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Elsewhere

Matthias Goerne and Seong-Jin Cho at Wigmore Hall

Is it possible, I wonder, to have too much of a ‘good thing’? Baritone Matthias Goerne can spin an extended vocal line and float a lyrical pianissimo with an unrivalled beauty that astonishes no matter how many times one hears and admires the evenness of line, the controlled legato, the tenderness of tone.

Maria Callas: Tosca 1964: A film by Holger Preusse

When I reviewed Tosca at Covent Garden in January this year for Opera Today, Maria Callas’s 1964 Royal Opera House performance was still fresh in my mind. This is a recording I have grown up with and which, despite its flaws, is one of the greatest operatic statements - a glorious production which Zeffirelli finally agreed to staging, etched in gothic black and white film (albeit just Act II), with Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi, if not always as vocally commanding as they once were, acting out their roles like no one has before, or since.

Philip Venables: 4.48 Psychosis

Madness - or perhaps, more widely, insanity - in opera goes back centuries. In Handel’s Orlando (1733) it’s the dimension of a character’s jealousy and betrayal that drives him to the state of delusion and madness. Mozart, in Idomeneo, treats Electra’s descent into mania in a more hostile and despairing way. Foucault would probably define these episodic operatic breakdowns as “melancholic”, ones in which the characters are powerless rather than driven by acts of personal violence or suicide.

Hubert Parry and the birth of English Song

British music would not be where it is today without the influence of Charles Hubert Parry. His large choral and orchestral works are well known, and his Jerusalem is almost the national anthem. But in the centenary of his death, we can re-appraise his role in the birth of modern British song.

Soprano Nadine Sierra Wins the 2018 Beverly Sills Artist Award

Soprano Nadine Sierra has been named the winner of the 13 th annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera.

European premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Le Chant des enfants des étoiles, with works by Biber and Beethoven

Excellent programming: worthy of Boulez, if hardly for the literal minded. (‘I think you’ll find [stroking chin] Beethoven didn’t know Unsuk Chin’s music, or Heinrich Biber’s. So … what are they doing together then? And … AND … why don’t you use period instruments? I rest my case!’)

Rising Stars in Concert 2018 at Lyric Opera of Chicago

On a recent weekend evening the performers in the current roster of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago presented a concert of operatic selections showcasing their musical talents. The Lyric Opera Orchestra accompanied the performers and was conducted by Edwin Outwater.

Arizona Opera Presents a Glittering Rheingold

On April 6, 2018, Arizona Opera presented an uncut performance of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold. It was the first time in two decades that this company had staged a Ring opera.

Handel's Teseo brings 2018 London Handel Festival to a close

The 2018 London Handel Festival drew to a close with this vibrant and youthful performance (the second of two) at St George’s Church, Hanover Square, of Handel’s Teseo - the composer’s third opera for London after Rinaldo (1711) and Il pastor fido (1712), which was performed at least thirteen times between January and May 1713.

Camille Saint-Saens: Mélodies avec orchestra

Saint-Saëns Mélodies avec orchestra with Yann Beuron and Tassis Christoyannis with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana conducted by Markus Poschner.

The Moderate Soprano

The Moderate Soprano and the story of Glyndebourne: love, opera and Nazism in David Hare’s moving play

The Spirit of England: the BBCSO mark the centenary of the end of the Great War

Well, it was Friday 13th. I returned home from this moving and inspiring British-themed concert at the Barbican Hall in which the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Andrew Davis had marked the centenary of the end of World War I, to turn on my lap-top and discover that the British Prime Minister had authorised UK armed forces to participate with French and US forces in attacks on Syrian chemical weapon sites.

Thomas Adès conducts Stravinsky's Perséphone at the Royal Festival Hall

This seemed a timely moment for a performance of Stravinsky’s choral ballet, Perséphone. April, Eliot’s ‘cruellest month’, has brought rather too many of Chaucer’s ‘sweet showers [to] pierce the ‘drought of March to the root’, but as the weather finally begins to warms and nature stirs, what better than the classical myth of the eponymous goddess’s rape by Pluto and subsequent rescue from Hades, begetting the eternal rotation of the seasons, to reassure us that winter is indeed over and the spirit of spring is engendering the earth.

