Karl Goldmark: Merlin (1886)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 3 hours 7 minutes. As with Die Königin von Saba, here Goldmark is moving a bit more towards Wagner, yet only slightly. The decade between his first and second opera led to a composition that, although borrowing from Wagner even more heavily, is still within the Meyerbeerian grand opera of the mid-19th century […]

Karl Goldmark: Die Königin von Saba (1875)

Opera in four acts. Running Time: 3 hours 9 minutes. In honor of the 104th birthday of my favorite actress of all time, Olivia de Havilland, I present this new post, a work which has given me more inspiration and joy than any other German-language opera. SETTING: Jerusalem and the surrounding desert, 10th century B.C.E. […]

Peter Reynolds: Sands of Time (1993)

Opera in four minutes and nine seconds. Searching for something very short to review, I found this never published (the score that is) Guinness World Record holder for the shortest opera in the world. Written in a single evening. The Welsh composer described its relationship to opera as a miniature is to a full portrait, […]

Mikhail Glinka: Ivan Susanin (1836)

Opera in four acts and an epilogue. Running Time: 3 hours 30 minutes. The Death of Ivan Susanin, Mikhail Scotti, 1851.  This review (another of my jumbo 2500+ word reviews), is another one of my recent rewrites, but specifically is of the 1989 Sofia, Bulgaria recording with Chris Merritt as Sobinin, Boris Martinovich in the […]

Mikhail Glinka: Ruslan i Ludmila (1842)

Magic Opera (!) in five acts. Running Time: 3 hours 25 minutes. Setting for the Gardens of Chernomor, Andreas Roller, 1842.  This opera had a complicated genesis. Glinka composed it piecemeal and out of performance order over a period of six years, with many of the numbers composed before the scenario had even been written […]

Antonio Smareglia: Oceana (1903)

Commedia Fantastico in tre atti. Running Time: 2 hours. SETTING: Syria, Roman Era. The nomad Nersa (soprano) is romantically pursued by the elderly but rich Vadar (baritone) but is found by the god of the sea Init (tenor) who renames her Oceàna and tries to led her to his underwater kingdom. A couple of sea […]