Friday, December 31, 2010

Anna Netrebko Does Double Duty

As previously mentioned, soprano Anna Netrebko replaced a snowed-in Renée Fleming for the first schedule performance yesterday of the Dresden Staatskapelle's Silvesterkonzert conducted by Christian Thielemann. She was joined by Erwin Schrott.

The program featured the aria "Heia, in den Bergen" from Die Csárdásfürstin by Emmerich Kálmán (Netrebko) and "Rojo Tango" by Pablo Ziegler (Schrott). The two sang the duet "Lippen schweigen" from Die lustige Witwe.

The couple appeared this evening as the "surprise" guests of Die Fledermaus at the Wiener Staatsoper during Prince Orlofsky's party. They reprised the Die lustige Witwe duet and added "Bess, you is my woman now" from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.

A video of the performance and more photos after the jump.

Architectural Projection Mapping

The high-power projecting of 3D images onto the facade of structures really peaked in 2010. One of the most fascinating aspects of this large-scale creativity is its ability to tell an historical story through manipulation of prospective. Buildings are erected, destroyed and transformed.

After the jump is an example of how the Ralph Lauren show was created,  the 600th anniversary of Prague's Astronomical Clock, inauguration of the Teatro Colón and the 90th anniversary celebration of the Latvian National Opera.

MET Sirius XM Radio Tonight: "La Traviata"

Listen to the Metropolitan Opera perform Verdi's La Traviata live tonight at 7:00 PM EST on Sirius XM radio. Intermission guest: Nathan Gunn (see video).


In Memoriam 2010

Blanche Thebom Philip Langridge Peter HofmannMaureen Forrester 
Helen Boatwright Shirley Verrett Kenneth McKellar Hugues Cuénod 
László Polgár Solange Michel Siphiwo Ntshebe Dolores Wilson 
Luo Pin Chao Evelyn Baghcheban Giulietta Simionato Irina Arkhipova
Anneliese Rothenberger Dolores Wilson Ernest Blanc Frances Ginsberg
 Richard T. Gill Kathryn Grayson Anthony Rolfe Johnson 
Cesare Siepi Joan Sutherland Giuseppe Taddei

Wolfgang Wagner Lena Horne Dixie Carter Thomas H. Connell
Charles Mackerras Blake Edwards Lynn Redgrave Mitch Miller

Plácido Domingo to Conduct Hungarian Treasure

(Photo: Zsigmond. Éva Marton as Gertrud)
"Los Angeles Opera will present the 19th century Hungarian opera Bánk bán as part of the 2011-12 season.  The Hungarian reports stated that Plácido Domingo, who serves as general director of L.A. Opera, will conduct the performances. The announcement was made by Hungarian State Secretary of Culture Geza Szocs and Domingo, who was recently in Budapest."

Synopsis and video of operatic film version, featuring Éva Marton and Andrea Rost, after the jump.

Mozart Drives Mildred Pierce Mad

(Photo: ©2010 Home Box Office, Inc.)
The HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce will air in March 2011 and it looks like we get a little Königin der Nacht action. Divorced single mom Mildred Pierce decides to open a restaurant business, which tears at the already-strained relationship with her her ambitious elder daughter, Veda. Cast includes Kate Winslet, Rachel Evan Wood, Guy Pearce, Mare Winningham and Tom Lipinski. Todd Haynes directs.

Trailer, featuring "Der Hölle Rache" from Die Zauberflöte, after the jump.

There Ain't Nothing Like a Dame Felicity Palmer

(Photo: Christian Steiner)
International opera star Felicity Joan Palmer tops the list of Gloucestershire people on the New Year Honours list. The Cheltenham-born mezzo-soprano is made a Dame for services to music. She was appointed CBE in 1993.

Dame Felicity is currently singing the role of Geneviève in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at the Metropolitan Opera. The January 1 performance will be a Saturday matinee broadcast on the radio and Sirius XM.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Year of Diana Damrau

2010 marked major events for soprano Diana Damrau. In May, the soprano secretly married baritone Nicolas Testé in Orange and on October 3 she gave birth to a son, Alexander, in Amsterdam (she has dubbed him the "little flying Dutchman"...). 

