Category Archives: Opera

La Bohème – Lubbock Symphony Orchestra

Tweet The following link will take to photos of the dress rehearsal of the LSO’s performance of La Bohème – La Bohème Pictures. The cast is below. The next link is to a PowerPoint presentation I gave before each performance. In order to  hear the musical illustrations you will need the complete folder that has…


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Vittoria Tenors Identified

Tweet On January 2 of this year I posted 22 examples of 22 different tenors singing Vittoria! Vitoria!!  from the second act of Tosca. Their identities are below. Giuseppe Di Stefano Jonas Kaufmann Franco Corelli Luciano Pavarotti Amadeo Zambon Mario Del Monaco Beniamino Gigli Jussi Björling Renato Cioni Jose Carreras Placido Domingo Giacomo Aragall Giorgio…


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Jussi Björling – Two Early Recordings

Tweet Below are two very early recordings by the great tenor. The first was made in 1929 when Björling was 18. The second was recorded three years later. The sound is unmistakably that of Björling. There is also the ineffable sweetness of youth. That Jussi was so good so early is amazing enough, even if…


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Finale 15 – Rigoletto Act 2

Tweet Rigoletto is an opera the marks the beginning of a new style of composing for Verdi. It is a work filled with invention, but the end of Act 2 reprises the Verdi of Nabucco and Ernani. Just belt it out and sweep the audience away. Of course, no one sings the concluding duet between…


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Michael Spyres – The Great American Tenor

Tweet I first wrote about Michael Spyres six years ago. I have since wondered why he has not been engaged by the Met. The perpetually becalmed company keeps recycling tenors who are well past their expiration dates. Spyres who has continued to improve since I became aware of him has achieved a vocal technique unique…


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The 10 Best Sopranos of the 20th Century

Tweet This was a tough piece to write. With all the great sopranos of different vocal types active in the 20th century, picking just 10 is a daunting task. But I’m giving it a try regardless. I have excluded the high sopranos like Tetrazzini and Galli-Curci, but I still have a surplus of riches that…


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La Traviata in HD 2017

Tweet The Met brought back Willy Decker’s staging of Verdi’s masterpiece which was televised in the HD series in May of 2012. My gripes about this production are unchanged and can be read here. The opera’s entire premise is based on a 19th century view of the world, which is why moving it to the…


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Nicolai Gedda 1925-2017

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDQOjaiaX1g

Tweet Nicolai Gedda died this month at age 91. The Swedish singer was one of the great tenors of the middle part of the last century. His best years overlapped the careers of an extraordinarily large number of great tenors. When he started singing professionally Jussi Björling, Richard Tucker, Mario Del Monaco, and Giuseppe Di Stefano…


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Finale 12 & 12A: Aida Acts 2 & 4

Tweet This article will cover two finales, those to the second and fourth acts of Verdi’s Aida. Verdi’s Egyptian opera dates to the time when Benjamin Britten said Verdi had discovered the secret of perfection. The finale to the second scene of act 2, the triumphal scene, is a god-like demonstration of how to handle large forces….


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O Soave Fanciulla

Tweet Puccini’s La Boheme is popular beyond comment. It has been performed 1295 times by the Met since the company’s first performance of the opera on tour in Los Angeles in 1900. Incidentally, Los Angeles was also the site of the work’s American premiere three years earlier.  Aida is far behind in the Met’s second…


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