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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...


Jonas Kaufmann recounts Don Carlo

This year, in commemoration of the bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth, the Salzburg Festival presented this summer a new production of Don Carlo, directed by Peter Stein, provided with a impressive cast, and especially with Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. We met him in Salzburg and he recounted us about his Don Carlo during a pleasant interview. See also Jonas Kaufmann in "Don Carlo’s sensational cast delights Salzburg audiences"...


Bryn Terfel recounts Falstaff

At the height of the Year Verdi (which we commemorate in 2013 the bicentenary of the birth), in February, the Scala presented Falstaff in a production by Robert Carsen and including Bryn Terfel in the title role . We took the opportunity to meet the Welsh bass-baritone who gives us his vision of the role and work (funny and full of life, revealing the young composer who was then eighty years), but also shares working methods, leaving ample room for immediate emotion and...