Monday, 22 December 2008

Happy Christmas to us all

I wish you a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What is Christmas? Or rather what do I mean by saying Happy Christmas or Merry Christmas to someone. I don't have to explain A Happy New Year even if I know that all have our January 1th as their first day of the new Year. But still my wish that all people will have a Happy New Year with new promises and possibilities, it is still valid.

But Christmas? There are so many different kind of Christmas. One can look at it as a purely religious thing, where all Christians celebrate that Jesus was born. Jesus of Nazareth, our Messiah. That sound simple but it excludes many people.. And still it is not really that simple, there are many different kind Christians and Christianities: Protestant, Catholic, just to name two. And then most of all people that call themselves Christian may attribute different meaning to how to celebrate Christmas and all that.

When I wish a MERRY CHRISTMAS, I am more thinking about the Holiday season, the time off work, time with family/friends where we can be happy together and give gifts to our loved ones and wish Happiness to All that liveth. I am Christian, I believe Christmas should be more about our GIFT of  LOVE that God gave us, when he gave us his son, than about Santa Claus and shopping. But still every Merry Christmas / Happy Christmas I say to people is not about how to celebrate Christmas, but about HAPPINESS in Life to all.

For me, as a Christian, a Protestant, member of the Norwegian State Church, but most of all as me, the meaning of Christmas is what without the birth of Jesus there would be no Easter. The message in the New Testament especially when you read about Jesus is about LOVE, HOPE and FORGIVENESS. And I believe that God wants us to be happy. But he does not want us to be happy and not willing to give happiness to others. God want us to be happy not rich. It is nothing wrong with being rich if you are willing to give. But are we? At least in Christmas we can give gifts and maybe learn to give on other days too.

The Best Christmas Music
from Christmas in Vienna 1992 (José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Diana Ross)
Christmas in Vienna by Placido Domingo, Diana Ross, and Jose Carreras (Audio CD - 1993)
Christmas in Vienna / Diana Ross, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Vienna Symphony Orchestra by Placido Domingo; Jose Carreras; Diana Ross and Vjekoslav Sutej (DVD - 2007) - Classical

and Christmas in Vienna 1995 (José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Natalie Cole)

Celebration of Christmas by Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Natalie Cole (Audio CD - 1996)

and Christmas in Vienna 1999 (José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti)
The Three Tenors Christmas

The Three Tenors Christmas by Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti (DVD - 2000) - Classical


For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 14 December 2008

I forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite opera stars

Agnes Baltsa, my favorite mezzo. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (November 19th)
José Cura and Josep Carreras, my favorite tenors. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (December 5th)
Wonderful memories have they given me, so I wish all the best to them for this year and the next.
Some years have have better than others, like 2004: my first Live STIFFELIO, the wonderful Verdi Gala in Parma and the Jose Carreras Gala in Vienna State Opera.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Nothing happens in December except Advent and Christmas

 No operation in December, but in February. Friday 13th I will be in hospital. Lucky for me the operation will only be on Monday 16th. GREAT.

Plans for now:
No opera plans for December, unfortunately. I'll be listening to my IPOD as a madwoman that is for sure.
2009 January. TURANDOT in London with Jose Cura as Calaf.
February: Before the operation I will see STIFFELIO in Vienna with José Cura, Hui He and Anthony Michaels-Moore. WONDERFUL
March: CARMEN and TOSCA in Vienna with Jose Cura. I think I will be fine in due time.
April: JENUFA with Agnes Baltsa in Vienna

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 30 November 2008

What happens in December?

Well, first I will have a trip to the hospital to talk with a surgeon about a probable operation. (December 1)

How have I prepared myself to this "ordeal": well, I have put more Carreras CDs on my IPOD.

I have project going on: trying to listen to all my not listened to previously on my IPOD. 600 songs to go.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Monday, 24 November 2008

First impressions of Juanjo Cura in Berlin

It was cold in Berlin. And it was even a bit cold in Kammermusiksaal Philharmonie Berlin. It is a special concert room with a small plattform in the middle, just the right size for a small group of people with instruments. For 5 people, it was perfect.

Juanjo Cura seems to have more than just Argentinians on his side as fans of him and of tango, it was quite a lot of Germans there too. The concert hall was not full  but it seemed to be more more than half full. I sat in the front row, in the best seat of the room. I bought my 3rd Juanjo Cura CD there, Pasional. He talked in German during the concert and we had no program, all our information was from Juanjo himself in his German. Since I am not German myself but understand German and speak a little myself I still had a little problem since his German was good but it was an Argentinian speaking German... But it was still very impressive to do that.

