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Richard Strauss

Monday, July 24, 2017


My Classical Notes

July 13

Richard Strauss’ Lieder

My Classical NotesComposer Richard Strauss left us a collection of amazing Operas, and also a lot of songs with either piano or orchaestral accompaniment. This recording brings us the following Lieder music: Richard Strauss: Through Life and Love Strauss, R: Nichts, Op. 10 No. 2 Leises Lied, Op. 39 No. 1 Ständchen, Op. 17 No. 2 Schlagende Herzen Op. 29 No. 2 Heimliche Aufforderung, Op. 27 No. 3 Sehnsucht Op. 32 No. 2 Waldseligkeit, Op. 49 No. 1 Ach, was Kummer, Qual und Schmerzen, Op. 49 No. 8 Breit’ über mein Haupt Op. 19 No. 2 Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten, Op. 19 No. 4 Das Rosenband, Op. 36 No. 1 Ich Schwebe, Op. 48 No. 2 Nachtgang Op. 29 No. 3 Einerlei, Op. 69 No. 3 Rote Rosen, AV76 Muttertändelei, Op. 43 No. 2 Meinem Kinde, Op. 37 No. 3 Die Nacht, Op. 10 No. 3 Befreit, Op. 39 No. 4 Ruhe, meine Seele!, Op. 27 No. 1 Zueignung, Op. 10 No. 1 Weihnachtsgefühl, WoO. 94 Allerseelen, Op. 10 No. 8 All performed by Louise Alder (soprano), with Joseph Middleton (piano). Hailed as ‘one of the brightest lyric-sopranos of the younger generation’, ‘a radiant performer’ and ‘a born actress’ Louise Adler has been held in high critical acclaim during her early career, and has recently been declared Young Singer of the Year at the 2017 International Opera Awards. Ms. Adler is also no stranger to Lieder, and has worked with pianist Joseph Middleton previously at the Leeds Lieder Festival. Joseph Middleton is considered a specialist in the art of song accompaniment, and has been described as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’ by BBC Music Magazine. The Observer wrote about Ms. Adler that: “she sings [Strauss’ song ‘Zueignung’] with unusual and touching introversion and contemplation. All are sung with vivid narrative skill, rich in colour and detail, and with a stunning purity of tone on long notes (as in the “Ruhe” of Ruhe, meine Seele!). Alder is beautifully partnered by pianist Joseph Middleton.” Here are three Lieder from this recording:

Iron Tongue of Midnight

July 15

Want to be on the War Memorial Stage?

SF Opera is holding supernumerary auditions. They are on a Monday night when I am already committed or I'd consider auditioning for Elektra. Guess I will have to see it from the audience side. Here's the supernumerary rehearsal & performance schedule for the fall. SAN FRANCISCO OPERA HOLDS OPEN AUDITION FORADULT SUPERNUMERARIES (EXTRAS) FOR FALL 2017 PRODUCTIONS MONDAY, JULY 31 AT THE WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSENo experience required – for information or to reserve an audition slot, email: supers@sfopera.com SAN FRANCISCO (July 14, 2017) — Have you ever dreamed of being on the War Memorial Opera House stage? San Francisco Opera is looking for adult supernumeraries (extras) to appear in the Company’s upcoming Fall 2017 Season. An open audition will be held on Monday, July 31 beginning at 6 p.m. at the War Memorial Opera House. No previous experience is required and there is no fee to audition. Supernumeraries, also known as supers, act as extras (in costume and make-up) on the stage in non-speaking, non-singing roles. Supers have the unparalleled opportunity to work alongside some of the most acclaimed artists in the world, and help bring San Francisco Opera’s dazzling, large-scale productions to life on the stage of the historic War Memorial Opera House. Supers are volunteers, however an honorarium is provided to those cast in productions.  Supers will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform in one or more of San Francisco Opera’s fall season operas, including a visceral production of Richard Strauss’Elektra, Jules Massenet’s enchanting Manon, the highly anticipated world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, and two repertory favorites, Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot and Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. WHAT:  Open audition for adults to appear as supernumeraries (extras) in San Francisco Opera’s 2017 Fall Season. Supers can be any age (adults only), shape or size. No previous experience required. These roles are non-speaking, non-singing and volunteer/unpaid (an honorarium is provided to those cast in a production). WHEN:  Monday, July 31, 2017 beginning at 6:00 p.m. WHERE:  War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA, 94102 Interested parties should contact supers@sfopera.com to receive more information and reserve a spot for this exciting opportunity!






Tribuna musical

June 28

Great singers in the Met´s final offerings Tchaikovsky´s “Eugen Onegin” and Strauss´”Der Rosenkavalier”

