Category Archives: Opera

Finale 10 – Falstaff (Tutto nel mondo è burla)

Tweet This one is a triple finale. It’s the end of the 3rd act, the end of the opera, and the end of Verdi’s career as a composer of operas. Verdi had written only one comedy prior to Falstaff – Un Giorno di Regno in 1840. Thus 53 years separated it from Falstaff. Verdi’s final…


Read the full entry

Tutto Verdi: La Forza del Destino

Tweet Parma’s production of Verdi’s epic opera is one of the weakest in its march through all the master’s operas. Forza is often criticized as the weakest of Verdi’s latter masterpieces because of its episodic nature, its length (when given uncut), and because of its “dry” patches. In my opinion, none of these criticisms apply…


Read the full entry

Sois Immobile

Tweet Last night the Sirius Network broadcast William Tell from the Met. This run of the opera is the first time that it has been performed by the company in 85 years. The opera when done complete, as the Met is doing it, lasts about five hours including the two intervals. But the music is…


Read the full entry

The Metropolitan Opera House as a Graveyard

Tweet You’ve likely heard of yesterday’s evacuation of the Metropolitan Opera House because some terminally goofy member of the audience decided to empty his “mentor’s” ashes into the orchestra pit during the second intermission of the matinee performance of Rossini’s William Tell. The rest of the show was cancelled as was the evening performance of…


Read the full entry

Recording of the Week: Richard Tucker – America’s Best Tenor

Tweet Amazon is currently selling this 10 CD set for $16.98. Many of the selections are from Met broadcasts. The rest were made in the studio. There is some duplication with the multi-CD sets release three years ago in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Tucker’s birth. The 1st Act duet from Lucia Di Lammermoor…


Read the full entry

Don Giovanni in HD 2016

Tweet This telecast could serve as the imprimatur of what’s wrong with opera in the 21st century. This is said not to criticize the Mozart/Da Ponte masterpiece which, of course is one of opera’s greatest works. Rather, it’s a swipe at the management of today’s opera houses in general and the Met’s in particular. These…


Read the full entry

Recording of the Week: Rosmonda D’Inghilterra

Tweet Donizetti’s all but forgotten opera was written in 1834 to a libretto by Felice Romani. It’s based on the legend of Rosamund Clifford (The Fair Rosamund) Henry II’s mistress who died around 1176 under uncertain circumstances. It was first performed in Florence and again in Naples in 1845. Then it vanished. It was rediscovered…


Read the full entry

The 10 Best Baritones of the 20th Century

Tweet My piece on the 10 best tenors of the 20th century proved popular, so here’s a go at the 10 best baritones of the same epoch. Again, I emphasize that what follows is merely a personal opinion. I make no claim to omniscience. Readers are encouraged to make their own list. Actually, there are…


Read the full entry

Recording of the Week – Gigli Compelation

Tweet Amazon has a 10 CD collection of recordings by one of the greatest tenors of the 20th Century – Beniamino Gigli (1890-1956). They are currently selling it for $36. I got it for $14, so you should wait until it goes on sale again before buying it. The tenor had one of the most beautiful…


Read the full entry

Amadeo Zambon

Tweet Amadeo Zambon (1934-2000) was an Italian tenor in the mold of Mario Del Monaco. This no surprise as he was taught by Mario’s brother Marcello Del Monaco. Marcello, in his turn, was taught by Arturo Melocchi who also taught Mario. Melocchi was known for his advocacy of the ‘lowered larynx’ method of singing which was…


Read the full entry

Categories