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Prom 45: Janacek: The Makropulos Affair

Emilia Marty ..... Karita Mattila (soprano)
Albert Gregor ..... Aleš Briscein (tenor)
Dr Kolenatý ..... Gustáv Belácek (bass-baritone)
Vítek ..... Jan Vacík (tenor)
Kristina, Vitek's daughter .... Eva Šterbová (soprano)
Baron Jaroslav Prus ..... Svatopluk Sem (baritone)
Janek ..... Aleš Vorácek (tenor)
Count Hauk-Šendorf ..... Jan Ježek (tenor)
Stage Technician .... Jiri Klecker (baritone)
Cleaning Woman ..... Yvona Škvárová (contralto)
Chambermaid ..... Jana Hrochová-Wallingerová (contralto)
BBC Singers (men's voices)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jirí Belohlávek, conductor
Kenneth Richardson, stage director

A dream team gathers for Janacek's late, great existential masterpiece The Makropulos Affair. This tragic satire is powered by a score that contains some of the composer's most extreme and alluring music.

The Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, acclaimed for her 'electrifying' portrayal of the opera's heroine, Emilia Marty, at the Met in New York, is joined by Czech singers and the BBC Symphony Orchestra's Conductor Laureate Jirí Belohlávek.




スクリーンショット 2016-08-20 7.26.25


The Makropulos Affair review – Karita Mattila's diva glows with breathtaking opulence



スクリーンショット 2016-03-01 17.20.31




Věc Makropulos マクロプロス事件 あらすじ



The Makropulos Case, Deutsche Oper Berlin — ‘truly radiant’

Of all Janáček’s operas, The Makropulos Case is the strangest. One 337-year-old woman. One and a half acts of complex legal discussion. Then it all ends in a blaze of glory with the death of the protagonist. David Hermann’s ambitious new production for Berlin’s Deutsche Oper seeks to make the many layers of Emilia Marty’s complex history visible for the audience, with variable results.

When the action begins in the first act, Kolenatý’s law office is doubled to the left of the stage by a mirror office from 100 years earlier, when the case in question begins. Emilia Marty and her historical self occasionally swap places, as if in some time travel yarn.

For the second act, Hermann brings in a bevy of underwear-clad Emilia Marty clones. These serve to emphasise the way the men have always objectified and attacked the beautiful, increasingly isolated woman, but unfortunately also recall the Stepford Wives. For the third act, they reappear in historical costumes, one Emilia per male character, to drive home the point.

The elaborate concept distracts attention from Evelyn Herlitzius’s compelling performance in the title role. She could have carried the evening alone on a blank stage. Herlitzius makes a cold, detached, yet strangely charismatic Marty, seldom vulnerable, and only truly passionate in the last scene. Here, despite the irritating twitching of the spurious supernumeraries, Herlitzius is revelatory. In her yearning for mortality, you suddenly understand what attracted Janáček to this story, and see the connection to his Cunning Little Vixen, with its autumnal joy in the eternal cycle of life. It is truly radiant.

The production is well-cast and superbly sung, from Seth Carico’s scrupulous Kolenatý to Derek Welton’s loweringly nasty Baron Prus and Jana Kurucová as the impulsive Krista. Donald Runnicles is not the coolly analytical conductor the piece might seem to demand, and eschews precision and transparency in favour of voluptuous sound and sensual lines. That takes some getting used to, but has its own inner logic and — increasingly as the evening progresses — beauty.













スクリーンショット 2014-10-11 19.32.43


The English Concert / Handel Alcina
Joyce DiDonato Artist Spotlight
10 October 2014

Joyce DiDonato joins the English Concert in one of her greatest roles, the sorceress Alcina, in this concert performance of Handel’s opera.

Alcina is a sorcereress. She’s also one of Handel’s most complex and fascinating anti-heroines – the undisputed star of this hit of the 1735 London season – and with her brilliant coloratura, Joyce DiDonato is Alcina’s ideal modern interpreter.