My other disadvantage is my not knowing too much about Argentinian Tango. For so many there they knew the music already and loved it already. I am more of the classical person. Juanjo Cura is more approaching the music like a Jazz singer would, being very free with the notes. But Juanjo Cura's voice is a true tenor voice. Personally I will always regret that he did not choose the more classical path but Juanjo seem to enjoy more the explosive passion of the tango. And he really acts it out. Nobody can say that he just sings because he doesn't just sing he is every tango and song he sings. But sadly it reminds me of why I "hate" Jazz and LOVE Classical music. I will always love more the correct attack to the notes that are the Classical way and dislike most of the loose attack that is Jazz. But I don't regret using my money to go to Berlin just for this concert. I don't regret that at all. I loved his singing "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" from Lehar's Das Land des Lächelns. His singing My Way in German. And some of the tangos/boleros/songs that he sang as nicely as he does on his CD's.

2008-11-22 Juanjo Cura in Concert, Philharmonie Berlin

For more reviews from my travels, see

Saturday, 22 November 2008

I am going to Berlin to see Juanjo Cura

2008-11-22 Juanjo Cura, Kammermusiksaal Philharmonie (Berlin)

Juanjo Cura, tenor
Javier Tucat Moreno, Klavier
Malys Im, Kontrabass
Guillermo Destaillats, Bandoneon

For more reviews from my travels, see

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Analyze That: LE CID by Jules Massenet

I saw LE CID in Opernhaus Zurich this year (2008-02-03
Only the tenor's aria: O souverain, O juge, O pere; and the soprano's, Chimene's aria: Pleurez mes yeux; is reallyy known.
Music aside, read in Wikipedia: LE CID (opera) 
Wikipedia says: Le Cid is a tragicomedy written by Pierre Corneille and published in 1636. It is based on the legend of El Cid.
On EL CID (also Wikipedia)
Rodrigo (or Ruy) Díaz de Vivar (c. 1040, Vivar, near Burgos – July 10, 1099, Valencia), known as El Cid Campeador, was a Castilian nobleman, a gifted military leader and diplomat who, after being exiled, conquered and governed the city of Valencia. Rodrigo Díaz II was educated in the royal court of Castile and became the alférez, or chief general, of Alfonso VI, and his most valuable asset in the fight against the Moors.
The nickname "El Cid" comes from the Spanish article "El", which means "The" and the dialectal Arab word سيد "sïdi" or sayyid, which means "Lord". So "El Cid" could be translated as "The Lord". The title "Campeador" is a vulgar Latin word that could be translated as "master of military arts". He is considered the national hero of Spain.
--- Maybe I will analyze LE CID myself, really, one time later and not just rip of from Wikipedia.---
Or maybe I have some readers that will do me the honor of commenting their analysis...
For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 9 November 2008

November woes, but the concert with JJ Cura is still safe.

News for me: after my Berlin weekend, directly to Xray on November 24th. Well, I do get to sleep in my bed Sunday to Monday. So in 2 weeks there are both fantastic oppurtunity to see Juanjo Cura live in Berlin on Saturday 22, going home on Sunday 23rd, and then Xray and I read the preparation sheet and am not looking forward to that Monday. But if the Saturday concert is what I hope for, then maybe Monday won't be too bad. But the reading made me think pain and tears is ahead. But before that Monday it will be Monday 17th a happy travel to the hospital to my Remicade treatment.

But, but, but, I still have to get through this week. IPOD filled with opera, help me. Unfortunately I cannot work and listen to my IPOD. But still I try to gear myself up with very happy JJ thoughts. Juanjo Cura = Juan José Cura = JJ Cura. I will really be ANGRY if I get too sick for my concert. The November concert is only my no 13 operaduets event this year. I hope 13 is LUCKY number this time.

2008 : 13 events if JJ Cura happens
2007 : 21 events
2006 : 21
2005 : 27
2004 : 24
2003 : 20
2002 : 25
2001 : 13
2000 : 17
Numbers from:

Look at the numbers, it is saying that 2008 is not a GREAT year for OperaDuets

For more reviews from my travels, see

Thursday, 30 October 2008

In the middle of September and November (mostly private)

Suddenly it is ca. 1 month since I saw José Cura as Dick Johnson in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST in London and also ca. 1 month till I see his younger brother JUANJO CURA in Berlin.

