Oct 202014

Cecilia_Bartoli_MissionCecilia Bar­toli has waded into the murky waters of the Rome Opera crisis. Although she hasn’t sung in the theatre for years, it is her homet­own, and where she star­ted her career.
“We must find a solu­tion, that’s obvi­ous, but the solu­tion isn’t to fire the chorus and orches­tra and keep the man­age­ment. What will the man­age­ment do if there is no one left to manage?

“No [artist] should be fired, but there needs to be a fresh start with com­pet­ent people at the artistic helm, and not politi­cians as has been the norm in the past. The prob­lem of mis­man­age­ment at the Rome Opera has been going on for years.

“If they have found a solu­tion for La Scala then they can find one for Rome. La Scala has a solid basis which allows it to go ahead with its season’s pro­gram­ming, and seems to be work­ing. Some­thing must be done in Rome; the theatre can’t just be left to die. I hope it emerges from its cur­rent state.”

She also flew her Muti col­ours: …con­tinue reading.

Oct 182014

Warner Clas­sics have put together a six-minute high­lights video of Joyce DiDonato’s Stella di Napoli album launch con­cert at the Gow­anus Ball­room above the Ser­ett Metal­works fact­ory in Brook­lyn. DiDonato in her sequined ruby gown and flashy new hair-do remarks about the atmo­sphere of the place, so dif­fer­ent to the Wig­more Hall:

It reminds me of the time of Andy War­hol, Green­wich Vil­lage in the six­ties, where there was this hot­bed of vol­canic activ­ity of cre­ativ­ity and ima­gin­a­tion and exper­i­ment­a­tion… push­ing the boundaries.

When she’s not in sequins, the girl from Kan­sas finds her­self the other side of the rain­bow where she is a pas­sion­ate and lifelong fan of her homet­own Kan­sas City Roy­als. …con­tinue reading.

Oct 162014

Marijn Rademaker

Mar­ijn Rade­maker’s face already adorns the site of the Dutch National Bal­let which he will join at the begin­ning of next year.

After 15 years with the Stut­tgart Bal­let he returns ‘home’ and will be the only Dutch prin­cipal dan­cer in the com­pany; the last was Boris de Leeuw. After such a long time with the Stut­tgart com­pany, and with an intim­ate know­ledge of their rep­er­tory, he will con­tinue to guest there, which will delight his many local fans. …con­tinue reading.

Oct 162014

Romeo and Juliet - photo Brescia and Amisano, Teatro alla Scala

Nat­alia Osipova took my breath away with her extraordin­ary por­trayal of Juliet in Ken­neth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet at Teatro della Scala. The whole com­pany shone, the soloists were excel­lent, and Clau­dio Cov­i­ello — once again stand­ing in for an ail­ing Ivan Vasiliev — was very fine as her Romeo, but Osipova rose above the oth­ers. She threw off tech­nical dif­fi­culty with non­chal­ance and, most import­antly, cre­ated a per­fect arc in her per­form­ance from the wide-eyed leaps of the teen­ager we first meet through to the heart­break­ing action of the final scene.

Her jumps, which seem to come without pre­par­a­tion as she sud­denly appears out of nowhere float­ing above the stage, are per­fectly suited to her first scene as she teases the Nurse and plays with her old doll. She moves around the stage like a bouncy ball, radi­ant and as full of life as any­one could pos­sibly be. This gives her a won­der­fully long way to travel until the final moment where life drains from her body. With Paris she is hes­it­ant, though not petu­lant, and doesn’t once meet his gaze. In fact, apart from the nurse, she looks almost no one in the eye, even her par­ents. That is, until her gaze alights on Romeo and, lit­er­ally, she can’t take her eyes off him. …con­tinue reading.

Oct 152014

Sergei Polunin with a ACL Digital Cinema cameraAfter the ker­fuffle about Sergei Polunin leav­ing bal­let for Hol­ly­wood — announced by the Stan­islavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre’s Gen­eral Man­ager, Ara Kara­petian — Polunin is now back in Rus­sia and the bal­let world to make his début in Sparta­cus. How­ever, it will not be at the Stan­islavsky (where he is still lis­ted as Prin­cipal), but at the Nov­os­ibirsk State Aca­demic Opera and Bal­let Theatre.

At both theatres the Artistic Dir­ector of the bal­let com­pan­ies is Polunin’s mentor Igor Zelensky, and it is Zelensky who will play the Roman con­sul Crassus oppos­ite the young Rus­sian star. Anna Zharov will dance the role of Sparta­cus’ wife, Phrygia, and Anna Odint­sova (nom­inee for this year’s Golden Mask Award) will be Aegina.

Polunin has not been twid­dling his thumbs in Amer­ica, how­ever. He has been film­ing with ACL Digital Cinema — the Hawaii-based com­pany who do those stag­ger­ing films of surfers shoot­ing through waves — with an extraordin­ary fly­ing cam­era to cap­ture him mov­ing from the most unex­pec­ted angles. …con­tinue reading.