Wozzeck (Berg) premiered today in 1925

Wozzeck, opera in three acts by Austrian composer Alban Berg, who also wrote its German libretto, deriving the story from the unfinished play Woyzeck (the discrepancy in spelling was the result of a misreading of the manuscript) by Georg Büchner. The opera premiered in Berlin on December 14, 1925. Of all rule-breaking avant-garde operas, it… Continue reading Wozzeck (Berg) premiered today in 1925

“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

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

Siegfried (Wagner) premiered VIII 16 1876

Siegfried - music drama in three acts(third of the four works which constitute the cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen)Music - Richard WagnerLibretto - Richard Wagner Premiere - August 16 1876, in Bayreuth FestspielhausLanguage - German Siegfried, Old Norse Sigurd, is a figure from the heroic literature of the ancient Germanic people. He appears in both… Continue reading Siegfried (Wagner) premiered VIII 16 1876

“Parsifal” (Wagner) premiered on July 26 1882

The Poem Parzival, an epic poem, is one of the masterpieces of the Middle Ages, written between 1200 and 1210 in Middle High German by Wolfram von Eschenbach. This 16-book, 25,000-line poem is in part a religious allegory describing Parzival’s painful journey from utter ignorance and naïveté to spiritual awareness. The poem introduced the theme… Continue reading “Parsifal” (Wagner) premiered on July 26 1882

The Valkyrie (Wagner) premiered today in 1870

Valkyrie, also spelled Walkyrie, Old Norse Valkyrja (“Chooser of the Slain”), in Norse mythology, any of a group of maidens who served the god Odin and were sent by him to the battlefields to choose the slain who were worthy of a place in Valhalla. These foreboders of war rode to the battlefield on horses,… Continue reading The Valkyrie (Wagner) premiered today in 1870

“Tristan and Isolde” (Richard Wagner), premiered today in 1865

Tristan and Isolde, Tristan also called Tristram or Tristrem, Isolde also called Iseult, Isolt, or Yseult, principal characters of a famous medieval love-romance, based on a Celtic legend (itself based on an actual Pictish king). Though the archetypal poem from which all extant forms of the legend are derived has not been preserved, a comparison… Continue reading “Tristan and Isolde” (Richard Wagner), premiered today in 1865

Roméo et Juliette (Gounod), premiered on April 27 1867

Roméo et JulietteTragic Opera in five actsComposer - Charles GounodLibretto - Jules Barbier und Michel CarréLanguage - FrenchBased on - Romeo and Julia, William ShakespearePremiere - 27. April 1867, Théatre Lyrique, ParisLength - 2 ½ hours Roles: Juliette - soprano Roméo, son of Montague - tenor Frère Laurent - bass Mercutio, Romeo's friend - baritone… Continue reading Roméo et Juliette (Gounod), premiered on April 27 1867

“Turandot” (Puccini) premiered today in 1926

Composer: Giacomo PucciniLibretto: Giuseppe Adami, Renato SimoniWorld premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, April 1926. Principal roles:Princess Turandot - sopranoThe Emperor Altoum, her father - tenor Timur, the deposed King of Tartary - bass The Unknown Prince (Calaf), his son -- tenor Liù, a slave girl --- sopranoACT IPeking, in the mythic past. Outside the Imperial… Continue reading “Turandot” (Puccini) premiered today in 1926

“Carmen” (Bizét) premiered today in 1875

Opéra comique in four actsComposer: Georges BizétLibrettists: Ludovic Halévy, Henri MeilhacLanguage: FrenchBased on "Carmen" by Prosper MériméePremiere: 3 March 1875, at the Opéra-Comique, ParisWith a plot based on the 1845 novella of the same name by Prosper Mérimée, Bizet’s Carmen was groundbreaking in its realism, and it rapidly became one of the most popular Western… Continue reading “Carmen” (Bizét) premiered today in 1875

Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” premiered today in 1862

Listen in at the Opera, Blood and Tears Club, on Clubhouse, at 7:30 pm EST Il Marchese di Calatrava – Kurt MollDonna Leonora – Leontyne PriceDon Carlo di Vargas – Sherrill MilnesDon Alvaro – Plácido DomingoPreziosilla – Fiorenza CossottoPadre Guardiano – Bonaldo GiaiottiFra Melitone – Gabriel BacquierCurra – Gillian KnightTrabuco – Michel SénéchalUn Alcalde –… Continue reading Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” premiered today in 1862

“Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg” premieres 176 years ago in Dresden

“Tannhäuser” (“Tannhäuser and the Minnesingers' Contest at Wartburg”) the three act opera by Richard Wagner (music and libretto) premiered on October 19 1845, at the Königliches Hoftheater Dresden (Royal Court Theatre). Painting of Elisabeth praying for Tannhäuser, by Theodor Pixix (1831-1908)

“Das Rheingold”, by Richard Wagner, premiered on September 22 1869, at the National Theatre, Munich

“In the depths of the Rhine, the three Rhinemaidens guard the Rhinegold, a treasure of immeasurable value. The Nibelung dwarf Alberich is dazzled by the sight of it. The girls explain that whoever wins the gold and forges it into a ring will gain power over the world, but must first renounce love. Frustrated by… Continue reading “Das Rheingold”, by Richard Wagner, premiered on September 22 1869, at the National Theatre, Munich