Archive for the ‘Salome’ Category

Lovely gigs in 2008

April 4, 2008

After a couple of years in which my gigging became a bit narrowly focussed and predictable – mainly opera, with a bit of jazz, world and rock – 2008 is promising to be rather more richly eclectic. 

Having already seen three compelling gigs – Morrissey at the Roundhouse, Dorothea Roschmann singing Lieder at Vienna’s Musikverein, and Salome at Covent Garden, I’m keenly anticipating lots more varied shows, including several key musicians for grown-ups who’ve been on my must-see list for years:


April: Bjork     


May: Roberto Alagna; John McLaughlin


June: Don Carlo; Ariadne; Pentangle


July: Leonard Cohen; Marriage of Figaro


Dec: Cecilia Bartoli


Having re-found the taste for eclectic gigs, I’m eagerly looking for others – top live music for grown-ups is one of the greatest thrills of all.

   Gerry Smith

OPERA ROUND-UP: Strauss’s Salome, Natalie Dessay, and a Mozzafest

March 13, 2008

Recent opera highlights for grown-ups: 

* David McVicar’s new London production of Strauss’s Salome (Royal Opera House) demanded respect, but it failed to engage fully.  It had some compelling sub-Wagnerian sounds from the pit, but the principals didn’t really fire my imagination.  Occasionally inspired, mostly disappointing.  

* Natalie Dessay’s star continues to rise.  Following her triumph in last year’s La Fille du Regiment in London – one of the most exciting performances I’ve seen, in any musical genre, in recent years – the French soprano has released some outstanding new product, including Bellini’s La Sonnambula and a must-have compilation, Airs d’Opéras Italiens  

Airs d’Opéras Italiens – tracklist: Verdi La TraviataE strano!… Ah, forse è lui – Follie! Follie… Sempre liberaBellini I puritaniO rendetemi la speme – Qui la voce sua soave – Vien dilettoDonizetti Maria StuardaAllenta il piè, Regina – Oh nube che lieve – Nella pace del mesto riposoVerdi RigolettoGualtier Maldé… Caro nomeBellini I Capuleti e i MontecchiEccomi in lieta vesta – Oh! quante volteDonizetti Lucia di LammermoorEccola… Il dolce suono – Ardon gli incensi –S’avanza Enrico – Spargi d’amaro pianto  

* Mostly Mozart, the Barbican’s welcome annual mid-summer Mozzafest, bravely pitched against The Proms season on the other side of London, runs this year from 10 July to 2 August, and booking is now open. Highlights include Cosi Fan Tutte, by Garsington Opera, La Clemenza di Tito, starring Alice Coote, and Mozart’s Requiem. 

The programme is well worth a look:   

Gerry Smith