In Memoriam: Michael Gray

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Anyone who attends opera performances regularly at a local opera company develops a relationship with a whole group of people whom he or she may not know personally: The chorus.

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When Opera Meets Tinseltown

Monday, August 08, 2011

Olivia Giovetti counts down the top 15 greatest opera moments in film, from Maria Callas in Philadelphia and Mascagni in Raging Bull to the sounds of Puccini in Fatal Attraction and Moonstruck.

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Unsung Singers: Lucy Crowe

Sunday, August 07, 2011

On Tuesday and Wednesday, British soprano Lucy Crowe will make her Lincoln Center debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival. Previous entries in my series of “Unsung Singers” were artists further along in their careers who I feel deserve more recognition. Perhaps in the case of Ms. Crowe “unsung” should suggest that she has not yet performed in places where I could attend. Most of her career thus far has been in the United Kingdom.

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Iván Fischer Delves into the Addictive Nature of Don Giovanni

Friday, August 05, 2011

Reviewing for WQX-Aria, blogger Olivia Giovetti wonders how the stark simplicity of conductor Iván Fischer's staging correlates with the addictive excesses of Don Giovanni's psyche.

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Shakespeare and Opera: Bringing Chilling Music to 'The Winter's Tale'

Thursday, August 04, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin considers the operatic potential of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, including whether the character of the bear should have a singing part.

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Opera News Announces Winners of its 2011 Awards

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti reveals the names of the 2011 Opera News Awards recipients and examines their artistic credentials and pedigree.

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The Anatomy of An Opera Rehearsal: Shaping The Music

Monday, August 01, 2011

The rehearsal process for an opera production is long and complex. Yet many younger of conductors don't dedicate themselves to working with singers properly, writes Fred Plotkin, which will be bad for the future of opera.

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Bard Summerscape's Golden Child

Monday, August 01, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti investigates whether Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae is a neglected masterwork or a justifiably-overlooked Strauss opera. Read on for her verdict and to view a slideshow from Bard Summerscape's production.

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A Well-Executed 'Selma' at the Lincoln Center Festival

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reviewing the U.S. premiere of Poul Ruders's new opera, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti writes, "Those who have seen Lars von Trier’s bleak Dancer in the Dark know that an opera based on the 2000 cult film is not going to be a feel-good night of family fun. However, no amount of gut-wrenching, emotional self-flagellation can prepare even the steeliest soul for Poul Ruders’s Selma Jezokvá."

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Soprano Meagan Miller on a Straussian Gold Standard

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tonight, Richard Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae opens at Bard Summerscape. But is it a neglected masterpiece or second-tier Strauss? WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti speaks with the production's star, Meagan Miller.

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Shakespeare and Opera: The Sound and Fury of Macbeth

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Giuseppe Verdi understood the operatic potential of the tragedy Macbeth and made it his first work based on Shakespeare. It may be a rare case of an opera improving upon the original play, notes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria.

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The Play's the Thing

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

As The Silver Tassie enthralls audiences at the Lincoln Center Festival, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at the operatic version Sean O'Casey's play by Mark-Anthony Turnage.

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A Little Light Music: How Lighting Design Impacts Opera

Monday, July 25, 2011

There is a generation of people who work in the performing arts, mostly in their 50s and 60s, who are known as “Gilbert’s Children.” All of us had the same master instructor and draw on his wisdom as if it were genetically part of who we are. Gilbert Hemsley (1936-1983) was the kind of inspiring teacher one is lucky to have. He drew the best out of each student and knew how to shine a light on every person’s strengths.

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A Triple-Hitter at Opera New Jersey

Friday, July 22, 2011

With three operas in rotation this weekend, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti wonders if Princeton, NJ is becoming a new destination town for summer classical music. Weigh in with your own thoughts.

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Magnificent Maestros: Leif Segerstam

Friday, July 22, 2011

The term maestro has two meanings. It is a conductor, of course, but it also means teacher. To some degree, every conductor is also a teacher, but some few of them so fully embrace pedagogy that it seems to dwarf their other achievements. A few maestros are also composers. Mahler and Leonard Bernstein both belong in this category, as did Mendelssohn in his short life.

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You Can Do That on Television

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Many Americans who have never set foot in an opera house know popular arias through TV shows like Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons and Gilligan’s Island. Read about the top ten operatic references on TV and share your own favorites.

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Should Opera Companies Feature More Ballet?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Many of the world's great opera companies double as ballet companies, including those in London, Paris and Russia. But has anyone lately mentioned the Metropolitan Opera Ballet? On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin has a proposal for the Met.

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Young Singers Soar in Puccini's La Rondine

Monday, July 18, 2011

"One could make a full-time (and fulfilling) career out of just seeing student and young artist performances in the New York metro area," writes WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti, who reviews one such performance given this weekend.

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When Musical Meets Opera

Friday, July 15, 2011

With the Glimmerglass Festival's production of Annie Get Your Gun opening this weekend, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at the tradition of performing musicals in the opera house.

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Shakespeare and Opera: The Strange But True Story of Verdi's King Lear

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Opera fans know that Verdi wrote three brilliant operas based on Shakespeare: Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff. And then there is the great Shakespeare opera that Verdi struggled to create, but did not: Il Re Lear. Here's why.

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