Kia's out for an elitist-luxury rebrand via its K900 model with a big budget commercial/Turandot remix to run during this weekend's NFL Super Bowl XLVIII.
In the 1.33 minute spot, Larry Fishburne reprises his role as Morpheus from The Matrix, rebooted as a car salesman/tenor. He belts Puccini's chestnut 'Nessun Dorma' aria in the backseat of a car, melting spoons (a Matrix reference) and exploding lights. A+ for everyone strapped into seatbelts, but it needs more sad Keanu.
At Valentino in Paris, on beauty, the Pat McGath/Guido Palau hair-maquillage dream team gave models a low-hung, center-part worthy of a diva. 'Operatic' said Palau to WWD, but we spy a Maria Callas Traviata throwback.
Back like Moriarity, byotches. Winterreise passed with close-flung travel, like in Venice, where we danced by moonlight on a superyacht (FYI Onassis' Christina O had barstools covered in 'an ultrasoft pelt, made from the foreskin of minke whales'), skied glaciers in Kitzbühel and nipped four-course champagne breakfasts in Cortina.
We checked out the Museo del Risorgimento exhibition 'Verdi Architetto', photographs by conductor Francesco Maria Colombo of Verdi's old haunts (below) -- Villa Verdi Sant’Agata, Villanova sull’Arda and his tomb at la Casa di Riposo per Musicisti on display through March.
Palazzo Morando hosted 'VENI VIDI VERDI. La donna è mobile', a (sophomoric -- sorry!) play on Verdi's Rigoletto aria through installations and *meh* mash-ups, Verdi prints layered over the museum's permanent collections (below).
We slid into nostalgia with the la Fenice Concerto di Capodanno -- Carmen Giannattasio and Lawrence Brownlee dueling Verdi medley, the former peacocking three, lush wardrobe changes merit to Italian fashion designer Antonio Rivas, complete with matching fascinators (Hershey's Kisses version below).
The Wiener Philharmoniker New Year's Concert set couture against custom, ballerinas in Vivienne Westwood. At the traditional Radtzky March, spirited Barenboim snatched brass from one of the Wieners.
Back in Milan, we sipped Callas Crustas at the Grand Hotel et de Milan -- brandy, cointreau, maraschino, lemon and bitters.
We found a twee mini-lego violin at Milan's +century old music store, Mitarotonda.
We lolled at Justin Bieber's new tat:
And we fell in love again with the interwebz for sweet dreams made like these:
In Cinque Terre between mountain hikes, we regretted not buying this Turandot DVD performed by the Levanto young'uns academy, as advertised at a local bar.
And not eating in this restaurant...
Or buying this hotplate with Claudio Abbado from the Teatro alla Scala shop:
It stars our favorite hobbit, Elijah Wood, who's threatened by a sniper, played by our favorite '80s underdog, John Cusack. The trailers and teasers are only in Spanish, like this behind-the-scenes clip below. ¡genial!
When R&B singer R. Kelly [NSFW] released the cover art for his [NSFW] upcoming CD late last week, we lol'd. Between the Moonwalker fedora, the Phantom of the Opera mask and the Yeezus leather pants, he's all over the place.
OC slapped some strings over the image above, but the real version's not safe for work.
At a recent PBS event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, actress Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley on Downton Abbey, wore a piano-themed Moschino Cheap and Chic drop-waist, little black dress with a piano-key hemline.
Milan Fashion Week kicked off its Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear collections this morning with textiles-icon Ermenegildo Zegna in stylist Stefano Pilati's highly-anticipated debut collection after a drama-filled departure from Yves Saint Laurent last year.
Sadly, we'll miss MFW day one's afterhours with its adorably-awkward male models -- we'll be at Teatro alla Scala, livetweeting the final chapter of Cassiers Wagner Ring Cycle. Join us! @operachic@teatroallascala@matteobordone
What is singing? Voice coaches often try to demystify it, call it a mere
vibration of vocal cords due to a movement of air. But that is a lie.
Singing is nakedness. And it is a far more fathomless form of nakedness
than that achieved by the removal of clothes.
