Music in NYC: Carla Bruni Concert at The Town Hall in NYC

Music in NYC: Carla Bruni Concert at The Town Hall in NYC 

Returning to The Town Hall on February 16, 2018 with new program  

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 album French Touch
Carla Bruni / Image courtesy of Metropolitan Entertainment

Carla Bruni, a French singer-songwriter and a former first lady and ex-supermodel is bringing her latest collection of songs to concert halls in the US in February 2018. Her dreamy yet sultry singing style of the love chansons accompanied on guitar playing by Bruni herself is guaranteed to give a terrific music night for the concertgoers. You can book tickets here.

Carla Bruni Sarkozy (née Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi) was born in 1967 in Turin, Italy and moved to France at the age of 7. Starting with the piano in school, she discovered a guitar when she was about 11 years old. Right there at the first group lesson, she realized that this is her instrument. Singing and playing guitar became her purpose in life.

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018

She started her music career in 1997 before successfully modeling for the top couture houses in France. Her success in songwriting began when in 1999 she sent her lyrics to Julien Clerc. The songs were later included in his album Si j’étais elle . Bruni’s first personal disc Quelqu’un m’a dit was released in 2002. That followed by No Promises in 2007. She continued to record after her marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France in 2007-2012.Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018

Bruni’s third album Comme si de rien n’état  was published in 2008 and Little French Songs in 2012. A 4-year interval between the releases did not mean that she stopped her career in light of becoming the first lady of France. Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 But even though she finished the work on the songs and the recordings by 2011, “it wasn’t considered appropriate to release it while she was First Lady” according to 2013 expose in Vanity Fair.

The latest album French Touch, released  by Verve in October 2017, is her fifth. She regained the pace of her performing and recording music career when her husband had lost the reelection in 2012 and the family had fully relocated from the Élysées Palace to a private residence on Right Bank. The songs included in this album are all her favorites from when “I was a teenager” as she confided in the interview to NPR’s Scott Simon.

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 An idea for Bruni to record English language pop and country classics was David Foster’s, an acclaimed music producer and a former chairman of Verve. The collection includes the covers that she knew by heart, so the whole project felt like a smooth sailing full of distant memories and charming reveries. In the interview with The New York Times, she reveals that its “her secret passion: singing classic rock, country and jazz standards in English”.

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 album French Touch
Carla Bruni / Image courtesy of Metropolitan Entertainment

She has been including classic rock in her latest concert programs in Paris and on tours in Europe. However, her program at the NYC appearance in 2013 has featured primarily the songs from the newly released at that time Quelqu’un m’a dit album. All were in French or Italian delivered with the mastery, elegance, and simplicity.

The upcoming concert in February in NYC will give her fans a chance to enjoy an unbelievable mix of familiar classics performed in subtly sexy voice making it even more chic with a hint of French accent.

 


 

 

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 album French Touch

Concert Dates and Tickets: 

 

New York City at The Town Hall on Friday, February 16, 2018

 

Venue: The Town Hall, 123 W 43rd Str, NY, NY

Music in NYC: Hommage à Chopin by Daniil Trifonov, piano at Carnegie Hall

Music in NYC:  Hommage à Chopin by Daniil Trifonov, piano at Carnegie Hall

Perspectives Series by Daniil Trifonov: Next Concert is on March 1, 2018  

Chopin by Daniil Trifonov Carnegie Hall NYC
Daniil Trifonov; Photo credit Dario Acosta, DG / Image courtesy of Carnegie Hall

Daniil Trifonov, 26-year old Russian pianist, is giving a seven-concert Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall 2017-2018 season opening it with a solo recital on October, 28, 2017. The next concert will take place on March 1, 2018. Book your tickets here. 

