Focus Features

Le Postillon de Lonjumeau

Le postillon de Lonjumeau 1836

The history of opera is littered with shipwrecks which sail with great success when first launched only to sink into oblivion for one reason or another. Some are lost forever and some are re-floated only to sail out briefly before returning to dry-dock. It seems that ‘Le Postillon de Lonjumeau’ has become something of a pleasure boat which is only given the odd cruise in its home waters of France, kept afloat almost solely by its famous tenor aria of the same title. It is an aria full of verve, humour, melody requiring great vocal skill.

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Five Operas Worth Re-Discovering

Pietro Mascagni: Silvano

Quality certainly isn’t the only criterion that decides whether a work of art survives or not: luck and a few other rather aleatory factors seem to play a major role. In today’s standard repertoires we can find works that should not have survived the decade in which they were written. Those are works that are known for one or two …

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Dubrovsky

Dubrovsky

Nápravník’s accomplishments as a composer are not the main reasons for his place in Russian music history as he is best known for being the principal conductor at St. Petersburg for over 50 years, and unlike some now more famous Russian composers of his time, he was well trained in music. · Eduard Francevič Nápravník · Born: 24 August, 1839, …

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Tenors & Italian Art Song

Paolo Tosti

What crosses one’s mind if confronted with the terms “Italian song” and “Italian art song”? Well, titles like O sole mio and Torna a Surriento are for sure common connotations, as well as Mamma or Incantesimo. Sure, the first two are Neapolitan songs, and the latter are

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Legendary voices in song

Chaliapin 1

Before the advent of discography, songs were rarely included by opera singers in their repertoire but they made exception for folkloristic songs especially in Germany, Russia and England, which were deemed suitable for concerts and refined salons.

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O Don Fatale

Don Carlo

A supremely gifted mezzo-soprano can make a career out of singing the the great Verdi mezzo roles – Azucena in Il Trovatore, Eboli in Don Carlo, and Amneris in Aida. Eboli presents a an especially challenging role for the singer who portrays the spurned princess.

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