Category Archives: Opera

Boris Godunov in HD – 2021

The Met in HD series returned after an absence of more than a year and half. Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov was previously telecast by the Met in October 2010. German Bass René Pape then and now assumed the title role. This time around the Met decided to stage the composer’s original seven scene version of the…


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Michael Spyres Baritenor – Review

American tenor Michael Spyres has released a new album – Baritenor. It contains 18 selections which are presented in approximately the order in which they were written. They consist of arias written for tenor, tenor or high baritone, and baritone. Spyres has always shown a unique ability to adjust the character of his timbre; he…


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Opera Villains

Here are 11 opera villains – nine from Italian operas (Mozart’s an honorary Italian), the remaining two from Russian works. In making these choices I’ve excluded supernatural characters like the various depictions of the devil. I’ve also disregarded all German operas as it’s too hard to tell the villains from the heroes. The most prominent…


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Marcel Wittrisch

Marcel Wittrisch (1901-55) was born to a German family in Antwerp, Belgium. He studied voice in Munich, Leipzig, and Milan. His operatic debut was in Halle in 1925. His career was based in Berlin. He started as a lyric tenor with a voice whose timbre was also well suited for operetta. As his career progressed…


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Opera Doctors

Given the title of this site, I can’t explain why it took me so long to cover this subject. Below are 10 operas in which physicians appear. Their role in each opera ranges from important to miniscule. Dr Bartolo is in both Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. In the…


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Finale 30 – Luisa Miller Act 1

Luisa Miller was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples in 1849. It was Verdi’s 15th opera (if you count Jérusalem the rewrite of I Lombardi for Paris as a separate work). It didn’t reach the Met until 1929 when it had six performances extending into 1930. The cast was a grand one. It…


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Tenor Legends Celebrated Online in New La Scala Exhibition

The La Scala virtual exhibition described below in their announcement of the event is full of interesting material. It’s available with an English translation which has entertainment value of its own. It will only be available for a limited time. It’s a rewarding effort well worth the considerable time it takes to view and listen…


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If You Dance With the Devil You Can’t Change Partners

Devils are common in opera. It’s so much more fun to be evil onstage than to be tasked with depicting bland goodness. So here are a few operatic Satans or their equivalents, but not the usual suspects. Anton Rubinstein’s opera Demon is rarely preformed in the West, but still enjoys popularity in Russia. The titular…


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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

The title refers to aria, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, and sextet. I’ve picked examples of each that I feel should be at the top of any short list for the best yet composed. Readers can make their own list.  D’amor sull’ali rosee from Act 4 of Verdi’s Il Trovatore is the last bel canto soprano…


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Giuseppe Di Stefano – 100 Years

The third great tenor born in 1921 (July 24) was Giuseppe Di Stefano (1921-2008). Of all the tenors I heard in performance, Di Stefano had the most beautiful voice. He was also able to convey the emotional content of the music he sang with intensity and insight unmatched by any other tenor of his era….


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