Columns linked to Ermonela Jaho

Outstanding Revival of La traviata at the Royal Opera House, C...

Sam Smith

Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata of 1853 is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world today. Based on Alexandre Dumas, fils’s play La Dame aux camélias, it tells of Violetta Valéry who is a famed Parisian courtesan. Beneath her apparently carefree exterior, however, she is suffering from tuberculosis and her world is shaken when she meets Alfredo with whom she falls in love. They run away together and live off the sale of her goods, but one day...


Il trittico at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Giacomo Puccini’s Il trittico, which premiered in 1918, is a triptych of one-act operas that were always designed to be performed together. The composer originally intended for each opera to reflect one part of Dante’s Divina Commedia, although in the event only the final work is based on the poem. As a result, the only theme that really underpins the operas is that they all involve, in one way or another, the concealment of a death. The Royal Opera’s current...


Otello sinks into mediocrity

Xavier Pujol

Bad singing and worse staging. Otello, Verdi’s masterpiece with a libretto by Arrigo Boito – another masterpiece – and based on Shakespeare’s masterpiece, sank clumsily in its return to Liceu’s stage, after 10 years of absence. It isn’t easy to ruin three masterpieces, but in this occasion it was achieved.   Locating the opera in a refugee camp, besides resulting awkwardly fashionable, alters seriously the relationship and the balance...