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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Young audience embraces Die Zauberflöte at Dutch National Opera

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte

At Dutch National Opera on the 4th of September, 2018

The Dutch National Opera season opens officially on the 7th of September with a third run of Simon McBurney’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, an unqualified success at its 2012 premiere. Last Tuesday, however, an audience aged between sixteen and thirty-five got to see a preview of this co-production with English National Opera and the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

Full review on Opera Today.

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Lessons in Love and Violence

Benjamin: Lessons in Love and Violence

Dutch National Opera, 25 June 2018

Inspection_of_Gaveston's_head_by_the_earls_of_Lancaster,_Hereford,_and_Arundel.jpg

The Earls of Lancaster, Hereford and Arundel inspect Piers Gaveston’s head, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Six years ago composer George Benjamin and playwright Martin Crimp gave the world Written on Skin. It caused a sensation at its unveiling at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Hot on the heels of its world premiere at the Royal Opera House in London, the composer is now conducting their second full-length opera, Lessons in Love and Violence, at the Holland Festival, where he is this year’s Composer in Focus.

Full review on Opera Today.

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin says au revoir to Rotterdam

Handel/Mozart/Respighi et al.: RPhO/Nézet-Séguin/DiDonato

De Doelen, Rotterdam, 9 June 2018

100-rpho-vignet.pngIn September, Yannick Nézet-Séguin becomes music director at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Taking on North America’s foremost opera house means that, while remaining with the Orchestre Métropolitain in his birthplace Montreal and the Philadelphia Orchestra, his tenure at the Rotterdam Philharmonic has come to its natural end.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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