There’s a good reason why Handel’s Alcina was amongst the first of his operas to be rediscovered. Written for Covent Garden, it has a compelling plot and richly-drawn characters, prime amongst them the enchantress Alcina herself. Joyce DiDonato’s 2009 recording of the role for Archiv saw her described by Gramophone as “The Alcina we’ve been waiting for…a complex, feminine creature, vain and vindictive”. This second concert of her Artist Spotlight teams her with the English Concert under Harry Bicket and a first-rate ensemble cast that includes the British mezzo Alice Coote.
Programme & Performers

Handel Alcina

English Concert
Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Joyce DiDonato Alcina
Alice Coote Ruggiero
Anna Christy Morgana
Christine Rice Bradamante
Ben Johnson Oronte
Wojtek Gierlach Melisso
Anna Devin Oberto













Alcina, Barbican, review: 'Joyce DiDonato is perfect'

Joyce DiDonato: 'Stop selling opera by dumbing it down'



Monteverdi L'incoronazione di Poppea
Academy of Ancient Music / Howarth
4 October 2014 / 19:00

Please note: due to a recent cast change, Lynne Dawson will be replacing Anna Caterina Antonacci in the role of Poppea.

Also, regretfully the Academy of Ancient Music’s Music Director, Richard Egarr, has had to withdraw from the concert for family reasons. We are delighted to announce that Robert Howarth will now direct the performance.

Monteverdi’s most sensuous – and scandalous- opera performed in concert by Robert Howarth, the Academy of Ancient Music and a stellar cast.

The story of the Emperor Nero’s intrigues, and the rise of his mistress Poppea is supposedly a cautionary tale. But L’incoronazione di Poppea (1643) tells that story in music of such beauty that audiences regularly find themselves seduced. Robert Howarth directs the Academy of Ancient Music and a world-class cast.

Power corrupts; but love can corrupt absolutely, and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea proves that point in music so dangerously seductive that it can still shock today. Following on from last year’s L’Orfeo, this second part of the Barbican’s three-year Monteverdi opera cycle is the first of three baroque programmes this season exploring the themes of Love, War, Betrayal and Intrigue. The Academy of Ancient Music are joined by leading modern exponents of these roles: Sarah Connolly sings Nerone, while Lynne Dawson's expressive soprano makes her a natural fit for the role of Poppea..


Monteverdi L'incoronazione di Poppea
Semi-staged performance

Academy of Ancient Music
Robert Howarth director
Alexander Oliver stage director
Lynne Dawson Poppea
Sarah Connolly Nerone
Sophie Junker Drusilla/Virtu
Daniela Lehner Amore/Damigella
Marina de Liso Ottavia
Matthew Rose Seneca
Iestyn Davies Ottone
Andrew Tortise Arnalta
Vicki St Pierre Nutrice
Elmar Gilbertsson Lucano/2nd Soldier
Gwilym Bowen Valletto/1st Soldier/Highest Familiari
Richard Latham Liberto/Middle Familiari
Charmian Bedford Fortuna
Phillip Tebb Littore/Bass Familiari






 演奏が始まる前にこの夜のパフォーマンスは、Academy of Ancient Musicの創始者で、先日亡くなったクリストファー・ホッグウッドに捧げるとのアナウンスがあった。

Christopher Hogwood obituary







 こんなに巧かったかな、とよい意味で驚いたのがマシュー・ローズ。もう一人よい歌唱だと思ったのはポッペアの乳母、Arnaltaを歌ったAndrew Tortise。彼の経歴紹介によると、近い将来、ロイヤル・オペラでモーツァルトの「ミトリダテ」に出演予定とのこと。このオペラも久しく舞台で観て居ないので楽しみ。











Your reaction: Maria Stuarda



 「マリア」と「オルフェオ」の演出が向いている方向は全く違うから、同じ場で語るのは限界があるかもしれない。しかし、特にモネ劇場の「オルフェオ」は、オペラがdying artではないことを明確に示していると思う。



New York's Met opera house on edge of precipice, says Peter Gelb

Metropolitan Opera could go bankrupt in 'in two years'


Grand opera is dying along with its increasingly ancient audience, according to Peter Gelb, general manager of one of the grandest operas in the world, the Metropolitan in New York. The renowned 3,800-seat opera house is fighting a losing battle on many fronts, and could face bankruptcy within three years, he says – and the crisis he sees in his own company could be a warning to many other opera houses.



Vienna State Opera

Box office: 98.8% occupancy; €33.1m income; 599,724 tickets sold

Annual running costs: €109m

Government grant: €58.7m

Private donations: €2m

Bavarian State Opera

Box office: 95.2%; €34.7m; 539,827

Annual running costs: €99.3m

Government grant: €61.8m

Private donations: €4.1m

La Scala

Box office: 95%; €32m; 425,000

Annual running costs: €115m

Government grant: €43m

Private donations: €34m

Royal Opera House

Box office: 95%; £37.1m

Annual running costs: £114.6m

Government grants: £27.4m

Private donations: £24m


Harriet Harman: state-backed arts must reach out to public

Opening the doors to our theatre, and opening minds about opera and ballet

Labour will cut museums' funding unless they attract more poor children



Daria Klimentová bows out with plea for classic ballets to be left alone

The ballerina has plans to teach and perhaps to return to Prague to run a ballet company, but fears for the future of classical ballet. Audiences were dwindling and some choreographers mistakenly taking desperate measures – jazzing up productions – to draw in the crowds, she said.

