World of Opera http://wmuk.org en 'La Boheme': 19th-Century 'Reality Opera' http://wmuk.org/post/la-boheme-19th-century-reality-opera <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90063951">Giacomo Puccini</a> once said that the secret to his success was putting "great sorrow in little souls" — and he did it with a formula that has fueled a spate of modern network television hits.<p>In recent years, TV executives have discovered they can get great ratings with programs that don't require expensive stars, writers and highly developed stories. Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:34:00 +0000 Bruce Scott 3084 at http://wmuk.org A View From The Bridge: Great Sorrows In Little Souls, American-Style http://wmuk.org/post/view-bridge-great-sorrows-little-souls-american-style When <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15287558">William Bolcom</a>'s opera <em>A View from the Bridge</em> premiered in Chicago in 1999, one critic described it as "Brooklyn <em>verismo</em>," invoking the emotive style popularized by Italian composers such as <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90063951">Puccini</a>. Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:32:00 +0000 Bruce Scott 1780 at http://wmuk.org The Bloodiest Opera Ever? Maybe Strauss' 'Elektra' http://wmuk.org/post/bloodiest-opera-ever-maybe-strauss-elektra It's a story that would seem excessive for even the most lurid of "real life" dramas, or blood-soaked slasher movies. But it's always been right at home in the opera house — <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15870129" target="_blank">Richard Strauss'</a> intense, one-act opera, <em>Elektra</em>.<p>The tale dates back to classic Greek tragedies, and it revolves around what may be the most dysfunctional family in all of literature. Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:31:00 +0000 Bruce Scott 521 at http://wmuk.org An All-Consuming Parental Love: Verdi's 'Rigoletto' http://wmuk.org/post/all-consuming-parental-love-verdis-rigoletto It's easy to wonder whether actual events in the lives of great composers are directly reflected in their music. Sometimes people even argue about it. But in the case of personal tragedies early in <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16927552">Giuseppe Verdi</a>'s life, the case seems like a slam dunk.<p>Verdi wrote his first opera (<em>Oberto</em>) while in his late 20s for Milan's historic opera house, La Scala. The successful 1839 premiere led the company to offer him a contract for three more dramas. Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:27:00 +0000 Bruce Scott 522 at http://wmuk.org History With A Toxic Twist: 'Lucrezia Borgia' http://wmuk.org/post/history-toxic-twist-lucrezia-borgia When we think of opera's biggest stars and greatest hits, we tend to think of solo arias. But that overlooks another operatic goldmine: duets.<p>Over the years, there have been plenty of classic duet collaborations, resulting in legendary recordings and performances. Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti come to mind, singing the "Cherry Duet" from Mascagni's <em>L'Amico Fritz</em>. Fri, 04 Nov 2011 13:32:00 +0000 Bruce Scott 520 at http://wmuk.org