shanghai march featured

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall Cancels All Concerts For March

I have just been informed that, responsibly, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall decided to prologue its cancellations until end of March to prevent further spreading of COVID-19.

Among others, Mr Jaroussky’s concert on March 15 2020 is affected.

We’re very sorry for the Chinese fans and all the ones who intended to travel.

We will keep you informed should other changes to Mr Jaroussky’s schedule occur as soon as we’re made aware.

Here is the original press release: [x]

Hey Mr PJ featured 16-9

Jaroussky sings – and conducts!

Succeeding the pianist Sergei Babayan, Mr PJ is going to be “Curating Artist” at the Konzerthaus Dortmund for the 2020/21 season. Which means that in March, he is going to take over programming and concerts for a little while and is providing us with an unusual selection of events.

“Musically versatile” would be an understatement: There will be a masterclass, a moderated soirée, a classical recital, … An illustrious roster of artists is going to join him for a Nuit Française; there will be some solo concerts, and what seems to become his first conducting project.

Head over to the Konzerthaus Dortmund for tickets and more info!

Tickets are on sale already!


recording video

An Easy Way To Screen-Capture Transmissions

Sometimes – and more often than we would like – it’s impossible to get at the direct URL for a stream. That’s when desperate times call for desperate measures, and we need to just “film what’s on the screen.” So we need a screen-capture program!

The best free option for screen capturing I came across is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software.)

Screen-capturing is only one of many features this tool is great for. For simplicity, I’ll stick to this one in this post.

Install

Official download site: https://obsproject.com/

Select the appropriate OS from the list. The install file will land in your download folder.

First hurdle: During install, the program might complain it is missing files.

If that happens, it automatically redirects you to right site on microsoft.com, you check all options and click download.

Now you have to double-click on the components you just downloaded once to run them and install them. (Which takes about two seconds each.)

When you try to run the install file again, it should work without any more problems. If you run Windows 10, the program now appears in your list if you just start typing “OBS” into the little window on the bottom of your screen.

Settings and options

Language

First of all, you can set the language. Go to File -> Settings and it’s right on top in “General.” You have to restart the program for the changes to apply.

When the program opens, it looks quite empty.

Just start from left to right and work your way through!

Scene

Here you give the scene a name. It won’t turn up as the file name, but you have to create one for the program to work. Click on the little “+” below “Scene” and add one.

Sources

Now it gets important. When you click on the “+” symbol there you see a lot of options. Feel free to play with the program there a little. You can record video sources directly, and capture games as well. Choose “Display Capture” for now.

When you do (you can always change the settings for “source” later by clicking the little wheel right below it), you see two options. One is the offset and size (default should be your full screen size, but it’s worth double-checking), and the other is for showing the cursor. If you do a tutorial, it might make sense to include the cursor, if not, leave the check-box empty.

Don’t panic if you see cascading windows on the display. It makes sense when you think about it – everything is fine!

Settings

Next is “Settings,” and now this is where it really gets relevant.

Go to “Output,” and select where your video files are supposed to go. Make sure you have enough disk-space on the partition you assign. I’m serious: If you record full-screen, the files will be huge. Also you might want to not choose your slowest hdd, if you have more than one.

Recording

IMPORTANT

Go to your Windows settings, and “Energy Options” in particular. Set “Turn off screen” and “Go to sleep” to “Never” – or your recording will black out after the time that is set there.

Back in OBS

Hit “Start Recording.” (“Start Streaming” would apply if you were the one broadcasting.)

The program records everything now that is showing on your display, together with the sound you hear on your PC. Choose the best quality for the stream you want to record, switch to full screen mode, and turn off everything that makes “pling” in the background, such as Facebook, screen alerts, and similar. The video you are recording needs to be in the foreground.

Remember, the screen capture will just record what you see. Which means, the OBS will be somewhere in the background, and you cannot see if it is recording or not.

Once you started recording, the text on the button changes to “Stop Recording.” Make a little test, and check the file that is going to appear in the location you assigned before under Settings -> Output.

Check double, check with music, check if the audio sounds okay if you choose a reasonable volume.

For Mac users

On Mac, everything is a little special. (Thanks for the great contribution!) To record audio properly, you might have to go to “System Preferences -> Sound Effects -> Output” and change it to “Soundflower (2ch)”:

 

Then do the same in OBS:

To listen your movie, you have to go to system preferences again and switch back to internal speakers.

