Category Archives: Opera

Lohengrin in HD

Wagner’s most popular opera returned to the Met this season after an absence of almost 17 years. This new production was directed by François Girard with sets and costume by Tim Yip. The staging uses stark walls and a circular device through which moved a succession of moons. Stars dominated the third act. The choristers…


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Dreary Norma at the Met

Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece has returned to the Met with Sonya Yoncheva in the title role. American tenor Michael Spyres sang the Roman proconsul Pollione. Adalgisa was performed by Ekaterina Gubanova. The entire cast is below. The show was broadcast last night on the SiriusXm network, so this is just a recount of the singing…


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Cav & Pag – Corelli and Tucker Alternate Roles

Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci have been paired more often than Southwest Airlines has had recent on time flights. The two leading Italian style tenors at the Metropolitan Opera who sang the leading roles in these operas during the 1960s were Franco Corelli and Richard Tucker. Both had virile spinto tenors that…


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Lina Bruna Rasa

The life of Lina Bruna Rasa (1907-84) is one of opera’s saddest tales. A phenom, she made her debut in 1925 at age 18. Her last performance was in 1942 when she was 34. She was one year younger than Zinka Milanov, yet the two sopranos seem of different eras. Milanov sang at the Met…


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Fedora in HD

Umberto Giordano’s minor league opera Fedora was brought back to the Met after an absence of 25 years. The main reason for its reappearance, as far as I could, tell was to add novelty without the aural pain that the Met’s commitment to new operas has recently inflicted on its audience and box office. If…


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Finale 36 – Act II La Rondine

La Rondine (The Swallow) is the 8th of Puccini’s 12 operas. It is the least performed of his mature works. It was commissioned in 1913 by Vienna’s Carltheater. They wanted a lighter and more entertaining opera in the style of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. The result was more in the style of Lehar with touches of…


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LSO 2022 Madama Butterfly Photos

On November 11th of this year, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra presented a semi-staged performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The cast is below. The link will lead you to a collection of photos I took during the dress rehearsal the day before the performance. Click on the thumbnails to see the whole photo. The picture above…


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The Hours in HD

The Metropolitan Opera telecast Kevin Puts new opera The Hours around the world this afternoon. The company gave the work its world premiere last month. The libretto by Greg Pierce is based on the novel by Michael Cunningham and the subsequent film. It depicts a day in the life of three desperately unhappy women -the…


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Signor Gaetano – Review

Signor Gaetano is the title of tenor Javier Camarena’s latest CD release. It is entirely devoted to the music of Gaetano Donizetti, hence the title. Gli Originali is conducted by Riccardo Frizza who is the musical director director of the Donizetti Festival in the composer’s hometown of Bergamo. The recording took place at the Teatro…


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A Few Opera Riots

The most fully realized riot in all opera is the one that ends the second act of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger. It’s a gigantic free for all involving everyone in the neighborhood including nine of the meistersingers. Beckmesser starts a serenade full of errors that are marked by Hans Sachs striking his cobbler’s hammer. “David wakes…


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