But in-between I must prepare for my colonoscopy on November 3. I am so excited a weekend of no eating instead of the Phosphoral I complained about in my last post. Just no eating but drinking a lot of clear liquids and some clear soup is allowed. On Sunday I will take Toilax, it is just 4 pills, that can't be bad. But Monday morning a liquid in, you know where. I hope my bus ride will go OK. But I am hopeful.

Until November 22 I predict a lot of listening to music on my IPOD. Agnes Baltsa, Josep Carreras and José Cura.

I have bought air plane ticket to Berlin. And a concert ticket. I only have the hotel left.

UPDATE 2008-11-03: I predict also a lot of listening to Juanjo Cura now that I have his 2 CD's on my IPOD (as you can see from my comment)

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Wonderful to live in Norway, except

that the reason this time is that I have a disease that are treatable but not curable, yet anyway, and with Norway's health system I don't have to pay all the super-expensive medicine. Unlike if i lived in USA, health insurance or not. But I still don't like my disease, but it is bearable. Except that on November 3rd I am scheduled for a colonoscopy. But what I really hate and dread is Phosphoral that I need to drink to empty myself. WHY CAN'T They just make something that TASTES OK or even GOOD. So I have ANGST. Colonoscopy can be very painful, but I am sure they will do something to help that. But I have to DRINK to something that TASTES so TERRIBLE that I even decided to just help myself out of the hospital last time I had to take the other sip of that TERRIBLE thing.


I have decided to OK an stomi operation, but it is still the PHOSPHORAL thing that terrifies me. Otherwise I am usually most concerned whether my Chrohn's will hinder me in my Opera Duets TRAVEL. If only opera did not just cure head-ache but fear of drinking that TERRIBLE THING

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Next Month I will see Juanjo Cura in Berlin, and so can you if you want to

November: Berlin
2008-11-22 Juanjo Cura, Kammermusiksaal Philharmonie (Berlin)
Juanjo Cura, tenor

JUANJO CURA und sein Ensemble
Der weltbekannte argentinische Sänger

Javier Tucat Moreno, Piano
Malys Im, Kontrabass
Guillermo Destaillats, Bandoneon

Juanjo Cura singt weltbekannte Boleros und Lieder - Balada para un loco, Caminito, Por una cabeza, El dia que me quieres, Volver, Sueno de juventud, Pasional, Garganta con arena und internationale Tenorarien - O sole mio, Granada u.a.

Termine Veranstaltungsort Veranstaltung Tickets
22.11.08, 20.00 Uhr Kammermusiksaal / Philharmonie Juanjo Cura - Argentinischer Sänger Buchen Sie Ihre Karten über ticket-online

WHO IS Juanjo Cura? The younger brother of José Cura. Juanjo Cura is very famous in Argentina. More info on his website.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

My second Fanciulla del West 2008

Another Fanciulla on Monday 2008-09-29. This performance also started at 19. And as ususal I started with a Pizza (Funghi) at Piazza Cafe, but this time I was inside the cafe and not sitting outside. Another great Pizza Funghi. Lovely.

And then it was opera time. This time I was careful to arrive in good time before the opera starts. Fewer JCx members this time. I got to see the whole opera in my wonderful seat in the orchestra stalls. The only time we get to applaud the conductor Antonio Pappano before the opera starts is before act 3. SO both act 1 and act 2 starts suddenly from blackness to lights and music.

The only difference from Friday 26 to Monday 29 is the singer that is Sheriff Jack Rance, Silvano Carroli, the original Rance from 1977. So 31 years after this production was first played he is back, he also sang in the same production in 1978, so this was also 30 years celebration. And in 1982 it was taped on video with Placido Domingo as Dick Johnson, Carol Neblett as Minnie and Silvano Carroli as Rance, conducted by Nello Santi.

So how was he compared with himself almost 3o years ago or compared to our other Rance, Claudio Sgura. He was much older and somewhat lacking in force especially in act 1, in act 2+3 he was better. Anyway the opera changes a bit when Jack Rance is young and dashing (Claudio Sgura) or if he is more of an old rogue (Silvano Carroli 2008). Comparing 1982 performance with 2008 is almost impossible, it is to compare younger, domineering to older, domineering.

Many said this was the best performance of Silvano Carroli and the cast. It was certainly musically good. After a long wait at the stage door we finally met Jose Cura and his family and Eva-Maria Westbroek. I did not see Silvano Carroli. José Cura was still there talking when I left for my hotel. After all I was going home the next day.