Also in October, she received the Kingdom of Bavaria's Maximilian Order for Art and Science honor. The award was established by King Maximilian II on November 28, 1853. Other recipients include Carl Orff, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey and Wolfgang Wagner.

Read more and watch videos of the soprano singing "Lied der Frauen" and "Das Rosenband" from her new Strauss recording with Christian Thielemann.

Sumi Jo's Christmas Offering

Soprano Sumi Jo performed a charity concert in Korea called Sumi Jo's Christmas Gift. Cast members of the television show Dream High, including Suzy (from the girl group miss A), Taecyeon (from the boy band 2PM), Eunjung (from the girl group T-ara) and musical actress Um Ki Jun, joined the soprano on stage. 

Musical selections performed were "Tonight" from West Side Story, "O Holy Night," "Feliz Navidad," "Blessings on Christmas," a Korena language medley of hits that included "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Silver Bells," as well as "Chacun le sait" from La Fille du Régiment. At one point in the concert, Sumi Jo got up to sing (and dance) to the pop song "My Ear's Candy" by Baek Ji Young. The program was aired on KBS 2TV.

Photos and video after the jump.

Florence Quartararo: Worth a Listen

Backstage at the MET, 1946
Soprano Florence Quartararo had about the shortest career of any major historical singer. Born to Italian parents in America, Quartararo was discovered through a quirk of fate at the age of 23, and never studied singing formally. Quartararo's first public appearance was singing on the Bing Crosby radio show under the assumed name of Florence Alba, but had reverted to her true name by the time she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1947. In 1951, Quartararo retired from singing forever when she married Italian bass Italo Tajo and never returned. At the MET, she had given only 37 performances in nine roles. Her debut was in a 1946 production of Carmen with Risë Stevens, Jacques Gérard and Robert Merrill.

Listen to a 32 minute sampling of Quartararo's recorded legacy inlcuding arias from Andrea Chenier, Il Trovatore, Cavalleria Rusticana, Thaïs and more after the jump.

Fleming im Schneechaos - Netrebko Hilft Aus

Due to weather conditions in New York, soprano Renée Fleming has been grounded by airlines still catching up from the Christmas blizzard. She will be singing the New Year's Eve concert with Staatskapelle Dresden on Friday with Christian Thielemann conducting excerpts from Lehar's Die Lustige Witwe. Thankfully Anna Netrebko is nearby and will sing the dress rehearsal, which will also be filmed. 

The program will now feature the aria "Heia, heia, in den Bergen" from Die Csárdásfürstin by Emmerich Kálmán (Netrebko) and "Rojo Tango" by Pablo Ziegler (Schrott). The two will sing the duet "Lippen schweigen" from Die lustige Witwe.

The rest of the operetta highlights will be sung by Anna Gabler and Christopher Maltman. The taped portion with Netrebko and Schrott will be shown before the live concert with Fleming on Friday evening. It is a good thing everything worked out or Deutsche Grammophon would have to ditch their planned CD release.

Sony Classics Releases Live MET Operas

The Metropolitan Opera has inked a deal with Sony Classics to release several historical recordings from the archives of past performances. The first sets will appear on January 17 (International) and January 25 (USA). Titles include Roméo et Juliette (Björling/Sayão), Tosca (Price/Corelli), La Bohème (Albanese/Bergonzi) and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Pons/Di Stefano). 

Paulo Szot Returns to Café Carlyle

A pre-Valentine's Day treat for many, opera singer Paulo Szot returns to Café Carlyle from February 1-12. Read a review from his last cabaret performances in New York from September 2010:

"Paulo Szot smolders. With his sultry bedroom eyes, pencil-line mustache and enigmatic half-smile, this Polish-Brazilian baritone is every inch the traditional Latin lover projecting the compressed heat of a boudoir bandit."

Tickets range from $75-$135 and dinner is required. Visit the Café Carlyle website for more information.

Söderström Wanted Her Strauss in English

Chandos adds a BBC live broadcast of Strauss's Intermezzo from a 1974 performance at Glyndebourne to their catalog on January 4, 2011. Elisabeth Söderström (1927-2009) stars in this live BBC broadcast of Richard Strauss’s comic and pioneering opera, Intermezzo, recorded at Glyndebourne in 1974. This unique performance is now available on CD for the first time as part of Chandos’ Opera in English historical series.

