Saturday, 24 December 2011

Free opera and more - Xmas broadcasts

Compensation from not getting out this week? What's on TV and radio? Unmissable Xmas Eve afternoon 1435 on BBCTV2 wil be Tosca from The Royal Opera House with the grande luxe cast - Gheorghiu, Terfel, Kaufmann. Pray for intervals so you can rush off and do tasks. Catch Pappano talking about it from 1335. He's a brillaint speaker, his enthusiasm is infectious. If anyone can persuade you Tosca is more than "shabby little shocker" it's him and this cast. Traditional Carols from Kings in the evening.

Another chance to see the wonderful Royal Ballet Alice in Wonderland on Xmas Day at 1210. Highly recommended. John Rutter to follow and then The Prince and the Composer at 1510. The Prince is now being heavily marketed as a Patron of the Arts, so the film is now being sold as "by" HRH. Which is fine and will please royalists, but poor Hubert Parry is unfortunately remodelled as a servant of the throne.  What would Parry have thought of that? Please read what I wrote at the premiere. 
Salzburg Festival Mozart Le nozze de Figaro Keenlyside, Erwin Schrott and other goodies. Alas, no videoo but audio should be rewarding. This only til next Thursday, don't dawdle. Donizetti La fille du regiment from the Met on Xmas Eve at 6pm. In theory you can sit at home and watch/listen all day.

Catch up time for things missed but still available. Priority I think is Massanet's Le Jongleur de Notre Dame available here. It is unusual fare and very good indeed.  Read more HERE.  It is better than a lot of the heavily promoted glitz. Also, Bach Christmas Oratorio from St Johns Smith Square - James Gilchrist, Iestyn Davies, Neal Davies and Katharine Watson, cond Stephen Layton. I have now listened - it's glorious ! Layton also conducts Benjamin Britten Ceremony of Carols and St Nicolas. There's also Discovering Music programme about it before hand, which is good, as this series is well informed and analytical. Listen to programmes like this while you can. Dumbing down looms close. As for me, I'm increasingly less impressed by the anglophone world these days. So escape to Francesco Cavall La didone on medici TV, semi staged, William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. More Massenet, too - Werther with Kaufmann !

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