American soprano Robin Johannsen is one of the great interpreters of Baroque opera. This Philadelphia native has spent the majority of her career on the great stages of Europe, including … Continue reading“I love how great music can transport you,” says Robin Johannsen, American Soprano
So you haven’t heard of Diana’s Garden by Vicente Martín y Soler? That’s OK; nobody else has either. Although it was immensely popular in its day, Diana’s Garden has all … Continue readingPeter Rothstein, Director of Minnesota Opera’s Diana’s Garden, talks about this forgotten work
American soprano Corinne Winters seems to be on the fast track to opera stardom – she’s making major house debuts left and right and transforming some of the great leading … Continue reading“Opera is alive, and exists only from the downbeat until the curtain falls,” says Corinne Winters, Seattle Opera’s latest Violetta
American tenor Eric Neuville is a fascinating guy all around – he sings opera, writes books, re-engineers vocal labs, and sings in a Grammy Award winning ensemble. He is currently … Continue reading“Singing is my vocation,” says American Tenor Eric Neuville
American tenor Jonathan Blalock is one of those opera singers who is not only a pleasure to listen to, but also a delight to talk to. The North Carolina native, … Continue reading“What I love most about opera is its transcendent power,” says American Tenor Jonathan Blalock
Texan Scott Hendricks is Mr. Versatile; the world-famous baritone has graced the stages of many of the finest opera houses around the world, including the Royal Opera House and the … Continue readingBaritone Scott Hendricks on John Adams’ Nixon in China
Opera Sense recommended recordings of The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro): Here are five facts to know about The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), one … Continue readingFive Facts to know about Mozart and Da Ponte’s The Marriage of Figaro
Edita Gruberová is one of the singers I wish I had discovered earlier in my life; every time I hear her, I’m amazed by her intonation, ornamentation, and clarity in … Continue readingEdita Gruberová
Massimo Cavalletti is a natural talent; the 38 year-old baritone just sang his 100th Met performance of Puccini’s La bohème, the opera he made his Met debut in only six … Continue readingMassimo Cavalletti on his career, La bohème, and new operagoers
Prior to the Das Rheingold preview night at Minnesota Opera on Thursday, November 10, 2016, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Jessica Hall, … Continue reading“It’s such epic music,” Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Jessica Hall on being an opera pianist for Wagner’s Das Rheingold
I’ve heard a lot of naysayers talk about Olga Peretyatko’s diction and intonation, but just listen to her in this recording of Bellini’s I puritani. What a gorgeous sound in … Continue readingOlga Peretyatko sings Bellini’s I puritani
At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016, I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing history in the making – I attended the preview night of the first ever Minnesota … Continue readingBrian Staufenbiel’s Das Rheingold – The New Generation of Opera in Action
Amanda Majeski has one of those commanding yet intimate soprano voices that makes you forget everything else going on around you. When you first hear her, you know immediately that … Continue readingAmanda Majeski, Mozart’s latest Donna Elvira, Countess, and Vitellia
Leah Crocetto, San Francisco Opera’s latest Aida, is no longer an up and coming star – she has made it! Crocetto is anything but a stereotypical diva; she is kind, … Continue readingLeah Crocetto, San Francisco Opera’s newest Aida!
Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto has a powerful, unforgettable sound. I know him primarily through Mozart – as Figaro in a famous Met recording of Le Nozze di Figaro and as … Continue readingFerruccio Furlanetto
For me, opera begins with Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) – the first of three Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Lorenzo Da Ponte collaborations (the other two … Continue readingOverview – Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)
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 … Continue readingDon Giovanni @ Metropolitan Opera, Live in HD
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 … Continue readingMaestro Michael Christie on Minnesota Opera’s Das Rheingold
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 … Continue readingDiva of the Day: Dawn Upshaw
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 … Continue readingWhat is bel canto?
