• Gaston Leroux   Le Fanto Cc 82me De Lopera

    The opera house in literature

    I visit the opera house to listen to the music and watch what happens onstage. But if you judged the opera house based on its role in literature, you’d think it was a hotbed of real-world excitement. Duels and trysts are arranged. Characters are shamed …

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  • Le postillon de Lonjumeau 1836

    Le Postillon de Lonjumeau

    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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  • Benvenuto Franci

    Benvenuto Franci

    Benvenuto Franci born on July 1st 1891 in Pienza (Siena), was another pupil of the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome (Antonio Cotogni and Enrico Rosati were his teachers). In 1918 his debut in opera took place at Rome`s Teatro Costanzi in the role of Gianetto in …

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  • Cosi 1

    The mysterious magic of operatic disguises

    I recently brought a group of friends to a production of Pietro-Andrea Ziani’s La Circe. (Side note: in the vanishingly unlikely event that this opera is performed near you, I highly recommend attending.) One of the characters, Egle, spends a good chunk of the opera disguised as …

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  • Operafanatic

    Book review: The Opera Fanatic

    It’s always strange to find yourself described in a book you’re reading. For me (and, I suspect, many devoted opera fans), Claudio E. Benzecry’s The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession offers that experience over and over again. While Benzecry’s study specifically focused on the standing-room-only crowd …

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