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Tony Pappano Gala


JohnS

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Looking forward to the Gala and the celebrations for Tony Pappano’s 22 years as Music Director. Very pleased to see he’s conducting next season’s Die Walkure.

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I'm not surprised that the rep is mostly 19th century Italian but I'm thrilled that the Rosenkavalier Trio is included. I will try to cry quietly!

 

If anyone who's going would like to meet up in the interval then please let me know. I'm a little nervous in case I'm the only person there who has opted out of black tie, but I really can't walk from Kings Cross to the ROH and back in an evening frock & heels!

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A celebration for Maestro Pappano fit for a King so rather good that King Charles attended and ended the proceedings on stage with Tony Pappano, soloists, ROH orchestra and chorus. Excellent to have such telling contributions from the chorus (Nabucco ‘Va, pensiero’, Tosca ‘Te Deum’ with Bryn Terfel, Pagliacci, Guillaume Tel ‘Finale’) and Vasko Vasislev (I Lombardi). And some fabulous singers. Good to have a souvenir programme and enjoyed the champagne.

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I was moved to tears. What a wonderful gala, with semi-staged full excerpts from operas instead of soli. The kind of evening I will remember forever!

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I attempted to take curtain call photos but I had enough problems with heads in the way when everyone was seated. Once everyone stood up my view was this!

P1730138.jpg

 

So the following photos are far from ideal. If anyone has better ones please post them & I'll ask the moderators to remove mine. I've posted the red run photos as links so they take up less space & people can look at particular singers should they want to. I'm afraid I didn't manage to capture everyone even vaguely in focus though so some singers are missing.

 

https://i.postimg.cc/sDF3KPnk/P1730001.jpg Insung Sim

https://i.postimg.cc/Bvw0F2Lw/P1730008.jpg Huw Montague Rendall

https://i.postimg.cc/qq2VWYm9/P1730017.jpg Aigul Akhmetshina

https://i.postimg.cc/QdfGLcbx/P1730026.jpg Carlos Alvarez (I was pleased he turned up as he withdrew from Andrea Chenier some time ago so I wasn't expecting him to appear for this)

https://i.postimg.cc/q7FPq0SP/P1730044.jpg Freddie de Tommaso

https://i.postimg.cc/9fDkvK0J/P1730048.jpg Lisette Oropesa

https://i.postimg.cc/cJPzZh8Z/P1730066.jpg Amartuvshin Enkhbat

https://i.postimg.cc/4NXSJmnK/P1730078.jpg Ermonela Jaho (terrible photo of her I'm afraid but it does show her stunning outfit!)

https://i.postimg.cc/jdvkCtJM/P1730089.jpg Sondra Radvanovsky

https://i.postimg.cc/kg4YbzQq/P1730096.jpg Bryn Terfel

https://i.postimg.cc/W4q99ZYy/P1730107.jpg Jonas Kaufmann

https://i.postimg.cc/fLx8sNNj/P1730124.jpg Pappano

https://i.postimg.cc/tJp2CMR0/P1730132.jpg Pappano

 

The full stage curtain calls, which happened after the red runs. Including some of the singers who I didn't manage to get red run photos of.

 

Nadine Sierra & Xabier Anduaga

P1730159.jpg

 

Gerald Finley, Carlos Alvarez, Diana Damrau & presenter Petroc Trelawney

P1730173.jpg

 

Veena Akama-Makia, Michael Gibson, Jeremy White & Pappano

P1730202.jpg

 

Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, chorus master William Spaulding, Amartuvshin Enkhbat & Sondra Radvanovsky

P1730214.jpg

 

P1730221.jpg

 

P1730228.jpg

 

P1730234.jpg

 

P1730244.jpg

 

P1730254-2.jpg

 

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14 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

I'm a little nervous in case I'm the only person there who has opted out of black tie, but I really can't walk from Kings Cross to the ROH and back in an evening frock & heels!

So Dawnstar, were you the only one?

I bet not...

Thanks for the great photos.

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Looks great. I notice there's no mention of "in the presence of His Majesty ..." - I don't know whether that's a reflection of attitudes now, or whether they weren't certain he was coming in view of his current state of health?

