Cher Public

Sleeping with the fishes

With a cast of stellar singers and maladroit direction by Mary Zimmerman, Dvorák’s Rusalka debuts in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera. The libretto, by Jaroslav Kvapil (based upon the fairy tale Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué) is probably most recognizable as an iteration of The Little Mermaid, a folktale made famous by Hans Christian Andersen in the 19th century, and the wonderful world of Disney in the 20th.   Read more »

The sprite in you

Yesterday’s first half of the Rusalka video overview took us from literalism toward Regietheater. Today’s conclusion, covering filmed performances of Dvorák’s opera since 2010, charts the progression in reverse.   Read more »

White blossoms scorched by the sun

When Kristine Opolais turns her gaze moonward in Mary Zimmerman‘s new Rusalka on Thursday, Dvorák’s 1901 opera will be receiving just its second Met production. Ms. Opolais joins an exclusive club. The Met’s only prior Rusalkas have been Renée Fleming (18 performances), Gabriela Benacková (8) and Gwynne Geyer (one, and immortality as an opera trivia stumper).   Read more »

Verse le poisson dans son sein!

Okay, it’s only a couple of preview clips, but La Cieca has to say she’s bewildered by what seems to be some cross-repertoire meta-direction at the Met, especially as concerns Kristine Opolais (not pictured).

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Tucker everlasting

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s annual gala promises (note, promises) a particularly glittery roster this year.

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Wrecking ball

Sir Richard Eyre’s new Manon Lescaut at the Met Friday night demonstrated no particular aptitude for opera.

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Il core vi dono

With February 14th falling on a Sunday, there will be no Valentine’s Day Met performance this year.

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The rules of attraction

Is Manon Lescaut a cold, clinical tale of the splendors and pitfalls of transactional sex, or is it a romantic Italian opera at its most lush and melodic?

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Awakenings

There is a simple elegance to the single-composer recital album format. For the listener in the mood for, say, Puccini, it’s a chance to delve into his music without any pesky interruptions by those other guys like Verdi or Massenet. And if one is also in the mood for a particular singer’s art, then the choice is even more straightforward. For the singer, it is an opportunity to showcase and explore the variety and nuance that a single composer offers to his/her voice type, while also displaying his/her own skill at presenting a varied recital experience within narrow confines.  

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The girl can’t help it

This afternoon at 2:20 PM EDT (20:20 CET), the Bayerische Staatsoper presents a live webcast of a sold-out performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut starring Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann.

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