After winning the first prize in 2011 Tchaikovsky competition and becoming an international sensation, Trifonov gave his first Carnegie Hall recital two month later and had regularly returned to dazzle and delight New York music fans. This coming season he is dedicating much of his Perspectives concerts to the oeuvre of Chopin and the compositions inspired by Chopin’s music. Read More

Theater in NYC: The Parisian Woman with Uma Thurman

Theater in NYC: The Parisian Woman with Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman debuts on Broadway in Beau Willimon’s play 

Broadway Theater Uma Thurman The Parisian Woman Beau Willimon
The Parisian Woman, Limited Engagement Now on Broadway at the Hudson Theater /  By Beau Willimon, Directed by Pam McKinnon, Pictured: Uma Thurman, Josh Lucas, Marton Csokas; Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2017 / Image courtesy of BONEAU/BRYAN-BROWN

Captivating performance, high pace acting, foxy intrigue – these are the characteristics that any theater production would want to hear in its regard. And “The Parisian Woman” written by Beau Willimon and directed by Pam McKinnon is scoring high on each one of them. The cast with Uma Thurman in the title role, Josh Lucas, Marton Csokas, Phillipa Soo and Blair Brown are doing an incredible job in keeping the audience in their grip. The performances at Hudson Theater will continue until March 11, 2018. Click here to book your tickets.

The play opened on Broadway on November 30, 2017, with reviews praising the actors while pinpointing how the script and the story could be made more edgy.

Broadway Theater Uma Thurman The Parisian Woman Beau Willimon
The Parisian Woman, Limited Engagement Now on Broadway at the Hudson Theater; By Beau Willimon, Directed by Pam McKinnon, Pictured: Uma Thurman, Blair Brown, Phillipa Soo; Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2017 /  Image courtesy of BONEAU/BRYAN-BROWN

The wishful thinking about ways to spice the play up are particularly true since the scriptwriter Beau Willimon is so well-known for portraying the wicked kinks of Beltway politics in “The House of Cards” TV-series. But the play is not a tamed version of barbaric attitudes in the Underwoods’ world, but a tale with its own well-timed twists and accents. Uma Thurman is the glue of the play given the gravity of her role with everyone in the cast giving equally dramatic performance. If at times it feels stiff is because the people operating in the circles of power particularly nowadays’ politicians are like that. The wicked minds of a tax-lawyer or a banker with access to those holding the strings of power are accustomed to move in that self-gratifying space. Thurman’s character Chloë is masterfully exploring those inclinations.

Broadway Theater Uma Thurman The Parisian Woman Beau Willimon
The Parisian Woman, Limited Engagement Now on Broadway at the Hudson Theater /  By Beau Willimon, Directed by Pam McKinnon, Pictured: Uma Thurman, Josh Lucas; Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2017 / Image courtesy of BONEAU/BRYAN-BROWN

This all may be good in theory but for a sophisticated audience, the script doesn’t look bulletproof.    It borrows its title from the late 19th-century play by Henry Becque “La Parissiene”. There even was a movie made based on it with Brigitte Bardot in the title role. Together with the title, Willimon uses the centerpiece, a political manipulator wife, played by Thurman. Chloë, Thurman’s character, surrounds herself with useful people and applies her charms to extract the favors from everyone around her. While the acting, the set design, and the pacing are flawless, some elements of the intrigue don’t seem to be that much intriguing given the changes in our society. A grain of salt to consider here is the fact that the action takes place in the high circles of D.C. which leaves in its own bubble. But then again given what everyone already knows from “The House of Cards”, The Parisian Women storyline is rather muted.

The New York Times review describes the play as “a collection of every cozy cliché” and catchphrases from the late-night news programs. Those at times innocuous name-dropping while making the play look like a continuation of the reality unfolding in daily news, don’t let the characters develop their depth. Variety points out that Willimon is “missing his chance to turn this mannered trifle into a substantive political drama”. To sum it up, it “could really be about any era in Washington” in the words of The New Yorker review.

The important thing is that the top-notch performance by the cast and flawless pacing keeps everyone in the audience at full attention and craving to continue watching.

