The Music that Makes Ulysses

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In honor of Bloomsday, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti examines three key operatic moments in Ulysses.

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Unsung Singers (Part Two): Vivica Genaux

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin claims a special feeling for the mezzo-soprano voices. "There is a warmth and sensuality to middle range voices (including the baritone) that exerts a special appeal." Alaska-born mezzo Vivica Genaux is in a case in point.

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'I Thought This Was an Opera Shop'

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

With the disappearance of Lincoln Center's Barnes & Noble, the Metropolitan Opera Shop is quickly becoming the only game in town for classical and opera CDs. One problem, as WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti notes: They have dramatically cut back on selling CDs. 

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In a School of 'Fame,' an Awakening of Renaissance Music

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LaGuardia High School, best known as the school upon which the movie and TV show "Fame" was based, is about to get its first Renaissance music club. Kids will learn instruments like the crumhorn and recorder.

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A Forgotten Operatic Tale of Figaro Returns After 176 Years

Monday, June 13, 2011

From Salzburg, Fred Plotkin reports on a revival of I Due Figaro, a forgotten operatic tale of Figaro, the character famously popularized by Mozart and Rossini. This one, however, comes via "a production without imagination."

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In Greenwich, Le Cocteau d'Or

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reporting from Connecticut, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti reviews the Cocteau-inspired Greenwich Music Festival. It included a remarkable performance by the blind mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin.

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Deborah Voigt's New Chapter

Thursday, June 09, 2011

As megawatt soprano Deborah Voigt prepares to sing Schoenberg with the Philharmonic and Irving Berlin with Glimmerglass, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti wonders if the diva may be exploring a new chapter of her career.

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The Great(?) Outdoors

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I've sung plenty of outdoor gigs (including WQXR's appearance last summer at the "Play Me I'm Yours" piano near Columbus Circle, where the video producer was kind enough to cut away at the point when I nearly tripped over a tree root in mid "Amour!"). Outdoor performances proliferate in summer -- and so do the hazards that come with them.

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Five by Fiedler

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

In the wake of recent news about Johanna Fiedler's untimely death, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at some of the author and former Met press rep's operatic zingers in Molto Agitato.

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Magnificent Maestros: The Right and Left Hand of God

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

To be a great maestro, less is more, writes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. "The best conductors sort out almost all of the stylistic and musical issues in rehearsal, leaving themselves and musicians free to just play and breathe spontaneously."

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James Levine Gets The PBS Treatment

Monday, June 06, 2011

Last week, PBS aired a program in its American Masters series called James Levine: America's Maestro. The show included great footage showing how James Levine gets the results he does from his musicians, and interesting insights from some of the people who work with him. If you missed it, you can watch it online, through June 16.

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Backstage with Two Boys

Monday, June 06, 2011

I have always relished the feeling of being “backstage.” There’s a crazy lovely thing that happens when you get to feel a sort of ownership for a huge historical building or site, be it a concert hall, a cathedral or a museum. When I was a little kid, I spent the summers at Tanglewood in the Berkshires, where my parents taught. This was a Tanglewood more or less unchanged from the days of Koussevitzky, where Bernstein and Copland were to be found eating in the cafeteria, and where Seiji Ozawa could be found zooming around in his sports car.

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Listening Room: Historic Live Performances from the Met

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Experiencing the Met's radio broadcasts is no longer an ephemeral experience, writes blogger Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. The Met, along with Sony, has begun to take some jewels out of the vault, including recordings of Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner operas.

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Opera Feroce Concocts a Pastry-Like Pasticcio

Friday, June 03, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti takes a look at Opera Feroce's upcoming production of Amor & Psyche, operatic pasticcio and entrepreneurial singers.

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Two Unsung Singers: Anna Caterina Antonacci and Daniela Barcellona

Thursday, June 02, 2011

At the moment, there are few top Italian female singers known to international audiences, writes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. But two getting fresh attention and are well worth hearing: Anna Caterina Antonacci and Daniela Barcellona.

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In Memoriam: Giorgio Tozzi

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

As the news of death of the great bass Giorgio Tozzi (January 8, 1923-May 30, 2011) has begun to spread, a few people have asked, “Where in Italy was he from?” The answer was Chicago, writes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria.

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Opera's Great Upheaval, Part II

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

With the Guggenheim's "Great Upheaval" drawing to a close, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti examines opera during World War I in the second half of this two-part series.

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Opera's Great Upheaval, Part I

Saturday, May 28, 2011

As the Guggenheim Museum's illuminating exhibition, "The Great Upheaval," comes to a close, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti considers the parallels between opera and art circa World War I in a two-part series.

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Four Essential (and Local!) Summer Festivals

Friday, May 27, 2011

Want to go out of town or keep it local? Do you crave fully-staged Strauss or Mozart with a single piano and seven singers? Olivia Giovetti breaks it all down in this guide to New York-area summer opera performances.

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Fifteen Essential European Opera Festivals

Thursday, May 26, 2011

There are the famous, evergreen festivals including Bayreuth, Edinburgh, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and Verona. All are great and deserve to be attended at least once. But there is so much more, in big cities and small towns.

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