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!

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

Theodora-Rehearsals-featured

First rehearsals of Theodora at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées​!

Theodora
Georg Friedrich Handel
Oratorio in three acts

William Christie musical direction
Stephen Langridge staging

Katherine Watson – Theodora
Stéphanie d’Oustrac – Irène
Philippe Jaroussky – Dydime
Kresimir Spicer – Septime
Callum Thorpe – Valens

Orchestre et Chœur Les Arts Florissants

Read more/Tickets: [x]

 

partenope-tweet-pomo-doro1

“Partenope” will be in stores by November 2015!

“… handsome and dashing Prince Arsace of Corinth, …”Wikipedia says so, means it must be true!

Pre-orders are up already on German Amazon: [x]

Partenope

Opera by Georg Friedrich Händel

Philippe Jaroussky, Arsace
Karina Gauvin, Partenope
John Mark Ainsley, Emilio
Emöke Barath, Armindo
Romina Basso, Rosmira
Luca Tittoto, Ormonte

Il Pomo d’Oro
Riccardo Minasi, dir

Image source/credits: Il Pomo d’Oro’s Twitter [x]