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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...
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...
When Chagall and Malraux shook up the Palais Garnier opera house
On the 23rd of September 1964, exactly 50 years ago, the French Ministry of cultural affairs André Malraux was inaugurating the new Palais Garnier opera house’s ceiling, made by Marc Chagall – and hiding the original ceiling of the Parisian edifice created by Jules Lenepveu. This work didn’t leave indifferent and aroused strong polemics still vivid nowadays. This anniversary gives us the opportunity to revisit the passionate history of the Garnier Opera’s...
Stars are born at Operalia
Article presented by In partnership with: Operalia is a pinnacle for aspiring opera performers and can be a launchpad for illustrious careers in the field. The singing contest is staged every year in one of music’s world capitals. This prestigious competition took place recently in Los Angeles, where Placido Domingo, its founder and president, is also music director of the LA Opera. Among some 1,000 entrants, just a dozen get to the finals. Being among them...