For better or worse, Decca’s new Norma recording will ultimately be embraced—or dismissed—by those reacting directly to Cecilia Bartoli’s controversial portrayal. After all, few operatic roles prove as irresistible yet as fraught with obstacles to the modern diva as Bellini’s Norma.
Everyone who revives Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, as the Collegiate Chorale did at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, calls the piece an “overlooked masterpiece.” It has certainly been overlooked, while Norma, Sonnambula and Puritani go from strength to strength. Beatrice has not been staged in New York in living memory, and this was only its fourth concert performance here (third at Carnegie) in the last hundred years. Read more »
Beatrice di Tenda was a problem child, Vincenzo Bellini an alternately protective and disparaging parent. If he had lived to write another dozen operas this might not matter, but this work of 1833 was his penultimate piece; two and a half years later, the young Sicilian was dead, not yet 34.
The melodies of Beatrice thus come from the same rare and gorgeous fount as do those of Norma and Puritani, and if you love her sisters, you should certainly save a date for Beatrice. Her next big date in this neck of the woods comes tomorrow night, when the Collegiate Chorale and the American Symphony Orchestra present the opera at Carnegie Hall. 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.
By the time Rossini was 20, he had produced six operas, most of them brief, comic and slight. He admitted to admiring Mozart (not then well known south of the Alps), but the melodies of his early works show more of the influence of Paisiello.
Mariella Devia will augment her already vast bel canto repertoire next year with the role of roles: Bellini’s Norma.
Bel canto fanciers, diva fanatics and freebie queens alike will be delighted to hear that the Met is offering 2,500 gratis tickets to the September 22 open dress rehearsal of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, starring Anna Netrebko in the title role.
At long last, the most closely guarded secret of 2011 (besides, you know, everything about what’s going to happen to City Opera) is about to be revealed. Ladies and public, the Second Annual Parterre Cher Public Choice Awards!
Now that it’s more or less official that Elina Garanca is dropping out of the Met’s production of Anna Bolena, it’s obviously up to you, the cher public, to decide who should inherit the role. In interest of gathering the broadest range of opinion on this crucial subject, a poll follows the jump.
A quick clip from today’s telecast of Anna Bolena; unfortunately the sound is slightly out of synch and the stage director is more than slightly “Kulturbanause.” But, still: Anna!