Kurt Sanderling, Conductor Who Lived Amid Soviet Turmoil, Dies at 98

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kurt Sanderling, a conductor whose career path embodied the entwinement of politics and art in 20th-century Europe, died Saturday in Berlin, just two days shy of his 99th birthday. The cause of death was old age.

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Andrea the Giant

Monday, September 19, 2011

With singers like Andrea Bocelli, how do you mitigate talent with popstar status? And when you have as many fans of Bocelli, does it actually matter? Olivia Giovetti ponders this in light of the singer's recent Central Park concert.

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How Brain Chemistry May Explain The Appeal of Sweet Harmonies

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A new scientific model on humans' response to consonance and dissonance provides insights into why atonal music continues to be challenging for so many listeners.

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If You See Something, Say Something

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The numbing effects of our everyday lives have been brought into the theater, writes Fred Plotkin. As a result, "most opera audience members do not activate their eyes, ears and other senses to fully take in the experience."

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South Korean Maestro Conducts North Korean Orchestras

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

North Korea says a prominent South Korean maestro has conducted two orchestras in the North in a sign of easing tensions between the countries.

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10 Opera Recordings to Get this Fall

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Olivia Giovetti names 10 opera and vocal releases to look out for this fall season, ranging from full-length Vivaldi to a long-overdue Wagner compilation.

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10(+) Operas to Hear This Fall

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Want more vocal music this season? Anna Netrebko loses her head, Nico Muhly experiments with polygamy, William Christie puts on his dancing shoes and Angela Meade goes to Carnegie Hall.

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Twenty Iconic Opera Roles In Which Helen Mirren Would Have Ruled

Monday, September 12, 2011

NPR may have recently postulated what 20 male movie roles Helen Mirren should have taken on, but Olivia Giovetti goes one step further and asks what operatic roles wold benefit from the Mirren touch.

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Rome Opera Irked at Luisi's Last-Minute Exit

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rome's Teatro dell'Opera says Fabio Luisi's last-minute bolting from his engagement to conduct Elektra so he could conduct at New York's Metropolitan Opera hurts the world of lyric opera.

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The Philharmonic Delivers an Inspired Mahler 2nd for New York

Monday, September 12, 2011

Confession. I have worked hard to avoid most of the 9/11 tributes, reflections, reliving and agonies of the past weeks. I chose to watch the George Bush National Geographic interview, and was impressed with his honesty, humanity and frailty. I helped program an event for WQXR in The Greene Space. But I couldn’t watch the TV loops, the commentators, or look again at those pictures.

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Attendance Records Broken at BBC Proms

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The BBC Proms, London's eight-week music festival which ended its 117th season Saturday night, has reported record audiences for the second year in a row. Watch a video of the pianist Lang Lang performing on the Last Night.

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When There Are No Words

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When singers perform music without words, they might perform a vocalise. "Language is a wonderful thing, but sometimes there are no words to express feelings that might be complex, wrenching or exultant," writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Send in the (Insane) Clowns

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Olivia Giovetti can't stop listening to "Leck mich im Arsch," a Mozart cover by the rap duo Insane Clown Posse. So is it infantile and misrepresentative of the source material? Or a sly inside joke between past and present?

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Montreal's New Concert Hall Leaps Into View

Thursday, September 08, 2011

When the Montreal Symphony opened its new concert hall to the public on Wednesday night, the festivities included acrobats from the Cirque Éloize. Host Naomi Lewin reports on the three-ring festivities from our neighbors to the north.

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Yo-Yo Ma Among Five Honored by Kennedy Center

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

In what seems like a long time coming, Yo-Yo Ma will get a Kennedy Center Honor. The 55-year-old said he feels too young to be receiving such an award for lifetime achievements.

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Composer John Adams Reflects on Pulitzer Work, Public 'Overreaction' to Sept. 11

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Composer John Adams, looking back at On the Transmigration of Souls, his 2002 piece remembering Sept. 11, expresses satisfaction with the work's success, but also concerns about the public's "orgy of self pity."

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Is Genius in The Creation or in The Performance?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin asks "Does creative genius reside exclusively in those who write words and music, or also in those who speak or sing these words and music? And are there different types of genius? What defines each?"

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Levine Cancels Fall Met Appearances; Luisi Named Principal Conductor

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

James Levine, the music director of the Metropolitan Opera, has cancelled his fall appearances at the Met, after falling and damaging his vertebrae on Thursday. Fabio Luisi will take over for Levine in his new role as principal conductor.

 

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Risky Business

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

For singers -- whose bodies are their instruments -- is riding a motorbike without a helmet any more acceptable or any less risky than smoking? Olivia Giovetti examines the circumstances surrounding tenor Salvatore Licitra's death and the context of opera singers playing un-safe.

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Italian Tenor Salvatore Licitra Dies at 43 After Crash

Monday, September 05, 2011

Salvatore Licitra, a tenor who rose to fame as a last-second substitute for Luciano Pavarotti at the Met, died on Monday after being severely injured in a motorbike accident.

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