Category Archives: Opera

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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Finale 8 – Act 1 Barber of Seville

Tweet Nobody exceeded Rossini in the mirth, invention, and sheer zaniness of the finales to his comic operas. The end of act 1 of The Barber of Seville is matched only by the Master from Pesaro himself. The action (really the inaction) is the response of Bartolo and Basilio to the release of the Count (who…


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Roberto Devereux in HD

Tweet Donizetti’s opera Roberto Devereux received it first production at the Met last month. Today’s performance featured the same cast as in the prima. Its librettist, Salvadore Cammarano, also wrote the book for Lucia Di Lammermoor and started that of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, but died before he could complete it. Devereux like Trovatore is an…


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Mosè in Egitto – Dal tuo stellato soglio

Tweet Mosè in Egitto was written in 1818 for the San Carlo in Naples. Rossini added the prayer that is this subject of this piece the following year. In 1827 he extensively revised the work into what became Moïse et Pharaon (a four act work) for the Paris Opera. Below is a synopsis of Act…


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Madama Butterfly in HD 2016

Tweet Kristine Opolais triumphed in today’s telecast of Madama Butterfly from the stage of the Met. Her reading of the role is matched in my experience only by those of Antonietta Stella and Diana Soviero. This opera, more so than any other standard repertory work, depends on the soprano who plays the title role. When…


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Recording of the Week: Lauritz Melchior Collection

Tweet Lauritz Melchior (1890-1973) was the great heldentenor of the first half of the 20th century. Toscanini called him Tristanissimo, which is also the name of his authorized biography. He sang over 500 performances at the Met where his career was mainly made, though he did sing extensively elsewhere. Born in Denmark, he became an…


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Michael Spyres Sings Bellini’s A tanto duol From Bianca e Fernando

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs5yvm3n__A

Tweet Michael Spyres is probably the best tenor now active never to have sung at the Met. This aria is in dog whistle country. In case the video disappears a link to it is below.   Spyres Bellini: Bianca e Fernando – A tanto duol


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