Category Archives: Opera

Ella Giammai M’amò

Tweet ‘Ella giammai m’amò’ (from Don Carlo) is the most moving and poignant aria that Verdi, or for that matter anyone except perhaps Mussorgsky, ever wrote for a bass. King Philip controls half the world, but his family and his church defy him. He’s made one of life’s greater mistakes – he’s married a much younger…


Read the full entry

Carmen Program Notes

Tweet The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra will present two concert performances of Carmen – May 1 and 2. Below are the Program Notes I wrote for the occasion. Bizet’s great opera recently had its 1000th performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. Carmen’s popularity is worldwide, yet the work started as a failure. Like The Barber…


Read the full entry

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk – Amsterdam 2006

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldRJQfES8hA

Tweet Written when the composer was only 26, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is the greatest opera written after the death of Puccini. It’s combination of satire, suffering, audacity, energy, inspired vulgarity, and youthful abandon make it unique on the lyric stage. Add to this perhaps the most brilliant score ever written for the theater and…


Read the full entry

Tutto Verdi: La Traviata

Tweet Does the world need another recording of La Traviata? Of course not. But if your goal is present all of Verdi’s opera on DVD  you must give birth to another version of Verdi’s poor sinner. Fortunately, The Teatro Regio di Parma’s production of Traviata is first rate. No other Verdi opera is so dependent…


Read the full entry

La Donna Del Lago – Tanti Affetti

Tweet Someone recently said that there’s more to Rossini’s La Donna Del Lago than ‘Tanti Affetti’, the aria for the opera’s title character that concludes the work. Well if there is, it doesn’t amount to much. The opera might best be considered an exercise book for bel canto singing rather than an emotionally and artistically…


Read the full entry

Florida Grand Opera’s Student Program

Tweet On the evening of Friday the 27th of February I attended a dress rehearsal of the Florida Grand Opera’s new production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. I was invited to the rehearsal by FGO’s Public and Media Relations Manager Brittany Mazzurco. She was interested in increasing public awareness of the company’s Education and Outreach…


Read the full entry

Iolanta and Bluebeard in HD

Tweet The Met sent an unusual duo around the world this afternoon – Tchaikovsky’s last opera Iolanta and Bartok’s only opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle; the Met omitted Duke from the title. This run of the Tchaikovsky was the first time the opera was done by the Met. The reason was Anna Netrebko in the title…


Read the full entry

Jonas Kaufmann’s First Andrea Chenier in London

Tweet On January 20 The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden mounted its first new production in 30 years of Giordano’s opera Andrea Chenier. The reason for the opera’s reappearance was Jonas Kaufmann’s initial performance of the title role. Right thinking critics turn up their noses at Chenier – actually they come close to regurgitating when they…


Read the full entry

The Tales of Hoffmann in HD – 2015

Tweet Offenbach’s masterpiece was telecast for the second time by the Met in its HD series. The first broadcast was December 19, 2009 with Joseph Calleja in the title role. This afternoon Vittorio Grigolo had the lead part. Bart Sher’s production was modified from its earlier incarnation, mostly for the better. The lights were turned on…


Read the full entry

Recording of the Week: Mathilde di Shabran

Tweet Written in in 1820 for Rome and then revised in 1821 for Naples, Mathilde di Shabran is Rossini’s last semiseria opera. A semiseria opera combines opera buffa with melodrama. Basically, it can be both silly and serious as long as everyone ends up alive at the final curtain. If you wish to see and…


Read the full entry

Categories