Cher Public

  • moi: Chapeau to all who had the courage to throw themselves into the game… All I can say is that I did not seem to hear any Freni... 4:09 PM
  • manou: Sorry grim – that was my one line review of the opera. I am very well indeed and just back from a little jaunt in Lille where... 4:06 PM
  • armerjacquino: It wasn’t missed. You’re just not in the right thread, because as usual you posted your birthday tribute before... 3:59 PM
  • grimoaldo: What do you mean manou? I hope you’re not unwell. 3:29 PM
  • zinka: Strange how Tebaldi’s birthday was missed here…..She did exist… 3:08 PM
  • manou: I saw Haas at a ROH event talking about Morgen und Abend and he looks every inch like a mild-mannered geography teacher. I... 2:53 PM
  • Olivero is my Drug of Choice: Yikes!!!! The ONLY one I have a clue is Number 1:Albanese 2:05 PM

Everytime we say goodbye

Gather around while I play Ghost of New Year’s Eve past—December 31, 1990 to be exact—the gala farewell of Dame Joan Sutherland to the Royal Opera Covent Garden stage.

This classic performance is one of a number Arthaus Musik has seen fit to restore and rerelease, including the famous Robert Carsen Mefistofele with Samuel Ramey from San Francisco Opera, Eva Marton’s first Turandot from Vienna with José Carreras, and the Luca Ronconi Aida from La Scala with Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Chiara, and Ghena Dimitrova as Amneris. It’s great to have them all back with picture upscaled to 1080i in High Definition for Blu-ray even if they do show their age and sound is still just PCM Stereo since they’re all pre-surround.  Read more »

Ardori inospiti

As the ever-constant pendulum of taste and trend fluctuates so follow the production styles at our grander opera houses and nothing, it seems, says it clearer than a new mounting of Aida. At La Scala the famous Franco Zeffirelli collaboration with Lila de Nobili of 1963, with all its painterly realism, gave way to Pier Luigi Pizzi’s bolder geometric stylization a decade later. No surprise that the most recent Egyptian voluptuary of 2006 by our friend Franco has now been replaced by the most singularly spartan production of Verdi’s masterpiece I think I’ve ever seen. 
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Gli enigmi sono due

Giacomo Puccini’s final opus interruptus is and shall always remain my favorite opera. The reasons for this preference are so varied and numerous that if they were printed and bound the volume would most assuredly require its own stand.
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Norma 1

The rite stuff

Remember that time you went to the opera and the entire evening was perfection?

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Consider the subtleness of the sea

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.

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Lady on demand

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.

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Schicchi 2

Fifty shades of Domingo

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.

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Worth the candle

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.

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Show Boat amazon

Rolling along

You might be surprised, though, when that title turns out to be Show Boat.

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solti amazon

A ‘Ring’ for the rest of us

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 [...]

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