Cher Public

  • NPW-Paris: Frogs in bogs? Platée is one of my favourite operas of all. 5:39 PM
  • Camille: Oh, it was DU-—Satisfied—than x a LOT— as you saved me the hassle and bother in a busy, 90+ degree day of stressing out to go to... 4:39 PM
  • Camille: Bill, thanks, but I was really sort of joking, as people do all sort of things these days after the first act—chiefly, I’ve... 4:34 PM
  • Camille: No, it was relief because it was good! And with this opera, one gets used to hearing a lot of frogs barking in the bogs, so it IS... 4:27 PM
  • Camille: It reminded, somewhat, of the Callas Kundry for what was her ease and legato. All the usual spots where they Schrei und Try Again... 4:24 PM
  • la vociaccia: if you can’t sing it well, then you can’t sing well, period. No disagreements from me there. But a lot of people seem to be... 4:17 PM
  • Camille: I was keenly anticipating this “Heart” ;, but after having read the program only just last evening, (thank you to... 4:13 PM
  • grimoaldo: The review actually explains why, the “upper part of her voice was often so edgy that the aria became truly... 3:44 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 »