Cher Public

  • Poison Ivy: Except the article didnt talk about any of her struggles beyond what was normal for a young struggling singer. Certainly not... 12:10 PM
  • La Cieca: Prévost writes “… j’en avais une autre du côté des Anglais qui ont, comme nous, des établissements dans cette... 11:59 AM
  • LT: In the comments section of the article, the author writes “Okay, I’ll respond. This woman got beaten on the street, lost... 11:58 AM
  • Cicciabella: Why am I a person who can’t go without sleep? I’d have loved to have listened to this last night, and, now,... 11:52 AM
  • antikitschychick: Thanks for sharing that piece Marshie. I dont blame her at all for having conflicted views about her image. I certainly... 11:49 AM
  • Krunoslav: Yes– in French, even, back in school. Very interesting. It’s told from the recollective perspective of the older,... 11:49 AM
  • Lohengrin: I think I should read the novel once more. Did You read it? 11:39 AM
  • SilvestriWoman: MTT isn’t shabby in the least, but it’s hard to believe he’s only a year younger than Levine –... 11:38 AM

A dude? Am I a dude? Madame Flora, a dude?

It’s just not true that Gian Carlo Menotti composed The Medium as an opera only because he couldn’t get Joan Crawford to do it when his libretto was originally a screenplay. But you can see how these rumors get started. I know what I’m talking about here, because I started that one myself.   Read more »

L’infelice Aragonese

Camille Saint-Saëns was such a brilliant, facile musician that pals like Wagner and Liszt felt a distinct schadenfreude when he suffered composer’s block. Still, in a career of some eighty years’ length, he completed a dozen operas (not to mention symphonies and concertos and, as Leon Botstein explained and demonstrated at Bard, the world’s first full-length film score)—but you are unlikely to have heard more than one of the operas.  Read more »

Thirds and music

Richard Wagner told Cosima he first got the idea of composing an opera about Tristan and Isolde while he was conducting Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi starring his muse, Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, in the trouser role of Romeo.

Wagner said lots of stuff. Whether this bit was true or not, it was Wagner’s high opinion of Bellini (especially Norma, of course) that kept the man in the repertory outside of Italy through the dark years of verismo and Gesamtkünstwerk. Happily, the two men never met; Wagner would have tried to borrow money and you know how that would have turned out.  Read more »