Teatro Grattacielo is New York’s homegrown organization to rescue Verismo operas from oblivion, one per annum, allowing for the occasional double bill. This year, instead of another resurrection, we had an apparent epiphany: A celebration of the company’s 20 years on the march with excerpts from some of their most successful escapades and a tasting menu of possible upcoming projects. Read more »
“Old Peter Minuit had nothing to lose
When he bought the isle of Manhattan
For twenty-six dollars and a bottle of booze,
And they threw in the Bronx and Staten …
We’ve tried to run the city—but the city’s run away —
And now, Peter Minuit—we can’t continue it…”
Thus Lorenz Hart, in a sly little song called “Give It Back to the Indians” that was un-P.C. even for 1934. He was lamenting the ruin contemporary trends had wrought on the perfections of New York City, and there are those of us who feel the same eighty years later. Read more »
In 1813, Rossini produced his first two mega-hits, an opera seria, Tancredi, and an opera buffa, L’Italiana in Algeri, which (a friend informed me tonight) premiered the very day Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig. (Unaccountably, newspapers in Venice failed to mention this at the time.) Producers, naturally, were howling for more, and the 21-year-old composer, stumped for a subject (rather like the Poet in the opera he wrote), suffered a bout of sequel-osis. Il Turco in Italia appeared the year after L’Italiana and was not a hit. In 1816, he came up with Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Read more »
A mite over-enthused at Joyce DiDonato’s Willow Song from Rossini’s Otello (and it is a glorious aria, and she did sing it gorgeously) and perhaps a-dither at the profusion of faux-Scottish opera at the Met and elsewhere, a young friend messaged me to ask if I knew Rossini’s Macbeth.
Gotham Chamber Opera, which began to operate twelve years ago with a double bill of Bohuslav Martinu’s quirky little pieces, opened its 2014-15 season with two more, Alexandre bis (Alexander, twice) and Comedy on the Bridge.
The rediscovery of Franco Faccio’s Amleto, a curious score that last week, via Baltimore Concert Opera, received its first performances since 1871, reminds us just how tough an act Giuseppe Verdi was to follow.
For those who like their Handel loud, with no forfeit of baroque finesse, one promising solution is to make the hall smaller.
They say that Boston, despite many cultural distinctions, ain’t no opera town, and for some decades—generations?—this has been true. But tides of change will break, even on the shores of the Hub.