Hans Abrahamsen | The Snow Queen [Snedronningen] from Bayerische Opera
(Available for a limited time only)
The December 2019 German Premiere of Snedronningen (The Snow Queen), the debut opera from Hans Abrahamsen, is now available to stream through January 29, 2020. This version, sung in English with English and German subtitles, was conducted by Cornelius Meister and directed by Andreas Kriegenburg.
The work’s greatest triumph, and the thing that will draw listeners back again and again, is the music. Abrahamsen’s score is a work of obsessively fine detail, of immense complexity calibrated to sound beguilingly simple, of silvery, perfumed lyricism overlaid with hallucinatory effects. Everything sounds both familiar and strangely warped. There are delicate references to familiar works — Strauss, Mahler, Bach, Wagner — more like snatches of memory than quotes; but just when things seem about to become recognisable, Abrahamsen will bend away from pure tonality to warp a note or twist an interval, to stab or spike through an arpeggio, to hurt us just enough to make us come back wanting more. It is a strange and wonderful thing.
— The Financial Times
Benet Casablancas | L'Enigma di Lea from Gran Teatre del Liceu
On February 9, 2019 the first opera by Catalan composer Benet Casablancas and librettist Rafael Argullol, L'Enigma di Lea, had its world premiere at the Gran Teatre del Liceu under the direction of Carme Portaceli. Mezzo-soprano Allison Cook sang the title role alongside countertenor Xavier Sabata and baritone José Antonio López.
Casablancas' first lyric work is considered quite a success by the Barcelona public… The best thing about this opera is the composer’s musical construction... although it's written in a modern style, it can be enjoyed without difficulty to the ear... [Casablancas'] writing is natural and not lacking in melodies... The instrumental writing is of great rhythmic dynamism and combines percussion, brass, woodwinds and strings in a variety of ways.
— La Razón
John Corigliano | The Ghosts of Versailles from Opéra Royal, Château de Versailles Spectacles
On July 13, 2019 The Glimmerglass Festival presented The Ghosts of Versailles, the landmark opera by John Corigliano with a libretto by William M. Hoffman, in a new production under the direction of Jay Lesenger. This Glimmerglass production was co-produced by Château de Versailles Spectacles, where The Ghosts of Versailles traveled for its French premiere on December 4, 2019.
The music, written by John Corigliano navigates between Mozart and Rossini, between dramma giocoso and historical subjects. The first version of this surprising opera, requested by the New York Metropolitan Opera to celebrate its 100th anniversary, was staged in 1991. The Ghosts of Versailles is a masterful creation which has been performed with great success in many opera halls across the United States.
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