Full cast and more information after the jump.

What Kennedy Could Learn From Lincoln

(Photo: Mark Bussell/Lincoln Center)
The vast majority of the redesign and rebuilding of New York's Lincoln Center is now finished. And even on a blustery winter day, the 16-acre arts center, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009, is looking livelier, smarter, hipper and more inviting - it is a change that should be studied closely not just by the Kennedy Center and Washington's public art institutions, but by anyone who cares about the peculiar freedoms of urban life.

More to the story and a "before and after" photo gallery after the jump. 

Is the Fat Lady the Biggest Loser?

The eleventh season of NBC's The Biggest Loser begins on January 4. Contestants are in pairs comprised of married couples, siblings, friends and parents with children. Sisters Hannah Curlee, a 32-year old HR representative from Nashville, TN, and Olivia Ward, a 35-year old plastic surgery office manager and opera singer from New York, NY, make up the "purple team" weighing in with a total of 509 pounds. Good luck ladies!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Homeless Opera Singers During the Holidays

(Photo: Deidre Schoo/The New York Times)
Last Saturday night’s celebrity cast around the yule log included the soprano Kiri Te Kanawa; the actress Celeste Holm; James Conlon, the music director of the Los Angeles Opera; the cabaret “crown prince,” Steve Ross; and half of the comedic juggling foursome the Flying Karamazov Brothers.

MET Sirius XM Radio Tonight: "Pelléas et Mélisande"

Listen to the Metropolitan Opera perform Debussy's Pélleas et Mélisande live tonight at 8:00 PM EST on Sirius XM radio. Intermission guests: Erika Miklósa (see video) and Felicity Palmer.

Anna Netrebko's Tribute to Pergolesi

Click here to watch a video of Anna Netrebko discussing her recording of the Pergolesi Stabat Mater due out in March 2011 on Deutsche Grammophon. 

Album cover art after the jump.

Keith Miller: Smoldering Presence & Booming Delivery

(Photo: Dario Acosta)
"Sure, I want to sing more Mozart, I want to sing more Rossini to keep the voice healthy and agile. But on first look, I guess I have a kind of intimidating presence — which suggests darker, heavier things to the people doing the casting."

Learn more about Keith and his upcoming performances at Opera News.

Willy Decker Speaks His Mind

Lundborg: Why are European directors taking such liberties with opera?

Decker: There’s a lot of bullshit going on. We have many opera houses and the same repertoire, so it’s very competitive. Most of the time, directors change things in a superficial way for the shock value.

Read the full interview at Bloomberg.

Wall Street Journal Photos of the Year: New York Culture

(Photo: Philip Montgomery/Wall Street Journal)
The Metropolitan Opera's gala opening of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold launched the MET's first new Ring cycle in more than 20 years. Here, Ellen Oshains, a scenic artist for the MET, applied black paint to the stage before opening night in September. Check out the whole series of pictures here.

Hanoi Opera House Will Put You in a Trance

Two famous international DJs and a well-known Vietnamese DJ will heat up the count-down party to welcome the New Year 2011 at the square in front of the Hanoi Opera House on December 31. Jonathan Glaser, from Sweden, is famous for being able to "read" the minds of the audience and make them frenetic for 4-5 hours.

The Hanoi Opera House is in central Hanoi, Vietnam. It was erected by French colonists between 1901 and 1911. It is considered to be a typical French colonial architectural monument in Vietnam and is also a small-scale replica of the Palais Garnier, the older of Paris's two opera houses.

Frances Ginsberg, American Soprano, Dies at 55

Known for her large, bright voice and expressive acting, she was most closely associated with the spinto repertory. She made her City Opera debut in 1986, singing the dual roles of Margherita and Elena in “Mefistofele,” an 1868 opera by the Italian poet and composer Arrigo Boito. Other opera companies with which she appeared include the Houston and Fresno Grand Operas; the San Diego, Pittsburgh, Utah and Cincinnati Operas; the Welsh National Opera; and l’Opéra de Nice. Read more here.

When Classical Record Labels Give You No Other Choice

Over a quarter of a century after facing the dilemma to switch over from vinyl LPs to the shiny new medium known as compact discs, I face a new crisis. Will I collect recordings in MP3 format only? 

