Category Archives: Uncategorized

A TALE OF TWO DIVAS: FLORIA AND FEDORA

On Friday January 12, the streaming service Stage Access broadcast the Vienna State Opera’s 2020 production of Tosca to commemorate the 123rd anniversary of the great opera. The next day ,the Metropolitan Opera transmitted an HD broadcast of Umberto Giordano’s rarely seen 125 year-old opera Fedora. Tosca starred the reigning queen of dramatic sopranos, the  […]

Handel’s JEPHTHA: Being Right in One’s Own Eyes: The Music of the Baroque’s Electrifying Performance

The most commonly used word to describe Georg Friedrich Handel’s 1752 oratorio Jephtha is “dark”. And the word has nothing to do with the fact that the composer was going blind as he was composing. Jephtha, Handel’s last oratorio, is his most troubling masterpiece. The work contemplates the often inscrutable role of the divine in […]

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 […]