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Nina Stemme: Wagner Today

Suddenly, it’s obvious. She had been virtually unheard of, and now her name is suddenly on everyone’s lips. Yet she was one of the winners of the first Operalia competition in 1993; she debuted in Bayreuth in 1997, but she was merely singing Freia three years in a row, and Bayreuth then forgot her until two summers devoted to Isolde, in 2005 and 2006.Meanwhile, she’d had the time to make her debut in Salzburg (in Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules in 2002),...


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Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci: Betting It All on Verismo

Perhaps not as well known as some more regularly staged operas, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (by Mascagni and Leoncavallo, respectively) are, nonetheless, major operas in the history of the genre (laying the foundations of verismo), with some of the most famous arias in opera and, in particular, having been interpreted by the greatest singers (Caruso foremost among them). And more recently, by Jonas Kaufmann, reprising the role of Turiddu at the Salzburg Easter Festival...


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Joyce DiDonato : Master Class at Carnegie Hall

"Besides talent, what does it take to be a successful opera singer?" asked the aspiring artist right next to me to Joyce DiDonato on the last day of her masterclass at Carnegie Hall on this freezing cold 23rd of February. DiDonato answered: “Be curious. Ask your teachers: what was life in the 17th century? How did Handel understand women so well?”. Watching her master class is a fascinating way to understand what opera singers have to go through before bringing an...


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Jonas Kaufmann renounces to Cavalleria Rusticana at La Scala

Each season or so in the biggest opera houses’ program, Jonas Kaufmann is nowadays one of the major performers of the lyrical scenes, able to fulfil entire auditoriums only based on his name, reaching a point that artistic directors wrest his commitments sometimes years in advance. This datebook can however turn out to be heavy, physically and vocally – the tenor highlighted recently on BBC that if “an agenda full for the coming five years proves to be financially...


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Anja Harteros : Aida young at last

Linked for a long time to Wagner's repertoire, Anja Harteros  is nowadays obviously more dedicated to Verdi's one. Next friday, she embodies Aida at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Roma, alongside Jonas Kaufmann and Ludovic Tezier. After referring to the work a few days ago, we now look at the role-title singer. *** Are divas condemned to live on an aeroplane between two triumphant appearances? They have been roundly criticised, perhaps...


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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...