Category Archives: Verdi

Rigoletto in Santa Fe

Tweet The Santa Fe Opera presented Verdi’s Rigoletto on August 25, 2015. The virtues of Verdi’s masterpiece are too well  known to warrant repetition. The success of this opera depends on the interpretive powers of its three principals and the leadership of the conductor. But it is the baritone who sings the title role who…


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Tutto Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani

Tweet I Vespri Siciliani is the least performed of Verdi’s mature works. It was written for the Paris Opéra to a French text by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier (Les vêpres siciliennes). While the opera is occasionally performed in its original French version, it is typically presented in its Italian translation. Verdi just sounds better…


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Illicit Love

Tweet Opera abounds in love duets. Here are three that define both their genre and their time. All three involve a man (a tenor, of course) in love, or in lust in the last example, with another man’s wife. Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde were written about the same time –…


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Ella Giammai M’amò

Tweet ‘Ella giammai m’amò’ (from Don Carlo) is the most moving and poignant aria that Verdi, or for that matter anyone except perhaps Mussorgsky, ever wrote for a bass. King Philip controls half the world, but his family and his church defy him. He’s made one of life’s greater mistakes – he’s married a much younger…


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Tutto Verdi: La Traviata

Tweet Does the world need another recording of La Traviata? Of course not. But if your goal is present all of Verdi’s opera on DVD  you must give birth to another version of Verdi’s poor sinner. Fortunately, The Teatro Regio di Parma’s production of Traviata is first rate. No other Verdi opera is so dependent…


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Macbeth in HD

Tweet Verdi’s masterful transposition of Shakespeare’s play to the lyric stage received its second HD transmission by the Met. Zeljko Lucic again played the title as in 2008. But today’s focus was Macbeth’s frightening spouse impersonated by Anna Netrebko. The Russian diva has undergone an astounding transformation since her Met debut more than 12 years ago…


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La Traviata at Masada

www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-lD9151Nv8

Tweet If you’re looking for opera at an exotic location check out the presentation of Verdi’s La Traviata at Masada in Israel. Alas, the last performance was today. I’ll try to list next year’s show (if there is one) earlier.   La Traviata Opera Event 2014 Dates: ​Thursday 12.06.14 21:30 Saturday 14.06.14 21:30 Monday 16.06.14…


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Aida – Judgement Scene

Tweet The first scene of Act 4 of Verdi’s Aida, the Judgement Scene, is one of the Italian master’s supreme dramatic constructions. The entire 20 minute scene consists of dramatic exposition. There are no arias or traditional ensemble pieces. There’s not even a melody typical of what one expects in an Italian opera. But every…


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Tutto Verdi: Rigoletto

Tweet  With its 2008 production of Rigoletto Parma’s Tutto Verdi series reaches the first of Verdi’s mature masterpieces. Rigoletto is performed so often and is therefore so familiar to opera goers that its utter originality is obscured by its ubiquity. The title role is the supreme test for an “Italian” baritone. I can add little…


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Tutto Verdi: Stiffelio

Tweet Verdi’s 16th (depending on how you count) opera has the oddest libretto of any he used. The action takes place in  and around a castle in Salzburg that is the headquarters of a fictional Protestant sect headed by its minister Stiffelio who also uses the alias Rodolfo Müller. Both his wife Lina and her…


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