Category Archives: Opera

MICHAEL SPYRES – Cessa di più resistere

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N6ZtBqAQZc

Tweet Cessa di più resistere is an aria for the tenor (Almaviva) in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. It occurs near the end of of the opera. For a very long time it was omitted – for two reasons. First it place the focus on the tenor at the expense of both the title character…


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Lisette Oropesa

Tweet Lisette Oropesa (b 1983) is an American soprano who recently has been making news on the world’s opera stages. This year she was awarded both the Beverly Sills and Richard Tucker prizes. She’s on the cover of this month’s Opera News. Inside there is a six page spread devoted to her career. She’s been…


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Ewa Podleś – The Great Contralto

Tweet Ewa Podleś (b 1952 in Warsaw) is one of the greatest singers of the end of the old century and the first years of the new. Though appreciated by devotees of opera, she  has not received as much recognition as her great ability warrants. Part of the reason is the failure of the Met…


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Ben Heppner

Tweet Ben Heppner (b 1956) is a now retired Canadian tenor. At his peak, the 1990s, he was as fine a tenor as can be imagined. His career at the Met lasted from 1991 to 2009. He is now a regular host of two Canadian radio programs both devoted to vocal music, especially opera . Heppner…


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The Met’s House Baritones

Tweet I’m using the same criterion to define a Met house baritone as I did for the company’s tenors; ie, more than 500 performances in leading roles. This rule yields 11 baritones over the life of the Met – almost twice as many as for the tenors. They’re presented below by the number of shows…


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Dialogues Des Carmélites in HD

Tweet Francis Poulenc’s moving depiction of religious faith was telecast today throughout the world straight from the center of Sodom. Poulenc was a major composer who struggled with being thought superficial by deep thinkers like Pierre Boulez. He also was a deeply religious Catholic and a homosexual. He also found time to father a daughter….


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Mozart and Schubert at the MIM

Tweet The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra presented the third of three concerts devoted to Mozart and Schubert last night. The venue was the Theater of the Musical Instrument Museum. Its a sleek and comfortable auditorium ideal for smaller scale compositions. The program began with the Overture to La Clemenza di Tito, Mozart’s penultimate opera. The scaled…


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Javier Camarena – Contrabandista

Tweet Contrabandista is the title of Mexican tenor Javier Camarena’s new CD. It’s built around the career of the Spanish singer, composer, teacher, and general all around handyman Manuel Garcia (1775-1832). Of the 10 selections on this disc, five are by Garcia. He is better known as the first Almaviva in Rossini’s The Barber of…


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Sentence of the Century

Tweet I realize that we’re still in the early part of the 21st century, but this line from the April issue of Opera News will be hard to top. “Henry Stewart reconciles the dissonances in the career of opera’s greatest atonal composer.” The reference is to Alban Berg. This statement is akin to writing that…


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Solenne In Quest’ora

Tweet Duets with a tenor and a baritone are not common in opera. There’s the famous one in The Pearl Fishers, the Wolf’s Crag scene in Lucia di Lammermoor is written entirely for a tenor and baritone, but it’s usually omitted. There’s a great duet between a father and son in Verdi’s The Sicilian Vespers….


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