Category Archives: Opera

Lawrence Tibbett

Tweet Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960) – born in Bakersfield, California – was the first in a succession of great American baritones who have been dominant performers at the Metropolitan Opera and throughout the world during much of the 20th century. He made his Met debut in 1923 as Lavitsky in Boris Godunov. For the next few years…


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Carmen – PowerPoint Presentation

Tweet Below is a link that will download a PowerPoint presentation I gave before the recent performances of Carmen by the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. To use it download all the files and put them in the same folder. To hear the sound excerpts click on the sound icon on the slides that are associated with…


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Shostakovich: The Nose

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy3YLdkhjRk

Tweet Below is a complete performance of Shostakovich’s first opera The Nose. I have previously written about he opera – here. As I mentioned in that earlier post the opera needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. This 1979 staging has English subtitles. The 21 year old composer’s exuberance explodes off of the stage. The…


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Cav & Pag in HD

Tweet David McVicar’s new production of opera’s venerable double bill was telecast today from the Metropolitan Opera House. First, before I start to pick a few nits, this production worked. It successfully conveyed the raw passion the two tales of jealousy and murder hurl at the audience with visceral impact even after a century and…


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Illicit Love

Tweet Opera abounds in love duets. Here are three that define both their genre and their time. All three involve a man (a tenor, of course) in love, or in lust in the last example, with another man’s wife. Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde were written about the same time –…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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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