Theatre & Opera Magazine

TODAY IN OPERA HISTORY - May 29

Posted on the 29 May 2011 by Pinkall @pinkall
Happy Birthday to little known opera composer, Isaac Albeniz, who was born in Spain on this day in 1860.
Today is also the birthday of one of the least known super-geniuses of music, Erich Korngold, who was born into a Jewish family in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1897.  His most famous opera, Die Tote Stadt, was written when he was only 20 years old!  It was his third opera!  Anyway, it is beautiful, just listen to the first few minutes of the opera, can you believe how gorgeous it is?  This opera (The Dead City) was very popular in Germany after WWI, as it captured the feelings of deep grief as Germany lost millions and millions of people during the war.

The first of the "Russian Five", Mily Balakirev, died on this day in 1910.  He didn't compose any operas but he had a major influence on the other four of "The Five": Cesar Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Alexander Borodin - all of whom were prolific opera composers.  Balakirev brought the group together to try to make a new "Russian sound", one that was authentically Russian.  Balakirev hand picked "the Five" who in their own right are some of the greatest composers in history; he did not include Glinka nor Tchaikovsky - who in many ways were more famous and important to music history.  Glinka wasn't included because he was almost dead, and Tchaikovsky wasn't included because he favored the more traditional of Glinka's operas.  "The Five" generally liked Glinka's more radical operas.  And if you didn't already know, many people attribute the bad blood between Tchaikovsky and The Five to Tchaikovsky being gay...but there's not much evidence to this.  Nevertheless, Tchaikovsky got the last laugh, as his Nutcracker ballet and the 1812 overture are certainly two of the most famous pieces of music in all of music history.
The prolific teacher and little known opera composer, George Rochberg, died on this day in 2005.
Happy Birthday to Wisconsin (1848) and Rhode Island (1790).  Rhode Island has the distinction of being the only state in the US that hasn't had someone visit my blog!  That will surely change after I post this (fingers crossed).
Stravinsky's ballet, "The Rite of Spring" made its debut on this day in 1913.  It is likely the most famous music debut in all of history.  The sounds were so radical at the time that the crowd booed and stormed the stage.  Stravinsky escaped the riot unharmed, but this piece ended up being one of the most important pieces of music in all of history.  It lead the way to all kinds of crazy stuff in the 20th century.  Take a listen to the iconic beginning, I'm sure you've heard it before.  This was made famous in popular culture by Disney's Fantasia - make sure you at least watch several minutes until the iconic dance begins (you'll know it when you hear it - it's the volcano part in the film).
"White Christmas" was recorded on this day in 1940 by Bing Crosby.  It is the best-selling single of all time, selling over 50 million records.  Here is a clip of him singing it in the film "Holiday Inn", the film that the song was written for.
Famous French composer, Iannis Xenakis, was born on this day in 1922.  He didn't write any operas, but he's so famous that I had to mention him.
Happy Oak Apple Day to all the English!  It's a day of thanksgiving celebrating when the future Charles II of England escaped an invading army by hiding in an oak tree.  I suggest you all go out and break off a branch of oak to wear, in remembrance of Charles II heroic flight up the tree to hide, because if you don't, tradition says that kids will "pelt you with birds' eggs or thrash you with nettles".
TODAY IN OPERA HISTORY - May 29

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Thomas Land | Drayton Manor Park

    Thomas Land Drayton Manor Park

    If living near a theme park was in your criteria for buying a house, then our new house would certainly meet that need. Living about a 3 minute drive from... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Thefoodiecoupleblog
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Your Eye Drops Can Kill You

    Your Drops Kill

    Anything can be a poison, it all depends on the dose. This includes the drops you use to clear your eyes. The active, and dangerous, ingredient in many of... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Dplylemd
    BOOKS, CULTURE, HEALTH, MEDICINE
  • The Wood Brothers: "River Takes the Town" & "Happiness Jones" Dutch TV Live...

    Wood Brothers: "River Takes Town" "Happiness Jones" Dutch Live Videos

    Watch roots trio The Wood Brothers perform River Takes the Town and Happiness Jones two tracks from their latest album One Drop Of Truth for Dutch music show... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Hctf
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Opera Review: Falling Down

    Opera Review: Falling Down

    The Met opens with a disastrous Samson et Dalila. by Paul J. Pelkonen A world of toil: Robert Alagna does hard time in Samson et Dalila. Photo by Ken Howard ©... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Superconductor
    CULTURE, THEATRE & OPERA
  • Could Neanderthals Speak? Implications of FOXP2

    FOXP2 is one of the most famous genes out there; notable for containing two mutations linked to language in humans. These mutations are also in Neanderthals,... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Reprieve
    BIOLOGY, SCIENCE
  • Diet Doctor Podcast #3 – Dr. Jeffry Gerber and Ivor Cummins

    Ivor Cummins: Great to be here, Bret. Dr. Jeffry Gerber: Thanks, Bret. Bret: The first thing I want to talk to you about is I learned from you guys you have t... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • North American B-25J Mitchell

    North American B-25J Mitchell

    @ Lancaster, CA March 2018 A B-25 makes a photo pass/bomb run during the the LA County Airshow.  This Mitchell, “Photo Fanny”, is part of the Planes of Fame... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY

Magazine