Cher Public

  • Sanford: Bonisolli isn’t too shabby, either. 11:02 AM
  • PCally: I too had never heard a single recordings of hers, even that first otello telecast with Domingo. I really enjoying her lovely... 10:55 AM
  • Sanford: I must say that I wasn’t familiar with Ms. Cruz-Romo’s voice before listening to this but I’m in love.... 10:33 AM
  • PCally: Well as I said in feel Grahame rose to the occasion until the final scene. Up until then I thought she tended to fade into the... 10:25 AM
  • olliedawg: marshiemarkII, You and me both. MartinW was simply amazing, sang his part as if he were born doing so, incredible diction,... 8:24 AM
  • PCally: *Tristan, the ring, and parsifal in terms of wagner love, but it’s still one of my all time favorites. 7:44 AM
  • PCally: Porgy, I don’t think Meistersinger is lesser Wagner, in fact I said that the best of it ranks as the finest music wagner... 7:43 AM
  • williams: …oops sorry mercadante. 7:14 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 »