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Olga Peretyatko Divi of the Day 

Olga Peretyatko sings Bellini’s I puritani

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 such an exquisite work, an excellent example of bel canto. I puritani premiered in Paris in 1835, the year of the composer’s death. Olga Peretyatko made her Met debut singing this role (Elvira) in 2014. +20

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Mario Antonio Marra Donizetti Features Lyric Opera of Chicago 

“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. +240

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Romeo and Juliet In Review 

Romeo & Juliet @ Minnesota Opera, In Review

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 on Sunday afternoon, October 2, 2016, I watched both actors and maestro have their respective moments of glory, of which there were many. The opera tells the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with a few minor alterations: Act III, scene 2 of the opera begins with a character – Stéphano – absent from Shakespeare’s version; Juliet and Romeo see…

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Joan Sutherland Divi of the Day 

Joan Sutherland

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 Duke of Mantua. Although never a master of diction, Sutherland had an unforgettable voice with a natural flair for coloratura passages. 00

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Maria Callas Divi of the Day 

Maria Callas

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 1923. She studied music in Greece and first emerged on the operatic stage in Italy. Callas is widely regarded as one of the great interpreters of the 19th-century bel canto technique, singing virtually all the major Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini soprano roles. A recording of her singing the title role of Puccini’s Tosca in 1952 is still considered the gold…

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