Saturday, February 12, 2011

Shakespeare, Opera, Struggle: Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet

This blog post is to accompany a paper about the 1868 opera Hamlet, by Ambroise Thomas. I have written it for the Shakespeare Association of America, where I'm participating in a seminar on "Shakespeare and Opera" in April. The main function of the blog is to allow readers of the paper to see and hear parts of the score and recordings. The paper itself is much longer (and, I hope, clearer). You can download it at the end of this blog, if you'd like.  Here I'll just give the very rough outline. 

Read on, or just enjoy some clips of this beautiful opera!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lute, voice, cover

My latest review at ClevelandClassical is of Mignarda, a duo of lutanist Ron Andrico and mezzo Donna Stewart. Along with the usual lutesong material, which they didn't perform Sunday, but which they do very well, they perform "intabulations" -- arrangements of polyphonic motets for lute and single voice. It's haunting, different, a definite early-music version of a "cover." Here's an example, which you'll probably recognize, and which was their encore Sunday:


Here's an example of them doing more standard lutesong from the great John Dowland: 
The concert was in the beautiful Gothic revival Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Cleveland, which I'd never been in before. 

When I started thinking about "covers" to songs, this wonderful Stevie Wonder version of the Beatles came to mind: