Category Archives: Opera

More Cahen Opera Photos

Tweet Last year I published Robert Cahen – A Life in Opera which contained a link to a video that displayed hundreds of pictures by the renowned opera photographer. I’m delighted to present another video of Mr Cahen’s photographs. Here is part 2 of Cahen’s collected photos. They are in MP4 format and can be viewed…


Read the full entry

Recording of the Week: Verismo – Diana Soviero

www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9DJd2vyRuw

Tweet The best singing actress I ever saw was Diana Soviero (b 1946) and my list includes Maria Callas and Teresa Stratas. Born in Jersey City she received the second Richard Tucker Award in 1979. She had a distinguished career at the Met appearing 102 times with the company between 1980 and 1997. She also…


Read the full entry

Leoncavallo’s La Boheme

Tweet Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) is, of course, best known as the composer of Pagliacci. He had the bad luck to write a pretty good opera, La Boheme, ( first performed in 1897) at about the same time as Puccini’s opera of the same title which first appeared in 1896. If Puccini’s masterpiece hadn’t been written Leoncavallo’s…


Read the full entry

Rosa Ponselle

Tweet Rosa Ponselle (1897-1981) was born Rosa Ponzillo in Meriden Connecticut to immigrant parents from southern Italy. Her vocal gifts were apparent at an early age and she started to sing professionally at 18. Her repertoire was mainly popular ballads. Shortly thereafter she began to sing on the vaudeville circuit with her older sister Carmela,…


Read the full entry

Recording of the Week: Lucrezia Borgia

Tweet Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia was written in 1833. Today it hangs around the outskirts of the standard operatic repertory. According to operabase.com it was performed 22 times worldwide during the season of 2013-14. At the Met it has managed only one performance in the company’s history. That was in 1904 with Enrico Caruso as Gennaro….


Read the full entry

Lawrence Tibbett

Tweet Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960) – born in Bakersfield, California – was the first in a succession of great American baritones who have been dominant performers at the Metropolitan Opera and throughout the world during much of the 20th century. He made his Met debut in 1923 as Lavitsky in Boris Godunov. For the next few years…


Read the full entry

Carmen – PowerPoint Presentation

Tweet Below is a link that will download a PowerPoint presentation I gave before the recent performances of Carmen by the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. To use it download all the files and put them in the same folder. To hear the sound excerpts click on the sound icon on the slides that are associated with…


Read the full entry

Shostakovich: The Nose

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy3YLdkhjRk

Tweet Below is a complete performance of Shostakovich’s first opera The Nose. I have previously written about he opera – here. As I mentioned in that earlier post the opera needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. This 1979 staging has English subtitles. The 21 year old composer’s exuberance explodes off of the stage. The…


Read the full entry

Cav & Pag in HD

Tweet David McVicar’s new production of opera’s venerable double bill was telecast today from the Metropolitan Opera House. First, before I start to pick a few nits, this production worked. It successfully conveyed the raw passion the two tales of jealousy and murder hurl at the audience with visceral impact even after a century and…


Read the full entry

Illicit Love

Tweet Opera abounds in love duets. Here are three that define both their genre and their time. All three involve a man (a tenor, of course) in love, or in lust in the last example, with another man’s wife. Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde were written about the same time –…


Read the full entry

Categories