Check out some of the re-issues from Felicity Palmer, Bernadette Greevy, Helen Watts and more, after the jump.

The Soul and Spirit of Jessye Norman

(Photo: Photo Agency)
Roots begins with an African drumbeat, but soon moves on to iconic songs from some of the biggest names in American music: Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Ethel Waters and Nina Simone.

"I feel so at home with these composers, I didn't feel intimidated. I felt, in a different way, overwhelmed by the enormous choice there was," she says. "I don't believe in standing on the sidelines and seeing whether or not something's going to work. I believe in jumping into something and enjoying it."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Star and the Singer

Celeste Holm is an American stage, film, and television actress, known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Gentleman's Agreement (1947), as well as for her Oscar-nominated performances in Come to the Stable (1949) and All About Eve (1950). She was married to Ralph Nelson (1938-1939), Francis Davies (m. 1940), A. Schuyler Dunning (m. 1946) and Wesley Addy (1961-1996). On April 29, 2004, her 87th birthday, Holm married opera singer Frank Basile.

Frank studied at the College of Music at Indiana University in the early 1980s. He traveled abroad to study in Germany during the end of that same decade. He went on to join the singing sergeants with the U.S. Air Force, made his way to Utah for some music projects and eventually landed in New York City.

Juan Diego Flórez Goes Public

(Photo: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)
Check your local PBS listings this Wednesday, December 29, for a "Great Performances" concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and music director Gustavo Dudamel, recorded earlier at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert features Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez performing pieces by Rossini as well as a number of pieces by prominent Latin American composers. TV viewers will also hear Flórez perform two encores: “Ah! Mes Amis” from Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment and “La Donna è Mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto. Actress Eva Mendes is the host for the evening.

Francesca Zambello Gears Up For Summer

"Pour sa première saison, qui aura lieu du 2 juillet au 23 août 2011, Zambello met en vedette: Carmen de Bizet, Médéa un opéra  de 1797 de Cherubini, la fameuse comédie musicale de Irving Berlin Annie Get Your Gun, avec orchestre complet et sans aucun amplification, ainsi que deux nouvelles œuvres américaines présentées dans un  même programme: A blizzard in Marblehead Neck, du compositeur Jeanine Tesori sur un livret de l’écrivain Tony Kushner, et Later the same evening de John Musto et Mark Campbell basé sur des peintures de Edward Hopper."

Choir Boy to Pop Star: The Rise of Mika

"He took singing lessons and taught himself to play piano; a severe dyslexic, Mika is unable to read music. His first proper gig was, aged 11, in the choir in Richard Strauss's Die Frau Ohne Schatten at London's Royal Opera House. He went on to study at the Royal College of Music. At night he worked on his pop songs or waited table to pay the bills."

The 27-year old's first album, Life in Cartoon Motion, sold more than 5.6 million copies. Check out more of his story and his videos after the jump.

Winnie the Opera

"The tumultuous life story of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela and flawed icon of the struggle against racial apartheid, is to be told in an opera at South Africa's State theatre.

Winnie is believed to be the first opera fully composed and orchestrated in South Africa. The historic language of the form, Italian, will be jettisoned in favour of a libretto combining English and Xhosa, with a 60-piece orchestra performing a fusion of western and traditional African music."

If you can't wait to see the opera, hopefully the film Winnie! featuring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard will be out soon. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Opera Architect to the Rescue

Opéra National de Paris - Bastille
"Tata Consultancy Services — or T.C.S., as the company is known — is spending $200 million on its Siruseri campus and has hired the Uruguayan-born Canadian architect Carlos A. Ott, who designed the opera house on the Place de la Bastille in Paris. The company is also building big

Monday, December 27, 2010

Renée Fleming: "Mozart Was My Voice Teacher"

(Photo: Euronews)
American soprano Renée Fleming discusses her experience with nine Mozart roles over the course of a decade. She speaks about repertoire, her future plans, and her unforgettable ‘first time’ with Plácido Domingo.

Watch another clip of the soprano discussing being a "late bloomer" vocally.

Is a High Note Like a Hole in One?

