Kirsten Flagstad sings Wagner & Strauss

Kirsten Flagstad’s voice remains connected to the music of Richard Wagner through the recordings that continue to bring her performances to new audiences.

Rameau’s ZÈphyre, New York

In sports they say, “Winning isn’t the most important
thing—it’s the only thing.” In the theater, getting the show
on the boards out front is the key.

Wexford Festival Opera, Ireland

Haendel: Water Music; Music for The Royal Fireworks

The “popular” Handel is firmly entrenched in the collective
culture with a handful of pieces: the Christmas portion of Messiah,
the “Largo” from Serse (in fact, “Larghetto,”
but collective culture is hard to convince), and instrumental suites of the
Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks come
immediately to mind.

Jephtha, New York

Jephtha was Handel’s last work — he went blind while
composing it, noting this on the manuscript, and though he lived another seven
years, did not deign to dictate new music.

Rigoletto at Covent Garden

Dame Joan Sutherland, ‘La Stupenda’, sang her first Gilda at Covent
Garden in 1957 under the baton of Sir Edward Downes, and sang the role many times and to great acclaim on the ROH stage.

Verdi’s Macbeth in a New Production at Lyric Opera of Chicago

A successful production of Verdi’s Macbeth relies not only on
incisive vocal characterization as projected by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth but
also on the interaction of these lead figures in order to vivify their descent
into a world of destruction.

Joan Sutherland: My Starter Diva

I was sixteen and knew nothing about opera, had just seen my first
Traviata at the City Opera (Patricia Brooks, Placido Domingo), was
entranced by the melodies — especially the Brindisi and
“Sempre libera” — and wanted more.

Salome at the Washington National Opera

With its playbill half-empty, its general director Placido Domingo
resigning, and the talk of a takeover by the Kennedy Center, Washington
National Opera is in a dire need of good news this season.

Promised End — English Touring Opera

In the final scene of Shakespeare’s King Lear, faced with the dreadful sight of the distraught Lear cradling in his arms the body of his dead daughter Cordelia, the Earl of Kent asks: “Is this the promised end?”