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Singing. Supping. Making Xmas Lists.

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Cue the singalong: ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…dum dum dum de dum.’ And it’s beginning to FEEL alot like Christmas too!! Wow, it’s cold this morning!

Grab a cuppa something today and make a list. With a cuppa tea and my opera moleskine diary, I jotted down a short list. These three CDs made my I-want-Opera-stuff shortlist. (And this t-shirt from the MetOpera store too.)

What’s on your list today?

Numero Uno Grammophone Awards are announced each year for the very best in classical music. This October, the most votes received in the opera category went to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, released on EMI as a double CD featuring Angela Gheorghiu. Producer David Groves: “It was the right place at the right time with the perfect cast, conductor, orchestra and venue. The orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia played the music as though it was written for them….the soloists Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann and conductor Antonio Pappano was a magical combination”.

Numero Due A classic Stephanie Blythe Singing Mahler, Wagner and Brahms with selections that shows her dark, focused tone alongside her intelligent and musical approach to the texts. On the Virgin Classics label, Blythe is featured with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and conductor John Nelson.

Numero Tre Tenor Jonas Kaufmann excels with Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin. Helmut Deutsch on piano. Released on DECCA, 2009. Here’s the promotional video.


Written by Darla

December 11, 2009 at 8:53 am

Posted in opera gifts

Christmas Pressie, Opera Style!

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For my Xmas pressie this year,'s a thought.



Buying a gift for an Opera lover (or a wine connoisseur for that matter) can sometimes be as frightening as that dream where you show up naked at work! So here’s a go at one gift idea for the Opera fan on your list.

How about Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera by one of the world’s foremost opera scholar and musicologist around today, Philip Gossett? We know Gossett as an acclaimed expert on Rossini and Verdi, but with Divas and Scholars, Gossett also shows us his storytelling best in a storyline that’s as entertaining and charming as a novel. Singers, conductors, directors, musicologists, real or ideal characters are portrayed here with just the right irony (and self-irony).

Rupert Christiansen of The Spectator writes: “This enthralling and important book offers vital reading for anyone with a serious interest in opera. Written with unfailing clarity and waspish wit, it charts the musical problems, both theoretical and practical, presented by the autographed manuscripts, printed scores, and performances of this great corpus.”

And this year, you can get it in Italian — for that frighteningly serious Italian Opera fan. Buon Natale!

Written by Darla

December 6, 2009 at 11:46 am

Posted in opera gifts