Category Archives: Opera

RAVINIA OFFERS A MAGNIFICENT DON GIOVANNI

When opera arrived in Chicago, Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni lagged behind in public approval. The Chicago Tribune reports that in 1867 “Don Giovanni has literally fought its way into public favor here. When first produced it attracted only musicians who recognized its intrinsic worth. But year after year Don Giovanni audiences grow larger and larger. […]

Riccardo Muti is Saving Opera: Un Ballo in Maschera

The dean of opera critics has stated the problem best: “I have said that in today’s  operatic world too much territory is ceded to the realm of the eye; that even within this realm too much attention is  paid to physical production and not enough to performance and that auteuristic privileges  claimed by directors and […]

SINGING SAVES STONE’S CAMPY LUCIA AT THE MET

  In 1964 the literary critic Susan Sontag published the definitive work “On Camp”’ in which she defined the genre as loving “the unnatural, the artificial, the exaggerated.” In art, Camp’s exaggeration proceeds from both passion and naiveté, both of which opera director Simon Stone employed in his production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the […]

EUN SUN KIM IGNITES LYRIC’S FIERY TOSCA

Chicagoans love their Toscas. Puccini’s opera has attracted passionate performers and audiences alike since it first arrived in Chicago. The latest incarnation will certainly join the distinguished  ranks of the best Toscas seen in the city. Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca is based on Victorian Sardou’s wildly popular drama La Tosca, made famous by Sarah Bernhardt’s world […]

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA’S RIGOLETTO: MISDIRECTED BEAUTY

Two years after the 1851 premiere of Rigoletto at La Fenice in Venice, Verdi summarized his opera in words which seem to pertain to almost every production of the opera: As far as dramatic effectiveness is concerned, it seems to me that the best material I have yet put to music (I’m not speaking of […]