I was still working when I began blogging. It was a present from my son. I traveled from the DC area where I lived to Zurich and San Francisco. I watched and blogged a lot about DVDs since the nearest opera company was in Washington. I reviewed 35 performances which included 27 DVDs and only 9 live performances in 4 different houses.
- Susan Graham's La Belle Epoche album of songs by Reynaldo Hahn. This album was my favorite thing to listen to while I worked. CD
- (CB) Zurich Giulio Cesare I traveled to Zurich on one of my many trips to see Cecilia Bartoli. This time she was doing Handel's Giulio Cesare in a relatively sedate production. The Egyptians wore
blue and white striped outfits. Cecilia was incredible. By this time I
had been a fanatical fan of Cecilia for over 10 years. I still love
her best. Travel **
- Licitra's Tosca in Washington Salvatore Licitra performed Tosca at the Washington National Opera. I have a soft place in my heart for tenors. Local **
- The Pearl Fishers in San Francisco Bizet's Pearl Fishers appeared at the San Francisco Opera (SFO) long before it came to the Met. What I appear to have enjoyed most were the very sexy Charles Castronovo and Norah Amsellem. Travel **
- (CB) Opera Proibita, both live and on CD. Berkeley This is the long ago time when Cecilia Bartoli still came to Berkeley virtually every year. I was the only one who noticed that she wasn't just waving her arms randomly but was instead conducting the orchestra. Travel **
- L'Amour de Loin by Saariaho (It doesn't get newer than this.) It took me a long time and several tries to get through this, but now it is coming to the Met with a Cirque de Soleil staging. The two lovers here are sung by Dawn Upshaw and Gerald Finley, both wonderful in modern repertoire. DVD
- Montserrat Caballé's video biography This is still recommended even if you have no idea who she is. "Casta diva" in the wind is still the best thing ever. DVD
Singer of the Year
Cecilia Bartoli was singer of the year for her wonderful Cleopatra and her Opera Proibita album.
People say I like everything, but actually that's not true. This year I didn't much like: The Rape of Lucretia because of the disturbing mixture of pagan history and Christian commentary; The Dangerous Liaisons by Susa is just musically boring; Doctor Atomic where the characters never seem to be talking to one another.
New to Me Opera
New operas this year came almost exclusively from DVD or video. There are a lot of wonderful performances in this list, but only Doctor Atomic is actually new.
- Adams' Doctor Atomic was live at SFO. This is new to everyone. **
- Barber's Vanessa was on DVD and starred Kiri te Kanawa.
- Bernstein's Candide was on DVD.
- Britten's The Rape of Lucretia (live in San Francisco) **
- Donizetti's Roberto Devereux was a DVD with Montserrat Caballe.
- Giordano's Fedora was on DVD.
- Halévy’s La Juive was on DVD.
- Larson's Rent was on DVD.
- Mozart's Mitridate Re di Ponto was on DVD.
- Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Maria Ewing was on DVD..
- Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims was on DVD.
- Saariaho's L'Amour de Loin was on DVD.
- Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons was on Video.
- Verdi’s Stiffelio was on Video.
##20 top 20 all time
** live, live stream or live in HD
Things recommended to buy