Royal Opera House Muscat celebrates its first small jubilee this year - 5 years since its foundation. The theater itself – is a beautiful oriental palace, surrounded by blooming gardens. The guest performances, technical equipment, audiences - everything in the ROHM is unusual and interesting. How lives the first opera house in the Arab world? The magazine "Opera +" received a unique opportunity not only to visit the Royal Opera House in Muscat, but also to talk with His Highness Kamil Fahad Al-Said, Assistant Secretary General Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for Council of Ministers, Member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Opera House Muscat.
Furlanetto Shows Mastery in San Diego Concert On Mar. 5, Ferruccio Furlanetto celebrated the 31st anniversary of the singer’s debut with SDO by presenting a concert featuring excerpts from some of the singer’s most favored arias. Making his debut on the podium, young maestro Emanuele Andrizzi conducted the full forces of the San Diego Symphony.Consistently praised by critics, Furlanetto carried the heavy, difficult program with unflagging confidence, astonishing consistency in his range from highest to lowest notes, and a stage presence that remains as imposing as ever. The packed audience at the Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall confirmed Furlanetto’s local fandom with their unqualified enthusiastic response, both to his appearance and to his passionate renderings of his chosen repertoire: a veritable feast of operatic favorites, coupled with a few unexpected treats.
ROMANS AND DRUIDS IN FLORIDA After a quarter of a century, the Florida Grand Opera presented both in Miami and in Fort Lauderdale, Bellini’s Norma with much success. The production, signed by John Conklin (sets and costumes) and Nic Muni (staging) came from Cincinnati and was simple and functional, one of those that can be easily adapted to any stage; with a minimum of elements and props, Mr. Conklin created, more or less convincingly, a galo-roman atmosphere: constructions that showed the incessant state of war between the Roman invaders and the resistant Druids, stones, an altar and ritual paraphernalia, and a backdrop that, when it was not a merely rocky landscape, was filled by a large circumference used as moon or pyre. In those surroundings, the chorus and the soloists entered and exited the stage in orderly and predictable manner and delivered arias, cabalettas, war-cries, duets of love and solidarity, trios of love and vengeance, imprecations, repentances, all of it before the sublime apocalyptic finale.
Simon Boccanegra in St.Petersburg: after the premiere in short. Mariinsky Theater turned a new page in its history: on February 5 Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra was staged for the first time in St.Petersburg. The driving force of the premiere was Valery Gergiev by all means: as an artistic lead of the Company and a musical director at the pit conducting brilliantly. The guest star of the premiere became legendary bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. The production of Andrea de Rosa (direction and sets) came from Venice (La Fenice) and Genova (Carlo Felice) theaters, which gave it some authentic Mediterranean flow. Besides the sea, skies and air of Repubblica Marinara was presented at the background, showing the sea, the clouds, the light of the Ligurian shores, visually giving Verdi’s dark masterpiece some nature beauty and worked beautifully. In the whole the production was true to the spirit of Verdi and in a modern way very simple. The dark construction on the stage with the gothic windows added to the atmosphere.
Barcelona and Milan, two bastions of opera. A couple of weeks ago, the passion for opera was relived once again in two European theaters of great tradition, Barcelona’s Liceu and Milan’s La Scala. In the Catalonian city, the presence of Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez singing his first Edgardo Ravenswood, the unhappy lover of Lucia di Lammermoor, was awaited with huge expectations and made the prices of the already expensive tickets soar to unheard heights. In the Lombard capital, the opening of the season, traditionally on December 7, always constitutes a national socio-cultural event, with an audience filled of politicians, members of the diplomatic corps and of the social elite and personalities of the world of the arts and fashion; these distinguished guests occupy most of the places in the beautifully renovated auditorium and leave little room for the “real opera fanatics”, who are seated—and heard--in the two upper galleries. Here too, it was harder than ever to get a ticket, given the fact that the opera to be performed, Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco, was revived after an absence of 150 years and, no less important, that the protagonist would be the much admired Anna Netrebko. In both cities the events were highly publicized and an electric atmosphere of anticipation invaded the air.