Bravo to San Francisco Opera - the house that streamed us the Ring operas in March. Now they are offering gems for free each weekend in April. These screen all day and night Sunday and Monday (our time) till 6.00pm.
The treats start with a splendid horror story - by, of course, Edgar Allen Poe, told twice in opera. Here's SFO: 'Get ready for two visions of madness, two visions of decadence, two visions of decay in a spine-tingling double bill featuring Gordon Getty’s Usher House and Claude Debussy’s The Fall of the House of Usher, both based on Poe’s short story of the same name.'
'It’s this idea of making a story of chivalry and gallantry against the forces of evil.' Read Getty's take on the story and its challenges here.
Read all about the productions, synopsis etc. here. Then, if you have the courage, come inside Usher House and then witness The Fall of the House of Usher, both streaming for free Sunday April 11 and Monday 12th our time.
And the following weekend? APRIL 18-19th SFO is screening their hugely praised production of VERDI’S DON CARLO with top stars we know from the Met stage. Michael Fabiano stars as Carlo, son and heir to the king of Spain, whose love for the princess Elisabetta is dashed when his father claims her as his bride. René Pape is King Philip II, a “splendid” Nadia Krasteva as the scheming princess Eboli, and a “muscular and elegant” Mariusz Kwiecien as the advisor Rodrigo. Lots of detail here.
Come back to this post nearer the time for reviews, images etc.
And at the Met?
The Met has scheduled two weeks' worth of splendid escapist stories turned to opera. so this post takes you to mid-April! Dates are for Melbourne time.
From Page to Stage
Starring Jonas Kaufmann as Faust, and René Pape as the devil - seen here together dressed up to kill.
And Marina Poplavskaya is Margueritte. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Des McAnuff. From December 10, 2011. NY Times review here.
Wednesday, April 7 Verdi’s Rigoletto Starring Christiane Eda-Pierre, Isola Jones, Luciano Pavarotti, Louis Quilico, and Ara Berberian, conducted by James Levine. Production by John Dexter. From December 15, 1981.
Thursday, April 8 Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin Starring Anna Netrebko, Elena Maximova, Alexey Dolgov, Peter Mattei, and Štefan Kocán, conducted by Robin Ticciati. Production by Deborah Warner. From April 22, 2017.
No it's not Dmitri Hvorostovsky, but arguably Mattei is the better actor.
Saturday, April 10
Treat of the week - if you've not seen it, don't miss it. Kentridge creates a mad world of bureaucracy and paper reality to go with Shostakovich's mad world of itchy music to express Gogol's vision of a mad world in mid C19 grotesque and absurd Russian life. Here's Kentridge talking about it.
More about this LOL production in our post last year. Shostakovich’s The Nose Starring Andrey Popov, Alexander Lewis, and Paulo Szot, conducted by Pavel Smelkov. Production by William Kentridge. From October 26, 2013.
Monday, April 12 Verdi’s Luisa Miller Your Verdi fix for the week. Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Olesya Petrova, Piotr Beczała, Plácido Domingo, Alexander Vinogradov, and Dmitry Belosselskiy, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Production by Elijah Moshinsky. From April 14, 2018.
'Nothing short of an absolute triumph' is Simon Paris' judgement of Yoncheva in this role. Read the review here.
Week 57 Once Upon a Time
Tuesday, April 13 Massenet’s Cendrillon Starring Kathleen Kim, Joyce DiDonato, Alice Coote, Stephanie Blythe, and Laurent Naouri, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Production by Laurent Pelly. From April 28, 2018.
Wednesday, April 14 Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta / Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle Starring Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczała in Iolanta, and Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko in Bluebeard’s Castle, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Production by Mariusz Treliński. From February 14, 2015.
Thursday, April 15 Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte Starring Golda Schultz, Kathryn Lewek, Charles Castronovo, Markus Werba, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. Production by Julie Taymor. From October 14, 2017.
Friday, April 16 Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Starring Judith Blegen, Frederica von Stade, Jean Kraft, Rosalind Elias, and Michael Devlin, conducted by Thomas Fulton. Production by Nathaniel Merrill. From December 25, 1982.
Traditional production with brilliant singers as the kids - listen here!!
Saturday, April 17 Dvořák’s Rusalka Starring Kristine Opolais, Katarina Dalayman, Jamie Barton, Brandon Jovanovich, and Eric Owens, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Production by Mary Zimmerman. From February 25, 2017.
Monday, April 19 Rossini’s La Cenerentola Starring Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Flórez, Pietro Spagnoli, Alessandro Corbelli, and Luca Pisaroni, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by Cesare Lievi. From May 10, 2014
Lyn, 6 April 2021.