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Articles by John Snelson

Tristan und Isolde Musical Highlight: The ‘Tristan Chord’

20 November 2014

Wagner is credited with changing the course of Western music in just four notes, but what turned a chord into a musical icon?

How to be perfect: Androids, humans and the danger of the ideal

13 November 2014

Søren Nils Eichberg’s opera Glare explores a recurrent issue in science fiction - what do you do if you can't tell who is real?

I due Foscari Musical highlight: The Act I finale

7 October 2014

Two characters rise to the dramatic and musical challenge of the powerful confrontation that concludes Act I of Verdi’s early tragedy.

Stormy weather: How opera composers use musical maelstroms

23 September 2014

Storms as a narrative and compositional device in Rigoletto, Idomeneo and Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Anna Nicole Musical Highlight: Daniel's Drug Ballad

15 August 2014

A short solo listing the drugs taken by Anna Nicole Smith's son distills the emotional essence of a tragic tale.

Not-so-easy listening made easier: How to listen to the unfamiliar as well as the familiar

22 July 2014

Schonberg's Moses und Aron may seem daunting, but dip a toe in the water and you might be pleasantly surprised.

How to Stage an Opera: Exploring the complex naturalism of La bohème

17 July 2014

The wide variety of props in John Copley's classic production is intended to create an engrossing and believable world.

The Fight to the Stage: Donizetti and censorship

16 July 2014

Maria Stuarda wasn't the only of the composer's operas to raise official hackles.

Musical Highlight: ‘Donna non vidi mai’ from Manon Lescaut

13 June 2014

Puccini's passionate aria rapturously describes love at first sight.

How Puccini used music to portray settings

21 May 2014

From Nagasaki harbour to the wide-open plains of Louisiana, Puccini was a master of evoking a sense of place.

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