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  • Guestoria Unpopularenka: Kabaivanska sang Tosca tonight at Teatro Reggio di Parma as part of her own 80th... 10:11 PM
  • YigeLi: Not the one discussed with you sometime ago, I think all the recordings of that performance came from... 8:51 PM
  • YigeLi: Regarding the Schwarzkopf-VLL issue: I remember reading it somewhere that ES said her voice was a bit... 8:42 PM
  • armerjacquino: La V: Horne most certainly did do the VLL- the evidence is right there on YouTube. I... 8:34 PM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: When Gobbi made the sign of the cross at the end of the Te Deum, he did it with a closed... 8:33 PM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: If that’s the way Frizza conducts Puccini, you can keep him. 8:28 PM
  • zinka: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=6xzn 5xpLazA Courtesy of the GREAT Coloratura fan..My idol…&#... 7:59 PM
  • zinka: What is that about????????????? ??????Galvany was great!!! 7:45 PM
  • Dabrowski: I have listened to Flagstad, Norman, and Jane Eaglen in both cycles, and to Schwarzkopf in the... 7:43 PM
  • manou: Will Jagde have the edge? 7:40 PM

Panning for gold

Giacomo Puccini’s horse-opera version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,”  La Fanciulla del West, based on David Belasco’s play, The Girl of the Golden West, enjoyed the status of a curate’s egg for quite a while. Its popularity dwindled after its initial, and wildly successful, premiere at the Metropolitan in 1910 starring Enrico Caruso, Emmy Destinn, and Pasquale Amato and conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Since it was the first new opera commissioned by the Met it generated a lot of excitement in the media and with the public. Critics mostly fell over themselves for the glories of the music, mise en scène (real horses on stage!), the singing and conducting.   Read more »

West coast story

I have been a lifelong fan of West Side Story in spite, or because, of the fact that my first real introduction to its wonders was the bloated and bourgeois recording made by Leonard Bernstein and produced by Deutsche Grammophon in 1985. I can’t really be blamed since I was very young and impressionable and it was the first time I’d ever heard the musical numbers in full, like the balcony scene with the dialogue lead-in and the underscoring, as well as the dance music complete. It was, my friends, magic—even if Lenny, in a titanic display of nepotism, hired his own children to speak said love scenes to each other. (Ick.) Read more »

Past perfect

With much laying-on of fanfares and gift boxes our friends at Decca Classics have unleashed Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1: The First Decade on a weary and satiated public. This is the inaugural offering of a planned troika of box sets commemorating the business dealings of the Modenese tenor to that British label. There was no holier alliance in all of classical recording (save Karajan and whatever label he deemed worthy) since, unlike the vast majority of classical artists, Luciano Pavarotti sold enough records to not only underwrite the projects he participated in but to keep Decca flush from the ensuing tsunami of coin his fans generated. Which is why, dear friends, they’re celebrating, not his birth or memorial but… the date of his contract signing.   Read more »

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The lion in stereo

A great man has passed and our consolation is that so much of his art has been preserved for us on recordings.

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Fairy tale

“Conduct Salome and Elektra as if they were by Mendelssohn: Fairy music.” Seriously, how often has that happened?

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Gelt trip

With the help of our friends at ArtHaus Musik, the Deutsche Oper Berlin have really been emptying out their archives and that’s certainly all for the good.

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Als wären Sie die Statue auf Ihrer eigenen Gruft

I am certain that we Parterrians are a very literate, even literary, group.

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Stairway to heaven

Once again, beloveds, we approach the Milanese shrine that simultaneously attempted to  cultivate and destroy the career of Maria Meneghini Callas.

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No business like snow business

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is his masterwork and its themes of social convention and unrequited longing surely struck a deep chord in a composer who, in late 19th century Russia, was gay and had to conduct himself carefully.

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The cup runneth over

I am grateful to Sony for this new release of the Metropolitan Opera’s latest production of Parsifal and I hope I’m not the only one who discovers what a rich experience this opera can be because of it.

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