TUESDAY 2008-09-30

Up early. To Paddington to take the Heathrow Connect to Heathrow and then a wait at Heathrow airport SK804 London Heathrow - Oslo 1020 (English time) -1330 (Norwegian time). Everything went smoothly. In Oslo I decided to fly home 1610-1757. And at 1900 I was home. GREAT LONDON trip.

LUCKY to be well enough for this experience. Because I don't feel well enough now.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 5 October 2008

My London weekend 2008

SATURDAY 27.September 2008

After Friday's (26.september 2008) travel and opera night, it was a clear Saturday and the Annual Meeting with Dinner for the José Cura Connexion. It started at 12 and ended 1630. Even if we were supposed to be finished with dinner and socializing long before 1600. And when you have an organizer than can give good directions to how to get to the place everything went wonderfully. And I was even lucky enough to meet (by coincidence) 3 other members of the club, and so we naturally found it. It was wonderful to meet so many people from different places, all fans of José Cura. Meetings can be tedious but here it was just enough talk and speeches and decisions. PERFECT.

The Dinner was wonderful even if I did not love my vegetarian dish. The fish might have been more to my liking. But I can blame no one than myself. But the food or drinks was not the reason, it was the people. And we had a lovely time. José Cura and family was expected to be there for the whole meal but the weather conditions at Heathrow was bad so his wife and children would not land until midnight. I felt really sorry for Cura but more for his wife and children, waiting in an airport is no fun... But José Cura and his eldest son came in the end which was really generous of them.

But all good things has to end and 1630 I went back to my hotel again.

In the evening I went to the Covent Garden Piazza and ate another Pizza Funghi at Piazza Cafe. This time it only took 10 minutes before my pizza was ready. It was as good as on Friday but looked quite differently, darker.

SUNDAY 28. September 2008

Relaxed, relaxed and relaxed again.

In the evening I went to Piazza Cafe, but this time it was a Sunday so it was closing already. So what then, well I found a Pizza Hut Restaurant near Leicester Square Tube station and I had a Vegetarian Pizza there, Pan small pizza. Not bad but nothing near Pizza Funghi at the Piazza Cafe. After a Pizza in the evening/night I could finally go back to my hotel and have some sleep. (when I write go, I mean with tube).

For more reviews from my travels, see

Friday, 3 October 2008

Fanciulla del West, London 2008-09-26

Since I promised to continue today about the performance on Friday 26. September 2008 here is more:


Lost 15 minutes. But it was OK I had after all seen this production in 2005.

Jack Rance = Claudio Sgura. New Sheriff in town. Loved him even if he seemed a little too young, but he was like a young and attractive Silvano Carroli. He really reminded me of SC of ROH video/DVD.

Ashby = Erik Halfvarson. So unlike Robert Lloyd's more elegant Mr Ashby. This was a man who was drinking from his bottle all the time.

Minnie = Eva-Maria Westbroek. This is her favorite opera and her dream role but I find her too ... over-acting. She made me miss Andrea Gruber as Minnie. And wondering what would have happened if Sylvie Valayre had been ROH's Minnie. SV was a wonderful Minnie in Zurich 2004 and Berlin 2006.

Dick Johnson = José Cura. WOW, even better actor and absolutely wonderful.

Jake Wallace = Vuyani Mlinde. THANK YOU, ROH: no black-face-painted as AL JOLSON, just a black man in his own skin. BUT, I never saw him in the line-up at the front for the applause in the end of the opera. WHY: Jake Wallace is a short role but really important to be able to show our appreciation for his art. He was not just a part of chorus or ensemble. As important as Trin or some of the other miners (all white persons, by the way) that got their own line-up. He should have been up there with Cura, Westbroek, Sgura, Bonaventura Bottone, Erik Halfvarson.

(I just hope somebody will say I am wrong, he was there, I must just have missed him. And for the record I don't believe this is necessary racism, but it might just be a blind spot at the ROH.)


I am so GLAD that Wowkle (Clare Shearer), Billy Jackrabbit (Graeme Danby) managed to made some of their UGH into something less offensive (ah, eh, oh). That made this act better for me. Westbroek and Cura was really good together. And Sgura was just perfect.

What was wrong? The roof of the cabin, if you lived with kind of roof you would have snow inside. Another snowy issue. All the opening of the door, Wowkle exclaiming "it is snowing" (a blizzard, you know) and then Johnson also IT IS SNOWING. BUT no snow was seen from the opened door, it should have been snowing inside so that we understood why Johnson needed to stay in Minnie's cabin, you know, because of the blizzard. And how heartless it was that earlier Wowkle with her little baby on her back was made to go out by Minnie and later Johnson kicking her out when she hesitated because of the SNOW. The snow that never was...


