Berenice Has Her Moment

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Berenice is suddenly everywhere, writes Fred Plotkin. "In the past week I have encountered her in London, at Carnegie Hall and, Tuesday night she was at the Metropolitan Opera."

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The Top Five Tastiest Feasts in Opera

Monday, November 19, 2012

As many music lovers prepare for Thanksgiving meals, we've sniffed out the five tastiest feasts that are served up on the opera stage.

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Planet Opera London: Discovering Handel and his Times

Friday, November 16, 2012

A visit to the Handel House Museum, the composer's former home in London, inspires blogger Fred Plotkin to consider his place in the operatic canon. 

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Beethoven and Michelangelo: Colossal Utopianism

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Michelangelo is to art what Beethoven is to music," writes Fred Plotkin. "Beethoven’s music is so life-affirming and we get a sense of the greatness of human potential in his music and in Michelangelo’s art."

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A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of Opera Boston

Monday, November 12, 2012

When Opera Boston folded early this year and its ambitious plans were scrapped - almost. The planned centerpiece of the company’s 2012 season was reconceived as a concert opera Saturday night.

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Recording Roundup: Joyce DiDonato and Nicholas Phan a Study in Contrasts

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Every musical career has an arc, and right now Joyce DiDonato is at the apogee of vocal and artistic splendor," writes Marion Lignana Rosenberg. Tenor Nicholas Phan "seems in thrall to his illustrious forebear Sir Peter Pears."

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The Problem with Opera in English

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Opera in English is particular, and often challenging, because our vowels are not always beautiful and unfriendly consonants tend to intrude," writes Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Review: Boos for the Met's Handsome New Ballo Weren't Deserved

Friday, November 09, 2012

From the first scene, the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Un Ballo in Maschera was to be a grand night for booing, writes Operavore critic David Patrick Stearns.

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Three Operas Brought to You by the Letter ‘Z’

Friday, November 09, 2012

Other than Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), how many operas can you name that begin with the letter Z? Consult our Zagat-style guide to find out more.

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Three Letter Arias: Why Opera Still Loves Hand-Written Letters

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

In an age of texting, Twitter and e-mail, the hand-written letter can seem like a relic of ancient times. But not on the opera stage.

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Only the Best

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

"The idea of optimism becomes difficult in difficult times," writes Fred Plotkin. "And yet it is a renewable tonic, one that is not based on naiveté as much as belief."

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Tea and Bagels with Conductor Valery Gergiev

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Russian maestro speaks with Fred Plotkin about a range of topics, including concert hall construction in St. Petersburg, Russia, the stigma around Shostakovich and the benefits of constant touring.

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Top Three Moments for Verdi's Lady Macbeth

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Verdi's musical transformation of Shakespeare's Macbeth shines the spotlight so brightly on his ruthless and ambitious wife that perhaps the opera should be renamed in her honor.

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Sandy Meets The Tempest: The Met Opera Reopens

Thursday, November 01, 2012

After cancelling performances for two days, the Met returned Wednesday with – ironically – a scheduled performance of The Tempest, an opera based on Shakespeare by Thomas Adès.

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A Mystical Madwoman as Unlikely Opera Heroine

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Women and madness is a primal operatic theme, heard in everything from Monteverdi’s Arianna to Donizetti’s Lucia and on to Régine Saint Laurent, the overwrought title character in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna.

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When Opera Characters Cast Their Spell

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spells, potions, black cats, tarot cards and incantations are the stuff of great opera plots. Fred Plotkin considers some of the great scary characters in the opera canon.

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Hans Werner Henze: The Last Interview?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Nobody should be surprised that composer Hans Werner Henze was at the premiere of a new work days before he died on Oct. 27 in Dresden," writes blogger David Patrick Stearns. "He was unstoppable."

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Master Class: Thomas Allen on Making Mozart's Music Sing

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baritone Thomas Allen emphasizes how both the music of Mozart and the words of da Ponte express a duality that must be captured by singers as both musicians and actors, writes Fred Plotkin

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Top Five Political Satires in Opera

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Saturday Night Live" and Comedy Central don’t have a monopoly on political satire. Commentary on the state of government has been showing up in for centuries in operas by Monteverdi to John Adams.

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Three Reasons Why Wagner’s Rienzi is Rarely Performed

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wagner’s Rienzi is an opera that hardly ever gets produced by major companies. On this edition of Opera in Brief, F. Paul Driscoll names its challenges.

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