Category Archives: Opera

Salome in Santa Fe

Tweet John the Baptist lost his head last night in Ruritania. That seems to me to be where director Daniel Slatter set Strauss’s sonic boom. I expected the Prisoner of Zenda to appear before Narraboth killed himself. All the men except the Baptist were dressed like they thought the show was written by a different…


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Rigoletto in Santa Fe

Tweet The Santa Fe Opera presented Verdi’s Rigoletto on August 25, 2015. The virtues of Verdi’s masterpiece are too well  known to warrant repetition. The success of this opera depends on the interpretive powers of its three principals and the leadership of the conductor. But it is the baritone who sings the title role who…


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Tutto Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani

Tweet I Vespri Siciliani is the least performed of Verdi’s mature works. It was written for the Paris Opéra to a French text by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier (Les vêpres siciliennes). While the opera is occasionally performed in its original French version, it is typically presented in its Italian translation. Verdi just sounds better…


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Helge Rosvaenge

Tweet Helge Rosvaenge (1897-1972)  was a Danish tenor whose career was limited to Europe, especially Germany and Austria. Trained as a chemist at Copenhagen’s Technical University, he also took private vocal lessons. He made his debut in 1921 as Don Jose in Carmen. His brilliant spinto voice and superb high notes soon brought him to…


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Die Große Sünderin: Das Lied vom Leben des Schrenk

Tweet Eduard Künneke (1885-1953) was a German composer of operas and operettas. His 1935 operetta Die große Sünderin (The Great Sinner) has a tenor aria that still finds its way into ther recitals and recordings of German tenors. Here are two recording of “Das Lied vom Leben des Schrenk”, the first by the late and greatly lamented…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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,…


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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….


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