Monthly Archives: December 2012

Piotr Beczala’s Birthday

Today is the 46th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Polish tenor Piotr Beczala. To mark the occasion here are six photos of the artist taken, as is usual for these events, by the renowned photographer Robert Cahen. Following the photos are three arias sung by Mr Beczala. Kuda Kuda from Eugene Onegin Pourquoi me réveiller from Werther…

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Ciro in Babalonia – Rossini Opera Festival

Here is a complete performance of Rossini’s early opera from the Rossini Festival in Pesaro last Summer. The three principals are splendid. The fabulous (at age 60 she’s still unique) Polish contralto Ewa Podles takes the title role. The American tenor Michael Spyres continues to dazzle in rare roles; he’s the villain of the piece – Baldassare (Belshazzar)….

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Aida in HD – 2012

The Met’s HD series presented Aida for the second time on Saturday December 15, 2012. The same production with a different cast was telecast on October 24, 2009. This go around was notable for the first appearance of the Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska on a Met broadcast. Ms Monastyrska made her debut as Aida last month. She has…

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Liudmyla Monastyrska

Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska made her Met debut last month in the title role of Verdi’s Aida. She is scheduled to repeat the role in Saturday’s telecast from the Met. Though only 37, she has been singing for 16 years mostly in her native Ukraine. Last minute appearances in Berlin and London brought her to international acclaim…

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Un Ballo in Maschera in HD

Verdi’s great opera made its first appearance on the Met’s HD telecast series Saturday December 8, 2012. Un Ballo in Maschera has been in the standard operatic repertoire ever since it’s first performance in Rome in 1859. Ballo is clearly one of Verdi’s greatest achievements. Despite not having a tune that everyone recognizes, like Rigoletto’s La donna…

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Plus Blanche Que La Blanche Hermine

Giacomo Meyerbeer was the most popular opera composer of the 19th century. Les Huguenots (premiered at the Paris Opera in 1836) was his most popular opera. It was performed 125 times by the Metropolitan Opera over a span of 29 years. The last of these was in 1915. After that silence. The opera’s pivotal tenor role was sung…

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La Clemenza di Tito in HD

Yesterday’s telecast of Mozart’s opera epitomizes the dilemma facing the Metropolitan Opera and other major opera companies – how to offer the public something new that it will accept. Because no opera has entered the standard repertory in more than half a century and because writing great operas that command a large audience seems a lost art The Met and…

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