Sovereign Bartoli revisits Vivaldi at the Concertgebouw

Vivaldi/Handel, et al: Les Musiciens du Prince/Capuano/Bartoli/Gabetta

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 23rd of November, 2018

This year mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli is celebrating 30 years of recording with Decca Classics, a collaboration that produced her highly successful 1999 Vivaldi album. Their latest venture – and Bartoli’s current tour with Les Musiciens du Prince, her brainchild – revisits the composer. Her stop at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam demonstrated that the best reason for celebration is that the Roman diva’s technical and expressive powers are undiminished.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Brownlee and Spyres at the Concertgebouw: so much more than vocal jousting

Rossini/Mozart/Bellini, et al: Residentie Orkest/Balke/Brownlee/Spyres

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 31st of October, 2018

Are two tenors better than one? It depends. When their names are, in alphabetical order, Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres, the answer must be an emphatic yes. Their joint appearance at the Concertgebouw last Wednesday made you forget that other voice types exist. At the end of the concert the rapturous audience was craving all tenors, all the time.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Dutch touring Tosca is an edge-of-your-seat thriller

Puccini: Tosca

At the Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague on the 25th of October, 2018

Who needs another Tosca? Seasoned opera buffs can be blasé about repertoire mainstays. But the Nederlandse Reisopera’s production currently touring the Netherlands is worth seeing, whether it is your first or your hundred-and-first acquaintance with Puccini’s political drama.

Full review on Opera Today.

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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in symphonically lustrous Weill

Weill, Shostakovich, Al-Zand: RCO/Măcelaru/Wende

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 18th of October, 2018

This evening was about firsts – the first time that the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra played two 20th-century compositions, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Suite from The Nose and Kurt Weill’s ballet chantéThe Seven Deadly Sins, and the Dutch première of Karim al-Zand’s Lamentation on the Disasters of War from 2006. In all three works the orchestra sounded at its handsomest under conductor Cristian Măcelaru.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Fine performances in uneven War Requiem at the Concertgebouw

Britten: War Requiem

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 11th of October, 2018

At the very least, that vehement, pacifist indictment against militarism, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, should leave the audience shaking a little. This performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra only partially succeeded in doing so.

Full review on Opera Today.

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An intense Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Honneger: Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 27th of September, 2018

“I tried hard to be accessible to the man in the street while at the same time keeping the musician interested,” Arthur Honegger said of Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake). This powerful, semi-staged version of his oratorio/mystery play at the Concertgebouw proved how eminently he achieved his goal.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Fiery, formidable Boris Godunov at the Concertgebouw

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 8th of September, 2018

The NTR ZaterdagMatinee concert series at the Concertgebouw traditionally opens with an opera. This year it was a fiery performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s masterpiece Boris Godunovconducted by Pablo Heras-Casado and with a practically faultless cast.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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