Playing the file

A great free option to play almost any video file is VLC media player: http://www.videolan.org/

It also comes with a bunch of free codecs. (A codec is a certain way to encode a file, and read it. Without the right codec, your PC cannot play a video file.)

I hope the little post helped; best of luck with recording!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-01 featured

Philippe Jaroussky sings at the inauguration of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

It’s hard to say for whom it was the greater honour: for Philippe Jaroussky to be the very first singer ever at the Elbphilharmonie, or for Hamburg, and, on a larger scale, Germany, to have secured a musician of indisputable world class to open the new venue.

After a stony trail of mismanagement and miscalculations concerning the planning of the gargantuan project, the Elbphilharmonie was finally inaugurated. Accordingly, a great amount of pressure was on the shoulders of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Thomas Hengelbrock, and also on that of the organisers. They had to balance introducing the hall as a public property, where everyone would be welcome and invited (the tickets for the two opening nights were all given away via a lottery), and creating an event that would be up to international standards in terms of performance, before an audience including our chancellor and other government officials, in an arena where the sound of the hall, designed by famed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, would be under public scrutiny. You can read more about his work here: [x]

Summary: it turns out you can’t please everybody. Some weren’t entirely happy with the sound (from a weird angle, as has been amended), some were overjoyed, some bemoaned the choice of pieces and composers. Actually, there was only one thing that drew unanimous consent: Mr. Jaroussky’s performance.

No matter what the general mood of the review, no one managed to find any fault in him. He was amazing. You don’t have to take me word for it; here’s…

… Die Welt, …

“Zum Glück werden die frühbarocken de Cavalieri- und Caccini-Solomadrigale von dem hinreißenden Philippe Jaroussky gesungen.”

[Luckily, the early baroque madrigals by de Cavalieri and Caccini are sung by the ravishing Philippe Jaroussky.]

Die Zeit, …

“Als der Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky kurz vor der Pause die Arie Amarilli Mia Bella von Giulio Caccini singt, lediglich von einer Barockharfe begleitet, wirkt das Publikum zum ersten und einzigen Mal gebannt und betört, der angespannten Situation völlig entrückt.”

[Only right before the intermission, when the countertenor Philippe Jaroussky sings “Amarilli, mia bella” by Giulio Caccini, the audience seems to be spellbound and enraptured, completely set free from the tension.]

… FAZ, …
“Gute Sänger haben es gut: Wenn Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky mit seiner schmelzenden Zauberstimme den Renaissance-Schlager „Amarilli mia bella“ von Giulio Caccini hoch oben von Block L heruntersingt, sparsam begleitet von den glockig-zirpenden Stütztönen, die Barockharfenistin Margret Köll zuliefert, so wird das zum kulinarischen Hochgenuss.”

[That’s good news for good singers: when countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, with his mellifluous enchanting voice, is singing the Renaissance evergreen “Amarilli mia bella” by Giulio Caccini, from high above at block L, sparingly accompanied by the bell-like, chirping sustaining notes provided by the Baroque harpist Margret Köll, it turns out to be a feast.]

and my personal favourite, ... Die Süddeutsche Zeitung

“… Wer aber Jaroussky schon an anderen Orten und unter schlechteren akustischen Bedingungen gehört hat, weiß, dass dieser Mann immer so gut singt: androgyn, distanziert und mit einer leichten Drohung in der Tonfärbung, irgendwo zwischen Sadismus und Exzess. Die Akustik Yasuhisa Toyota[s] ändert rein gar nichts an Jarousskys phänomenalem Können. Sie erlaubt es aber dem Konzertbesucher, jede noch so feine Nuance seines Gesangs zu hören. Das allein ist schon grandios.”

[… However, [anyone] who has listened to Jaroussky before, in other locations, and under worse acoustic circumstances, knows that this man always sings this well: androgynous, distanced, and with a slight menace to the colouring of his voice, somewhere between sadism and excess. Yasuhisa Toyota’s acoustics change nothing at all about Jaroussky’s phenomenal skill; however, it allows the listener to experience the slightest nuances of his singing, This alone is terrific.]

But hear for yourself!

Because I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere, let me add an extra credit because only the day before the inauguration, Jaroussky had sung the last performance of Alcina in Zürich – Ruggiero, a whale of a role. So, probably as the only one from the cast, he wasn’t allowed to party after the dernière but had to get ready for Hamburg without any break. Furthermore, I can only imagine what it means to sing as the very first singer at an event of that scale, and without the comforting blanket of an orchestra, knowing every shade of what you do is going to be perceptible, for good and for worse, by the roughly 2000 people in the live audience, and the audience following the live stream worldwide, with people zooming in on Google 3D – including many people who most likely will never have heard you before. In short: a true feat, and a memorable performance.

