Live on Rai1, the Concerto di Natale live from Basilica Superiore di San Francesco d'Assisi with trax from Rossini among others, go here for more streaming details. Concerto conducted by Steven Mercurio with a performance by Nicola Benedetti.
Come to OC's 18th century apartment, open the fridge, and you'll find bottles of Badoit and Plose, the freshest veggies from Fratelli Galantino fruttivendolo -- roasted beets, Sicilian lemons and tarocco oranges -- bars of bitter chocolate from Demel, black and green olives from Peck (they score them by hand, into quarters, so the flesh melts in your mouth) and mimolette and bitto cheeses.
So minus our savory and sweet indulgences, Roberto Bolle's fridge, as revealed by Corriere della Sera's Io Donna, kind of makes us feel at home.
The health-conscious ballerino splits his time between homes in Manhattan and Milano but stocks his New York City apartment fridge (no Sub-Zero, he's got one of those 1950-era vintage metal designs) with super-fresh produce. Fruit for breakfast and never coffee -- he hates the taste. Sometimes green tea if he needs a caffeine kick (good to know for when you're making Bolle breakfast-in-bed). If he's training, he takes a 40 minute lunch break and snacks on nuts, dried fruit, bananas, a protein bar and two hard boiled eggs that he brings from home. Heh. If he has the luxury of eating dinner at home, it's usually shrimp, avocado, salad, seitan and fish or meat.
CGIL union has launched a strike for the Filarmonica della Scala concert on December 21. The concert was the 5th concert of the 2010/11 Beethoven-Schönberg cycle that featured Schönberg's Kammersymphonie and Beethoven's Ninth, conducted by Barenboim with soloists Anja Arteros, Ekaterina Gubarova, Klaus Florian Vogt and Peter Mattei. O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Today José Carreras will make an appearance on Rai3's Che Tempo Che Fa. He'll be singing Anema e core and La virgen lava pañales. The show starts at 8:10pm (Milan time) and you can watch a live stream by going to the website here and looking for the interface on the right-hand side that says, "Guarda la diretta di Rai Tre". Click that shizz & get your Carreras on. It's in Italian but Carreras speaks the international language of love.
(Don Giovanni at Teatro alla Scala, credit Brescia e Amisano)
Opera Chic reviewed La Scala's Mozart season opener Don Giovanni in Robert Carsen's new production for Opera Now. A pared-down online abstract of a forthcoming print review can be found on Opera Now's website. You'll have to shell-out some LSD //librae, solidi, denarii// to read the longer, juicier, girth-ier print review when the January 2012 edition of Opera Now hits the newsstands!
The Economist's More Intelligent Life runs a more intelligent feature by Julian "More Intelligent" Barnes called "Where Sibelius Fell Silent". It dissects Jean Sibelius' "grand log villa" on a one-acre plot in Järvenpää where he composed most of his major works until he fell silent for almost 30 years until 1957 when he died at age 91. Forty clicks north of Helsinki, he called it "Ainola" and raised five daughters who in 1972 sold the house and its contents to the Finnish state which opened it as a museum in 1974.
Sibelius was buried on the grounds and was joined 12 years later by his wife. Just in case his ghost wants to come back and party (and finish that 8th symphony), most of his personal effects are still gathering frost in the house, including a white summer jacket (above) aaand...that's obviously not a chamber pot but for our 6th grade humor's sake -- it's close enough!
After a mixed reception of Robert Carsen's new La Scala season-opening production of Don Giovanni, conducted by an unsteady Daniel Barenboim, the two collaborators are defending their art against Milanese detractors.
CarsenBoim took aim at the smattering of boos heard during the 10-minute final curtain call that followed Carsen's rewritten coup de théâtre Don Giovanni finale -- the remainder of the cast including Bryn Terfel, Peter Mattei and Anna Netrebko were roundly applauded.
Rome's daily La Repubblica went backstage on Sant'Ambrogio to gauge Barenboim's reaction, particularly regarding a brazen loggionisti who shouted "troppo lento" (too slow) when the new Music Director took the podium at the beginning of the second act. Barenboim said:
"These protests happen in Italy but also in Germany. I'm liberal and think that everyone has the right to express their own opinions. But don't come into the theater and scream. If you eat a bad meal at a restaurant, you don't go into the kitchen and scream at the chef because the food was bad: maybe just give a smaller tip and don't go back to that restaurant."
