Category Archives: Opera

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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Don Carlos in HD

No Verdi opera has as many versions as Don Carlos. There are at least eight. Alas, the composer never designated any of them as definitive. The Met has done both four and five act Italian versions, but never until this season the five act French original. Well, not really the original. The Met’s current go…


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Finale 33 – La Favorite Act 3

Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) was the most prolific of all the major composers of opera. He wrote about 70 operas, a lot of chamber music, and religious works All the frenzied activity before he went mad from syphylis in his 40s and then died at 50. La Favorite was written in 1840 to a French text…


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Ariadne Auf Naxos in HD

German opera after Mozart became increasingly self conscious. Strauss’s Ariadne Auf Naxos is an example of this solipsistic trait. It was originally intended to be a half hour divertissement to follow Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s adaption of Molière’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme. Strauss also wrote incidental music for the play. The 30 minute opera grew to 90…


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