It appears that Mariame Clément’s conception of Don Pasquale is that the opera should be retitled Malatesta. During the overture a man is seen slinking in and out of three revolving rooms—Pasquale’s room, Ernesto’s room, and Norina’s apartment. Dr. Malatesta (Nikolay Borchev) is some vaguely sinister Casanova type who maliciously manipulates Don Pasquale (Alessandro Corbelli). Read more »
I am certain that we Parterrians are a very literate, even literary, group. Naturally, when a great singer finally takes her ease and sets down her thoughts on the grand and glorious pageant that is called life, we all take notice and appreciate the insight it affords us into the life of one whose intellect and artistry we have admired. We long to share her struggles and her passions, to understand the circumstances of her early life that bore the fruit of her creativity and in particular, dare I say it, her genius.
These tomes come in many varieties as you, I’m certain, are aware. There’s the memoir written in the golden years, post-career, when the many triumphs and frustrations can be viewed with the distance of time and equanimity to allow for equal amounts of self-revelation and awareness. Astrid Varnay, Rosa Ponselle, Régine Crespin, Eileen Farrell and Shirley Verrett all gave us balanced, mature, and often bittersweet accounts of their lives on and off the stage. Read more »
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 »
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.
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.
In Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all the Russian people starve and suffer, but none has suffering like the mental agonies of Tsar Boris.
Before there was Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Otello was considered the master operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.
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.
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.
A new DVD of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess features an enjoyable live performance from the San Francisco Opera from June of 2009.