Key to my hotel room
Asher Fisch will conduct performances of Bizet’s Carmen this season, replacing the originally announced Dan Ettinger, who has withdrawn due to illness. Fisch will conduct performances on January 19, 23, and 31; February 3, 7, and 11matinee. Derrick Inouye will conduct the performance on January 27. Louis Langrée will still conduct the final two performances of Carmen on February 15 and 18.
Fisch has conducted six productions at the Met, making his company debut leading Lehár’s The Merry Widow in 2000, followed by Verdi’s Rigoletto, Puccini’s La Bohème, Mozart's The Magic Flute, Wagner’s Parsifal, and earlier this season, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Maestro Fisch has conducted at the Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Scala, Paris Opera, and Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and previously, he was the Principal Guest Conductor at the Seattle Opera and Music Director of the Israel Opera and Vienna Volksoper.
Carmen will star Maria Agresta and Janai Brugger as Micaëla, Sophie Koch and Clémentine Margaine as Carmen, Marcelo Álvarez as Don José, and Kyle Ketelsen and Michael Todd Simpson as Escamillo.I did not see Sophie Koch in Les Troyens (she withdrew from the production), but I did catch the excellent Clémentine Margaine in Don Quichotte. A fine singer with an interesting and very French voice.
Kirsten Chambers will make her Met debut in the title role of this evening’s performance of Strauss’s Salome, replacing Patricia Racette, who is ill.
Ms. Chambers, an American soprano, has recently sung the Foreign Princess in Dvořák’s Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Kansas; Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio with New Amsterdam Opera; Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci with Bronx Opera; and Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin with Opéra de Rennes, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
performance of Salome is conducted by Johannes Debus and also stars Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Herodias, Gerhard Siegel as Herod, Kang Wang as Narraboth, and Željko Lučić as Jochanaan.Parterre Box has a clip of her in Salome. Curious to hear how tonight's performance goes.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky has withdrawn from his upcoming opera engagements, including this spring’s Met performances as the title character in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, due to illness. In June 2015, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and began treatment. However, balance issues resulting from the illness have made the performance of staged opera difficult, though he plans to continue performing in concerts, recitals, and the recording studio. A statement from Mr. Hvorostovsky is available below.
Mariusz Kwiecien and Peter Mattei will step into the role of Onegin at the Met for this spring’s performances, with Kwiecien singing on March 30, April 3 and 7 and Mattei singing on April 12, 15, 18, and 22 matinee.
Eugene Onegin will be conducted by Robin Ticciati and will also star Anna Netrebko as Tatiana, Elena Maximova as Olga, Alexey Dolgov as Lenski, and Štefan Kocán as Gremin. The April 22 matinee performance will be transmitted worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 2,000 theaters in 70 countries around the globe.[Given the cast, I had planned to attend the HD broadcast which, to make this explicit, will now have the great Peter Mattei in the title role.]
To all my friends, fans and colleagues:
It is with great sadness that I must withdraw from opera performances for the foreseeable future.
I have been experiencing balance issues associated with my illness, making it extremely difficult for me to perform in staged productions.
I will continue to give concerts and recitals as well as make recordings. Singing is my life, and I want to continue bringing joy to people worldwide.
With this pause in my operatic career and more rest in between each engagement, I hope to have more time to focus on my health and treatment.
Thank you for all your love, messages and well wishes. Your support is felt and means the world to me.
It is with incredible sadness that I write to inform you that a beloved member of our staff, Griffin Madden, perished in the fire in Oakland on Friday night. Griffin had been missing since last being seen there, and his death was confirmed yesterday evening.Griffin was Cal Performances’ Audience Services Associate, recently winning that full-time position after having worked as a student usher throughout his undergraduate career. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 with a double major in Philosophy and Slavic Languages and Literature. He was devoted to Cal Performances and had been an integral member of our staff for five years, starting as a freshman at age 18. Griffin was 23 years old.Yesterday, at Cal Performances’ long scheduled staff holiday gathering, Griffin’s father, Mike, and Griffin's girlfriend, Saya, joined us in a spirit of comfort and connection with the people whom Griffin touched every day.Their extraordinary example of grace and optimism was truly inspiring to all of us who knew Griffin.Cal Performances plans to hold a memorial event in the spring. If people would like to send remembrances or condolences to Griffin's family, they may send them to me at the address below and we will forward them.Our community is heartbroken at this news. We extend our deep condolences to Griffin's family and to his friends.
Huizenga: On a practical level, I suppose it could send more commissions your way.
Norman: If I get more commissions, great, but maybe I can use this moment to talk about things that are important to me. Like to call attention to the fact that there are problems. For instance, this award has been given to three women out of its 30-year history. And to me that's kind of an issue.
