Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Operamaniac: 5 things we take for granted (or why Wagner spoiled all the fun)

Fri 8 Aug 2014

Wagner and dragon

We tend to take a wide range of things for granted and immutable, as we never saw them being done on another way. However, things change. Who could imagine that in the 21st century we would be flying and using the internet? Ok, maybe Bartolomeu de Gusmao with his “Passarola” but he was a bit alone on that. Therefore, let me share with you five things that have changed with time, be it by a matter of taste or practicality.

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Operamaniac

Tue 17 Jun 2014

OAE

Opera might have emerged as a form of art to entertain the rich and powerful, but it soon became used as a way to express political and social discontent. You might think such liberties are only a product of the 20th century, but the fact is kings and governments throughout history have trembled and even fallen because of Opera.

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Operamaniac – 5 Operas to see before you die

Thu 17 Apr 2014

We all have our favourite operas (if you are into opera, of course). And frequently an intense debate among opera fanatics can arise over who is the best composer. After two hundred years we still debate about Wagner and Verdi, two amazing composers that changed opera forever. With this in mind, I have recently been asked the following: “Daniel, if you had to nominate five (and only five) operas that everyone must see before they die, what would they be?”

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Operamaniac

Tue 11 Feb 2014

OAE

It all begun when I, a little child at the time, found an old 1984 recording of the Teatro alla Scala of Verdi’s “I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata” with Ghena Dimitrova and Jose Carreras in the leading roles.

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Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Composer

Verdi

Himself: Despite his innate musical ability (he began studying music at the age of three), Verdi’s application for the Milan Conservatory was rejected due to his lack of piano technique and discipline. In 1839, he moved to Milan and he had his first success with Nabucco and also his first failure, with the comedy Un giorno di negro. He only composed one other comedy in his career: Falstaff, his last opera.

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