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 … Continue reading“The drama is very direct and true,” Mario Antonio Marra on Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lucia di Lammermoor
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 … Continue readingSherrill Milnes
Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde marked my first experience watching one of the Met’s Live in HD productions, and I’m afraid it may be difficult to return to the stage theater … Continue readingTristan und Isolde @ Metropolitan Opera, Live in HD
Here is a link to the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s podcast on Wagner’s Das Rheingold. The talk is given by Peter Allen, and it is fantastic. This is a great way … Continue readingMetropolitan Opera Guild Podcast – 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 … Continue reading5 free resources – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month
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 … Continue readingKathleen Battle
I enjoyed the Minnesota Opera’s production immensely, but Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet) is not one of my favorite operas. Sitting in the front row of the Ordway … Continue readingRomeo & Juliet @ Minnesota Opera, In Review
Since we’re looking at a Wagner opera – Das Rheingold – this month as our Opera of the Month, we need to discuss leitmotivs. By the end of this post, … Continue readingLeitmotivs – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month
I first met Laura Wilde during our sophomore year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. At St. Olaf, it soon became obvious to everyone who listened to her that … Continue reading“This production shows how the magic works,” Laura Wilde on Lyric Opera’s Das Rheingold
The libretto to Das Rheingold was the last one Richard Wagner wrote for Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), but it was the first opera of the … Continue readingOverview – Das Rheingold, Opera of the Month
I first noticed Kiri Te Kanawa because she kept appearing on opera CD box sets I bought – Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, etc. She … Continue readingKiri Te Kanawa
Joan Sutherland was the first operatic soprano I ever knew. My passion for opera began with a 1971 Decca recording of Verdi’s Rigoletto in which Joan played Gilda opposite Pavarotti’s … Continue readingJoan Sutherland
Italian baritone Tito Gobbi was a prolific and versatile performer and stage director from his debut in 1935 to his retirement in 1979. He appeared in over 25 film versions … Continue readingTito Gobbi
The quintessential diva, Maria Callas was renowned not just for her beautiful singing, but also for her superb acting. The short-lived Greek-American star was born in New York City in … Continue readingMaria Callas
I don’t know if it can get any better than this. Transport yourself as you listen to Gerald Finley’s rich baritone sound caress one of Mozart’s most beautiful pieces from … Continue readingStart your day off right…
It’s an intoxicating time of year for operagoers! The 2016/2017 opera season is just beginning, and it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic year! Here are a few … Continue readingThe performances to see early this 2016 / 2017 season
They were all the rage in the early 19th century, a time when bel canto dominated the operatic stage. The vast majority of mad scenes were written for the … Continue readingMad Scenes
Good morning, opera lovers! Take a little trip to Valhalla with me.
On September 14, 2016, a little after 7:00 p.m., Peter Mercer-Taylor made Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette come alive for me for the first time at the Minnesota Opera Behind the … Continue readingBehind the Curtain, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, @mnopera
Here are the ten most popular operas by number of performances according to Operabase, perhaps the world’s greatest organizer of data relating to the world of opera. The figures apply … Continue readingTop 10 Most Popular Operas in the World
You may have heard the term recitative when you hear people talk about opera, but what exactly is recitative? This is my definition of recitative – any semi-spoken, semi-sung non-repetitive … Continue readingWhat is recitative?
I was reading the libretto to Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by Mozart when I saw the following lines, sung by Monostatos: Alles fühlt der Lieve Freuden, (All may feel … Continue readingCan / should opera be politically correct?
Opera music can be a bit much to chew early in the morning, but here are a few pieces that I find go well with my morning coffee. Although not … Continue readingA few arias to go along with your coffee
Here are a few full-length operas on YouTube with English subtitles. Isn’t it amazing that you can watch full-length operas for free in the comfort of your own home? Die … Continue readingFull-length operas on YouTube!
A few of the “greatest hits” from the operatic repertory: Overture to Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). While none of the music in the overture returns … Continue readingOpera’s Greatest Hits
I’m with Wagner when he talks about how opera is (or should be) a gesamtkunstwerk – one of those terms that tends to pop up on college music history quizzes. … Continue readingOrchestral Commentary – an operatic layer
Start your day off right… Nothing can beat this “Bella figlia dell’amore” from Rigoletto with Pavarotti and Sutherland. What a fantastic quartet!
Many people (shall we say most?) find opera somewhat inaccessible. I get that – it’s old, boring, and sung in foreign languages. It’s also not easy to break free from the … Continue readingWhere to begin…