Category Archives: Opera

Maria Carbone

Tweet Maria Carbone (1908-2002) was mentioned in my last post about Nicola Fusati. It turns out that she’s another singer with a medical connection. She studied medicine for 4 years before switching to vocal studies. I don’t know what university she attended when a medical student. Her training in singing was at the Conservatorio di…


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Nicola Fusati

Tweet Nicola Fusacchia (1876-1956) really deserves a spot on this site. After earning a medical degree from the University of Rome in 1901, he trained as a surgeon and became chief of surgery in Norcia Hospital in Perugia in 1904. Somehow he found time to study singing. He made his stage debut as Radames in…


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Michael Spyres High Notes and as a Bass

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zbnSdux7so

Tweet First a YouTube compilation of tenor Michael Spyres singing high notes – some of which can only be heard by dogs. Spyres has mastered mixing, without a noticeable break, all the registers that a tenor can use. His highest notes from operas written before tenors sang high Cs and above from the chest employ…


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Reiner Conducts Falstaff – Met 1949

Tweet Verdi’s final opera is both a departure from all he had done previously and yet the culmination of a half century career. Building on the musical language the had developed to perfection he wrote an opera that was unlike any that preceded it. Musicians loved it from the start. Richard Strauss thought it one…


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Carmen in HD 2019

Tweet The Met presented Carmen for the 403rd time in its HD series. Overall the company has performed Bizet’s opera about a gypsy who smokes 1,897,346,104 times since its first staging by the New York ensemble during its initial season. Actually, the Met first did Carmen in Boston where after a run of 2,000 shows…


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Don Pasquale

Tweet He was old and foolish, Predicaments not inextricably conjoined. His friends for reasons linked to gain But writ in friendship’s tawdry advertisements Put him on a skewer and turned him hot for a delicacy twixt food and sleep. His pain is Indies spice for sluggish Palates that dine on grief And those that smirk…


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Finale 20 – Vengeance

Tweet The second act of Rigoletto ends with perhaps the most furious music in all opera. The hunchback jester’s daughter, Gilda, has just been raped by the Duke whom she had fallen in love with thinking he was a poor student until reality intruded with awful suddenness. And worse, she still loves him. The Duke…


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Anita Rachvelishvili

www.youtube.com/watch?v=inJd1x8UHdA

Tweet Exceptional talent by definition arises infrequently. The young (34) Georgian mezzo-soprano, the subject of this piece, fits into this tight niche. Though she has sung 53 performances at the Met since her debut there in 2011, her recognition as an operatic super nova has come this season the result of appearances as Amneris and…


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Adriana Lecouvreur in HD

Tweet OK, I’m  guilty. I confess. I really like Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur provided it’s performed by great singers as it was today. No qualifiers like some critics who try to disguise their taste for Adriana as if it were a sugary drink. So what if Cilea repeats a lot of his tunes. They’re all very…


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Esultate – Otello’s Entrance

Tweet There are many great entrances in opera. But none seems as compelling, informative, and brief as that of the title character in Verdi’s Otello. Only 12 bars long, it lasts barely more than half a minute yet defines Otello’s persona with a force and directness that is without peer. Julian Budden in his exegesis…


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