Category Archives: Opera

Maestros and Their Music – Book review

Tweet Subtitled The Art and Alchemy of Conducting, John Mauceri has written an illuminating book which is more about the art and craft of leading an orchestra than it is about alchemy. Maestro Mauceri has had a distinguished career which has taken him to many of the world’s top orchestras and opera houses. Among the…


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Lucia Di Lammermoor – Final Scene

Tweet Donizetti’s great opera is often seen as a vehicle for the soprano who sings the title role. But the opera’s last scene, Act 3 scene 3, which follows the Mad Scene, is as challenging for the tenor as the previous one is for the soprano. (The scene is sometimes numbered 2 as the first…


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Siegfried Wagner – The Impossible Dream

Tweet Suppose you were the son of Richard Wagner and the grandson of Franz Liszt – would the chromosomal burden be too much to bear? We can prove the question by examining the career of Siegfried Wagner (1869-1930).  He was born to Richard and Cosima Wagner (1837-1930). Cosima was the illegitimate daughter of Franz Liszt….


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The 10 Best Basses of the 20th Century

Tweet The basses discussed below are those who I think were among the best of the past century. If I made a similar list on another day it would likely be different from this one.  Thus, this compilation reflects nothing more than personal taste and preference. If you have a different one post it in…


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Dmitri Hvorostovsky – Arias and Duets

Tweet The great Russian baritone died on Nov 22, 2017, two and a half years after announcing that he was suffering from a brain tumor. He was born in 1962 and escaped a difficult environment by virtue of his singing ability. The Siberian singer was clearly the best Italian style baritone of his era. His…


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10th Anniversary

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEjnUbRE0Hg

Tweet Ten years ago today, I published the first post here. Almost 900 articles have followed. To mark the date, here are three videos presented for no other reason than that they are beautiful and on topic. It’s no accident that liberty is at the core of all three.      


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Ich Ging zu Ihm – Korngold Das Wunder Der Heliane

www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-RPzAbW7No

Tweet The title of this piece is the 2nd act aria from Das Wunder Der Heliane by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1887-1957). The opera was completed before the composer reached his 30th birthday. His most popular opera, Die Tote Stadt, was written when he was only 23. Born in Moravia, but raised in Vienna, Krongold was…


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Dmitri Hvorostovsky – RIP

Tweet The great Russian baritone died yesterday at a hospice near London. He announced he had a brain tumor in 2105. Hvorostovsky made a surprise appearance at the Met Gala last May celebrating 50 years at its Lincoln Center House. The NY Times has a fine obituary here. A video of his last appearance at…


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Toscanini: Musician of Conscience – Book Review

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsMGLst43dg

Tweet Harvey Sachs has made a career, well part of one, writing books about the eminent conductor. Sachs wrote his first Toscanini biography in 1978. Why a second one almost 40 years later? Sachs cites the additional material now available that was denied him during his first go around with the conductor. The book’s subtitle,…


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The Exterminating Angel in HD

Tweet The Exterminating Angel is a 93 minute long movie by the surrealist director Luis Buñuel. It’s also a two and a half long opera (that leaves out the church scene at the end of the film) by English composer Thomas Adès. The Met today telecasted its new production of the work under the orchestral…


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