Bryn Terfel tees off at an exhibition match for the Ryder Cup in Wales.
Golf seems to be the chosen sport these days of many type-A opera singers. What is it that attracts these stage animals out into the subdued wilderness of the country club scene? I would guess the discipline that they so aptly apply to their craft is quite easily transferable to the links: skill,  precision and accuracy.

Carl Tanner: Renegade on Renegade

(Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)
Carl Tanner is a truck driver turned bounty hunter turned opera singer making his Metropolitan Opera debut on Monday. Yes, it’s a long story — but that’s only the beginning. He’ll slip into the role of Dick Johnson, the pistol-packing, high-note-hitting romantic lead in “La Fanciulla del West” for one night, almost like a Wild West bounty hunter who rides into town for what’s called in that trade a quick collar.

When Athletes Met at the Opera

Bud Greenspan, who disdained scandals to write, produce and direct uplifting documentaries about Olympic athletes facing triumph and tragedy, died Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.

He made additional money as an extra in the Metropolitan Opera chorus, where he was a spear carrier who was told never to sing. In the chorus, he met another extra, John Davis, an African-American baritone and heavyweight weight lifter who went on to win gold medals at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Angela Gheorghiu Makes Rank

(Photo: Mediafax)
On December 30, 2010, the National Theatre in Bucharest will host a gala to honor soprano Angela Gheorghiu titled "Angela, We Love You!" The event will also celebrate the diva receiving The Order of the Star of Romania with a Commodore ranking. 

Marina Poplavskaya Does Not Do Floors

(Photo: Klaus Lefebvre/De Nederlandse Opera)
Whether or not she is taking a swipe at fellow Russian soprano Anna Netrebko for her days washing floors at the Mariinsky Theater or not,  Marina Poplavskaya will be filling Violetta's shoes in the new Willy Decker production at the MET which was debuted in Salzburg 2005 by the Ms. Netrebko. Read the quote after the jump.

Mariah Carey Imitated Opera Mom

The surprise guest on ABC's Christmas special, Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to You, was none other than her opera singing mother. The two joined voices for "O Come All Ye Faithful" and the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah. More details of the family's opera past and a video of the performance after the jump!

Julie Andrews As The Fairy Queen

"At 12, Andrews’ stage debut was as a guest singer for a review called Starlight Roof at the London Hippodrome where she sang the aria,  "I am Titania" from the opera, Mignon. For that first professional debut, Julie was paid 50 pounds a week. Her impact in that Hippodrome show led to a request that she sing at a Royal Command Variety Performance at the Palladium where Danny Kaye was the headliner. Her assignment was the usual Mignon aria. The Queen liked her singing and Andrews admitted she was in heaven when she heard the Queen’s highly-positive comment."

Operatic Love Story: Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe

After meeting Patti Smith at the opening of the Metropolitan Opera 2010 season (Wagner's Das Rheingold), Maureen O'Dowd decided to read the singer-songwriter's 2010 National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids:

Smith describes the wondrous odyssey of taking the bus from South Jersey and meeting a curly-haired soul mate who

Scottish Legend Kenneth McKellar

A new BBC documentary set to air in January takes a closer look at this fine tenor's singing career and personal life.

It is a voice that is reminiscent of modern singers the likes of David Rendall, John Aler and Richard Croft. There is a clean and clarion majesty to his delivery. Had there been more heft to his voice, he may have been a heldentenor of

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Salma Hayek's Diva Heritage

"'I had to endure the worst time of all in terms of racial discrimination in Hollywood when I first started out,' Hayek says. 'It was inconceivable to American directors and producers that a Mexican woman could have a lead role.' Hayek, 44, was born in Vera Cruz, Mexico, the daughter of an opera singer and an oil executive."

Is Marriage Like Prison?

(Photo: EuropaCorp)
Fresh back from a viewing of I Love You Phillip Morris. If you don't like spoilers, stop reading now. If you want to know what role opera plays in the film, read on!

Tetrazzini Served in the Streets 100 Years Ago

The San Francisco Gate takes a fascinating look back at an historic event and a tantalizing soprano:

On Christmas Eve, exactly 100 years ago, Luisa Tetrazzini, the most famous opera singer of her day, sang in the streets of San Francisco as a gift to the city she loved. There was a huge throng present that night - some said as many as 250,000 people - but they are all gone now and only the memory remains, like the ghost of Christmas past.