Let’s hope his glorious singing broke the spell of bad luck that was hovering above the project!

Finally, my own two cents: as a person from Stuttgart, I’d happily take roughly ten times an Elbphilharmonie (and counting) for a probably eternally unfinished Stuttgart 21. 

You can still watch the stream! Head to the …

Youtube channel of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester: [x]
… or to ARTE Concert! [x]

 

 

 

pj low new final

Philippe Jaroussky joins Marc Almond and stargaze for Bowie tribute at the Proms

While I prepared for this concert (mentally), I noticed I might have a different take on the topic than most. Which isn’t to say mine is better – far from it. Bowie was my youth. I saw him live, and it’s one of my most cherished concert experiences ever. Never, not even at Parsifal in Bayreuth, nor at a Pope audition have I seen an audience so transfixed, so part of an experience that can only be called transcendent.

The most striking property of Bowie for me was his unabating interest for new things, for different things, for things he had never done before, or styles he never ventured in. Most people may be familiar with pieces like “Let’s Dance,” and the collaboration with Queen, on the immortal “Under Pressure,” or, if they feel extra nostalgic, maybe “Heroes.” Yet Bowie’s discography isn’t a collection of hit singles. I love the odd pieces, the weird pieces as much as much I love the hits, as they are all part of a picture.

When I heard that Mr. PJ was going to sing at the proms, together with a line-up of other great artists and the project s t a r g a z e, on top of it, with a piece composed for him by a fantastic composer by all accounts, I was ecstatic. There is hardly any classical singer I could imagine who would be more deserving of the honour. Mr. Jaroussky is no Bowie, because one individualist is never like the other. However, he has broken more glass ceilings in his own right than any other countertenor. There is no other like him, just like there is never going to be another Bowie.

The ensemble/collective called  s t a r g a z e  is defying any classification concerning a genre. You can find more about them, and about the concert too on their site: [x]

I’m just going to share a few useful links with you, so you can read up a little before tomorrow!

The Prom 19 concert is going to be broadcast, on BBC Four (TV) as well as on Radio 3
Here is the direct link to the program on BBC Four: [x] (I am not sure if it’s going to be live on TV, but it will be on replay after as it looks like.)

You can find more about the event on the BBC page: [x]

The full line-up will be as follows:

Marc Almond singer
Jherek Bischoff instrumentalist
Paul Buchanan singer
John Cale singer
Anna Calvi singer
Neil Hannon singer
Philippe Jaroussky counter-tenor
Laura Mvula singer
Conor O’Brien singer
Amanda Palmer singer
s t a r g a z e
André de Ridder conductor

I won’t introduce everyone from the list now – Marc Almond you will be familiar with anyway; he’s a household name, especially since his project Soft Cell.

Mr. PJ is going to sing a piece composed for him by Pulitzer Prize awarded David Lang. You can find more about him on his website, including some audio samples of his work: [x]

The song that David Lang is going to be re-composing for Mr. PJ is called “Always crashing in the same car.” It’s originally from the album “Low,” the first in Bowie’s so-called Berlin Trilogy, the other two albums also being collaborations with Brian Eno, namely “Heroes” and “Lodger.”

Lyrics can be found here, together with some annotations (just click on the grey or yellow lines to make them appear on the side): [x]

If you live in London, you can try your luck and maybe get some last minute tickets yet tomorrow: [x]

Last:

TOI TOI TOI, fingers crossed for all the performers – we’ll be watching!

(And just one more Bowie – just because I run this blog and I happen to feel like it.)

2016-03-13 featured press blog

Saariaho’s “Only The Sound Remains” premieres at the Dutch National Opera

It’s only two days now – time to get excited! – and “Only The Sound Remains” is going to premiere at De Nationale Opera (the Dutch National Opera) in Amsterdam. For the ones who’d like to get familiar with the project, I put together some useful links and information for further reading, just to have it all in one place!

“Only The Sound Remains” is a piece written specifically with Philippe Jaroussky’s voice in mind, and it will be staged by the legendary Peter Sellars. The composer is Kaija Saariaho. She is the first female composer who has been contracted by the MET since 1903, so it’s definitely time to remember the name if you haven’t already. Here’s a very nice introduction by the Guardian: [x]

Saariaho’s music is imaginative, colourful, drawing from various backgrounds and seems to be influenced by many sources, …  just hear for yourself! Here is a short excerpt performed for the Dutch TV Show “De wereld draait door.”


