'Lincoln' Reveals 16th President's Passion for Opera

Monday, February 18, 2013

Among the many historical tidbits that Steven Spielberg includes in his Oscar-nominated film "Lincoln," the president’s love of opera may be the most surprising.

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Review: City Opera's Powder Her Face Lays Bare British Sex Scandal

Saturday, February 16, 2013

This visually busy Jay Scheib production addressed many of the problems in this woozy, dreamy portrayal of the Duchess of Argyll.

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Dutch Marionette Artist has the Opera World on a String

Friday, February 15, 2013

Puppets and dolls have, since antiquity, served as surrogates for humans in religious and secular celebrations. Fred Plotkin considers the work of Hendrik Bonneur, who uses puppets in opera.

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Giving Puccini's Turandot the Finale it Deserves

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Lunar New Year began on Sunday, and the moon plans an important role in Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, one of the most popular Western operas with an Asian setting.

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Planet Opera: In Amsterdam, Sharing Moments with History

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A particular characteristic of life in Amsterdam is the nearly untranslatable and unpronounceable word gezellig. It applies to many aspects of life and music in the Dutch city, writes Fred Plotkin.

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Top Five Most Potent Love Spells in Opera

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we searched the opera repertoire for the five most potent love potions and spells (at least in terms of their influence on plot development).

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The Maestro's Ears

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sometimes a good conductor can help an orchestra overcome a flawed concert hall; other times a great hall can mask the shortcomings of a poor conductor. Fred Plotkin considers the relationship of maestro, hall and orchestra.

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Burned Opera Fire-Blower Released From Hospital

Thursday, February 07, 2013

A fire-blowing stilt-walker with the Lyric Opera of Chicago who suffered second-degree burns during a dress rehearsal was released from the hospital Thursday.

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Librettos and Libations: Music in the Vineyards

Monday, February 04, 2013

Wine, whether still, sparkling or fortified, really flows in opera – from the elixir in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore to Champagne in Die Fledermaus. Fred Plotkin considers these heady connections.

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No 'R' Rating for the Met's New Rigoletto

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Rated R for Rigoletto? Not on the Metropolitan Opera’s watch.

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Master Class: Joyce DiDonato Delivers Lessons at Juilliard

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"On January 25, at the Juilliard School, Joyce DiDonato gave a master class on how to give a master class," writes Fred Plotkin.

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Review: Metropolitan Opera's Rat Pack Rigoletto Hits a Jackpot

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"As much as the opening scene's intentionally vulgar casino-style neon lights were greeted with stunned silence, the final curtain response suggested that it's a hit," writes David Patrick Stearns.

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In the Footsteps of Richard Wagner: Leipzig

Friday, January 25, 2013

Anyone who loves opera surely knows by now that 2013 marks the bicentennial of the births of Richard Wagner (May 22) and Giuseppe Verdi (October 10), the colossi of 19th Century opera.

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Love is Hell: Orpheus Endures as Favorite Opera Subject

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A new exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum and the premiere of a work by Kate Soper remind us of the abiding importance of the Orpheus myth.

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In 'Quartet,' Opera Singers are Retired but not Retiring

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Quartet," a new film directed by Dustin Hoffman, "is a bit too pat and contrived in its conflation of opera and the rigors of old age," writes Fred Plotkin. But he commends it despite its limitations.

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No Thanks for 'Sharing' at the Opera House

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Friends, New Yorkers, Opera Lovers Everywhere," writes Fred Plotkin. "Do I really need to explain why people should not engage in extended conversations at the opera?"

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The Top Five Pop Culture-Inspired Rigoletto Productions

Friday, January 18, 2013

When the Metropolitan Opera opens a new Rigoletto production inspired by Rat Pack–era Las Vegas, it will be one in of a spate of new contexts for this warhorse.

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Houston Grand Opera to Stage its First Ring Cycle

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Houston becomes the latest opera company to put a ring on it next season. The announcement comes as the Houston Symphony gets a new conductor.

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Planet Opera: In Italy's Small Towns, Opera is Anything But Provincial

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Four cities in Italy have created what is known as the Circuito Lirico Lombardo, a consortium that works collaboratively to create four opera productions every season. Fred Plotkin reports from Italy.

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Exclusive Preview: New Wagner Museum Opens in Germany

Friday, January 11, 2013

A new museum dedicated to Richard Wagner opens this weekend near Dresden. Located in a former hunting lodge, it opens as the world gets ready to mark his 200th anniversary, reports Fred Plotkin.

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