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War of the Roses: Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera

War of the Roses: Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera

The triptych of Gaetano Donizetti’s Tudor Queens is a famously challenging cycle for any diva. Most notably sung by Beverly Sills at New York City Opera, the three queens at the centerpieces of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena (Anne Boleyn), Maria Stuarda (Queen Elizabeth OR Mary Stuart, depending on what angle you come from), and Roberto Devereux […]

To Rome With Love: Tosca at New York City Opera Renaissance

To Rome With Love: Tosca at New York City Opera Renaissance

Despite the initial curiosity of recreating the same production that was seen at the opera’s premiere in 1900, the Tosca that arrived at the Rose Theater this week seemed an odd successor to a company that prided itself on artistic innovation on every level.

Languages of Love and Loss: Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Languages of Love and Loss: Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Bel Canto represents a true coming together on Lyric’s behalf. The company assembled the creative, production, and performance team to create an opera that not only feels truly unique, but also inspiring in its diversity.

December Divas: Leontyne Price’s “Christmas with Leontyne Price”

December Divas: Leontyne Price’s “Christmas with Leontyne Price”

For this final installment of “December Divas,” I wanted to highlight what I believe is the finest Christmas album yet produced by an opera singer: “Christmas with Leontyne Price.”

December Divas: Renata Tebaldi’s “A Christmas Festival”

December Divas: Renata Tebaldi’s “A Christmas Festival”

Vocal concerns take a back seat in this album. It’s a showcase of all of Tebaldi’s strengths and a masterclass in phrasing, building to a climax, and telling a story with music, a capstone to a long and distinguished singing career.

December Divas: Marilyn Horne’s “O Holy Night”

December Divas: Marilyn Horne’s “O Holy Night”

The consistent presence of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, coupled with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, renders the recording heavy-handed to a modern listener. It’s the musical equivalent of finishing off an entire pint of eggnog in one night. Christmassy, yes, but at what cost? You’ll be sick of it before too long.

December Divas: Renée Fleming’s “Christmas in New York”

December Divas: Renée Fleming’s “Christmas in New York”

It’s not a classical Christmas album, but it’s nice background music and gives insight to where Fleming’s head it at right now as an artist.

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