Cher Public

A Lesbian in distress

Silvia Tro Santafé, Washington’s beleaguered Zelmira.

Zelmira, a work of 1822, was the last of the eight operas Rossini composed for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, then the largest opera house in Italy—perhaps in Europe. He paid special attention to the orchestration, as the opera was set to feature in a triumphant festival devoted to his works in Vienna later that year, and the Vienna players were already renowned.  Read more »

Poetess without portfolio

“Ardent and anguished” Kate Lindsey.

New York once had many organizations that gave concert performances of forgotten or unknown operas, bringing in not-yet-Met singers to display their wares. You could hear Marilyn Horne or Montserrat Caballé or Leontyne Price, and fans came with no idea what L’Incoronazione di Poppea, La Straniera and Les Huguenots sounded like—never mind Tiefland or Nerone.  Read more »

Stranger things

Women seem wicked when you're unwanted

Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted

I can’t lie: when I saw that Washington Concert Opera announced an all-Bel Canto 2017-2018 season, I felt a little stalked by the spectre of Will Crutchfield’s Bel Canto at Caramoor presentations, to which I’ve enjoyed a close proximity.  Read more »

You must meet my wife

While even committed opera enthusiasts can find Beethoven’s Fidelio a chore, a hardy few wonder why we can’t have more Fidelio. Washington Concert Opera maestro  had these completists in mind last weekend with a presentation of the original 1805 version of Fidelio, aka Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen LiebeRead more »

All about my mother

Operatic history can be cruel where multiple works with the same subject are concerned

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