Category Archives: Opera

LYRIC OPERA CHICAGO : THE OLD BARBER HAS STILL GOT IT

The history of what is popularly called Italian opera began in the United States with a performance of Rossini’s lyrical comedy “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”, The Barber of Seville. The place was the Park Theatre, then situated in Chambers Street, east of Broadway, and the date November 29, 1825.[i] It was Manuel Garcia’s troupe that […]

THE MET’S MANON: THE “ETERNAL WOMAN” RETURNS

Jules Massenet (1842-1912) premiered  his new opera,  Manon,  on 19 January 1884 at Paris’ Opera Comique, the home to the city’s middle-class audience, an audience accustomed to the spoken dialogue featured in Massenet’s work. It was a hit. “Those who do not object on principle to being entertained in the opera house, rather than hectored, […]

THE METS TURANDOT: THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE

The first time Turandot played at the Metropolitan Opera was on November 16, 1926.  J.W. Henderson of the New York Sun observed that “this is an opera in which the eye and the ear must be equally absorbed.” The great Viennese architect and designer Joseph Urban had provided the scenery. He was a pioneer of […]

STC’s ORESTEIA: 5% AESCHYLUS (95% MCLAUGHLIN)

Aeschylus’ trilogy The Oresteia stands as one of the pillar’s of Western Civilization. The three plays together mark society’s turn from a collection of families and clans whose personal interests dominate to the polis, the city, for which justice must mean more than individual retribution. In the process, the gods lead the way; humans are […]

VA ARTS FESTIVAL’S ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA: HAIL, FLORENT SCHMITT! HAIL, JOANN FALLETTA!

Florent Schmitt? The name would give even the most learned musicologist pause to retrieve the name from the dustbin of musical history. Enter JoAnn Falletta. Virginia’s beloved maestra is as devoted to recovering forgotten masterpieces as she is to the presentation of new works. So, it should come as no surprise that Florent Schmitt should […]