Monthly Archives: June 2018

Il Templario By Otto Nicolai

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. It…

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Di Quella Pira

‘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 good….

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The Sniffer – Season 3 Review

Spoilers ahead, proceed at your own peril. The third, and apparently, final season of the Ukrainian/Russian language TV show is somewhat different from the first two seasons.  There’s a lot less sniffing than on the first two seasons. The protagonist is caught in a complex scenario involving a shady obstetrician who turns out to be…

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Tutto Verdi – Otello

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 Aleksandrs…

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Finale 18 – Otello Act 3

The finale of Act 3 of Verdi’s Otello consists of the most elaborate concertato that Verdi ever wrote. The following comments borrow from Julian Budden’s analysis of this piece in the third volume of his definitive The Operas of Verdi. Verdi wrote great concertatos throughout his career. They are among the great achievements in opera. Otello’s…

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Tutto Verdi – The Requiem

Verdi’s towering Requiem Mass was written to mark the first anniversary of the death of Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) who was one of Verdi’s two cultural heroes of 19th century Italian art; the other was Rossini. First performed in the church of San Marco, it was repeated a few days later at La Scala. Verdi being…

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