Cher Public

  • Porgy Amor: I’ve only seen Shicoff in one production of it, the Carsen on DVD, but he is wonderful there. That is my favorite... 4:28 AM
  • le cerf agile: Oh my… Thank you for the recommendation: after a 12-hour day at work, that closed captioning really was a true... 11:16 PM
  • gustave of montreal: Königskinder, sumptuous score. 9:58 PM
  • Ilka Saro: Yes, true! One can’t imagine such spritely madrileña favorites as “Ella giammai m’amo” keeping their... 9:47 PM
  • gustave of montreal: those who are time-challenged and/or want to test-drive ? ? ? what does that mean in plain English ???? 9:41 PM
  • Stefan: I definitely agree with the earlier comment that said “There’s no such thing as bad regie, just regie you don’t yet understand.” I... 9:20 PM
  • Batty Masetto: For true delight, turn on closed captioning for this. (Best if you know some French.) Better than Google translate. 9:13 PM
  • la vociaccia: I have no words. How someone who would say something like that ever found himself in opera is fucking beyond me. I mean. Wow 7:48 PM

Married to the mobcap

I have an idea (soon to be angrily debunked in the comments section) that Le nozze di Figaro is rarely a source of unalloyed bliss to the chronic operagoer. Read more »

Mixed messages

“Geneticists use the term ‘hybrid vigor’ to describe the superiority of organisms that result from the breeding of vastly differing parents. For instance, the mule is more intelligent and more patient than its parents the horse and the donkey. When opera mixes genres, the results can be pretty vigorous, too—at least some of the time.” [New York Observer]

Al fresco

Poor Paisiello. Out of the nearly 100 operas written by this industrious composer just one was generally regarded as a masterpiece. Yet a few months before his death in 1816 at age 76 a young upstart from Pesaro premiered a competing version that would forever eclipse Paisiello’s. However, his Il Barbiere di Siviglia has never been completely forgotten and On Site Opera’s winningly effervescent revival which opened Tuesday night proved a delight. Read more »

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d’Arc victory

Tonight’s program at the New York Philharmonic, Arthur Honegger’s massive oratorio dramatique Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, has been an occasional visitor to the orchestra’s repertoire starting with the performance conducted by Charles Munch in January of 1948.

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“Less filling”

“Disciplined and intelligent.”

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Hymel Troyens

Fou fighter

It is easy to become overly identified with opera—as a cleverer friend of mine once noted: being a sports fan is an interest, but if you like opera, everyone thinks of it as a crippling obsession.

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Crown jewel

I’m a long-time fan of the Opera in English series funded by The Peter Moores Foundation that started, fittingly enough, with conductor Reginald Goodall’s performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle recorded live from the London Coliseum and released by EMI

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Haunted mountain

Beginning with the dark, ominous music of the prelude of Charles Wuorinen and Annie Proulx’s opera Brokeback Mountain, we know we are in for a very different and far less sentimental version of the work than was had with Ang Lee’s iconic 2005 film.

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Fidelio

I wake up screaming

Töt erst sein Weib!” shrieks Anja Kampe as Leonore during the very first moments of Andreas Homoki’s ingenious production of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, at Opernhaus Zürich.

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Between the dragon and his wrath

Aribert Reimann’s 1978 opera Lear, based of course on Shakespeare’s titanic tragedy King Lear, is a major achievement in modern operatic scoring.

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