After enduring a pitiful performance of Verdi’s Aida at one of Italy’s most beautiful opera houses—Napoli’s Teatro San Carlo—in an ugly, mindless production performed in the “any arm you can raise, I can raise higher” style of acting, I was hopeful that my next operatic engagement would offer greater rewards: Norma at the Edinburgh Festival. Read more »
“Famed mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli has canceled her California tour, including performances March 31 and April 2 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, organizers have announced. Tour organizers cited ‘unforeseen circumstances’ for the cancellation but gave no further details.” [Mercury News]
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is first among equals in a spectacular cast when she sings the title role of Ariodante in this season’s installment of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed cycle of Handel’s operas in concert. A brilliantly melodic work, the opera features outstanding arias for each of the principal singers, including Ariodante’s melancholy “Scherza infida” and show-stopping “Doppo note.” Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera. (Photo: Simon Pauly) Get tickets. Read more »
Cecilia Bartoli, the revered, ebullient, and unique mezzo-soprano, does not like to fly in airplanes. Yet she managed to journey to St. Petersburg, Russia—apparently she swam there, if we are to trust YouTube—to dig up the preferred tunes of 18th century “tsaritsas” (empresses). Ms. Bartoli is known for her innovative projects and for the infectious enthusiasm she brings to them, but certainly she must be setting records here—we are talking 11 (count them) world-premiere recordings. And what a thrill for the audience at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, which hosted not one but two sold-out evenings with the reigning queen of opera-you-never-would-have-known joined by the superb I Barocchisti ensemble under the direction of Diego Fasolis. Read more »
Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.
This cozy video of Il Barbiere di Siviglia was recently re-released and will be of interest to those who are only familiar with Cecilia Bartoli‘s work after she became an international star.
Winter Met sensation Pretty Yende does another jump-in this weekend, again in Le Comte Ory, but this time at the Theater an der Wien.