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Bicoastal Voices

Bicoastal Voices

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Little Opera Theatre of NY offered a very pleasant surprise at Baruch’s impressive Performing Arts Center March 24 with “Piramo e Tisbe” by Hamburg-born Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783), a local premiere. One thinks of Hasse as Handel without the psychology; but the music (under harpsichordist Elliot Figg) was delightful and formally […]

Subs Surface at the Met

Subs Surface at the Met

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | In any of the much-discussed “golden eras” of the Metropolitan Opera, keeping casts of a production together was rarely a priority. Sometimes voice fans loved this. For example, in 1964-65 one could hear six Toscas, six Cavaradossis, and seven Scarpias divided among 16 house performances, virtually all of them international artists, many […]

Pride Week Opera 

Pride Week Opera 

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | San Francisco Opera presented three works during its summer season, smartly timed to overlap with Pride Day and Frameline’s Film Festival. Volunteering duties at the Castro kept me from seeing Patricia Racette in the beautiful Jun Kaneko’s beautiful “Madama Butterfly” production. But Racette — who sang both Margherita and Elena in […]

Off with their Heads!

Off with their Heads!

BY ELI JACOBSON | Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda” (1834) had a difficult birth — the opera was banned at the dress rehearsal in Naples when the queen of Naples was horrified at the onstage royal execution. Soprano Giuseppina Ronzi de Begnis as Mary Stuart tussled for real with the rival soprano singing Elizabeth I. The next […]