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Cher Public

  • thenoctambulist: I was replying to these comments in the article but somehow they could not be quoted:... 5:04 AM
  • thenoctambulist: I beg to differ. Pretty much the in the entire nineteenth century, Rigoletto was not... 5:02 AM
  • thenoctambulist: How did the Borgia go? 4:50 AM
  • manou: Yes, but are American woman you’d see at a state fair in a fair state? 4:14 AM
  • steveac10: From what I can see Friend has a huge blind spot when it comes to American singers who lack... 3:59 AM
  • MontyNostry: Indeed. I was thinking about singers of the role at Covent Garden, but ENO have at least latched... 3:06 AM
  • Rackon: I’m SO happy to hear all the praise for Stephen Powell! I heard him in ’06 or ’07... 12:53 AM
  • coloraturafan: First time I heard Powell live, I was very impressed. It was a May Festival performance of... 12:08 AM
  • la vociaccia: And I’d like to add that in spite of her flaws, Meade is still a seriously major talent,... 11:00 PM
  • la vociaccia: I hear what you are saying, but it really isn’t her fault that those who sing better... 10:37 PM

Hothouse flower

To some, Anne Schwanewilms will always be the soprano in the slinky black dress who replaced Deborah Voigt at Covent Garden a decade ago and confirmed the creeping influence of film and television values on the opera world. Read more »

Fatal attraction

Benjamin Britten’s final opera Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, is given a lush and quite beautiful production from stage director Deborah Warner for the English National Opera in this Opus Arte DVD filmed in 2013. Featuring almost magical settings by Tom Pye, luminous, wind-blown fabrics and water projections lit by the heat and sun effects of the lighting by Jean Kalman, the production gives an almost perfect frame for Britten’s tale.  But for all the beauty and appropriateness of the frame, the picture itself is, for this reviewer, a deeply flawed masterpiece. Read more »

The ladies in question

There is a truism that there are no small parts, only small singers. Last night’s Così fan tutte has made me consider another possible truism: there are no bad productions, only miscast productions.  Read more »

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A tsar is torn

In Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all the Russian people starve and suffer, but none has suffering like the mental agonies of Tsar Boris.

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Heartbreak fridge

Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

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Haydn in plain sight

The operas of Franz Josef Haydn are seldom presented in the great opera houses of the world, but then, they weren’t composed for the great opera houses of his own world.

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Blinded item

His 75-minute setting of Oedipus in Kolonos, heard in a live 2009 performance on MDR Klassik, illustrates how Mendelssohn tried to link ancient forms with Romantic-era sensibilities by fashioning harmonically adventurous chorales and believable characters instead of abstract musical representations of mythical figures.

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Porgy on the bay

A new DVD of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess features an enjoyable live performance from the San Francisco Opera from June of 2009.

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Red queen

Joyce DiDonato is taking her Mary Stuart on the road, so to speak.

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Stairway to heaven

Once again, beloveds, we approach the Milanese shrine that simultaneously attempted to  cultivate and destroy the career of Maria Meneghini Callas.

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