By Peter Franklin, University of OxfordThe Royal Opera House’s restaging of La Bohème will get the same responses as any other production of the Puccini opera. The savvy enthusiast hedges cautiously, perhaps going with the sceptic’s play-it-safe response: “Well, it puts bums on seats, pays for the things we really want to see… in these difficult times, what with funding and … [Read more...] about Opera snobs won’t stop us going back to La Bohème
Renato Cioni, who died today, left at interview just a few months ago, talking to Stephen Hastings, the editor of the Italian magazine Musica. Hastings asked him about the London Tosca with Maria Callas fifty years earlier. Two years before singing with Callas, I'd written her a letter, saying that I'd be the happiest man in the world if I ever had the opportunity to sing with … [Read more...] about Renato Cioni’s last interview: remembering Callas
"Variation is not only a noble endeavour or a musical exercise, but also an intellectual tradition and virtuosity of the imagination,"said Giò Ponti, Italian architect and designer, and close friend of Piero Fornasetti, the man whose obsession with the face of soprano Lina Cavalieri, his theme, led to more than 350 variations on plates, glasses, paperweights and … [Read more...] about The face of a soprano: Fornasetti’s obsession with Lina Cavalieri
Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette was often critical of Placido Domingo during his years with the capital's opera company. However when she criticized his conducting of Tosca a month ago, Domingo decided that enough was enough, and wrote a letter to her paper. On September 12, Midgette wrote; All the performances were hampered, indeed sabotaged, by the … [Read more...] about Gloves off in Washington: Placido Domingo strikes back
Angela Gheorghiu is in London to promote a season of Royal Opera House filmed performances, three starring herself. The Royal Opera House is striving to build up opera and ballet audiences by piping 10 productions, five of them live, into 700 cinemas worldwide. The season opener was last night’s live broadcast of Gounod’s “Faust,” with Gheorghiu. Her recorded performances of … [Read more...] about Angela Gheorghiu: The Rolling Stones have a big sound. You know why? Because they are plugged in!