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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Workers of the (Opera) World, Unite!

Monday, September 05, 2011

For an analogy to modern-day labor-management relations, consider the works of Richard Wagner. "Wagner might have been a bad manager of his own money, but he was very attuned to the dignity of work," writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Three Acts, Not Nine Innings: Opera Goes to the Stadium

Saturday, September 03, 2011

In Verona, Italy, massive opera productions take place every summer in a Roman coliseum. In San Francisco and Washington, DC, operas will be simulcast on ballpark jumbotrons. Can stadiums and ballparks bring opera back to its populist roots?

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Four Ways of Performing a Mad Scene

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Blogger Olivia Giovetti asks four sopranos what it's like to sing the famous mad scene from Lucia di Lammermoor. Get a taste for crazy in advance of the Met's HD screening of the work on Sunday.

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Three Years After Debut, Opera Omnia Returns to the Stage

Friday, September 02, 2011

Olivia Giovetti reviews Opera Omnia's sophomore effort, a punk-meets-Pulcinella staging of Francesco Cavalli's Giasone, now playing in the intimate space of (Le) Poisson Rouge through September 7.

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Anti-Israel Protest Disrupts BBC Proms Concert in London

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Protesters disrupted a performance Thursday by the Israel Philharmonic and violinist Gil Shaham as part of the BBC Proms, one of Britain’s most venerable concert series.

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In Helsinki's Sleek New Concert Hall, Clarity Reigns

Thursday, September 01, 2011

After a decade-long construction process and a cost of $271 million, the Helsinki Music Center opened Wednesday evening. WQXR's Graham Parker writes that, while not perfect, it "raises the bar on design, purpose and relevance."

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Where are Italy’s Opera Singers? Part III

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The connective thread to the great Italian singers of the past is frayed, writes Fred Plotkin. "I wish Italians would come to feel not only proud of their cultural heritage but actively protective of it and expert in it," he writes.

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When Classical Music Takes Center Court

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How was it that Gershwin and Schoenberg came to enjoy a fiercely-fought tennis match each week? Why was Prokofiev so interested in the game? As the U.S. Open heats up, host Midge Woolsey considers the links.

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The Top 10 Dysfunctional Families in Opera

Monday, August 29, 2011

Think the family in Our Idiot Brother is slightly screwball? They have nothing on some of opera's divinest dysfunctional dynasties. Read Olivia Giovetti's top 10 picks and discuss!

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Where Are Italy's Opera Singers? Part II

Monday, August 29, 2011

One of the problems in the Italian opera world today is the fact that singers have been marginalized and cannot necessarily forge careers in the way Italian conductors do. Yet blogger Fred Plotkin looks at a few standouts.

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Tenor Salvatore Licitra Injured in Motorbike Accident in Sicily

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Salvatore Licitra, one of the leading tenors on the international opera scene, is hospitalized in critical condition in hospital near Modica, Sicily from injuries sustained in a traffic accident on a Vespa on Sunday.

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At Mostly Mozart, a Grand (Albeit Truncated) Finale

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reviewing the Mostly Mozart Festival's closing performance, Olivia Giovetti writes, "There was a small sense of finality; should the city be wiped off the face of the earth this weekend, the last live music some New Yorkers will have heard would be Schubert, Stravinsky and Mozart."

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A Night in at the Opera (At Home)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti highlights ten new opera on DVD releases, perfect for a night in and a bowl of popcorn.

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Where Are Italy’s Opera Singers? Part I

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Who are the great Italian opera singers of contemporary times? In the first of a three part series, Fred Plotkin takes us on a virtual tour  of the great Italian singers of recent past and present, introducing us to many you should know.

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Top 10 Underrated Puccini Arias

Monday, August 22, 2011

Puccini's La Rondine will be featured this Tuesday at the Metropolitan Opera's Summer HD Festival. This got us thinking. Puccini wrote some of the standard-est of standard canon arias. But what are his lesser-known, underrated arias? Olivia Giovetti names her Top 10.

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