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Tag Archives: 8230

Königin of Mozart

Königin of Mozart

Königin of Mozart The third installment of my 50th anniversary tribute to Edita Gruberova was impossible to narrow down to one selection. She recorded more of Mozart than any other composer, and, it may perhaps be said, whose music was a near-perfect fit for her type of voice; especially in the opera seria realm, she excelled.  She either sang or recorded Fortuna, Sifare, Giunia, Bastienne, Madame Herz, Sandrina, Elettra, Konstanze (twice on record, once on ... Read More »

Everybody loves to take a bow

Everybody loves to take a bow

Everybody loves to take a bow On this day in 1964 the Metropolitan Opera presented the debuts of Leonard Bernstein, Franco Zeffirelli and Franco Zeffirelli in a new production of Verdi’s Falstaff.  Irving Kolodin in the Saturday Review: In this sixth “Falstaff” that [Franco] Zeffirelli has staged and designed in various parts of the world, the light as well as the shade are so brilliantly depicted in the action that even the unknowing should be captivated by ... Read More »

Midcentury modern

Midcentury modern

Midcentury modern On this day in 1959 Alban Berg’s Wozzeck had its Metropolitan Opera premiere (in English translation.)  Review of Irving Kolodin in the March 21, 1959 Saturday Review: It has been years since the fall of a final curtain on a work new to the Metropolitan Opera&8217;s repertory was greeted with the spontaneous bravos and applause that acclaimed the conclusion of the latest one. What it plainly said was “Welcome Wozzeck,” which was only ... Read More »

To live through the music onstage

To live through the music onstage

To live through the music onstage Happy 83rd birthday soprano Mirella Freni.  //www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTagFD_pkNo Also born on this day:  contralto Marian Anderson in 1899… //www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWKfWzo_gfA … soprano Lotte Lehmann in 1888&8230; //www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-gqga1Uoqk … and actress and activist Elizabeth Taylor in 1932. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kdioqmnckc Source: Music-2 To live through the music onstage Read More »

The first time every I heard her voice

The first time every I heard her voice

The first time every I heard her voice The Summer of 1983 is when “it” happened.  That year was the period of when my interest in opera was taken to the next level. Prior to then, my experience in listening to opera was gleaned in arias, mainly by coloraturas, from old movies on TV, featuring the likes of Jeanette MacDonald, Deanna Durbin, Kathryn Grayson and even Lily Pons (in I Dream Too Much, where I learned ... Read More »

Bringing up Babylon

Bringing up Babylon

Bringing up Babylon Contralto Delphine Galou. Since tomorrow will be “Met Reveal Thursday,” “Trove Valentine’s Day” further stokes Semiramis-fever with another of the celebrated works about the infamous queen: La Semiramide riconosciuta, a superb 1729 opera by Nicola Porpora.  Several years ago the brilliant Italian mezzo Anna Bonitatibus released a double-CD set devoted to Semiramide featuring arias by fourteen composers from Caldara to Manuel Garcia including one from a second Porpora opera Semiramide Regina dell’Assiria. ... Read More »

Melody and more

Melody and more

Melody and more The arrival of a new recording of Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello into the catalogue, to say nothing of a new tenor capable of singing Otello, is generally cause for hosannas all around in operatic circles. The knife-sharpening tends to start a little later.  In today’s age of performances captured live, either for audio or video, I think we have to cast back nearly 20 years for the last time a recording company invested ... Read More »

Peak performance

Peak performance

Peak performance As avalanches are most likely to occur this month “Trove Thursday” ushers in February with Catalani’s La Wally with a mountain-top cast of Renata Tebaldi, Renata Scotto, Mario del Monaco, Giangiacomo Guelfi and Giorgio Tozzi conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini. Wally always strikes me as the quintessence of an opera with an aria everyone knows but the work itself remains virtually unknown. Back in the day verismo arias were not my thing so ... Read More »

Objects of Inspiration: Here’s What Fueled Matisse in the Studio

Objects of Inspiration: Here’s What Fueled Matisse in the Studio Take a Trip Around the World with Matisse Visiting Henri Matisse in his studio in Vence, France, in 1944, the journalist Marguette Bouvier noted that “Congolese tapestries hang on the wall …” and that the artist had “… brought his shells and Chinese porcelains, his moucharaby [Moroccan textile screens] and his marble table and all the […] The post Objects of Inspiration: Here&8217;s What Fueled Matisse ... Read More »

Heather on the ‘shrill’

Heather on the ‘shrill’

Heather on the ‘shrill’ Le duc d’Orléans, le duc d&8217;Ayen, Duc de Coigny, la comtesse d&8217;Estrades, La duchesse de Brancas… Opera originalist Heather MacDonald is at it again, lavishing praise on the artistic conservatism of noted Tory David McVicar and describing Our Own JJ as “New York’s shrillest advocate for revisionist opera productions.” Oh, there&8217;s lots more to enjoy! [City Journal] Source: Music-2 Heather on the ‘shrill’ Read More »

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