On This Day

High Notes On This Day
The Roles Birgit Nilsson & Zinka Milanov Shared & Fought Over
Zinka Milanov was born on May 17, 1906. Exactly 12 years later, on May 17, 1918, Birgit Nilsson was born. The two women would go on to markedly different careers, though they both performed at the greatest houses in the world and would perform with many of the same artists, albeit in different operas. Both women were dramatic sopranos, and while their repertoire diverged greatly, there were many points of…
High Notes On This Day
Remembering Monteverdi’s 7 Lost Operas As He Turns 450
Claudio Monteverdi, baptized on May 15, 1567 (he's now 450), is known as the father of opera, his “L’Orfeo” widely recognized as the very first opera in existence. To this day, we know of two other complete works, “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” and “Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria,” which are both parts of the canon. But this was not his only operatic output. In fact, there are other works, seven to…
High Notes On This Day
4 Roles Nadine Sierra Has Dominated In Her Young Career
Nadine Sierra is one of opera’s rising stars. The soprano, who turns 29 on May 14, 2017, has recently added the Richard Tucker award to a long list of major accomplishments. At such a young age, one can only expect more tremendous success to come. In just a short time she has already established herself in some of the greatest opera houses and in some of the most challenging repertoire.…
High Notes On This Day
A Look at Jules Massenet & Gabriel Fauré’s ‘Greek’ Operas
Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré were born on the same day three years apart. May 12, 1842, brought us the former and three years later, his impressionist counterpart was born. The two were prominent French composers of their time, though one is better known for his orchestral works and the other for his opera. Fauré did compose two operas and they share some commonalities with some of Massenet’s. The most…
High Notes On This Day
4 Unexpected Roles Nina Stemme Sang In Her Early Career
Everyone knows Nina Stemme for her dramatic skills,  particularly for her Wagner repertoire. As a matter of fact, she is the leading Brünhilde and Isolde of our time and she is in demand all over the world. But in fact, Stemme did not begin with this repertoire and before her breakout Isolde with Plácido Domingo, this singer did a number of unexpected roles. Mimì  Stemme is well known for her…
High Notes On This Day
A Look At Luigi Illica’s Obscure Libretti For Composers Not Named Puccini
Luigi Illica is a rather famous man in the world of opera. If you don’t believe me, then look at his body of work. “Manon Lescaut,” “La Bohème,” “Tosca,” “Madama Butterfly.” And those are just the Puccini selections. The librettist also authored such prominent opera works as “La Wally” and “Andrea Chénier.” But the majority of Illica’s output has been largely forgotten. He wrote a whopping 32 operas and is…
High Notes On This Day
5 Essential Verdi Roles Michael Fabiano Has Performed
Michael Fabiano has steadily grown into one of the most sought after tenors in the world. From the first time, he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera's Met National Council Auditions to his fiery Met debut, the young singer has shown so much passion on stage that reminds one of the golden age. But there is one composer that he has dominated and has really championed, Verdi. As we celebrate the…
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…