Columns linked to Michael Fabiano

Excellent Revival of David McVicar’s Faust at the Royal Opera ...

Sam Smith

Charles-François Gounod’s Faust premiered at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859. It underwent several revisions over the following decade, including the insertion of a ballet into Act V to meet the expectations of grand opera, and was extremely popular in the nineteenth century. It was the work with which New York’s Metropolitan Opera opened for the first time on 22 October 1883, while Covent Garden included it in its...


La bohème at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 creation La bohème, which is almost cinematographic in its length and proportions, is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world today. Set in 1830s Paris, it focuses on six young adults and the love that four of them find with each other amidst the most impoverished of circumstances. One couple (Marcello and Musetta) have a stormy relationship but their frequent battles prove that their love actually has staying power. Rodolfo and...


Rigoletto : It’s in the Box !

Alain Duault

Rigoletto is one of the cornerstones of the repertory of a great opera house like the Paris Opera: you cannot, must not miss it. But at the same time you can’t simply keep repeating conventional images of it. It needs to be part of that ceaselessly shifting movement that still today makes us talk about opera, even in the case of these works from the past. In 1851, Verdi was 38 years old: Rigoletto is thus an opera from his mature period – but most of all...