19 November 2012
“This time there’s a new and crucial element in the mix: …”
“Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic, conducting with a quicksilver touch that brings out the sparkle in the score but also plumbs its considerable emotional depths.”
— The Wall Street Journal, on the production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tuttethat opened Wednesday at The Juilliard School, the third collaborative venture between The Julliard School and The Metropolitan Opera, with the former providing musicians and the latter, the singers through its Lindemann Young Artist Development Program — now with Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, also Juilliard’s Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies, on the podium.
Alan conducts one more performance of Cosi fan tutte tonight.
(Chris Lee photo)
28 August 2012
Take This Down, It’s Richard Tucker Day
By mayoral proclamation, New York City honors legendary tenor Richard Tucker today, on what would have been his 99th birthday. Centennial year celebrations get underway with a 5 p.m. gathering at, where else, Richard Tucker Square, between 65th and 66th on Broadway, that will include soprano Renée Fleming and other artists. Tucker’s recordings will be played in the square throughout the day.
The Brooklyn-born tenor appeared with the Philharmonic almost 20 times, in performances ranging from operatic favorites to Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand. His work as a cantor will also be recognized this evening on the Lower East Side, in a performance including tenor Paul Appleby, recipient of a 2011 Richard Tucker Music Foundation grant, who made his Phlharmonic debut in June.
(photo: Tucker as Roldolfo in Puccini’s La boheme, one of his most famous roles. © Richard Tucker Music Foundation)
27 August 2012
A New Spin
Music Director Alan Gilbert puts a different — and concise — spin on Wagner’s Ring Cycle in the 2012–13 Philharmonic season with A Ring Journey, his own arrangement of conductor Eric Leinsdorf’s synthesis of orchestral music from the four operas. A Ring Journey moves chronologically through the entire saga, but lets the rich orchestral score tell the story. Hear it during June Journey: Gilbert’s Playlist, June 20–22.
15 August 2012
Bon Appétit, Bernstein!
On today, Julia Child’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the perfect pairing of food and music. What do Julia Child and Leonard Bernstein have in common? Lee Hoiby’s 1989 opera, Bon Appétit, was not only based on Julia Child’s own words and recipes from her television show, but it also, at one point, included Lenny’s early song cycle La Bonne Cuisine, set to excerpts from Julia’s autobiography.
Celebrate Julia today with this clip from the opera, as performed by Debra McVicker.
7 June 2012
What was soprano Julianna DiGiacomo doing presenting an unusual concert to the statues at The Metropolitan Museum of Art? Check nyphil360.com on June 11 for more.
27 April 2012
One Surreal Game-Changer
Gyorgy Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre gets a nod as NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog surveys the opera landscape for game-changingl postwar works. The black comedy shows Ligeti’s dramatic sense of humor from the first note: “The piece, although not performed often, seems to be a success whenever it shows up, as was the case when it became the hit of the New York Philharmonic’s 2009-10 season.”
Take another walk through the Philharmonic’s hit production of Ligeti’s “anti-anti-opera” here.
17 April 2012
Cheers from Stockholm
Music Director Alan Gilbert is at the tail end of a stint with the Royal Stockholm Opera where he has been conducting Wagner’s Lohengrin. George Loomis praised the performance in the International Herald Tribune, saying: “The orchestra plays beautifully for him…. this is Gilbert’s show and makes one eager for his next appearance in an opera house.”
Kudos, Alan! See you back in New York soon.
14 March 2012
Battle of the Sexes
Women, drunk on wine and freedom, are threatening to derail the social norms. The political ruler, determined to restore order, disguises himself as a woman to try to infiltrate the mob. The delirious women — his mother among them — kill him by tearing him limb from limb. This is the lurid story of the Bacchae, which was set to music by the German master Hans Werner Henze in the mid–1960s as his opera The Bassarids. Christoph von Dohnányi conducts three orchestral selections from this startling work March 22–24.
Pentheus torn apart by Agave and Ino. Attic red-figure lekanis (cosmetics bowl) lid, ca. 450-425 BC.
1 December 2011
“But the big news may be the work of the conductor Alan Gilbert, in his overdue Met debut. The performance he draws from the Met orchestra and chorus is a revelation.” That was critic Anthony Tommasini’s take on John Adams’s Dr. Atomic in The New York Times on October 14, 2008. The shock waves of that path-breaking premiere Met Opera production are still being felt three years later and the DVD was just nominated for a Grammy Award, Best Opera Recording. The dust settles on February 12 when the Awards are presented.