Cher Public

Patrick Mack

Patrick Mack starting listening to opera as a teenager to the total bewilderment of his rock and roll mother. He sang leading roles in the opera departments of Santa Monica College and UCLA and for two years in the Baltimore Symphony Chorus. In 2003 he joined the tenor section of The Verdi Chorus which has been giving young singers paid performance opportunities for over 30 years. He has served on their Board of
Directors since 2012 and handles their publicity, marketing, and Facebook page. Patrick is a luxury cruise consultant with All-Travel in
Los Angeles and was honored as one of the Top 25 Travel Agents in the country in 2015 by Travel Agent Magazine. Having weaned himself from an
early age on the musical opinions of Andrew Porter in the New Yorker, he has been wielding the critics pen on Parterre.com since 2011.
His singing of the national anthem has never failed to impress those standing closest to him at any public event he attends.



Gold rush

By the early 19th century the story of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex, and his liaison with Elizabeth I had already been the subject of a number of theatrical diversions including an opera by Saverio Mercadante. When Gaetano Donizetti decided to set it for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples for the season of 1837 his dramatist Salvadore Cammarano borrowed so liberally from the former’s libretto by Felice Romani (who had conveniently passed on) that his widow threatened a plagiarism suit.

Donizetti fashioned the title role to the formidable gifts of Giuseppina Ronzi de Begnis who had created his Maria Stuarda and was considered the greatest Norma of her day second only to Giuditta Pasta. Mme. Ronzi de Begnis seems to have been a bit Zwischenfach in an age that didn’t put hard and fast labels on female voices. She excelled not only as Rossini’s Semiramide and Mozart’s Donna Anna but as Bellini’s Romeo and Rossini’s Desdemona as well. There’s no doubting she had an imposing technique for her career lasted 35 years and her success in Devereux came at the 20 year mark.  Read more »

Diva, unfiltered

definitive-callasHow many books have been published about Anna Maria Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou Meneghini Callas, great operatic goddess of the dark arts? Just in my own lifetime it’s nearly become its own cottage industry.  Read more »

It’s about this town

wonderful-townThe Leonard Bernstein centennial is fast approaching my friends and by August of 2018 arts organizations worldwide will have unleashed a blitzkrieg of Lenny unto a (hopefully) indebted and (likely by then) musically exhausted public. The first shot across the bow appeared over the weekend from L.A. Opera with their inspired concert staging of his musical-comedy bouquet to New York, Wonderful Town.  Read more »

Teeny furniture

Sony Classical has now released “Leontyne Price Prima Donna Assoluta” containing nearly her entire operatic oeuvre in a box set.

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Comeback thane

The characters get right down to work immediately with their foul deeds.

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The upper depths

The Teatro di San Carlo in Naples is a pearl itself and this presentation proffers some of the best that company has to offer.

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Going Hollywood

The Hollywood Bowl is truly the preeminent musical venue in Los Angeles.

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Snow business

Los Angeles saw the first U.S. performance of Giacomo Puccini’s snow-dusted weeper in 1897 just a year after the young Toscanini led the prima in Turin.

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Site unseen

Giuseppe Verdi was so unhappy with the first production of his Giovanna d’Arco at La Scala in 1845 that he swore an oath to himself that he would never entrust that theatre with a prima again.

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To live and die (with honor) in L.A.

Los Angeles first saw Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly presented at the Mason Opera House downtown in 1908 by the English Grand Opera Company. Rumors that LA Opera Artistic Director Placido Domingo portrayed Cio-Cio San’s little boy in that production remain unsubstantiated. 

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