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Article

Elizabeth Forbes

punishable by death, before revealing her true identity. Outside France Le postillon was the most successful of all Adam’s operas, particularly in Germany, where every tenor with the necessary top notes wanted to sing Chapelou. But the work is more than a vocal showpiece; Madeleine is as well characterized as Chapelou, and the various duets between them, first as the young bride and bridegroom, later as Madame Latour and Saint-Phar, are aptly differentiated. The music is in Adam’s most tuneful vein and the work kept its popularity well into the 20th century.

Article

William D. Gudger

American colonies. On 18 February 1735 the ballad opera Flora; or , Hob in the Well was performed in the Courtroom above Shepheard’s Tavern. Theatrical performances of all kinds were intermittent throughout the colonial period, but by the mid-1790s there were two theatres, one with a resident company of French comedians. Mattfeld lists over 20 Charleston performances of English ballad operas and French operas before 1800 as American premières. From 1817 to 1822 Charles Gilfert, a composer of several ballad operas, included short seasons in Charleston on his circuit

Article

Raoul Meloncelli and Marita P. McClymonds

Elisabeth Helene Anna Czartoryska, Princess Lubomirski), whom he may have followed to Poland about 1795 , after visiting Vienna for a performance of his cantata Angelica placata . Of Bernardini’s large output of nearly 40 operas only 13 survive, together with two cantatas and a few librettos. All but three of his operas are comic. Some, such as La donna di spirito ( 1770 ), Li tre Orfei ( 1784 ) and Le donne bisbetiche ( 1785 ), were highly successful and widely performed into the first decade of the 19th century. As a composer he was particularly appreciated for

Article

Nancy Malitz

Boccanegra. By then, regional opera companies routinely offered the better casts: in 1985 the Washington Opera gave 72 performances of 16 operas including a new Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Così fan tutte shared with the Paris Opéra; likewise the Dallas Opera was offering Alfredo Kraus in Traviata and finishing the construction of its own Ring cycle. In 1986 only four sponsoring agencies in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Boston had not baulked at a guarantee that had increased to $915 000. The Metropolitan Opera’s president, Bruce Crawford, announced

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse

(bass) – have to exert enormous psychological pressure before Lunardo and his cronies will change their minds. Eventually, however, all is resolved in a happy ending. As in Le donne curiose , the slender plot is little more than a pretext for wittily inventive satirical dialogue and characterization, which are abundantly reinforced by the no less inventive music. Again deriving important aspects of his inspiration from 18th-century opera buffa , Wolf-Ferrari drew on that tradition flexibly enough to accommodate sly references to both Verdi and Wagner and numerous touches

Article

Frank A. D’Accone

his official duties as master of the Florentine chapel, a post he held until his death in 1571 . Most, if not all, of Corteccia’s secular music was published under his supervision in three major madrigal collections. Book 1 for four voices, brought out by Scotto in 1544 , was reissued by Gardane in 1547 in conjunction with publication of book 2 for four voices and the first book for five and six voices. Corteccia said that this last contained ‘all the rest of the pieces’ he had composed ‘in this genre’ up to that time, by which he meant that he had brought together

Article

Winton Dean

restricted ( a to e ♭″) and they are not remarkable for inspiration or virtuosity; but his powers seem to have been on the decline. Burney gathered ‘from those who frequented operas at this time’ that ‘his voice was feeble, and his execution moderate’, but his acting so good that, in the words of Cibber, ‘his hearers bore with the absurdity of his singing the part of Turnus in Camilla, all in Italian, while every other character was sung and recited in English’. Of his part in Teseo Burney remarked (with some justice) that Valentini ‘seems to have been gifted with

Article

John Rosselli

Lisbon and Oporto. He developed a theatrical agency on which he concentrated in later life, in addition to acting as Milan representative for leading impresarios. When he was praised as a singer it was for his comic verve and acting ability: in a one-act opera (to his own libretto), Frondoni’s Un terno al lotto , he sang all the parts. Bibliography DBI ( E. Venturini ) ES ( C. Sartori ) Correspondence: I-Fn , Carteggi Vari 351 [also comments on him in 364/153, 365/34–5]; Mt , Spettacoli Pubblici 109, 112/1; Ms

Article

Alan Blyth

Veasey, Josephine ( b Peckham, London , July 10, 1930 ). English mezzo-soprano . She studied with Audrey Langford and in 1949 joined the Covent Garden chorus, returning in 1955 , after a spell with Opera for All, to make her solo début as Cherubino. Later roles included Magdalene, Rosina, Marina, Dorabella, Carmen, Waltraute, Fricka, Amneris, Preziosilla, Berlioz’s Dido and Cassandra, Eboli, the title role of Iphigénie en Aulide , Brangäne, Venus and the Emperor in the première of Henze’s We Come to the River ( 1976 ). She first appeared

Article

Stephen Banfield

Critic, The [ The Critic, or, An Opera Rehearsed ] Opera in two acts, op.144, by Charles Villiers Stanford to a libretto by Lewis Cairns James after Richard Brinsley Sheridan ’s play; London, Shaftesbury Theatre, 14 January 1916 . Sheridan’s first act, set in the house of the critic Dangle, is dispensed with. His second and third acts are the play itself, the comically bad tragedy The Spanish Armada , in rehearsal in the theatre. Here it is presented as an opera with the essentials of Sheridan’s text retained together with the spoken interjections

Article

Gordana Lazarevich

and Count Polidoro, Alfonsina and the Cavaliere del Lampo, and Alfonsina’s maid Lisetta (soprano) and Ceccho. This was not one of Cimarosa’s most successful operas. It did not attain as many performances as Livigni and Cimarosa’s other comic opera, Giannina e Bernardone , given in Venice the previous year, despite the fact that it contains a similar oracle scene. The music and text satirize Metastasian opera seria in Alfonsina’s aria ‘Son Didone abbandonata’ in Act 1.