Dido and Aeneas: La Nuova Musica at Wigmore Hall

This performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas by La Nuova Musica, directed by David Bates, was, characteristically for this ensemble, alert to musical details, vividly etched and imaginatively conceived.

Bernstein's MASS at the Royal Festival Hall

In 1969, Mrs Aristotle Onassis commissioned a major composition to celebrate the opening of a new arts centre in Washington, DC - the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, named after her late husband, President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated six years earlier.

Hans Werner Henze : The Raft of the Medusa, Amsterdam

This is a landmark production of Hans Werner Henze's Das Floß der Medusa (The Raft of the Medusa) conducted by Ingo Metzmacher in Amsterdam earlier this month, with Dale Duesing (Charon), Bo Skovhus and Lenneke Ruiten, with Cappella Amsterdam, the Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderen Jeugdkoor, and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, in a powerfully perceptive staging by Romeo Castellucci.

The Grand Tour: A European Journey in Song

The seventeenth Oxford Lieder Festival (12-27 October 2018) will celebrate a rich tapestry of music, words and performance in European song and will showcase the pinnacles of the repertoire while exploring wider cultural influences.

Johann Sebastian Bach, St John Passion, BWV 245

This was the first time, I think, since having moved to London that I had attended a Bach Passion performance on Good Friday here.

Easter Voices, including mass settings by Mozart and Stravinsky

It was a little early, perhaps, to be hearing ‘Easter Voices’ in the middle of Holy Week. However, this was not especially an Easter programme – and, in any case, included two pieces from Gesualdo’s Tenebrae responsories for Good Friday. Given the continued vileness of the weather, a little foreshadowing of something warmer was in any case most welcome. (Yes, I know: I should hang my head in Lenten shame.)

Academy of Ancient Music: St John Passion at the Barbican Hall

‘In order to preserve the good order in the Churches, so arrange the music that it shall not last too long, and shall be of such nature as not to make an operatic impression, but rather incite the listeners to devotion.’


OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Repertoire

Eugène Delacroix, Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard (1827–28) [Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
22 Oct 2015

THOMAS: Hamlet, Moscow 2015

Hamlet: Opéra in five acts. Music composed by Ambroise Thomas. Libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier after The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare. »

Recently in Repertoire

All Pages |  1  |  2  |  3 
28 Aug 2015

La Púrpura de la Rosa

Advertised in the program as the first opera written in the New World, La Púrpura de la Rosa (PR) was premiered in 1701 in Lima (Peru), but more than the historical feat, true or not, accounts for the piece’s interest.  »

20 Oct 2013

Das Liebesverbot, Vienna 1962

Das Liebesverbot: Grosse komische Oper in two acts. »

16 May 2013

Lohengrin, Bayreuth 2010 Live

Opera in three acts. Words and music by Richard Wagner.  »

16 May 2013

Parsifal, Bayreuth 2012 Live

Parsifal. Bühnenweihfestspiel (“stage dedication play”) in three acts. »

09 Apr 2013

Music from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“German poet, dramatist and novelist. One of the most important literary and cultural figures of his age, he was recognized during his lifetime for his accomplishments of almost universal breadth. However, it is his literary works that have most consistently sustained his reputation, and that also serve to demonstrate most clearly his many-faceted relationship to music. . . . »

09 Apr 2013

Operas based on the works of Friedrich von Schiller

This theme relates to operas based on the works of Friedrich von Schiller.  »

09 Sep 2011

Operas Based on French Literature

Here are operas based on French literature from Balzac, Hugo and beyond: »

09 Sep 2011

Jules Massenet: Le Cid

Le Cid, Opéra in 4 acts »

