On This Day

High Notes On This Day
Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato & The Iconic Performances of the Star-Spangled Banner
Happy Birthday United States of America! Today on July 4 we celebrate the birth of the US with its musical symbol of Independence, the Star Spangled Banner. Over the years, many opera stars have interpreted the famed musical anthem in iconic settings. On this day, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton will add her own rendition to the Macy’s July 4 Fireworks Extravaganza. Let’s look at other instances where opera’s great stars have…
High Notes On This Day
Joseph Volpe’s Crowning Achievements As General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera
Joseph Volpe’s tenure as General Manager at the Metropolitan is one of the most impactful in the company’s history. Volpe, born on, July 2, 1940, stepped into the role in 1990, but he came up the ranks, working for a whopping 42 years with the company. Here is a look at some of his biggest moments as the main man at the company. Repertoire Expansion Under Volpe’s guidance, the company…
High Notes On This Day
The Brief Operatic Career of Conductor Rafael Kubelík
Conductor Rafael Kubelík, born on June 29, 1914, is not often one of the names often associated with the operatic greats. And he never quite got the opportunity to build that legacy due to a number of mitigating circumstances with two of the great opera companies in the world. Here is a look at his career at those major companies. Royal Opera House, Covent Garden  Kubelík became musical director of…
High Notes On This Day
Five Amazing Things About Thomas Hampson You Didn’t Know
Thomas Hampson, born on June 28, is one of the great American singers of the past few decades. He has dominated many of the famed baritone roles, constantly expanding his own limits of what many have thought possible. But Hampson’s career has not been limited to what he can do in the opera house or concert hall. He has sought other ways of sharing his talents and artistry in ways…
High Notes On This Day
A Look At Anna Moffo & Inva Mula’s Movie Appearances
Anna Moffo and Inva Mula share one thing in common – they are both lyric sopranos that have some overlapping roles and operas that they both performed. But the sopranos, both born on June 27, also share something quite unique – TV and film. Both opera singers have gotten their respective opportunities to not only shine on the operatic stage, but also on the silver screen. Here are the different…
High Notes On This Day
Every Essential Recording of Every Wagner Opera by Legendary Tenor Wolfgang Windgassen
Wolfgang Windgassen is one of the greatest Wagnerian tenors of the 20th century. Known for his intelligence of interpretation and exactness of tone and musicality, he quickly built up a legacy that remains among the most fascinating on record. Perhaps the most fascinating bit of information about the tenor is that he sang every major Wagner role there is to sing for a tenor starring with Erik from “Die Fliegende…
On This Day Opera For Beginners
Opera Profile: Robert Schumann’s Lone Opera ‘Genoveva’
Among the great works of Robert Schumann are his art songs, which are a staple of the vocal repertoire. But few know that the composer also created an opera of his own. “Genoveva,” which premiered on June 25, 1850, and has never had a fortunate fate on the operatic stage, was his lone effort. Though it has garnered some reconsideration in recent years. Brief Plot Summary  The work is based…
High Notes On This Day
The Major Metropolitan Opera Moments of Maestro James Levine
James Levine is one of the most influential people in the history of 20th-century opera. The Metropolitan Opera’s maestro has led the company for four decades, essentially making himself the face of the opera house during that time period. The conductor, born on June 23, 1943, is now entering the twilight of his career but remains strong in his endeavors. Here is a look at some of the most important…
High Notes On This Day
Hans Sachs & Opera’s Most Famous ‘Meistersinger’
We can look at Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger,” which premiered on June 21, 1868, and marvel at its glorious music. Or its fascinating Schopenhauerian philosophy. Instead, let’s just look at the opera’s face value and marvel at the fact that this is an opera about singers. There are many operas laden with characters that sing within the context of the opera, but only a few have that status of being “master…
High Notes On This Day
Offenbach The Cellist and Virtuoso In His Operatic ‘Concerto Militaire’
Offenbach is regarded as one of the greatest operetta composers of his generation and is also recognized for his masterwork "Les Contes D'Hoffman." His vocal writing is beloved and singers love performing his work. However, for most, his orchestral work and solo work often gets overlooked. One such example is his cello concerto. Let's not forget that this master composer was a cello virtuoso and he famously played for the opera-comique…