OperaWatch

OperaWatch     

by OUSSAMA ZAHR

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NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg (right) and Levy (behind) inaugurate new bridge
© Mark Bussell 2012
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Opening night: Elektra castmates Grove and Roger Honeywell
© Dan Rest 2012
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Showstopping Tune
Courtesy Tommy Tune

1.  Nine-time Tony Award-winner TOMMY TUNE takes on the role of Cap'n Andy Hawks in Houston Grand Opera's Show Boat next month. The Broadway song-and-dance man, who hails from Texas, joins Sasha Cooke and Joseph Kaiser in a staging by Francesca Zambello first seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

2.  REYNOLD LEVY, president of Lincoln Center since 2002, will step down on December 31, 2013, after successfully stewarding the campus's $1.2 billion redevelopment over the past six years. The completion of the final element of the project — a bridge over West Sixty-fifth Street — was celebrated with a dedication ceremony on October 1, where the structure was named "The President's Bridge" in Levy's honor.

3.  TORI AMOS played a one-night-only concert at (Le) Poisson Rouge on October 5 to promote Gold Dust, her second album with Deutsche Grammophon. The performance, which was accompanied by a string octet, was broadcast by NPR Music and can be streamed from the station's archives at www.npr.org/music.

4.  LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO kicked off its season on October 6 with a new production of Elektra, starring Christine Goerke, Emily Magee and Jill Grove. (See In Review.) After the performance, gala attendees convened for a soiree with the cast and creative team at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.

5.  On September 7, Željko Lučić, Aleksandra Kurzak and Francesco Demuro starred in SAN FRANCISCO OPERA's opening-night Rigoletto, which was conducted by music director Nicola Luisotti. This year's opera ball, entitled Notte di Splendore, celebrated the start of the company's ninetieth-anniversary season.

GEORGE MANAHAN began his tenure as music director of Portland Opera in September.  

6.  C Major Entertainment has partnered with Teatro Regio di Parma to get an early start on the celebrations of Verdi's bicentennial with TUTTO VERDI, a project to release all twenty-six of the Italian master's operas, plus the Requiem, on DVD and Blu-ray. The individual titles in the series, all of them performed by the Regio's forces, are being released in chronological order over the next year, but for those who would rather not wait, the entire series can be purchased now as an LP-sized box set, just in time for the holidays ($799.99).

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7.  For Wagner's two-hundredth anniversary, Decca has put together a lavish commemorative edition of GEORG SOLTI's legendary recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen — also marking the maestro's centennial in 2012 — which includes fourteen remastered CDs, the documentary The Golden Ring, John Culshaw's book Ring Resounding and a Blu-ray audio disc that contains the entire fifteen-hour cycle ($299.99).

8.  For the Ring nut in your life, also available in time for Christmas are the Harry Kupfer–Daniel Barenboim Ring from Bayreuth, in its first-ever Blu-ray edition (Kultur, $99.99), and Susan Froemke's documentary Wagner's Dream, which traces the story behind the Met's new Ring staging, on DVD and Blu-ray (Deutsche Grammophon, starting at $19.98).

9.  For diva lovers, Opus Arte has released La Stupenda: The Glory of Joan Sutherland, a five-DVD set that includes the coloratura dynamo in four productions filmed at the Sydney Opera House — Les Huguenots, La Fille du Régiment, Adriana Lecouvreur and Lucrezia Borgia — plus a gala concert with Pavarotti ($39.99). The Decca compilation The Art of Renée Fleming gathers together wide-ranging material from the American soprano's discography, including arias by Bellini, Gounod, Korngold and Puccini, as well as Broadway fare ($16.98). CECILIA BARTOLI's latest musicological project, Mission, finds her in excellent form championing the work of composer Agostino Steffani; the generously assembled deluxe package makes a perfect gift ($24.98).

RICHARD RUSSELL, who has served the past three seasons as general director of Opera New Jersey, became executive director of Sarasota Opera in November. spacer

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Current Issue: September 2014 — VOL. 79, NO. 3