Category Archives: Opera

Robert Cahen – A Life in Opera

Tweet The great opera photographer Robert Cahen will soon retire after 60 years of photographing virtually every major opera singer of that period. He has assembled a a slide show that presents some of the photos he has taken over his career. I have transferred the slide show to an MPEG-4 video. The link to it…


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Don Pasquale in Santa Fe

Tweet Donizetti’s comic masterpiece received its final performance of the season by the Santa Fe Opera on August 22, 2014. Laurent Pelly’s production is a collaboration with Barcelona’s Liceu and the San Francisco Opera. Pelly set the action in Post World War II Rome rather than the Rome of 100 years earlier. The time change…


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Ivan Kozlovsky

Tweet Ivan Kozlovsky (1900-93) was one of the great stars of Russian opera. He appeared in over 50 operas during his years at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater – 1926 to 1954. The Ukrainian tenor was an intimate of Stalin and performed regularly at private gatherings for the Soviet dictator. He also had a friendly rivalry with…


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Carlo Bergonzi 1924-2014

Tweet The great tenor Carlo Bergonzi died today at age 90. Bergonzi’s voice was not the most glorious instrument of his time, but his style, phrasing, lyric line, and his vocal longevity made him one of the finest tenors of the mid 20th century. He was especially renowned for his singing of the big Verdi parts….


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Cenerentola Sextet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq_WzAGAHvQ&feature=youtu.be&t=30shttp://bit.ly/1ravmlr#7July24

Tweet I just came across this video of the second act sextet from Rossini’s Cenerentola. It’s from a 1981 movie of the opera directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. The singers are Francisco Araiza, Claudio Desderi, Paolo Montarsolo, Margherita Guglielmi, Laura Zannini, and Frederica von Stade. Claudio Abbado conducts. It’s a gem both musically and visually.


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Ecco Il Mondo

Tweet ‘Ecco il mondo’ is sung by Mefistofele in Act 2 Scene 2 of Boito’s opera. Last March I presented 11 recordings of basses singing the same character’s first act aria – ‘Son lo spirito che nega’. Below are 11 versions of ‘Ecco il mondo’. The words in Italian and an English translation are presented…


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William Tell in Munich

Tweet Yesterday the Bavarian State Opera streamed a telecast of its new production of Rossini’s William Tell. The production team, lead by Antú Romero Nunes, was booed during their curtain calls. This was a show was best audited with the picture off. The time was moved to what could have been that of the Nazis….


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Il Tabarro at the Met 1981

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk4b8itu9rk

Tweet The video below presents the telecast of Puccini’s Il Tabarro. The performance by the Metropolitan Opera was on November 14, 1981. The cast is also below. The recording was apparently made from a home TV. The sound and picture quality are marginable, but just north of acceptable. I doubt the Met will have YouTube…


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La Traviata at Masada

www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-lD9151Nv8

Tweet If you’re looking for opera at an exotic location check out the presentation of Verdi’s La Traviata at Masada in Israel. Alas, the last performance was today. I’ll try to list next year’s show (if there is one) earlier.   La Traviata Opera Event 2014 Dates: ​Thursday 12.06.14 21:30 Saturday 14.06.14 21:30 Monday 16.06.14…


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Aida – Judgement Scene

Tweet The first scene of Act 4 of Verdi’s Aida, the Judgement Scene, is one of the Italian master’s supreme dramatic constructions. The entire 20 minute scene consists of dramatic exposition. There are no arias or traditional ensemble pieces. There’s not even a melody typical of what one expects in an Italian opera. But every…


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