As early spring plummets our circadian rhythm earthbound and pangs of Lent leak from our iPod (oh dear, how embarrassing), Il Sole 24 Ore rounds up Western Europe's best Spring Break classical music offerings and it's not all Passions, Oratorios or Resurrections: Tomorrow La Scala opens a Gergiev-led Macbeth, spared from
the strike-hammer that cancels the April 7 replication; Rome's Teatro dell'Opera gets a new Fura dels Baus Saint-Saëns Samson
et Dalila; Barenboim & Staatskapelle Berlin do Villazon & Pape in a Mozart
Requiem for the Konzerte Festtage; and the Osterfestspiele Salzburg glides through a
Thielemann Parsifal run with the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Top stories this week: Crazy weather we're having here. It's March and there's snow on the ground. Did you lose weight? No? A new haircut? No? Ah. Well, you look good anyway. How about those 2013-14
season announcements? Bayerische Staatsoper
and Wiener Staatsoper. And New York City Opera. Beef & iron Goliaths to the NYCO's willowy David. Impressive in quantity >>
quality. Oh. We tried to email it to you, but it was too, uhhhhh -- it was too big.
Bayerische Staatsoper backpedals with GM Nikolaus
Bachler & MD designate Kirill Petrenko to commemorate the 50th anniversary
of the Munich National Theatre, plus a Strauss 150th birthday gala chaser. New productions include Die Frau ohne Schatten by Krzysztof
Warlikowski in November, Verdi's Forza by Martin Kušej in December (with
Harteros/Kaufmann), La clemenza by Jan Bosse in Feb 2014, Rake's Progress in
April 2014 and Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Die Soldaten in May 2014. The 2014
Munich Opera Festival opens with Guillaume Tell in June and continues with
Monteverdi's L’Orfeo in July. The season also includes replications I Capuleti e i
Montecchi, Wozzeck (with Keenlyside), Carmen, La Calisto, L'elisir, Lucrezia
Borgia, Rusalka, Hansel und Gretel, Cosi, Don Giovanni, Le Nozze, Zauberfloete,
Boris Godunov, Le Contes, La Boheme, Tosca, Butterfly, Turandot, L’Enfant et
les sortilèges/Der Zwerg, Barbiere (Florez), La Cenerentola, Turco in Italia,
Ariadne, Salome, Rosenkavalier, Onegin, Macbeth (Keenlyside/Trebs), Rigoletto,
Boccanegra, Travaiata (Damrau/Villazon/ Hampson/Nucci), Trovatore, Der
Fliegende Hollander, Parsifal and Babylon.
Wiener Staatsoper announced its 2013-14 season, which promises
to be thickly engorged with Jonas Kaufmann Dick jokes *opens Burrberry trenchcoat, lowers Ray-Bans, looks you dead in the eye* Check out my Kaufmann dick puns...like what you see? The German tenor's been
cast as Dick Johnson against Nina Stemme in Fanciulla. Replications include Traviata, Carmen (Rinat Shaham), Tosca (Angela Gheorghiu),
Otello (Hvorostovsky), Tristan und Isolde, Simon Boccanegra (Thomas Hampson),
Barbiere, Aida, Don Carlo, Der Rosenkavalier, Anna Bolena, La Fille (Florez),
Un Ballo, L'elisir, Butterfly (Domingo), Zauberfloete, Henze's Pollicino,
Fidelio, Cenerentola, Fliedermaus, Nozze, Don Giovanni, Cosi, Tosca, Boris
Godunov, Rusalka, Cav/Pag, Salome, Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Massenet’s
Manon, Onegin, Wozzeck, Rigoletto, Lohengrin, Ariadne, Parsifal, Nabucco,
Gounod’s Faust, Gioradano's Andrea Chenier, Norma, La Clemenza, Traviata, Les
Contes, Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried and Gotterdammerung.
Meek but mighty New York City Opera also rolled out its
new season announcemenet via newly-appointed MD/conductor Jayce Ogren (who goes
live on September 1) + GM/AD George Steel (who was included in the Observer's
recent list of 25 rising New Yorker stars, in good company with delicious Ronan Farrow
& Ivanka Trump). Comprised of four works from modern to baroque, the season bows
with the American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole (in co-pro with
BAM on Sept. 17-28 at the Howard Gilman Opera House) & the rarely-staged
Endimione by JC Bach (Feb. 8–16, 2014 at El Museo del Barrio), rounded out by
new productions of Bartók's Bluebeard’s Castle (Feb. 28-March 15, 2014 at St.
Ann’s Warehouse) and Nozze (April 19–26, 2014 at New York City Center).
On the business side, the ROH announced its new ceo ->
Alex Beard, the current deputy director of Tate (since 2002), to start with
the 2013/14 season.