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2 minutes ago, alison said:

Looks great. I notice there's no mention of "in the presence of His Majesty ..." - I don't know whether that's a reflection of attitudes now, or whether they weren't certain he was coming in view of his current state of health?

 

I would imagine the latter. And/or perhaps security considerations. Evidently the performers were only told that he was coming 20 mins before curtain up.

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6 hours ago, Mary said:

So Dawnstar, were you the only one?

I bet not...

Thanks for the great photos.

 

I wasn't the only one but there were a lot of people in black tie. Looking out over the stalls it was certainly the best dressed audience overall that I've ever seen at the ROH. It almost felt like attending a performance several decades ago (well before my time) when much of the audience did come in evening dress.

 

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments on my far from ideal photos. There was a professional photographer stationed in the centre of the stalls circle so hopefully the ROH will release official photos of the performance.

 

Unlike the sort of gala where you feel the performers have jetted in at the last minute & had one quick rehearsal of their usual "party pieces" this one must have required a decent amount of rehearsal. There wasn't a score in sight (apart from in the pit, obviously) and everything was fully acted with furniture & props used. With the orchestra being in the pit, it felt rather more than the semi-staged that many concerts are when the singers have a narrow strip of stage in front of an orchestra, so perhaps it could be described as three-quarter staged! Even the singers being in concert dress wasn't that out of place, given that so many opera productions nowadays have the characters in modern dress anyway. I only realised afterwards that, contrary to many galas/concerts, there wasn't a single solo, it was all duets, trios or ensembles. It certainly didn't feel like star singers showing off in any way, in fact there weren't any bows after each number, the singers just exited the stage.

 

It's difficult to name highlights as I thought everyone performed very well. I'd say about half the singers I'd seen live before, a quarter I knew from videos & a quarter were new to me. I was pleased that there were a few singers who I first saw near the start of my ROH attendance: Diana Damrau, who was in the 2nd ever opera I saw at the ROH, Ariadne auf Naxos in June 2004; Gerald Finley, who I first saw at the ROH in 2006; and Sondra Radvanovsky, who I also first saw in 2006. Though Damrau singing the Marschallin in the Trio when I saw her as Sophie in Munich in 2006 made me feel old. As did the participation of Huw Montague Rendall, as his mother was one of the first singers I liked from recordings when I started getting interested in opera in the early 2000s.

 

I enjoyed most of the music & was relieved not to have extracts from any of the operas that have premiered at the ROH during Pappano's tenure. I suppose ideally I would have had a little less Verdi & some representation of Wagner instead but that's just personal preference. Most of the pieces I either knew or at least had enough idea of to know the context but I should have looked up I Lombardi beforehand as I no idea of the context for that. I enjoyed the two Rigoletto extracts but having an extract from Act III in the first half and from Act I in the second half was slightly disconcerting. The two extracts from Forza, coming one after another in the correct order, I thought worked better. Given the staging extended to swords being provided I started to wonder if we were going to get the unusual sight of duel in a gala, but no! The two Don Pasquale extracts were also in the correct order but Carlos Alvaraz sang Malatesta in one & Pasquale in the other. I particularly enjoyed Thais, though I was rather surprised when Petroc Trelawny said that Pappano is very keen on Massenet, given how little of it has been programmed over the last 22 years. I cried through the Trio, as I usually do, and again was surprised when Trelawny said something about Pappano not having had the opportunity to conduct Rosenkavalier for 25 years. Why hasn't he programmed it since 2016 then so he could have conducted it?!

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1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

 

I wasn't the only one but there were a lot of people in black tie. Looking out over the stalls it was certainly the best dressed audience overall that I've ever seen at the ROH. It almost felt like attending a performance several decades ago (well before my time) when much of the audience did come in evening dress.

 

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments on my far from ideal photos. There was a professional photographer stationed in the centre of the stalls circle so hopefully the ROH will release official photos of the performance.

