Cher Public

Let’s make it regal

Having heard a bit of the opening night broadcast and read some decidedly mixed reviews, I was totally unprepared for the remarkable performance of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena that I attended on December 15 at Chicago Lyric Opera.  Read more »

Running, jumping, or burning Gaul

Far be it from me to join the Schadenfreudian chorus of “Bye, Bye, Berti!” you may have been hearing in certain quarters, but the first thing I am duty-bound to report about San Francisco Opera’s Norma (of which three performances remain) is that they’ve hit the jackpot, coverwise. Russell Thomas, in for Marco Berti, is a very fine Pollione, at once elegant and heroic—a rare combination even in these tenor-rich times with so many worthy lyric singers. Read more »

Roman holiday

Big changes in San Francisco’s Norma: Jamie Barton is now on for all performances of Adalgisa, and Marco Berti is out “for personal reasons.” Russell Thomas will sing the remaining performances of Pollione. [via Iron Tongue of Midnight]

The virgin Einspring

Jamie Barton will make her San Francisco Opera debut as Adalgisa in Norma for five of the opera’s seven performances on September 5, 10, 14, 27 and 30. Ms. Barton replaces Daveda Karanas, who has withdrawn from the production for personal reasons.

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The Met: What is to be done?

Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure.

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You don’t have to be Druids to love it

“The Met’s production, originally directed by John Copley, is still a hideous, confusing mess. But with Ms. Meade and Ms. Barton acting with moving subtlety, singing generously and feeling deeply, it was hard to care.”

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Sounds of silence

“Don’t sing anything but teensy bits of Mozart until you’re at least 40…”

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Love letter in the sand

Well done, littoraldrift!

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Second guess

“An earlier version of this post referred incorrectly to the gender of the mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. Ms. Barton is a woman.”

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The world on a string: talking to Jamie Barton

American mezzo Jamie Barton, who has steadily been winning fans in the US over the past few years for her rich and nuanced singing, took the international opera world by storm last weekend by winning both the Song Prize as well as the overall prize in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

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