An Unamplified Voice
An Unamplified Voice is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, An Unamplified Voice is a qualified source of soclassiq, like The Violin Channel or La Scena Musicale and many others. The oldest article indexed by soclassiq is dated 2012-01-02. Since then, a total of 189 articles have been written and published by An Unamplified Voice.
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Well, I certainly wasn't expecting this email:We’re writing to inform you, as a ticket buyer to Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, of an important change. The performances of La Damnation de Faust on January 25 and 29, and February 1 and 8, 2020, will be converted into concert presentations, similar to the Met’s Verdi Requiem performances in the 2017–18 season. Performances on February 4, 12, and 15, 2020, have been cancelled.The decision to present La Damnation de Faust in its more usual concert version is driven by the unanticipated technical demands of reviving the Met’s staged production, impossible to accommodate within the company’s production schedule. The cast, including mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, bass Ildar Abdrazakov, and tenors Bryan Hymel (January 25, 29) and Michael Spyres (February 1, 8) sharing the title role, remains unchanged. Edward Gardner is the conductor.The new event listing seems to confirm.
Dialogues des Carmélites - Metropolitan Opera, 5/3 and 5/8/2019Leonard, Mattila, Pieczonka, Cargill, Morley, Portillo / Nézet-SéguinI expected this Dialogues revival - as those of previous seasons - to be effective and moving. What I did not expect, despite an outside hope therefor, was that it would contain within the first act's limited span one more great Mattila triumph, the first since 2012 and one of an all-too-few to be moviecast. If this turns out to be her send-off (which, at 58, need not necessarily be the case), it's a great one.Felicity Palmer (whose Waltraute I've missed in Met Rings since) was a heck of a singing actress, but in the last two revivals she portrayed a prioress who dies. With Mattila, Madame de Croissy's death itself - enormous and terrible, like the death of Christoph Detlev Brigge in Rilke's prose book - is the main character of […]
Siegfried - Metropolitan Opera, 4/13/2019Vinke, Goerke, Volle, Siegel, Morley, Cargill, Koniecszny, Belosselskiy / JordanAs astounding and enjoyable was Stefan Vinke's vocal endurance and forcefulness in the title role in this house debut last month, so disappointing was the one-note personal characterization that accompanied it. The result was a barn-burner of an aural show that undoubtedly thrilled the general audience but frustrated me as the vocal failures of past revivals had not.A decade ago, in praise of Christian Franz - whose physical assumption was everything that Vinke's was not - I noted that his Siegfried "didn't, as is sometimes the case, seem the villain of the piece". And with this revival we saw how easy it takes to make Siegfried unsympathetic (one opera ahead of when he does, under mind-affecting magic, in fact act the bad guy). Whether it was the revival stage directors (J. Knighten Smith for the […]
Next season at the Met brings a handful of new shows and, more notably, a new schedule point: Sunday afternoon. So far Sunday perfomances look like rescheduled Mondays, and start-of-the-week gaps (both Monday and, at times, Tuesday) are interspersed through the year.As usual, I've left some one-show-only combinations out below.Porgy and Bess (new James Robinson production)Owens, Blue, Schultz, Moore, Ballentine, Walker, Green / Robertson (opening night to October)Owens, Blue, Brugger, Moore, Ballentine, Walker, Singletary / Robertson (October, January)Owens, Blue, Schultz, Moore, Ballentine, Walker, Singletary / Robertson (Jan 28, Feb 1)Like many Met premieres of the Gelb era, this show - directed by newcomer (and Opera Theatre of St. Louis Artistic Director) James Robinson with Bart Sher's usual set and costume designers - has already run at ENO and in Amsterdam. Still, it's the first Porgy and Bess at the Met in ages (even City Opera's latest performance was almost […]
This year's Met season announcement wasn't even headlined by the season, but by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, currently mid-run of Parsifal. As one might expect after the Levine scandal, the company got the French-Canadian conductor's schedule cleared so he could go from Music Director Designate to Music Director this fall instead of 2020. So a new era begins... even if most of the particulars are old. (As usual, some one-off cast combos are omitted.)Samson et Delila (new Darko Tresnjak production)Alagna, Garanča, Naouri, Azizov, Belosselskiy / Elder (opening night to October)Antonenko, Rachvelishvili, Naouri, Konieczny, Groissböck / Elder (March)A new guy-from-Broadway's production, presumably visually striking in the current fashion and color palette, replaces the visually striking one in the '90s fashion from Elijah Moshinsky. There isn't a whole lot to this piece beyond vocal-dramatic display, which makes the spring cast rather more interesting.La BohemeCar, Blue, Grigolo, Dupuis, Luciano, Rose / […]
Rigoletto - Metropolitan Opera, 4/26 and 5/1/2019Gagnidze, Feola, Polenzani, Ivashchenko / LuisottiThe house debut of 32-year-old Italian soprano Rosa Feola as Gilda was extraordinary enough that I went back between Ring installments to see if I hadn't imagined it. I found a second night even better than the first.Although Feola (who was runner-up to Sonya Yoncheva at the 2010 Operalia competition) certainly has the notes and technique for the lyric-coloratura parts that are her current career (her Caro nome was a marvel), neither her voice nor her person present what you'd expect therein. Instead of the classic bright, chirpy sound Feola offers a darker, more emotionally charged timbre. And though she can (unlike, say, Diana Damrau) do ingenuous charm, neither that nor coquettish sex-appeal define her focused, presence. The overall impression was of nothing so much as an Italian Dorothea Röschmann with an integrated top extension […]
Attempts to deflect from an obvious truth by bringing in a familiar red herring narrative have, for generations, been the New York Times's stock-in-trade, but today's Wall Street Journal piece on the new Met Traviata is a pretty thorough attempt itself. For tonight's event is not at all about the Met's need for youth, outreach, new opera, and other beloved shibboleths of the credentialed set: it's a tallying of the bets and life of the Gelb administration after a dozen years.For Gelb took wholly over from Joe Volpe in 2006, which makes this his thirteenth season as General Manager. (Volpe, by comparison, was the boss for sixteen.) Though the long lead time in opera casting makes the analogy even more tenuous, it's still useful to compare these years to the terms of a Presidency. In the first four years, there are likely to be big immediate […]
The Exterminating Angel - Metropolitan Opera, 11/14/2017Kaiser, Echalaz, Luna, Coote, Matthews, Davies, Rice, Gilfry, Bevan, Portillo, Antoun, Moore, Burdette, Tomlinson, Van Horn / AdèsPrevious reviews:Powder Her Face (Ades's 1995 debut opera)The Tempest (his 2004 second opera)The wholly unexpected thing about this US premiere is not its success - Ades's previous show here was at least a succès d'estime - but that so much of this came from reducing his music's aesthetic scope and ambition. Philip Henscher asked (in Power Her Face) for a brash score highlighting the retro-modernist tropes of compulsion, lust, and moral emptiness, and Ades delivered terrifically... if nevertheless emptily. Meredith Oakes a decade later gave Ades a much grander thing - her cleverly condensed version of Shakespeare's humane masterpiece (The Tempest) - but the new demands were not much suited to the composer, whose engagement was less with the people and more with the inhuman […]