Riccardo Muti has conducted a number of Da Ponte's Mozart operas in Vienna, and this, together with the 1996 'Cosi fan tutte', are musical winners through and through.
The reason is simple - the casts in both productions are GREAT. By Abert
This Covent Garden production of Bizet’s Carmen, makes a vivid musical and dramatic impression. Director Francesca Zambello creates a properly Spanish atmosphere, filling the stage with a profusion of detailed characters. In Act One’s town square each of the many soldiers, strollers, cigarette factory girls, and children are individuals, so there’s a bustle of continuous, realistic activity. That attention to detail carries over to the rest of the opera, involving viewers in the action. Tanya McCallin’s sets are a perfect foil for the direction: simple, movable panels that serve as lightly sketched backdrops for the town square, a tavern, the smugglers’ mountain hideaway, and the final scene in front of the bull ring. But what makes this Carmen special is the singing and acting of the principals… –Dan Davis
More than many opera seria, Handel's 1725 Italian opera, "Rodelinda", provides such a palpable story of jealousy, revenge and undying devotion that it is no wonder the opera itself has been given such widely diverse translations over the years. I was fortunate to experience two wonderful productions of "Rodelinda" just this past year. The first was Stephen Wadsworth's elaborate Metropolitan Opera production set on a beautiful 18th-century country estate, starring superstar soprano Renée Fleming in the title role and the extraordinary countertenor David Daniels as her husband Bertarido. The second also starred Daniels but with rising soprano Catherine Naglestad in David Alden's expressionistic film noir adaptation at the San Francisco Opera (first staged by Munich's Bavarian State Opera)… By Ed Uyeshima
…Heinrich Marschner's operatic oeuvre presents us with a constant reminder of the great German operatic tradition that preceded him and the glorious one that followed him. It is commonplace to regard Marschner (1795-1861) as the most important composer of German romantic opera between Weber and Wagner–a not-so-enviable position, especially considering the debates on romantic opera that flared up in the nineteenth century. E. T. A. Hoffmann regarded romantic opera as the "only true one, for only in the realm of romanticism is music at home." Hoffmann's aesthetics of opera were allegorically presented in his 1813 essay Der Dichter und der Komponist ("The Poet and the Composer"), later included in his Serapionsbruder…