GREAT. Great aria: Ch'ella mi creda. Minnie was really good.

AND of course I met a lot of friends from the Jose Cura connexion. We waited at the stage door. Cura, Westbroek, Sgura came, and probably others that I did not know.

0030 Norwegian time in my hotel---

For more reviews from my travels, see

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Travelling to London for Fanciulla and Jose Cura

Friday 26. September 2007:

Arrived in Oslo Bus Terminal at 0530 after a 7 hrs bus ride. Slept well in the bus. Not the same as in a bed but enough. Only thing is that 0530 is not my favorite time of day. I then took the airport bus to Oslo Gardermoen. Found me something to eat and drink in the Airport.

I had 80 GBP or maybe with the coins almost 90 GBP already from my travel in 2005 also to see Fanciulla, no, I remembered wrongly from 2007 Stiffelio in London. Then I withdrew 100 GBP. That was enough for the whole weekend Friday to Monday. Only time I used my credit card was when I paid for my hotel.

Finally it was time to travel from Oslo to London Heathrow Airport SK805 0slo - London Heathrow 1040-1205. Of course 1040 is the Oslo time and 1205 London time. My watch showed all the time the Norwegian time. So I had to remember that ex. 1205 London time is 1305 Oslo time. I chose Heathrow because I felt more sure how to get to London. This time I took the Heathrow Connect and not the Express, mainly because Connect was cheaper and only 10 minutes more (25 mins in stead of 15). With a return ticket, naturally. And soon I was at Paddington station and had to go to South Kensington so I bought a Daycard for zones 1-2. South Kensington because my hotel was 4 minutes walk from that station. Because of the confusion caused my the hotels map and the direction the map talked about it took me 1 to 1,5 hrs extra to find my hotel. Stupid, I should have known, never trust a hotel own map and directions, use GOOGLE maps. Of course, finding the hotel was really easy when I knew, which road to go straight down... but the hotel direction was like go that road and then another... SO when I arrived at the hotel I was both tired and kind of angry and not really thinking this hotel will be OK. I really wanted to get back at the hotel and just change to another, but in the end I was too tired to bother with a quarrel, and the hotel was OK. But I got a cold, that bloody Air Condition.

So I relaxed at the hotel room. Then I went to Covent Garden with the tube, and I ate the most wonderful Pizza Funghi at the Piazza Cafe. But then it had taken forever to get the pizza and even though I had had a quick look at my opera ticket I never saw that it was 19 pm and not 1930 as I had convinced my self. Pizza was still good but it cost me 15 minutes of the beginning of the opera, it is not that bad, Minnie and Dick Johnson had not arrived at the stage yet. I was lucky, the staff in ROH let me in and decided that I could see the opera live from a balcony box. Not that lucky was that is was on wrong side of much of the Johnson/Minnie action. Looking at a TV relay would have been better. But Act 1 was really special, balcony box. But too many people had their head far out of the boxes and I was naturally in the second row but I could enjoy the chair and the music and singing.

More about Fanciulla in London September 26, 2008 tomorrow...

For more reviews from my travels, see

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Ugh, what I don't like about Fanciulla del West

In the production from London Royal Opera House Jake Wallace, the minstrel singer is painted as black-face. I couldn't believe it, I hope they have finally dropped that, it is so offensive and not needed.

The photo is from 2005-09-15, Robert Lloyd (Ashby), Jonathan Lemalu (Jack Wallace). Jonathan Lemalu is from New Zealand and Maori. (What a beautiful voice!!!)

Could ROH be more insensible...

And that is just a problem that is not in the libretto. Then there is 2nd act. Wowkle and Blackrabbit. They say UGH, why, because they are Indians, Native Americans.

From Wikipedia about this opera:

Performance history

It was first performed on 10 December 1910 in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera House with Emmy Destinn as Minnie, Enrico Caruso as Dick Johnson and Pasquale Amato as Jack Rance; Arturo Toscanini conducted the premiere.

This opera was the first world premiere for the Metropolitan Opera House, and was a huge success in the United States. Despite that, it was never as popular in Europe, except, perhaps, in Germany where it enjoyed a triumphant premiere in March 1913 at the Deutsche Opernhaus in Berlin (now known as the Deutsche Oper), under the musical direction of Ignatz Waghalter. It has fewer of the "showstopping" highlights that are characteristic of other Puccini operas, but is admired for being far better integrated than his earlier work. It shows the obvious influence of (but by no means any imitation of) Debussy, and is Puccini's only venture into impressionism. It is still sometimes performed, but not as often as Puccini's other mature operas.

