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Strauss’s opera Salome scandalized the musical world in 1905—and again in May 1906, when, as Ross vividly describes, the Austrian premiere in Graz drew together an astonishing array of musical luminaries, from Mahler to Schoenberg to Puccini. “Like a flash of lightning,” Ross writes, “it illuminated a musical world on the verge of traumatic change. Past and future were colliding; centuries were passing in the night.”
Franz Liszt was born in the Hungarian town of Raiding on October 22, 1811—a little more than a year after the births of Chopin and Schumann. Unlike those two composers, however, he reached old age: he died at 75, three years after his friend and son-in-law Richard Wagner. He’s one of very few composers whose life makes the 19th century look rather short.
Debussy began La mer in August 1903. Buoyed by the success of his opera Pelléas et Mélisande in 1902, the composer decided to embark on a set of “three symphonic sketches” inspired by the sea: his second tripartite work for orchestra, following the Nocturnes of 1899.
Often thought of as a challenging repertoire for both performers and audiences, Russian opera represents a diverse and impressive body of work. From opulent historical dramas to absurd philosophical fairy tales, there's something to please all kinds of opera lovers. Today we're swapping our "toi, toi, toi" for "Ни пуха, ни пера" as we dive right into the rich repertoire with a playlist of our favorite Russian operas...
A journalist who attended his rehearsal asked him why he ended the programme with Parsifal since the music was more difficult for a broad audience than Tristan. He replied: "What can be done after redemption?"
“Nick appears immediately at the garden gate.” A simple enough statement, you might think. But for an opera director, maybe not...
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