Magnificent Maestros: Leif Segerstam

Friday, July 22, 2011

The term maestro has two meanings. It is a conductor, of course, but it also means teacher. To some degree, every conductor is also a teacher, but some few of them so fully embrace pedagogy that it seems to dwarf their other achievements. A few maestros are also composers. Mahler and Leonard Bernstein both belong in this category, as did Mendelssohn in his short life.

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You Can Do That on Television

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Many Americans who have never set foot in an opera house know popular arias through TV shows like Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons and Gilligan’s Island. Read about the top ten operatic references on TV and share your own favorites.

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Pittsburgh Symphony Harmonious, But Struggling with Debt

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is the example of an orchestra for which everything seemed to be going well. Now it's reported that the orchestra is in considerable debt.

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Should Opera Companies Feature More Ballet?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Many of the world's great opera companies double as ballet companies, including those in London, Paris and Russia. But has anyone lately mentioned the Metropolitan Opera Ballet? On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin has a proposal for the Met.

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How to Define the Russian Musical Spirit

Monday, July 18, 2011

Last week, American pianist, Van Cliburn celebrated his 77th birthday. This came just weeks after the Russians gave Cliburn a warm welcome when he returned to their country to serve as honorary juror in the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He was a true hero "returning home" 53 years after winning the country’s premiere musical competition at the height of the Cold War.

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Young Singers Soar in Puccini's La Rondine

Monday, July 18, 2011

"One could make a full-time (and fulfilling) career out of just seeing student and young artist performances in the New York metro area," writes WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti, who reviews one such performance given this weekend.

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When Musical Meets Opera

Friday, July 15, 2011

With the Glimmerglass Festival's production of Annie Get Your Gun opening this weekend, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at the tradition of performing musicals in the opera house.

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Shakespeare and Opera: The Strange But True Story of Verdi's King Lear

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Opera fans know that Verdi wrote three brilliant operas based on Shakespeare: Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff. And then there is the great Shakespeare opera that Verdi struggled to create, but did not: Il Re Lear. Here's why.

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What Difference Does a Cast Make?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"In the course of a highly concentrated twelve days, the Lincoln Center Festival’s A Magic Flute illustrates what happens over the course of a season or multiple years in houses such as the Met," writes WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti: "How do different artists shape and reshape the art?"

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With a Plan in Place, Can City Opera Follow Through?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New York City Opera lays out a promising season divorced from Lincoln Center, writes WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti. But can they also reach a labor negotiation to help get the struggling company back on its feet?

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Casting Your Fantasy Opera Production

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On WQX-Aria Fred Plotkin reports on the Caramoor revival of Rossini's William Tell and asks: "What opera has been forgotten, ignored or badly served that you would present in five years?"

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Monday in the Park with the Met

Monday, July 11, 2011

As the Met revisits its new tradition of summer recital series, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti asks whether these summer offerings may be better than full-length operas.

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Russian Conductor Says He Was Fired After Criticizing Putin

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mikhail Arkadyev, the conductor of Vladivostok's Pacific Symphony Orchestra, found out what happens when you refuse to get on board in Vladimir Putin's Russia.

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Vertical Player Repertory Takes 'La Calisto' to the Banks of the Gowanus Canal

Saturday, July 09, 2011

WQX-Aria Blogger Olivia Giovetti previews Vertical Player Repertory's production of La Calisto, a 17th-century Cavalli gem that's transported to an industrial area of Brooklyn.

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A 'Master Class' Worth Auditing: Tyne Daly Excels as Maria Callas

Friday, July 08, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin reports on the revival of the Terrence McNally play "Master Class." "Daly fully stakes her claim as heir to a role that has prismatically brought forth distinct traits of Callas with each actress who plays her."

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A Holy and Immediate 'Flute' from Peter Brook

Thursday, July 07, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti reviews the radically reimagined, 90-minute version of Mozart's The Magic Flute, now playing at the Lincoln Center Festival.

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City Opera's Next Season to Include Telemann in Harlem, Verdi in Brooklyn

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Leaked details of New York City Opera’s 2011-12 season show that the financially ailing opera company will travel to at least three different venues bringing a mix of standard and offbeat repertoire.

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When is Sexual Orientation Relevant to Opera?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

In light of New York's legalization of gay marriage and Opera North's operatic meltdown, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti examines the crossroads of sexual politics and classical music through both composers and source materials.

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Do 'Tell'

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

You may know the famous William Tell Overture but what about the opera it introduces? WQX-Aria blogger Fred Plotkin considers why it is often referred to as Rossini’s masterpiece.

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Vinyl Records Find a Second Life on the Dinner Table

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Over the years, some of the most popular questions we've fielded here at WQXR have to do to do with old record collections – especially 78’s.  Can the records be sold? Can they be given to schools… or libraries? Surely there must be a place of honor for these cherished musical memories that have been preserved with such loving care. After all, some fabulous performances risk being forgotten forever if the records are simply discarded, right? And what about the ongoing "quality" discussion? I mean, do LP's actually sound better than CDs or downloads?     

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