The seventeenth-century works of Francisco Cavalli may be easier for modern audiences to accept, their dramatic pace proceeding with little pause through melodic statements, their mingling of coy drama with much comic relief, than the spectacular stop-action vocal showiness of opera seria that succeeded them in fashion. The operas themselves have a certain sameness of melody and texture, an interchangeable tinta, but the inventive stories offer many opportunities to stage directors. Read more »
As Enrico Caruso once said to me, “All you need for a good La Gioconda is the six greatest singers in the world and a few dancing elephants.” “Are there that many great singers?” I retorted. He just smiled, pinched my cheek and gave me a sketch he’d done of me while I was sleeping through a Meistersinger in standing room. I guess I should have hung on to it, huh? Be worth something today. Anyway, fortunately, he was wrong: You can do a thoroughly enjoyable Gioconda with far fewer great singers than six, and I heard one in Englewood just last Sunday. Read more »
Othello in the Seraglio is the rather unfortunate title bestowed by the ensemble Dünya on its “coffeehouse opera,” ossia The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch, presented Friday night at the National Sawdust concert space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, following a brief run in Boston, where Dünya is based. Read more »
Just when you thought it was safe to return to Rossini and Verdi—blam!
The concert presented by Opera Lafayette at the Alliance Française last Friday and Saturday was devoted to music of witty, short-lived Emmanuel Chabrier, notably Une Éducation Manquée.
If only—if only half the creativity and spectacle that Encompass New Opera Theatre has lavished on its lively production of The Astronaut’s Tale (at the BAM Fisher through Sunday) had been expended on the pretentious libretto by the late Jack Larsonand the quirky, unappealing score by Charles Fussell…
LoftOpera gives performances of exceptional musical and theatrical polish in offbeat corners of Brooklyn.