25 February 2015

Mieczysław Weinberg’s Opera “The Passenger”: On Memory and Forgetting




Originally posted at The Cosmopolitan Review (2/24/2014). “The Passenger” at New York’s Lincoln Center © Stephanie Berger Polish classical musicians and opera singers have always enjoyed global renown, with singers such as Mariusz Kwiecień, Ewa Podleś, Piotr Beczała, Aleksandra Kurzak, and Andrzej Dobber regularly performing at the world’s top opera houses. Likewise, Polish opera directors have […]

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20 February 2015

Opera Blog: “Kátya Kabanová” – Political and Cultural Context




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (2/20/2015) The scholar of Central Europe, Larry Wolff (2006) classifies Kátya Kabanová as a modernist opera, arguing that its history “illuminates the development of operatic modernism on the terrain of the late Hapsburg Empire, which was reconceived as the transnational domain of Central Europe after the demise of […]

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18 February 2015

Opera Blog: “Kátya Kabanová” – Love, Death and Marriage




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (2/18/15) So often I imagine I’m a bird And can spread my wings and fly. I used to be so free and happy, But since I came here to live that’s all changed. —Kátya Kabanová Marital Woes Leoš Janáček’s 1921 opera, Kátya Kabanová, is foremost a study of marriage […]

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13 February 2015

Opera Blog: Kátya Kabanová – The Woman Behind the Story




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (02/13/2015)   The character of Kátya Kabanová was modeled on Kamila Stösslová (1892–1935), whom Janáček met in 1917 at a spa. Married to an antique dealer, Kamila was very beautiful, a mother, and 38 years younger than Janáček. Most of Janáček’s major works were inspired and often dedicated […]

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25 November 2014

Opera Blog: A Conversation with Byron Adams about “The Love Potion”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (11/25/14). Magda Romanska, BLO Dramaturg and Associate Professor of Dramaturgy at Emerson College, talks to Prof. Byron Adams about Frank Martin’s The Love Potion. Prof. Adams is a world-renowned musicologist, composer, and a leading expert on Frank Martin. Prof. Adams specializes in British music of the nineteenth and twentieth […]

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20 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – Love Death, or Liebestod




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (11/20/14). “Liebestod” is the title of the final dramatic musical piece from Richard Wagner’s 1859 opera, Tristan und Isolde, but the word itself also means the theme of “love death” prevalent in art, drama, and literature. Liebestod (from the German Liebe, meaning “love,” and Tod, meaning “death”) defines the […]

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17 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – Background Story




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (11/17/14)  Written by Switzerland’s greatest composer, Frank Martin (1890–1974), in the late 1930s, Le Vin Herbé was initially conceived as a 30-minute piece in response to Robert Blum’s commission for his Züricher Madrigalchor. Wanting to distance himself from Wagner and his operatic version of the myth (and, thus, also […]

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13 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – BLO’s Version




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (11/13/14). One of the most prominent characteristics of The Love Potion is the opera’s structure: twelve singers tell the story, which is constantly flowing, while supported by haunting and almost hypnotic music. That type of dramatic structure closely follows the tradition of the Greek Chorus, in which the plot […]

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10 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – The Myth of Tristan and Iseult




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (11/10/14). The legend of Tristan and Iseult’s love is one of the founding and most enduring myths of Western culture. The exact origins of the legend are difficult to pinpoint, as the story appears in Celtic, Persian, Irish, French, German, British, and Welsh traditions. Over time, its appeal spread […]

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18 October 2014

Opera Blog: A Conversation with David Rosen about “La Traviata”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (10/17/14). Magda Romanska, BLO Dramaturg and Associate Professor at Emerson College, talks to Prof. David Rosen about Verdi’s La Traviata. Prof. Rosen is a world-renowned musicologist, a leading expert on Verdi, and Professor Emeritus of Music at Cornell University. Prof. Rosen was responsible for the critical edition of Verdi’s […]

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