Category Archives: Opera

Keon Woo Kim Wins Top Prize at Operalia 2016

Tweet Korean tenor Keon Woo Kim shared the first place award at Operalia’s 2016 competition. Founded by Placido Domingo in 1993 to launch the careers of outstanding young singer, the event is still under the guidance of Domingo. The other first place award went to French soprano Elsa Dreisig. Born in 1985, Kim is a graduate of…


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Santa Fe Opera’s First Roméo et Juliette

Tweet The Santa Fe Opera presented its first ever performance of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette last night in a new production directed by Stephen Lawless. And it was a knockout, a home run, a hole in one. This opera depends almost entirely on its two title characters and they delivered. A sensitive conductor is also…


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La Fanciulla Del West in Santa Fe

Tweet Puccini never wrote anything like the first act of La  Fanciulla Del West. Its melodic weave which moves from orchestra to voice and back again owes a lot to Debussy, though its author is clearly Puccini. To an audience familiar with his previous four operas, this type of operatic writing was off putting and confusing…


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Antonio Paoli

Tweet Antonio Paoli (1871-1946) was a Puerto Rican tenor; he was the first opera singer from the island to achieve international renown. The son of a Venezuelan  mother and Corsican father, orphaned at 12, he moved to Spain with his sister where he began vocal studies. He continued these studies in Italy and made his…


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Recording of the Week: Leonard Warren 10 CD Set

Tweet Leonard Warren (1911-60) was the greatest baritone I ever heard. In the major Verdi parts no one else was close. He had everything. A voice of immense size, incomparable high notes, and a velvet control over his great instrument. He made his career at the Met, appearing at that great house 657 times between 1938…


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Sergei Lemeshev

Tweet Sergei Lemeshev (1902-77) and Ivan Kozlovsky were the two great Russian tenors of the first half of the 20th century. I’ve already covered the latter and promised to get around to Lemeshev later. Well, later is today. Lemeshev was born to a peasant family in the Kalininsky District of Tver Oblast in the Russian Empire. He…


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Tutto Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera

Tweet   Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera received a splendid run in October 2011 at Parma’s Teatro Regio. This DVD was taken from the performances listed below. I can’t help wondering why it took six shows to put the recording together, but the result is fine. Much of the credit for the success of this…


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Casta Diva

Tweet ‘Casta Diva’ from the first act of Bellini’s Norma is one of the most beautiful and taxing of the great bel canto arias. Its long line requires sublime control on the part of its interpreter as well as a rich and beautiful sound, Below are 12 interpretations by sopranos known for the role and…


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Cheti Cheti Immantinente

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXNjtv-8MDI

Tweet The third act duet (Cheti, cheti, immantinente) from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is one of the most enjoyable numbers in Italian opera buffa. Malatesta is pretending to help the ultra gullible Pasquale into trapping his new wife in a compromising  meeting with the tenor. The number ends with a mercuric blur of Italian symbols that defy…


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Javier Camarena

Tweet Mexico is producing great tenors with the same astonishing frequency as the Dominican Republic emits major league baseball players. Javier Camarena is the latest, and perhaps the best, of the Mexican tenors to appear at the world’s great opera houses. He has sung only 20 performances at the Met, but has already emerged as…


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