Pavarotti on Film: The Week in Classical Music
“Pavarotti” is upon us. Ron Howard’s new documentary opened on Friday; I found it a pretty sensitive if superficial portrait, most notable for the reminder of the extent of the great tenor’s celebrity, the kind of stardom unthinkable today for even a top opera star.
It was also a reminder of how the two sides of opera — the sublime and the vulgar — came together in Pavarotti:
Here is the remarkable rendition of “Che gelida manina,” from “La Bohème,” that I discuss:
I return to his voice and joy in this duet from “L’Elisir d’Amore” again and again:
The classical team is beginning its summer travel. As I write this, the Ojai Music Festival is wrapping up in California; I was there last week to watch rehearsals with the artistic director, Thomas W. Morris, celebrating his final festival:
From Amsterdam, where the Holland Festival presented an unheard-of 15-hour selection from Stockhausen’s seven-opera “Licht,” Josh Barone reported on a mini-cycle that “distills Stockhausen’s cosmic ambition without sacrificing the work’s awe-inspiring scale.” Seth Colter Walls tied “Licht” to other operatic cycles that balance grandeur and depth.
I’m heading tomorrow to Los Angeles for a new production — the first in more than 25 years — of Meredith Monk’s luminous opera “Atlas.”
Josh wrote about how Ms. Monk has finally risked giving another director control of one of her stage works.
It was a good week for the Philadelphia Orchestra, which announced a $55 million gift to buttress its endowment and help with its operating costs. Then, on Friday, the ensemble and its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, came to Carnegie Hall for a concert that Anthony Tommasini wrote in The Times featured “exuberant playing.”
Tony said that the highlight was Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, with Beatrice Rana as soloist. Read our profile of this fast-rising dynamo:
The Metropolitan Opera is spiking its Robert Lepage staging of Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust” next season, replacing it with concert performances. The reason? “Unanticipated technical demands.”
What does that mean? Your guess is as good as mine!