Category Archives: Opera

Hamlet in HD 2022

Hamlet returned to the Met after a 12 year absence. This time, however, it was not the 19th century French forgettable by Ambroise Thomas, but the 2017 opera by Brett Dean. The reason for the 2010 revival, which was the return of an opera not mounted by the company since 1895, was the the impersonation…


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Lucia Di Lammermoor in HD 2022

This was Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece’s third HD telecast by the Met. The previous two were of Mary Zimmerman’s benighted production. Donizetti set the scene in the 17th century as did Walter Scott who wrote The Bride of Lammermoor on which the libretto is loosely based. Zimmerman moved the story to the 19th century. Australian…


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Turandot in HD 2022

Puccini’s farewell to opera returned for the third time as part of the Met’s HD series. Franco Zeffirelli’s brick for brick reconstruction of Imperial Peking will likely survive the heat death of the universe. The assembly of the Act 2 set takes longer than many of the operas in the Mets repertory. This go around…


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Marches

The third month? No. The region on the Adriatic coast of Italy? No. The kind with music and soldiers. Though the form is typically brisk and commonly associated with parades and halftime shows, it is pliable and is often connected with less than happy events. Here are a bunch of them, in no particular order…


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Lucia Di Lammermoor Met 2022

The Met’s new production of Lucia Di Lammermoor staged by Simon Stone has been roughly handled by several critics. It received its second performance last night which was broadcast on the Met’s radio network. The show will be telecast on May 21. I decided to listen to it without the gouts of blood and high…


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Madama Butterfly – Met 2022

Last night the Met broadcast one of its current run of Puccini’s masterpiece – it was the 898th time the company has presented the opera. The current Butterfly is Italian soprano Eleonora Buratto. She was good in a part that demands great. Tepid applause after ‘Un bel di’ and none after Butterfly’s moment of triumph…


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Melody

The universe is not only stranger than you think, it’s stranger than you can imagine – Richard Feynman Well, a great melody is more mysterious than the universe. John Stuart Mill was said to worry that the number of great melodies was finite and that we would soon exhaust the supply. When I first heard…


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Eugene Onegin at the Met – An Exercise in Cynicism

Last night the Met presented it’s last performance of the season of Tchaikovsky’s most popular opera Eugene Onegin. It was another well done show that save for one issue will fade into the institutional memory of the house without much to remember it. Igor Golovatenko sang the title role. What’s so special about that? He’s…


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La Fanciulla Del West – Vienna 2013

In 2013 The Vienna Staatsoper presented a production of Puccini’s western opera. The full cast is below. Musically it was a terrific performance, especially noteworthy was Jonas Kaufmann’s impersonation of the the reluctant robber turned ardent lover. But Marco Arturo Morelli’s production was like a bad version of a Tom Mix silent movie. The acting…


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More Operatic Lunacy

The brilliant commentator Heather MacDonald has written an article detailing the latest bit of operatic and musical lunacy – Making Beethoven Woke. In it she details the the production of Fidelio at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s right – the museum not the opera house. You can read all the antic details in her…


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