Click here to book your tickets

Venue: Hudson Theater, 141 W 44th Street, NY, NY          Dates: November 20, 2017 – March 11, 2018

 

Opera in NYC: Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera

Opera in NYC: Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera

Grand spectacle of legendary tale of pride, revenge, and love returns to the Met Opera in March 2018

Opera Turandot at Metropolitan Opera Lincoln Center NYC
Turandot poster by Mushii, 1926 via Wikimedia Commons

The timeless story of a cold and proud Chinese princess claiming her superiority over every contender for her heart is richly staged in this historic Franco Zefferelli  production from 1987 of the last masterpiece by Giacomo Puccini. The cast at the Met Opera includes Oksana Dyka and Martina Serafin in the title role, Marcelo Alvarez as Prince Calaf with Carlo Rizzi and Marco Armiliato conducting. Opulent orchestration, inclusion of the uncommon musical instruments in the score, innovative use of chorus and ballet are all part of this grand spectacle of pride, revenge, and love.

Book your discounted tickets with the code TNTIX here.  Read More

Dance in NYC: Anna Karenina by Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg at Lincoln Center

Dance in NYC: Anna Karenina by Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg at Lincoln Center, NY

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg returns to New York City on April 6-8, 2018 with a ballet Anna Karenina

Dance NYC Eifman Ballet Anna Karenina David Koch Theater
Anna Karenina / Image courtesy of Ardani Artists Management, Inc.

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg is well-known on New York City dance scene. Its performances are eagerly anticipated by the fans of Russian ballet. Boris Eifman, the founder, and creator of this ballet theater, chooses complex psychological stories as the basis for his repertoire requiring from the spectators to know the literary text or the historical intricacies and to be able to appreciate a very abstract form of expression such as dance. In the case of Anna Karenina ballet, he obviously takes the cues from Leo Tolstoy but zeroes in on its main love triangle Anna-Vronsky-Karenin leaving aside the rest of Tolstoy’s characters. The show is dramatically staged and performed by the top-class classically trained dancers of Eifman Ballet theater. The performances in New York City will be taking place at the David H. Koch Theater on April 6-8, 2018. Book your tickets here.

Read More

Art in NYC: Provocations by Anselm Kiefer at the Met Breuer

Art in NYC: Provocations by Anselm Kiefer at the Met Breuer

Kiefer’s works from the Met Museum collection on view until April 8, 2018

Met Breuer Museum NYC Provocations Anselm Kiefer
Anselm Kiefer, Bohemia Lies by the Sea, 1996 © Anselm Kiefer / Image courtesy of the Met Museum

The exhibition at the Met Breuer “Provocations: Anselm Kiefer” presents selected works from the Met collection covering artist’s 50-year career. Well known for pushing the boundaries of comfortable art and sleepy consciousness, Kiefer’s paintings, watercolors, and collages shake the norms by questioning the stale and tired concepts. The art lovers, sophisticated and novices, will appreciate the introspection and depth of thought that this expose projects. The exhibition is on view from December 13, 2017 until April 8, 2018.

Met Breuer Museum NYC Provocations Anselm KieferBorn in Donaueschingen, Germany in 1945 two months before the end of World War II, Anselm Kiefer through his art confronts Germany’s dark past and the horrors of Holocaust. A distinguished element of his work is an intermix of various forms of artistic expression. He incorporates references to ancient folk epics such as Gilgamesh, European expressionistic and futuristic literature, German mythology and Cabalistic symbolism while experimenting with new materials, forms and dimensions.

Met Breuer Museum NYC Provocations Anselm Kiefer
Anselm Kiefer, Your Golden Hair, Margarete, 1980 © Anselm Kiefer / Image courtesy of the Met Museum

Starting his artistic career as a photographer in late 1960s, Kiefer staged the images by photographing himself wearing old Nazi uniform. The resulting pictures provoke a re-evaluation and acknowledgment of the horrific and not that distant past. The scenes from that period were later depicted in his watercolors which are included in the Met expose such as a watercolor “Untitled (Heroic Symbols)” from 1969.

