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)

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)

90. Maria di Rudenz (Gaetano Donizetti)

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti Libretto: Salvadore Cammarano, after Anicet-Bourgeois, Cuvelier & Maillan’s La nonne sanglante; Matthew Lewis’ The Monk First performed: Teatro La Fenice, Venice, 30 January 1838 Maria di Rudenz is, Charles Osborne says, "complex, overwrought, and grisly" - and, in the cold light of day, it certainly seems lurid. Fratricide; a soprano who dies three times  (she comes … Continue reading 90. Maria di Rudenz (Gaetano Donizetti)

89. A Life for the Tsar (Mikhail Glinka)

Жизнь за царя By Mikhail Glinka First composed: Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, St Petersburg, 9 December 1836 This will probably be my last post for a while.  It's increasingly feeling like a chore - three hours of watching and listening to opera, which I could spend reading or watching other things. A Life for the Tsar is … Continue reading 89. A Life for the Tsar (Mikhail Glinka)

88. Le tribut de Zamora (Charles Gounod)

Opéra in 4 acts. Composer: Charles Gounod Libretto : Adolphe d’Ennery & Jules Brésil. First performance : Théâtre de l’Opéra (Palais Garnier), 1 April 1881.  Remounted at the Opéra: 13 March 1885 (48th performance) – 50th & final performance 25 March 1885. It's been nearly a month since I last posted, my mate Phil tells me. Today, … Continue reading 88. Le tribut de Zamora (Charles Gounod)