María Callas *XII 2 1923 — The Life You Give

Maria Callas, born Maria Cecilia Sophia Anna Kalogeropoulos, December 2, 1923, in New York, New York, U.S.A., is the operatic soprano who revived classical coloratura roles in the mid-20th century with her lyrical and dramatic versatility.Callas was the daughter of Greek immigrants and early developed an interest in singing. Accompanied by her mother, she left… Continue reading María Callas *XII 2 1923 — The Life You Give

Gaetano Donizetti *XI 29 1797 — The Life You Give

Gaetano Donizetti, born on Nov. 29, 1797, in Bergamo, Cisalpine Republic, was an Italian opera composer whose numerous operas in both Italian and French represent a transitional stage in operatic development between Rossini and Verdi. Among his major works are Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), La fille du régiment (1840), and La favorite (1840). In his… Continue reading Gaetano Donizetti *XI 29 1797 — The Life You Give

Alfredo Kraus *XI 24 1927 — The Life You Give

One of the most stylistic, professional and refined tenors of the century, Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus passed away recently in Madrid after a long and outstanding career in the world of opera. The Kraus personality gravitated between two poles. On one side the tenor of Mozart and on the other side the lyrical tenor of… Continue reading Alfredo Kraus *XI 24 1927 — The Life You Give

Meredith Monk *XI 20 1942 — The Life You Give

Meredith Monk, born Meredith Jane Monk, November 20, 1942, New York City, New York, U.S.A., is the performance artist, a pioneer in the avant-garde, whose work skillfully integrated diverse performance disciplines and media.Monk studied piano and eurythmics from an early age. She earned a B.A. in 1964 from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York. From… Continue reading Meredith Monk *XI 20 1942 — The Life You Give

Thomas Quasthoff *XI 9 1959 — The Life You Give

Thomas Quasthoff, born November 9, 1959, in Hildesheim, Germany, is the singer whose powerful bass-baritone voice placed him among the preeminent classical vocalists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.Quasthoff was born with severe disabilities, the result of his mother’s having taken the drug thalidomide during her early pregnancy as a treatment for morning… Continue reading Thomas Quasthoff *XI 9 1959 — The Life You Give

Joan Sutherland *XI 7 1926 — The Life You Give

Joan Sutherland, in full Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, born November 7, 1926, in Sydney, Australia, is the operatic soprano who was considered the leading coloratura of the 20th century.The daughter of a gifted singer, she studied piano and voice with her mother until 1946, when she won a vocal competition and began studying voice with… Continue reading Joan Sutherland *XI 7 1926 — The Life You Give

“Prince Igor” (Borodin) premiered X 4 1890

Composer: Alexander BorodinLibrettist: Alexander BorodinPremier: Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg, 4 November 1890The city-state of Putivl. Together with his son, Vladimir, Prince Igor gathers his army for a military campaign against the Polovtsians. A sudden solar eclipse frightens everybody. The people and Igor’s inner circle of boyars (nobles) take this as a bad omen and plead… Continue reading “Prince Igor” (Borodin) premiered X 4 1890

Vincenzo Bellini *XI 3 1801 — The Life You Give

Vincenzo Bellini, born November 3, 1801, in Catania, Sicily [Italy], is the died operatic composer with a gift for creating vocal melody at once pure in style and sensuous in expression. His influence is reflected not only in later operatic compositions, including the early works of Richard Wagner, but also in the instrumental music of… Continue reading Vincenzo Bellini *XI 3 1801 — The Life You Give

“Tamerlano” (Georg Friedrich Haendel) premiered X 31 1724

Synopsis The defeated Ottoman Emperor, Beyazit, is a prisoner of Timurlenk (Tamerlano). When Timurlenk releases him, Beyazit threatens to commit suicide but is dissuaded by Adnronicus. Timurlenk is in love with Beyazit's daughter, Asteria. In return for her love, Timurlenk will allow him to live. Meanwhile, he also proposes to give his betrothed, Irene, to… Continue reading “Tamerlano” (Georg Friedrich Haendel) premiered X 31 1724

“Don Giovanni” (Mozart) premiered X 29 1787

Don Juan is a figure which crosses boundaries: the boundary between the sexes, the boundary between the classes and the boundary between life and death showing that even cemetery walls don’t stop him. He is said to have already loved 2065 women, 1003 in Spain alone, 640 in Italy, 231 in Germany and 100 in… Continue reading “Don Giovanni” (Mozart) premiered X 29 1787

Jon Vickers *X 29 1926 — The Life You Give

While Jon Vickers was best known as a Wagnerian heldentenor, he was also capable of singing lieder, baroque opera, spinto Italian roles, and even the comic role of Vasek in The Bartered Bride. His voice and physique both radiated power, and his stage presence was one of the most impressive of his era. Like many… Continue reading Jon Vickers *X 29 1926 — The Life You Give