02 Sep 2011

Vincenzo Bellini: I puritani

I puritani, opera seria in three acts »

30 Aug 2011

Vincenzo Bellini: Zaira

Zaira, Tragedia lirica in two acts. »

22 Jul 2011

G. F. Handel: Athalia

Athalia: Oratorio (sacred drama) in 3 acts »

12 Nov 2010

DONIZETTI: Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia: Melodramma in a prologue and two acts. »

01 Sep 2010

BERTIN: La Esmeralda

La Esmeralda: Opéra in four acts. »

12 Aug 2010

VERDI: Ernani — Florence 1957

Ernani: Dramma lirico in four parts. »

14 Jul 2010

von Waltershausen: Oberst Chabert

Oberst Chabert (Colonel Chabert): Tragic opera in 3 acts. »

23 Jun 2010

VERDI: Otello — La Scala 1954

Otello: Dramma lirico in four acts.Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito after The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice by William Shakespeare. »

21 May 2010

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy in five acts with incidental music. »

24 Apr 2010

HAHN: Le Marchand de Venise

Le Marchand de Venise (“The Merchant of Venice”): Opéra in three acts. »

17 Mar 2010

STORACE: Gli Equivoci

Gli Equivoci (The Comedy of Errors): Opera in two acts. »

07 Feb 2010

MARTIN: Der Sturm

Der Sturm: Opera in three acts  »

30 Jan 2010

PURCELL: The Fairy-Queen

The Fairy-Queen: Semi-opera in five acts. »

18 Jan 2010

VERDI: Macbeth — Vienna 2009

Macbeth: Melodramma in quattro parti. »

03 Jan 2010

WAGNER: Das Liebesverbot

Das Liebesverbot: Grosse komische Oper in two acts. »

13 Dec 2009

VERDI: Falstaff — Wales 2008

Falstaff: Commedia lirica in three acts. »

30 Nov 2009

THOMAS: Hamlet — London 2003

Hamlet: Opéra in five acts.Music composed by Ambroise Thomas. Libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier after The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare. »

15 Nov 2009

ROSSINI: Otello — Bad Wildbad 2008

Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia (‘Othello, or The Moor of Venice’): Dramma in three acts. »

18 Oct 2009

BERLIOZ: Béatrice et Bénédict — Paris 2009

Béatrice et Bénédict: Opéra comique in two acts »

11 Oct 2009

NICOLAI: Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor — Berlin 1943

Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), a comical-fantastical opera in three acts with dance. »

11 Oct 2009

Oxford Lieder - Britain's top Song Festival

In the autumn, Oxford is especially beautiful. The ancient colleges are swathed in scarlet vines, and the mellow evening light creates great atmosphere. For those who love art song, though, the best reason for visiting Oxford at this time of year is the Oxford Lieder Festival, which starts October 16th 2009. »

29 Sep 2009

VERDI: Otello — Vienna 2006

Otello: Dramma lirico in four acts.Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito after The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice by William Shakespeare. »

06 Sep 2009

MASSENET: Werther — Vienna 2000

Werther: Drame lyrique en 4 actes et 5 tableauxMusic composed by Jules Massenet. Libretto by Edouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann based on Die Leiden des jungen Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe »

23 Aug 2009

THOMAS: Mignon — New York 2005

Mignon: Opéra comique in three acts. »

03 Aug 2009

SCHUMANN: Scenen aus Goethes Faust

Scenen aus Goethes Faust (op. WoO 3 ) [also known as Szenen aus Goethes „Faust“], oratorio in three parts with seven scenes. »

26 Jul 2009

GOUNOD: Faust — Vienna 2008

Faust, Opéra en cinq actes. »

12 Jul 2009

GOUNOD: Faust — 1953

Faust, Opéra en cinq actes. »

15 Jun 2009

PUCCINI: Turandot — Buenos Aires 1965

Turandot, dramma lirico in three acts. »

