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Gounod, Rameau, and Strauss

Gounod, Rameau, and Strauss

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Bartlett Sher’s supernumerary-loaded, sleepy staging of  “Roméo et Juliette” sank fairly perilously April 23 under the indiscriminate, pace-deadening conducting of Plácido Domingo. There are reasons audiences want to hear Domingo’s compromised but still firm, energetic singing, but his conducting has always at best mediocre — an abuse of his  industry influence […]

Rossini’s Revolution Won’t Be Televised

Rossini’s Revolution Won’t Be Televised

BY ELI JACOBSON | At its premiere at the Paris Opéra in 1829, Gioachino Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” (“William Tell”) created a revolution that influenced Verdi, Donizetti, Berlioz, Meyerbeer, and Wagner, changing the course of opera in the 19th century. It was the final opera of Rossini’s career — he retired at age 37. “Tell” has […]

Spirited Revivals, Reviving Spirits

Spirited Revivals, Reviving Spirits

BY ELI JACOBSON | After a grueling, spiritually exhausting summer of labor negotiations, the Metropolitan Opera has gotten back to work presenting revivals of repertory standards. In many ways, these are better indicators of the company’s current health than the new production of “Le Nozze di Figaro” that opened the season. Sir Richard Eyre’s elaborately […]

Three Tenors

Three Tenors

  BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Tenors do not need to come in threes, but recent weeks have seen three major exponents of high-voiced repertory gracing local stages. One of these — the late-blooming Polish star Piotr Beczala — would be on anyone’s list of great operatic singers active today. The other two — Russell Thomas and […]