Cher Public

  • La Cieca: Because a woman who has lived for a decade on sheer hatred, and then sees her mother and her mother’s lover murdered... 8:03 PM
  • amg: The projected supertitles also accompanied Satyagraha. 8:03 PM
  • Sempre liberal: Thanks. I guess it was more important for Orest to kill mom. I did miss Hildegarde Behrens dance tho. This dance was like... 7:59 PM
  • Porgy Amor: The Guardian stabs Aegisth in the back. 7:46 PM
  • Sempre liberal: In this production, did Orest kill Aegisth or did his pal do it? I admit, I was really watching the orchestra at this... 7:42 PM
  • phoenix: Don’t let it give you any ideas. 7:38 PM
  • m. croche: “The Nose”, I think (?) 7:24 PM
  • Sempre liberal: Any “The Light in the Piazza” fans? I loved Victoria Clark and Kelli O’Hara in it, and I saw it a few... 7:22 PM

Must the finals come so soon?

singingAnna Netrebko once said about her early years: “I was brave, and I had a nice clear ringing voice which was always heard very well. But I was not any kind of artist at all.” This candid assessment of herself is something to keep in mind while watching the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Audition Grand Finals which were held yesterday afternoon. Without fail, all nine finalists had nice clear ringing voices. Whether they develop into great artists is another question.  Read more »

The rules of attraction

Is Manon Lescaut a cold, clinical tale of the splendors and pitfalls of transactional sex, or is it a romantic Italian opera at its most lush and melodic? Actually, it’s both.  There’s always been a disconnect between Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica’s adaptation of the Prévost novel and Puccini’s music. The libretto is episodic, with the title character portrayed as a calculating courtesan who abandons her lover des Grieux “without even a kiss goodbye.” This is however Puccini’s most romantic score. It swells with romantic ardor at every moment.

The director of a new DVD of this opera, Jonathan Kent, favors the transnational, exploitative aspects of the opera. His production is updated to modern times, and the opera begins at a seedy red light hotel. Manon Lescaut moves from a quick initiation into the sex trafficking world to being a spoiled porn star.  Read more »

La farsa del destino

There might be nothing in the world as joyous as a Rossini overture. Il Signor Bruschino is considered one of Rossini’s minor works but about 30 seconds into the overture you are officially in “Rossiniland” (the theme of this new video staged by the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival in 2012). The violins tap the orchestra stands in a persistent knocking sound and the piece just bubbles along until its inevitable accelerating crescendo.
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Barton glances

The annual Richard Tucker Gala is probably the event of the year to indulge your love of verismo staples and can belto screaming.

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Slash by night

Enthusiasts of Janácek’s opera will want to pick up this video immediately.

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Tanks a lot, but no tanks

The production by Sebastian Baumgarten is the type of regietheater that’s not a rethinking or reconstruction, but just a hot mess.

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Shave and a haircut

It’s fun to wonder what might have happened if Rossini had never composed Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Would Giovanni Paisiello’s earlier adaptation of the work be a repertory favorite? Or would it have faded into obscurity with an occasional revival here and there? 

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Paris original

Another month, another La Traviata release on video.

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Met Auditions

All futures great and small

The Metropolitan Opera yesterday afternoon was an uncommonly cozy place, as the auditorium was packed to the rafters with friends and family members of the nine National Council Audition Finalists.

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The devil is in the details

Certain operas are better in theory than practice.

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