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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...
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...
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...
Dresden still spellbound by Strauss
Proposed by Richard Strauss had a special bond with the city of Dresden lasting several decades. His legacy still resonates in the Saxon capital. Among the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of his birth the Semper Opera House staged Arabella, with top stars Anja Harteros and Thomas Hampson in the lead roles. The performance was a homage to the German composer, over half of whose operas premiered on this prestigious stage. “Richard Strauss is one of the...
In a letter dated 1927, Richard Strauss begs Hugo von Hofmannsthal to write him a new libretto: “You can even make me a second ‘Rosenkavalier’ if you don’t have anything better in mind.” This was to be the starting point of Arabella, the work with which the two accomplices would try to match the success of Der Rosenkavalier. The composer never imagined that this new work would mark the end of his collaboration with the man he called his “Da Ponte.”...
The Abduction from the Seraglio, or the Art of Synthesis
At the age of 24, just freed from his tyrannical employer, Archbishop Colloredo, Mozart set off to win over the Viennese public by realizing his dream of writing a grand opera in German that would rival Italian opera. The Abduction from the Seraglio was a triumph from its opening night, becoming Mozart’s most popular work in his lifetime. Nothing seemed able to slow the success of this singspiel, which travelled all over Germany before continuing its triumphal career in Europe. The...