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  • Batty Masetto: Belated thanks, Valkyrietta – I don’t log in here as much as I used to, like... 12:31 AM
  • mia apulia: I remeember at the time of the Caballé/Verett Norma thinking that, as much as I loved and still... 12:06 AM
  • mia apulia: and just how does one get Google to do that for one? non parlo tedesco….. 11:36 PM
  • Ruxxy: Well done sweet Sanford :) 11:35 PM
  • FragendeFrau82: Excellent review of Netrebko’s Vier Letzte Lieder recital. I hope we all get a chance... 10:38 PM
  • Camille: Thanks so much, Feldmarschallin!! My prayers have been answered for my wish to hear this work and... 9:48 PM
  • Lindoro Almaviva: Wouldn’t it? i am in Chicago often enough, i am but less than  miles away from Chicago 9:01 PM
  • Clita del Toro: Lindoro, that would be fun! 8:42 PM
  • Grane: Can’t get this in the right place, but thanks, Cicciabella, for the review of Anna’s Four... 8:10 PM
  • phoenix: dan, I can’t find the exact casts for the last 2 operas, but today I found a site that claims... 8:04 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 »