Luciano Pavarotti *X 12 1935 — The Life You Give

Luciano Pavarotti, born October 12, 1935, in Modena, Italy, is the operatic lyric tenor who was considered one of the finest bel canto opera singers of the 20th century. Even in the highest register, his voice was noted for its purity of tone, and his concerts, recordings, and television appearances—which provided him ample opportunity to… Continue reading Luciano Pavarotti *X 12 1935 — The Life You Give

Giuseppe Verdi *X 9/10 1813 — The Life You Give

Giuseppe Verdi, born Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, October 9/10, 1813, Roncole, near Busseto, duchy of Parma , Italy, is the leading Italian composer of opera in the 19th century, noted for operas such as Rigoletto (1851), Il trovatore (1853), La traviata (1853), Don Carlos (1867), Aida (1871), Otello (1887), and Falstaff (1893) and for his… Continue reading Giuseppe Verdi *X 9/10 1813 — The Life You Give

The Magic Flute (Mozart) — premiered IX 30 1791

The Magic Flute — Singspiel in two acts Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Librettists: Emanuel Schikaneder Premiere: Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna, 1791. The Magic Flute In a mythical land between the sun and the moon. Three ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night save Prince Tamino from a serpent. When they leave… Continue reading The Magic Flute (Mozart) — premiered IX 30 1791

Dmitri Shostakovich *IX 25 1906 — The Life You Give

Dmitri Shostakovich, born Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, on September 12 [September 25, New Style], 1906, in St. Petersburg, Russia, is the composer renowned particularly for his 15 symphonies, numerous chamber works, and concerti, many of them written under the pressures of government-imposed standards of Soviet art.Shostakovich was the son of an engineer. He entered the Petrograd… Continue reading Dmitri Shostakovich *IX 25 1906 — The Life You Give

Francesca Caccini *IX 18 1587 — The Life You Give

Francesca Caccini, also called Francesca Signorini, Francesca Signorini-Malaspina, or Francesca Raffaelli, byname La Cecchina, born September 18, 1587, in Florence, Italy, is the composer and singer who was one of only a handful of women in 17th-century Europe whose compositions were published. The most significant of her compositions—published and unpublished—were produced during her employment at… Continue reading Francesca Caccini *IX 18 1587 — The Life You Give

Jessye Norman *IX 15 1945 — The Life You Give

Jessye Norman, born Jessye Mae Norman on September 15, 1945, in Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A., is the operatic soprano, one of the finest of her day, who also enjoyed a successful concert career.Norman was reared in a musical family. Both her mother and grandmother were pianists and her father sang in church, as did the young… Continue reading Jessye Norman *IX 15 1945 — The Life You Give

Tatiana Troyanos *IX 12 1938 — The Life You Give

The dynamic mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos was born into a singing family; her Greek father was a tenor, and her German mother a soprano. Born in New York, Troyanos studied at the Juilliard School with Hans J. Heinz, while singing occasionally in the New York area (she was a member of the original chorus for the… Continue reading Tatiana Troyanos *IX 12 1938 — The Life You Give

The Life You Give: Antonin Dvořák *IX 8 1841

Antonín Dvořák, born Antonín Leopold Dvořák, September 8, 1841, in Nelahozeves, Bohemia, Austrian Empire [now in Czech Republic], is the first Bohemian composer to have achieved worldwide recognition, noted for turning folk material into 19th-century Romantic music.Dvořák was born, the first of nine children, in Nelahozeves, a Bohemian village on the Vltava River north of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Antonin Dvořák *IX 8 1841

The Life You Give: Angela Gheorghiu *IX 7 1965

Angela Gheorghiu, born Angela Burlacu on September 7, 1965, in Adjud, Romania, is an operatic lyric soprano noted for her powerful voice and commanding stage presence.Gheorghiu early realized her love of singing, and she was supported by her family in working toward a career in opera. She left home at age 14 to study at… Continue reading The Life You Give: Angela Gheorghiu *IX 7 1965

Robert the Devil, by Giacomo Meyerbeer *IX 5 1791 / TLYG

Giacomo Meyerbeer, born Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer, September 5, 1791, in Tasdorf, near Berlin, Germany, is the opera composer who established in Paris a vogue for spectacular romantic opera.Born of a wealthy Jewish family, Meyerbeer studied composition in Berlin and later at Darmstadt, where he formed a friendship with C.M. von Weber. His early German… Continue reading Robert the Devil, by Giacomo Meyerbeer *IX 5 1791 / TLYG