These sorts of provocations aren't worthy of acknowledging, said Barenboim, who hasn't been shy in he past when confronting his audiences. OC was at a concert in 2007 at La Scala where the pugnacious Barenboim had a Sergio Leone spaghetti western staredown with a camera-wielding ticket holder. He won, of course. Fastest gun in the West(ern Europe).
We were also at La Scala in February 2009 when Barenboim garnered his very first Il Piermarini booing, so his skin is thicker at this point. The gun-slinging conductor then spoke to La Repubblica ironically about the "troppo lento" heckler:
"If I had really wanted to, I would have told that gentlemen [in the loggione]: 'Well now you can get the heck outta here because the second act won't be any quicker.'"
Robert Carsen, the Canadian director who gave us the OJ verdict version of Don Giovanni, said that he didn't hear any booing for him at opening night. Haaaaa nice. He defended his Don, too:
"I wanted to reveal the personality of the libertine and show him like a mirror of what the other characters had within themselves, his pure energy of the good and the bad as being pulled by others."
Regardless of the booing, wieners for the h8rs. For La Scala, it's a success: opening night pulled in an 8% increase in profit (2,390,000 euro) from last year's frankly unmemorable Die Walkure (reports here and here and here). Next year opens with Wagner's Lohengrin stamped by Claus Guth with Anja Harteros, Rene Pape and Jonas Kaufmann.
This just in from The Metropolitan Opera. Our biggest healing hugs to Maestro Levine:
Music Director James Levine will not conduct at the Metropolitan Opera for the remainder of this season, or during the 2012-13 season, in order to allow for a full recovery from the spinal injury he suffered last August. After falling while on vacation last summer, Levine underwent emergency surgery that forced him to withdraw from his performances in the first part of this season.
Due to the severe injury to his spinal cord, Levine’s doctors have said that his post-operative recovery will be a long-term process. Since September he has been at a rehabilitation facility, which he will be leaving shortly. While his condition has greatly improved in recent months, it is uncertain exactly when he will be fully recovered and able to return to conducting.
Following recent consultations with Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager, Levine has decided not to conduct for the remainder of the current season, or for the entire 2012-13 season. Although he might be ready to start conducting sooner, the decision about next season had to be made now in order to secure the services of replacement conductors for the works Levine had been scheduled to lead. The Met’s 2012-13 season and casting will be announced this coming February.
We've got you covered with Italy's big three newspapers -- Il Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, and La Stampa -- for La Scala's season opening Sant'Ambrogio Don Giovanni.
Headlines mostly addressed Milan's latest turn for opening night sobriety/austerity, the fact that Monti and Napolitano were there to support the arts, an overall victory for Barenboim/Carsen and the verb "seduce".
Milan's Corriere della Sera ran front-page coverage of a Don Giovanna that "conquered la Scala".
"Twelve minutes of applause for a successful Don Giovanni" continued Corriere's coverage. Articles covered everything from Carsen's re-write of the Don Giovanni parable to a new austerity, equally evident in guest wardrobes.
HBIC (head byotch in charge) Marta Marzotto chatted with Roberto Bolle in the foyer.
Milan seduced by Don Giovanni. Since an opera-hating Berlusconi no longer rules, it's the first time since 2004 that the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano and Milan's Prime Minister (now Mario Monti) were at the theater together. (Berlusca's one and only appearance at La Scala's opening night during 17-years for the re-opening of the theater after renovations).
Don Giovanni conquers la Scala "Stupendous Opera, Like Always: Applause and some Booing from the Loggione"
Close-up of bottom panel.
A round-up of all the other places that Don Giovanni had been transmitted during la prima, including a huge screen in Galleria Emanuele Vittorio II.
And now for Corriere della Sera's special La Scala insert:
Now to Rome's La Repubblica:
"Don Giovanni Seduces La Scala but the Real Star is Napolitano: ten minutes of applause, outside there were protests: an egg thrown at Monti's car."
La Scala's 2011/12 season officially opened earlier tonight with a new Robert Carsen production of Don Giovanni. OC was there -- more tomorrow so she can wash all this Armani Eyes to Kill smokiness from her heavy lids & tuck into Bellora sheets -- but the principal cast pretty much rocked. Barenboim and Carsen, not so much.
