Archive for the ‘Opera’ Category

03/28/2007

Vinoly does Opera

Tonight we’ll see the latest creation of Rafael Vinoly – a set for an opera – at the premiere of Chicago Opera Theater’s “the Return of Ulysses.” Here’s an exclusive sneak preview :



He’s supposed to attend the opening tonight,
But why did Vinoly cancel the two lectures he was supposed to give in Chicago?

Word is he’s spending his time dealing with issues and oppostion at his London project.


This one’s dubbed, “the walkie-talkie.”
-E

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02/20/2007


Rafael! The Return of Vi
ñoly

Starchitect Rafael Viñoly has designed a production of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses. It will open March 28th at Chicago Opera Theater.

COT’s marketing department writes, “His flair for breathtaking drama shows in his buildings…. Now the renowned architect Rafael Viñoly unleashes his creativity on Homer’s story of Ulysses.”

Vinoly returns to Daleyville, after his much-praised

Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago (across the street from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House.) Vinoly is also working on a hospital building for the University of Chicago, scheduled to open in 2011. It’ll feature a “Sky Garden” with broad views of Washington Park and the University of Chicago campus.

I’m always interested in the confluence of Architecture and Music. In fact, I’ll be talking about it at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple on March 31, in a benefit for the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.

I’m looking forward to seeing Vinoly’s Ulysses three days earlier. A happy coincidence .
Architects and Opera? In 2002 I saw

Daniel Libeskind’s Saint Francis of Assisi (Messian) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I found that a little too mechanistic in design and movement, and less revealing or supportive of the music.

I’m curious to see what Vinoly will do. His
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia is musical architecture.

Chicago Opera Theater run by Brian (“[I managed to catch Vinoly] for a moment during his crazy schedule of zooming around the world as architects do these days,”) Dickie, with Jane Glover conducting, is one of the top cultural organizations here. Their Nixon in China last year was unforgettably, mind-blowingly searingly good culture. They brought out the drama in that repetitive work by John Adams with superb singing, staging and many tv sets in a line across the stage. They made the normally pallid Harris Theater stage sing. Their contemporary staging worked well in that simple straightforward space.

Of course, the most symbiotic relationship would be between


Tosca and the church in Rome in which it opens,

Sant’Andrea della Valle.
Try walking into there and not hearing music!

St. Francis photo © Bernd Uhlig

02/20/2007


Rafael! The Return of Vi
ñoly

Starchitect Rafael Viñoly has designed a production of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses. It will open March 28th at Chicago Opera Theater.

COT’s marketing department writes, “His flair for breathtaking drama shows in his buildings…. Now the renowned architect Rafael Viñoly unleashes his creativity on Homer’s story of Ulysses.”

Vinoly returns to Daleyville, after his much-praised

Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago (across the street from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House.) Vinoly is also working on a hospital building for the University of Chicago, scheduled to open in 2011. It’ll feature a “Sky Garden” with broad views of Washington Park and the University of Chicago campus.

I’m always interested in the confluence of Architecture and Music. In fact, I’ll be talking about it at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple on March 31, in a benefit for the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.

I’m looking forward to seeing Vinoly’s Ulysses three days earlier. A happy coincidence .
Architects and Opera? In 2002 I saw

Daniel Libeskind’s Saint Francis of Assisi (Messian) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I found that a little too mechanistic in design and movement, and less revealing or supportive of the music.

I’m curious to see what Vinoly will do. His
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia is musical architecture.

Chicago Opera Theater run by Brian (“[I managed to catch Vinoly] for a moment during his crazy schedule of zooming around the world as architects do these days,”) Dickie, with Jane Glover conducting, is one of the top cultural organizations here. Their Nixon in China last year was unforgettably, mind-blowingly searingly good culture. They brought out the drama in that repetitive work by John Adams with superb singing, staging and many tv sets in a line across the stage. They made the normally pallid Harris Theater stage sing. Their contemporary staging worked well in that simple straightforward space.

Of course, the most symbiotic relationship would be between


Tosca and the church in Rome in which it opens,

Sant’Andrea della Valle.
Try walking into there and not hearing music!

St. Francis photo © Bernd Uhlig

12/16/2006

” …who was that mysterious tenor in full costume warming up in my dressing room when I came in Sunday night?”

I love this note-by-note of
il scandolo Alagna.

But can the writer really remember that many divine details of the performance?

Last Thursday, after boos from the La Scala crowd, Roberto Alagna walked off stage during his performance in Aida at La Scala. When the audience realized he was not coming back they shouted , “Vergogna! ” (shame) and “Buffone!” (fool!)

La Scala later served Alagna notice that he would not be invited back to complete the run.
So then,

“Alagna descended into full-fledged grassy knoll paranoia talking about mysterious threatening phone calls, unknown figures making karate chop motions in his direction as he entered the theater Sunday night, and other signs that the La Scala was conspiring to force him out. When that didn’t fly, he gave physical problems a whirl — my throat closed up, my blood sugar plummeted, why didn’t Chailly stop the performance to check on me?; that’s what Muti did when Domingo nearly fainted in ‘Otello’ — they could wait an hour for Domingo and not a few minutes for me?, and who was that mysterious tenor in full costume warming up in my dressing room when I came in Sunday night?”

Now Corriere reports that Thursday evening, since he had been replaced onstage, Alagna took to the piazza in front of the opera house to stage his own ‘one-man show’ in piazza!

