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Cher Public

  • Poison Ivy: I also think the second act makes the characters kind of intolerable. As I said, the sudden... 7:44 PM
  • MontyNostry: I’m so pleased I’m not alone in feeling that Act II of Don G goes badly off –... 7:22 PM
  • Gualtier M: Just a note about the Act II problems in “Don Giovanni” that Poison Ivy astutely... 7:16 PM
  • olliedawg: You speak my mind, Poison Ivy. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I, too, find Act II of... 7:15 PM
  • La Cieca: The correct link is http://www.ustream .tv/channel/978781 8 sorry for the confusion 7:12 PM
  • tinhtraiviet: Thanks for the head-up, but I don’t see any streaming link/button on the linked page,... 6:50 PM
  • CwbyLA: One of my favorite scenes. Gencer and Verrett to die for. 6:30 PM
  • CwbyLA: Oh my god. Those Il mio figlios are bloody amazing. I have never heard anyone give such spine... 6:23 PM
  • Poison Ivy: Well I disagree. I think Don Giovanni’s second act loses a lot of steam. Almost everything... 4:53 PM
  • operaassport: Great review but I must disagree with your first few paragraphs. Giovanni is absolute perfect... 4:40 PM

Juan and two

I always think of Don Giovanni as half of the greatest opera ever written. Or, actually, about 2/3 of the greatest opera ever written. The first act is a masterpiece of the operatic canon. There’s sex, there’s danger, there’s suspense, there’s humor, and there’s absolutely great music. And there’s also a wonderful sense of ambiguity—for instance, what exactly is Don Giovanni doing in Donna Anna’s bedroom? is it a rape, or something else? Is Zerlina really just a naive young thing? “Batti batti bel Masetto” has such an artificial, coy feel to it that you have your doubts. All of these events converge in the suspenseful Act One finale.   Read more »

The dark side of the moon

One of my favorite terms to use to describe productions nowadays is “regie lite.” Regie lite productions dominate Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and increasingly, the Metropolitan Opera. Traditional stage directions are tweaked, periods are reset, but not in a way that radically deconstructs the work. If hardcore “regie” directors do a Michael Jackson total-deconstruction makeover on the opera, regie lite productions do a, well, Nancy Pelosi botox session. After viewing a new DVD of Stefan Herheim’s production of Rusalka, I’ve got a new category: “regie slick.” Read more »

Bomb scare

The appeal of Ariadne auf Naxos (for me anyway) is the acknowledgment that underneath it all, opera (and all other forms of “high art”) is really show business. Richard Strauss was a practical man of the theater and he cared very much about maintaining his expensive lifestyle. There’s an evergreen tongue-in-cheek quality to Ariadne that I love. Of course, irony and humor are one of the first casualties in opera productions. The latest video from Glyndebourne is no exception. Read more »

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Rich man’s frug

A good performance of a Rossini opera buffa usually bubbles along merrily.

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Lost in space

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.

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Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi at Caramoor

Play your hunch

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.

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Auto-da-fair

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.

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Project runway

Some ideas are so absurd that the only way to describe them is to simply use the liner notes.

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New faces of 2014

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.

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The beautiful rooms are empty

It appears that Mariame Clément’s conception of Don Pasquale is that the opera should be retitled Malatesta.

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