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The devil is in the details

Certain operas are better in theory than practice. Boito’s Mefistofele has some undoubtedly fine tunes, and is perhaps neck-and-neck with Boris Godunov as a top bass star vehicle. But as an opera, it only works in fits and starts. For one, the fidelity to Goethe’s Faust gives the libretto a rather episodic, detached feel.

Gounod’s Faust might be a lot cheesier but it’s also more tightly focused and thus better theater. Boito’s opera has some some stunning choral work in the Prologue and Epilogue, a famous tune in Margherita’s lament “La altra notte” and an extremely enjoyable “Walpurgis Nacht” act but also a lot of filler. It’s not a long opera but it feels endless.   Read more »

Ufa the top

Here’s the winners of the Ildar Abdrazkov Quiz, Bluebeard and Krunoslav!   Read more »

Ildar pursuit

Our good friends (and advertisers) at Maestro Artist Management have been wondering just how much you, the cher public, know about Ildar Abdrazakov. To test your  knowledge, they are offering a coveted prize to two lucky parterrrians who can answer the trivia questions that follow the jump. Read more »

Gazing into the future

When she has sung her songs

Given Anna Netrebko‘s continuing success at the Met in Macbeth (as evidenced by an mid-scene “brava” in last night’s Sirius broadcast), it’s time to think about the future—specifically her local assignments for next season.

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54_castronovo

Leather underground

Putting in a little face time (and what faces!) at Charles Castronovo‘s cabaret at 54 Below last night were barihunk trifecta Erwin Schrott, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ildar Abdrazakov.

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