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 […]

Gioachino Rossini: La donna del Lago (1819)

Opera in due atti. Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes. Six months after Ermione , Rossini had yet another premiere, this one in a much more romantic vein. La donna del Lago plays into the earliest phase of the Italian operatic obsession with all things Scottish as its plot is derived from an 1810 poem by Sir Walter Scott. Extremely popular […]

Fromental Halevy: La reine de Chypre (1841)

Grand Opera en cinq actes. Running Time: 2 hours 35 minutes. This is another of my re-reviews as OperaScribe has been asking me for years to review the new Bru Zane release which won the Gramophone Award in 2019. This is one of those operas which has vocal casting to die for. According to Wikipedia, there are […]

Ludwig von Beethoven: Leonore (1805)

Singspiel in three acts. Running time: 2 hours 36 minutes. Ludwig von Beethoven, the only time he gets to be on this site (and does not care).  Having little else to do, seeing that the planet is currently at a standstill and we are all on lockdown, I decided to compose a response to the […]

Vincenzo Bellini: I Puritani (Malibran Version)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 39 minutes. I am on a Bellini fix right now. Please humor me with any comments. The primary differences between this and the original are that Elvira is scored lower (mezzo range, especially in the second act) and Riccardo is pitched for tenor rather than baritone. Although […]

Antonin Dvorak: Alfred (1870)

Opera in three acts and seven scenes. Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes. Dvorak, that most nationalist of Czech composers, wrote his first opera to a German-language libretto which had earlier been set by Friedrich von Flotow. It would not be performed until 34 years after his death, in December 1938. The principle influences on […]

Isaac Albeniz: Henry Clifford (1895)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 19 minutes. The first opera of Albeniz, this received five performances in the first half of May, 1895 before disappearing completely until 2002 when this recording was made. The initial run at the Liceu in Barcelona was actually of an Italian translation of the English libretto by […]

Andre Ernest Modeste Gretry: Guillaume Tell (1791)

Opera-comique en trois actes. Running Time: 1 hour 21 minutes. OperaScribe recently posted a review of this work and Gretry during the French Revolution available here. Before Rossini wrote his mammoth four hour long take on the Swiss legend, Gretry tried his hand at a much, much shorter version. Premiered at the height of the […]