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parterre box

where opera is king and you, the readers, are queens

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:18:26 +0000


Like breathing out and breathing in

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:18:26 +0000

Has anyone who assigned, wrote, edited or published this piece ever seen My Fair Lady?

Women on the verge

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:39:44 +0000

“Trove Thursday” offers Così fan tutte with Pilar Lorengar, Josephine Veasey, Lucia Popp, Luigi Alva and Kieth Engen with Georg Solti conducting.

If dubbing you is wrong I don’t want to be right

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:41:22 +0000

Born on this day in 1930 soprano Marni Nixon.


Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:24:39 +0000

Antonacci’s singing is remarkably beautiful for one who clearly doesn’t make that a top priority.

BASTA: Stridono lasso

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:16:58 +0000

Supernumerary callbacks for the Big Apple Singing Theater Association’s spring production of Bison Don’t Cry were held later that night at the Mariachi Playhouse.

“What price star system?”

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:06:37 +0000

On this day in 1957, Renata Tebaldi sang the title role in a new production of La traviata at the Met, directed by Tyrone Guthrie.

Surfacing: an appreciation in 20 fragments

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:01:14 +0000

I struggle to articulate the notion of an erotics of art.

Gilt trip

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 15:01:20 +0000

As a diehard completist I felt guilty as the Met’s scattered, campy revival of Semiramide lumbered toward its abrupt conclusion after nearly four hours.

“Where’s my serpent of old Nile?

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:01:07 +0000

On this day in 1724 Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto premiered in London.

Broadcast: Semiramide

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:00:55 +0000

Make an Assyrian of yourself tonight starting at 7:25 PM!

True Romans

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 17:13:50 +0000

On Saturday Juilliard 415 welcomed the sterling 10-member Belgian group Vox Luminis for a striking program of “Handel in Rome.”

Sì bella, sì pura, del ciel creatura

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:51:10 +0000

In observance of Edita’s Gruberova’s 50th anniversary in opera, I would like to offer a series of commentaries, over successive days, of my favorite performances.


Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:28:39 +0000

On this day in 1967 the Marc Chagall production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte was unveiled at the Met. Soprano Lucia Popp made her Met debut as the Queen of the Night.

The fire of artifice

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:17:36 +0000

My mother leaned in and quietly whispered,"Is that Leontyne Price?” to which I replied,"Shhhh!”

Midcentury, modern

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:00:55 +0000

In recent years, Opera Paralléle has established a reputation for creative programming of contemporary opera in San Francisco. Persuaded both by the promise of an unusual Bernstein-Heggie double bill, and the unusual venue of SF Jazz’s Miner Auditorium, I had the pleasure of attending an excellent production this past week.  On its face, the decision to combine Jake Heggie’s and Terrence McNally’s At the Statue of Venus with Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti seemed unlikely. The atmosphere of the former, a nervous soliloquy by a young lady awaiting the arrival of a blind date in an art museum is, by […]

The mélodie haunts my reverie

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:14:53 +0000

Happy 85th birthday soprano Elly Ameling.

Technical difficulties

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:37:46 +0000

La bohéme returned to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera once again last night (does it ever leave?)

Stout fellow

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 19:30:39 +0000

There are two delights here: a delectable score too rarely heard and an introduction at close quarters to half a dozen young singers ready for takeoff, indeed already flying.

Broadcast: Parsifal

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:00:05 +0000

An early start for today's broadcast, cher public: get enlightened starting at 11:30 AM.

To live with dishonor

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:00:47 +0000

On this day in 1904 Puccini's Madama Butterfly had its disastrous premiere in Milan.

Measuring up

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:17:18 +0000

On this day in 1966, the Metropolitan Opera debut of tenor Alfredo Kraus as the Duke of Mantua.

The advent of the Nézet-Séguin era: announcing the Metropolitan Opera’s 2018-2019 season

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:00:20 +0000

Accelerating his arrival as Music Director by two seasons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will take up the post in time for the start of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2018–19 season, it was announced today.

Quote unquote

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 12:33:04 +0000

Either venomous fishwife Norman Lebrecht has deliberately misquoted and misinterpreted what Jonas Kaufmann said in a recent interview, or else Jonas Kaufmann needs to go fuck himself.

Shack, rattle and roll

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 12:00:31 +0000

Happy 71st birthday composer John Adams.


Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:22:08 +0000

The problem with trying to revive Semiramide today is competing with the memory of the spectacular casting lavished upon the work during the golden age of the Volpe era.

Bringing up Babylon

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:00:02 +0000

"Trove Valentine’s Day” further stokes Semiramis-fever with another of the celebrated works about the infamous queen: La Semiramide riconosciuta, a superb 1729 opera by Nicola Porpora.

Miss Fleming is ageless

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:00:15 +0000

Happy Valentine's Day! Happy Ash Wednesday! And happy 59th birthday soprano Renée Fleming!

“If it can’t fit into a suitcase, you don’t really need it”

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 15:00:42 +0000

Happy 49th birthday mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

BASTA: The overt and the subliminal

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:03:06 +0000

As if the corner of Broadway and 53rd weren’t already busy enough, Evan Ingersoll couldn’t believe the line leading into the Mariachi Playhouse where BASTA tryouts were held.

“There was skating on the Hudson last night.”

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 16:19:56 +0000

One can only assume that Sally Struthers wanted too much money.