10 Jun 2009

VERDI: I masnadieri — Baden-Baden 1998

I masnadieri [The bandits]: Melodramma in four parts  »

17 May 2009

TCHAIKOVSKY: The Maid of Orléans — Moscow 1971

The Maid of Orléans: [Orleanskaya deva]: Opera in four acts »

11 May 2009

ROSSINI: Guglielmo Tell — Rome 1954

Guglielmo Tell: Melodramma tragico in four acts »

03 May 2009

DONIZETTI: Maria Stuarda — Paris 1972

Maria Stuarda: Tragedia lirica in two or three acts. »

26 Apr 2009

VERDI: Don Carlo — Rome 1954

Don Carlo: Opera in four acts.  »

19 Apr 2009

VERDI: Luisa Miller — Reggio Emilia 1976

Luisa Miller: Melodramma tragico in three acts. »

12 Apr 2009

WAGNER: Götterdämmerung — Rome 1968

Götterdämmerung: Third day of Der Ring des Nibelungen in a prologue and three acts. »

06 Apr 2009

WAGNER: Siegfried — Rome 1968

Siegfried: Second day of Der Ring des Nibelungen in three acts. »

29 Mar 2009

WAGNER: Die Walküre — Rome 1968

Die Walküre: First day of Der Ring des Nibelungen in three acts.  »

22 Mar 2009

WAGNER: Das Rheingold — Rome 1968

Vorabend (preliminary evening) of Der Ring des Nibelungen, in four scenes. »

15 Mar 2009

ROSSINI: Il Barbiere di Siviglia — La Scala 1956

Il Barbiere di Siviglia [Almaviva, ossia L’inutile precauzione (‘Almaviva, or The Useless Precaution’)]: Commedia in two acts. »

08 Mar 2009

CHERUBINI: Medea — La Scala 1961

Medea (Médée): Opéra comique in three acts. »

01 Mar 2009

BELLINI: La sonnambula — La Scala 1957

La sonnambula, Melodramma in due atti »

22 Feb 2009

PUCCINI: Tosca — Mexico City 1952

Tosca: A melodrama in three acts. »

15 Feb 2009

ROSSINI: Armida — Firenze 1952

Armida, Dramma per musica in tre atti. »

08 Feb 2009

VERDI: La Traviata — Lisbon 1958

La Traviata: Melodramma in three acts.  »

01 Feb 2009

VERDI: Un ballo in maschera — La Scala 1957

Un ballo in maschera: Melodramma in three acts »

25 Jan 2009

BELLINI: Il Pirata — New York 1959

Il Pirata: Melodramma in two acts. »

18 Jan 2009

BELLINI: Norma — Roma 1955

Norma: Tragedia lirica in two acts. »

11 Jan 2009

The Works of Giacomo Puccini

The following are recordings of major works by Giacomo Puccini. Click the link to access. »

11 Jan 2009

DONIZETTI: Lucia di Lammermoor — Roma 1957

Lucia di Lammermoor: Opera in three acts. »

04 Jan 2009

PUCCINI: Turandot — Wien 1961

Turandot, dramma lirico in three acts. »

28 Dec 2008

PUCCINI: Gianni Schicchi — La Scala 2008

Gianni Schicchi: Opera in one act (no. 3 of Il trittico) »

21 Dec 2008

PUCCINI: Suor Angelica — La Scala 2008

Suor Angelica: Opera in one act (no.2 of Il trittico). »

14 Dec 2008

PUCCINI: Il Tabarro — La Scala 2008

Il Tabarro [The Cloak]: Opera in one act (no.1 of Il Trittico). »

07 Dec 2008

PUCCINI: La Rondine — La Scala 1994

La Rondine: Commedia lirica in three acts. »

01 Dec 2008

PUCCINI: La Fanciulla del West — La Scala 1956

La Fanciulla del West: Opera in three acts. »

23 Nov 2008

PUCCINI: La Fanciulla del West — Firenze 1954

La Fanciulla del West: Opera in three acts. »

