96. Fervaal (Vincent D’Indy)

Action musicale in 3 acts and a prologue Poem & music: Vincent d'Indy, after Esaias Tegnér's Axel First performed: Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, 12 March 1897 Fervaal, d'Indy's Wagnerian mystical Celtic opera, was the best opera since Parsifal, and marked a new age in French music.  So thought the critics. Fervaal badly needs a complete recording to … Continue reading 96. Fervaal (Vincent D’Indy)

95. Guercœur (Albéric Magnard)

GUERCŒUR Tragédie en musique in 3 acts and 5 tableaux Composer & libretto: Albéric Magnard Written 1898–1900.  First performed : Théâtre de l’Opéra (Palais Garnier), Paris, 23 April 1931 Albéric Magnard was murdered by German soldiers in 1914. Next year, Guercœur, an ultra-rarity, will be performed in Germany. Magnard, I think, would have appreciated this. For … Continue reading 95. Guercœur (Albéric Magnard)

94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in a prologue and three acts Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave, with additions by Giuseppe Montanelli, after Antonio García Gutiérrez's play Simón Bocanegra First performed: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 12 March 1857 Revised version: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 24 March 1881, with additions and alterations by Arrigo Boito "I've had a fiasco in … Continue reading 94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)

93. Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner)

Composer & libretto: Richard Wagner First performed: Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater, Munich, 10 June 1865 My friend Phil has just posted his review of Tristan und Isolde.  (The poor bastard.) Here's one I made earlier, as they say on Blue Peter. I expect death threats by evening; let me warn you that I am fully armed (and sometimes legged, … Continue reading 93. Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner)

92. Ba-ta-clan (Jacques Offenbach)

BA-TA-CLAN Chinoiserie musicale in 1 act Composer: Jacques Offenbach Libretto: Ludovic Halévy First performed: Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, 29 December 1855 Hurrah for Jacques Offenbach! Offenbach was one of very few clever, witty composers: a parodist who delighted in turning things on their head, putting familiar elements in strange contexts (and vice versa), toppling sacred cows, … Continue reading 92. Ba-ta-clan (Jacques Offenbach)

91. Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (Jules Massenet)

LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE-DAME Miracle in 3 acts Composer: Jules Massenet Libretto: Maurice Léna, after a tale by Anatole France, inspired by a mediaeval legend First performance: Théâtre de Monte-Carlo, 18 February 1902 Massenet, ‘le musicien de la femme et de l’amour’, as Schneider called him, composed an opera without either — except, the composer said, the most … Continue reading 91. Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (Jules Massenet)