Hector Berlioz, probably France's greatest composer, died 150 years ago yesterday. Here, in honour of his sesquicentenary, are some of his finest works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnKSfq9heeo&list=PL_kBt2ShObo_B89l8qZ_YvgiKAijU1JB1 The Opéra de Paris, meanwhile, has released its 2019/20 season: RameauLes Indes galantes [FRENCH]MozartDon GiovanniCosì fan tutteRossiniBarber of SevilleBelliniIl pirataI puritaniVerdiRigolettoLa TraviataDon CarloWagnerDas RheingoldDie WalküreSiegfriedGötterdämmerung OffenbachLes contes d'Hoffmann [FRENCH] MussorgskyBoris GodunovBorodinPrince … Continue reading Berlioz and other Frenchmen
The 2019/20 Met season could be jazzed up. I've tried to stick with the same composer or style, rather than, say, fifty French operas nobody's ever heard of. HANDEL: Agrippina GLUCK: Orfeo ed Euridice --> Iphigénie en Aulide MOZART Marriage of Figaro --> SALIERI: Tartare (libretto by Beaumarchais) / Axur re d'Ormus, Italian version, libretto … Continue reading What could the Met do instead?
"For many opera lovers, opera has become a museum, where one revisits a few cherished works, chiefly with a view to hearing fine voices sing." - Vincent Giroud The Met announced its 2019/20 season this week. Handel's Agrippina and Glass's Akhnaten are the most interesting on offer, maybe Janáček's Kát'a Kabanová and Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, too. And Michael Spyres (probably the … Continue reading Met? Meh
I've cut nearly 300 operas from my list - mostly obscure works by obscure composers. Should any of them be back on it? If you think I'm slighting a masterpiece, make a case for it. A Viktoria und ihr Husar (Abrahám) Little Women (Adamo) Pepita Jiménez (Albéniz) Merlin (Albéniz) Tiefland (D’Albert) Die toten Augen (D’Albert) … Continue reading Downsizing
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)
After 11 years, I have finally seen Meyerbeer's grand opera Le Prophète. Utterly extraordinary. It's one of the half-dozen best operas ever, if not at the absolute pinnacle.  You can watch the video here: https://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/opera-classique/opera/le-prophete-de-meyerbeer-au-theatre-du-capitole-a-toulouse-271753 Setting: The Netherlands and Germany, during the 16th-century Wars of Religion. Characters: A murderous demagogue, self-proclaimed Messiah and Son of … Continue reading He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
Chamber opera in 1 act Composer & librettist: Gustav Holst First performed: Wellington Hall, London, 5 December 1916 (amateur performance) First professional performance: Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London, 23 June 1921, conducted by Arthur Bliss CHARACTERS SĀVITRI (soprano): Dorothy Silk SATYAVĀN, her husband (tenor): Steuart Wilson DEATH (bass): Clive Carey SETTING Ancient India STORY Sāvitri is the story of the loyal … Continue reading 75. Sāvitri (Gustav Holst)