Category Archives: Opera

L’Elisir d’Amore in HD

Tweet Donizetti’s approach to comic opera is the opposite of Rossini’s. Rossini takes no prisoners. Everybody in his buffa operas has a tenuous connection to sanity reflecting the composers view that the entire world is mad. Donizetti, on the other hand, is more forgiving and offers characters who have redeeming attributes. The difference between the…


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Pavel Lisitsian

Tweet Pavel Lisitsian (1911-2004) was a Russian baritone of Armenian heritage. He started work as a laborer. When his vocal talent was recognized he trained at the Leningrad Conservatory. His vocal career started in that city at the Maly Leningrad State Opera. From 1940 until his retirement from the opera stage in 1966 he was…


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Klaus Florian Vogt

Tweet Klaus Florian Vogt is a German 47 year old tenor who is about to take the title role in Wagner’s Parsifal during the Met’s upcoming run of the opera. The subject of a feature article in this month’s Opera News, Vogt started his musical life as a horn player in the Hamburg Philharmonic (1988-97)….


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Mad Max Meets Mozart – 2004

Tweet This is a review that I wrote in 2004. It’s been buried deep within this site. I decided to copy it to a more visible spot. Things can always get worse. Consider Don Giovanni at the English National Opera. I was at the October 4th performance. Calixto Bieito was the director. He is from…


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Jonas Kaufmann – L’Opera

Tweet L’Opera is the title of Jonas Kaufmann’s latest recital disc devoted to French opera arias and a few duets. Kaufmann has achieved considerable success singing 19th century French opera, especially Massenet’s Werther. This recital demonstrates the reasons for this success which does not completely carry over to a sound recording. In the theater you…


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Tosca in HD 2018

Tweet Tosca has given the Met a lot of trouble recently, or perhaps it’s the other way around. First, this new staging replaced Luc Bondy’s 2009 production which lasted for only 59 performances. Everybody seemed to hate it. I thought, by the standards of today’s stagings of the standard repertory, that it was pretty tame….


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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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