Saturday 24 April 2010

Reading this month's Opera magazine, there's a review of Menotti's The Saint of Bleeker Street from Marseille. As usual with performances in English of operas without any native speakers, you are curious (well I am) about how successful the diction was. In this case the reviewer (Joel Kasow) commented favourably on the clarity of the enunciation; which is nice to know.

Also in the magazine, I spotted a comment about Rene Kollo (one of my all time favourite Siegfrieds) making his debut as Aegisth (in Strauss's Elektra). Nothing very startling in this, except that Kollo is over 70. Big dramatic voices are not always known for their longevity so it is heartening to learn that Kollo is still singing.

That said, I understand that Martha Mödl continued performing into old age, a friend was involved in one of her very late performances as Klytemnestra. Evidently the voice left something to be desired, but the dramatic instincts were still superbly in place.

Over in the Opera Magazine Festival's supplement there is an interview with Evans Mirageas, the artistic director of Cincinnati Opera. First of it is heartening to read that he is in a relationship with another man; this is information that people remain astonishingly coy about. Secondly, he tells a lovely anecdote about starting at Decca in 1994, being an American in an English company and starting off volunteering to make the tea.

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