“Only The Sound Remains” is based on two separate Noh pieces. Kaija Saariaho isn’t the first western composer to get inspired by the classic Japanese plays; Benjamin Britten’s “Curlew River” is maybe one of the most famous western classical works that is based on a Noh play.

The two pieces used for “Only The Sound Remains” that share some motives but are entirely independent pieces are …

羽衣, Hagoromo, The Feather Mantle, and

“経政, Tsunemasa, Always Strong

In addition to the University of Virginia Library I linked above, there is another online resource I found very valuable, called the-noh.com: [x]

Next to Philippe Jaroussky, baritone Davone Tines is going to play the respective counterpart. In “The Feather Mantle,” it is a fisherman, in “Always Strong,” it’s a monk evoking the spirit of a dead warrior, Taira no Tsunemasa. If you never heard Davone Tines before: here he is singing a bit from Bellini’s “I Puritani,” Riccardo’s “O Elvira, Elvira, o mio sospir soave …”
A graduate from Juilliard, he is up to a couple of very interesting projects soon; you might want to keep an eye on him!


Be sure to visit the website of De Nationale Opera (The Dutch National Opera), with lots of introductions, interviews, a great video and additional information: [x]

For the dates of the performances, please see the website of De Nationale Opera, or just head over to our Concert Dates page: [x]


Finally – Toi toi toi to all of the cast and crew!

 

 

 

 

2500 logo

Partenope Premiere Cast Change – Personal

It’s not a good year so far.  Anyone in the mailing list of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées has probably heard the news already. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Philippe Jaroussky, who has lost his father.

Tomorrow’s staging of “Partenope” is going to take place; American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo is going to stand in.

Cher Public,
Madame, Monsieur,

C’est avec une grande tristesse que nous venons d’apprendre le décès du père de Philippe Jaroussky.

Philippe Jaroussky ne pourra vous retrouver demain soir pour interpréter le rôle d’Arsace dans Partenope. Le contre-ténor Lawrence Zazzo a accepté de le remplacer.

Toutes nos pensées vont à Philippe Jaroussky. Nous vous remercions de votre entière et sincère compréhension.

Le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées et ses équipes.

Toi toi toi to Mr. Zazzo and all of the cast and crew.

Next performances: [x]

 

2015-11-06 track list partenope featured

Partenope – Track list

Partenope is here! So if you’re importing the tracks from CD, and – like myself – aren’t patient enough to wait for the Gracenote database to catch up – here’s the track list, for your leisure, so you can copy paste the track names at least. (Typing track names by hand is a bugger.)

If you find a typo, you can tell us on our Facebook page: [x]

To further enhance the listening pleasure (depending on what’s your thing), here’s … :

  • the libretto on handel.it (I am really jealous of that URL): [x]
  • the score on IMSLP: [x]

If you haven’t bought your copy yet – what’s keeping you; just look at these cuties! Here’s a trailer about the production, featuring some interviews: [x]

