and Faust's rapturous "Nature immense."
Performances run from December 12-23 and tickets are available online.
|Barihunks Photo book|
Saturday, November 18, 2017
|Joa Helgesson in L'Orfeo|
Berlin's symposium was the third one, following one in Oslo in 2012 and New York in 2015, all of which a co-production with Anchors Aweigh/SKIN.
"The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain... Music expresses only the quintessence of life and of its events, never these themselves." - Arthur SchopenhauerA suspension is the act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been put through body piercings. These piercings are temporary and are performed just prior to the actual suspension. Body suspension is frequently used for spiritual purposes or for entertainment, most famously by the magician and illusionist Criss Angel.
Helgesson also appears in our 2018 Barihunks Calendar and Photo Book, but without the hooks!
|Joa Helgesson and Derek Chester from 2018 Barihunks Calendar and Photo Book|
|Mariusz Kwiecien as Zurga (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)|
Kwiecien last appeared in the role with the Met in January 2016, which also featured Polenzani, as well as German soprano Diana Damrau.
There will be seven performances running through December 10 and tickets are available online.
However, if you can't make it to Chicago (where it's cold and rainy right now), you can listen to the opening performance of The Pearl Fishers can be heard live on 98.7WFMT beginning at 1:45pm CST/11:45 AM PST/2:45 EST.
Upcoming performances for Kwiecien included Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale at Opera Krakowska in March, the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni in Dallas and London, and Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in Munich.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
|Björn Bürger as Georg in Der Mieter|
Arnulf Herrmann's opera is based on Roland Topor's Kafka-esque novel Le locataire chimérique which was made into The Tenant, a psychodrama/thriller movie by Roman Polanski. Unlike the book and film the opera concentrates on being forced to conform to norms by society. The opera's libretto, written by Händl Klaus, delves into the darkest regions of the human psyche probing issues of guilt, paranoia, and sexual obsession.
Herrmann created a haunting soundscape with shattering glass in slow motion, creaking doors, sinking trees, crawling cockroaches and other sounds emanating from forty loud speakers. Bürger's vocal part calls for a wide dramatic range spanning a cappella murmurs to screams of despair.
The opera also features barihunk Sebastian Geyer in two small roles. Additional performances run from November 16-December 7th.
|Derek Chester and Marco Vassalli|