High Notes

High Notes
A Look Back At Anja Harteros & Jonas Kaufmann’s Remarkable Operatic History As Duo Reunites for ‘Andrea Chénier’
This weekend audiences in Munich will get a chance to experience the dynamic duo that is Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros in Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier.” Kaufmann likely needs no introduction, the tenor arguably the most popular of his voice type in the entire universe. Harteros deserves equal praise, her dramatic soprano a superb instrument that is simply unmatched in the repertoire that she has dominated over the years. The two…
High Notes On This Day
A Look At Denyce Graves’ ‘Carmen’ & ‘Samson et Dalila’
Denyce Graves is regarded as one of the great mezzos of the 20th century. For years she dominated the stage in many leading roles and after her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1995, became a household name around the world. Born on March 7, 1964, the mezzo-soprano has built an extensive repertoire throughout her career and she continues to find interesting roles that suit her voice and temperament. However, there are two roles…
High Notes On This Day
Two Great Mezzo-Sopranos Who Sang Bellini’s ‘La Sonnambula’
Bellini's "La Sonnambula" is one of the most popular operas in the Bel Canto repertoire and one that many coloratura sopranos have embraced on stage. On March 6, 1831, the opera had its world premiere with Giuditta Pasta in the title role. Pasta was known as a soprano sfogato which is designated to a contralto who is capable—by sheer industry or natural talent—of extending her upper range and being able to encompass the coloratura soprano tessitura.…
High Notes On This Day
From ‘Downton Abbey’ to Helping Young Singers, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s Post-Performance Exploits
Kiri Te Kanawa is one of the great sopranos of the 20th century, the New Zealander known for her sheer magnetism and elegance onstage. Te Kanawa, born on March 6, 1944, retired from the opera stage in the early 2000’s, making occasional cameos in ensuing years, but dedicating herself to a number of different projects and assignments. The Foundation Among her greatest exploits in her post-performance career has been the…
High Notes On This Day
From Broadway to Beyoncé, The Many Adaptations of Bizet’s ‘Carmen’
Bizet’s “Carmen” is one of the great operas of all time and one of the few to really have a massive impact on popular culture. The opera, which premiered back on March 3, 1875, was a failure upon premiering with Bizet never actually getting a chance to experience the success of his masterwork. Since then the opera, which was adapted from Prosper Merimée’s novella, has undergone a plethora of adaptations…
High Notes On This Day
On This Day: A Look At Mirella Freni and Marcelo Alvarez In ‘La Forza Del Destino’
On Feb. 27, Verdi's revised version of "La Forza del Destino" premiered at La Scala in 1869. The version included a number of changes, including a completely different ending and adjustments to a few duets. The result was a shorter opera that was hailed by critics as one of Verdi's late masterpieces. Throughout history the opera has been a vehicle for many artists. Marcelo Alvarez has taken on the role…
High Notes On This Day
On This Day: The Now-Forgotten Operas Enrico Caruso Championed
Born on Feb. 25, 1873, Enrico Caruso was arguably the most important opera singer in the entire history of the art form. Maybe only Maria Callas rivals him in putting the art form into the collective consciousness of 20th century audiences. Caruso, who was beloved for his simple nature and brilliant voice, was a man capable of selling out any house with his mere presence. This alone made him a…
High Notes
Oscars 2017: 5 Operatic Works Nominated For The Oscars
It's Oscar Sunday this weekend and while it may seem irrelevant to the world of opera, the art form has been present numerous times at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In celebration of the Academy Awards, OperaWire takes a look at times when opera stars or films were nominated at the Academy Awards. 2016 Last awards season Sumi Jo was nominated for her "Simple Song" composed by…
High Notes On This Day
On this Day: 4 Reasons To Admire Renata Scotto’s Art
Renata Scotto needs no introduction. She is one of the greatest singers of the 20th century and she conquered many of the prima donna roles. On Feb. 24, Scotto will be 83 and at her age the Diva still continues to teach and give masterclasses as evidenced last month at the Opera Naples. In celebration of Scotto's birthday, OperaWire looks at why Scotto was such a great artist and all…
High Notes Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Season
7 Famous Directors We Want to See At the Met Opera in Future Seasons
Opera is a singer’s medium, but the last few decades have seen a shift toward giving the director the power onstage, especially in Europe. The Metropolitan Opera has slowly but surely reshaped its theatrical approach to its new productions, bringing in renowned stage directors from around the world. Some have been David Alden, Anthony Minghella, Richard Eyre, Mary Zimmerman, David McVicar and Pierre Audi among many others. But there are still…