This fall, spend your Sunday nights at the opera in your own living room with COC General Director Alexander Neef and CinéTFO+'s Sunday opera program! At 8 p.m. each Sunday, from September 22 to October 20, watch as Alexander introduces each of the late 19th-century French operas featured below and shares his insights about the productions, history and cast.
Sunday, September 22, 2013, 8 p.m. - Massenet's Manon, Grand Teatre del Liceu, 2007
This production of Massenet's tragic opera features superstars Natalie Dessay and Rolando Villazón as the two devoted but suffering lovers who are never quite on the same page as they desperately try to hold on to their romance. Director David McVicar uses an amphitheatre-like setting and features dancer-actors in complex choreographies, reflecting the action and inner thoughts of the leads. Not a production to miss, you can watch a clip from Manon and the Chevalier’s cheerful Act II duet on YouTube.
Sunday, September 29, 2013, 8 p.m. - Chabrier's L'étoile, Opéra Comique, Paris, 2008
This classic opéra bouffe by Emmanuel Chabrier has encountered a new popularity of late. The late 19th-century opera deals with a menacing monarch, a series of mistaken identities, botched romantic entanglements and not one, but two marriages at the end! The Opéra Comique production is colourful and whimsical to match the fantastical tone of the opera, and lends itself nicely to the light-hearted plot.
Sunday, October 6, 2013, 8 p.m. - Bizet's Carmen, Opéra de Lyon, 2012
This popular production of Bizet's Carmen wowed and stunned the opera world last year, with a very Moulin Rouge-inspired staging that turned an opera about revolutionaries into an opera about the bourgeois lifestyle and those who fight against it. José Maria Lo Monaco plays a stunning Carmen, a woman who wants to be watched but will control exactly how you see her, a woman with no qualms about shifting her affections from the soft-hearted Don José (Yonghooon Lee) to the exciting Escamillo (Giorgio Caoduro.)
Sunday, October 13, 2013, 8 p.m. - Lecocq's La fille de Madame Angot, Opéra de Lausanne, 2011
One of the most successful French light operas around, La fille de Madame Angot deals with orphan Clairette who is bethrothed to an honest wig-maker but has her sights set on a dashing young revolutionary writer instead. After she makes her intentions known by publicly reciting one of the poet's controversial pieces, she's arrested and discovers that her writer may not be what he seems! The Opéra de Lausanne production reveals a bright and colourful France, reflecting the ambitions and dreams of the young people at the heart of the story.
Sunday, October 20, 2013, 8 p.m. - Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Arena di Verona, 2011
What could be more perfect for Gounod's popular adaptation of Shakespeare's beloved romantic tragedy, than a performance in fair Verona? The two star-crossed lovers, played by Nino Machaidze and Stefano Secco, charm each other and the audiences in this 2011 performance set in Verona’s ancient arena with a large cast, fleshing out Shakespeare's story about two warring families. Check out the trailer above for a preview of this extravagant production.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Alexander Neef / comments (0) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001