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The Three Faces of Pretty

The Three Faces of Pretty

BY ELI JACOBSON | Peter Gelb has been on the hunt for new operatic stars throughout the decade he has been at the helm of the Metropolitan Opera. Several of his discoveries have not lived up their anticipated potential, and the current galaxy of stars will age and gradually drop from the operatic firmament. (Renée Fleming […]

New York Provincial  

New York Provincial  

BY ELI JACOBSON | All New Yorkers think of their city as the center of the universe and that anything and everything significant that is going on in culture, music, art, whatever, can be found here. Yet in some areas New York is a cultural backwater. In Europe, the surviving operas of Antonio Vivaldi are being […]

Tudor Queens  

Tudor Queens  

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Sondra Radvanovsky –– one of the world’s most ambitious sopranos and, in the right roles, one of the most capable — has embarked on a huge project this Met season. Setting aside the weightier Verdi scores in which she’s pretty close to matchless today — “Ernani,” “Un ballo in maschera,” “I vespri […]

Smart Operatic Heroines, Foolish Choices

Smart Operatic Heroines, Foolish Choices

BY ELI JACOBSON | Operatic heroines are always throwing themselves after unattainable men with tragic — or at least ridiculous — results. Donizetti’s elderly Elizabeth I and Rameau’s frog princess Platée play love’s game for high stakes but end up alone, rejected, and swearing revenge. The English queen jealously covets Roberto Devereux, earl of Essex, but […]