Category Archives: Opera

Giuseppe Di Stefano Video

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtvrvp2NyR0

Tweet Below is a video made by the late tenor shortly before he was beaten senseless by unknown assailants as he was exiting his car near his home in Kenya. The attack was in 2004; the singer never fully recovered and died in 2008. Di Stefano’s prime coincided almost exactly with that of Maria Callas…


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Manon in HD 2019

Tweet In 1731, Antoine François Prévost published his novel L’Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut. It served as the model for every fallen woman story, play, ballet, or opera that succeeded it. Two of the operas based on the novel are in the standard operatic repertory. Massenet’s Manon was up for its second at…


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Turandot in HD 2019

Tweet The Met seems to have only a couple of dozen operas in its standard repertory, so when it not staging something that will likely never return (eg, Philip Glass’ Akhnaten) it must repeat itself. Such repetition is especially noticeable on its HD telecasts. Today Franco Zeffirelli’s literal recreation of ancient Peking was the first…


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A Guide to Korngold’s Stage Works

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpaJt4Rvhvo

Tweet Schott Publishers has release a guide to the stage works of Erich Korngold. It’s appended below. As can be seen on their announcement they linked to a video of the 1983 Berlin performance of Die Tote Stadt. I was in Berlin during that run and went to one of its performances only to find…


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The End of Right Thinking

Tweet Last night Verdi’s Macbeth was performed at the Met without Placido Domingo in the title role as originally scheduled. Domingo is the latest casualty in the ongoing culture war against naughty or really bad behavior depending on your vantage point. More about vantage points later. Fifty one years at the Met and the tenor…


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Met Opens Season with Porgy and Bess

Tweet The Met’s season opener Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess was broadcast over the Sirius network last night. Listeners who heard the broadcast and who can’t get to the Met will be able to view James Robinson’s new production on February 1 when it will be telecast as part of this season’s Met in HD series….


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Five Operas With Plot Holes

Tweet It may seem odd to write about operas that have defects in their plots. After all, the whole art form is artificial in the extreme. People don’t respond to every change in their fate by singing. But the examples below are strange even by the eccentric standards of opera. I have remarked on each…


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Stories Used By More Than One Composer – Romeo and Juliet

Tweet The Romeo and Juliet story, whether derived from Shakespeare or not, has been irresistible to composers. He are excerpts from four 19th century works and two 20th based on the doomed lovers. First up is Bellini’s take on the two teenagers. His I Capuleti e i Montecchi is based on a play by Luigi…


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Stories Used By More Than One Composer – Faust

Tweet You’d think there were enough good stories available so that composers didn’t need to recycle them. But there are a number of operas that are based on tales that have been around the operatic block more than once. This article is the first of a series examining operas and related musical works based on…


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Sid Caesar’s Spoof of Pagliacci

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgPGGTd4MXM

Tweet I realize many of you may not have a clue as to who Sid Caesar (1922-2014) was. He was a major comic during the early day of TV. This video is 64 years old and shows the kind of stuff he performed. Amazingly Carl Reiner is still with us. At age 97 he’s still…


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