Category Archives: Opera

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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The Pearl Fishers – Milan 1960

Tweet Here’s a recording of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (in Italian) from a live performance in Milan on November 3, 1960. It features Alfredo Kraus and Giuseppe Taddei. Pina Margarini and Carlo Cava are the other featured singers. The RAI Chorus and Orchestra, Milan ar conducted by LaRoda Parodi.   The Pearl Fishers Milan 1960


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Les Martyrs in London

Tweet Donizetti’s rarely performed Les Martyrs received a concert performance on November 4, 2014 at the Royal Festival Hall. It was streamed by the BBC on November 15. Based on a play by Pierre Corneille Polyeucte (1642) about Christian martyrdom, the opera started out as Poliuto set to a libretto by Salvatore Cammarano. Intended for…


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Carmen in HD – 2014

Tweet Bizet’s opera was telecast today in HD. This was the 993rd performance of the work by the Met. This is the same production that was offered in HD by the Met in January 2010 with Elina Garanča in the title role, so I’ll just focus on the new performers. That run was led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin who…


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