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 »
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 »
Pyrotechnics abound when Angela Meade stars in Opera Orchestra of New York’s production of Donizetti’s tragic love story, Parisina d’Este, conducted by OONY founder Eve Queler on May 4, 2016 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center. OONY last performed this opera in 1974 starring Montserrat Caballé. The remaining cast features a group of young international artists including American tenor Aaron Blake in the role of Ugo, Chinese baritone Yunpeng Wang in the role of Duke Azzo, Serbian bass Sava Vemic in the role of Ernesto, and American Soprano Mia Pafumi in the role of Imelda. Don’t miss this thrilling, rare Donizetti gem.! Remaining tickets are on sale at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office. Read more »
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 »