Cher Public

  • Feldmarschallin: Yoncheva is Bulgarian not Russian. Some of her fellow countrymen are Welitsch, Tomowa-Sintow and Christoff. In her... 7:00 AM
  • NPW-Paris: Would anyone really be drawn to an opera just because there were singers of their own nationality in it? 6:52 AM
  • Rowna: Thank you Batty! I loved the song, and could even understand a bit, with a reference to Tristan in there. Of course this kind of... 6:42 AM
  • manou: Hello Ciccia – many thanks for that. We shall have Netrebko, Tézier and Alvarez. It does look pretty precarious, I must say... 4:27 AM
  • Cicciabella: OT, but manou, this is for you, the DNO Trovatore trailer, by Alex of the Fura, the production you will see in Paris. A... 3:34 AM
  • Timur de Morte: Your statement about Russian singers is quite unfair to, among others, Olga Borodina, Ekaterina Semanchuk, Sonya... 11:57 PM
  • Camille: Oops sorry. I got so excited I sent this twice. Can’t wait to read it! Un bacio ancora! Un’altra!! 11:28 PM
  • LT: Christians do not follow any dietary (or dress, lifestyle, etc)rules as those were “cancelled&# 8221; by Jesus and the New... 11:17 PM

The unanswered question

There was likely just one big question on the minds of those in attendance Wednesday evening at the Metropolitan Opera and those at home listening on Sirius XM during the season premiere of Franco Zeffirelli’s Turandot which is still known to some die-hard opera lovers as Puccini’s Turandot. Would exciting American dramatic soprano Christine Goerke be the next great ice-princess we have been waiting for?   Read more »


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.   Read more »

Money on the dresser

“Hailed ‘the Meryl Streep of opera’…” begins one sentence of a promotional piece for a Diana Damrau recording of another opera, reproduced on the soprano’s website. This is a lofty claim, but I considered it as I watched Erato’s DVD memorializing the last of five 2013-14 Traviata productions (New York, Zurich, Munich, London, and Paris) in which Damrau sang her first Violettas.

There is, of course, a superficial similarity. Both women are attractive, refined blondes with German roots, and both can appear elegant or plain as a role requires. Both impress offstage as merry women and good storytellers, engaging in conversation and interview (I remember years ago hearing Damrau talk about the role of Strauss’s Sophie, and although she joked and laughed a lot, there was nothing frivolous about her insights). Both are admired technicians and hard workers. Read more »

Sweeney Todd 1

Leave it to cleaver

If I’d gotten an hour less sleep you’d now find me mixing everything up and writing about Mrs. Lovett making her entrance on a bronze horse like Peter the Great.

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Slash by night

Enthusiasts of Janácek’s opera will want to pick up this video immediately.

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Worth the candle

One of the glorious perks of my job, which is selling luxury cruises, is that on a semi-occasional basis I get to sample the wares myself—purely from an educational standpoint, mind you.

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A desert breeze whispering a lullaby

The studio opera recording is a rare beast these days and its arrival always a cause for celebration.

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Poor wan Rusalka

The winter 2014 final run of the Met’s first/only Rusalka production (a new one is scheduled in a few seasons) seemed both a nod to the theater’s past and a hint of its future.

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Tanks a lot, but no tanks

The production by Sebastian Baumgarten is the type of regietheater that’s not a rethinking or reconstruction, but just a hot mess.

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Cherubino jumps the shark

Homer, inspired by many a muse, sang not of sequels to his Iliad.

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