Category Archives: Men and Women

MADAMA BUTTERFLY AT THE MET: ASMIK GREGORIAN IS BUTTERFLY

The most recent study names Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as the sixth most popular opera in the world. In fact, seeing the opera at the age of sixteen prompted Yoko Watanabe (1953-2004) to a singing career, eventually to the position of the most famous of Japanese opera singers, certainly to be one of the most acclaimed […]

MET OPERA OFFERS RONDINE, PUCCINI’S FRAGILE BITTERSWEET DELICACY

The invitation from Vienna to create an opera based on a sketch by Alfred Maria Willner, Franz Lehar’s librettist, tested Puccini’s stated dislike of the operettas with spoken dialogue . “It is the usual slipshod, banal operetta, the usual contrast between East and West, ballroom festivities and opportunities for dancing, with no study of character […]

METROPOLITAN OPERA OFFERS EXQUISITE ROMEO ET JULIETTE

Charles Gounod (1818 –1893) was interested in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet completed by Paul Jules Barbier (8 March 1825 – 16 January 1901) and Michel Carré (20 October 1821– 27 June 1872). The atmosphere of Provence where he began to compose fed his inspiration as he worked quickly and surely. He seemed […]

The Met’s NABUCCO: Verdi’s Beautiful Prayer for those in Exile

On February 23 of last year, Naomi Wolf,  author, feminist and former advisor to Bill Clinton and Al Gore published a remarkable essay, “Have the Ancient Gods returned?” In it she quotes Jonathan Cahn’s book The Return of The Gods[i]           “Having accurately traced the lineage of pagan worship and pagan forces, Cahn makes the […]

MET OPERA’S FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS ENCHANTS WITH BEAUTY AND IMAGINATION

Composer Daniel Catan has been quoted as saying that he needed ” to write music that was seductive, glittering, and mesmerizing.” His opera Florencia en el Amazonas ia a welcome and enchanting addition to the world’s operatic contemporary repertoire, which has been dominated by nihilistic interpretations of classic operas. The libretto is by Marcela Fuentes-Berain, […]