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 »
“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 »
Enthusiasts of Janácek’s opera will want to pick up this video immediately.
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.
The studio opera recording is a rare beast these days and its arrival always a cause for celebration.
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.
The production by Sebastian Baumgarten is the type of regietheater that’s not a rethinking or reconstruction, but just a hot mess.
Homer, inspired by many a muse, sang not of sequels to his Iliad.