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Cher Public

  • Poison Ivy: For Cinderella completists, my first ever “Cinderella& #8221; recording of anything... 12:15 AM
  • Camille: You know, Dame Maggie Teyte made such a beautiful recording of “Beau soir”. I do not... 11:57 PM
  • Camille: I most certainly DO love it! Just ask papopera, for he is our resident expert on the Dugazon,... 11:51 PM
  • Camille: Café-concerts, it should read. Someone will must certainly gratify themself by jumping my arse if I... 11:48 PM
  • Krunoslav: ‘soprano de sentiment’, “dugazonR 21; — gotta love it! 11:36 PM
  • Lady Bracknell: JDF cancelled an entire run of BARBIERE in Chicago 6 or 7 years ago saying that he choked on... 11:36 PM
  • Camille: Oh thank you, Krunoslav. I had entirely forgotten about that curious denomination ‘soprano de... 11:02 PM
  • Krunoslav: “What I recall is “Falcon ou ‘soprano de sentiment’&# 8221;; no mention... 10:37 PM
  • Camille: Pardon me, but is this Peter KazarAs, the former tenor who is associated with Seattle Opera, or... 10:01 PM
  • Camille: That reminds me, in the book Never sang for Hitler: The Life and Times of Lotte Lehmann, [Michael... 9:53 PM

Jest the way you are

I’m happy to report that Rigoletto from the 30 DVD Tutto Verdi set from the Teatro Regio di Parma is a blockbuster. (My first two, Alzira and Stiffelio, were duds and I was begining to think this collection was on the level with those $.99 classical music DVD’s you find in bins at the A&P .)

This production features a well known cast (Leo Nucci, Nino Machaidze) giving state of the art performances. The Parma production is attractive, colorful and fairly traditional, occasionally turining quite racy. The opening scene,in the Duke’s chamber, features a king size bed center stage on which our libertine mauls toothsome female supernumeraries (full female frontal nudity! ) throughout the scene. Guests are clad as ancient Greek nymphs and satyrs, adding to the Dionysian effect. Read more »

The new world

Today’s Final Jeopardy Question: Name a Verdi opera, based on a play by Voltaire, described in the immortal words of the composer as “Questo e proprio brutto.” If you guessed Alzira I doff my hat to your expertise. I wish I could report this opus belongs a place in the neglected gems category but unfortunately, it’s a bit of a stinker (Perdonami, Grand Maestro.)

It premiered in 1845 at Teatro San Carlo, where the main attraction for Verdi was the chance to work with Italy’s premiere librettist Salvatore Cammarano, who provided the libretto for Lucia among others. The first performance in Naples was not a success; neither were subsequent stagings in Rome and Milan. For over a century it disappeared into the libraries of Verdi scholars. Read more »

Sachs appeal

Opera’s Scottish enfant terrible David McVicar has applied his considerable skills in this 2011 Glyndebourne production of Die Meistersinger, the result being a refreshing new take on a familiar warhorse. The setting has been updated from medieval Nuremburg to vaguely Victorian, which is, of course, when Wagner would have been, like the character David, in his apprenticeship, and the costumes have a certain “Nicholas Nickleby” feeling.   Read more »

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LA thinks pink

Vocal glamour in abundance highlighted the opening performance of LA Opera’s Il barbiere di Siviglia on November 29 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, with much buzz attendant on the company debuts of Rossini experts Juan Diego Flórez and Joyce DiDonato. Adding excitement was the Figaro of Nathan Gunn, who played with Errol Flynn panache, and a production rich with Sevillian atmosphere. 

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