Van Zweden conducts an unforgettable Walküre at the Concertgebouw

Wagner: Die Walküre

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 2nd of November, 2019

When native son Jaap van Zweden conducts in Amsterdam the house sells out in advance and expectations are high. Last Saturday, he returned to conduct another Wagner opera in the NTR ZaterdagMatinee series. The Concertgebouw audience was already cheering the maestro loudly before anyone had played a single note.

Full review on Opera Today.

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Cast salvages unfunny Così fan tutte at Dutch National Opera

Mozart: Così fan tutte

At Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam on the 3rd of October, 2019

Dutch National Opera’s October offering is Così fan tutte, a revival of a 2006 production directed by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, originally part of a Mozart triptych that elicited strong audience reactions. This Così, set in a hotel, was the most positively received.

Full review on Opera Today.

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Tempestuous Francesca da Rimini opens Concertgebouw Saturday matinee series

Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini, Op.32

Rachmaninov: Francesca da Rimini, Op.25

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 14th of September, 2019

Two Russian love letters to the tragic thirteenth century noblewoman Francesca da Rimini inaugurated the Saturday matinee series at the Concertgebouw.

Full review on Opera Today.

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Season opener Pagliacci/Cavalleria Rusticana sets the bar high at Dutch National Opera

Leoncavallo: Pagliacci

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana

At Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam on the 5th of September, 2019

It was an exciting night at the opera. Three leading American singers were making their Dutch National Opera debut and powerhouse mezzo Anita Rachvelishvili her much-anticipated return. All of them delivered on their promise, as the audience, grabbing every opportunity for mid-performance applause, made clear.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Pelléas et Mélisande at the Holland Festival: austerely beautiful but flawed

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

At Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam on the 5th of June, 2019

After skipping a year, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra returns to Dutch National Opera for its annual stint at the Holland Festival, this time in Claude Debussy’s only finished opera, Pelléas et Mélisande. It was a proposition full of promise – hearing a 24-carat orchestra in this water-and-light composition, conducted by French repertoire specialist Stéphane Denève.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Airborne string players and choral wizardry in aus LICHT Part 3

Stockhausen: aus LICHT

At the Gashouder, Amsterdam on the 2nd of June, 2019

The final part of aus LICHT is the longest. Working Together and Opening Up Into Space is spread over eight hours, including breaks. It comprises episodes from DIENSTAG (Tuesday), MITTWOCH (Wednesday) and SONNTAG (Sunday). And, for die-hard serialists, there are additional hours of electronic music. Three long operas in three days will test anyone’s endurance, but my wonder at Stockhausen’s inventiveness and exuberant craziness increases after every segment. Also, the cast is beyond wonderful…

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Hypnotic, diabolical and magical: aus LICHT Part 2, Lucifer & Eve

Stockhausen: aus LICHT

At the Gashouder, Amsterdam on the 1st of June, 2019

aus LICHT Part 2 consists of excerpts from two days of the LICHT cycle. In SAMSTAG (Saturday) Michael takes on Lucifer and there’s nothing I love more than an angeological showdown. MONTAG (Monday) is all about Eva and her fecund mother goddessness. And the finale is Stockhausen’s take on the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It all starts with a bang, or rather a boom, as four brass ensembles greet us with the diabolical, low-pitched fanfare, SAMSTAGS-GRUSS. Stockhausen is so polite, saluting us and seeing us off each time!

Full review on Bachtrack.

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