"Classical ballet is already getting smaller and smaller. I hope that it is not going to disappear. But what I see around me is a lot of choreographers who are destroying the classics. I wish that instead of doing Sleeping Beauty in some crazy new way, they would just go and invent their own full-length ballet story."

Klimentová exempts Matthew Bourne's acclaimed and innovative company from her criticism. It has set out to challenge the classics. It is the national ballet companies that annoy her when they attempt to copy Bourne's tricks, rather than concentrating on keeping the traditions alive. "They destroy the magic when they change them, say by putting Juliet in shorts. Maybe I am old-fashioned. I know you have to go forward. But there is a reason why these ballets are called classic. They are magical."

Fresh generations should be able to see a classic Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, she argues. "Why destroy a masterpiece? That drives me mad."










 で、「ジュリエッタ」ではチケットを売るのに苦戦したENOですが、ここ数年話題作もあり、特に若い世代を、ピンポイントであろうと思いますが、惹きつけている状況をさらに盛り上げる企画を発表しました。企画名は、Undress for the Opera、オペラを観るのに着飾る必要はない、という趣旨です。

John Berry, Artistic Director of English National Opera, joined by Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris, creators of the acclaimed Doctor Dee, which attracted 60% new ticket buyers to ENO, spoke from the stage of the London Coliseum today at the launch of UNDRESS FOR THE OPERA, a new scheme to attract young people and those who would not normally go to opera.

Alongside Loretta Tomasi, Chief Executive of English National Opera, John Berry, Artistic Director, announced plans for the introduction of a series of special informal evenings in the new season, when audiences will be encouraged to come casually dressed, in jeans and trainers if they wish, and the atmosphere will be more relaxed with club style bars serving beer and specially themed cocktails.

Best seats in the house will be held for these evenings at £25 each, which will include in the price a pre-performance introduction, a downloadable synopsis of the opera including Terry Gilliam’s witty ‘do’s and don’t’s’ of going to the opera, and an invitation to a post-performance party with cast and company members.

Undress for the Opera nights are:
Thursday 15 November 2012: Don Giovanni
Thursday 7 February 2013: La Traviata
Thursday 18 April 2013: Sunken Garden
Thursday 13 June 2013: The Perfect American




 最後に、せっかくですから今シーズンの注目演目を。11月5日から始まるヴォーン・ウィリアムズの「The Pilgrim’s Progress」の演出家の名前は、Yoshi Oida。確か、フランス在住の日本人舞台演出家・俳優の方ではないかと思います。「春琴」にも出演していたはず。
 2013年2月15日が初日のヘンデルシャルパンティエ「MEDEA」のタイトル・ロールは、イギリス人メゾ・ソプラノのサラ・コノリィ。彼女がでるオペラはすべて高評価なので、これは楽しみです。4月に世界初演となる、オランダ人作曲家 Michel van der Aa (どう発音するんだろう?)による「The Sunken Garden(上演はバービカンで)」、5月には、イギリスでは大ヒット、アメリカでおおこけ(だったはず)した舞台、「エンロン」を手がけたルパート・グールド演出の「ヴォツェック」、そして6月には、来年には76歳になるフィリップ・グラスがウォルト・ディズニィを取り上げたオペラ、「The Perfect American」。これらの間にプッチーニ、ヴェルディ、ロッシーニのオペラがあります。





The Olympics in Opera, Venice Baroque Orchestra

Metastasio: L'Olimpiade presented as a pasticcio with music by Caldara, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Leo, Galuppi, Perez, Hasse, Traetta, Jommelli, Piccinni, Gassman, Myslivecek, Cherubini, Cimarosa & Paisiello

Venice Baroque Orchestra
Andrea Marcon: conductor
Romina Basso: mezzo-soprano
Delphine Galou: mezzo-soprano
Ruth Rosique: soprano
Luanda Siqueira: soprano
Jeremy Ovenden: tenor
Nicholas Spanos: countertenor

This performance of the complete opera L'Olimpiade in concert features arias by Caldara, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Leo, Galuppi, Perez, Hasse, Traetta, Jommelli, Piccinni, Gassman, Myslivecek, Cherubini, Cimarosa and Paisiello.