To read from the libretto, act 2.

Does it sound like something OK for people today.

If you want to read the original source of LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, go to the Gutenberg project The Girl of the Golden West by David Belasco

Other than these glimpses of Racism or Ignorance, Fanciulla is a wonderful opera, beautiful music...

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Weekly Update: in less than 2 weeks I'll be in London

On September 26 and 29 to see Fanciulla del West in London with José Cura. I have seen this opera 5 times before, 2 times in Zurich 2004, 2 times in London 2005 and once in Berlin 2006.

La Fanciulla del West (Puccini) 2004-05-07, 2004-05-09, 2005-09-15, 2005-09-18, 2006-09-24

And this is the same production as in 2005 and really THE PRODUCTION that is on DVD from London ROH with Plácido Domingo, Silvano Carroli and Carol Neblett. And Silvano Carroli is back as Sheriff Jack Rance in this season alternating with another baritone Claudio Sgura. And after the plan I will see both of them. It will be interesting.

The London DVD is best, the one from LA SCALA is unbearable unless you LOVE Mara Zampieri (but Juan Pons is great as Sheriff Rance). Then it is the Met version with Domingo (as they all 3 are with PD), Barbara Daniels as Minnie and Sherill Milnes as Rance. And I am sure many Americans will say that the Met is superior to ROH, it is afterall a very American Puccini opera. Puccini loved USA and New York

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Weekly update: soon to travel to London

Ok, soon it is not that soon, September 26-30. I have found a hotel I think I will like, on I had thought a cheaper hotel but when I checked with Tripadviser there was a lot of negativ stuff. So my hotel better be a real 3 stars hotels for that price.

I hope I am not going to get sick or something. LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST in London, wow, I love that.

Meanwhile I am listening to Norma (Bellini), Nabucco (Verdi) and Fanciulla del West (Puccini).

UPDATE From my e-mail 2008-09-09
Royal Opera House - Don Giovanni

Hello ..................

The performance you booked for is happening soon.

The Royal Opera's La fanciulla del West

Friday, 26 September 2008 at 19:00

Casting for this date

Main Auditorium
Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden,

Performance Timings:
Act I (62 minutes)
Interval (35 minutes)
Act II (48 minutes)
Interval (35 minutes)
Act III (33 minutes)

Approx End Time: 22:33

Please make sure you that you arrive in plenty of time to enjoy your visit, we suggest that you arrive 30 minutes before the performance starts.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Monday, 1 September 2008

Weekly update from midnight (1th September)

in London Royal Opera House with José Cura.

September is here and I haven't bought my travel ticket yet. Still thinking about getting to see the last Fanciulla too, can I get free from my job for that?

October: do I have a chance for a ticket of Don Carlo in Oslo's new Opera House. Should I even try?

November: I am going to see Juanjo Cura in Berlin, almost decided to go... Haven't bought a ticket yet.

December: Should I try to see Turandot with Cura in London at Christmas time or should I wait till January.

I think I love "a new tenor": Carlo Bergonzi. I have just bought I Masnadieri with Bergonzi from I will tell more when it arrives.

More next week-end.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Weekly update: Viva Verdi!

I love Giuseppe Verdi's operas.

Description of Opera
Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio
opera in 2 acts
Libretto by Antonio Piazza
revised by Temistocle Solera
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, November 17, 1839

Description of Opera
Un giorno di regno (Il finto Stanislao)
comic opera in 2 acts
from the farse Le Faux Stanislas
by Alexandre-Vincent Pineux-Duval
Libretto by Felice Romani
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, September 5, 1840

Description of Opera
Nabucco_1.mp3 (2.4 Mb)
Nabucco_2.mp3 (3.4Mb)
(the title was abbreviated to Nabucco after the first performance)
opera in 4 parts
Libretto by Temistocle Solera
First performance - Scala Theatre - Milan, March 9, 1842
Description of Opera
Lombardi.mp3 (1.93 Mb)
I Lombardi alla prima crociata
opera in 4 acts
from the poem of the same name
by Tommaso Grossi
Libretto by Temistocle Solera
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, February 11, 1843
(2nd version, see Jérusalem)

Description of Opera

opera in 4 acts
from the play Hernani by Victor Hugo
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance La Fenice Theatre - Venice, March 9, 1844
(also given with the titles: Il proscritto, Elvira d'Aragona, Il corsaro di Venezia)

