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Weekend Roundup

The Washington National Opera's "Siegfried" has an unexpected but successful opening; my review is posted here.
On the same night, the Vienna State Opera premiered "Das Rheingold," the last opera in Sven-Eric Bechtolf's "Ring" cycle; according to one report it had the biggest public success of the four, while another called it a musical triumph and praised the singers and conductor Franz Welser-Möst. Austria issued a special commemorative stamp to mark the occasion.
Lest you think that the WNO was alone in its ailing-tenor troubles this weekend: the same thing happened at the Pittsburgh Opera on the very same night at the premiere of the company's new production of "The Italian Girl in Algiers," conducted by Antony Walker. (Walker didn't sing himself, as he did when the company lost its Radames in "Aida" to illness last year.)
André Previn's new opera "Brief Encounter" (based, of course, on the classic British film) had its world premiere at the Houston Grand Opera this weekend; the Houston Chronicle seems to like it.
The Bethlehem Bach Festival opened this weekend for its 102nd annual iteration; it continues through next weekend.

By Anne Midgette  |  May 4, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  international , national , news  
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Next: Sound Conductor: Manfred Honeck


You wrote a fine review of Sigfried and emphasized the excellent singing and acting of Held, Cionrad, and Hawkins, and the wonderful conducting by Guettler, which also struck me. I respectfully disagree about the production, however. The junkyard America made a mockery of Siegfried's attachment to nature, a potent source of his strength. this was typified in the forging scene, where he builds a fire from supermarket briquets rather than from charcoal he creates himself from a sacred ash tree. I'll take Otto Schenk anytime.

Posted by: petercapitolhill | May 4, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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