High Notes

Asian Heritage Month High Notes
Asian Heritage Month 2017: Celebrating the Asian Singers Dominating the Opera World Today
May is Asian Heritage Month in the United States and in honor of cultural diversity, OperaWire will look at honoring the Asian opera stars making major headlines at this very moment. Yonghoon Lee There are few tenors at this moment who can truly dominate the spinto tenor repertoire like Yonghoon Lee does. The South Korean tenor has established himself as the go-to singer for “Il Trovatore” and has also turned…
High Notes On This Day
The Historic Trials & Tribulations of Meyerbeer’s ‘L’Africaine’
April 28 marks the anniversary of the world premiere of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s “L’Africaine,” his final opera. While he was a titan in his day, Meyerbeer has struggled to find footing in the modern operatic culture and many of his works, including “L’Africaine” remain obscure and unknown. And yet there are some unique features about this work that make it a fascinating historical work of art. Let’s take a look. The…
High Notes On This Day
More Than ‘Pagliacci:’ A Look At Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Other Operas
To this day, Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s identity has been defined by one opera. And perhaps for all of eternity, the Italian composer, born on April 23, 1857, that opera, “Pagliacci,” will be his only recognizable contribution to culture. Of course, “Pagliacci” is a masterful opera that is one of the finest dramatic creations in the genre and there is no shame in Leoncavallo being only recognized for that opera. And yet,…
High Notes On This Day
Four Essential Recordings By Fiorenza Cossotto
Fiorenza Cossotto is widely considered one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of the 20th century and arguably this writer's favorite mezzo of all time. In honor of her 82nd birthday, OperaWire has decided to take a look at some of our favorite recordings the mezzo recorded throughout her lengthy and prolific career. "La Favorita" with Alfredo Kraus  Donizetti's operatic masterpiece was one of the many Bel Canto roles that Cossotto inhabited. However, this…
High Notes On This Day
Opera Roles You Forgot Legendary Baritone Leonard Warren Performed
When you hear the name Leonard Warren, you always hear another name – Verdi. The baritone, born on April 21, 1911, was dedicated to the great Italian and practically sang every great baritone role that Verdi wrote. You name it. For many, he was the ultimate Rigoletto (he performed the opera 89 times at the Metropolitan Opera), while others will never forget his work in “La Forza del Destino,” the…
High Notes On This Day
Natalie Dessay’s Four Unforgettable Roles
Natalie Dessay may have retired from the opera stage, but her art continues to live on. And while she admits to never having felt comfortable on the stage, her performances show otherwise. Born on April 19, 1965, OperaWire takes a look at some of her unforgettable roles on stage. Olympia in 'Les Contes d'Hoffmann' The role of Olympia was perhaps the one that brought Dessay acclaim and shined a bright international…
High Notes On This Day
A Look at Gianni Raimondi & Siegfried Jerusalem’s Contrasting Careers At the Metropolitan Opera
Gianni Raimondi and Siegfried Jerusalem had nothing in common, except for the fact that they were both tenors and also share a birthday, April 17. Those who have read past articles know that we often turn this into a “What Roles did they Share” kind of piece, but unfortunately, there is nothing to put together for these two singular artists. But they both shared careers at the Metropolitan Opera, and…
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12 Modern Operas That Yannick Nézet-Séguin Must Bring to the Metropolitan Opera
A few weeks ago, Metropolitan Opera Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin made the proclamation that he would be bringing newer and fresher composers to the Metropolitan Opera throughout his tenure. A few days later it was reported that among the new composers he would be bringing would be Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking.” It’s a great start, considering Heggie, who has been played everywhere around the world, has essentially been…
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4 Operas About Easter And Passover
It's the holiday season with Easter and Passover taking place at the same time. As a result, OperaWire is taking a look at some of the operas that are set during these very sacred holidays. Easter For those not familiar with what Easter Sunday celebrates, it is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his crucifixion and…
High Notes On This Day
Lily Pons & Monserrat Caballé Share More In Common Than You Might Expect
On first glance, you would never find the commonalities between Monserrat Caballé and Lily Pons. The two sopranos, one Spanish and the other French-American, are known for distinctly different repertoire. The former had a wide range that saw her dominate both bel canto and dramatic repertoire while the latter was best known for more delicate roles, particularly in her native tongue. And yet the two women had a lot of…