Cher Public

Digging in the dirt

Even those of us who consider Guillaume Tell Rossini’s greatest opera understand why it has not been his most frequently staged. Of late this valedictory epic of oppression and patriotic uprising, challenging to cast and expensive to mount, has experienced a renaissance. Opus Arte’s new DVD/Blu-ray records one of several new productions of the present decade.  Read more »

What women want

Bride gone wild.

The Italian operas of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, those of the primo ottocènto or “bel canto” period, have many enthusiasts, but it would be fair to say their appeal is musical more than literary. The libretti are of greater or lesser quality, but the psychology is encoded in the composer’s vocal lines more than his librettist’s words.  Read more »

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new Dane

Alas, poor Faccio. You may not have known him at all.  Read more »

Double Doge dare

The second DVD/Blu-ray with Plácido Domingo as Verdi’s other beleaguered Doge, Francesco in I due Foscari.

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Star and garters

No amount of scholarly diligence has kept Les contes d’Hoffmann from being the messiest of all standard-repertory messes.

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Tragedy tonight

In May of last year tenor Piotr Beczala and soprano Anna Netrebko sang in Lohengrin for the first time under the baton of Christian Thielemann in his home house at the Staatskapelle Dresden.

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Mitigated Gaul

Kevin Newbury‘s familiar production of Bellini’s Norma with its most frequent leading lady, the American Sondra Radvanovsky.

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Today or tomorrow or the day after that

“Time is a strange thing,” the lady observes, to a young man who cannot begin to understand what she is talking about.

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Life is like a train

“In my music, there’s not repetition. Something is always going on.”

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Devil may not care

The subject of timidity has been in my thoughts in these waning days of February 2017. One would almost think there had been some big announcement recently, preceded by a series of smaller ones, to turn a U.S.-based opera fan’s thoughts in this direction. 

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