A New Opera Season: The Week in Classical Music Feb. 22, 2019

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A New Opera Season: The Week in Classical Music Feb. 22, 2019

Post by lennygoran » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:38 am


Here are some parts of this week's NYTimes article. Regards, Len

A New Opera Season: The Week in Classical Music
Feb. 22, 2019

Hi there! The Metropolitan Opera announced its 2019-20 season on Wednesday, and our writers have chosen some highlights. And Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim took the measure of Daniel Harding and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.

In sadder news, the composer Dominick Argento, who spent much of his life in Minnesota, died at 91. A Facebook friend told me Argento was close with Mary Ann Feldman, the Minnesota Orchestra’s longtime program annotator, who died this week, too. “A sad week for the classical music community in the Twin Cities,” my correspondent wrote.

Argento’s song cycle “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf,” written for Janet Baker, is one of his finest achievements. Enjoy it. ZACHARY WOOLFE

The director Mary Birnbaum, in her intriguingly updated production of Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” at the Juilliard School, gives us an ambiguous ending. The staging posits that Dido doesn’t die of heartbreak, but by self-immolation, after the public humiliation of being abandoned by her lover, Aeneas. (After all, what kind of queen falls hopelessly for an enemy?) But Ms. Birnbaum further complicates things: Her Dido storms off at the end and seems not to die at all.

It’s a difficult concept, but the cast, dressed in modish, stylized costumes, embraced it and brought lots of youthful, ardent singing to the music, backed by the sensitive period-instrument Juilliard415 ensemble, with Avi Stein conducting. (It runs through Sunday.) The mezzo-soprano Shakèd Bar was a dark-toned, calculating Dido, a role she performed in 2017 in a semi-staged performance with the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra. The baritone Dominik Belavy, in a sleek three-piece suit covered with embroidered flowers, was an impassioned Aeneas. I must mention Chance Jonas-O’Toole, a sweet-voiced tenor whose small role as a sailor was fortified with a couple of inserted, thematically appropriate Purcell songs. ANTHONY TOMMASINI

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/22/arts ... utube.html

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