Countless episodes of Oprah and other programs of that ilk have dwelled on stories of women living in denial about their relationships. Unsurprisingly, many operas also deal with this phenomenon, one I was repeatedly reminded of during Sunday afternoon’s intermittently involving concert performance of Handel’s Alcina at Carnegie Hall starring an unusually intense Joyce DiDonato as a powerful sorceress blinded by her romantic delusions. Read more »
France has this year saluted one of its greatest composers with many performances including revivals of some long-forgotten works. Unlike his homeland, America hasn’t exactly been vigorous about commemorating the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau. Read more »
Passion propels more operas than almost any other human emotion; however, many musical dramas have a very different sort of passion—the final days of Jesus—as their subject. While most commonly performed in concert halls or churches, this week the greatest of these, J. S. Bach’s setting of the gospeler Matthew’s retelling, opened this season’s White Light Festival in a grandly ambitious semi-staging by Peter Sellars at a strikingly transformed Park Avenue Armory. Read more »
Wednesday brought the Met’s “real” season opener, an indelible, indispensable night at the opera: a starry revival of Verdi’s Macbeth crowned by Anna Netrebko’s demented Lady.
Notable purveyor of mayhem and infanticide Medea has lately been missing from the local operatic scene, but Sunday afternoon sections of the recently renovated Alice Tully Hall were singed by Canadian soprano Dominique Labelle’s blazing incarnation of the Greek sorceress.
In recent years the enterprising Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble has brightened the usually arid weeks of August in New York City with some worthy operatic showcases for young singers.
Despite the continued popularity of Der Freischütz in German-speaking countries, are the magical mature operas of Carl Maria von Weber otherwise really so problematic, their libretti so unwieldy to explain their continued absence from the world’s stages?
Even before Italian diva Mariella Devia had completed the stunning high D natural that capped her miraculous portrayal of Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux Thursday evening at Carnegie Hall, tens, then hundreds of those in attendance leapt to their feet to shout their acclaim.