Nowadays the Met´s productions are sometimes open to harsh criticism but we generally get important singers in great roles. The HD Live performances seen on certain Saturdays at the Teatro El Nacional and presented by the Fundación Beethoven remain very attractive. The final two offered Tchaikovsky´s "Eugen Onegin" and Richard Strauss´ "Der Rosenkavalier" and both had admirable singers. "Onegin" has been seen with some frequency in BA and has also been staged at La Plata. Based on the beautiful Pushkin verse novel, well adapted by the composer and Konstantin Shilovsky, these "lyric scenes", as Tchaikovsky called them, have a lot of wonderful music, particularly Tatiana´s Letter Scene and Lenski´s aria. If in the first two acts we are given the rural ambience of Larin´s estate and the stark duel in which Lenski dies, the Third Act transports us some years later to Saint Petersburg and to Prince Gremin´s great Ball; he has married Tatiana, and now it is Onegin who desires her but is rebuked. The cast had a superstar, Anna Netrebko, and the sensitive baritone Peter Mattei supplanting Dmitri Hvorostovsky, unfortunately very ill, as Onegin. Lenski was a first-rate Russian tenor, Alexey Dolgov, who sung with style and acted very well. I found Stefan Kocan rather gruff as Gremin. Olga, Tatiana´s coquettish sister, was done very attractively by mezzo Elena Maximova. And two artists who were stars twenty years ago, gave style and knowledge to Madame Larina (Elena Zaremba) and Filippyevna, the wet-nurse (Larisa Diadkova). Netrebko may be nowadays a bit too matronly for the part, but her singing and acting was so admirable that it didn´t matter, and her beloved Onegin was interpreted ideally by Mattei. The conductor, Ricardo Ticciati, was a surprise: young and very intense, he proved congenial to Tchaikovsky´s extremely Romantic inspiration. Deborah Warner´s production felt Russian and was often convincing, but Tom Pye´s stage designs were problematic: the unit set for the First Act and the first tableau of the Second didn´t observe the libretto´s specifications, and the columns in the Third Act complicated Kim Brandstrup´s choreography for the Polonaise. Nice costumes and good lighting. This "Rosenkavalier" was essential viewing for it was the goodbye to the stage of Renée Fleming after 250 performances at the Met and the last Octavian of Elina Garança, the greatest interpreter of this marvelous role in recent years. Fleming was still lovely even with small vocal fissures, and Garança was perfect in every sense. Furthermore, we met a valuable Ochs, bass Günther Groissböck, of healthy singing and funny acting, and there was Matthew Polenzani at his best as the Italian Singer. Erin Morley (Sophie) and Markus Brück (Faninal) were good. And Sebastian Weigle mastered the gorgeous score: a conductor to watch. Alas, in a few weeks we will suffer at the Colón with this Robert Carsen production: a sad travesty of a fantastic libretto. Nevertheless, he couldn´t ruin such magical moments as the final minutes of the First Act or the trio of the third: the music and the artists moved me to tears. For Buenos Aires Herald

Royal Opera House

June 22

Drawing on our history: how sketches bring The Royal Opera’s past to life

Detail from Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 27 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections ROH Collections works to preserve the history of the Royal Opera House by collecting and storing items that document the life of the building. Many of our precious items come from generous donations, and in December 2016 we received a remarkable offer from an artist with a long and unusual history with the Royal Opera House. Painter Alan Halliday worked front of house in the 1970s, while a student at the nearby Courtauld Institute of Art . In Halliday’s own words, the experience ‘enabled me to see night after night some of the greatest singers, dancers and productions the Royal Opera House has ever presented – Nureyev , Fonteyn , Boris Christoff , Geraint Evans , Domingo , Pavarotti , Sibley and Dowell …’. He also gained ‘a detailed, first-hand knowledge of the Royal Opera House and how it worked’. In 1979, now working as a professional artist, Halliday returned to Covent Garden and made drawings of members of The Royal Ballet from the standing area at the back of the Stalls Circle. On seeing his portfolio, the ROH’s General Director John Tooley and The Royal Ballet’s Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton invited Halliday to draw at general rehearsals (the last rehearsal before opening night). Halliday went on to sketch both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet for the next 25 years. Sir Georg Solti. Page 1 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 2 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 3 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 4 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 5 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 6 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 7 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra in despair. Page 8 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 9 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 10 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 11 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 12 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 13 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 14 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Orest ist tot. Page 15 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 16 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Was willst du, fremder Mensch? Page 17 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Orest. Page 18 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 19 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Du wirst es tun? Page 20 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Robert Tear as Aegisthus. Page 21 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Agamemnon hört dich! Elektra. Page 22 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 23 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Lust über Lust. Elektra. Page 24 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 25 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 26 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 27 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections The sketchbook donated to ROH Collections contains sketches made in 1990 at the general rehearsal of Götz Friedrich ’s new production of Richard Strauss ’s opera Elektra . The sketches were made during the rehearsal and run chronologically through the performance. It was offered to ROH Collections on behalf of Halliday by Stephen Camburn of the Camburn Fine Art Gallery in the south of France, which specializes in Halliday’s paintings. The sketchbook begins with a portrait of conductor Georg Solti , arms outstretched. We then move to the performers on stage: Eva Marton as the suffering, furious Elektra; Nadine Secunde as her beautiful sister Chrysothemis; Robert Hale as their brother Orest, thought to be long lost; Marjana Lipovšek as their sickly mother Klytemnästra and Robert Tear as her lover Aegisth. Above some of the images Halliday supplies text that ties the drawing to a specific line from the opera. In ‘Orest ist tot!’ (Orest is dead) the despairing Elektra clasps her hand to her mouth; and in ‘Was willst du, fremder Mensch?’ (What do you want, stranger?) the returned Orest, unrecognized by his sisters, is half submerged in darkness.The sketchbook closes with powerful images of Elektra’s final dance to her death. Was willst du, fremder Mensch? Page 17 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections The sketchbook is a beautiful item in its own right. But it also makes a valuable addition to the ROH archive, adding detail and a unique perspective to our records of this production of Elektra. Find out more about the work of ROH Collections.

Richard Strauss
(1864 – 1949)

Richard Strauss (11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, An Alpine Symphony, and Metamorphosen. Strauss was also a prominent conductor throughout Germany and Austria. Strauss, along with Gustav Mahler, represents the late flowering of German Romanticism after Richard Wagner, in which pioneering subtleties of orchestration are combined with an advanced harmonic style.



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