Holiday Fun: Die Fledermaus

A New Year’s Eve tradition in the opera world is Johann Strauss II’s operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat). A year earlier, Eisenstein abandoned his friend Falke in center of town, drunken and dressed as a bat (hence the title), and [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | January 1st, 2017
Happy New Year from Franz Schubert and the Nonsense Society

In April 1817, a merry little band of artists decided to form a small private club called the “Unsinnsgesellschaft” (Nonsense Society). Based in Vienna, this congenial group of artistic friends published a weekly magazine, the “Archiv des menschlichen Unsinns” (Archive [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 31st, 2016
Holiday Fun: The Nutcracker

From its first notes, Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker takes us to someplace warm and magical. Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71: Overture (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Simon Rattle, cond.) The ballet originates in a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Nutcracker and the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | December 31st, 2016
Holiday Fun: Hansel and Gretel

The tale of the two children and how they fool the wicked witch who has captured them in her gingerbread house has become a holiday opera. The recasting of the Grimm Brother’s tale into something more family friendly was done [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | December 29th, 2016
The Taras Bulba of the Pampas: Ginastera’s Ollantay

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) was born in Buenos Aires and studied at the conservatory there. One of his best known students is the tango composer Ástor Piazzola, who studied with him in 1941. Ginastera was inspired by the life of Argentina, [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | December 20th, 2016
Moritz Moszkowski: Suite for 2 Violins and Piano , Op. 71

Moritz Moszkowski was known the world over as the “Sunshine Composer.” When he died in April 1925, a prominent musical journal reported, “Moszkowski dead! So painful an announcement has not stricken the entire musical word since the deaths of Chopin, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 15th, 2016
The Snake of Redemption

The Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City and completed his musical education with the greatest distinction at the Chicago College of Music. He was known for his conducting and composition skills [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | December 11th, 2016
The Devil Takes a Wife

In Ottorino Respighi’s 1923 comic opera Belfagor, the eponymous devil comes to a small village in Italy. This was Respighi’s fifth attempt at opera and we see him still struggling to get the correct coordination between the music and the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | December 4th, 2016