On This Day

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…
Black History Month On This Day
Black History Month 2017: Remembering The Two Iconic Artistic Coups in Marian Anderson’s Illustrious Career
The final days of Black History Month coincide with the birthday of one of the great black singers in the history of opera, quite possibly the most important. While Leontyne Price belongs in the pantheon of the world’s greatest singers and is quite possibly the most famous ever, Marian Anderson, born on Feb. 27, 1897, was the one that allowed Price the opportunity to shine. Without Anderson, who knows if…
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 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 On This Day
On This Day: Rolando Villazón, Renaissance Man
Rolando Villazón turns 45 on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. The Mexican tenor has managed a strong career over the past decade, conquering numerous struggles and paving new ways that have allowed him to remain at the forefront of opera’s diversification and development. He has reshaped his repertoire to suit his vocal and dramatic abilities, but today we recognize him for the things he has done outside of singing and acting…
High Notes On This Day
On This Day: 5 Essential Roles in Vittorio Grigolo’s Career
Vittorio Grigolo is one of the most acclaimed tenors of his generation and has already been hailed as the successor to Luciano Pavarotti, his greatest qualities including his rampant energy and charisma on stage. On Feb. 19 Grigolo celebrates his 40th birthday and as a result OperaWire takes a look at some his most acclaimed roles The Duke in "Rigoletto" Vittorio Grigolo has toured this Verdi masterpiece around the world. Most notably,…
On This Day
On This Day: 35 Fun Facts About Isabel Leonard
Isabel Leonard turns 35 on Saturday Feb. 18. The singer’s stature has grown over the past few years as the artist, so beloved around the United States, has seen her profile grow ever greater around the world. She is coming off major turns as Adalgisa in “Norma” and Charlotte in “Werther,” which she is currently performing at the Metropolitan Opera. To celebrate her birthday, here are 35 fun facts about…
High Notes On This Day
On This Day: The Six Essential Recordings Of Giovanna D’Arco
Giuseppe Verdi's "Giovanna d'Arco" is the seventh opera the composer wrote with its premiere coming on Feb. 15 , 1845. While the opera is considered one of the lesser works by Verdi and has at times been criticized for its choral music, the work does have a lot of merit, particularly in its writing for the character of Giovanna. It is for this reason that many leading sopranos have been…