“To play La Pompadour—what a delightful task! To be La Pompadour—what a gruesome fate!” Thus spoke operetta superstar Fritzi Massary after researching her role as Louis XV’s official mistress in the Leo Fall operetta Madame Pompadour, which was written as a star vehicle for “die Massary” and had its first, hugely successful, performance in Berlin in 1922, followed by runs in Vienna and London. Read more »
Perhaps there are not that many people in the world who would look at a CD cover and think “Oh, goody, goody! A libretto by Eugène Scribe I’ve never come across before!” Scribe, a prolific creator of many forms of popular theatre in Paris, wrote the libretti for the most famous French grand operas but also produced works in many other genres. I knew I could expect a lot of variety, incident and entertainment from Ali Baba ou Les Quarante voleurs (“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”) and I was not disappointed. Read more »
The surprises, and puzzles, of Dmitri Tcherniakov‘s production of Don Giovanni in this DVD of a performance at the Aix-en-Provence festival begin before a note has been played or the curtain has risen. The cast list is not what those of us familiar with the Mozart-da Ponte classic are accustomed to.
We find the statement “The action takes place in the house of the Commander” and then the cast is listed as : “The Commander; Donna Anna (his daughter); Don Ottavio (her new fiancé); Zerlina (her daughter by a previous marriage); Masetto (Zerlina’s fiance); Donna Elvira (Anna’s cousin); Don Giovanni (Elvira’s husband); and Leporello (a relative who lives in the house).” Read more »
I got quite a surprise when I opened the latest packet of goodies from La Cieca – a DVD of Orphée aux Enfers, but in German as Orpheus in der Unterwelt.
The 19th century could not cope with Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers) with a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte and music by Mozart, first presented in Vienna in 1790.
the strip on my first and, so far at least, only visit to Las Vegas a few years ago, I noticed what to me was a most unexpected sight and startled my companions by pointing out the window and shouting “Auber!”
Of all of Verdi’s operas. Aida is the one I find least interesting dramatically.
All of the operas of Giuseppe Verdi contain music that is worth hearing and can be rewarding in good performances.His seventh opera, Giovanna d’Arco,premiered at La Scala in 1845, is one of the least often performed these days. Renata Tebaldi made a radio broadcast, available as a recording, in 1951; there was a studio recording with Montserrat Caballe conducted by James Levine in the 70′s; a video of a production with Susan Dunn appeared in 1990; and June Anderson performed the role in concerts in New York and a stage production at Covent Garden in the 90′s. Other than that [...]