‘Tis the season to speculate

Finley-Gerald-02With a month or so to go before the Canadian Opera Company officially announces its 2013/14 season it’s surely time for some uninformed speculation.

There are three big anniversaries in 2013; the bicentenaries of Verdi and Wagner and the centenary of Benjamin Britten.  One would think all would be represented but maybe not.  We know Verdi will be.  Gerald Finley announced at the Rubies that he would make his role debut in the title role in Falstaff at COC in 2013/14 so we can ink that one in.  Britten seems probable.  There’s a Houston/COC co-pro of Peter Grimes, directed by Neil Armfield that is due to to come to Toronto.  I think we can pencil that one in.  No idea on casting but I would love to see Stuart Skelton myself.  Wagner, I’m not so sure.  Maybe February’s run of Tristan und Isolde will be COC’s sole nod to Wagner.  Certainly the next most likely candidate; the Lyon/Met/COC Parsifal is, apparently, not expected before 2015.

Continue reading

Will the Met’s Live in HD series significantly affect live opera?

I’ve been giving far too much thought to a range of issues surrounding the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts to cinemas. They have attracted a wide audience and are much talked about, both as performances and as to their impact on live opera; the so-called HD Generation. That said, I’ve seen little analysis of what the broadcasts really are or of their audience or of how and why the HD audience reacts to them the way it does. I want to explore those questions and then go on to look at whether and how the HD broadcasts might influence the practice of live opera. Some of this will be speculative as I am certainly not privy to the kind of data about the audience and its reaction that I would need to do what I want to do well. Some of it will be coloured, perhaps highly coloured, by my own experiences with live music, electronically reproduced music and the tricky relationship between them.

Continue reading