And in all honesty, I'm a white man and I get lots of commissions and there are systemic reasons for that, reasons we should all be talking about. There are so many talented composers out there. Rather than giving me another commission, why aren't we giving those people a commission?
The canon is so overwhelmingly white and male, but we can use new music to fix that problem. There are so many voices who should be heard in the concert hall today, of people whose music reflects a wide variety of experiences. That, to me, is the most important issue right now for contemporary classical music and classical music generally — how to get what happens in the concert hall to reflect the diverse society that we are.
I think that orchestras have such an opportunity, especially now in this really conflicted, contentious moment, to say something powerful and meaningful about our own time, with the all of the voices of our own time.Media:
The opera house and the composer were circumspect about why the project, which was more than a decade in the making, had been called off. The Met said in a statement this week that it had parted ways with Mr. Golijov because of “conflicting schedules” but would not elaborate. Mr. Golijov declined a request for an interview; his publisher, Boosey & Hawkes, cited an unspecified “difference in artistic vision” for the demise of the project.Let me hazard a guess that Golijov's ongoing creative block is what's responsible; he has been having problems following through on commissions for years now.
The piece is complex in a way but also fairly straightforward. The conductor leads 30+ vocalists and approximately 30 musicians (mostly strings, some wind) in maintaining a single note for 20 minutes, followed by a 20-minute period of silence. The Klein Archives has a description of the piece on their website, including an audio excerpt from a 1998 staging.
Conceived and curated by composer Brian M. Rosen, Snapshot presents excerpts from eight previously unproduced operas over two programs performed in intimate concert settings in venues in Berkeley and San Francisco: the Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley and the historic and newly renovated Bayview Opera House at 4705 3rd Street in San Francisco. ConductorsMary Chun and Jonathan Khuner lead an instrumental chamber group featuring members of San Francisco-based new music ensemble Earplay.
On January 21st at 8:00 p.m. at the David Brower Center and January 22nd at 3:00 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House, Snapshot presents the work of David Conte, Stephen Eddins, William David Cooper and Alden Jenks:
· David Conte, Composition Chair at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and librettist John Stirling Walker’s Famous opens the first Snapshot program. Famous is an exploration of the life of Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne), one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars.” · Stephen Eddins’s big band, gospel and jazz-inspired music and Michael O’Brien’s libretto bring 20th-century Southern novelist Eudora Welty’s story to life in Why I Live at the P.O. · William David Cooper, a recent graduate of the PhD program at UC Davis, has received awards from ASCAP and the Academy of Arts and Letters. Snapshot presents a sample of Cooper and librettist Will Dunlap’s grand opera Hagar and Ishmael. · Alden Jenks helped found and served as Director of the Electronic Music Studio at San Francisco Conservatory. Jenks wrote both the music and libretto for Afterworld, a “serious comedy” loosely inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Works by Carla Lucero, Allen Shearer, Linda Bouchard and Liam Wade comprise the second program of Snapshot, presented on February 25th at 8:00 p.m. at the David Brower Center and February 26th at 3:00 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House:
· Carla Lucero’s , an excerpt from her opera in progress about Helen Keller, opens the second Snapshot program. Lucero has received awards for her previous operas from Creative Work Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, Meet the Composer and OUT Magazine, among other organizations. · Longtime collaborators Allen Shearer and librettist Claudia Stevens, whose Middlemarch in Spring was produced last year in the Bay Area to critical acclaim, present an excerpt from Howards End Again, based on the eponymous novel by E. M. Forster. · Linda Bouchard’s The House of Words was composed in 2003. Snapshot presents excerpts from the opera which includes a libretto constructed of excerpts from The Book of Embraces by celebrated Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist Eduardo Galeano. · Liam Wade and librettist Vynnie Meli’s The Stranger the Better closes the second Snapshotprogram. A farcical riff on A Streetcar Named Desire, the opera is Wade and Meli’s 2016 prize-winning submission to The Atlanta Opera’s 24-Hour Opera Project, where an entire opera is composed, designed and staged within twenty-four hours.Interesting range of works and composers; wish more than 2 of the 8 composers were women! I am sure it's all worth hearing.
In the near future, San Francisco Opera will see three additional new operas planned by Gockley including Marco Tutino and Fabio Ceresa’s La Ciociara (Two Women) in June 2015, Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang’s Dream of the Red Chamber for Fall 2016, and a soon-to-be-announced commission from Jake Heggie for Fall 2017.But, in fact, the new opera for fall, 2017, is John [Coolidge] Adams' new opera, Girls of the Golden West.