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Cher Public

  • Ouf: Many thanks, Moritz. It would make sense that ORF would b’cast the premiere, not a later... 2:09 AM
  • Rackon: Angela is singing/sang Aida in Hamburg and Pitsburgh this year, she did something with Phillidelphia... 1:25 AM
  • Poison Ivy: sorry let me try this again: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=6OU0 KOBK9pU httpv://www.you... 1:12 AM
  • Poison Ivy: More from this performance: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=6OU0 KOBK9pU https://www.you... 1:11 AM
  • Poison Ivy: Galina Gorchakova. 12:43 AM
  • Porgy Amor: Then again, she must have known that she’d never have a night like this for her own retirement.... 12:43 AM
  • Rudolf: @ Poison Ivy Thanks for this posting of a younger Borodina Amneris. Warts and all. Do you know who... 12:38 AM
  • Porgy Amor: Well, this is an opera singer quip that goes back some ways, isn’t it? “The most... 12:36 AM
  • basso profundo: I may be late to this party but I just noticed that Elina Garanca has apparently written a... 12:26 AM
  • Poison Ivy: Poor taste, but … Entertaining to watch, no? 12:23 AM

Stairway to heaven

Once again, beloveds, we approach the Milanese shrine that simultaneously attempted to  cultivate and destroy the career of Maria Meneghini Callas. This great—nay, some say greatest—oracle of opera practiced the dark arts and conjured on the stage of La Scala so that we may all live on with the memories for ever and ever. Someone light a black candle so we can begin!   Read more »

Call me Madame

“To play La Pompadour—what a delightful task! To be La Pompadour—what a gruesome fate!” Thus spoke operetta superstar Fritzi Massary after researching her role as Louis XV’s official mistress in the Leo Fall operetta Madame Pompadour, which was written as a star vehicle for “die Massary” and had its first, hugely successful, performance in Berlin in 1922, followed by runs in Vienna and London. Read more »

State of grace

Ward Marston recently released a four-CD deluxe package of John McCormack’s lesser known Odeon recordings. These are not to be confused with his later, more well-known, and vocally revered discs he made on the Victor label. Recorded more than a century later, Lawrence Brownlee’s new album Virtuoso Rossini Arias demonstrate just how far the tenore di grazia has  come in the operatic world. The two albums are really useful bookends for each other.   Read more »

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Low-fat Schoenberg

With orchestral and choral forces that could outnumber a small European village, Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder is a composition designed to overwhelm.

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Kraus purposes

Perhaps there are not that many people in the world who would look at a CD cover and think “Oh, goody, goody! A libretto by Eugène Scribe I’ve never come across before!”

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Ladies in their sensitivities

As someone who thinks Verdi is the greatest composer who ever lived and who feels pretty meh about Mozart, I expected to love the Verdi and be bored by the Mozart. I wasn’t far wrong.

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Where the boys are

When Norman Lebrecht is declaring on an almost daily basis that classical music is dead, it’s perhaps heartening that four of today’s prominent tenors have recently released what might be called fluff/vanity albums.

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Sex please: we’re British

The finer performances of Tristan und Isolde have a way of sounding like a four-hour improvisation, the fruit of a single moment of inspiration that makes one forget how emotionally manipulative and painstakingly crafted the music really is.

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Farinelli from heaven

My impossible wish would be to hear one of the great castrati who dominated opera for most of the 18th century.

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Brass ring

Marek Janowski’s survey of Wagner operas on PentaTone so convincingly captures the pulse and dramatic flow of many of the works that the music-making at times sounds almost effortless.

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