Sergei Diaghilev: Opera to Impresario

"Diaghilev at twenty-one had never had anything to do with ballet. He was not even a balletomane. He was a serious musician, an opera-lover who had trained to be a singer, a self-taught art historian, and a theater aesthete whose certitudes were rooted in the principle of the Gesamtkunstwerk as promulgated by Wagner."

Read more in a review of Diaghilev: A Life by Sjeng Scheijen.

Conducting in the Army Now

(Photo: Farriella/Daily News)
Silas Nathaniel Huff, a founding member of the Astoria Music Society, has been chosen as one of an elite group of 22 U.S. Army Band officers.

Huff will leave his job as associate producer of opera at the Manhattan School of Music as well as his post as music director at the Astoria Music Society. The two orchestras he leads - the Astoria Symphony and the Round Rock Symphony in Texas - will be left in the hands of guest conductors while he is away.

Opera at the Museum

Le musée du Louvre à Paris va diffuser à partir de ce week-end des concerts filmés de l'Opéra de Vienne, avec dès samedi une représentation de 1980 de "La Chauve-Souris" de Johann Strauss, a annoncé l'Opéra jeudi. Parmi les autres films montrés lors de ce cycle, qui dure jusqu'à la mi-mai, figurent une mise en scène de 1978 du "Fidelio" de Beethoven, une représentation d'"Elektra" de Strauss en 1989, un "Don Giovanni" de Mozart de 1990, une production de "La Veuve joyeuse" de Franz Lehar de 1999 ou encore "Le Vaisseau fantôme" de Wagner donné en 2004.

Le musée retransmettra également un concert en direct, la première d'"Anna Bolena" de Donizetti, qui sera donnée à Vienne le 2 avril 2011, avec la soprano russe Anna Netrebko dans le rôle-titre.

Coloratura Debutante

(Photo: Deidre Schoo/ New York Times)
And for much of her young life, Miss Nagel’s talents, unusual for a socialite, have been on rather dizzying display: published articles, a scholarly paper, nationally syndicated op-ed pieces, awards, advocacy work for sustainable organic agriculture and social justice. An expert shooter in trap, skeet and clay, she was a blue-ribbon winner of a small-bore rifle competition.

Measha Brueggergosman Plays Party Hostess

(Photo: Alex Gardner)
Just off a plane (but then when is she not?), the Toronto artist threw open the doors of her Parkdale home the other, other night. Officially, a party to ring in the season, and unofficially, wegather, a pat-herself-on-the-back for getting a Grammy nod recently for best classical vocal performance. So, pasta — not too thin, but not too thick — check. A secularly Madonna CD, among others, check. Friends and colleagues alike, done. And, so … somebody forgot to get the vino, didn’t they?

“Um, we sent someone out for a few cases,” the irrepressible Ms. Measha informed, giving us her best hold-your-horses beam.

Friday, December 24, 2010

White House Opera of Christmas Past

(Photo: Wilfredo Lee)
President and Mrs. Clinton join their daughter Chelsea and Denyce Graves as they sing Christmas carols during the 1995 Christmas Pageant, Wednesday, December 6, 1995 on the Ellipse in Washington.

139th Anniversary of the "Aida" Premiere

Auguste Mariette (seated, far left) and Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (seated, far right) with others during the monarch's visit to the Giza Necropolis at the end of 1871.

(an Arabic female name meaning "visitor" or "returning") is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on December 24, 1871, conducted by Giovanni Bottesini.

If It Works On Four Wheels, Why Not On An Opera Stage?

(Photo: K.C. Alfred)
Not everybody who’s homeless is a slobbering drunk or too lazy to work,” he said. “A lot of them are people who have just been unlucky.” His dream job would be as a set designer, maybe for the opera. “My car,” he said, “would be my résumé.”

Viva Cecilia Bartoli!

(Photo: Decca)
Stuart Jeffries interviews the mezzo-soprano about such topics as her latest album Sospiri, castrati, scholarly research, voice longevity and her home in Zurich.

"So why not, while you wait, crossover to pop like so many of your peers have done? Then at least you might find someone who can write for your voice? 'I'm not against this,' she says, 'but for me the real crossover that makes sense now is to make people cross the bridge to come and