Wilkes St., Spitalfields
London, May 2014
Dmitri Hvorostovsky has withdrawn from his upcoming performances of Verdi’s Il Trovatore—February 3, 6, 9, and 13 matinee—due to his ongoing treatment for a brain tumor.
Juan Jesús Rodríguez will sing di Luna in these performances, making his Met debut. The Spanish baritone has sung the role at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Teatro di San Carlo in Naples; Palacio de la Ópera in La Coruña, Spain; and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. This season, he also sings the title roles in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Madrid’s Teatro Real, Nabucco at the Las Palmas Opera, and Rodrigue in Verdi’s Don Carlos at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao.
The February performances of Il Trovatore are conducted by Marco Armiliato and also star Angela Meade as Leonora, Dolora Zajick as Azucena, Marcello Giordani as Manrico, and Kwangchul Youn as Ferrando.
Andrey Nemzer will sing the role of Orlofsky in this evening’s performance of Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, replacing Susan Graham, who is ill.
A winner of the 2012 National Council Auditions, Nemzer made his Met debut in 2013 as the Guardian in Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. His other recent performances have included Don Alfonso and Il Sole in Cavalli’s Veremonda at the Spoleto Festival; Agnes the Digger in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox at Opera San Antonio; and two Mozart roles, Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh.
Tonight’s performance of Die Fledermaus, conducted by Met Music Director James Levine, also stars Susanna Phillips as Rosalinde, Lucy Crowe as Adele, Toby Spence as Eisenstein, Dimitri Pittas as Alfred, Paulo Szot as Dr. Falke, Alan Opie as Frank, and Christopher Fitzgerald as Frosch.Some people are going to complain that Orlofsky has to be a mezzo, and I would have to say that while the role works best with a mezzo, I wouldn't pass up a chance to hear Andrey Nemzer in anything. (Okay, Aida, that wouldn't be so good.) He has an amazing voice, which I've heard only in Frau, where the Guardian of the Threshold of the Temple (to give the character his or her full name) is on stage for about five minutes in Act III.
During his introductory remarks, Gockley was explicit about this: that the need to keep the company on a decent financial footing has been paramount during the ongoing recession. His priority has been to keep quality high while sacrificing repertory. He said that he is leaving repertory holes, and he knows it, that he hopes will be filled by his white knight successor. During the chit chat after the press conference, I told him that this had pre-emptively answered my planned question about whether we'd be seeing From the House of the Dead and Die Frau ohne Schatten, because....both are very expensive to stage and risky as far as ticket sales go.At this point, the recession is essentially over in the Bay Area, where the economy is white-hot and unemployment is under 4%. (Not that many people aren't suffering, between long-term unemployment and the difficulty of finding a place to live.) And this year, the company has put on two very expensive productions, Les Troyens and Die Meistersinger.
The Royal Opera commissioned The Minotaur from Harrison Birtwistle, and the opera was popular enough that they were able to sell out two runs. Do you have plans to present this or any other opera by Birtwistle?Okay, nobody is going to commit to such a thing during a press conference unless the journalist has somehow managed to read the GD's mind. So I did not get anything like a yes or a no. Joshua Kosman followed up with a different repertory question. Some time later, William from the Opera Warhorses blog also asked a rep question.
"We want people's first experience in the opera house to be resonant and to be exciting and to be to some degree comfortable, so that they will come back," Shilvock said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "So I think we have to treat the 'Traviatas' and 'Bohemes' very sensitively."
Unlike their European counterparts, U.S. companies have very little government assistance, which factors into decisions on operas and directors.
"Our patrons are also our investors, and because many of our core subscribers are also our most generous philanthropists, we need to make sure that our programming jibes with their expectations, what they'd like to see onstage," Shilvock said. "That doesn't mean that we have to be conservative. Many of them have very adventurous tastes and interests, but I think it does mean that we have to be careful about what happens on our stage."We'll have to wait a year or two for Shilvock's programming interests to come to the fore, because Gockley was asked by the board to do at least some of the programming for the next couple of seasons (and that was necessary, given how far out you have to go to sign singers, directors, etc. and start designing new productions). I'm certainly hoping that Shilvock will be the repertory white knight that Gockley was hoping for in 2012. He's inheriting a company on a sound financial footing, with an endowment that David Gockley has done a superb job of building. Let's see what he can do with that.
