Sunday, May 16, 2021
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Scandals at La Scala

La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy, is one of the most cut-throat and coveted stages for singers around the world. This is the home of classical music at its most scandalous...

This Week in Music History: The riotous premiere of The Rite...

The riot that took place at The Rite of Spring premiere in Paris is almost as notorious as the work itself. Stravinsky set the stage for scandal....

🎧 One Thing to Listen for in Bizet’s Carmen

The habanera. Bizet blends a lilting Cuban rhythm, a "borrowed" Spanish melody, and a heavy dose of chromaticism into one of opera's most recognizable hits.

This Week in Music History: The premiere of Carmen (1875)

The debut of Bizet's incendiary femme fatale who, for all her fatal attraction, couldn't win over her first audience...

This Week in Music History: The premiere of Strauss’s Salome (1905)

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.”

This Week in Music History: Shostakovich is born (1906)

In her book Shostakovich: A Life, Laurel E. Fay describes the memorable first lesson Dmitri received from his piano teacher mother, Sofya. “Within minutes,” Fay writes, “she recognized that she was dealing with a youngster of precocious musical ability, possessing perfect pitch and a phenomenal memory.” He progressed on the piano with ridiculous ease, and also started composing from the age of nine.