With only a few performances left to enjoy Caesar’s handsome costumes (perhaps a little authoritarian as well) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, I wanted to share some of my cool 30s looks. The costumes of ANTONY & CLEOPATRA were created by Tony nominee Constance Hoffman.
At the risk of getting a big head (😉) I wanted to share a bit about a striking scene and aria that I (as Caesar Augustus aka Octavian himself, exulted in his Julian line, of divine form, born to restore a better age of gold, etc.) have the privilege to sing in the second act of John Adams’ masterful setting of Shakespeare’s ANTONY & CLEOPATRA. Except… this Caesarian speech is not Shakespeare! The composer, along with the director and dramaturg, wanted to include a political oration from Caesar to dramatize and contextualize the political maneuverings of the cunning Octavius as he works to rid the world of the eponymous power couple. So John, well-read scholar that he is, folded Virgil’s account of Octavius’ imperial oration into his Shakespearean setting. One thing to bear in mind is that the new Emperor was the patron of Virgil — he commissioned him to write the Aeneid with the explicit purpose of creating a Roman origin story and mythology of which the new emperor was the apotheosis. Whatever you want to say about this Caesar, he picked a good hype man in Virgil. For the libretto, John Adams used John Dryden’s 17th century translation which harmonizes nicely with Shakespeare’s language. This aria/scene is unique in the opera in that the whole song races forward in a single fevered tempo from beginning to end. The momentum of Caesar’s victory is undeniable—what scene follows? Antony’s death scene. It’s a thrilling musical moment and a brilliant dramaturgical choice to place this roaring aria as the precursor to the hero’s demise. I hope all of you will get a chance to experience this amazing opera in person!#reeloftheday#classicalmusicians#operasingers #tenor#operalover #johnadams#shakespeare#newmusic#tbt#caesar#classicalmusic#reelsinstagram#opera#instaopera#operaworld ... See MoreSee Less
Candide often finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place, or—in the case of Daniel Fish’s new production—between a 20 ft. high transparent beach ball and a stiff cloud of soapy foam. As always, Candide endeavors to undertake his adventures optimistically.
Toi toi toi the the entire cast and crew and chorus and orchestra of the @operadelyon for our general rehearsal this evening!!
It’s such a joy to be singing Leonard Bernstein’s great score again, this time at @operadelyon. I have found the French have a great appreciation and love of American music, and it is a joy to share it with them. But I must bow down in gratitude to some of the great American artists who showed me how to do it right!
🎵 Schubert died on this day in 1828 at the age of 31. Max Reger arranged a few of Schubert’s masterpieces for orchestra. Here is an excerpt of his arrangement of Schubert’s Die Gruppe aus dem Tartarus.
From May 2021 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (@cincysymphony) conducted by Juanjo Mena (@mena_juanjo).
You won’t hear the horn in “Sonnet,” the final song of Benjamin Britten’s SERENADE FOR TENOR, HORN, AND STRINGS because the horn player is meant to skulk off stage at that moment to position himself to play the lonely postlude on natural horn somewhere in the distance. But you will get to hear this excerpt as well as @erikralske on horn, Gareth Morrell at the podium, and the glorious strings on the @metorchestra performing my most-frequently-performed-concert-repertoire by one of my favorite composers to sing.
Join us @carnegiehall in Weill Recital Hall on Sunday OCTOBER 23 at 2pm.
LINK IS IN THE BIO
THAT’S ALL FOLKS! This project is a highlight—maybe THEE highlight—of my career. I believe ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA is a piece that will be performed and admired for centuries, and the magnitude of that belief is only just starting to hit me. But that’s for other generations to deal with…
Right now I am grateful to the great artists that I had the honor of creating this piece with @sfopera, @sfoperaorchestra, and especially Maestros Adams and Kim (@eskconductor).
As we approach our final performance of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, I wanted to share some photos highlighting the incredible production led by our director Elkhanah Pulitzer who’s brought together a team of designers to create a piece of art whose remarkable expressivity rest atop so much complex technical knowledge invisible to the audience. Truly memorable production from a special team.
Set Designer: Mimi Lien (@mi2lien)
Lighting Designer: David Finn
Costume Designer: Constance Hoffmann (@curchin2)
Projection Designer: Bill Morrison (@bimo65)
Antony & Cleopatra in September 2022 at @sfopera (📷: @cory_weaver_photographer)
The Rake’s Progress at @metopera in May 2015. (📷 : Richard Termine, NYTimes)
“When I grow up, I wanna be like Gerry.” Debate remains as to whether I have yet grown up, nevertheless @GeraldFinleyOfficial remains a role model not just for the artistry of his singing, but the example of balance of song, opera, and concert work he has established in his career. He has mastered music of both old and new and as such brings the best of both to everything he sings.
I’m so grateful for this next opportunity to study his work up close, and hope you take advantage of your opportunity to see his legend in action this Sunday, September 18 at 2PM in John Adams’ “Antony and Cleopatra” for a live stream of our matinee performance. See link in bio for details!
Tonight we kick off @sfopera’s centennial season with the world premiere of John Adams’ genius “Antony & Cleopatra.” This is my third role at the War Memorial Opera House, the second John Adams role I’ve created, and the single highest honor of my career to create this rich role which the great composer wrote for me.
Opera takes so many hands and so much work to make possible, so I send my gratitude, admiration, and praise to all the artists and employees of San Francisco Opera who made tonight possible.
Meet Augustus, né Octavius: Triumvir, Emperor, Villain?!? In this weekend’s world premiere of "Antony and Cleopatra” @sfopera I get to create John Adams’s take on Shakespeare’s cunning Caesar.
This opera is a work of immense compositional and dramaturgical skill, and this role is among the richest characters vocally and psychologically I’ve had the luck to portray. And with our fearless and unfathomably talented @eskconductor leading the @sfoperaorchestra, this will be a premiere for the music history books!
I recently sat down to discuss this character and the opera in which this ambitious “young Roman boy” prevails over his erstwhile ally, Antony @geraldfinleyofficial, and the mighty queen of the Nile herself @amina_edris.
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Photo Credit: Pascal Victor (Festival d’Aix)
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