Soon after 1733, when the great Roman poet Pietro Metastasio witnessed the premiere of his libretto L'Olimpiade, a procession of more than 50 composers began to set to music this tale of friendship, loyalty and passion. In the course of the 18th century, theatres across Europe commissioned operas from the Olympian composers of the day, and performances were acclaimed in the royal courts and public opera houses from Rome to Moscow, London and Prague.









Britten Theatre

Michael Rosewell conductor

For our pre-Christmas offering, we present an unmissable double bill of contrasting Bizet operettas, written at either end of the composer’s career.

The wonderfully witty Le docteur Miracle – possibly the only opera to feature an omelette in a starring role! – was written by the 18-year-old Bizet for a competition run by Offenbach to find the next great French opera composer. Needless to say, the precociously talented Bizet waltzed off with the prize for this enormously entertaining romp.

Djamileh is Bizet's penultimate opera, completed just before his final masterpiece Carmen. This tale of an Egyptian slave girl’s attempts to woo her master contains some of Bizet’s most wonderful music, and has been hailed as one of the great expressions of exoticism in music.

With recent RCM productions of operettas by Offenbach and G&S receiving huge acclaim on both sides of the English channel, this is the perfect opportunity to discover a pair of hidden gems.

Tickets: £10, £20, £30, £40



La Wally@オペラ・ホランド・パーク

8月10日に、ノッティング・ヒルの一つ先にあるホランド・パークで、毎年6月から8月にかけてもよされる「オペラ・ホランド・パーク」の今年のプログラムの一つ、アルフレード・カタラーニ作のオペラ、「La Wally」を観てきました。そんなオペラ聞いたことないという方が多いと思いますが、ご心配なく、僕も初見でした。が、このオペラが存在することは30年前から知っていたので観る前はわくわく、どきどきが入り混じったもの。観終わってからの感想は、観ることができてよかったし、音楽も予想以上に楽しめるものだったけど、このオペラを観たいと思ったきっかけを凌駕するものではなかった、というもの。

Conductor Peter Robinson
Director Martin Lloyd-Evans
Designer Jamie Vartan

Wally Gweneth-Ann Jeffers
Stromminger Stephen Richardson
Afra Heather Shipp
Walter Alinka Kozari
Hagenbach Adrian Dwyer
Gellner Stephen Gadd
Il Pedone Charles Johnston

Act One
A shooting contest is being held to celebrate the 70th birthday of Wally’s father, Stromminger. A hunting party arrives led by Hagenbach and an argument develops between him and Stromminger until he is led away. Gellner is in love with Wally and notices during the argument that she is infatuated by Hagenbach, her father’s enemy. He tells Stromminger and he insists Wally must agree to marry Gellner within a month or leave his house. She retorts she would rather be out in the cold that marry him.

Act Two
Time has passed, Stromminger has died and Wally has inherited his fortune. Hagenbach has become engaged to Afra, a landlady. There is a festival taking place and Wally makes her way to a tavern, knowing that Hagenbach will be there. Hagenbach is persuaded to accept a challenge to win a kiss from Wally. Hagenbach wins and when Wally realises she has been the victim of a cruel bet she becomes furious and insists to Gellner that if he truly loves her he must kill Hagenbach.

Act Three
Wally has returned home and with her anger subsiding wishes she could take back what she asked of Gellner. Gellner enters and tells her how he set upon Hagenbach and hurled him into a ravine. Wally rushes to the ravine in the hope of saving Hagenbach and successfully captures his unconscious body.

Act Four
Wally, very lonely, is in the mountains above the village. Her friend Walter follows her and pleads with her to come down for festivities in the village. She sends her away and contemplates her own death. She then hears another voice, this time Hagenbachs, who has recovered and has come to declare his love for her. Hagenbach goes to look for a safe path to take them both back, but when he shouts to Wally his voice causes an avalanche which carries him away. Wally then throws herself to her death.



 このオペラを観たかったのは、30年前に作られたフランス映画でした。ジャン・ジャック・ベネックスのデビュウ作、「DIVA」。この映画の中で、自分の歌を録音することをかたくなに拒否するソプラノ歌手が歌うアリアが、「La Wally」の一幕最後で歌われる、

Ebben Ne Andro Lontana





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