Cher Public

  • Marcello: The webcast was switched to Arabella before the P&M performance on Sunday. So the link to the reception is at best indirect. 1:15 AM
  • La Cieca: Here is what I THINK is the correct listing of the Charlottes. (This was such a while ago that I forget if I changed the order... 1:09 AM
  • mia apulia: I got through 2¼ songs…..and that little went a longs ways in the canoe and the sled 11:44 PM
  • antikitschychick: gorgeous; she sounded super fresh-voiced and there’s not a hint of strain or wobble to be heard. Its nice getting... 11:17 PM
  • arepo: Absolutely spectacular! The one to beat! 10:52 PM
  • Camille: As I recall, you have posted it before, right?—she takes the climactic phrase as it was written, which is pretty damn... 10:31 PM
  • phoenix: Was that enough to cancel it? There’s more to this event than meets the eye or ear – maybe more info will surface... 10:31 PM
  • Camille: It was just on the radio station WKCR – 89.9 last Saturday night — in hommage to the passing on of Gunther Schuller,... 10:24 PM

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 »