Category Archives: Opera

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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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The Merry Widow in HD

Tweet Franz Lehár’s bon-bon  was telecast in HD today by The Metropolitan Opera. Five time Tony Award winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman along with a mostly outstanding cast gave Lehár’s 1905 operetta a spirited reading. The sets and costumes which were period appropriate were bright and appealing. Even the curtain calls were brilliantly staged. The…


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Rosa Raisa

Tweet Rosa Raisa (1893-1963) was born in Białystok, Poland as Raitza Burchstein. Because of the pogroms endemic in Russian controlled Poland during her childhood, her family fled to Italy when she was 14. Her vocal talent was soon recognized and she made her professional debut when she was 20. She sang at most of the…


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A Few Patter Songs

Tweet In the spirit of the holiday season, here are a few patter songs. This form is one of Western Civilizations greatest achievements. While the patter song precedes him, Rossini is the undisputed champion. Below are three of the master’s best examples of rapid fire comic singing. The first from the Barber of Seville is sung by…


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