Articles tagged with: Johan Botha
Review: It’s a bleak, war-torn world that greets Wagner’s prodigal troubadour in the Lyric Opera’s potent, sensual and yet strikingly unromanticized production of “Tannhäuser.” Typical of a current trend, the Lyric version – created by Covent Garden’s Royal Opera and now seen in Chicago for the first time – brings the story into a timeless present. Though generally dark, this treatment also energizes, and vibrantly colorizes, the prologue’s protracted sex romp at the Venusberg. ★★★★
Feature review: The Metropolitan Opera is the most international of houses, but there is something quintessentially American about the Saturday afternoon HD cinema broadcasts that are now part of its marketing arsenal. After attending a performance of “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” at the Met, I caught the same production, broadcast live to cinemas on Dec. 13, starring German baritone Michael Volle as Hans Sachs, the master shoemaker, cobbler of poems and mender of hearts.
Report: Russian dramatic soprano Tatiana Serjan, who riveted audiences as Riccardo Muti’s Lady Macbeth with the Chicago Symphony in 2013, will return to the Windy City next January at the Lyric Opera of Chicago to sing another knife-wielder, Floria Tosca, the tempestuous diva who tries to outwit a tyrant and foil her lover’s assassination. The Lyric’s 60th anniversary season, announced Jan. 27, also will feature soprano and Lyric creative consultant Renée Fleming in a signature role as Countess Madeleine in Richard Strauss’ final opera, “Capriccio.”
Report: First, the German bass-baritone Falk Struckmann, singing the role of the evil Iago in Verdi’s “Otello,” lost his voice suddenly to an allergy flare-up during opening night of the Lyric Opera’s 59th season, causing a frantic search for the understudy. Now it’s the Otello’s turn. Johan Botha has dropped out of the production’s remaining performances. The South African heldentenor, plagued by severe back pain, has returned to Vienna for treatment. American heldentenor Clifton Forbis replaces him for performances Oct. 29 and Nov. 2.
Review: Villainous Iago’s creed, which holds that man is the sport of unjust fate, must be on the minds of impresarios everywhere when opening night emergencies befall. So it was at the Lyric Opera’s gala opener Oct. 6, when the Iago of Verdi’s “Otello,” Falk Struckmann, made it only through Act 1. Valiant standby Todd Thomas made the save. The Lyric announced that Struckmann will sing Oct. 9. ★★★
Preview: I’ll take mine with popcorn
The Chicago Lyric Opera’s new season begins and ends with shows that should attract aficionados of opera and theater: “Elektra” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Here’s the show-by-show breakdown.