Glossaryshow the glossary
Connect to your account
Create your account
Chronique à la une
Schumann’s Dichterliebe ‘Updated’ in Zauberland at the Royal O...Sam Smith
When Robert Schumann wrote his song cycle Dichterliebe in 1840 he originally composed twenty songs. Four of these were then cut before publication to produce the sixteen that we know today. No contemporary records reveal exactly why he decided to exclude them, so composer Bernard Foccroulle and librettist Martin Crimp took this as their starting point to intervene at the points where the songs were removed, and to extend the song cycle, to produce Zauberland. With the original sixteen...
A Highly Enjoyable New Don Pasquale at the Royal Opera House, ...Sam Smith
Gaetano Donizetti’s 64th opera Don Pasquale of 1843 represents both the zenith and the end of opera buffa because it stands as one of the finest examples of the genre, and yet there are practically none written after that date that are still in the standard repertoire. Set in Rome, it sees the ageing Don Pasquale disinherit his nephew Ernesto, who loves the young but poor widow Norina, for refusing the woman he had found for him. Even Don Pasquale’s own doctor Malatesta thinks...
Liceu: Turandot, a SymbolXavier Pujol
Turandot was the opera that would have been going on stage when the theatre was destroyed in a fire in January 1994. Embodying a spirit of continuity, Turandot was chosen to inaugurate the new theatre rebuilt in 1999. Now, on the 20th anniversary of Liceu’s re-inauguration, Puccini’s last opera was again the title selected to open the new season. Turandot, an opera which historically did not have any particularly significant relationship with the theatre has become, due to the...
Musical Credentials Trump Concept in Orpheus in the Underworld...Sam Smith
This autumn English National Opera is exploring the Orpheus myth by presenting four operatic takes on it, including Harrison Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus and Philip Glass’s Orphée. Each is being introduced in the order in which it was originally composed so that the season began with Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, and now continues with Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, the first version of which premiered in 1858. It is good to see the Offenbach...
Dancing Dominates in Orpheus and Eurydice at the London ColiseumSam Smith
Based on the legend of Orpheus, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, which tells of the former’s attempt to rescue the latter from the Underworld after she dies, is a seminal work in the evolution of opera. With its focus on an underground rescue mission in which the hero must conceal his true feelings, it was to be a major influence on German opera and specifically the plots of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Beethoven’s Fidelio and Wagner’s Das...
Gerald Barry’s First Opera The Intelligence Park at the Royal ...Sam Smith
Gerald Barry has written six operas, including Alice’s Adventures Under Ground which comes to the Royal Opera House’s main stage next February. His first, however, The Intelligence Park of 1990, is currently appearing in the venue’s smaller Linbury Studio in a co-production with Music Theatre Wales. Set in Dublin in 1753, it sees a composer Paradies struggling to write an opera about the amorous entanglements of warrior Wattle and enchantress Daub, as his imagination...