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Whether Wagner or Smetana, Don't Feed The Bears

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, Wagner's Siegfried and Sir William Walton's The Bear are just a few examples of operas involving grizzly adventures.

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Road Warriors

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

For your next road trip, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at some of the recent releases of opera recordings, including Handel, Rossini, Donizetti, Wagner and some Sciarrino for good measure.

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In Memoriam: Michael Gray

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Anyone who attends opera performances regularly at a local opera company develops a relationship with a whole group of people whom he or she may not know personally: The chorus.

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When Opera Meets Tinseltown

Monday, August 08, 2011

Olivia Giovetti counts down the top 15 greatest opera moments in film, from Maria Callas in Philadelphia and Mascagni in Raging Bull to the sounds of Puccini in Fatal Attraction and Moonstruck.

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Unsung Singers: Lucy Crowe

Sunday, August 07, 2011

On Tuesday and Wednesday, British soprano Lucy Crowe will make her Lincoln Center debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival. Previous entries in my series of “Unsung Singers” were artists further along in their careers who I feel deserve more recognition. Perhaps in the case of Ms. Crowe “unsung” should suggest that she has not yet performed in places where I could attend. Most of her career thus far has been in the United Kingdom.

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Iván Fischer Delves into the Addictive Nature of Don Giovanni

Friday, August 05, 2011

Reviewing for WQX-Aria, blogger Olivia Giovetti wonders how the stark simplicity of conductor Iván Fischer's staging correlates with the addictive excesses of Don Giovanni's psyche.

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City Opera Files Complaint Against Musicians Union; Saber Rattling Gets Louder

Friday, August 05, 2011

The struggling New York City Opera has accused the head of its musicians’ union of threatening members who choose to take work with the company without a contract in place.

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Flash Mob Gives Dramatic Performance of Ravel's Bolero

Friday, August 05, 2011

It was only a matter of time. Ravel’s Bolero, the world's longest and most seductive musical crescendo, has been given the flash-mob treatment.

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Shakespeare and Opera: Bringing Chilling Music to 'The Winter's Tale'

Thursday, August 04, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin considers the operatic potential of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, including whether the character of the bear should have a singing part.

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Mayor Bloomberg Will Conduct Orchestra at City Center Reopening

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Following in the footsteps of Fiorello LaGuardia, Rudolph Giuliani and David Dinkins, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will conduct the Encores! Orchestra at the re-opening of New York City Center on October 25.

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Opera News Announces Winners of its 2011 Awards

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti reveals the names of the 2011 Opera News Awards recipients and examines their artistic credentials and pedigree.

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The Anatomy of An Opera Rehearsal: Shaping The Music

Monday, August 01, 2011

The rehearsal process for an opera production is long and complex. Yet many younger of conductors don't dedicate themselves to working with singers properly, writes Fred Plotkin, which will be bad for the future of opera.

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Bard Summerscape's Golden Child

Monday, August 01, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti investigates whether Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae is a neglected masterwork or a justifiably-overlooked Strauss opera. Read on for her verdict and to view a slideshow from Bard Summerscape's production.

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British Politician Recalls Violinist Kennedy's Wild Times

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Conservative Member of Parliament has admitted to taking drugs with violinist Nigel Kennedy and dancing with him at a nightclub in the latest twist in the British phone-hacking scandal.

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A Well-Executed 'Selma' at the Lincoln Center Festival

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reviewing the U.S. premiere of Poul Ruders's new opera, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti writes, "Those who have seen Lars von Trier’s bleak Dancer in the Dark know that an opera based on the 2000 cult film is not going to be a feel-good night of family fun. However, no amount of gut-wrenching, emotional self-flagellation can prepare even the steeliest soul for Poul Ruders’s Selma Jezokvá."

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Soprano Meagan Miller on a Straussian Gold Standard

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tonight, Richard Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae opens at Bard Summerscape. But is it a neglected masterpiece or second-tier Strauss? WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti speaks with the production's star, Meagan Miller.

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Shakespeare and Opera: The Sound and Fury of Macbeth

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Giuseppe Verdi understood the operatic potential of the tragedy Macbeth and made it his first work based on Shakespeare. It may be a rare case of an opera improving upon the original play, notes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria.

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The Play's the Thing

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

As The Silver Tassie enthralls audiences at the Lincoln Center Festival, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at the operatic version Sean O'Casey's play by Mark-Anthony Turnage.

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Alex Steinweiss: Album Cover Visionary

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alex Steinweiss, who dreamed up the concept of album cover art in the 1930s and gave us the first examples of creatively illustrated record sleeves, died on July 17. He was 94. Check out some of his handiwork in this slideshow.

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He Can Sing a Stirring Otello But Can Domingo Stop Piracy?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Placido Domingo, the peripatetic tenor, conductor and opera house impresario, added another feather to his cap on Tuesday: as the new chairman of IFPI, a British trade group representing the recording industry.

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