Category Archives: Opera

Ildar Abdrazakov – Verdi Arias

Tweet Ildar Abdrazakov (b 1976) has been one of the world’s leading basses since making his Met debut in 2004 as Masetto in Don Giovanni. These days he sings the title role with the company. The Russian singer has a varied repertoire which includes many Verdi’s roles. Deutsche Grammophon recently released a recital disc by Abdrazakov…


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Wozzeck in HD

Tweet Alban Berg’s Wozzeck is opera’s great case of PTSD. Written during and immediately after The Great War it is an exemplar of the insanity that produced the war and that which followed it. The libretto, by the composer, is taken from Georg Büchner’s unfinished play Woyzeck. The author died in 1837 at age 23….


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Fervaal

Tweet Fervaal is an opera by Vincent D’Indy (1851-1931). First performed in Brussels in 1898, it had a few performances after the premiere, but has largely been ignored over the past century save for an occasional concert presentation. It’s based in part on the lyric poem Axel by the Swedish author Esaias Tegnér. D’Indy was…


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Hermann Jadlowker

Tweet Hermann Jadlowker (1877-1953) was a Latvian tenor; born in Riga he was a member of the choir at the Grand Choral Synagogue where he received vocal training. He wanted to be a singer, but his father wanted a business career for him. To resolve this dispute he left home at age 16 and settled…


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A Few Love Duets and a Jazz Encore

Tweet The days are short; accordingly there’s a lot of darkness around. So, I thought I might brighten things up a bit with a few love duets. Of course, the best of these duets portray characters who typically don’t survive the opera’s end. But they are lovely and make us forget that they lead to…


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O Mio Babbino Caro

Tweet Puccini’s only comic opera, Gianni Schicchi, moves like a torrent. In its skill and vitality it’s up to the best of Rossini and is evocative of Verdi’s Falstaff. But no matter the pace, the master from Lucca could, and seemingly was compelled, to write a great tune for his leading lady. And unlike Tosca’s…


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Akhnaten in HD

Tweet Thirty five years after it was written, the Met staged Philip Glass’s opera Akhnaten for the first time this month. Today it made its way to the movie theater as part of the company’s HD series. Glass is a leading member of the minimalist school of music. My understanding of this school is that…


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Norma – Animal Version

Tweet The short video below depicts a snippet of the Guerra Chorus from Bellini’s Norma. For more details about the piece read the entry in the Vimeo Blog. The video was produced by Bloom Pictures.


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Die Tote Stadt in Munich

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpaJt4Rvhvo&t=521s

Tweet Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s music is being played with exponentially increasing frequency. This past Spring La Scala mounted a production of the composer’s most well known opera Die Tote Stadt. It featured Klaus Florian Vogt and Asmik Grigorian in the two leading roles. In my view the former displayed an undersized tenor for what is…


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Giuseppe Di Stefano Video

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtvrvp2NyR0

Tweet Below is a video made by the late tenor shortly before he was beaten senseless by unknown assailants as he was exiting his car near his home in Kenya. The attack was in 2004; the singer never fully recovered and died in 2008. Di Stefano’s prime coincided almost exactly with that of Maria Callas…


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