Showing posts from May, 2010

Icy Princesses and Bartered Brides

This weekend I had the opportunity to listen to two excellent recordings. The first was the 1964 recording of Puccini's Turandot conducted by Gianandrea Gavazzeni featuring Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Renata Scotto, Nicola Zaccaria, and the La scala orchestra and chorus. Later, a friend brought over the 1982 recording of Smetana's The Bartered Bride featuringGabriela Beňačková, Peter Dvorský, Miroslav Kopp, and Richard Novák, backed by Zdenek Kosler and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Both were excellent recordings. Turandot is, of course, a standard of late romantic repertoire and The Bartered Bride particularly interests me as the piece will be performed by my colleagues here at Lawrence University next year.
I will begin with a review of the disc of Turandot. The opera itself is classic Puccini, grand in style, big musically, and preoccupied with exotic culture.  In terms of review, I will start from the small upward. The chorus does a good job playing its role in a la…

Starting in the Dry Season

This is, perhaps, an inopportune time to start out a blog about opera. The season is wrapping up; even the prolific Metropolitan Opera is winding down its season for the year. However, for the opera lover, any time is a time for opera. Much of opera even deals with the travails of spring and summer. Young lovers often meet during this time, warm sun reminds us of Aida, and A Midsummer Night's Dreamcertainly occurred during this time. Therefore with this post and those to follow, I will unreservedly present opera through summer and beyond!

This blog will attempt to offer something to both the consummate lover of opera and the beginner just becoming interested in the genre. Profiling artists, reviewing recordings, discussing the industry, talking about performances, etc. can give both an experienced member of the community new things to investigate while also introducing opera's rich history and variety to a newcomer.

I've decided to keep this post short before diving into …