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Heartbreak fridge

Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. It’s easy to see why Rossini’s Otello was acclaimed at its time, and also why Verdi’s Otello eventually eclipsed the Rossini version.  The main deficiency in Rossini’s version is that the libretto is so much weaker than Boito’s libretto for Verdi’s opera. Boito masterfully condensed Shakespeare’s play into an inexorable, terrifying tragedy. Rossini’s libretto (by Francesco Maria Berio di Salsa) excises a lot of Shakespeare’s dramatic devices and then adds unnecessary filler. Read more »

Count me in

The legions of New York opera buffs who now can’t talk about anything but Javier Camarena will be happy to know that there’s now a DVD release of their new favorite tenor in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory available. The performance was actually filmed in 2011 in Zurich, and will be of immense interest not only to Camareniacs, but to Rossini scholars and to fans of Cecilia Bartoli, who limits her staged operatic performances outside her artistic home in Zurich.  Read more »

Racing with the moon

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.

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Before her all Rome trembled

A sneak preview of Cecilia Bartoli’s new recording of Norma may be found on the website of The Guardian.

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Prequel

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.

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Einspring can really hang you up the most

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.

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The bald mezzo-soprano

She’s been a showgirl, a bubble dancer, a drag king, and of course a maimed statue.

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Space cadet

Yes, that’s the lovely and talented Cecilia Bartoli peeking out from under those bangs, offering us a glimpse of her first staged Cleopatra.

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No greater joy

A rare production of Rossini’s Otello, with a perhaps even rarer stage performance by Cecilia Bartoli (in her role debut as Desdemona) should provide an interesting afternoon’s viewing this Thursday.

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Casta divette

What’s the diminuitive of “Normina?” Well, you’d better start coining the word, because Cecilia Bartoli is recording Bellini’s Norma, with John Osborn, Sumi Jo and Michele Pertusi; leading the Orchestra La Scintilla will be, well, Bartoli mostly, but nominally in charge will be Giovanni Antonini.

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