Bel Canto at Caramoor is something that I’ve always wanted to attend but never have because … well because frankly I’m just too lazy during the summers, and I’m also a big baby about outdoor performances. What if it’s torrential downpour? What if it’s 100 degrees? What if it’s a five hour opera and it sucks and there’s no way of peacing out? What if the cast sucks? I’d rather focus on the three big B’s during the summer: Ballet, Beach, and Big Brother. Read more »
Two operas both alike in dignity, set in dimly lit Renaissance towns ruled by seething, conspiratorial courts. Parties blaze, alleyway shadows threaten, half the characters are spies or bravos for the other half, plus a few on spec. Love is in short supply, usually twisted. What these folks need is a competent social worker with a dagger-proof vest and a cast-iron stomach. What they get is melody to live upon and die upon, melody as rich and various as the forms of pasta. Read more »
Giuseppe and I have always had a complicated relationship. I could live without ever hearing Aïda again, and although I love Il Trovatore I can’t get too excited about either Rigoletto or La Traviata. Much as I admire Otello and Falstaff, instead Macbeth is the Shakespeare opera I couldn’t live without. A great Ernani thrills me in a way that no Un Ballo in Maschera ever has and while every encore of “Va, pensiero” makes me want to run to the nearest exit, the final act of Luisa Miller reigns as one of the greatest in all opera. But, for me, Verdi has always meant above all Don Carlos, his greatest, most complex, most moving work. Read more »
The big news from Bel Canto at Caramoor’s presentation of Les Vêpres Siciliennes last Saturday is far from unexpected.
This summer at Caramoor, Will Crutchfield (not pictured) will conduct two Verdi operas written for the Académie Royale de Musique.
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.
Our Own JJ has been spending a lot of time outdoors lately, which is such a novelty for him that he felt he really must write about it.
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.