Category Archives: Verdi

Tutto Verdi: Aida

Tweet When Verdi composed Aida he was well past the point where he had discovered, as Benjamin Britten remarked, the secret of perfection. If this opera does not plumb the emotional and psychological depths of its immediate predecessor, Don Carlo, it is a work of both grandeur and intimacy that comes from an operatic world…


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Recording of the Week – Hvorostovsky as Rigoletto

Tweet Dmitri Hvorostovsky did not record the Verdi baritone’s summa, Rigoletto, until 2016 – a year after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. This recording was released by Delos near the end of last year shortly before the singer’s death. Rigoletto was not at the core of the great baritone’s repertoire. Of his 182 performances…


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Don Carlo – The King’s Apartment

Tweet I’m going to do a few posts devoted to great operatic scenes. The first is devoted to the that in the king’s apartment from Verdi’s Don Carlo. This is the first scene of Act 3 or 4 depending on which version of the opera is performed. Don Carlo, one of greatest masterpieces, exists in…


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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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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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Kaufmann as Otello

Tweet The Royal Opera House in London presented its new production of Verdi’s Otello last June. The show’s big attraction was the first performance of the opera’s title role by Jonas Kaufmann. The BBC broadcasted the opening night performance yesterday. The recording will available on its website for a month. Kaufmann’s dark voice prompted many…


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Si Pel Ciel – Otello Act 2

Tweet Verdi’s penultimate opera is a masterpiece of dramatic cohesion and inspiration. Set to one of opera’s greatest librettos, it reflects all that its composer had learned from a life spent in the the theater. The duet, ‘Si pel ciel’, that ends the second act is as rousing as anything Verdi had written 40 years…


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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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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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Nabucco in HD

Tweet In a geriatric special, the Met televised its 2001 production of Verdi’s Nabucco  featuring septuagenarians Placido Domingo and James Levine. The former in the title role and the latter behind the baton. This pairing of ancients would suggest that everyone should be eligible for a senior ticket. But everyone in my theater was already…


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