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 […]