Columns linked to Olga Peretyatko

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...


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...


Otello at the Teatro alla Scala

Raffaele Mellace

With the exception of a single charity performance for the victims of the Franco-Prussian War back in 1870, Rossini’s Otello had been missing from La Scala for over 150 years, since January 1863, when the composer was still alive: an astonishing record for Rossini’s historically most popular opera seria, along with Semiramide. Its comeback was meant to be quite an event – and it actually turned out to be one. The opera house had summoned a remarkable set of singers:...


The Tsar's bride - Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin

Achim Dombrowski

Would we witness the 19th century fairy tale scenery on stage, again? Would we be bored by a "normal" love-jealousy-revenge story as basis for brilliant singing and superbly instrumented orchestra playing, wondering why opera still made into the 21st century ? One can easily imagine by reading the plot before the performance. Not so when the curtain of this production rises ! Not so with Dmitri Tcherniakov ! Tcherniakov embeds the traditional plot into the reality of...