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Gypsies, Troubadours, and Divas

Gypsies, Troubadours, and Divas

BY ELI JACOBSON | In Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” everyone is fighting with each other, everyone fights back, and everyone loses. Still, despite the dark, convoluted story, this is an exhilarating opera with one sensational tune after another. This season’s Met revival of the David McVicar production featured one familiar performer (tenor Yonghoon Lee) with three rising […]

In the Met’s New “Otello,” Moor is Less  

In the Met’s New “Otello,” Moor is Less  

BY ELI JACOBSON | The elimination of traditional blackface from Bartlett Sher’s new Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi’s “Otello” has occasioned considerable controversy online and in the print press. Both the Shakespeare play and Arrigo Boito’s libretto for Verdi’s opera refer to the Moor of Venice as “black.” By the Renaissance, “moor” (often “blackamoor”) referred to […]

Paris in the Springtime

Paris in the Springtime

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Trips to Paris always put matters operatic in perspective. Opera’s capital in the 19th century, the city drew international composers and singers to much inspired –– and doubtless also much banal — creativity. Largely in eclipse after World War II save for a few masterpieces, opera’s “French school” periodically re-examines its […]