Jules Massenet: Roma (1912)

Opera en cinq actes. Running Time: 2 hours 9 minutes. How about an opera in which the two primary female characters have to kill one another in order to save Rome because one of them is a seemingly air-headed vestal virgin? Well, you almost get that here! Also, do not be deceived, this is one […]

Carlo Coccia: Caterina di Guisa (1833)

Opera in due atti. Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes. Another Italian historical costume drama set in early modern France. This one only has four soloist characters. Apparently a triumph in February, 1833, the score was revised for a new vocal distribution in 1836 (the version presented here, which is of a revival from 30 […]

Aleksandr Serov: Judith (1863)

Opera in five acts. Running Time: 2 hours 27 minutes. This is the last of my OdH birthday reviews as this would have been the 105th. NOW FIRST SOME BACKGROUND FROM HISTORIAN PHIL: Known as the Russian Meyerbeer (his maternal grandfather was a German-Jewish naturalist from Konigsburg), Serov is perhaps one of the most notorious […]

Saverio Mercadante: Il Reggente (1843)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 26 minutes.   Yet another version of the assassination of King Gustave III of Sweden which would be immortalized by Verdi in Un ballo in maschera but unlike the coded homosexual (or bisexual) king of Eugene Scribe, here we have a raging heterosexual regent, of 16th century Scotland no less! […]

Ambroise Thomas: Hamlet (1868)

Grand Opera en cinq actes. Running Time: 3 hours 19 minutes (including 7 minutes of supplementary material). SETTING: Elsinore, Denmark, some time when Denmark was still Roman Catholic. Oft told tale of melancholy Dane (baritone) who sees his dead dad (bass) leading to the drowning of his would-be-girlfriend (soprano), the murder of her father (bass, although […]

Gaetano Donizetti: Parisina (1833)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes. A favourite of its composer, much of the score is taken from Ugo, conte di Parigi. I am inclined to recommend this one because its plot is more interesting than the idiocy of the former opera. The role of Ugo was also the first written by Donizetti for […]

Gaetano Donizetti: Fausta (1832)

Opera in due atti. Running Time: 2 hours 53 minutes. So I am starting to run out of 1830s Donizetti tragedies (this is my 33rd Donizetti review but I think I have Parisina, Ange de Nisida, and Alba left), and there are the earlier operas and most of the comedies to get through. I have […]

Gaetano Donizetti: Gabriella di Vergy (1838)

Opera in tre atti. Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes. This opera never really had a chance. Written originally in 1826, numbers were later refitted into multiple other operas, including Il Paria and Anna Bolena. It was rewritten in 1838 and music from Maria di Rudenz and Rosmonda d Inghilterra was re-purposed   in order to lengthen the […]