There are more examples of the reuse of the old images in this exhibition. They are in the form of gouache, acrylic and other media layered over the black and white photographs as in the “Big Iron Fist” from 1980-81. The stylistic recycling of the pictures relates to the theme of transformation, which is explored by Kiefer in this and other works influenced by the futuristic Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov.

Met Breuer Museum NYC Provocations Anselm Kiefer
Anselm Kiefer, Winter Landscape, 1970 ©Anselm Kiefer / Image courtesy of the Met Museum

Poetry and literature are taking a prominent place in Kiefer’s works. His watercolor from 1980 “Your Golden Hair, Margarete” uses a reference to Romanian Jewish writer Paul Celan‘s poem “Todesfuge” (“Death Fugue”). The title for this work is a line from Celan’s verses. The burden of the past is a subject of another watercolor “Winter Landscape” from 1970. Its snow-covered earth spotted with the blood from the woman’s head hovering over the field makes an eery reference to the Nazi “Blood and Soil” slogan.

With Wagnerian references occupying a big space in Kiefer’s oeuvre, there are several watercolors under the same title “My Father Pledged Me a Sword” pointing to Die Walkure and other works incorporating the scene and subjects of cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. Wagnerian theme and the topic of final destruction was extensively presented in the last year exhibition at the White Cube Bermondsey gallery in London titled Walhalla. Some pieces in that exhibition looked like “a set for Wagner’s Götterdämmerung” in the words of The Guardian review by Jonathan Jones.

Kabbalah and mythology are also giving Kiefer considerable inspiration. A collage on photograph “Azimuth” from 2004 is one of such. The artist’s interest in mystical scriptures and history of civilizations had been nurtured by the trip to Israel which the author took in 1984.

While the exhibition samples the major turning point in the artist’s oeuvre, his latest works using new material, a return to erotic watercolors and books are not presented at the Met Breuer. Gagosian Gallery in New York City held an exhibition of those works in the summer of 2017. The leitmotif there was an interplay of femininity and rebirth.

Kiefer is often likened to Rodin in his depiction of emotions which invokes historical dilemmas and human relationships. As the world celebrated a centennial of Rodin death 2017, Rodin Museum in Paris and Barnes Foundation have Kiefer Rodin exhibition ongoing. It was on view at Rodin Museum in Paris until October 22, 2017 , then moved to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA from November 17, 2017 – March 12, 2018.

Time: December 13, 2017 – April 8, 2018

Venue: The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Ave, NY

With the New York Pass your can enjoy a free visit to the Met Breuer!

Planning a trip to NYC?

Met Breuer Museum NYC Provocations Anselm KieferMet Breuer Museum NYC Provocations Anselm KieferMet Breuer Museum NYC Provocations Anselm Kiefer

Opera in NYC: Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera

Opera in NYC: Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera

Love, idealism, and ruse in a thrilling drama by Giacomo Puccini

Opening on a New Year Eve

Puccini Tosca Metropolitan Opera NYC 2018
Tosca, original poster by Adolfo Hohenstein, 1899

A new production of Puccini’s Tosca by Sir David McVicar at the Met Opera offers a grand theatrical experience for the opera fans. The performances are opening on the New Year Eve and will continue in January and April, May of 2018. This production will be played by two extraordinary casts each making a forceful presence on stage. Two opera divas, Sonya Yoncheva and Anna Netrebko are sharing the title role with Vittorio Grigolo and Marcelo Alvarez alternating as Cavaradossi, with two magnificent Scarpias, Michael Volle, and Željko Lučić, and Emmanuel Villaume conducting after James Levine was suspended following sexual harassment allegations. Sir Bryn Terfel, who was originally scheduled to sing Scarpia, had to withdraw because of “enforced rest due to vocal fatigue” according to BBC. The set and costume design for this production is done by John Macfarlane, who as a painter is adding to the depth of the characters through the rich design of the decorations and the period costumes. McVicar’s production which a review by AP describes as “similar to Zeffirelli’s” is replacing a spare modern staging of Tosca by Luc Bondy which was not warmly received by the Met opera buffs.