Hugo Shirley roundtabled with rumoured-Milan-bound Alexander Pereira, Salzburg's current intendant for April's Opera Magazine on fund raising, festival projects and the death of shock-&-awe Regietheater: "In Germany we have seen all these people running on stage and making pissy in the corner. [ed: lol x lol x lol] I think this is over and we are demanding that the stage directors are telling the story -- in a modern or traditional way, I don't mind. At the end of the day, there's only a good production or a bad production."
In Naples, Neil Fisher broke mozzarella
with Maestro Nicola Luisotti during his San Carlo Verdi
Requiem about his upcoming ROH Nabucco for The Times. Said the maestro on live music vs.
the distilled experience: “Music has to be live. You sit in the opera
house with somebody else and you live an experience. It’s like love —
you can’t make love by phone or internet. Well, you can, but in bed,
with a person, is better.” Which reminds us of OC's 2009 interview with Matt Poland for Splice
Today, when grilled about our insistence of live opera over HD simulcasts/CDs: "The unamplified voice -- nothing like it, ever.
YouTube and HD simulcasts
have created this impression that opera is best enjoyed from afar, it's
not true, the true visceral experience is there in the opera house, and
it always will be. It's the difference between having sex and watching a
porno. It's sad that one has to point this out."
The Royal Opera House is diving into polemic-lite to inaugurate its new series called The Big Question and asks if opera and ballet are elitist. The debate, vaguely framed, is cast through a wide, egalitarian net: "To help make the debate as wide as possible, we would actively
encourage people with no experience of opera and ballet – or those who
actively dislike the art forms – to come along."
C'mon. The big question for OC is :why pander to people who
think opera is elitist (or even worse, distilled to the image above)? Because the b-side argument inferrer is the untapped masses who'd rather spend their disposable income on Mamma Mia
matinee tix or Yankees vs. Tigers, so if that's the case, just
commission a season full of operas about Rihanna's and Chris Brown's punch drunk love (literally) or The
Kardashians (I dieci Kardashian) and you'll make a love connection between butts and red velvet-upholstered seats. Or replace Mahler's Fifth Symphony with The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony and hand everyone a cigarette lighter. Luckily that's as unlikely as Ryan Lochte becoming a SAT math tutor. Unlike other cultural arenas, opera (and its unfairly neglected BFF symphony) carries the connotation that it needs a cipher to appreciate it. But you don't need a cheat code to connect with opera's archetypal meat -- love/betrayal/forgiveness/justice/revenge. When did such a pure artform become so complicated? Wait. Don't answer that. Don't answer that. Don't answer that. Indoctrinate them all and let Beethoven sort 'em out.
If you're an opera/ballet-loving elitist, you can listen to it all go down from your Eames
lounger (while the opera/ballet-hating bourgeoisie can listen from their Ikea horsemeat chairs) on Monday, March 11, live-streamed from the Royal Opera House/Telegraph websites at 8pm UK time. The panel of tangential opera peeps is moderated by Telegraph Arts editor Sarah Crompton who rolled out an editorial in Thursday's paper. *tents fingers to nose*
As we bid Fashion Week goodbye (gone till September), we look to its swan song city, Paris, where the academy arts mixed with fashion -- Wagner Lieder on the runway, opera singer progeny in the first row and cutom made pointe shoes.
Exhibit A: English actress Rebecca Hall, daughter of American opera singer Maria Ewing, took in Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2013 in a stretch denim tube dress (above).
Exhibit D: a private performance by French dancer Marie-Agnes Gillot and Vincent Chaillet at Carine Roitfeld's black tie ball at the Paris Shangri-La Hotel to celebrate her CR Fashion Book 2 issue. The ballet-centric edition features an editorial, Fancy Footwork, with NYCB dancer Faye Arthurs modelling custom-made ballet shoes (with New York Giants wide receiver Ramses Barden).
Every once in a while, Balmain-shoulder-to-Margiela-shoulder at Milan Fashion Week runway shows, we've felt that same operatic rush from the blowback of strutting waifs in sharply-cut Armani silks as a particularly well-etched Rheingold Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla. Which is why we were curious to hear Carolina Herrera's newly-commissioned classical-lite piece for her NYFW Fall 2013 RTW collection. Above, Tom Hodge's "Capriccio for Carolina", based on Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, bowed at Herrera's show today.