Category Archives: Opera

Zinka Milanov – A Reminscence

Tweet The article below was written by Raymond Beegle who served as an accompanist for Zinka Milanov (1906-89) during the years after she retired from performing and devoted herself to teaching. He was also her friend. His moving appreciation of the great soprano was originally published in the Spring 1990 issue of Opera Quarterly to mark her (then)…


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The Hard Bargain – Book Review

Tweet Richard Tucker (1913-75) was the greatest operatic tenor America has so far produced. He had three sons. David (b 1941) was the second child and the only one who aspired to take up his father’s profession. He ended up in medicine as an ophthalmologist. The Hard Bargain is his account of how he went…


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Tutto Verdi – Falstaff

Tweet The curtain descends, everything ends, too soon, too soon Ogden Nash Verdi’s valedictory opera was performed by Parma’s opera company as part of their complete survey of the Master’s operas. The show was presented at the Teatro Farnese di Parma instead of the Teatro Regio for reasons unknown to me. I’ve written a lot about…


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Donner and Blitzen in Santa Fe Plus L’Italiana in Algeri

Tweet On Thursday August 4 there was a terrific thunderstorm over the Crosby Theater of the Santa Fe Opera. The show, appropriately Dr Atomic, continued even though the stage and surrounding area was drenched. The following afternoon an even more explosive storm hit the central area of Santa Fe causing a prolonged blackout. So we…


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Santa Fe’s Clever Candide

Tweet Leonard Bernstein’s Candide has more versions than a shark has teeth and almost as many parents. Its genre is hard to characterize; so let’s call it an opera in the same way that The Magic Flute and Fidelio are designated operas though they contain a lot of spoken dialogue, as did the original version…


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Antonio Cortis

Tweet Antonio Cortis 1891-1952 was a Spanish tenor with a beautiful spinto voice capable of singing both the light and heavy roles in the Italian and French repertory. Born on a ship in the Mediterranean, he gave Valencia, where he was raised, as his native city. He initially studied voice at the Madrid Conservatory. After…


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Benjamin Bernheim

Tweet Benjamin Bernheim is a young French tenor who was raised in Geneva and trained at the Lausanne Conservatory. He joined the Young Artists Program at the Zurich Opera and recently has made Debuts in London, Milan, and Chicago. He has a beautiful lyric tenor that seems ideal for the great French tenor roles –…


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Il Templario By Otto Nicolai

Tweet Otto Nicolai (1810-49) is remembered because of his last opera, The Merry Wives of Windsor, the only one (of five) written in German rather than Italian and as a co-founder of the Vienna Philharmonic. His second opera, Il Templario was set to a libretto by Girolamo Maria Marini based on Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe….


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Di Quella Pira

Tweet ‘Di quella pira’ is the cabaletta to the aria ‘Ah sì, ben mio’ which together make up almost the entirety of Act 3 scene 2 of Verdi’s Il Trovatore. The number’s famous high C (or sometimes Cs) were an addition to the score that Verdi allowed provided, he added, that the high note was…


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Tutto Verdi – Otello

Tweet Verdi’s penultimate opera is both a supreme masterpiece and the greatest killer of tenors in the Italian repertory. I’ve written enough about the merits of this opera on these pages to allow me to concentrate solely on the video disc that is part of Parma’s survey of all Verdi’s operas and on Latvian tenor…


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