Sunday, January 22, 2012


Baroque Style Music Is the Craze in Opera Now

Finally I have heard an opera in English that didn't sound odd, strange, or flat.

This weekend the Met had its HD Live performance of The Enchanted Island which is truly a wonderful experience and one I would recommend without any hesitation.

The opera was devised and written by Jeremy Sams, who along with the all the creative cast, created a charming story line by mixing arias by Handel, Vivaldi, Jean-Philippe Rameau and others with a bit of Shakespeare to create the plot.

The creative crew includes:
Conductor, William Christie; Julian Crouch, Associate Director & Set Designer; Kevin Pollard, Costume Designer; Brian MacDevitt, Lighting Designer; Graciela Daniele, Choreographer; 59 Productions, Animation & Projection.

The signing cast:
Danielle de Niese, Arie; Lisette Oropesa, Miranda; Joyce DiDonato, Sycorax; David Daniels, Prospero; Anthony Roth Costanzo, Perdinand; Placido Domingo, Neptune; and Luca Pisaroni, Caliban.

It was simply magical how it was all woven together so well and performed with such finess that I am convinced that the medium for the English language in opera should be the baroque style.

Now, if it is Broadway, then of course that's another cup of tea altogether but English and the baroque style are what bread and butter are on the dinner table because they seem to blend in the operatic fashion one is accustomed to hearing opera perhaps in French, Italian and German. But sadly too often English falls flat but not in the baroque style.

So get yourself out and see the Met HD Live (repeat of this performance) or look for an opera in English sung a la baroque.


Then after seeing this performance, I took in the NSO with guest conductor James Gaffigan, with featured pianist Ingrid Fliter.

The National Symphony Orchestra played very well, including the emotive US premier of Fluss ohne Ufer by composer Detlev Glanert.

Based on how the audience responded, the performances by all including Fliter hit the mark and one could not see anyone displeased in the least.

Maestro Gaffigan, bravo!

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