Smoking at the Opera

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Smoking used to be commonplace among opera singers, as it was the general public. These days, there remain a few hold-outs, despite its obvious dangers. Fred Plotkin considers the practice.

Read More

Comments [7]

The Top 10 Opera Fans from Film and Television

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From Nicolas Cage’s character in Moonstruck to Frasier Crane in "Cheers" and "Fraiser," we look at film and television’s greatest opera lovers. Check out Olivia Giovetti's list and share your own favorites.

Read More

Comments [17]

Review: 'Elixir of Love' a Frothy Season Opener at Metropolitan Opera

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Metropolitan Opera opened its season Monday with the comedy 'L'Elisir d'Amore' in a new production by Bartlett Sher. The opera was "played straight and literal," writes David Patrick Stearns.

Read More

Comments [5]

Why it's Time to Reclaim the Overture

Monday, September 24, 2012

"More than a few stage directors seem to think that the overture is theirs to play with, creating stage business that happens while the overture is being performed," complains Fred Plotkin.

Read More

Comments [5]

The Making of a Cult Opera

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cult classics in inspire rabid fandom that familiar works never achieve. Blogger Olivia Giovetti examines why, and considers cult operas such as Wozzeck, From the House of the Dead, La Périchole, Vanessa and Prince Igor.

Read More

Comments [2]

What Audiences Can Bring to an Opera Performance

Friday, September 21, 2012

In tough financial times, "we, as audiences, need to express faith and solidarity with our opera companies, encouraging them to be daring and creative and supporting them in their efforts," writes Fred Plotkin.

Read More

Comments [4]

Just Like an Opera

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"In listening to Tempest, Bob Dylan’s newest album which dropped last Tuesday, I can’t help but be reminded of Stravinsky," writes Olivia Giovetti. Indeed, Dylan's songs frequently aspire to art-song sophistication.

Read More

Comments [1]

Notes on Rests: When Singers Face Vocal Breakdown

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

There are many singers, especially young ones, who go beyond their physical and mental limits because they feel they must do so to please a conductor or manager, writes Fred Plotkin in this cautionary tale.

Read More

Comments [6]

Review: Radiant and Aging, Einstein on the Beach Still an Event After 35 Years

Monday, September 17, 2012

Like an eccentrically orbiting comet, Einstein on the Beach is again the object of fascination in New York. David Patrick Stearns reviews Sunday's performance.

Read More

Comments [2]

The Art of the Master Class

Friday, September 14, 2012

Master classes are one of the most fascinating aspects of the process of taking talented young singers and trying to polish and mold them while allowing them to retain what makes them special, writes Fred Plotkin.

Read More

Comments [2]

Lyric Opera of Chicago Goes on the Couch

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Second City comedy troupe is teaming with the Lyric Opera of Chicago to produce short films about a therapist named Dr. Opera who counsels famous opera characters. Olivia Giovetti gives her review.

Read More

Comments [1]

Freedom, at the Opera and Everywhere Else

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pop music has addressed the concept of freedom in many different ways, writes Fred Plotkin. "In opera, freedom is described in ways that are more indirect but also more profound."

Read More

Comments [1]

How Political Conventions are Similar to Opera

Monday, September 10, 2012

With the fall political conventions now over, blogger Olivia Giovetti reflects on the similarities between these staged spectacles and those involving arias, divas and high musical drama.

Read More

Comment

Ten Recordings We're Looking Forward to This Fall

Friday, September 07, 2012

From a Mario Lanza tribute to a new Don Giovanni, there are also a number of recordings to devour before winter. Here are ten albums blogger Olivia Giovetti is most looking forward to hearing this fall.

Read More

Comment

Remembering the Great Leonie Rysanek

Thursday, September 06, 2012

"There are singers who touch audience members very deeply for any number of reasons," writes Fred Plotkin. "For me, one of those was the Austrian soprano Leonie Rysanek."

Read More

Comments [5]

Fifteen Performances to Catch this Fall

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

This fall, Emperor Titus returns to the Met, Philip Glass returns to BAM, Simon Keenlyside returns to Berg and VOX returns to City Opera. Here are our picks for the upcoming New York opera season.

Read More

Comments [1]

Mooning Over Opera

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

In operas, the moon has come to signal lunacy in mad scenes, represent expressions of love and suggest the darker forces within characters. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers why the moon is such a force.

Read More

Comments [13]

Who Should Receive the Kennedy Center Honors?

Friday, August 31, 2012

In a few days, if customary schedules are upheld, we will learn the names of the recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. Blogger Fred Plotkin names artists who have been overlooked or deserve recognition.

Read More

Comments [23]

Passion Plays: Joan of Arc on the Opera Stage

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Joan of Arc has been portrayed as a villainess by Shakespeare, an angel by George Bernard Shaw, and has seen her share of operatic representation, figuring into more than 20 works, writes Olivia Giovetti.

Read More

Comments [1]

Celebrating Tenor Richard Tucker

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Richard Tucker would have been 99 on Tuesday. Blogger Fred Plotkin writes that "even when he was 60, his singing was fresh, musical and expressive and audiences loved him."

Read More

Comments [7]