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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...


Interview with french soprano Anaïs Constans, third prize winner of Operalia 2014

Each year since 1993, the Operalia contest has been aiming to split and highlight the greatest voices of tomorrow among the young talents of today. And if currently the opera singing contests increase so much that we can sometime question their relevance, Operalia and its judging panel contributes to start up concretely their laureates’ careers. Placido Domingo, Operalia project manager, sees in it the opportunity to “offer to others the same good fortune whose he benefited...


Verdi’s Il Trovatore takes Salzburg by storm

Content provided by Rolex Partner, Verdi’s ‘Il Trovatore’ is a highlight of this year’s Salzburg Festival, thanks in part to an outstanding cast. It is one of the most popular operas of all time, despite being so ‘dark’ in many ways. Love, revenge, a mother burnt alive and a brother lost and tragically found are just some of the ingredients in this masterpiece. Vying for the heart of the fair Leonora is the tenor, and the baritone, the...


Il Trovatore: A Song of Night, Fire and Vengeance

The Salzburg Festival plays Verdi’s Il Trovatore. A dark and flamboyant, complex and convoluted work being known to require the “four most beautiful voices in the world”. In order to complete this demanding challenge, the Salzburg Festival relies on Placido Domingo (il conte di Luna) and Anna Netrebko (Leonora), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Azucena) and Francesco Meli (Manrico). To coincide with the Salzburg’s production, we are getting back further in detail on this unlikely and brillant Trovatore,...