Cavalli was the leading composer of opera in Venice during the 1650s, and Calisto (which premiered in November 1651) finds him at the height of his powers. Giovanni Faustini’s mythologically based libretto for Calisto tells the story of the amorous trials of two couples: Calisto, a female devotee of the goddess Diana, and her pursuer, Jove; and Diana herself, and the shepherd Endymion. As a follower of Diana, Calisto has rejected carnal relations with men; as a result, in order to win her affection, Jove disguises himself as Diana, and Calisto willingly follows him in that guise to enjoy carnal pleasure. Calisto’s actions invoke the wrath of both Diana herself, and of Jove’s wife Juno. According to the myth, Calisto is transformed into a bear, and will later ascend to the firmament as the constellation Ursa Minor. Diana, in Faustini’s version, finally admits to loving Endymion; they remain devoted to each other, but their relationship remains unconsummated.
Here is the opera event of 2005, the Salzburg Festival’s "La Traviata" featuring Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, and Thomas Hampson in a dramatic staging by Willy Decker – the thrilling production that prompted riotous ovations not seen since Karajan’s heyday.
Gossec made an important contribution to the development of French symphonic music and played a central role in Parisian musical life for almost three-quarters of a century. The opera 'Le Triomphe de la République' was composed in 1793 folowing the French Revolution and wonderfully demonstrates the musical movement that France experienced following the change in political climate. Music was recognized as a medium for the diffusion of new ideas and 'Le Triomphe de la République' was a case in point. It was written in the wake of popular enthusiasm at the news of the army's victory at the battle of Vlamy in 1792 against the anti-French troops led by the Duke of Brunswick. It features folk music and popular dances of the day reflecting a kind of life quite distinct from that of intellectual, aristocratic society. This is an opera that can be seen as redefining music for the new age; the awareness that new relationships were being formed within society as a whole is expressed stylistically by multi-levelled metaphors, and also by the interaction of different kinds of sound. I Barocchisti have a worldwide reputation for reviving vocal and instrumental works of the Baroque period and have earned worldwide success with live performances and recordings. Swiss conductor Diego Fasolis has received glowing reviews for his previous releases with this ensemble.
Des vagues de jazz, de classique et de musique bretonne caressent « La plage » que le pianiste Didier Squiban parcourt en quartet. Didier Squiban avait d’abord pensé appeler son nouvel album « Da lec’h all » (« Autres directions» en breton) : « Ça aurait été symbolique de ce disque où je change de cap tout en me rapprochant de mes origines jazz avec la formule sax-contrebassebatterie-piano ». Finalement, il est resté fidèle à son principe de baptiser ses opus du nom du lieu où il les a enregistrés (« Molène », « Porz Gwenn », etc…). « La plage » dont il est question ici n’est pas une étendue de sable mais une guinguette située à Pléchâtel, sur la Vilaine.
La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi very personal opera, was premiered in 1853 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. The first night was a fiasco, but after a few revisions the opera set out to conquer the world. La Traviata offers no scope for grandiose crowd scenes or historical pomp. In keeping with the intimate nature of the action, Verdi’s music reflects the inner feelings of the protagonists. The heroine, whose emotional state is determined by external circumstances, is in the centre of the story of emotional upheavals. Jürgen Flimm haunting staging stays close to Verdi’s intent. He focuses on the protagonists, showing their shakiness, emotions, despair, love, sacrifice and tragedy rather than concentrating on the abysses of the Parisian demi-monde. Eva Mei and Piotr Beczala are a perfectly matched couple. Her soft and flexible soprano and his lyrical tenor, marked by excellent diction, work very well together, joined by the “golden” voice of outstanding Thomas Hampson.
Professional basketball fans need look no further in their search for the perfect woman. In this unconventional beauty pageant, a panel of celebrity judges – including Farrah Franklin, Maxi, Harold Bell, The Nappy Roots and Seannita Palmer of King Magazine – evaluate the beauty, style and sex appeal of a lovely group of contenders. But here's the rub: Their knowledge of pro basketball counts.
In the early 1960s two artistic giants, conductor Herbert von Karajan and director Franco Zeffirelli, joined forces to create this milestone production of Puccini's masterpiece at Milan's Teatro alla Scala. Filmed in that legendary opera house in 1965, with Zeffirelli himself directing for the cameras, this "Bohème" has been acclaimed universally for its unique theatrical impact and visual splendour. Starring the young Mirella Freni in her career-making performance.
Norah Amsellem as Violetta leads a cast of outstanding talent in Pier Luigi Pizzi’s beautiful production filmed with High Definition cameras and recorded in multi-track surround sound. Jesus Lopez Cobos conducts the Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real (Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus) in an acclaimed reading of one of Verdi’s greatest works.