Although it wasn’t unknown in the 18th century for a composer to set a libretto (usually by Metastasio) more than once, I can think of no other case that resembles Handel’s complex relationship to the story—derived from Ovid’s Metamorphoses—of the ill-fated love between the shepherd Acis and the sea nymph Galatea. Read more »
Now that many of us are leaping to the altar unfettered by those pesky legalities of yore the problem of what to put on the bridal (or groomal) registry has become an atrocious head scratcher. So many of us have had housekeeping set up for so long now that we really don’t want for anything.
Leave it to Prince Joseph Adam of Schwarzenburg, Duke of Krumlov to choose a most inspired present to give to his son upon his wedding in 1768; an opera. Commissioned for the occasion from Giuseppe Scarlatti, who history posits was nephew to either the more well-known Alessandro or Domenico, and was the music instructor for all the Schwarzenberg children. Read more »
An impresario with a hit on his hands—Emanuel Schikaneder, for instance, after the initial run of Die Zauberflöte—will crave nothing so much as an opportunity to hit the same bell. If they laughed when you hit them with a dead chicken, hit ’em again with a heavier chicken. And an impresario/librettist who has created a triumphant starring role—Schikaneder was the original Papageno—will be even more determined. Unfortunately for Schickaneder, as for the rest of us, his music-man had gone missing. Read more »
The surprises, and puzzles, of Dmitri Tcherniakov‘s production of Don Giovanni in this DVD of a performance at the Aix-en-Provence festival begin before a note has been played or the curtain has risen.
I got quite a surprise when I opened the latest packet of goodies from La Cieca – a DVD of Orphée aux Enfers, but in German as Orpheus in der Unterwelt.
The curious things about accepted wisdom is that sometimes it’s correct.
The Jesi foundation continues its tireless quest of making Pergolesi operas available on video.