A Young Lady's First Time and an Old Dame's Last Hurrah

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Olivia Giovetti recalls her introduction to opera following Tuesday night's celebration of Joan Sutherland at the Town Hall.

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A Mahler Opera? Not Such a Stretch, Actually

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gustav Mahler, who died a century ago today, was a New Yorker for the last three years of his life, and during this time he led several productions at the Met. On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin reflects on the composer's life, and why it may be perfect operatic fodder.

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What’s So Special about Gilbert and Sullivan? Or We’ve Got a Little List...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

With the first-ever Gilbert and Sullivan sing-along taking place at Symphony Space and Caramoor kicking off its summer season with H.M.S. Pinafore, Naomi Lewin and Midge Woolsey talk about the timeless charm of the dynamic operetta duo.

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Could New York City Opera Benefit from a Change of Scene?

Monday, May 16, 2011

After a weekend of new works at the VOX festival and a reaffirmation of their edgy artistic vision, could New York City Opera solve its problems with a move to a new venue and a commitment to the new and experimental? Blogger Olivia Giovetti considers this on WQX-Aria.

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Other Stages: The Little Opera Theatre of New York Presents a Mozart Premiere

Monday, May 16, 2011

There has not been a new Mozart opera at the Met since 1984. But as WQX-Aria blogger Fred Plotkin explains, the composer's nearly forgotten gem, Mitridate, Re di Ponto, is finally getting some renewed consideration.

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Christopher Cerrone's Invisible Cities Gains Visibility This Weekend

Friday, May 13, 2011

As the familiar chestnut goes, music is the universal language. Perhaps this is why composers are drawn to Italo Calvino’s 1972 masterwork, Invisible Cities—a novel that centers on a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. Since the explorer and emperor do not speak the same language and are forced to communicate through gestures and faith in one another’s interpretation.

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Boo Whom?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"While I don’t find booing acceptable in a theater under any circumstances, to do it following something so extremely challenging is what Italians call maleducato," writes blogger Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. What do you think about booing? Does it have a place in opera?

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When Bigger is Not Always Better

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

As Sung Jin Hong's One World Symphony closes its tenth anniversary season with an abridged version of Tristan und Isolde, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti ponders the successes of smaller opera companies against the financial and operational woes of larger organizations.

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An Opera Lover's Guide to Genoa, Italy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two of the Met's current conductors, Marco Armiliato and Fabio Luisi, hail from Genoa, Italy. On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin considers the cultural riches of that city and its contributions to the history of opera -- from Scotto to Verdi.

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Between 'How Sweet it Is' and 'Il Dolce Suono'

Monday, May 09, 2011

As James Taylor's Perspectives Series concludes at Carnegie Hall, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti considers the ever-closing gap between classical and pop music.

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James Levine Withdraws from Japan, Tanglewood

Friday, May 06, 2011

In the midst of a celebratory year, added cancellations to James Levine's schedule end his BSO tenure with a wheeze. WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti reflects on the conductor's latest troubles.

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Finding Meaning in Dvorak's Sorrowful Song

Thursday, May 05, 2011

One does not have to be Christian, or even religious, to be affected by the universal sentiments of Dvorak's words about parental grief, writes blogger Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria.

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Love, Loss and What Orfeo Wore

Thursday, May 05, 2011

In the wake of several losses to the musical world, Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, now running in a revival at the Metropolitan Opera, rings all the more poignant, writes blogger Olivia Giovetti at WQX-Aria.

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Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher: Carnegie Hall at 100

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Host Midge Woolsey reminisces about hosting Carnegie Hall's 100th anniversary celebration.

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Up Close and Personal at Carnegie Hall

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Ever since moving to New York City for graduate school, I have tried to attend as many concerts as possible at Carnegie Hall. I can say without a New Yorker's bias that every event I have seen there has been inspiring -- from Brahms symphonies performed by the Berlin Philharmonic, to Ravel's Gaspard played by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, to new songs written and performed by Brad Mehldau and Renée Fleming, to my own father playing with the China Philharmonic on tour. But nothing was comparable to a recital I heard last week. This time, I sat on stage, merely fifteen feet away, in a recital by violist Yuri Bashmet and pianist Evgeny Kissin.

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The Ghosts of May Day

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin asks: "What happens when an evil character in opera dies, one for whom we have not developed positive feelings -- Hagen in Götterdämmerung or Scarpia in Tosca? Do we feel bad? Do we rejoice?"

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What's Muti Got that Other Conductors Don't?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Editor's Note: On Tuesday Riccardo Muti won Spain's Asturias Arts Award.

Earlier this month, I heard two of the Chicago Symphony programs that Riccardo Muti conducted in Carnegie Hall – the concert performance of Verdi’s opera Otello, and the concert that included Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Both were extraordinary examples of music-making, which left me wondering: Why is this conductor different from all other conductors? I put that question to a former cellist from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, who happened to be sitting next to me at the first concert. His answer was, “Only one thousand and two hundred different ways, but it’s impossible to put into words.”

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Is the Philadelphia Orchestra Suffering from Hysterical Blindness?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

With the Philadelphia Orchestra docking at Carnegie Hall this week to perform Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti considers some discrepancies in Sophocles's tragedy—and the orchestra's financial situation.

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Five Operatic Wedding Disasters

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Royal Wedding may have gone off without a hitch, but thank goodness there's opera to satisfy our collective sweet tooth when it comes to drama. Here are our picks for operatic (in every sense) wedding disasters.

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Pursuing Anvil Leads

Friday, April 29, 2011

As the Metropolitan Opera presents Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Verdi’s Il Trovatore this month, Fred Plotkin investigates one of the more striking ingredients shared between the two productions: the use of the lead anvil.

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