The now world-famous story of the passionate lovers and a heartless police chief is based on an 1887 French play La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, a renown French playwright in his time. Sardou had written this play for Sarah Bernhardt. That production was wildly successful touring around Europe with more than 3000 performances. Puccini, attending two of the performances, saw it promising to set as an opera. Following a lengthy negotiation with Sardou, he eventually got the rights and started his work on the score in 1895. The libretto was commissioned to Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa who had not only significantly cut back on the text of the rather lengthy play with multiple characters and dialogs, but also to transform the characters motives into a scenario suitable for an Italian opera.

Puccini Tosca Metropolitan Opera NYC 2018
Tosca,Act 1, New production by David McVicar with set design by John Macfarlane / Photo: Metropolitan Opera Technical Department

The setting for the opera is Rome in 1800 at the time of Napoleon Wars that led to French domination over Italy. The historical church of Sant’Andrea della Valle in Act 1, Palazzo Farnese in Act 2, and Castel Sant’Angelo  in Act 3 can still be visited today. With all these real places in mind, Puccini wanted to reconstruct the divine sounds that could be heard there. For that reason, the score includes a part for the church bells which are close in pitch to the bell of the St. Peter’s Basilica. While this adds to the time and efforts in the production of the opera, it doesn’t produce much effect on the audience.

The premiere was given in 1900 in Teatro Costanzi in Rome. That year Italy had experienced some unrest, so the premiere was even delayed by a day to avoid unwanted disturbances. It was performed to full houses for 30 performances in the first year and is now a beloved entry in the repertoire of every opera house around the world.

Puccini Tosca Metropolitan Opera NYC 2018
Sonya Yoncheva in the title role of Puccini’s “Tosca” / Photo: Ann Ray/Metropolitan Opera

The role of Tosca is considered to be a career defying opportunity. One of the most famous interpreters of a temperamental lover was Maria Callas who was singing it as her last onstage operatic role in 1965. For Luciano Pavarotti , the role of Cavaradossi which he had performed since 1970, was also his last onstage performance at the Met in 2004.

The first recording of Tosca was done in 1918. Among the highly prized recent recordings is Royal Opera House version with Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Ruggero Raymond and Antonio Pappano conducting which was released in 2000.

Stunning design, masterful “verismo” style of music and passionate acting will undoubtedly create a memorable operatic experience for the spectators!

 

Venue: Met Opera, Lincoln Center, NY

With the New York Pass your can enjoy a free tour of the historic Lincoln Center and much more.


Planning a trip to NYC?

 

Dates and Tickets:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tuesday January 9, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Monday, April 30, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018 

 

Beyond NY: Carla Bruni US Tour in February 2018

Beyond NY: Carla Bruni US Tour in February 2018

Songs from the new album French Touch performing in Alexandria, VA, Boston, MA and Los Angeles, CA

Carla Bruni new album French Touch USA tour February 2018
Carla Bruni / Image courtesy of Metropolitan Entertainment

Carla Bruni, a French singer-songwriter and a former first lady and ex-supermodel is bringing her latest collection of songs to concert halls in the US in February 2018. Her dreamy yet sultry singing style of the love chansons accompanied on guitar playing by Bruni herself is guaranteed to give a terrific music night for the concertgoers.

Carla Bruni Sarkozy (née Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi) was born in 1967 in Turin, Italy and moved to France at the age of 7. Starting with the piano in school, she discovered a guitar when she was about 11 years old. Right there at the first group lesson, she realized that this is her instrument. Singing and playing guitar became her purpose in life.

