In honor of the Amazing Grace’s 80th birthday, a repeat performance from Unnatural Acts of Opera of her duo concert with Shirley Verrett at Carnegie Hall from January 31, 1982. Read more »
With February 14th falling on a Sunday, there will be no Valentine’s Day Met performance this year. However, Richard Eyre’s production of Manon Lescaut, starring Kristine Opolais and Roberto Alagna, premieres tonight, and the romantic Italian fare continues on Saturday with a matinee of Il trovatore and an evening twin bill of Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci. Read more »
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is first among equals in a spectacular cast when she sings the title role of Ariodante in this season’s installment of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed cycle of Handel’s operas in concert. A brilliantly melodic work, the opera features outstanding arias for each of the principal singers, including Ariodante’s melancholy “Scherza infida” and show-stopping “Doppo note.” Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera. (Photo: Simon Pauly) Get tickets. Read more »
This review was not going to be primarily about Shirley Verrett. She is not a singer I am all that familiar with and when I was sent this DVD of Tosca to review a week ago, I focused more on the director of the production, baritone-turned-producer Tito Gobbi, than on the singers.
But sometimes life is very unfair, and just as I was beginning to really discover Verrett as an artist, she is gone. So I hope no one will be offended if I take advantage of this truly unfortunate timing of events to turn the review I was writing into more of a tribute.
When handing out the goodies, the gods weren’t stingy with Shirley Verrett. Few opera singers were as prodigiously gifted as Verrett: the perfect amalgam of Kunst and Stimm housed in a frame of voluptuous allure. In addition to an instrument of stunning natural beauty and easy range, Verrett displayed superior musicianship, dramatic intelligence and searing interpretative commitment.