Spotlight: Rossini's Ciro in Babilonia Gets Its Moment

Friday, July 06, 2012

Rossini was often thought of as a bon vivant who could dash off music with facile ease and then devote more of his time to food, wine and sex. But he was also a serious composer, writes Fred Plotkin.

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One-Person Shows: Star Vehicles but Compelling Drama?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Lincoln Center Festival is taking a lean approach to several of its dramatic and musical offerings this year, with a one-person play and operas for one or two people. Olivia Giovetti reports.

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Remembering Evelyn Lear, Soprano with Magnetic Presence

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The American soprano died on Sunday at age 86. "She was a first-rate musician, a magnetic presence on the stage, analytical and thoughtful in rehearsal and fearless in performance," remembers Fred Plotkin.

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Falstaff: When Verdi Found His Inner Comedian

Monday, July 02, 2012

"I don’t think Verdi had much of a sense of humor," F. Paul Driscoll, editor in chief of Opera News tells us. Yet he went on to create one of opera's most important comedies.

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Warm Up: Noah Stewart Keeps Calm and Texts On

Monday, July 02, 2012

In the latest installment of our Warm Up series, tenor Noah Stewart reveals that he might be found on a show day in search of cufflinks.

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The Not-So-Merry Widow

Friday, June 29, 2012

Silent film isn’t exactly the sort of medium you’d imagine to be a bespoke fit to opera, but in the hands of a 40-year-old Erich von Stroheim, Léhar’s The Merry Widow finds a unique, if not new, lease on life.

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Planet Opera: In Brussels, Culture Takes an Adventurous Path

Thursday, June 28, 2012

To many, Brussels brings to mind quarreling constituents in a large bureaucracy. But the city has a compelling musical scene that does not reveal itself as insistently as other cities, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Puccini's Il Trittico

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quick: name the three one-act operas included in Puccini’s Il Trittico. Give up? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. No, we're not talking about Pagliacci – that’s by Leoncavallo. Cavalleria Rusticana isn’t one of them either – that’s by Mascagni.

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The American (Operatic) Dream Resonates in LBJ Oratorio

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In the wake of Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom" debuting on HBO and in advance of July 4th, Olivia Giovetti takes a look at a recent work by Steven Stucky about the LBJ administration.

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Dining With Caruso Near the Old Met

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A delightful exhibition of old New York restaurants recently opened at the New York Public Library. It reminds blogger Fred Plotkin of the tenor Enrico Caruso, who loved food and frequented the restaurants around the Old Met.

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Caught in the Crossover: OperaBabes and Embracing Guilty Pleasures

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

With a new release from the Opera Babes, Olivia Giovetti looks at the malleable term "guilty pleasure," especially when it comes to classical music.

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There's Something About Francesca

Friday, June 22, 2012

With the temperature already cranked up, the Princeton Festival goes even hotter and descends into hell this weekend with Rachmaninoff’s 1904 opera Francesca da Rimini based on the fifth canto of Dante’s The Inferno and starring soprano Caroline Worra.

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Unsung Singers: Sandrine Piau Conjures a Spirit of Intimacy and Romance

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sandrine Piau is what is often described as “a special artist.” This term implies that she is undeniably gifted but either favors or is most suited for repertory that is outside the bread-and-butter works.

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The Vocal Scenes of Make Music New York

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Over 1,000 free performances are set to take place tomorrow across all five boroughs as part of Make Music New York. Blogger Olivia Giovetti highlights the classical vocal offerings.

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When Art is Noble and Beliefs May Not Be

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can you appreciate a performer's music if his or her personal beliefs are deeply repugnant to you? That question comes up with growing frequency in the age of Facebook, writes Fred Plotkin.

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Five Pieces By Missy Mazzoli You Should Know

Monday, June 18, 2012

Olivia Giovetti offers five pieces that epitomize the work of Missy Mazzoli, recently named composer in residence at the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group.

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The Top 10 Operas Set in Rome

Sunday, June 17, 2012

With Woody Allen taking us to the Eternal City in To Rome, With Love, blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at the top 10 operas set in Rome.

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What the Best Conductors and Critics Can Teach Us

Friday, June 15, 2012

The best conductors and critics have a great deal to teach us, writes Fred Plotkin, whether we are performers or lovers of opera and classical music.

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Sage Advice

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the spirit of Mary Schmich's famous "Sunscreen" speech, Olivia Giovetti offers up a commencement address for the class of 2012 with advice gleaned entirely from the operatic canon.

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The Blurry Line Between Opera and Musical Theater

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

“I love opera!” Fred Plotkin is so frequently told. “I have seen The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables ten times each and have every record by Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo and the Three Tenors!”

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