Rimsky-Korsakov: The Golden Cockerel
Concertgebouw, 16 December 2017
The Tale of the Golden Cockerel, illustration by Ivan Bilibin, 1907, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s fairy tale The Golden Cockerel was this holiday season’s ZaterdagMatinee operatic treat at the Concertgebouw. There was real magic to this concert performance, chiefly thanks to Vasily Petrenko’s dazzling conducting and the enchanting soprano Venera Gimadieva.
Full review on Opera Today.
Prokofiev: Semyon Kotko
Concertgebouw, 26th November 2016
The libretto of Prokofiev’s Soviet opera Semyon Kotko clobbers you on the head with revolutionary doctrine. Understandably, the work has never gained an international foothold. Even in Russia, where it is now part of the repertoire, it was ignored for decades shortly after its 1940 première, which was by no means an unequivocal success. Then the critics focused on the opera’s lack of instant popular appeal rather than its musical qualities. As this concert version at the Concertgebouw demonstrated, these are considerable.
Full review on Bachtrack.