It’s rare to encounter a video of an opera that has zero redeeming qualities, but I think I might have found it: the latest Arena di Verona La Traviata. It’s truly awful from every perspective: singing, acting, production, musical values. There’s really just no reason it’s on the market. The liner notes say that the performance took place in 2011. It should have stayed in the vaults. Read more »
Bel Canto at Caramoor is something that I’ve always wanted to attend but never have because … well because frankly I’m just too lazy during the summers, and I’m also a big baby about outdoor performances. What if it’s torrential downpour? What if it’s 100 degrees? What if it’s a five hour opera and it sucks and there’s no way of peacing out? What if the cast sucks? I’d rather focus on the three big B’s during the summer: Ballet, Beach, and Big Brother. Read more »
The Salzburg Festival has long had the image of this place where for a little over a month, the very best singers are brought together with the very best conductors and the very best directors to create the very best productions the opera world has to offer. Tickets are notoriously expensive and hard to get. Expectations are thus always extremely high for any Salzburg Festival performance and production. A performance can’t simply be “nice.” It has to be out of this world. A production can’t simply be a solid repertory utility production. It has to be for the ages, such a great production that opera houses all over the world will clamor for that production. In recent years, the Willy Decker Traviata started at Salzburg Festival 2005 and traveled to New York and now is a Met staple. Last year’s big hit was the Herheim Meistersinger. Read more »
Some ideas are so absurd that the only way to describe them is to simply use the liner notes.
Once upon a time, a man and a woman met. He could sing, she could sing. They fell in love, got married, and became a power couple to rival Billary.
It appears that Mariame Clément’s conception of Don Pasquale is that the opera should be retitled Malatesta.
There is a truism that there are no small parts, only small singers. Last night’s Così fan tutte has made me consider another possible truism: there are no bad productions, only miscast productions.
Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.