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Anna Netrebko renounces her debut in Faust at Covent Garden

That's on Facebook that Anna Netrebko just announced her withdrawal from Covent's Garden production of  Faust : « I am so sorry to have to withdraw from the role of Marguerite in Faust. After much consideration and intensive preparation, I have come to the conclusion that the role is not right for me. I had been very much looking forward to debuting this role at the Royal Opera House and following it with further performances in Vienna and Baden-Baden....


Jonas Kaufmann recounts Werther

Often considered the most personal and sensitive of Massenet’s works, Werther – whose libretto is freely inspired by The Sufferings of the Young Werther, Goethe’s epistolary novel – stands as one of the landmarks of 19th century French Romanticism. A melancholy work imbued with a resolutely tragic aspect sometimes bordering on the morbid.  In both Massenet’s work and Goethe’s novel, the young poet Werther is madly in love with Charlotte – who...


La Traviata opens the new season at La Scala

The new production of Verdi’s La Traviata (which Stéphane Lissner had announced as a premiere) will be the main event for the end of this Verdi Year. There are several reasons for that. First, it is certainly one of Verdi’s most popular works, and perhaps in all of opera. Because of its libretto, of course, as melodramatic as one could wish. Also for its music, at once simple and effective, admirably constructed in its effects, theatrical in the finest sense of the...


The Salzburg Festival 2014 outlines its program

Each year the Salzburg Festival stands out as one of the highlights of the opera season, and Cecilia Bartolli (who has served as the event’s artistic director since 2012) will be presenting the details of the 2014 programme over the next few weeks. The Salzburg Festival's first notes, however, are already being sounded on the event's official website, outlining the coming edition’s schedule.  And, as usual, it’s an enticing programme featuring some...


Stéphane Lissner recounts La Scala

La Scala is undeniably one of the world’s greatest temples of  opera; each year its season opening (on December 7, Saint Ambrose Day, named for Milan’s patron saint) is a major event for opera fans. Since 2005, when he was appointed the first non-Italian superintendent and artistic director in La Scala’s history, Stéphane Lissner has established himself as one of the architects of the Milan opera house’s international influence.  As we await the...


In the footsteps of Verdi in Sant'Agata

October 2013 is the time for commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi in Roncole, in the region of Parma, into a family of modest means. And while the Italian composer is intimately linked to Milan (his first opera, Oberto, was staged at La Scala in 1839), he remained attached to his place of origin and bought a family home on the Sant’Agata estate in 1848. Though he initially intended it for his parents, Giuseppe Verdi came to live here with his second wife, the...