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Cher Public

  • Cicciabella: Looks like she’s morphing into a liquorice allsorts, M’Lady. 12:01 PM
  • Lady Abbado: Ange’s morphing into Charlotte, one step at a time… https://www.fac... 11:47 AM
  • NPW-Paris: (“In braccio a mille furie” was the third and final encore – the eleventh of... 11:28 AM
  • DellaCasaFan: Oh, Kashania, please do give Winterreise a try. I often go back to Gerhard Hüsch’s... 11:24 AM
  • NPW-Paris: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=DGcQ 3IyaJy4 11:19 AM
  • NPW-Paris: Apparently her next CD will in fact be called “Agrippina&# 8221;, with arias by Perti,... 11:16 AM
  • lorenzo.venezia: re: Hallenberg. Having had the privilege of experiencing her in “Dido and... 11:04 AM
  • kashania: I’m saving Winterreise for my old age but I do love many of his lieder. His instrumental... 10:54 AM
  • NPW-Paris: “Anyone who has seen Hallenberg on stage cannot but wonder in what kind of a topsy-turvy... 10:28 AM
  • NPW-Paris: I didn’t see Alcina: it wasn’t in my old-folks’ Sunday matinee subscription.... 10:19 AM

Fresh princes

Imagine two tenors releasing French opera aria collections at the same time without duplicating a single track! And wasn’t I relieved that I wasn’t going to have to sit through an ad hoc francophile singing competition:  anything you can sing I can sing sweeter or higher or louder.

These two discs actually serve as almost perfect complements to each other since they show their performers in a flattering light, with both tenors offering skillful and distinctive interpretations of the arias included. Read more »

Trigger warning

The Rape of Lucretia, now (through Sunday) enjoying a superb three-performance run at the Juilliard Opera’s Willson Theater (tickets are scarce; hie thee to the waiting list), was Benjamin Britten’s third opera and first “chamber opera,” composed for the tiny original theater at Glyndebourne. As chamber opera was to prove a Britten specialty, it draws one’s particular interest.  Read more »

Star, crossed

The key to enjoying Bellini’s I Capuleti e Montechi is to do a hard factory reset and reformat your brain to forget all other works based on Romeo and Juliet. Forget Tchaikovsky’s fantasy overture. Forget Prokofiev’s ballet score. Most importantly, forget Shakespeare’s play. If you can do all those things, you can enjoy Bellini’s opera for what it is—a primo ottocento relic with some very beautiful music.

Romani’s libretto makes the “star-crossed” lovers story less a tale of missed chances and senseless violence than a very conventional love triangle. There’s Romeo who is in love with Giulietta, daughter of Capellio. Giulietta is of course bethrothed to another (Tebaldo). And Romeo and his Montechi family are responsible for killing Capellio’s son. Much singing and sadness results. Romeo does indeed die of poison in the tomb but Giulietta expires from the same Unexplained Operatic Death that afflicts her Wagnerian sisters Elisabeth, Elsa, and Isolde. As I said, forget the Bard and it will all make sense.   Read more »

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Queen sized

The last day of December a parcel arrived in the mail containing an absolute delight: “Semiramide—La Signora Regale.” One of best vocal recordings of 2014, this sumptuous 2-CD set on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi features the marvelous Italian mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus and includes 90 minutes of rarely-heard music written for the legendary Babylonian queen.

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Mattei

Singular sensation

“If Mozart had only had the sense to write Don Giovanni in a… single-performer format, last Wednesday’s revival at the Met would have been one for the ages.

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Ying Fang

Mourning becomes Iphigenia

Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide (1774), the occasion of his Paris debut, gets far less respect than her sequel, Iphigénie en Tauride.

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Table bodied

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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Ghosts 4

Drop dead diva

My first experience with John Corigliano’s music was in high school with the ear and mind blowing score he wrote for Ken Russell’s film Altered States.

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Oscar 3

Born to be Wilde

Cocooned in an amiable production of Theo Morrison‘s revised Oscar, David Daniels flew to new heights in the congenial title role.

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Bluebeard

Door to door

The Met’s planned premiere of Iolanta/Bluebeard’s Castle was cancelled due to the Great Blizzard That Wasn’t.

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