Béatrice et Bénédict, Berlioz's last completed work, is based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, but the libretto, by the composer, dispenses with most of the intrigue of the original and reduces the plot to a single premise: Béatrice et Bénédict mask their affection for each other by squabbling, and then finally come to their senses and get married. Although designated an opera, it is closer in effect to an opéra comique because of its very extensive use of spoken dialogue.
This is the masterwork, Gluck's last important opera, which convinced the teenage medical student Berlioz, when he first heard it in 1821, that he had to be a composer. He worshipped Gluck and took his side in the phoney "Gluck vs.Piccini War". He set himself the task of sitting in the Conservatoire library to copy out the entire score in order to absorb its lessons. Its directness and drama influenced his artistic style his whole life through, as evinced by key points in "Les Troyens".
The Marriage of Figaro, as this elegant 1994 production brilliantly reminds us, was a French bedroom comedy before it became a Mozart opera. It is a classic of French literature, and it is still enjoyable as a spoken play after more than two centuries of existence. Its literary quality gives this production a special flavor. The music–some of Mozart's finest–is beautifully presented by a carefully chosen international cast (including Giovanni Furlanetto, Elzbieta Szymtka, Janice Watson, and Ludovic Tezier), but what sets this production apart is its theatrical flavor, cultivated by a director who is an expert on classic French theater. The standards of spoken theater are upheld in timing, body language, the inflection of punch lines. These qualities are more important here than in most operas; style is both crucial and elusive. Fortunately, the Opera de Lyon, one of most imaginative companies in Europe, shows an impressive sense of style. (Joe McLellan)
As a dominant force for more than four decades, YES has sold more than 33 million albums worldwide. Their symphonic use of sound and innovative musical style has made each of the group s players virtuosos in their own right. The Grammy Award winners, one of the most influential and ground-breaking progressive rock n roll bands in history, follow up their new studio album Fly From Here with a brand new live album.
It’s now been over forty years since the release of the first two Roxy Music albums. Unlike almost all other art-rock records, these two would still be perceived as startlingly unique even if released today. The combination of singer/songwriter Bryan Ferry and non-musician extraordinaire Eno’s otherworldly contributions created a sound like no other. Persona-wise, the 6’2″ Ferry projected a so-cool image as a retro-ized strangeoid with a smashingly singular vocal delivery including quivering, foppy elements mixed with a rich baritone.
From his earliest recordings with Roxy Music at the beginning of the 1970s, Bryan Ferry has taken his place as one of the most iconic and innovative musicians and songwriters to emerge in popular music. Ferry's Olympia tour travelled the world in 2011, including this spectacular performance filmed on July 25 at the ancient Roman amphitheater in Lyon, France as part of the Nuits de Fourviere Festival. The show features tracks from across Ferry's 40 year career including classic Roxy Music songs, solo hits and his renowned interpretations of other writer's material all delivered with the style and panache that is uniquely Bryan Ferry.