Cher Public

Wallflower at the orgy

I’ve reached one of my goals for 2017: with this week’s upload of Edgar, you can now find at least one complete performance of every opera by Giacomo Puccini on my Mixcloud site.  Bryan Hymel and Angela Meade star in the composer’s second opera in a concert performance from Frankfurt in 2014.  Read more »

A spouse tale

For this week I had planned a performance of Lakmé with Ruth Welting, Alfredo Kraus, and Paul Plishka, only to discover after posting it that somewhere in the technologic processes it takes to prepare an upload, 75% of it morphed into ear-shattering noise.  Since I am lacking in French opera, I have substituted a performance of Gluck’s Alceste from Wiener Staatsoper in June 2016.  Read more »

Scritto in ciel

In our circle, Mexico City in the summer was the opera capital of the world from the late 1940s and early 1950s, dominated by first attempts at roles by a certain Senora Meneghini, of which many have been well-documented, including my favorite: a totally out-of-control Rigoletto (one of two times La Divina tried it out).  But her nights off frequently offered performances of equal – or, dare I suggest it – even greater quality.  This week, I offer a 1949 La favorite (sung in Italian) with some youngsters: Cesare Siepi (26), Giuseppe Di Stefano (27), and two “verterans;” Enzo Mascherini (38) and Giulietta Simionato (39).  Read more »

Blut force

The very first Vienna post-war performance of Elektra.

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Keep the Rome fires burning

I offer an alternative to those who aren’t fans of Wagner: Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito from the house where it premiered.

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No saints in two acts

The cast of Wiener Staatsoper’s first-ever performance of Lulu in 1968 reads like a Who’s Who of then-contemporary Austro-German opera: the 28-year-old Anja Silja, Martha Mödl, Waldemar Kmentt, Hans Hotter, Hilde Konetzni, Manfred Jungwirth, Heinz Zednik, and Karl Böhm presiding over a production by Otto Schenk. 

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Head of state

To celebrate the 86th anniversary of her birth (25 May 1929), I bring to a close Beverly Sills’ traversal of the Donizetti “Tudor Queens” with this live Anna Bolena from 1973.

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