Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rigoletto with Opera Australia and Orchestra Victoria

We are coming to the end of the Autumn Opera Australia season in Melbourne, with a two month fun of four operas:-

Verdi - Rigoletto conducted by Renato Palumbo

Tchaikovsky - Eugene Onegin. I was covering this show so didnt get the chance to play it, which is a shame as its beautiful

Rossini - A Turk in Italy, not his best but typical Opera Buffa, lots for fun on stage

Bizet - Carmen, where every number is on the greatest hits album, a real show stopper for the audience. We have two casts and one Carmen is very much better with the castanets than the other! Its a fab production but the highlight for the audience is when the horse bows with chorus in the curtain calls. Half the band scarper to the audience side of the pit wall once the gig is over, to get the best view

I was principal for Rigoletto, which gave me the chance to play the solo....which is acually a duetto for cello and bass, but we tend to think of it as a bass solo. Its the longest solo line in the repertoire. It comes at a part of the show when Rigoletto is negotiating with an assassin in a dark alleyway. Verdi had a clear concept of what a lyrical bass solo meant - something really bad is going to happen. His other notable example is Act 4 of Otello, when the bass section play a lyrical line just before the King kills his wife Desdemona.

Riggers was fun to play.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Julia Lezhneva

We perform with many artists but its rare that one completely takes your breath away. Julia Lezhneva is 24 and if she is not a global superstar already she will be acknowledged thus very soon. She is quite remarkable.

She performed baroque and classical show pieces in a concert that was part of the Hobart Baroque festival. It will live long in the memory.

This concert was a fitting end to my latest spell with the TSO. A lot of fun and great music...

...and now its time to return to Melbourne for the opera season. First up is Rigoletto and as principal all bass players will understand what that means! Part way thro the first act is one of the longest bass solos in the whole repertoire - actually its a duetto with the cello, but we like to think of it as a bass solo.

The rest of the year is starting to take shape. I will be in Melbourne for April and May doing the opera season, then the ballet will take up June, all with Orchestra Victoria.