Cher Public

Roberto Devereux: Tragedy Mirrored

Devereux Leyla GencerBy the time Roberto Devereux saw its premiere at Napoli’s Teatro San Carlo on 29 October, 1837, Gaetano Donizetti had lost, in an 18-month time frame, both his parents, two still-born children, and his beloved wife Virginia. (Ten years later, the unfortunate composer, after a gradual descent into madness, met a grisly end, from complications of syphilis.) The opera was completed a month after his wife’s death. We can scarcely imagine how the composer, in his grief, summoned up the means to create an opera—and one that so often teems with his richest levels of inspiration.  Read more »

Bess in show

On the occasion of Sondra Radvanovsky‘s role debut in Roberto Devereux, I thought this would be a good opportunity to put put together a compilation of some of my favorite artists singing the fiendishly difficult final scene of this opera, which happens to be one of my absolute favorite pieces of music. I’ll you know my thoughts about the Canadian Opera Company’s performance at the end of the compilation. Read more »