The last day of December a parcel arrived in the mail containing an absolute delight: “Semiramide—La Signora Regale.” One of best vocal recordings of 2014, this sumptuous 2-CD set on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi features the marvelous Italian mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus and includes 90 minutes of rarely-heard music written for the legendary Babylonian queen. Read more »
At what moment does a “rising star” become simply a “star”? A crucial step toward that operatic pinnacle may have occurred Wednesday evening at the Metropolitan Opera when soprano Sonya Yoncheva triumphed in her first US Violetta. Since its premiere there in 2010, Willy Decker’s starkly devastating production of Verdi’s La Traviata has been waiting for the ideal protagonist to don Wolfgang Gussmann’s iconic red dress and with its sixth soprano she has arrived. Read more »
Although I’m frequently envious of friends who frequent London or Paris or Berlin and their multiple opera houses with widely varied repertoires, I do know that New York City isn’t a bad place to live, operatically-speaking, particularly as I thought about the things I attended over the past calendar year. The ten (or actually eleven) events that make up my decidedly NYC-centric “Best of 2014″ list are presented in chronological order. Read more »
His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt.
For many in New York and around the world, if the name William Christie appears on a concert or opera program, it’s a must-attend.
Whenever opera-lovers are canvassed about what neglected operas they hunger to see revived, the resulting lists inevitably feature a goodly number of grand operas, those once wildly popular monstrosities–particularly by Meyerbeer–written primarily for Paris in the mid-19th century.
Almost exactly twenty years after her auspicious Metropolitan Opera debut as the Fiakermilli in Arabella and a year following what she has claims was her final appearance on the operatic stage, Natalie Dessay returned Sunday afternoon to Lincoln Center—to sing opera.
Sunday afternoon’s intermittently involving concert performance of Handel’s Alcina at Carnegie Hall starred an unusually intense Joyce DiDonato as a powerful sorceress blinded by her romantic delusions.
America hasn’t exactly been vigorous about commemorating the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau.
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.