Cher Public

Prophète bien aimé

“Rich, well-metaled … tirelessness” tenor Errin Duane Brooks as Jean

New York was once a truly swinging opera town, with two major repertory companies (discreetly rivals) and one or two major league concert opera companies. The concert companies performed three or four items of forgotten repertory starring little-known foreign stars or local stars who wanted to attempt obscure roles. It was a great deal, with the American Opera Society and its successor, Opera Orchestra of New York. Then the audience got old and the money dried up.    Read more »

Too cloistered for comfort

New Amsterdam Opera, first heard last year in a surprisingly enjoyable performance of La forza del destino, returned on Saturday night with a concert version of Donizetti’s elaborate score La favorita, offering energy, panache and several top-notch young soloists. Read more »

The power of fête

When Italy was united, Verdi—a national icon if ever there was one—was elected to the new parliament in Turin, where he was bored to distraction by the rhetoric of politicians—Italian politicians at that! He spent his time in the Chamber working out fugal subjects based on pols’ speech patterns as they declaimed programs that made a Temistocle Solera libretto seem rational and concise. The first offer to compose a new opera that came his way, from St. Petersburg as it happened, he signed it and ran off. Let them just try to get him back from Russia for a roll call vote!  Read more »