Why are La Scala’s recitals like buses? No, it’s not a joke, but after four-months of opera and ballet, there have been two in a week. Once there used to be a recital every month, now recitals at La Scala have become gap fillers, and filling the gaps this week were Diana Damrau and René Pape. Damrau had gamely participated in the open-air Expo concert with Andrea Bocelli … [Read more...] about Diana Damrau and René Pape at La Scala: deaf-aids, lecterns and the Samsung whistle
René Pape has a has dour personality. A smile consists of lifting the edges of the mouth by a millimetre, and he rarely looks up to engage with the audience perched up in the gods. But Pape sure knows how to sing. He manages to fold his enormous voice down to produce the smallest whispers of sound, he uses a true mezza-voce without going into falsetto, has an enormous range … [Read more...] about A singer on stage using an iPhone? It happened last night at La Scala!
Mezzo-soprano Wendy White fell from a platform eight feet above the stage during a performance of Gounod’s “Faust” at the Metropolitan Opera yesterday. She was rushed to hospital. The Met have said, however, that she did not appear to be seriously injured and was in stable condition. During Act III White was walking onto a platform from a staircase behind René Pape, who was … [Read more...] about Opera singer Wendy White in hospital after an eight-foot fall during the Met’s Faust
Gounod's Faust is, on the one hand, a gift for directors and performers - as Geoff Brown says in The Times, "It’s a Cecil B De Mille film directed by Bob Fosse, and Hell on Earth in more ways than one" - but it can often inspire productions so over the top with racy ideas and cut-out villains that an audience couldn't care less about the characters on stage. David McVicar's … [Read more...] about Critics Round-up: the Royal Opera’s Faust