Is That All There Is?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

All of this talk of rapture and apocalypse has reminded blogger Fred Plotkin of what is known in German opera as the Schlussszene: a great dramatic closing scene that only a word with three consecutive S's could convey. Do you have a favorite closing scene in opera?

Read More

Comments [11]

New York City Opera Seeks a New Home

Saturday, May 21, 2011

With NYCO's future outside of Lincoln Center a sure thing, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti considers the immediate reaction to the late-breaking news.

Read More

Comments [10]

A Young Lady's First Time and an Old Dame's Last Hurrah

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Olivia Giovetti recalls her introduction to opera following Tuesday night's celebration of Joan Sutherland at the Town Hall.

Read More

Comments [4]

A Mahler Opera? Not Such a Stretch, Actually

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gustav Mahler, who died a century ago today, was a New Yorker for the last three years of his life, and during this time he led several productions at the Met. On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin reflects on the composer's life, and why it may be perfect operatic fodder.

Read More

Comments [7]

Could New York City Opera Benefit from a Change of Scene?

Monday, May 16, 2011

After a weekend of new works at the VOX festival and a reaffirmation of their edgy artistic vision, could New York City Opera solve its problems with a move to a new venue and a commitment to the new and experimental? Blogger Olivia Giovetti considers this on WQX-Aria.

Read More

Comments [9]

Other Stages: The Little Opera Theatre of New York Presents a Mozart Premiere

Monday, May 16, 2011

There has not been a new Mozart opera at the Met since 1984. But as WQX-Aria blogger Fred Plotkin explains, the composer's nearly forgotten gem, Mitridate, Re di Ponto, is finally getting some renewed consideration.

Read More

Comments [1]

Christopher Cerrone's Invisible Cities Gains Visibility This Weekend

Friday, May 13, 2011

As the familiar chestnut goes, music is the universal language. Perhaps this is why composers are drawn to Italo Calvino’s 1972 masterwork, Invisible Cities—a novel that centers on a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. Since the explorer and emperor do not speak the same language and are forced to communicate through gestures and faith in one another’s interpretation.

Read More

Comment

Boo Whom?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"While I don’t find booing acceptable in a theater under any circumstances, to do it following something so extremely challenging is what Italians call maleducato," writes blogger Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. What do you think about booing? Does it have a place in opera?

Read More

Comments [35]

When Bigger is Not Always Better

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

As Sung Jin Hong's One World Symphony closes its tenth anniversary season with an abridged version of Tristan und Isolde, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti ponders the successes of smaller opera companies against the financial and operational woes of larger organizations.

Read More

Comments [7]

An Opera Lover's Guide to Genoa, Italy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two of the Met's current conductors, Marco Armiliato and Fabio Luisi, hail from Genoa, Italy. On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin considers the cultural riches of that city and its contributions to the history of opera -- from Scotto to Verdi.

Read More

Comments [12]

Between 'How Sweet it Is' and 'Il Dolce Suono'

Monday, May 09, 2011

As James Taylor's Perspectives Series concludes at Carnegie Hall, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti considers the ever-closing gap between classical and pop music.

Read More

Comments [2]

James Levine Withdraws from Japan, Tanglewood

Friday, May 06, 2011

In the midst of a celebratory year, added cancellations to James Levine's schedule end his BSO tenure with a wheeze. WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti reflects on the conductor's latest troubles.

Read More

Comments [1]

Finding Meaning in Dvorak's Sorrowful Song

Thursday, May 05, 2011

One does not have to be Christian, or even religious, to be affected by the universal sentiments of Dvorak's words about parental grief, writes blogger Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria.

Read More

Comments [4]

Love, Loss and What Orfeo Wore

Thursday, May 05, 2011

In the wake of several losses to the musical world, Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, now running in a revival at the Metropolitan Opera, rings all the more poignant, writes blogger Olivia Giovetti at WQX-Aria.

Read More

Comments [1]

The Ghosts of May Day

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin asks: "What happens when an evil character in opera dies, one for whom we have not developed positive feelings -- Hagen in Götterdämmerung or Scarpia in Tosca? Do we feel bad? Do we rejoice?"

Read More

Comments [5]

Is the Philadelphia Orchestra Suffering from Hysterical Blindness?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

With the Philadelphia Orchestra docking at Carnegie Hall this week to perform Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti considers some discrepancies in Sophocles's tragedy—and the orchestra's financial situation.

Read More

Comments [6]

Five Operatic Wedding Disasters

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Royal Wedding may have gone off without a hitch, but thank goodness there's opera to satisfy our collective sweet tooth when it comes to drama. Here are our picks for operatic (in every sense) wedding disasters.

Read More

Comment

Pursuing Anvil Leads

Friday, April 29, 2011

As the Metropolitan Opera presents Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Verdi’s Il Trovatore this month, Fred Plotkin investigates one of the more striking ingredients shared between the two productions: the use of the lead anvil.

Read More

Comments [8]

Thomas Hampson Matches Mahler with George Crumb

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Mahler centenary is big but Hampson's George Crumb concert in D.C. tonight and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center tomorrow may be his most important recital this year.

 

Read More

Comment

In Memoriam: Anita Välkki

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anita Välkki (October 25, 1926-April 27, 2011) has just died and I realize that most people have no idea who she was. This is strange, because she was a major artist, certainly behind Birgit, Leonie and perhaps Astrid Varnay (1918-2006), but nonetheless one of a very small group.

Read More

Comments [9]