Category Archives: Opera

Metropolitan Opera Premieres

Tweet My last post commented on the latest work to be premiered by the Metropolitan Opera. I mentioned that only the two by Giacomo Puccini had achieved lasting success. Below is a list of both the world and American premieres mounted by the company since its beginning in 1883. You can thus form your own…


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Marnie in HD

Tweet The Metropolitan Opera has been premiering new operas since 1907. This practice is an admirable attempt to vivify the art form.  Yet only two operas premiered at the Met have found a place in the standard repertory – both by Puccini. The first Met commissioned opera was La Fanciulla Del West in 1907. It’s…


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La Fanciulla Del West in HD 2018 – Great

Tweet Wagner ‘s goal was to write opera that consisted of endless melody. I don’t think he reached that goal, but Puccini did in La Fanciulla Del West. Saturday’s performance, the last of seven of this season’s run at the Met, was a spectacular success. Puccini’s luminous score received a dazzling reading by the Met’s…


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Samson et Dalila in HD

Tweet The Met’s second HD telecast of this season was a repeat of the opera that opened the company’s current season, Saint-Saens’ biblical bodice ripper Samson et Dalila. The cast was the same as on opening night. Before getting to today’s performance, a few general thoughts about these broadcasts. Whoever narrates these presentations always remarks that…


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Montserrat Caballé 1933-2018

Tweet The great Catalan soprano died Oct 6. She came to international fame when she substituted for Marilyn Horne in a performance Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall. Though her voice was basically lyric in character, she was able by virtue of a secure vocal technique to sing  bel canto roles, the big Verdi parts,…


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In Questa Reggia

Tweet I recently posted an article about Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, that had nothing to say about its title character. The work achieved the renown it currently enjoys (#17 on operabase’s list of most frequently performed operas) largely due to the work of Birgit Nilsson. Before Nilsson first performed the role at the Met in…


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Aida in HD 2018

Tweet Aida was performed today by the Met for the 1166th time. This broadcast was HD telecast number three for Verdi’s Egyptian extravaganza. The hook for this run of the perennial was Anna Netrebko in the title role. There’s nothing new anyone can say about this opera so let’s get right to the show. Netrebko…


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Finale 19 – Turandot Act 1

Tweet Italian opera as is currently practiced began with Rossini and ended with Puccini. All the Italian operas in the standard repertory were written between 1813 and 1924 – a little more than a century, a blink in the history of art. The last of these operas is Turandot. A magnificent achievement left incomplete at…


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Met Opens Season with Samson and Delilah

Tweet The Met opened its current season with Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. The performance was streamed throughout the world and will doubtless last until the heat death of the universe. It will be telecast on Oct 20 as the second of the 10 operas that will make up the company’s HD series for this season….


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Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani- Quando al Mio

Tweet “Here is the great tenor-baritone duet (Quando al mio) from Act 3 [of I Vespri Siciliani]. Verdi never wrote a better duet. In this piece Monforte [baritone] reveals to Arrigo [tenor] that he is his son. Arrigo is torn three ways. First he fears he will lose Elena [his fiance] because he promised her he…


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