2015-11-06 partenope trailer pic

Finally, don’t forget to check the tour dates section to see if Partenope might be performed somewhere within your reach! [x]

~~~

Georg Friedrich Händel, Partenope

 

Partenope – Karina Gauvin

Arsace – Philippe Jaroussky

Armindo – Emöke Baráth

Emilio – John Mark Ainsley

Rosmira – Teresa Iervolino

Ormonte – Luca Tittoto

 

Riccardo Minasi, Il Pomo d’Oro

2015 Erato

 

DISC I

01 Ouverture I

02 Ouverture II Allegro

03 Ouverture III Presto

04 ATTO I – Recitativo – Tu dell’eccelse mura – Partenope

05 Coro – Viva, viva, Partenope viva – Coro

06 Recitativo – Miei fidi, arride il cielo – Partenope

07 Recitativo – Arsace, Armindo – Armindo, Arsace, Partenope, Rosmira

08 Recitativo – Regina, il folte schiere – Ormonte, Arsace, Armindo, Partenope, Rosmira

09 Aria – L’amor ed il destin – Partenope

10 Arie – O Eurimene ha l’idea di Rosmira – Arsace

11 Recitativo – Cavalier, se gli dei – Rosmira, Armindo

12 Aria – Se non ti sai spiegar – Rosmira

13 Recitativo – Armindo, ardisci e prova

14 Aria – Voglio dire al mio tesoro – Armindo

15 Recitativo – Ah, ch’un volto fatal mi dà gran pena! – Arsace, Rosmira

16 Aria – Un’altra volta ancor – Rosmira

17 Recitativo – Rosmira, oh dio, Rosmira – Arsace

18 Aria – Sento amor con novi dardi – Arsace

19 Recitativo – Stan pronti i miei guerrier – Partenope, Ormonte

20 Aria – T’appresta forse Amore – Ormonte

21 Recitativo – Signora – Armindo, Partenope

22 Aria – Bramo restar, ma no – Armindo

23 Recitativo – E di che reo son io? Duettino – Per te moro – Arsace, Partenope

24 Recitativo – E se giunge Eurimene? – Partenope, Arsace, Rosmira

25 Aria – Sei mia gioia, Sei mio bene – Partenope

26 Recitativo – I novelli amor tuoi – Rosmira, Arsace

27 Aria – Dimmi, pietoso ciel

28 Recitativo – Ecco Emilio – Ormonte, Emilio, Partenope, Armindo, Rosmira, Arsace

29 Aria – Anch’io pugnar saprò – Emilio

30 Recitativo – Arsace, tu sarai – Partenope, Armindo, Rosmira, Arsace, Ormonte

31 Aria – Io ti levo l’impero dell’armi – Partenope

 

DISC II

01 Recitativo – Lascia, deh, lascia, oh prence – Arsace, Rosmira, Armindo

02 Aria – È figlio il mio timore – Arsace

03 Recitativo – Prence, di te mi lagno – Armindo, Rosmira

04 Aria – Io seguo sol fiero – Rosmira

05 ATTO II – Sinfonia

06 Recitativo – Forti mie schiere – Emilio

07 Marche

08 Recitativo – Ma le nemiche squadre – Emilio, Partenope

09 Coro – Con valorosa mano – Emilio, Partenope, Tutti

10 Sinfonia

11 Recitativo – Soccorso – Partenope, Armindo

12 Sinfonia

13 Recitativo – Renditi, oppure estinto – Emilio, Arsace, Rosmira, Partenope, Ormonte

14 Coro – Vi circondi la gloria d’allori!

15 Recitativo accompagnato – Contro un pudico amor – Emilio

16 Aria – Barbaro fato, sì – Emilio

17 Aria – Care mura – Partenope

18 Recitativo – Emilio! – Partenope, Emilio, Rosmira, Arsace, Ormonte, Armindo

19 Aria – Voglio amare infin ch’io moro – Partenope

20 Recitativo – Ti bramo amico – Arsace, Emilio, Armindo, Rosmira

21 Duetto – E vuoi con dure tempre – Arsace, Rosmira

22 Recitativo – Non può darsi in un petto – Emilio, Armindo, Rosmira

23 Aria – Furie son dell’alma mia – Rosmira

24 Recitativo – A pro di chi t’offese – Partenope, Arsace

25 Aria – Poterti dir vorrei – Arsace

26 Recitativo – Regina – Armindo, Partenope

27 Aria – Non chiedo, oh luci vaghe – Armindo

28 Recitativo – Più d’ogn’altro sarebbe  – Partenope

29 Aria – Qual farfalletta – Partenope

30 Recitativo – Quanto godo, Eurimene – Armindo, Rosmira

31 Recitativo – Rosmira mia, mio bene! – Arsace, Rosmira

32 Aria – Furibondo spira il vento – Arsace

 

DISC III

01 ATTO III – Sinfonia

02 Recitativo – Regina, ti compiace – Armindo, Partenope, Arsace, Emilio

03 Quartetto – Non è incauto il mio consiglio – Armindo, Emilio, Arsace, Partenope

04 Recitativo – Partenope, Eurimene – Rosmira, Partenope, Arsace, Armindo, Emilio

05 Arietta – Arsace, oh dio, così – Rosmira

06 Recitativo – Chi m’apre i lumi? – Partenope, Emilio, Armindo

07 Aria – Spera e godi, oh mio tesoro – Partenope

08 Recitativo – Prencipe, ardir! – Emilio, Armindo, Rosmira, Arsace

09 Aria – La speme ti consoli – Emilio

10 Recitativo – Rosmira, ove ti guida – Arsace, Rosmira

11 Aria – Ch’io parta? – Arsace

12 Recitativo – Oh dio, par che dal petto – Rosmira

13 Aria – Quel volto mi piace – Rosmira

14 Recitativo – Ormonte, ti destino – Partenope, Ormonte, Armindo

15 Aria – Nobil core che ben ama – Armindo

16 Recitativo – Non chiedo, oh miei tormenti – Arsace

17 Aria – Ma quai note di mesti lamenti – Arsace