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018

She started her music career in 1997 before successfully modeling for the top couture houses in France. Her success in songwriting began when in 1999 she sent her lyrics to Julien Clerc. The songs were later included in his album Si j’étais elle . Bruni’s first personal disc Quelqu’un m’a dit was released in 2002. That followed by No Promises in 2007. She continued to record after her marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France in 2007-2012.Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018

Bruni’s third album Comme si de rien n’état  was published in 2008 and Little French Songs in 2012. A 4-year interval between the releases did not mean that she stopped her career in light of becoming the first lady of France. Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 But even though she finished the work on the songs and the recordings by 2011, “it wasn’t considered appropriate to release it while she was First Lady” according to 2013 expose in Vanity Fair.

The latest album French Touch, released  by Verve in October 2017, is her fifth. She regained the pace of her performing and recording music career when her husband had lost the reelection in 2012 and the family had fully relocated from the Élysées Palace to a private residence on Right Bank. The songs included in this album are all her favorites from when “I was a teenager” as she confided in the interview to NPR’s Scott Simon.

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 An idea for Bruni to record English language pop and country classics was David Foster’s, an acclaimed music producer and a former chairman of Verve. The collection includes the covers that she knew by heart, so the whole project felt like a smooth sailing full of distant memories and charming reveries. In the interview with The New York Times, she reveals that its “her secret passion: singing classic rock, country and jazz standards in English”.

She has been including classic rock in her latest concert programs in Paris and on tours in Europe. However, her program at the NYC appearance in 2013 has featured primarily the songs from the newly released at that time Quelqu’un m’a dit album. All were in French or Italian delivered with the mastery, elegance, and simplicity.

Carla Bruni new album French Touch USA tour February 2018
Carla Bruni / Image courtesy of Metropolitan Entertainment

The upcoming concerts in February including one in New York City at The Town Hall will give her fans a chance to enjoy an unbelievable mix of familiar classics performed in subtly sexy voice making it even more chic with a hint of French accent.

 


 

 

 

 

Concert Dates and Tickets: 

Carla Bruni USA tour February 2018 album French TouchAlexandria, VA at Birchmere Music Hall on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Boston, MA at Berklee Performance Center on Thursday February 15, 2018

Los Angeles, CA at Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Beyond NY: Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, PA

Beyond NY: Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, PA

Beyond NY: Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, PA
The Cathedral, Rodin Museum

As the world celebrates a centennial of Auguste Rodin death this year, its a good occasion for a visit to Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. The museum opened in 1929, has more than 140 pieces covering all stages of artist’s oeuvre.

Walking through the formal French garden where 8 sculptures are installed including The ThinkerThe Burghers of Calais  and The Gates of Hell, the visitors enter an elegant Beaux-Arts building. Inside the airy main hall and the more intimate side rooms, you will have a chance to see the famous sculptures up close and find insightful details about each piece of work with historical parallels and the stories that served as inspiration for the works.

If you are so moved by seeing the sculptures and want to sketch them for better understanding of artist’s vision, there are sketch albums and pencils on hand in every room. Follow your heart and draw what you see – after all the art is only alive when it moves us.  The museum also offers a very well designed family guide to sharpen young eyes and encourage them to see the artist’s shapes.

Read the notes, observe the sculptures, try to sketch and follow the lines to fully appreciate the artist’s ideas and the forms.

 

With your PhiladelphiaPass you can visit the museum for free!

 

Venue: Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, PA                                           See museum hours here.

