Hopefully the assignment of Herman Melville’s endless whaling opus Moby-Dick as compulsory reading for High School students is a thing of the past. My kindly English Literature teacher only made us read the parts she thought were relevant, which numbered just over a dozen chapters. Being forced to read it in its entirety is like sending a budding opera fan to a Robert Wilson production of Parsifal as their first live performance. No one would get out alive. Read more »
If you had told me 20 years ago that at some point in the future I would have over 550 of the Metropolitan Opera’s performances, audio and video, at my command with the touch of a button I would say my eulogy had just been read and I’d been taken to my reward. Read more »
LA Opera opened their 30th season with a pairing of two of their most popular productions, both of which were initially staged by filmmakers not unfamiliar with the vagaries of our industry outpost here in Hollywoodland. Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, directed by Woody Allen was paired with Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Read more »
One of the glorious perks of my job, which is selling luxury cruises, is that on a semi-occasional basis I get to sample the wares myself—purely from an educational standpoint, mind you.
You might be surprised, though, when that title turns out to be Show Boat.
I was once accused—by my own mother, mind you!—of having too many recordings of Verdi’s Aida. The blistering audacity of that recrimination did get me to thinking: How many recordings of Aida is too many? I mean, you’ve got the old classic you cut your teeth on. Then there’s he one where the tenor and the mezzo are really the only good thing going. And, of course, the one with your favorite soprano in the title role, the remake when she switched labels, and then the four pirates. Don’t forget the one with another favorite soprano, but this time she’s [...]
I’m a long-time fan of the Opera in English series funded by The Peter Moores Foundation that started, fittingly enough, with conductor Reginald Goodall’s performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle recorded live from the London Coliseum and released by EMI
The opening night of the Metropolitan Opera of September 1972 was supposed to be the dawn of a new era.
As I leaned forward the woman in front of me turned to her seatmate and very quietly, in a voice thick with emotion and not a few tears, said, “it’s so beautiful.”