Category Archives: Opera

Cendrillon in HD

Tweet The Met’s current run of Massenet’s opera is the first time the company has performed the French composer’s version of the Cinderella story. Laurent Pelly’s production originated in 2006 at the Santa Fe Opera as a vehicle for Joyce DiDonato who also starred in the current mounting of the opera. In the ensuing 12…


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Court Rules Wagner’s Music Dangerous to Health

Tweet I written about the medical danger to health associated with Parsifal, now a British court has added Die Walküre to the list of hazardous Wagner operas. Violist Christopher Goldscheider convinced the court that playing in a cramped orchestra pit during a 2012 rehearsal of the opera subjected him to a noise level which resulted in…


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Quando le sere al placido

Tweet One of opera’s most moving and beautiful tenor arias occurs near the end of the second act of Verdi’s Luisa Miller. The aria is a test for any tenor as it requires a powerful spinto for its explosive introduction followed by an aria which is sensitive, lyrical, and has a classical beauty. The words…


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Luisa Miller in HD

Tweet Verdi’s 14th opera was brought back to the Met after an absence of 12 years. Elijah Moshinsky’s production with sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto is set in 19th century England rather than 17th century Tyrol. This change made little difference to opera’s effect, though the time and place specified by Verdi makes a…


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Tutto Verdi: Aida

Tweet When Verdi composed Aida he was well past the point where he had discovered, as Benjamin Britten remarked, the secret of perfection. If this opera does not plumb the emotional and psychological depths of its immediate predecessor, Don Carlo, it is a work of both grandeur and intimacy that comes from an operatic world…


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Così Fan Tutte in HD 2018

Tweet When I heard that the Met was going to do a new production of Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte set in Coney Island during the 1950s I was relieved that they were not going to place the last of the Da Ponte operas in a Turkish brothel. Then I wondered why the Met needed a new…


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O Souverain, ô Juge, ô Père

Tweet Massenet’s Le Cid is based on a play by by Pierre Corneille of the same name. First performed in 1885 at the Paris Opera. Rodrigue (The Cid) was written for the great Polish tenor Jean de Reszke. The opera is in 4 acts consisting of 10 tableau. It had 150 performance at the Opera…


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Semiramide in HD

Tweet Semiramide, Rossini’s last Italian opera before his move to Paris, was immensely popular in the 19th century; it all but vanished in the 20th. It’s the last classical Italian opera, a style that succumbed to French Grand Opera and to Italian romantic and more realistic opera. The opera has a plot that makes the…


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Recording of the Week – Hvorostovsky as Rigoletto

Tweet Dmitri Hvorostovsky did not record the Verdi baritone’s summa, Rigoletto, until 2016 – a year after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. This recording was released by Delos near the end of last year shortly before the singer’s death. Rigoletto was not at the core of the great baritone’s repertoire. Of his 182 performances…


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La Bohème Returns in HD Redux Again Back By Popular Demand Anon

Tweet Puccini’s La Bohème was performed by the Met today for the 465,196,276,982,653rd time in a performance telecast to beyond the Andromeda galaxy. The opera is so popular that even where I live, at the end of the line, it’s been done multiple times. A cursory search of the internet shows that the work has…


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