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  • Milady DeWinter: A trifecta of wonderful singers amongst Streich, Valetti, and Koshetz – thanks for... 10:12 AM
  • kashania: Even if I agreed that Germont’s empathy towards Violetta isn’t supported by his... 10:03 AM
  • kashania: That is one of my favourite moments too. Ciofi’s acts the hell out of the role. Her voice is... 9:33 AM
  • kashania: Kelsey is a noted Rigoletto and the Met’s next revival better feature him and not Plácido Domingo... 9:26 AM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: PS: That was the New York City Opera Orchestra. 9:22 AM
  • pasavant: Thanks for posting the gbopera review. The reviewer certainly knows about singing ( i.e. he agrees... 9:18 AM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: Hot night at Madison Square Garden last night! httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=R... 9:08 AM
  • zinka: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=TmkR RJhO8mA NO VOICE ever,in my view, combined beauty of tone and... 8:55 AM
  • zinka: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=73QG wHG1R1w&featur e=youtu.be 10 years ago on Dec.19, 2004, she... 8:37 AM
  • armerjacquino: I especially feel this about the theatre. Critics must think that all plays are slightly... 8:11 AM

Let’s make it regal

Having heard a bit of the opening night broadcast and read some decidedly mixed reviews, I was totally unprepared for the remarkable performance of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena that I attended on December 15 at Chicago Lyric Opera.  Read more »

When I have sung my songs

Soprano Renée Fleming is certainly making the role of the Countess in Richard Strauss’s final opera Capriccio the focus of her late-career years.  After her Met run in 2010, she has made various stops in the role, including this 2013 Wiener Staatsoper production, released by Unitel Classica and directed for video by Brian Large, and she will bring her Countess to Chicago and Dresden in the coming months.  The role certainly suits her natural elegance and charm, and sits well in her current vocal estate.  Read more »

Final chapter

Richard Strauss’ Elektra has always been something of a touchstone opera for this reviewer.  It was one of the first operas I attended at the Met (Birgit Nilsson’s return in 1980—I still have her “Orest!” ringing somewhere in my brain).  It was the first full opera recording I ever bought (Nilsson, Solti) on cassettes that I still have in my collection.  My other live Elektras include Ute Vinzing, Hildegard Behrens and, most recently, the excellent Christine Goerke in Chicago.

But none of my previous Elektra experiences prepared me for this stunning, overwhelming performance from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, with brilliant and incisive stage direction by Patrice Chéreau (his final opera staging before his death in 2013).  Esa-Pekka Salonen leads a superb cast and the Orchestre de Paris in a reading of Strauss’ score that doesn’t stint on the powerful climaxes yet brings out all the musical textures—there are, of course, the booming brass-and-drums moments, but Salonen also finds the thrilling quiet moments.  The playing and singing in the Recognition scene are exquisitely sweet.   Read more »

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Fatal attraction

Benjamin Britten’s final opera Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, is given a lush and quite beautiful production from stage director Deborah Warner for the English National Opera.

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A tsar is torn

In Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all the Russian people starve and suffer, but none has suffering like the mental agonies of Tsar Boris.

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Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!

George Benjamin’s 2012 opera Written on Skin received great acclaim at its opening at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and the Royal Opera quickly mounted it in March 2013.

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On the beach

The sea, the sky, the wind, the storms that are so frequently depicted in the music of Benjamin Britten are brilliantly illuminated in the new DVD of Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach, a collaboration between Aldeburgh Music, film director Margaret Williams, and stage director Tim Albery.

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Submerged

As part of the celebration of the three-year long restoration of the Theatre Royal de Liege (and, from what we can see in this DVD it is a glorious restoration indeed), the Opera Royal de Wallonie went all the way to find as Belgian an operatic experience as was possible.

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Lake, placid

Having recently reviewed Glass’s The Perfect American on this site and participated in spirited discussions about the film Saving Mr. Banks, it is perhaps not surprising that Walt Disney should spring to my mind as I watched the Unitel Classica video of Die Zauberflote from the floating stage of the Bregenzer Festspiele.

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When owls attack

Philip Glass’s 25th opera The Perfect American was originally commissioned for New York City Opera during the aborted regime of Gerard Mortier.

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