Tomorrow night, Teatro De La Maestranza presents Puccini's Turandot, sung by Maria Guleghina (above) and Janice Baird, Fabio Armiliato (below) splits Calaf duties with Marco Berti, and Daniela Dessi shares Liu with Norah Amsellem.
On November 3, 1942, Alban Berg's Wozzeck, banned in Germany as degenerate art, had its Italian premiere at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma (then Teatro Reale). Rome's opera house has gracefully chosen to dedicate their recent season premiere -- another Wozzeck, this time staged by Giancarlo Del Monaco and conducted by maestro Gianluigi Gelmetti -- to the memory of the 1,024 Roman Jewish citizen who in October 1943 were kidnapped by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz. Ticket prices for the performance had been heavily marked down to a very affordable 20-30 euros.
Corriere della Sera hailed the production's minimalist staging as a "genius" premise, Jean-Philippe Lafont's "impressive" "voice" and "charisma", Gelmetti's "natural" talent for conducting music written by very different composers; big props to Janice Baird's "musicalissima Marie", "most musical Marie".
Even if Opera Chic is on the record as a bit of a h8er of most things Wagner -- a more successful antisemite than a composer, if you ask OC, not to mention a wildly successful precursor of various neckbearded hipsters -- it makes her very happy that la signorina Janice Baird is the new Brunnhilde of the Seattle Opera replacing in the 2009 Ring our dear Jane Eaglen (Eaglen's Norma live in Florence, conducted by Muti, is playing all the time in Opera Chic's sound system and in her mp3 player as well). Baird has been a delicious Elektra in Seville and a great Isolde in Rome, that Oc has appreciated thx to various bewtleg in-haus recordings.