Cher Public

  • DerLeiermann: I posted the video and spotted the comment.I was just ready to defend her saying that the comment was 7 years ago, but she... 8:50 AM
  • Cicciabella: Of course not! You’d have burn marks all over your arms. 8:34 AM
  • WindyCityOperaman: RIP actor, singer and eternal cutie Dean Jones httpvh://www.youtu be.com/watch?v=am8 qrrZAtP4 8:20 AM
  • armerjacquino: Azucena with sparing use of chest? You’ll have Zucker after you, not to mention our own Zinka. 7:23 AM
  • jrance: Oropesa has future engagements at The Met. She has a very busy career and a full calendar; offers from The Met don’t always... 7:04 AM
  • gustave of montreal: You think Pons could have vocalised Zerbinetta ? 6:42 AM
  • gustave of montreal: Très drôle, beurrrkkk, mais l’anglo n’est pas ma première langue. Alors je demande ce qui semble... 6:40 AM
  • manou: I have found that small children can be entertained during car journeys by listening to various operas – although I once... 6:39 AM

Fresh princes

Imagine two tenors releasing French opera aria collections at the same time without duplicating a single track! And wasn’t I relieved that I wasn’t going to have to sit through an ad hoc francophile singing competition:  anything you can sing I can sing sweeter or higher or louder.

These two discs actually serve as almost perfect complements to each other since they show their performers in a flattering light, with both tenors offering skillful and distinctive interpretations of the arias included. Read more »

Queen sized

The last day of December a parcel arrived in the mail containing an absolute delight: “Semiramide—La Signora Regale.” One of best vocal recordings of 2014, this sumptuous 2-CD set on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi features the marvelous Italian mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus and includes 90 minutes of rarely-heard music written for the legendary Babylonian queen. Read more »

Pazzo son, guardate!

Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s first big international success. His publisher, Giulio Ricordi, tried to put him off the project by citing Jules Massenet’s very successful adaptation just nine years previously. Puccini was intent on making the story his own, insisting, “A woman like Manon can have more than one lover… I shall feel it like an Italian, with desperate passion.” Desperation is certainly the feeling this reviewer got from a new recording of Manon Lescaut from our friends at Decca Classics, but I’m also quite certain it’s not the same type that the Maestro had for his subject. Read more »

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Saxon violence

His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt.

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No such Gluck

When Richard Wagner reached into the past and revised Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, he went beyond the accepted boundaries of tinkering and more or less created a new work that’s fomented aesthetic debates ever since.

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Panning for gold

Giacomo Puccini’s horse-opera version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,”  La Fanciulla del West, based on David Belasco’s play, The Girl of the Golden West, enjoyed the status of a curate’s egg for quite a while.

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West coast story

I fall on my knees before this new live recording issued by the San Francisco Symphony.

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Dancing with the star

After listening to “Stella di Napoli,” her mightily impressive new CD of rare bel canto arias just released by Erato, I felt many of the old sparks reigniting.

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Past perfect

With much laying-on of fanfares and gift boxes our friends at Decca Classics have unleashed Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1: The First Decade on a weary and satiated public.

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Fairy tale

“Conduct Salome and Elektra as if they were by Mendelssohn: Fairy music.” Seriously, how often has that happened?

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