Columns linked to Juan Diego Flórez

Juan Diego Flórez returns to a Liceu in a State of Emergency

Xavier Pujol

Normality comes back at Liceu – a kind of normality which we now know will never be a return to the past. This is being done in a brave, slow and difficult way, both for the staff and artists as well as for the audience. Juan Diego Flórez was due to offer a recital at Liceu last May and, after the pandemic forced it to be rescheduled, it was eventually divided into two sessions, on the 21st and 23rd October, in order to accommodate every person that had bought a ticket in...


Committed Performances in Werther at the Royal Opera House, Co...

Sam Smith

Jules Massenet’s Werther, with libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann, was written between 1885 and 1887, although it did not premiere until 1892. Set in Wetzlar in Germany in the 1780s, and loosely based on Goethe’s epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, it concerns a melancholic poet who is besotted with Charlotte. Their feelings for each other begin to develop when her betrothed Albert is away, but he returns unexpectedly and Charlotte...


Charles Gounod Romeo et Juliette at the Vienna State Opera

Helmut Pitsch

French composer Charles Gounod was deeply religious and even he did not decide for a clerical career his strong belief dominated his life. His surviving opus consists of many sacred works but also 12 operas of which only two gained world-wide popularity, Faust and Roméo et Juliette. They are good examples of the French Opéra Lyrique, of which Charles Gounod is a leading representative. © Wiener Staatsoper GmbH / Michael Pöhn © Wiener Staatsoper...


Don Pasquale, Jenufa, Tosca: A Weekend at the Vienna Opera

Alain Duault

A weekend at the Vienna Opera will convince you that this house, under the the masterful hand of Frenchman Dominique Meyer, is always in good health.  In mid-April this year, audiences were able to spend three days seeing three facets of what determines the quality of such an institution - while at the same time enjoying one of those moments that make opera legendary! On Friday, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale brought together an almost ideal quartet: tenorissimo Juan...


Lucia di Lammermoor at Liceu: Florez, a “Di Bella Morte” tenor

Xavier Pujol

The main attraction of this Lucia di Lammermoor presented at Liceu, with 14 performances lasting until after Christmas, was the world’s debut of Juan Diego Flórez as Edgardo, one of the greatest bel canto roles, which the celebrated Peruvian tenor had not yet tackled. Nowadays, this opera is considered a “soprano opera”, but it has not always been this way. Since its premiere in 1835, with the great Gilbert Duprez in the main male character, and until the...


Orphée et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Based on the myth of Orpheus, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice 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 Rheingold. It was also highly innovative musically with its preceding of the three verses of the...