Category Archives: Opera

Benjamin Bernheim – Boulevard des Italiens

Boulevard des Italiens is the title of French tenor Benjamin Bernheim’s second CD. Released in 2022 it offers 16 selections. The recital presents arias and one duet written by Italian composers to French texts or subsequently adapted to French texts for performances in France. Bernheim was born in Paris and grew up in Geneva. Before…


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Pace, Pace, Mio Dio!

The Metropolitan Opera’s new staging of Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino has caused much comment about the performance of one of the composer’s great soprano roles by a singer (Lise Davidsen) best known for her performances of the heroic German roles. Many reviewers felt that her performance was an outstanding effort. Others, including me, thought…


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La Forza Del Destino in HD

Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino returned to the Met this season after an absence of 18 years. It was staged in a new production supervised by the Polish director Mariusz Trelinski. He moved both the time and places from the middle of the 18th century in Spain and Italy to sometime in the second half…


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Met’s New Forza a Dud

Last night the Met Opera presented its new production of Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino. Broadcast on its Sirius XM channel it will be telecast in HD on March 9. Staged as a vehicle for star soprano Lise Davidsen, the performance reached no higher than that encountered at a good provincial German or Italian theater….


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The Metropolitan Opera Announces its 2024–25 Season

The Met season opens September 23 with the Met premiere of Grounded by Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori, starring Emily D’Angelo as an Air Force drone pilot and conducted by Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. It features six new productions, including additional Met premieres of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick, and John Adams’s Antony…


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Auto-da-fé : Two

An Auto-da-fé (Act of faith) was a ritual act of penance carried out in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico during the 15th to the 19th centuries. Imposed on apostates and heretics by the Inquisition (a religious body) its punishments including being burned alive were executed by the state. Two operas have an Auto-da-fé as part of…


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Ewa Podleś Dies

Ewa Podleś the great Polish contralto died on January 19 in Warsaw. Podleś was a contralto who while she sang a broad range of roles was especially known for the florid parts of Handel and Rossini. I’ve already written about her in a piece that contains numerous clips of her singing. Ewa Podleś – The…


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Carmen in HD – 2024

Bizet’s Carmen is so great a masterpiece that it can withstand anything a deranged opera company can throw at it. Opera is a fragile art form, particularly in the 21st century. But with productions like Carrie Cracknell’s staging of today’s HD telecast combined with the recent new operas that started this season’s series the company…


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Elektra – Three Deaths

Four of Richard Strauss’s operas are masterpieces – Salome, Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier, and Die Frau Ohne Schatten. The second of these, Elektra, is considered his most harmonically adventurous work. It is often said that Strauss retreated from modernism after Elektra. I’m not sure that’s true. He used the harmonic language suited for the story he…


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Sleepwalkers

Sleepwalking is a disorder that combines sleep and wakefulness. It typically consists of simple repeated behaviors. More complex actions are rare and when reported are of dubious authenticity. It is this latter form of the disorder that finds its way into literature and opera. Episodes of somnambulism last from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. The…


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