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Aida, an Underrated Masterpiece

On 27 February, the Saint Cecilia Academy of Rome will be used as the setting for a concert version of Aida, the Verdi opera, interpreted in particular by Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann and Ludovic Tezier in the principal roles, under the baton of Antonio Pappano directing the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus. An “ideal cast” for one of the most popular operas, which we often think we are familiar with but which contains deeper subtleties than we sometimes imagine. We shall...


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Opéra de Paris : the first (real) season of Stéphane Lissner

Everyone had high hopes when Stéphane Lissner took over at the helm of the Paris Opera:and they haven’t been disappointed!Since serious budget constraints have impacted this theatre’s budget, it is difficult to understand how this tireless man can offer the public such an appealing season with so many performances, so jammed with new productions, so inventive in terms of theatrical renewal, so seductive with their combined great voices! But if we start with the...


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Andrea Chénier, a Poet in the Midst of Revolutionary Turmoil

With Andrea Chénier, Umberto Giordano turned an iconic poet of the French Revolution into one of the legendary roles of Italian opera. “Give me a good libretto and I’ll take personal responsibility for the success of the music.” Giordano addressed that enthusiastic request to Luigi Illica, Giacomo Puccini’s usual collaborator. After a promising start that was followed by three successive failures, the young composer staked everything on the work. ...


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Jonas Kaufmann in Andrea Chenier : portrait

In a decade spent on the world’s great opera stages, Jonas Kaufmann has established himself as one of the most iconic singers of the day. And in a career he has built up intelligently and thoughtfully, the roles he takes on always seem like a major event. Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, January 20th, through February 6th he will be singing the title role of Andrea Chenier, at the Royal Opera House, alongside Eva-Maria Westbroek amd Zeljko Lucic. We are taking this occasion to review the...


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Fidelio: Beethoven’s only opera opens La Scala season

Article proposed by An ode to freedom, love and humanity, Fidelio is Beethoven’s only opera but it’s a masterpiece. It opened the new season at Milan’s La Scala, a highlight of Italy’s cultural calender. It also marks the end of Daniel Barenboim's era as musical director there. Beethoven slaved for over a decade on his opera, which is based on a true story of the French Revolution. “I really like the story. It’s a tangible...


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Fidelio, a Unique Opera

Fidelio is the only opera composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. No score was so frequently reworked by the composer who, with his customary obstinacy, managed to make his work a success by defying events, censorship and failure. “This opera will earn me a martyr’s crown,” Beethoven said of this hymn to freedom and marital fidelity. Another unique aspect:this unique lyric work celebrates the victory of an exceptional woman who embodies courage and moral strength in the...