Imagine the excitement of experiencing, for the first time, an opera by one of the greatest composers to have come out of the Spanish-speaking world!
Ralph P. Locke
The oft-neglected “other” great opera by Carl Maria von Weber, splendidly performed in 1955 and in remarkably clear and vivid sound. I hope this opera’s day will yet come.
I had never heard of Marcus Paus before, but his work I Hate Men, set to witty verses by Dorothy Parker, proved to be one of the most entertaining and engaging pieces I have heard in recent years.
Colorful, characterful, and full of worldly wisdom, The Last Sorcerer—by a skilled and imaginative composer, to a text by the great Russian novelist— receives a superb world-premiere recording, with Met mezzo Jamie Barton and bass-baritone Eric Owens.
Gounod was no mere purveyor of gentle sentiments. This 1881 opera, superbly performed, shows plenty of drama and grit.
This is one of the zippiest, most life-affirming opera recordings I have heard in a long time. Well, this puts it a bit too blandly, because the work’s social satire also targets the smug self-satisfaction and careless cruelty of the powerful.
One of Saint-Saëns’s most important operas, Proserpine, has recently been given its world-premiere recording, and the result is a revelation.
This world-premiere recording of the 1826 Paris version of Gaspare Spontini’s Olimpie makes a powerful case for a composer much admired in his own day.
A 1962 concert performance from Radio Italiana, now on CD, shows how delightful Wagner can sound without barking and slow wobbles.
Beethoven reportedly told Rossini to stick to writing comic operas. But new recordings of two of Rossini’s major serious operas bring great pleasure to the listener—and let us hear some splendid young singers.