Tag Archives: Berlioz

The Birth of an Opera

I’m enjoying The Birth of an Opera, a fascinating book by Michael Rose. My jaw dropped at the simplicity of the concept of the work, and now I’m thoroughly hooked by the smoothness of Rose’s execution. Rose combines two very … Continue reading

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High-def Troyens

Seeing Les Troyens at the Met Monday night, Elizabeth Bishop replaced Susan Graham as Dido, which led me to wonder who’d be singing the role in today’s high-definition broadcast. Silly me.  While it’s possible Graham was unwell Monday, her performance … Continue reading

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Jan 1st Troyens

Francesca Zambello’s production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens has returned to the Metropolitan Opera.  When it premiered a decade ago it was Deborah Voigt as Cassandra, Ben Heppner as Aeneas and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson as Dido, conducted by James Levine. A … Continue reading

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A remembered tune: Les Troyens

Melodies are time-machines.  I can hear a song and instantly I go back in time. Composers know this.  It’s why films often employ compositions we’ve heard before to invoke a whole set of meanings.  In Forrest Gump Robert Zemeckis accomplishes … Continue reading

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Homesick tenor

Early in the act, we have a plaintive moment.  A sailor sings a tune, clearly longing for home and the company he misses there.  The quietness of the big orchestra now playing so gently after its earlier savagery seems to … Continue reading

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Hurry September

In the middle of a driving rainstorm, my doorbell rang this morning.  The mailman, bless his heart, was dropping off a bundle just as the heavens opened to drench the guy,  and my mail. Among the wet items was –oh … Continue reading

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Risky performance: when it’s not just a metaphor

Will the new Spiderman musical ever open?  It’s been prohibitively expensive to marry Julie Taymor‘s  vision to the music of Bono & The Edge.  I’ve read estimates of $65 million USD: and counting.  One wonders how many years of full … Continue reading

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