Article

Jeremy Hayes, Bruce Alan Brown, Max Loppert and Winton Dean

its particular effect on his preparation for Paris. Between them the eight operas that he produced for the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris – the two Iphigénie operas; the radical revisions for Paris of the Vienna ‘reform’ operas Orfeo and Alceste ; the similar revisions of the Vienna opéras comiques Cythère assiégée and L’arbre enchanté ; Armide , a new opera on a libretto that Quinault had written for Lully more than 90 years earlier; and the last opera, Echo et Narcisse – are all different attempts at the confrontation and revival of that lyric tradition

Article

Noël Goodwin

appointed associate music director and principal conductor at Covent Garden, appearing first in Das Rheingold . In 1992 he conducted the Royal Opera’s first production of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel , and the next year conducted Stiffelio and Attila , the first in a projected cycle of all the Verdi operas. Not as ambitious as some, Downes took time to win eventual recognition as the foremost British conductor of Russian opera and of Verdi, combining detailed understanding of vocal technique with sensibility to musical line and texture. He was made a CBE in 1986

Article

Barry Kernfeld

revised by Julie Anne Sadie

Livorno, S Sebastiano, carn. 1715 (Massa, 1715) Polydore (J.-L.-I. de La Serre), Paris, Opéra, 15 Feb 1720 (1720, 2/1739) Orion (La Font), 1725, inc., 1 air pubd in Mercure de France (Feb 1725) Other works [6] Cantates françoises, S, 2 vn, bc, some with insts, bk 1 (1706) [6] Cantates françoises, S, B, bc, some with insts, bk 2 (1708) [2] Cantates françoises, S, 2 vn, bc, and S, B, 2 vn, bc, bk 3 (1711) [6] Cantates françoises, S, bc, some with insts, bk 4 (1714): all ed. in ECFC, iv (1990) 5 It. cants., F-Pn ; Les troubles de l’amour, music lost, text

Article

James L. Jackman

Castropignano’. At first glance his list of works, entirely in the field of comic opera in Naples, is impressive, but examination of the librettos suggests that Comes was an undistinguished musician called upon when better and more expensive talent was not desired or available. It is probably significant that, except for his last two operas, all his commissions came from the least important and least successful of the Neapolitan theatres, the Teatro della Pace. Thus his first opera, La taverna di Mostacchio (text, B. Saddumene; December 1739 ) is a resetting of

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

revised by Alan Blyth

portrayals of such tormented souls as Philip II, the Dutchman, Golaud, John the Baptist and Enescu’s Oedipus, all of which he recorded. He was also unsurpassed as Méphistophélès in Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust , both in concert and on disc. He was less successful as Falstaff and Hans Sachs, while his preoccupation with even, mellifluous tone often created a rather anonymous impression in lieder and mélodies . Bibliography A. Clark : ‘José van Dam’, Opera (1993), festival issue, 4–14

Article

Andrew Clark

y brilliant. Capraja’s is the lyric tenor Genovese, all feeling and passion. Tinti lures Emilio away from Massimilla; and during a rehearsal at the Fenice theatre of an opera about Europa and the Bull, she distracts Genovese so that he begins to bellow like an animal. Thanks to her own cunning and the help of Emilio’s older friend Vendramin (baritone), Massimilla eventually sorts everything out to her own advantage. Karl Böhm conducted the première in Dresden (where the first performances of three other operas by Schoeck Don Ranudo , Penthesilea and Vom Fischer

Article

Michael F. Robinson

revised by Ellen T. Harris

trips to hire singers, served as the model for that composer's Alcina ( 1735 ). Since Broschi’s score does not survive, it is impossible to compare the complete settings. However, two arias from Bradamante and works from other lost operas do survive in aria collections and as insertions in other operas. Works Operas all in three acts; opere serie unless otherwise stated La vecchia sorda (ob, S. Saddumene), Naples, Fiorentini, aut. 1725 L’isola di Alcina (A. Fanzaglia), Rome, Tordinona, 1728 as Bradamante nell’isola d’Alcina,

Article

Alan Blyth

She made her professional opera début at Verona in 1987 and in 1988 undertook Rosina at Cologne, the Schwetzingen Festival and the Zürich Opera, an interpretation that delighted all who saw it . Following her La Scala début as Isolier ( Le Comte Ory ) in 1991 , she quickly acquired a reputation as one of the world's leading Rossini singers, acclaimed both for her vocal accomplishments and her lively, quick-witted stage personality. She has also been admired in several Mozartian roles, including Cherubino (the role of her début at the Opéra Bastille in 1990 ), Idamantes

Article

Martin Brody

Throughout the opera, vocal lines often overlap in a complex phrasing design that consistently reinforces an ironic undercutting of virtually all the ethical and political positions taken by the characters. The entire historical episode is viewed as tragic and absurd in equal parts. While much of the opera’s language is complicated and awkward, the drama is psychologically and politically focussed at all times. The music is among Sessions’s richest: dense and colourful, gesturally graphic throughout, dramatically motivated and fully integrated at all structural levels