16 Nov 2008

PUCCINI: Madama Butterfly — Covent Garden 1957

Madama Butterfly, opera in two acts. »

09 Nov 2008

PUCCINI: Tosca — Bruxelles 1958

Tosca: A melodrama in three acts. »

02 Nov 2008

Works of Richard Strauss

The following are performances of major works by Richard Strauss. Click the appropriate link to access. »

02 Nov 2008

PUCCINI: La Bohème — Vienna 1988

La Bohème, opera in four acts. Music composed by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi lllica, based on episodes from Henri Murger’s Scènes de la vie de Bohème. »

26 Oct 2008

STRAUSS: Intermezzo — Vienna 1963

Intermezzo: Bürgerliche Komödie with symphonic interludes in two acts.  »

20 Oct 2008

STRAUSS: Salome — Covent Garden 2008

Salome, Musikdrama in one act. »

20 Oct 2008

Works on the Theme of “Greeks Bearing Gifts”

The following are works based on Greek literature, myth and literature. »

20 Oct 2008

Works by Jules Massenet

The following are recordings of major works by Jules Massenet. Click the link to access. »

20 Oct 2008

Works of W.A. Mozart

The following are performances of major operas by W. A. Mozart. Click the link to access. »

05 Oct 2008

STRAUSS: Capriccio -- Vienna 2008

Capriccio: Konversationsstück für Musik in one act. »

28 Sep 2008

STRAUSS: Arabella -- Dresden 2005

Arabella: Lyrische Komödie in three acts »

21 Sep 2008

STRAUSS: Arabella — Salzburg 1958

Arabella: Lyrische Komödie in three acts »

14 Sep 2008

STRAUSS: Die ägyptische Helena — Salzburg 2003

Die ägyptische Helena: Oper in two acts. »

07 Sep 2008

STRAUSS: Die ägyptische Helena — Munich 1956

Die ägyptische Helena: Oper in two acts. »

01 Sep 2008

STRAUSS: Die Frau ohne Schatten — Covent Garden 1992

Die Frau ohne Schatten: Oper in three acts »

24 Aug 2008

STRAUSS: Die Frau ohne Schatten — Covent Garden 1976

Die Frau ohne Schatten: Oper in three acts »

17 Aug 2008

STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier — Hamburg 1992

Der Rosenkavalier (‘The Knight of the Rose’): Komödie für Musik in 3 acts. »

10 Aug 2008

STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier — Wien 1987

Der Rosenkavalier (‘The Knight of the Rose’): Komödie für Musik in 3 acts. »

04 Aug 2008

MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail — Salzburg 1997

Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Singspiel in 3 Acts. »

27 Jul 2008

MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail — Salzburg 1975

Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Singspiel in 3 Acts. »

20 Jul 2008

MOZART: Idomeneo — Munich 2008

Idomeneo, rè di Creta: Dramma per musica in tre atti (K. 366). »

13 Jul 2008

MOZART: Idomeneo (Britten ed.)

Idomeneo, rè di Creta: Dramma per musica in tre atti (K. 366). »

06 Jul 2008

MOZART: Così fan tutte — Wien 2008

Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (K. 588). Opera buffa in two acts. »

30 Jun 2008

MOZART: Così fan tutte — Salzburg 2004

Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (K. 588). Opera buffa in two acts. »

22 Jun 2008

MOZART: Die Zauberflöte — Salzburg 2006

Die Zauberflöte: Singspiel in two acts, K. 620 »

15 Jun 2008

MOZART: Die Zauberflöte — Salzburg 2005

Die Zauberflöte: Singspiel in two acts, K. 620 »

08 Jun 2008

MOZART: La Clemenza di Tito — ENO 2007

La Clemenza di Tito: Opera seria in two acts, K621. »

01 Jun 2008

MOZART: La Clemenza di Tito — Covent Garden 1976

La Clemenza di Tito: Opera seria in two acts, K621. »