Category Archives: Opera

La Boheme in HD 2014

Tweet La Boheme was performed at the Met and televised in high definition on April 5, 2014. This was the 1256th time Puccini’s masterpiece of the quotidian was staged by the company. Anita Hartig was scheduled to sing Mimi, but she was felled by the flu. Her replacement was Kristine Opolais who had sung the title…


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March Birthdays

Tweet The photos below are, as usual, by Robert Cahen.


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Die Tote Stadt in Dallas

Tweet On March 26, 2014 The Dallas Opera presented the third of its five performance run of Erich Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt. First performed in 1920 when the Viennese composer was 23. The opera was simultaneously premiered in Hamburg and Cologne.  Korngold is most famous for his movie scores. He had first gone to…


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Il Tabarro

Tweet Here is a complete performance recorded more than a half century ago of Puccini’s realistic one act opera Il Tabarro. Robert Merrill heads a cast that could not be matched today. This opera and its two partners will soon be 100 years old. Originally dismissed as a Grand Guignol thriller with little substance. It has…


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La Sonnambula Returns to the Met

Tweet When I was studying music at Williams College my professor Robert Barrow, the chairman of the department and a figure of magisterial austerity, said that whenever he went to the Met to hear Wagner he always demanded a seat behind a post. I can’t remember if the old Met really had a seat behind…


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Werther in HD – Greatness and Catastrophe

Tweet Massenet’s Werther was telecast today in theaters around the world. Let’s begin with the end. It was mute. Shortly after Charlotte entered Werther’s room in the final scene of Massenet’s opera the sound was lost. It wasn’t found until after the curtain fell. I’ve already heard from a viewer in San Francisco that the…


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Son Lo Spirito Che Nega

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPvj4V2OcUo

Tweet This aria, from the 1st act of Boito’s Mefistofele, captures the essence of Goethe’s Mephisto. Of course, the opera is one of many musical works based on Goethe’s monumental play. Mefistofele is the spirit that denies. The words to ‘Son lo spirito che nega’ are below in Italian and English. Every great bass (or…


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Recording of the Week: Mefistofele

Tweet Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) was a polymath without genius unlike Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) who was equally (or even more) versatile, but who had genius. As a composer Boito’s reputation rests solely on his opera Mefistofele. It was premiered at La Scala in 1868 under the direction of the composer; he had very little experience as a…


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More on Je Crois Entendre Encore

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luLuBbVJsu0

Tweet My post on Je crois entendre encore has had a lot of views since it first appeared. I recently received the comments below from Tom Herz of San Francisco. I found them so insightful that I thought they deserved a post of their own. NK Seeing as how you posted this over 2 years…


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February Birthdays

Tweet Cesare Siepi was born on February 10 some time between 1919 and 1923. He died in 2010. The photo below is of the great bass in one of his most renowned roles – Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The photo was taken by the noted photographer of the San Francisco Opera Robert Cahen as were the…


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