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  • Mozart?s La finta giardiniera - (The girl posing as a gardener)by Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.85

    For the 1775 Munich carnival (which featured masked balls, sex, gambling and opera), Mozart, previously the prodigy, but now an teenager looking for a job, composed the comic opera La finta giardiniera (The Girl Disguised as a Gardener, The False Garden-girl, or the Pretended Gardener; also, Die verstellte Gšrtnerin or Die Gšrtnerin aus Liebe). The... more...

  • Puccini?s Manon Lescautby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    Ricordi, the Milanese publisher, promoted Puccini?s Manon Lescaut, premiŤred in Turin in February, 1893, shortly after Leoncavallo?s Pagliacci. Composed in the realistic, ?verismo? style, it was Puccini?s first successful opera. The 18th century French novelist Prevost?s lewd, witty and even pornographic story includes elopement, sex, gambling, murder,... more...

  • Tchaikovsky?s The Queen of Spadesby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    The Queen of Spades (Pikovaya Dama, Pique-Dame), Tchaikovsky?s romantic opera about love and gambling, was premiŤred in 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre around the time that he wrote The Sleeping Beauty. Like Eugene Onegin, it is based on a famous novel by Pushkin. The Russian nobility?s reckless gambling, including Russian roulette, was notorious.... more...

  • Richard Strauss?s Der Rosenkavalierby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    In January, 1911, before the First World War, the Dresden opera house curtain rose for Richard Strauss?s romantic and much loved comic opera Der Rosenkavalier. The orchestra had depicted the passionate love scene with its musical orgasm. It was the ?morning after? for the middle-aged aristocratic Marshallin (immortalized by great sopranos like Elisabeth... more...

  • Jules Massenet's Don Quichotteby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    Massenet, in his day, France?s most popular composer, remains well-known particularly for his operatic and commercial success with Manon (1884). He operated at the popular, lighter end of the operatic spectrum. Years later, he chose the subject of Don Quixote, created by Shakespeare?s contemporary, the Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote has... more...

  • Handel?s Rinaldoby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    In 1711, Handel, subsequently the composer of Messiah, staged Rinaldo at the Queen?s Theatre in London?s Haymarket. It was the first successful Italian opera in England. An advance on Purcell?s English masque The Fairy Queen, Rinaldo depicted the siege of Jerusalem during the First Crusade, called by Pope Urban to deliver the Holy Land from Saracen... more...

  • Beethoven?s Fidelioby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    Beethoven?s opera Fidelio, for Mahler ?the opera of operas?, celebrated the ostensible ideals of the French Revolution and of the dramatist Schiller, who maintained that tragic art should represent morality resisting suffering. Fidelio?s Prisoners? chorus and its story portray liberation from darkness into light. With the Moonlight and Pathťtique... more...

  • JanŠ?ek?s The Cunning Little Vixenby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    The Cunning Little Vixen, premiŤred in Brno in 1924, is by JanŠ?ek the Czech composer. His other operas included Jen?fa, KŠt?a KabanovŠ, The Makropulos Case and an opera based on Dostoyevsky?s novel From the House of the Dead. The fox Goldenstripe seduces the vixen Bytrou?ka, Sharp-Ears. She outwits the forester but is shot by a tramp. Animals... more...

  • Alban Berg?s Wozzeckby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    Alban Berg?s Wozzeck, one of the most important operas of twentieth century music, was premiered in Berlin in 1925. It was conducted by Erich Kleiber (father of the conductor Carlos Kleiber). The language of music is atonal, but more accessible than Schoenberg, Berg and Webern?s serial music. Alma Mahler helped Berg with finance. The expressionist,... more...

  • Saint-SaŽns?s Samson et Dalilaby Michael Steen

    Original Writing 2014; US$ 6.70

    Samson et Dalila, the opera by Saint-SaŽns, is full of sensuous music that most of us love to hear. We luxuriate in its ?best-tunes? such as Amour, viens aider ma faiblesse and the love duet Mon coeur s?ouvre ŗ ta voix. We enjoy the dances, the ballets such as the ?bacchanale?, and great choruses such as Voici le printemps, L?aube qui blanchit and... more...