Tag Archives: Donizetti

Maria Stuarda Not in HD

Today was to be the final HD telecast of the Met’s 2019-20 season. But the company is as closed as an open mind. To compensate the Met broadcast, no TV, a 2013 performance of the opera that was to have been on had not the virus paralyzed the world. Maria Stuarda was Donizetti’s 100,345th opera…


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On Retirement

Embalming fluid – the only cure for presidential fever* Forced retirement is now imposed on much of the world, I thought it of interest to comment on the retirement of four great figures, three of whom are not usually thought of as ever being retired. The fourth is a strange case of premature retirement. The…


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La Fille du Régiment in HD 2019

Donizetti’s spaghetti stuffed eclair smeared with schmaltz reappeared on today’s Met in HD telecast. This production was previously telecast in 2008 with Natalie Dessay in the title role. I wrote this about her performance: Natalie Dessay was as bouncy as a spaldeen. She looked like a combination of Fanny Brice and Edith Piaf on steroids and happy…


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Michael Spyres in Philadelphia

New York’s Metropolitan Opera is suffering from a plague of inadequate tenors. Major productions have chugged along with tenors not up to the standard one would expect from the world’s most important opera house. The recent stagings of Samson et Dalila and Aida clearly demonstrate the Met’s tenorial difficulties. Yet the company does not engage…


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L’Elisir d’Amore in HD – 2018

Donizetti’s approach to comic opera is the opposite of Rossini’s. Rossini takes no prisoners. Everybody in his buffa operas has a tenuous connection to sanity reflecting the composers view that the entire world is mad. Donizetti, on the other hand, is more forgiving and offers characters who have redeeming attributes. The difference between the two…


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Recording of the Week: Rosmonda D’Inghilterra

Donizetti’s all but forgotten opera was written in 1834 to a libretto by Felice Romani. It’s based on the legend of Rosamund Clifford (The Fair Rosamund) Henry II’s mistress who died around 1176 under uncertain circumstances. It was first performed in Florence and again in Naples in 1845. Then it vanished. It was rediscovered in…


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Cheti Cheti Immantinente

The third act duet (Cheti, cheti, immantinente) from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is one of the most enjoyable numbers in Italian opera buffa. Malatesta is pretending to help the ultra gullible Pasquale into trapping his new wife in a compromising  meeting with the tenor. The number ends with a mercuric blur of Italian symbols that defy comprehension,…


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Roberto Devereux in HD

Donizetti’s opera Roberto Devereux received it first production at the Met last month. Today’s performance featured the same cast as in the prima. Its librettist, Salvadore Cammarano, also wrote the book for Lucia Di Lammermoor and started that of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, but died before he could complete it. Devereux like Trovatore is an opera…


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Finale 7 – Lucia Di Lammermoor Act 2

The finale to Act 2 of Donizetti’s masterpiece starts immediately after the conclusion of the famous sextet. Edgardo has stormed into Lammermoor Castle outraged that Lucia is about to marry someone else. She has been tricked into agreeing to a marriage favorable to her brother’s straightened situation. When Edgardo is shown the marriage contract that…


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Recording of the Week: Lucrezia Borgia

Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia was written in 1833. Today it hangs around the outskirts of the standard operatic repertory. According to operabase.com it was performed 22 times worldwide during the season of 2013-14. At the Met it has managed only one performance in the company’s history. That was in 1904 with Enrico Caruso as Gennaro. I…


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