Giacomo Puccini: Turandot (1926)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes. This review is of the 2013 Art Centre-Seoul production (the ending is cut). ACT 1: Dawn, the Imperial City. 8: Perche tarda la luna? After Puccini subjects us to some blaring Chinoiserie where we are supposed to believe that xylophones are exotic, the Mandarin gives us […]

Giuseppe Verdi: Luisa Miller (1849)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 1 minute. Censors, censors, censors! This is what happens when Schiller’s third play Kabale und Liebe has the political Mickey taken out of it and is transfigured into one of the most powerful romantic tragedies in opera. The original play is a convoluted web of seedy Teutonic politics […]

Nikolaj Andrejevich Rimsky-Korsakov: Mozart and Salieri (1898)

Opera in two scenes. Running Time: 42 minutes. Premiere Cast photo: Vasiliy Shkafer as Mozart and Fyodor Shalyapin as Salieri This performance, performed by the Arctic Philharmonic, is apparently sung in Norwegian. SETTING: Vienna, 1791. The talented Salieri (baritone) is jealous of the genius Mozart (tenor) and poisons him when they dine at an inn. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWKzUzDPzzI […]

Jules Massenet: Le Cid (1885)

Opera en quatre actes et dix tableaux. Running Time: 2 hours 7 minutes. Image: Wikimedia. I’m doing some composite work here: This review is based on the 2011 Marseilles production with Roberto Alagna with supplemental comments for cuts that were included in the 2001 Washington production with Placido Domingo (for instance the entire ballet was […]