“Opera has always been the place where composers have tried out the newest ideas,” he told Capital New York (now part of Politico) in 2010. “Composers today are writing lollipops for the audience.”
The cellist Alisa Weilerstein has canceled her upcoming Stanford Live recital with pianist Inon Barnatan on February 6 at Bing Concert Hall. The duo had planned to perform works by Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff and a new composition from Joseph Hallman. No rescheduled date has been announced.
Ms. Weilerstein, a 2011 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” winner, has been forced to curtail her travel schedule due to personal circumstances. Because she will be in the final stages of her pregnancy, it has been deemed unwise that she make an overseas flight and so it is with deep regret that she must postpone her visit to Stanford.
All current ticket holders will be given the option to use their credit for a future performance in the 2015–16 Stanford Live season or to request a refund. For more information, contact the Bing Concert Hall Ticket Office at 650-724-2464 (BING) or visit live.stanford.edu.
Getty’s history as a benefactor for the Bay Area’s musical scene is long and exemplary; it’s no exaggeration to say that nothing in our musical life would be remotely the same without his attentive and munificent generosity. But not even well-merited gratitude can justify General Director David Gockley’s decision to put the company’s imprimatur on this sorry double bill.I'll be the first to say that I wouldn't mind a peek at Getty's will, where there might be large bequests to any number of Bay Area musical organizations. Artistically, Joshua is surely right if the work is as bad as he says. (I have not seen it yet, but given the reviews I have read and friends' opinions, I bet I will agree with him.)
SFP Founder and President Ruth Felt noted, “While we are extremely disappointed with the cancellation of Anna Caterina Antonacci’s highly anticipated debut, we are thrilled to be able to introduce this talented young soprano to Bay Area audiences. To have Rosa Feola graciously step in to perform a wonderful Italian program on the date originally announced for Ms. Antonacci is a remarkable treat for our vocal series audiences. I look forward to sharing this exciting new talent.”And also:
San Francisco Performances is contacting all ticket holders of the change of artist. SFP subscribers and single ticket holders for the recital should use their tickets on the same date and time for Rosa Feola’s recital. For more information ticket holders can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (415) 677-0325.
American tenor Brenton Ryan will make his Met debut as Pedrillo in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail this spring. Ryan will sing all five performances of the opera, which opens on April 22 and continues on April 27, 30, May 3, and May 7 matinee.
Dear Ms. Hirsch,
San Francisco Opera is committed to creating the best patron experience possible. Many opera patrons have told us it is a challenge getting to the War Memorial Opera House. We hope we can make a difference.
Please help us develop new transportation programs by taking this brief 2-minute survey.
We value your feedback and encourage you to complete the survey before it closes on . Your responses will be kept strictly confidential and will not be linked to you personally in any way.
To thank you for your participation, all respondents who complete the survey will be entered to win one of five pairs of tickets to an opera of their choice in summer 2016.We are grateful for your help and support!
Sincerely,San Francisco OperaI opened the survey - I'm willing to play - and the questions started off by asking subscriber/single-ticket buyer, then went on to how the patron gets to the opera, then the kicker: how safe do you feel in Civic Center? And questions about whether you'd take a shuttle from Civic Center BART/MUNI or a shuttle from the East Bay.
Well, okay. So this survey isn't really about transportation. It's really about the failure of San Francisco's city government to provide adequate housing and mental health care to homeless people living in the Civic Center area, and about the failure of BART to keep its station in decent condition, free of stink and with the escalators all working.
The State of Utah has had great success in reducing homelessness.....by actually housing homeless people and offering them supportive services. San Francisco could do this. The disappearances of single room occupancy buildings, the disastrous turning-out of the mentally ill from hospitals without housing or group homes or support services, and the continuing shortage of housing for low-income people have all been major factors in the increase of people living on the street.
I'm sorry to say that the survey doesn't address this head-on, by, say, providing contact information so that people like me can write to individuals at San Francisco City Hall and BART to demand decent housing and services for homeless people. This country has the money to do this, and it's a matter of human decency to take better care of the homeless.