opera notebook

some operas I have seen on video

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Maid of Orleans (1881)
Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, 2023

Khomov & Kataeva
Khomov & Kataeva

Tchaikovsky's seldom-performed Joan of Arc opera is given a modern-dress, wear-what-you-got treatment, set in simple surroundings that suggest a church. Gorgeous in its music, I reckon that The Maid of Orleans is seldom performed or recorded because (a) it's in Russian; (b) it's about Joan of Arc; (c) sheer inertia (few singers must know the roles); and (d) it doesn't have the most coherent of librettos. About halfway through, the opera shifts into a love story that the audience has been given no reason to care about. Still, it is well worth hearing, and the cast here give a strong rendition of the score.