Columns linked to Gabriele Viviani

Cavalleria - Pagliacci: Alagna's Great Tour de Force

Xavier Pujol

Christmas is coming and Liceu, like many other theatres, has decided once again to offer an attractive programme for the non-specialised audiences, who on these festive dates decide, perhaps for the only time in the season, to go for one night at the opera. On this occasion, the offer has consisted in the traditional double act integrated by Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, the famous pair of short verismo operas, which tradition has transformed into an unbreakable matrimony. In...


Anna Pirozzi saves La Gioconda that Irène Theorin didn't sing

Xavier Pujol

The debut of Iréne Theorin, one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of our time, on the title role was the main feature of the restaging of La Gioconda at Liceu. The opera by Amilcare Ponchielli – the only one by him remaining in the repertoire – moves very awkwardly, as it doesn’t fit anywhere, in the space in between post Verdi and Verism. This wasn’t possible. A few hours before the opening, the theatre announced that Iréne Theorin, still...


Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Set in Japan, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly of 1904 explores the relationship between the American naval officer Pinkerton and the Nagasaki born Cio-Cio-San, whom he both affectionately and patronisingly addresses as Madam Butterfly. She takes their love so seriously that she converts to Christianity, and is consequently ostracised by her family. He, on the other hand, sees their marriage as being akin to his Japanese house, which he has on a 999-year lease that he can cancel at any...