“Presenting himself a few minutes before the beginning of the performance inside of Aida, Alagna began to sing his part, surrounded by curious onlookers and photographers.

Then, looking at il Teatro La Scala, he sang a passage from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly
«Addio fiorito asil, di letizia e d’amore»
.
Goodbye flowered exile, of joy and love!


Then with his cell phone, he snapped a photo of the theater. ‘I came to have a reminder, my last happy memory of la Scala, since I don’t know when I’ll be able to see her again.'”

Ah Italia!
Wish I’d been there. You know I like piazza life.
Sunday eve I did pass through Chicago’s Piazza San Giovanni. A few drunk guys were singing about football….

-E

Alagna story via.

12/16/2006

” …who was that mysterious tenor in full costume warming up in my dressing room when I came in Sunday night?”

I love this note-by-note of
il scandolo Alagna.

But can the writer really remember that many divine details of the performance?

Last Thursday, after boos from the La Scala crowd, Roberto Alagna walked off stage during his performance in Aida at La Scala. When the audience realized he was not coming back they shouted , “Vergogna! ” (shame) and “Buffone!” (fool!)

La Scala later served Alagna notice that he would not be invited back to complete the run.
So then,

“Alagna descended into full-fledged grassy knoll paranoia talking about mysterious threatening phone calls, unknown figures making karate chop motions in his direction as he entered the theater Sunday night, and other signs that the La Scala was conspiring to force him out. When that didn’t fly, he gave physical problems a whirl — my throat closed up, my blood sugar plummeted, why didn’t Chailly stop the performance to check on me?; that’s what Muti did when Domingo nearly fainted in ‘Otello’ — they could wait an hour for Domingo and not a few minutes for me?, and who was that mysterious tenor in full costume warming up in my dressing room when I came in Sunday night?”

Now Corriere reports that Thursday evening, since he had been replaced onstage, Alagna took to the piazza in front of the opera house to stage his own ‘one-man show’ in piazza!

“Presenting himself a few minutes before the beginning of the performance inside of Aida, Alagna began to sing his part, surrounded by curious onlookers and photographers.

Then, looking at il Teatro La Scala, he sang a passage from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly
«Addio fiorito asil, di letizia e d’amore»
.
Goodbye flowered exile, of joy and love!


Then with his cell phone, he snapped a photo of the theater. ‘I came to have a reminder, my last happy memory of la Scala, since I don’t know when I’ll be able to see her again.'”

Ah Italia!
Wish I’d been there. You know I like piazza life.
Sunday eve I did pass through Chicago’s Piazza San Giovanni. A few drunk guys were singing about football….

-E

Alagna story via.

11/04/2006

Sullivan has no luck.

The Louis Sullivan / Dankmar Adler Pueblo, Colorado Opera House from 1890

On the evening of Feb 29. 1922 a party was held in the ballroom.
It would be the last one.
The next morning,
a cold one,
this picture was taken.

Photos/Pueblo Colorado City-County Library District

11/04/2006

Sullivan has no luck.

The Louis Sullivan / Dankmar Adler Pueblo, Colorado Opera House from 1890

On the evening of Feb 29. 1922 a party was held in the ballroom.
It would be the last one.
The next morning,
a cold one,
this picture was taken.

Photos/Pueblo Colorado City-County Library District

11/04/2006

Sullivan has no luck.

The Louis Sullivan / Dankmar Adler Pueblo, Colorado Opera House from 1890

On the evening of Feb 29. 1922 a party was held in the ballroom.
It would be the last one.
The next morning,
a cold one,
this picture was taken.

Photos/Pueblo Colorado City-County Library District

10/25/2006



Svelter Shelter

Opera stars are getting svelter, and so are opera houses.

Where is this one? You know who designed it. Santiago Calatrava.
It’s in Valencia, where’s he’s designing a new world. In the old world.

Are we getting tired of buildings that screamingly call attention to themselves? If they’re going to do that they’d better be screamingly beautiful. I don’t know if this one is.

Calatrava already has a Planetarium and IMAX Theater and a Science Museum in Valencia, his native city.

This new opera house, also features Calatrava murals and ceramic bas-relief sculptures. And it looks like his opera house in Tenerife:

That one is screamingly beautiful! Though a bit of a rip-off of the Sydney Opera house.


Which will always be the icon.

From the Valencia opera house press release: In 1991, the government of Valencia commissioned Calatrava to design this vast urban intervention (86 acres!) to bring coherence and life to a previously neglected area, and to provide the city with cultural facilities of national importance.

Enlightened government? Some say the buildings don’t work very well. That they’re form over function.

Santiago Calatrava’s Valencia Opera House is due to open October 25.

If you’re there, you’ll hear Fidelio. Odd choice. Why not also commission new music? A new Spanish opera to go with the new building? Especially as the press release tells us,

“The people of Valencia have traditionally shared a deep love of music,” Santiago Calatrava states. “The region is sometimes known as the Land of 1,000 Bands, since every village and town has its musical association. In fact Llíria, called the City of Music, has two, which are respected throughout the world. The project of creating the Valencia Opera House is therefore highly significant—because of the role that music plays in the life of the region, and because of the civic role that the building will now play in the evolution of the city.”

When it opens, will Calatrava’s other buildings, the ones with wings that move, wave at it?

-E

And, is ‘svelter’ a word? 😉

Calatrava portrait by Suzanne DeChillo/TM cThe New York Times