 

Unlike the sort of gala where you feel the performers have jetted in at the last minute & had one quick rehearsal of their usual "party pieces" this one must have required a decent amount of rehearsal. There wasn't a score in sight (apart from in the pit, obviously) and everything was fully acted with furniture & props used. With the orchestra being in the pit, it felt rather more than the semi-staged that many concerts are when the singers have a narrow strip of stage in front of an orchestra, so perhaps it could be described as three-quarter staged! Even the singers being in concert dress wasn't that out of place, given that so many opera productions nowadays have the characters in modern dress anyway. I only realised afterwards that, contrary to many galas/concerts, there wasn't a single solo, it was all duets, trios or ensembles. It certainly didn't feel like star singers showing off in any way, in fact there weren't any bows after each number, the singers just exited the stage.

 

It's difficult to name highlights as I thought everyone performed very well. I'd say about half the singers I'd seen live before, a quarter I knew from videos & a quarter were new to me. I was pleased that there were a few singers who I first saw near the start of my ROH attendance: Diana Damrau, who was in the 2nd ever opera I saw at the ROH, Ariadne auf Naxos in June 2004; Gerald Finley, who I first saw at the ROH in 2006; and Sondra Radvanovsky, who I also first saw in 2006. Though Damrau singing the Marschallin in the Trio when I saw her as Sophie in Munich in 2006 made me feel old. As did the participation of Huw Montague Rendall, as his mother was one of the first singers I liked from recordings when I started getting interested in opera in the early 2000s.

 

I enjoyed most of the music & was relieved not to have extracts from any of the operas that have premiered at the ROH during Pappano's tenure. I suppose ideally I would have had a little less Verdi & some representation of Wagner instead but that's just personal preference. Most of the pieces I either knew or at least had enough idea of to know the context but I should have looked up I Lombardi beforehand as I no idea of the context for that. I enjoyed the two Rigoletto extracts but having an extract from Act III in the first half and from Act I in the second half was slightly disconcerting. The two extracts from Forza, coming one after another in the correct order, I thought worked better. Given the staging extended to swords being provided I started to wonder if we were going to get the unusual sight of duel in a gala, but no! The two Don Pasquale extracts were also in the correct order but Carlos Alvaraz sang Malatesta in one & Pasquale in the other. I particularly enjoyed Thais, though I was rather surprised when Petroc Trelawny said that Pappano is very keen on Massenet, given how little of it has been programmed over the last 22 years. I cried through the Trio, as I usually do, and again was surprised when Trelawny said something about Pappano not having had the opportunity to conduct Rosenkavalier for 25 years. Why hasn't he programmed it since 2016 then so he could have conducted it?!


A lovely review of yesterday evening, Dawnstar, and fabulous photos up- thread. 
 

It truly was a wonderful evening and once again made me think how lovely it would be to have a gala every season. 
 

I enjoyed all the performances, some more than others, and all of the extracts, and how enjoyable it was not to have to endure brutalist sets and ugly costumes. And for me, you can never have too much Verdi. 
 

I was certainly not one of the great and the good in the banqueting hall - the Floral Hall looked amazing- but I certainly enjoyed my complimentary champagne, unlike my poor neighbour, who failed to present her voucher pre-performance and had to make do with a glass of fruit juice.

 

Petrol Trelawny was, as always, a relaxed and engaging host and the tributes to Antonio Pappano were heartfelt and fitting. And lovely to see the King equally relaxed on stage with the performers. All in all, a remarkably enjoyable evening. 

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19 minutes ago, Scheherezade said:

It truly was a wonderful evening and once again made me think how lovely it would be to have a gala every season. 
 

I enjoyed all the performances, some more than others, and all of the extracts, and how enjoyable it was not to have to endure brutalist sets and ugly costumes.

 

I definitely agree with that. I'm still living in the faint hope that they might at some point re-programme the mixed opera & ballet gala that was scheduled for May 2020.

 

Yes. It was interesting that they chose to use the set from one of the few traditional productions still in use at the ROH!

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E-mail from the ROH 

Want to know more about Sir Antonio Pappano? Delve into the life of one of the most celebrated conductors. In this passionate new memoir he looks back at accompanying his father's singing lessons at age 10 to his triumphs as Music Director of The Royal Opera.

Sir Antonio Pappano: My Life in Music Book - Royal Opera House Shop (roh.org.uk)

 

Join us in the Paul Hamlyn Hall on Tuesday 28 May where Sir Antonio Pappano will be signing pre-release copies of his memoir from 3–4pm. Pre-order your book today to collect in store or buy one from our shop on the day. 

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