The Queen of Spades, New York

Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaia Dama (The Queen of Spades) is the longest Mad Scene in opera. Ghermann is already half nuts when we meet him in the park in St. Petersburg on a windy day, and he gets crazier from scene to scene.

Aida, London

Strict courtly hierarchies and the repressed formality of ritual juxtaposed
with violent sexual jealousy and lurid erotic excess … a stage-world
more suited to the Straussian insalubrity of SalomÈ than to the epic
grandeur of Verdi’s Aida, perhaps?

Feel Locked Out? Nothing to Tackle? Well, Try Opera

Lucia, New York

It costs a lot to look cheap. And it takes a village to raise a child. In
the case of the Metropolitan Opera’s current revival of Donizetti’s
Lucia di Lammermoor, it takes a lot of talent to produce underwhelming

Looking at Schubert and Finding Hamlet

La Clemenza di Tito

Gheorghiu and Domingo in Giordano’s Fedora

A major label release of a new studio recording of a full opera — with the traditional booklet/libretto — wanders onto the scene almost like a lost and lonely unicorn.

Cecilia Bartoli in HalÈvy’s Clari

A key measure of operatic star power is the ability to get an obscure work staged — think Joan Sutherland and her run in Massenet’s Esclarmonde, an outlandish wallow in orchestral excess ladled over a libretto of unfathomable goofiness.

La Traviata, Phoenix

Francesco Maria Piave’s Italian libretto for Giuseppe Verdi’s
opera La Traviata is based on the French play La Dame aux

Two Troubled Girls in Paris

Commanding soprano performances of put-upon heroines securely anchored two recent evenings at the Bastille Opera House.