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Peter Gelb: Bringing high art to a wider public

Leader's vision - Peter Gelb Bringing high art to a wider public Although his 10th season as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera is under way, Peter Gelb doesn’t seem to be thinking much about milestones. Even an institution the size and stature of the Met faces keen challenges in today’s cultural marketplace, as he notes: ‘‘Opera at this level is an extraordinarily expensive undertaking — it’s not designed for 21st-century pocketbooks....


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Otello, or Shakespeare Sublimated

Composed after 15 years of silence, Otello is the result of an unlikely collaboration between renowned composer Verdi when he was 75 years old, and the young librettist Arrigo Boito when he adapted Shakespeare’s famous Othello – in a libretto focusing on Iago’s machinations as he tries to trap Otello and Desdemona. We take a look at the “powerfully tragic work, of searing intensity”. *** Despite its immense fame, Otello has never been a popular opera,...


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Orphée et Eurydice: the advent of a new sensibility

Created during the Age of Enlightenment, first in Vienna and later in Paris in a modified version in 1774, Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice marks the renewal of opera, leaving behind the codes of opera seria in favour of a more streamlined lyric format, with more room for emotion and the expression of a new sensibility. And Orphée et Eurydice is the work chosen by London’s Royal Opera House to open its 2015-2016 season, with a new production...


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Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas: the birth of English opera

It was by no means certain that Dido and Aeneas would have a long career – in fact Purcell composed his opera for a girls’ boarding school, where it was to be performed by amateurs to a modest libretto.Despite that, whether it was because of its dramatic intensity, the themes it deals with (sense of duty and self-denial) or its music, Dido and Aeneas laid the foundations for English opera and is today ranked among the most popular British lyrical works. This year...


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Kaufmann's dark take on Beethoven at Salzburg Festival

In partnership with: It is one of the highlights of this year’s Salzburg Festival: The new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio”. On stage, there’s a remarkable cast including the much sought-after German tenor Jonas Kaufmann who incarnates Beethoven’s tragic hero: the political prisoner Florestan. The Vienna Philharmonic, under the baton of maestro Franz Welser-Möst, can be found down in the orchestra pit. Beethoven’s hymn...