In The Lives of the Great Composers, Harold C. Schonberg titled his chapter on Giacomo Meyerbeer “Spectacle, Spectacle, and More Spectacle.” A Meyerbeer opera—built to never bore—included brilliant vocal parts (with arias not too long), always a ballet, “massed superfortissimos,” and formidable choruses. Meyebeer’s betters thought his music second-rate, but in his day he was as popular as Verdi. In our day, he’s not much performed, so here’s a chance to see his 1849 La Prophète, an opera about the Anabaptists of the 16th century. Four and a half hours; two intervals. —L.J.
Best of Meyerbeer: Le Prophète, by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Deutsche Oper / Berlin / Music
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