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Home > Author Archives: Christopher Corwin

Author Archives: Christopher Corwin

Thoroughly Modern Jessye

Thoroughly Modern Jessye

Thoroughly Modern Jessye Like several others who posted here recently, my first time hearing Norman live was a performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony—with the Cincinnati Symphony under Michael Gielen in 1980. Student tickets at Music Hall then were in the very front center of the orchestra section so Norman was just a few feet in front of me when she rose to sing. I already knew “Urlicht” from one of my favorite records: Leonard Bernstein’s ... Read More »

Full measure

Full measure

Full measure One of the most anticipated debuts at the Met this season occurs at the end of this month when Lise Davidsen appears as Lisa in Pikovaya Dama, so Trove Thursday offers three preview broadcast glimpses of the young Norwegian soprano: a complete performance of Wagner’s second opera Das Liebesverbot; Mahler’s “Urlicht”; and Sibelius’s Luonnotar. The past few months have been important ones for Davidsen. Her Bayreuth Festival debut as Elisabeth in a new ... Read More »

More things sacred

More things sacred

More things sacred When New Yorkers want to hear 18th century sacred choral music they’re usually limited to several works by Bach, Handel and Mozart. But in recent weeks local and visiting groups performed refreshing rarities by Zelenka, Domenico Scarlatti and Telemann so engagingly that one didn’t miss the old standbys at all. The American Classical Orchestra was first up on October 10th with a most unusual offering, the Missa Omnium Santorum by Czech composer ... Read More »

In Memoriam Raymond Leppard

In Memoriam Raymond Leppard

In Memoriam Raymond Leppard When I learned of the death last week of Raymond Leppard at age 92, I felt both sadness and enormous gratitude so “Trove Thursday” acknowledges the late conductor’s important influence with a live broadcast of his seminal “realisation” of Cavalli’s L’Ormindo plus some Cavalli and Monteverdi tidbits in which he accompanies his great longtime collaborator Janet Baker. Just after I turned 11, I first spied the schedule for the upcoming Texaco-Metropolitan ... Read More »

The Coronation of Lisette

The Coronation of Lisette

The Coronation of Lisette I generally consider myself a Gesamtkunstwerk-guy but I do swoon at the prospect of a star-spangled opera bash. The Met of course produces the world’s ne plus ultra of that kind of thing, but as there can be many years between theirs I’ve come to relish the annual Richard Tucker Gala and Sunday’s at Carnegie Hall was unusually satisfying despite a less than usually superstarry line-up. It’s been almost exactly 40 ... Read More »

Lone, wild, and strange

Lone, wild, and strange

Lone, wild, and strange This Saturday’s Met HD transmission is Massenet’s Manon, but Michael Fabiano fans won’t have to wait until then as Trove Thursday presents the tenor in one of his specialties—early Verdi—as the dashing hero of Il Corsaro torn between Tamara Wilson and Nicole Cabell. I was tempted to label Corsaro one of the least performed of early Verdi operas but then Aroldo, La Battaglia di Legnano and Oberto sprang to mind, so ... Read More »

Drag me to hell

Drag me to hell

Drag me to hell Unfortunately, Hei-Kyung Hong’s arid, self-regarding Euridice suggested Orfeo would have been better off trying bereavement therapy rather than risking life and limb to get her back! Gluck, one of opera’s greatest and most influential composers, has had a peculiarly spotty history at the Met. While Armide’s premiere featured Olive Fremstad and Enrico Caruso conducted by Arturo Toscanini, the opera disappeared after just seven performances. Arriving in 1941, Alceste returned once a ... Read More »

Orfeo ed Euridice

Orfeo ed Euridice

Orfeo ed Euridice My first-ever Met opera on a (dreary, rain-soaked) Sunday brought the very welcome return of Gluck’s sublime Orfeo ed Euridice that embraced elegant conducting, joyous dancing and an extraordinarily accomplished hero in Jamie Barton. (As for Mrs. Orpheus, though, leave her to heaven.) Much more tomorrow on parterre box. Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera Source: Music-2 Orfeo ed Euridice Read More »

Olympie

Olympie

Olympie With two of the French grand operas of Gaspare Spontini enjoying major revivals this fall, Trove Thursday presents a third in the manner they always used to be done (in Italian translation with world-class divas): Olimpie, a tragédie lyrique, featuring the seemingly mismatched pairing of Pilar Lorengar and Fiorenza Cossotto. For a relatively long-lived itinerant composer, Spontini was not particularly prolific and was more likely to revise his older works than compose new ones. ... Read More »

Agrippina

Agrippina

Agrippina The delicious opera about political and sexual hijinks in ancient Rome is everywhere these days, including premiering in February at the Met. Today’s 1982 Kent Opera Agrippina (using period instruments) is performed in an aptly tart English translation that adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of one of Handel’s earliest and greatest works. Although until recently many may not have been familiar with the intrigues that propel Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani’s biting libretto but anyone who ... Read More »

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