Opera in NYC: Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Met Opera in New York

Opera in NYC: Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Met Opera in New York

Vibrant production by Sir David McVicar of the beloved Verdi’s opera on January 22 – February 15, 2018

Verdi Il Trovatore Met Opera NYC
Anita Rachvelishvili as Azucena in Il Trovatore/ Image courtesy of the Met Opera NYC

This year repertoire at the Met Opera is clearly dominated by Sir David McVicar’s productions. Il Trovatore, which first had opened here in 2009, is returning to the Met stage with a formidable cast under the baton of Marco Armiliato. The title role in this production is forcefully performed by Yonghoon Lee, the role of his lover Leonora is sung by Jennifer Rowley and the role of Count Di Luna is performed by the baritones Quinn Kelsey and Luca Salsi. After the opening on Monday, January 22, the praising reviews were given to the magnificent Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili performing the most complicated part of the opera, a gypsy Azucena. Book your tickets here.

Verdi Il Trovatore Met Opera NYC
Jennifer Rowley as Leonora in Il Trovatore / Image courtesy of the Met Opera NYC

Il Trovatore’s catchy, disturbing and at the same time melodic music score is overplayed on a macabre plot of medieval rivalries, superstitions and love stories. It is based on a successful play El Trovador (1836) by Antonio García GutierrezVerdi had started the work on this opera sometime in 1850 first with the librettist Salvadore Cammarano and later after Cammarano’s death in 1852 with young poet Leone Emanuele Barware. In his correspondence with Cammarano Verdi kept asking him for packing more actions in the libretto to make the most effect on the public. The librettists seem to Verdisucceed in that regard. Notwithstanding opera’s great acclaim by the audiences around Europe, the plot was mocked in numerous satires in Italy and elsewhere, which in itself was a sign that its a hit. The twists and turns of the original tale are transformed in this production from the very distant beginning of 15th century Aragon, Spain to the time of the Spanish War of Independence (1807-1814) fought against Napoleonic France. The bitterness and horrors of that period are memorialized in Goya’s “Desastres de la Guerre.”

The creators of this production felt that the time of Peninsular War “fits with Verdi’s tinta, the dark palette he creates for Spain” as McVicar pointed out in an interview with the New York Times. However, some critical elements of the plot in Il Trovatore particularly those surrounding Azucena and her fate seem to be mooted for early 1800. While in the gypsy folk tradition the fire is believed to be the means of communication with the dead, it makes sense for gypsy Azucena’s story and its horrific prominence in the original play set in the 15th century as burnings of sorceresses at the stake were widely practiced. At the time of Napoleon, the use of that practice is highly questionable.

Verdi Il Trovatore Met Opera NYC
Quinn Kelsey as Count Di Luna, Yonghoon Lee as Manrico, Jennifer Rowley as Leonora in Il Trovatore / Image courtesy of the Met Opera NYC

Despite the pitfalls of historic transposition, Anita Rachvelishvili as Azucena is taking a center stage with her dramatic performance. It’s one thing for Azucena to sing “It makes my blood run cold”, and its very different when the delivery of the lines makes the listeners’ blood cold. “Well, it fairly freezes in your veins while watching and listening to Anita Rachvelishvili” observes Z. Wolf in his New York Times review.  Rachvelishvili powerful stage presence masterfully switching from the chilling scenes of tormenting madness to the touching desperation is particularly important here. Verdi himself was thinking about Azucena as a main female character in this opera and even wanted her name to be in the title. The Met orchestra under Armiliato conducting provides superb and inspiring music. With the rest of the main cast being well-placed, the production delivers a deep and spirited theatrical impression.

 

Starting from 1853 when it was first performed at the Teatro Apollo in Rome, Il Trovatore entered the repertoire of every major opera house in the world. There is a rich and diverse discography with multiple variations of the best singers and conductors. Its catchy melodies had even entered the popular culture and were used in the movie and TV productions.

 

Verdi: Il TrovatoreVerdi: Il Trovatore / La Traviata / MacbethVerdi

 

Dates and Tickets:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018


With the New York Pass your can enjoy a free tour of the historic Lincoln Center and much more.


Planning a trip to NYC?

Venue: Met Opera, Lincoln Center, NY