Richard Strauss’ Die Schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman) might be the only opera in the entire oeuvre with a central character who dislikes music. Sir Morosus, a retired British naval officer is allergic to noise of any kind. He disinherits [...] more >>
The historiography of music primarily remembers Charles Gounod as the composer of Faust, Mireille and Roméo et Juliette. However, in his 12 total works for the operatic stage Gounod engages with the entire range of operatic types available in the [...] more >>
We’ve all been to the opera when they cast young men with unchanged voices in operatic roles and, well, they may not just have, let’s say, the vocal maturity to carry this off. Time for the women to take charge!
In the spring of 1778, the 22-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart returned to the city of Paris. This time he was chaperoned by his mother—who would tragically fall ill and die—with father Leopold staying put in Salzburg to appease their [...] more >>
Nothing came easy for Anton Bruckner, and habitually plagued by debilitating periods of low self-esteem, he was an easy target for music critics, journalists and composers alike. A particularly vicious critic accused him of “composing like a drunkard.” Given such [...] more >>
Charles Gounod unabashedly referred to Pauline Viardot as “The godmother of my career.” He first met her around a rather difficult time in his life. His brother Urbain had unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind a two-year-old child and a widow [...] more >>