July 19 reunited Lyric's mighty triumvirate of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming at the Royal Opera House for a semi-staged concert performance of Richard Strauss's final opera, Capriccio. With Anthony in the audience, Sir Andrew conducted Renée as the Countess, one of her signature roles, to great acclaim:
"Swathed in a glittering Vivienne Westwood gown, she look[ed] ravishing and the soft, poised, top notes in the closing minutes hung in the air like so many silvery moonbeams." Richard Fairman, Financial Times
"Andrew Davis is a master Straussian, conducting with unassertive ease and stroking the requisite velvet out of the strings." Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
Lyric's leaders are working on four continents this summer! Where in the world is...
• Anthony Freud? In addition to seeing Capriccio, Anthony attended the Royal Opera House's production of Benjamin Britten's Gloriana. Other highlights of his work travels in Europe included André Tchaikowsky's The Merchant of Venice and Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Bregenz Festival in Austria, Verdi's Attila at Theater an der Wien in Vienna, and Verdi's Il Trovatore and Wagner's Lohengrin at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In August and September, Anthony will attend performances at Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne, Bayreuth, and Salzburg.
• Sir Andrew Davis? Sir Andrew's summer engagements in the UK require him to juggle three scores at the same time! In August, he returns to the Glyndebourne Festival, two hours south of London, where he will conduct Billy Budd for the Benjamin Britten centennial. Sir Andrew will lead the Glyndebourne cast and chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a live broadcast of Billy Budd for the BBC Proms. BBC Proms fans also await Sir Andrew's rendition of Tippett's A Midsummer Marriage with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Sir Andrew will spend September with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, where he is music director. His programs in Melbourne include conducting Ryan Opera Center alumni Amber Wagner and René Barbera in Verdi's Requiem.October finds Sir Andrew back home in Chicago for Parsifal.
• Renée Fleming? Renée's end-of-July recital in Dublin caps off a terrific season of international touring, including performances in China, Taiwan, Austria, and the United Kingdom, and a stop by the White House to receive the National Medal of Arts from President Obama. Renée's upcoming season once again will take her to all corners of the globe—including Chicago for her first-ever duo concert with tenor sensation Jonas Kaufmann.
Pictured above: Soprano Renée Fleming sings the Countess in Richard Strauss's Capriccio at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden. (Photo: Royal Opera House/Catherine Ashmore)