Planet Opera: At Milan's La Scala, Opulence Amid Austerity

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

La Scala, despite its famous history of temperamental divas and conductors and its frequent labor strife, also reminds us of the dignity, the glory and the sheer visceral thrill of opera, writes Fred Plotkin.

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The Best of 2011 in Opera

Monday, December 19, 2011

In a season of Best-Of lists, Operavore Olivia Giovetti names her own picks for standouts of 2011. Find out what made the cut, and leave your own nominations in the comments.

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Warm Up: Iestyn Davies Applies Practical Magic to His Falsetto

Friday, December 16, 2011

In the latest of our Warm-Up series, Olivia Giovetti talks to Iestyn Davies about how a countertenor prepares his voice for a performance -- and doesn't mind a few jokes along the way.

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Zeffirelli's Bohèmians Turn 30

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the premiere of Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La Bohème. This production, more than any other, changed operagoing at the Met, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Anthony Amato, Impresario of Small Grand Opera, Dies at 91

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Anthony Amato, co-founder of the Amato Opera, died on Tuesday. For over six decades, his company was a fixture on the downtown arts scene.

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Inheriting the Wind

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

With James Levine's departure from the Met an imminent inevitability, blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at several possibilities for his successor.

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The Joy of Text

Monday, December 12, 2011

As long as words, whether in printed notes or projected titles, are part of opera- and concert-going, we need to think about better, more meaningful ways to integrate them into performances, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Silver Screen Wagner Vies for Oscar Gold

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The music and imagery of Wagner turns up in two Oscar frontrunners: Melancholia and A Dangerous Method. Blogger Olivia Giovetti considers their respective merits.

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The Wound That Does Not Heal

Friday, December 09, 2011

How does illness or disability affect creative and performing artists? As blogger Fred Plotkin writes, this question has confronted artists from Mahler and Britten to James Levine and Thomas Quasthoff.

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The Operavore 2011 Gift Guide

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Does the opera buff on your shopping list prefer early music or Russian romantics? How about a Wagner set? Here's five acts worth of CDs and DVDs to make spirits bright.

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What's Ailing Opera in America?

Monday, December 05, 2011

In the past few years, several opera companies have shut their doors, seemingly due to a lack of funding. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers whether it's due to the Great Recession, or part of a larger trend.

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An Honor Just to Be Nominated

Monday, December 05, 2011

This year's operatic Grammy Award nominees are a motley assortment, writes blogger Olivia Giovetti. While she finds much to admire in each recording, she wonders what purpose this award ultimately serves.

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Encores Gone Wild

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The encore has shifted from a spontaneous treat to a "dessert expected to follow dinner," even if the meal was five courses long and washed down with a heavy red wine, writes blogger Olivia Giovetti.

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The Diva (Part Two): Shirley Verrett

Friday, December 02, 2011

It is not that we don’t have excellent singers now, writes Fred Plotkin. But Shirley Verrett’s generation was steeped in the kind of training to be an overall artist that is sorely missing today.

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A Muddled, if Musical, Vision for Met's New Faust

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"In the end, the Met's new Faust is worth selling one’s soul for the musical performance alone," writes Operavore Olivia Giovetti. "But it’s going to be a long season in hell with such a heartless and overly clinical production."

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Lisztomania

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Liszt may be Lang Lang's piano hero, but he's also a lieder leader, especially among some of opera's current hottest commodities. Blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at three song performances.

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Mispronounciations

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why do some opera singers have such a hard time with what should be a key part of their job, namely, mastering foreign languages? Blogger Fred Plotkin has some theories.

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A Shabbat at the Opera

Saturday, November 26, 2011

With the New York Festival of Song exploring the Semitic hand in secular Yuletide carols, blogger Olivia Giovetti casts some light on the large number of Jewish opera composers.

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Planet Opera: Catania, In the Footsteps of Vincenzo Bellini

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Catania, Italy was the birthplace of Vincenzo Bellini, perhaps the greatest melodist of any opera composer. Blogger Fred Plotkin offers this guide.

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The Top 15 Operatic Moments For Which I'm Most Thankful

Monday, November 21, 2011

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, blogger Olivia Giovetti offers up the top fifteen moments in opera for which she gives thanks -- from Pique Dame to Nixon in China.

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