Category Archives: Opera

Depuis le Jour

Tweet Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956) is remembered, to the extent that he is remembered at all, as the composer of Louise – 1900.  The opera enjoyed some success in the first half of the 20th century; it received 52 performances at the Met between 1921 and 1949. I saw a single performance of it a long time…


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Der Rosenkavalier in HD

Tweet Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier was the final HD telecast of the Met’s 2016-17 season. It also marked the last appearance of Renée Fleming as the Marschallin and Elina Garanca as Octavian. The production by director Robert Carsen was introduced to the Met last month. He sets the action just prior to World War I. Unlike most time shifting…


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Rarely Heard Overtures

Tweet There are a number of operas that have fallen out of the main operatic repertory that have overtures that merit attention, but which are rarely performed, even in the concert hall. Here are few that deserve an occasional hearing. Daniel François Esprit Auber (1782-1881) was the composer of many successful French operas that gradually…


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La Bohème – Lubbock Symphony Orchestra

Tweet The following link will take to photos of the dress rehearsal of the LSO’s performance of La Bohème – La Bohème Pictures. The cast is below. The next link is to a PowerPoint presentation I gave before each performance. In order to  hear the musical illustrations you will need the complete folder that has…


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Vittoria Tenors Identified

Tweet On January 2 of this year I posted 22 examples of 22 different tenors singing Vittoria! Vitoria!!  from the second act of Tosca. Their identities are below. Giuseppe Di Stefano Jonas Kaufmann Franco Corelli Luciano Pavarotti Amadeo Zambon Mario Del Monaco Beniamino Gigli Jussi Björling Renato Cioni Jose Carreras Placido Domingo Giacomo Aragall Giorgio…


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Jussi Björling – Two Early Recordings

Tweet Below are two very early recordings by the great tenor. The first was made in 1929 when Björling was 18. The second was recorded three years later. The sound is unmistakably that of Björling. There is also the ineffable sweetness of youth. That Jussi was so good so early is amazing enough, even if…


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Finale 15 – Rigoletto Act 2

Tweet Rigoletto is an opera the marks the beginning of a new style of composing for Verdi. It is a work filled with invention, but the end of Act 2 reprises the Verdi of Nabucco and Ernani. Just belt it out and sweep the audience away. Of course, no one sings the concluding duet between…


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Michael Spyres – The Great American Tenor

Tweet I first wrote about Michael Spyres six years ago. I have since wondered why he has not been engaged by the Met. The perpetually becalmed company keeps recycling tenors who are well past their expiration dates. Spyres who has continued to improve since I became aware of him has achieved a vocal technique unique…


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The 10 Best Sopranos of the 20th Century

Tweet This was a tough piece to write. With all the great sopranos of different vocal types active in the 20th century, picking just 10 is a daunting task. But I’m giving it a try regardless. I have excluded the high sopranos like Tetrazzini and Galli-Curci, but I still have a surplus of riches that…


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La Traviata in HD 2017

Tweet The Met brought back Willy Decker’s staging of Verdi’s masterpiece which was televised in the HD series in May of 2012. My gripes about this production are unchanged and can be read here. The opera’s entire premise is based on a 19th century view of the world, which is why moving it to the…


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