About Superconductor

Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Opera Preview: Mosè in Egitto

City Opera reaches its promised land: City Center.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
This is not a digital projection from the City Opera's new Mosè en Egitto .
It's a political cartoon from Cote d'Ivoire. But we like the octopus.
The New York City Opera's transformation from a staid Lincoln Center company to a run-and-gun company staging four operas a year around New York City has been a painful one. But this month, the company returns to its roots at City Center for the first of two shows: the Gioachino Rossini's Mosè in Egitto ("Moses in Egypt").

Given the subject matter, this may be a fitting choice for the company's first presentation at its former home since 1965. Rossini's opera chronicles the Jews' escape and flight from bondage. It features a stellar baritone part (the title role, played by David Cushing) and a compelling leading lady in Israelite daughter Almatea (Keri Alkima.)

The score is one of the composer's most imaginative, with brilliant writing for the chorus.  also some of the composer's most imaginative orchestral writing. Some aspects of the score are so modern that it's hard to believe the work was dashed off at lightning speed in 1818. Just nine years later, Rossini revised the opera for the Paris stage, creating a second (and more popular) masterpiece in Moïse et Phairon.

This new production (by Michael Count) is the first fully-staged performance of this version of the opera in New York in 180 years.  It will combine the majesty of these Biblical events with an imaginative digital backdrop designed by Marcelo Cardoso Ada Whitney and her team at the visual effects company Beehive.

Mosè in Egitto opens April 14.

Recording Recommendation:
Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Claudio Scimone (Philips/Decca 1981)

The ambitions of the music industry in the 1970s led to a series of Rossini opera recordings, made in the studio and issued by the Philips label This Mosè en Egitto is from 1981. In 2008 the set was reissued (now on Decca as part of the mid-priced Classic Opera series.) It features bass Ruggero Raimondi in the title role, and a supporting cast with bel canto soprano June Anderson and bass-baritone Siegmund Nimsgern as the Pharoah.
Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

My photo

Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.