Don Giovanni, Met Opera

Don Giovanni @ Metropolitan Opera, Live in HD

The Metropolitan Opera’s latest production of Don Giovanni was about as traditional as it gets, but that’s just fine when the music is as exceptional as Mozart’s and the words as witty as Da Ponte’s.

Don Giovanni, Met Opera

Near the end of Act I, from the Met’s website

The Met’s second installment of its Live in HD program took place on Saturday afternoon, October 22, 2016. The opera was Don Giovanni, the product of the second of three Da Ponte – Mozart collaborations (the first was Le Nozze di Figaro, written a year before Giovanni, in 1786, and the third was Così fan tutte, which premiered in 1790, a year before the composer’s death). The work is arguably the pinnacle of Mozart’s ability to depict characters in music, and it has provided fodder for critics, philosophers, musicians, and other artists ceaselessly for nearly 230 years.

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Michael Christie

Maestro Michael Christie on Minnesota Opera’s Das Rheingold

Maestro Michael Christie has been Music Director of the Minnesota Opera since the 2012 / 2013 season, and since that time he has helped shape the Minnesota Opera into the powerhouse it has become.

Maestro Michael Christie conducts

Maestro Michael Christie conducting

For the first time in its history, Minnesota Opera is putting on one of the four works from Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or the Ring Cycle). Minnesota Opera patrons will have the privilege to hear Maestro Michael Christie conduct Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), the prologue in the four-opera Cycle (the other three operas in the Cycle include Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung), early next month.

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Dawn Upshaw

Diva of the Day: Dawn Upshaw

Diva Dawn Upshaw has a light and sparkly soprano sound, ideally suited to soubrette roles. It was in just such a role that I first heard her – as Susanna in a Metropolitan Opera recording of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
Diva Dawn Upshaw

Diva Dawn Upshaw – Biography

Upshaw was born in 1960 in Nashville, Tennessee. She studied at the Manhattan School of Music, after which she won numerous awards, including the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1984 and the Walter M. Naumburg Competition in 1985. She made her Met debut in 1984. Upshaw was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 2006, for which she received treatment.

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Lucia di Lammermoor

What is bel canto?

With Lyric Opera of Chicago’s opening of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, a prime example of the Italian style known as bel canto, this weekend, I thought now would be a good time for a little refresher. So, what exactly is bel canto? “Opera buffs today use the term bel canto Read more…

Mario Antonio Marra

“The drama is very direct and true,” Mario Antonio Marra on Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lucia di Lammermoor

With Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor opening this weekend, we wanted to interview someone who is both intimately involved in the production and has a profound and personal connection with this bel canto masterpiece. Mario Antonio Marra, the pianist for the production, was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions.

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Sherrill Milnes

Sherrill Milnes

Sherrill Milnes
Sherrill Milnes was another name that kept popping up on the CD box sets I was buying. I first heard Milnes on the famous 1971 recording of Verdi’s Rigoletto with Sutherland and Pavarotti. Like so many great singers, he has an unforgettable and unmistakable sound. The first word that comes to mind when I think of Milnes is power. He also has a wonderful ability to convey emotion in his tone and bring out different colors of his instrument. Listen below to see what I mean. I wouldn’t say his voice is beautiful in the way, say, Gerald Finley’s is, but he certainly has his place secured in the list of great divi.

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Das Rheingold and Wotan

5 free resources – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month

 

One of the things I’ve always found fascinating about opera is the fact that it can be so many different things to different people; for one person, an opera may simply be an opportunity to listen to some gorgeous music. For someone else, the story itself may be the most intriguing element. Yet others may find enjoyment only upon researching and “doing their homework” on the work, digging into the opera’s musical and dramatic themes. I personally derive the greatest pleasure from an opera when I know the work well, and we at Opera Sense are committed to helping people learn as much as they can about this life-changing genre. To that end, here are a few free online resources you can use to get to know our Opera of the Month – Das Rheingold – better…

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Kathleen Battle

Kathleen Battle

The opera world loves a good controversy, and Kathleen Battle certainly provided one! Born in 1948, Battle first appeared on the operatic stage as Rosina in Michigan Opera Theater’s 1975 production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Two years later she made her Met debut, playing the Shepherd in Wagner’s Tannhäuser. During the 1980s, Battle became a renowned interpreter of lyric and coloratura soprano roles.

Kathleen Battle

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