Description of Opera

I due Foscari
tragic opera in 3 acts
from the tragedy The two Foscari by George Byron
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance Argentina Theatre - Rome, November 3, 1844

Description of Opera
Giovanna d'Arco
opera in a prologue and 3 acts
from the play Die Jungfrau von Orléans by Friedrich Schiller
Libretto by Temistocle Solera
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, February 15, 1845
(also given with the title: Orietta di Lesbo)


tragic opera in a prologue and 2 acts
from the tragedy Alzire, ou Les Américains by Voltaire
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano
First performance San Carlo Theatre - Naples, August 12, 1845

Description of Opera
opera in a prologue and 3 acts
from the tragedy Attila, König der Hunnen by Zacharias Werner
Libretto by Temistocle Solera
The libretto was completed by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance La Fenice Theatre - Venice, March 17, 1846
(also given with the title: Gli Unni e i Romani)
Description of Opera
Macbeth.mp3 (1.94 Mb)
Macbeth_2.mp3 (2.33 Mb)
opera in 4 acts
from the tragedy by William Shakespeare Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
(with some modifications by Andrea Maffei)
First performance Pergola Theatre - Florence, March 14, 1847
(also given with the title: Sivardo il Sassone) (2nd version in French, Paris, Théâtre Lyrique, April 21, 1865)
Description of Opera
I masnadieri
opera in 4 parts
from the tragedy Die Räuber by Friedrich Schiller Libretto by Andrea Maffei
First performance Her Majesty's Theatre - London, July 22, 1847
Description of Opera

remake of I Lombardi alla prima crociata Libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Väez First performance Académie Royale de Musique - Paris, November 26, 1847

Description of Opera
Corsaro.mp3 (2.08 Mb)

Il corsaro
tragic opera in 3 acts
from the poem The corsair by George Byron Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance Teatro Grande - Trieste, October 25, 1848

Description of Opera
Battaglia_Legnano.mp3 (2.45 Mb)
La battaglia di Legnano
tragic opera in 4 acts
from La bataille de Toulouse by Joseph Méry Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano
First performance Argentina Theatre - Rome, January 27, 1849
Description of Opera
Luisa Miller
tragic opera in 3 acts
from the play Kabale und Liebe by Friedrich Schiller
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano
First performance San Carlo Theatre - Naples, December 8, 1849

Description of Opera

opera [in three acts]
from the play Le Pasteur ou L'Evangile et le foyer by Emile Souvestre and Eugène Bourgeois
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance Teatro Grande - Trieste, November 16, 1850
(also given with the title: Guglielmo Wellingrode)

Description of Opera
opera in 3 acts
from the play Le Roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance La Fenice Theatre - Venice, March 11, 1851
(also given with the titles: Viscardello, Clara di Perth, Lionello)
Description of Opera

Il trovatore
drama in 4 parts
from the play El trovador by Antonio-García Gutiérrez
Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano
The libretto was completed by Leone Emanuele Bardare
First performance Apollo Theatre - Rome, January 19, 1853

Description of Opera
Traviata.mp3 (1.46 Mb)
Traviata_2.mp3 (1.79 Mb)
La traviata
opera in 3 acts
from the novel La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance La Fenice Theatre - Venice, March 6, 1853

Description of Opera
Vespri_Siciliani.mp3 (2.07 Mb)
Les Vêpres siciliennes
opera in 5 acts
Libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier
from Il duca d'Alba by Eugène Scribe
(for Gaetano Donizetti)
First performance Académie Impériale de Musique - Paris, June 13, 1855
Description of Opera
Vespri_Siciliani.mp3 (2.07 Mb)
Giovanna de Guzman
first title of the Italian version of Les Vêpres siciliennes
opera in 5 acts
translation by Arnaldo Fusinato
First performance Ducale Theatre - Parma, December 26, 1855
(also given with the titles: Giovanna di Sicilia and Batilde di Turenna)

I Vespri siciliani
definitive title of the Italian version of Les Vêpres siciliennes
with translation by Eugenio Caimi opera in 5 acts
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, February 4, 1856
Description of Opera
Simon Boccanegra
opera in a prologue and 3 acts
from the play Simón Bocanegra by Antonio-García Gutiérrez
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
(with interventions by Giuseppe Montanelli)
First performance La Fenice Theatre - Venice, March 12, 1857
(2nd version Milan, Scala Theatre, March 24, 1881)
Description of Opera
remake of Stiffelio
opera in 4 acts
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance Teatro Nuovo - Rimini, August 16, 1857

