Cher Public

Geh such dir die Stars vom vergangenen Jahr!

tristan-flagstad-melchiorOn Monday, the Met kicks off its 132nd season with a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde by Mariusz Trelinski, with Sir Simon Rattle leading a premiere cast of Nina Stemme, Ekaterina Gubanova, Stuart Skelton, Evgeny Nikitin and René Pape (not pictured).  Read more »

Doge days

Boccanegra 1That Placido Domingo and James Levine, the Met’s inexorable septuagenarians, would team up yet again—on April Fools’ Day, no less—for a revival of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra occasioned an uncomfortable degree of doubt and dread.  Read more »

Il core vi dono

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 »

Fifty shades of Domingo

LA Opera opened their 30th season with a pairing of two of their most popular productions, both of which were initially staged by filmmakers not unfamiliar with the vagaries of our industry outpost here in Hollywoodland.

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Oh, de’ verdi anni miei

“The Met’s revival of Verdi’s Ernani Friday night was every inch a tragic opera, though without being grand in any way. Its grisliest calamity was not the one the composer devised but rather one the production’s star, Plácido Domingo, brought on himself.”

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Pazzo son, guardate!

Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s first big international success. His publisher, Giulio Ricordi, tried to put him off the project by citing Jules Massenet’s very successful adaptation just nine years previously. Puccini was intent on making the story his own, insisting, “A woman like Manon can have more than one lover… I shall feel it like an Italian, with desperate passion.” Desperation is certainly the feeling this reviewer got from a new recording of Manon Lescaut from our friends at Decca Classics, but I’m also quite certain it’s not the same type that the Maestro had for his subject.

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Flame war

The role debut of a world-class singer is always a time of great anticipation, hopefully to be followed by celebration, if not unbridled jubilation.

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Brooklyn Queen Express

Our own Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin delves back into those days when there was another opera company in New York, and (what’s more) the opera done there was worth hearing.

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