Cher Public

Comet and find me

I never made it through more than a few chapters of any Tolstoy work. And I never made it through Chapter One, Volume One of War and Peace. Yeah, I know. I suck. Turns out I was just not using the left side of my brain, because War and Peace can actually be a fun, entertaining, lighthearted musical.  Read more »

Woman on the verge of a repertoire breakthrough

First, an admission. I do not love Elina Garanca’s voice. I admire it a great deal—the fluidity of tone across her registers, the effortless technique. But I only like the basic timbre; I cannot say I love it. What makes Garanca special to me is less the quality of her voice than the way she deploys her instrument.

In recent years, the voice has grown, transitioning from lyric to spinto. Revive is a manifesto of sorts, declaring her intentions for the new direction in her career. The aria choices are eclectic. Garanca covers both familiar ground and roads less travelled, even a couple of rarities. She offers tantalizing roles like Eboli, Dalila, and Charlotte, but not “O don fatale,” “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” or Charlotte’s Letter Aria. Read more »

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 »

Comedy on the Calais Coach

Friday night Music Director James Conlon sold Die Entfürhung aus dem Serial to a tony crowd of Angelenos. 

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The sprite in you

Today’s Rusalka video overview covers filmed performances of Dvorák’s opera since 2010.

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Does whatever a spider can

The beautiful singing here is less in the sound than in the way the voice moves.

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Gold rush

Now we find Mariella Devia, a diva held in near mythic regard due to her vocal longevity, with competing videos of two of her performances that were released, literally, on the same day.

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Salvation for the savior

Kaufmann conveys Lohengrin’s immense loneliness in a profoundly moving way. I am happy to report that vocally he sounds completely recovered.

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On topic

Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, now in its 5th year, keeps the opera flame alight at the Kennedy Center during the long winter stretch between mainstage WNO productions.

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It’s a Mantua’s world

Verdi’s Rigoletto returned to the Met Friday in the stilted “Las Vegas” production by Michael Mayer, with mostly competent singing from a good-looking cast.

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