18 Recitativo accompagnato – Cieli, che miro! – Rosmira

19 Recitativo – Ma Partenope vien – Rosmira

20 Terzetto – Un cor infedele – Partenope, Arsace, Rosmira

21 Recitativo – Passo di duolo in duolo – Arsace

22 Aria – Fatto è Amor un dio d’inferno – Arsace

23 Recitativo – Di bel desire avvampo – Emilio, Armindo

24 Aria – La gloria in nobil alma – Emilio

25 Sinfonia

26 Recitativo – Regina, in queste arene – Ormonte, Partenope, Emilio, Rosmira, Armindo, Arsace

27 Aria – Sì, scherza, sì – Partenope

28 Recitativo – Armindo sia mio sposo – Partenope, Armindo, Arsace, Rosmira

29 Coro – D’Imeneo le belle tede – Coro

30 Recitatitivo – Regina, in queste arene – Ormonte, Partenope, Emilio, Rosmira, Armindo, Arsace

31 Aria – Seguaci di Cupido – Arsace

32 Recitativo – Tu vanne in libertate – Partenope

33 Coro – D’Imeneo le belle tede – Coro

 

2015-10-06_02 featured press

Händel’s “Theodora” live on tour, and for the stay-at-homes

We’ve been spoiled of late – Les Arts Florissants, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, even the Master himself have been keeping us updated during the rehearsals at the TCE!  Now things are getting serious: Theodora premieres tomorrow. (Toi toi toi to all the participants!) The lucky Parisians will have multiple chances to grab a ticket before the production will be taken to Amsterdam and New York. (The productions abroad will be concertante most likely, meaning, without Stephen Langridge’s set.) Head over to our Concert Dates section for the venue and ticket links. [x]
theodora schedule

For the ones who cannot make it to a live performance: Don’t despair! There will be a livestream on ARTE Concert, on October 16th, 19:30 Paris time! [x] (I am confident that it will be on replay afterwards.)

theodora event featured

If we counted correctly, it’s seven times that Mr. PJ has to die a heroic death on stage. I have to confess I can’t handle this very well, not even once. In case you feel the same and need a supportive community to help you through the experience, join us on Facebook for the livestream: [x]

fb event preview theodora

Finally, this is to the people over at ARTE:

bless you

Cast

Katherine Watson – Theodora
Stéphanie d’Oustrac – Irene
Philippe Jaroussky – Dydimus
Callum Thorpe – Valens
Kresimir Spicer – Septimius

Conductor: William Christie
Choir and Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants
Choregraphy: Philippe Giraudeau
Stage Director: Stephen Langridge

More info over at the TCE: [x]

 

 

2015-09-24 featured press

“Theodora” at the TCE – The Master is blogging! – Schedule

For all the pieces written in his praise, authentic words from Philippe Jaroussky are somewhat hard to get by, so be sure to catch His Master’s Updates on the Théatre des Champs Elysée’s blog! [x]

As much as I love updates about red high-heels, let’s get serious for a moment: This is a production that’s not to be missed. William Christie and Les Arts Florissants don’t need much of an introduction; as far as Baroque is concerned, they’re one of the benchmarks other ensembles and conductors have to measure themselves against. To see more of the work of Stephen Langridge who’s setting the production in scene, let me point you to his website: [x].

After Paris, the production will be taken on an international tour (we don’t know for sure yet if scenic, half-scenic or concertante). Check the tour dates to see if there is a performance within your reach: [x]

Theodora by Georg Friedrich Händel is classified as a “dramatic oratorio”; it is meant from the start to be staged, unlike The Messiah, for instance. Theodora and Didymus are Christian martyrs, pursued for their faith. The plot is illustrating what living their faith means to them; we witness them staying true to their principles like selflessness and truthfulness, willing to pay the Ultimate Sacrifice in the end.

The piece merges elements of oratorios (like the extensive choir-pieces) and the spiritual topic with dramatic elements like a concise dramatic plot, featuring components that never grew out of fashion. There’s a lot of bromance going on between Didymus – a Roman soldier converted to Christianity – and his brother-in-arms, Septimius, and a variety of a prison setting where Didymus switches clothes with his Christian love Theodora to sacrifice his own freedom for that of Theodora’s.

To give you an idea of the sublime music, here’s the immortal Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson with “As with rosy steps the morn,” Irene’s aria.