We're looking forward to the second rotation of Don Giovanni, which doubles our pleasure with Italian bass-baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as both Don Giovanni and Leporello. We asked him about playing the Ace and the Wingman (and more) in our latest piece for OC's Stasera Esco on Grazia.it.
On the eve of Sant'Ambrogio, the December 7th feast day of Milan's patron saint, the city prepares to launch Teatro alla Scala's 2011/12 season with a new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The Wednesday night premiere was given to Canadian opera director Robert Carsen, who will also bow a new Les contes d'Hoffmann in mid-January 2012 for il Piermarini (for the record, we've also got two Luc Bondy productions this season -- Tosca with Luisotti in April 2012 and a new Rigoletto with Dudamel in November 2012). Paid.
DonG's one of the most buzzed about season openers in recent years for its star power, which had been dimmed during a deluge of Wagner and Verdi (and Bizet) with idiosyncratic casting. And c'mon, it's the f*cking Don. Mozart Da Ponte! We've got new MD Barenboim on the podium, Peter Mattei as the Don, Bryn Terfel as Leporello, Barbara Frittoli as Donna Elvira, Annuschka as Donna Anna, Giuseppe Filianoti as Don Ottavio and Kwangchul Youn as Il Commendatore.
Every Italian news agency and their mothers have been publishing photos from various rehearsals and the final dress on December 4.
FOTO FEVER! PHOTO PHEVER!
Corriere's special section is here, with a huge photo show here (via Pierluigi Panza's recap here).
Il Sole 24 Ore has a photo show of 14 photos here.
La Repubblica's photo show is here, with a special section here.
If you weren't one of the lucky VIPs to score a median-1,440 euro ticket, you have a few options:
Rai's boasting ten telecameras and sixty microphones to capture the December 7 performance which will be fed to Rai5 and Radio3. In Europe, it'll be seen on ARTE and ZDF. In Russia, on TV Kultura, and in the USA, it's accessible in movie theaters through Emerging Pictures. Rai5 will play a repeat on Sunday, December 11 at 9:30am.
There's also be a jumbotron in Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and a handful of Italian cinemas.
For Italian Sky satellite subscribers, opening night will be transmitted on a delayed feed on Classica (channel 728) starting at 8:50 with a 20 minute pre-show. Classica's also offering a free trial to non-subscribers from December 7-14.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Who cares. It's Jake Ryan reincarnated as Roberto Bolle, flashing his muscolatura on Fiorello. Bolle stopped by the Italian comedian's show to prance around topless and wait a second, what just happened? Happy birthday, Samantha, make a wish. ~It already came true~
Earlier in the day, Bolle was on twitter, criticising the recent Finmeccanica/Guarguaglini inquest and caught Corriere della Sera's attention. The lesson? You don't always have to take off your shirt and flaunt your 6-hours-of-training (x) 6-days-a-week Adonis physique to get media attention. It sure helps, tho!
The Philadelphia Inquirer celebrates the awesomness of the Curtis Institute of Music with "The Curtis Factor", a three-part series that launched over the weekend. The mixed-media project is in homage to the music students of the Philly academy that's haunted by the ghosts of former Philadelphia Orchestra MDs Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy just like some crazy Harry Potter Hogwarts shizz. The coolest part? They commissioned current Curtis student/composer Katerina Kramarchuk for a piece and she wrote "Trio" for piano, clarinet and cello, performed by her Curtis colleagues.
Milan's gearing-up for the Teatro alla Scala season opener Don Giovanni that takes place on December 7, the city's Sant'Ambrogio holiday, and for the occasion, Daniel Barenboim had something to say about it.
The film's soundtrack was composed by Alexandre Desplat whose credits run mad deep -- Terrence Malick's masterpiece The Tree of Life and The King's Speech -- but all we can think about is the fact that Desplat looks exactly like the Armenian real estate developer who got an unhappy ending on American Horror Story.
The movie stars Tom Hanks as the deceased Thomas Schell, Sandra Bullughhhck as the widow, and newcomer Thomas Horn as the book's protagonist. And Max von Sydow.
Thibaudet's previously dipped into Hollywood soundtracks for Atonement and Pride and Prejudice. You can hear some of his twinkling keys in the trailer here. [Warning: U2's Where the Streets have no Name plays at the end...you've been warned!]