After several recent conversations about SF Opera and then after reading the blogosphere reviews of the Met's opening production, I guess I need to revise what I said earlier about nobody really minding Madama Butterfly's many appearances on opera stages everywhere: it looks as if quite a few people feel about Cio-Cio San the way I feel about Mimi. I should have learned from my experience recommending one of my all-time favorite films, The Story of Adele H.: not everyone shares my taste for obsessive tales of unrequited love.
Is it also possible that not everyone is crazy about German expressionism?
A week from today (that would be September 26) two CDs are being released of particular interest. I haven't been this hyped up about pre-orders since Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box in March.
1) Naxos is releasing John Harbison's Chamber Music, with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. I haven't been able to find out much more information about this, from Amazon or the Naxos website (I'm not even sure if "Chamber Music" is the title of the piece or a generic title for the album), but I really don't need anything other than the singer.
2) Audra McDonald has a new album -- Build a Bridge. The product description quoted on Amazon says, "she combines material from precious [I assume they mean precocious but what a funny error] young songwriters like Rufus Wai[n]wright, Nellie McKay and even John Mayer with the work of frequent collaborator and Broadway innovator Adam Guettel, Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach, Laura Nyro, and Randy Newman." Again, it's the singer (no offense to the song) that is really selling this one to me.