Description of Opera
Ballo_Maschera.mp3 (2.48 Mb)
Un ballo in maschera
opera in 3 acts
from the historical drama Gustave III ou Le Bal masqué by Eugène Scribe
Libretto by Antonio Somma
First performance Apollo Theatre - Rome, February 17, 1859
Description of Opera
Forza_Destino.mp3 (2.64 Mb)

La forza del destino
opera in 4 acts
from the play Don Álvaro o La fuerza del sino by Ángel Perez de Saavedra, duque de Rivas Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
First performance Imperial Theatre - St. Petersburg, November 10, 1862
(also given with the title: Don Alvaro)(2nd version, Milan, Scala Theatre, February 27, 1869)

Description of Opera
Macbeth.mp3 (1.94 Mb)
Macbeth_2.mp3 (2.33 Mb)
Macbeth (2nd version in French)
opera in 4 acts trans.
Charles Nuitter and Alexandre Beaumont
First performance Théâtre Lyrique - Paris, April 21, 1865

Description of Opera
Don Carlos
grand opéra in 5 acts
from the tragic poem Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller
Libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle First performance Académie Impériale de Musique - Paris, March 11, 1867
(version in 4 acts, Milan, Scala Theatre, January 10, 1884)

Description of Opera
Forza_Destino.mp3 (2.64 Mb)
La forza del destino (2nd version)
opera in 4 acts second version revised
(with text added by Antonio Ghislanzoni)
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, February 27, 1869

Description of Opera
Aida.mp3 (2.27 Mb)
Aida_2.mp3 (2.74 Mb)
opera in 4 acts
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni
taken from a subject by Auguste Mariette
First performance Opera Theatre - Cairo, December 24, 1871
First Italian performance Scala Theatre - Milan, February 8, 1872

Messa da requiem
for soloists, chorus and orchestra
First performance San Marco Church - Milan, May 22, 1874

Description of Opera
Simon Boccanegra (2nd version)
Second version revised with additions and modifications by Arrigo Boito
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, March 24, 1881
Description of Opera
Don Carlo
revised version in 4 acts
revision of French text by Camille du Locle
Italian translation by Angelo Zanardini based on the original version by Achille De Lauzières
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, January 10, 1884
Description of Opera
Otello.mp3 (1.87 Mb)
Otello_2.mp3 (2.48 Mb)
opera in 4 acts
from the tragedy Othello, or the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare
Libretto by Arrigo Boito
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, February 5, 1887

Description of Opera
Falstaff.mp3 (2.66 Mb)
opera in 3 acts
from the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
Libretto by Arrigo Boito
First performance Scala Theatre - Milan, February 9, 1893

I have seen some of his operas live, still many I haven't:
Verdi: 56
08 Aida 1984-11-16, 1997-06-26, 2002-06-16, 2003-07-27, 2005-06-23, 2005-06-24, 2005-06-26, 2005-08-28
01 Attila 1998-10-18
02 Un Ballo in Maschera 1990-09-13, 2005-04-30
04 Il Corsaro 2005-02-03, 2005-02-06, 2005-05-14, 2005-05-15
04 Don Carlo 2003-03-12, 2003-03-14, 2006-11-25, 2006-12-18
01 Don Carlos 2002-06-19
01 La Forza del Destino 2004-11-06
01 Jérusalem 1998-05-30
01 Luisa Miller 2000-03-04
07 Nabucco 2002-01-12, 2005-07-01, 2007-06-29, 2007-08-11, 2008-02-22, 2008-07-14, 2008-07-17
06 Otello 1989-11-28, 2002-07-13, 2004-05-29, 2004-06-05, 2005-07-02, 2005-07-05
03 Rigoletto 2000-05-18, 2005-10-22, 2005-10-23
09 Stiffelio 1997-06-23, 2004-09-26, 2004-10-07, 2004-11-19, 2006-03-24, 2006-03-26, 2007-05-05, 2007-05-08, 2007-05-10
05 La Traviata 1984-06-20, 1993-01-15, 2002-12-14, 2003-07-31, 2006-03-22
02 Il Trovatore 1989-05-03, 2002-05-11
01 I Vespri Siciliani 2004-06-02

For more reviews from my travels, see

I am listening a lot Verdi Tenor Arias on my IPOD:
Verdi Arias - José Carreras (Philips Classics) - Worth it, if you can get it.
Verdi Arias - José Cura
Verdi: the tenor arias, Placido Domingo, DG 471 335-2 (four discs)
Verdi Tenor Arias (Decca 476 8437)