Cher Public

No retreat, Nono surrender

When a premiere is a succès de scandale, it is hard to be certain (57 years later) whether it was the music or the politics that made the rumpus. Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza (as the publishers prefer to call it nowadays, a more universal focus than Intolleranza 1960, the original title) was howled out of La Fenice by angry crowds in 1961 (someone shouted “Viva la polizia!”), and was not produced again in Italy for 30 years. Read more »

When the sun comes out

Iris 1Every summer since 2003 Bard SummerScape has mounted one or more rarely done operas in the stunning Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center, and this year as part of its “Puccini and His World” festival audiences may witness the resurrection of Mascagni’s distinctly odd Iris, conducted as always by Bard president Leon BotsteinRead more »

Tomb raider

Despite the continued popularity of Der Freischütz in German-speaking countries, are the magical mature operas of Carl Maria von Weber otherwise really so problematic, their libretti so unwieldy to explain their continued absence from the world’s stages? The enthusiastic ovations Sunday afternoon that greeted the conclusion of the second performance of the first US staging of Euryanthe in nearly a century at Bard Summerscape suggested that perhaps a reconsideration of Weber may be underway.   Read more »

Just a cold and lonely lovely work of art

“Joined by the Collegiate Chorale Singers, Leon Botstein and the ASO perform perhaps the most popular German opera ever to have sunk into obscurity!”

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Light my foyer

Each year, Leon Botstein leads the American Symphony Orchestra in a concert opera or two.

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It’s not easy being Greek

Sergey Taneyev, pupil of Tchaikovsky and teacher of Scriabin and Rachmaninov, composed just one opera, Oresteia, premiered in 1895 when he was 39.

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One from the vault

There has never been a successful vampire musical—so they say. But that’s just not true.

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L’infelice Aragonese

Camille Saint-Saëns was such a brilliant, facile musician that pals like Wagner and Liszt felt a distinct schadenfreude when he suffered composer’s block.

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