Montserrat Caballé: Ultimate Diva

Friday, April 12, 2013

Montserrat Caballé turns 80 on Friday. Fred Plotkin considers the famed soprano – a sublime bel canto singer, dignified Tosca, notorious canceler and duet partner to Jose Carreras.

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Comments [19]

At Columbia University, Great Books to Great Opera

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Opera fans are lurking among the student body at Columbia University, writes Fred Plotkin. "Opera companies would be wise to cultivate Columbia students for future audiences."

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Comments [11]

Danielle De Niese Subs for Natalie Dessay in Met's Giulio Cesare

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

When the soprano Natalie Dessay dropped out before Tuesday night’s performance of Giulio Cesare at the Metropolitan Opera, the company didn’t have to look far for a replacement.

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Comments [12]

Feud Between Paul Krugman and Estonian President Now an Operetta

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Tired of grumbling about economic austerity? Maybe it's time to sing about it.

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Review: Met's Giulio Cesare Laces Politics with Bollywood Dance

Friday, April 05, 2013

"Reaching the end of Giulio Cesare at its opening night wasn't just a matter of taking in four-plus hours of Handel’s greatest arias, but navigating stories within stories," writes David Patrick Stearns.

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Comments [5]

Board Games: When Trustees Need a Hand

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Fans often express their frustration with opera administrators, writes Fred Plotkin. But just as influential, in most cases, are the boards that govern opera companies and provide a large part of the money.

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Comments [2]

'Defiant Requiem' Reprises Holocaust-Era Performance of Verdi Piece

Monday, April 01, 2013

A documentary and ongoing concert project looks at the Terezín concentration camp, where inmates sang the Verdi Requiem for their own dignity and solace—and to challenge their Nazi captors.

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Comments [3]

Misconduct at the Opera House

Saturday, March 30, 2013

If a performance is "numbingly slow" with "no pacing to speak of, no structure or architecture to the rendering of the score" should the conductor be blamed? Absolutely, argues Fred Plotkin.

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Comments [16]

Review: John Adams Thinks Big in New Telling of the Gospel

Thursday, March 28, 2013

John Adams's large-scale oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary got its New York premiere Wednesday night. David Patrick Stearns writes that its Adams's "biggest and most profusely scored work."

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Comments [5]

Send Me No Flowers

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's the ultimate opera cliche: the diva showered with bouquets of flowers as she takes her bow. But as Fred Plotkin writes, "Strong fragrances, even pleasing ones," can lead to thorny situations.

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Comments [2]

Tenor Bryan Hymel Wins Beverly Sills Award

Monday, March 25, 2013

A tenor from New Orleans has won the prestigious Beverly Sills Award that signals a star in the works.

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Comments [1]

Habemus Operam: Popes and Cardinals in Opera

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The spectacle around Pope Francis's installation prompted Fred Plotkin to think about representations of popes and cardinals and potent Catholic figures in opera. Read on and share your own favorites.

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Comments [5]

Mezzo-Soprano Risë Stevens Dies at 99

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mezzo-soprano opera star Risë Stevens, who sang with the Metropolitan Opera for more than 20 years spanning the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 99.

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Comments [21]

Royal House Names New Chief Executive

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday’s announcement that Alex Beard, 49, has been appointed as the new chief executive at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden was remarkable for its speed, especially because Beard comes from outside the institution. Typically, such searches take a longer period because the supply of able and qualified individuals is always limited, even for such a prestigious post, as few people have the necessary qualifications.

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Comments [2]

'Anna Nicole' is Coming to City Opera in September

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera about the former Playboy playmate and tabloid fixture will open the 2013-2014 City Opera season in September.

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Comments [3]

How Michael Kaiser Manages: A Conversation with the President of the Kennedy Center

Friday, March 15, 2013

Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, sits down with Fred Plotkin to talk about the challenges facing the performing arts world -- and how to turn around faltering arts organizations.

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Comments [1]

Operavore Preview: Matthew Epstein on Artist Cancellations

Thursday, March 14, 2013

This Saturday on the Operavore show, the veteran impresario and artist manager Matthew Epstein sits down with host Marilyn Horne for a wide-ranging interview.

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A Letter to Aspiring Opera Singers

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fred Plotkin offers young singers suggestions about things to think about as they develop their careers and personal lives.

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Comments [16]

Cavalli Opera is a Good Old-Fashioned Tale of Raunch and Cross-Dressing

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gotham Chamber Opera is to give the New York premiere of Cavalli's 1668 opera about the decadent life of the notorious Roman emperor. It was among the first in a long line of racy topics.

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Comments [3]

When Opera Singers Go it Alone

Saturday, March 09, 2013

"Social media has enabled singers to feel connected and loved in ways that would have been inconceivable only a few years ago," writes Fred Plotkin. Still, life on the road can be a lonely pursuit at times.

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Comments [2]