High Notes

High Notes On This Day
5 Important Facts You Didn’t Know About Tenor Ramón Vargas
Ramón Vargas is one of the great artists of the past few decades. Born on Sept. 11, 1960, the tenor has managed an international career in a wide range of repertoire from the great Bel Canto roles through some more dramatic territory in recent years. Hailing from México City, the tenor started singing at age nine and would go on to study at the Cardenal Miranda Institute in his hometown…
High Notes On This Day
The Career Milestones of Tenor Giuseppe Giacomini
Through the mid-20th century, there were a number of major tenors dominating the opera scene, often pushing some truly incredible talents out of the main focus. While tenor Giuseppe Giacomini, born on Sept. 7, 1940, was never relegated to the sidelines, the greatness of his career might have been overshadowed by other legendary successes. Here is a look at the greatest highlights of Giacomini’s career. Beginnings At Home The tenor’s…
High Notes On This Day
Angela Gheorghiu’s Iconic Puccini Roles
Soprano Angela Gheorghiu possesses a warm, plush timbre that is distinctively unique ― one note and it’s apparent it’s Gheorghiu. Also possessing dramatic abilities that rival Hollywood’s most respected actresses and the Romanian soprano has secured a place as one of the most established singers in history. Born on Sept. 7, 1965, Gheorghiu is perhaps most celebrated for her interpretations in the Italian repertoire, particularly those of Puccini. To commemorate…
High Notes Opera Meets Film
Opera Meets Film: First Love & Heartbreak In ‘Atonement’ & ‘La Bohème’
“Opera Meets Film” is a feature dedicated to exploring the way that opera has been employed in cinema. We will select a section or a film in its entirety, highlighting the impact that utilizing the operatic form or sections from an opera can alter our perception of a film that we are viewing. This week’s installment features Joe Wright’s incredible “Atonement.” I love “Atonement.” A romance in the truest sense…
High Notes
Six Sopranos Who Recorded Or Performed ‘Carmen’
On Sept. 9, 2017, the LA Opera opens its 2017-18 season with a repertory staple, Bizet's "Carmen." However, what makes this revival so appealing is the addition of a soprano in the title role instead of a mezzo-soprano. Ana María Martínez takes on the iconic role for the second time after receiving raves at the Houston Grand Opera. With the assumption of the role, Martinez continues to join a select…
High Notes On This Day
4 Operas By Meyerbeer You Must Listen To
These days Giacomo Meyerbeer is not the most well-known of opera composers. It is actually quite a sad statement to make as the composer, born on Sept. 5, 1791, was arguably the Steven Spielberg of his day. His operas were the toast of the town in Paris, known for their tremendous showmanship and memorable music. To be Meyerbeer was the dream of many opera composers, including Verdi and Wagner. The…
High Notes On This Day
Karita Mattila’s Late Career Triumphs
Today, Karita Mattila is considered a legend and a consummate singer who has scored triumphs all over the world. Her repertoire has always been varied and unpredictable and that has made her an artist to always look forward to. Mattila is also one of those rare singers that has been able to reinvent herself as time has passed and she recently started interpreting older women and supporting characters that showed another…
High Notes On This Day
The Wagner Roles That René Pape Has Dominated Throughout His Career
René Pape is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, living bass of his generation. He has performed with all the leading opera companies and has sung numerous leading roles. But there is a composer that he has become associated with, in particular, Wagner. In celebration of Pape's birthday on Sept. 4, 1964, OperaWire looks at some of Pape's great Wagner roles. King Marke  Of all the Wagner roles…
High Notes On This Day
The Baritone & Bass (!) Roles of Dramatic Tenor Ramón Vinay
Ramón Vinay was one of the greatest dramatic tenors of all-time, his dark and potent voice often cited as the shining example of what Verdi’s “Otello” should sound like. In fact, Carlo Bergonzi famously declared that Vinay’s was the only one he found suitable for the role of the tragic Moor. Vinay, born on August 31, 1912, in Chile, actually got his start as a baritone before taking on the…
High Notes On This Day
A Look At Ponchielli’s Rare Operas
Amilcare Ponchielli, born on August 31, will always be remembered for one work of opera – “La Gioconda.” And some might add that not even these days the opera is as popular as to give him sufficient clout as one of opera’s legendary composers. In reality, the composer’s famous work has lost its status in recent years, and by extension, the composer’s profile has dropped rapidly. But Ponchielli was rather…