The Annual Opera News Awards Issue
The April issue of Opera News magazine covers, among other things , the annual awards ceremonies for lifetime achievement in opera which will be held in New York next month the magazine hosts . The honorees are the brilliant but highly controversial opera and stage director Peter Sellars , Finnish sopranos Karita Mattila and Anja Silja , Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Swedish baritone Peter Mattei .
Each is profiled in the magazine by members of the magazine's staff . Writer William R. Braun has an interesting article on the mysterious character of Erda , the earth mother of Wagner's Ring , and her significance in the complex story of the huge operatic cycle . Philip Kennicott , chief arts critic of the Washington Post , discusses the significance of the Ring as not only a work of art but one which "connects to bigger issues in the world around us ".
Musicologist Hugh McDonald discusses the tenor roles in some of the most famous operas of Jules Massenet , on th eoccaision of the Met's new production of the composer's most famous opera , Manon, which just had its first performance a few days ago .
As usual duirng the raqdio broadcast season , there is coverage of this months broadcasts : Manon, La Traviata, Die Walkure and Siegfried from the Ring , and Janacek's The Makropoulos Case . There are lists of cast, conductors , directors, designers etc, plus photos of the sets from the productions , plot synopses, background information about the operas and the composers etc, everything you need to enjoy the broadcasts .
The magazine's roving corrrespondants review performances of operas from the Met , Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Miami , and Paris, Berlin and Stuttgart in Europe . Among these are the Met's new Gotterdammerung, conclusion of the Ring, Aida from Chicago and Manon form Paris, all new productions .
CD reviews include a recital of Slavic baritone arias by Mariusz Kwecien of Poland, baroque arias by soprano Danielle De Niese , Dmitri Hvorostovsky in songs by Rachmaninov , and Bach cantatas by German countertenor Andreas Scholl .
DVD reviews include Carmen and Berg's Lulu from Barcelons , and Capriccio, the final opera by Roichard Strauss from the Met . There's plenty of interest , as in every month, and even if you're not particularly into opera, it's always stimulating to read .