Rossiniís masterpiece is based on Beaumarchaisí first of three playsóLe Barbier de SÈville, La folle journÈe ou Le Mariage de Figaro, and La MËre Coupableódetailing the adventures of Figaro, a barber from Seville, Spain. Rossini was not the first, nor the last composer to set the story to music: Giovanni Maria Pagliardi, Friedrich Ludwig Benda, Johann AndrÈ, Francesco Morlacchi, Miguel Nieto and GerÛnimo JimÈnez, Nicolo Isouard, and H. R. Bishop are some of the names that come to mind.
Puccini’s Turandot is an opera to whose sinister charms I was long immune. I’m not sure what happened in recent years to make me love it.
Not long ago the record label Delos announced that they would embark on a series of studio recordings of highlights from operas. This intriguing idea seemed to address the recording crisis spawned by the shrinking market for full studio sets, with their high cost for both producer and purchaser.
In 1682 the Archbishopric of Salzburg celebrated its 1100th anniversary with an appropriately festal service in the Cathedral, depicted in an engraving by Melchior K¸sel. K¸selís engraving is a striking image, bringing into harmony the grand scale of the building (not yet one hundred years old), the ornamental richness of the interior, and the strong subdivisions of its space.