Category Archives: Opera

Roméo et Juliette in HD

Tweet The Met was taking no chances with the role of Juliette in this telecast of Gounod’s opera as its host was Ailyn Perez who probably is the best Juliette in the world. If needed she could have stepped into the title female role in no more time than it takes to get into a…


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Il Mio Tesoro

Tweet Don Ottavio,the tenor in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, is opera’s biggest nebish. After being alone in a bedroom with Giovanni, a life with Ottavio seem worse to Donna Anna than 100 flights on American Eagle. I think after more than two centuries Ottavio’s still waiting for her to agree to marry him. But he has…


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Nabucco in HD

Tweet In a geriatric special, the Met televised its 2001 production of Verdi’s Nabucco  featuring septuagenarians Placido Domingo and James Levine. The former in the title role and the latter behind the baton. This pairing of ancients would suggest that everyone should be eligible for a senior ticket. But everyone in my theater was already…


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Vittoria! Vittoria!!

Tweet The tenor’s big moment in the second act of Puccini’s Tosca when is he gets to sing “Victory” twice. He’s just discovered that his favorite military dictator (Napoleon) has won the Battle of Marengo instead of the reverse which was the initial news of the affair to reach Rome.  He’s been brought onstage after a…


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Riccardo Stracciari

Tweet Recently, I posted an article about my choices for the 10 best baritones of the 20th century. Absent from this list was Ricardo Stracciari (1875-1955). Stracciari was such a great singer that I am uncertain why I omitted him. He was born in Casalecchio di Reno and died in Rome. In between he sang…


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Finale 10 – Falstaff (Tutto nel mondo è burla)

Tweet This one is a triple finale. It’s the end of the 3rd act, the end of the opera, and the end of Verdi’s career as a composer of operas. Verdi had written only one comedy prior to Falstaff – Un Giorno di Regno in 1840. Thus 53 years separated it from Falstaff. Verdi’s final…


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Tutto Verdi: La Forza del Destino

Tweet Parma’s production of Verdi’s epic opera is one of the weakest in its march through all the master’s operas. Forza is often criticized as the weakest of Verdi’s latter masterpieces because of its episodic nature, its length (when given uncut), and because of its “dry” patches. In my opinion, none of these criticisms apply…


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Sois Immobile

Tweet Last night the Sirius Network broadcast William Tell from the Met. This run of the opera is the first time that it has been performed by the company in 85 years. The opera when done complete, as the Met is doing it, lasts about five hours including the two intervals. But the music is…


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The Metropolitan Opera House as a Graveyard

Tweet You’ve likely heard of yesterday’s evacuation of the Metropolitan Opera House because some terminally goofy member of the audience decided to empty his “mentor’s” ashes into the orchestra pit during the second intermission of the matinee performance of Rossini’s William Tell. The rest of the show was cancelled as was the evening performance of…


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Recording of the Week: Richard Tucker – America’s Best Tenor

Tweet Amazon is currently selling this 10 CD set for $16.98. Many of the selections are from Met broadcasts. The rest were made in the studio. There is some duplication with the multi-CD sets release three years ago in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Tucker’s birth. The 1st Act duet from Lucia Di Lammermoor…


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