Opening Notes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

After the Met's opening night gala, blogger Fred Plotkin considers a cast that was more Moscow than Manhattan, some concerns about Italian singing and house traditions both bygone and emerging.

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Anna Netrebko Sets a Royal Standard as 'Anna Bolena'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Operavore blogger Olivia Giovetti reviews the Metropolitan Opera's opening night—and company premiere—production of Anna Bolena, perhaps the company's riskiest opening night gamble since Peter Gelb took over.

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New York City Opera Announces Casting Details of its 2011-12 Season

Monday, September 26, 2011

New York City Opera announces the casting details for its 2011-12 season; does this mean the company is headed toward an agreement with AGMA?

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Richard Bonynge, Maestro of Bel Canto

Monday, September 26, 2011

 

"The Metropolitan Opera premiere of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena is a cause for celebration and reflection for those of us with long memories," writes Fred Plotkin. And at least one advocate of bel canto opera deserves special credit for its arrival.

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'Kocho': A 'Butterfly' by Any Other Name

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blogger Olivia Giovetti reviews Kocho, a Noh-inspired opera presented by Beth Morrison Projects and featuring Seattle's Garrett Fisher Ensemble. Read on for a slideshow of this intricate multimedia work.

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What Makes a Gala a Gala?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

They are partly about the fancy wardrobe, air kisses, sparkling wine and finger food. "But a gala is really about the conviction," writes blogger Fred Plotkin, "that art matters and it is incumbent on us all to do our part to keep it front and center in the lives of us all."

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Top 10 Recent American Novels that Would Make Amazing Operas

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

With Elevator Repair Service's run of their Hemingway-based The Select (The Sun Also Rises), Olivia Giovetti considers the lyrical tendencies of recent American novels and their operatic potential. 

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Planet Opera: Why Bordeaux is More Than The Grand Cru

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Say “Bordeaux” to most people and it is synonymous with the gold standard of wine. But as blogger Fred Plotkin discovered on a visit to the French city, there's also a generous mix of opera, recitals, concerts, dance and plays.

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Just How Good is Les Arts Florissants's 'Atys'?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogger Olivia Giovetti would happily pay $460 to see each of the four subsequent performances of Atys at BAM. Read her review to find out why.

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Andrea the Giant

Monday, September 19, 2011

With singers like Andrea Bocelli, how do you mitigate talent with popstar status? And when you have as many fans of Bocelli, does it actually matter? Olivia Giovetti ponders this in light of the singer's recent Central Park concert.

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If You See Something, Say Something

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The numbing effects of our everyday lives have been brought into the theater, writes Fred Plotkin. As a result, "most opera audience members do not activate their eyes, ears and other senses to fully take in the experience."

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10 Opera Recordings to Get this Fall

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Olivia Giovetti names 10 opera and vocal releases to look out for this fall season, ranging from full-length Vivaldi to a long-overdue Wagner compilation.

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10(+) Operas to Hear This Fall

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Want more vocal music this season? Anna Netrebko loses her head, Nico Muhly experiments with polygamy, William Christie puts on his dancing shoes and Angela Meade goes to Carnegie Hall.

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Twenty Iconic Opera Roles In Which Helen Mirren Would Have Ruled

Monday, September 12, 2011

NPR may have recently postulated what 20 male movie roles Helen Mirren should have taken on, but Olivia Giovetti goes one step further and asks what operatic roles wold benefit from the Mirren touch.

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When There Are No Words

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When singers perform music without words, they might perform a vocalise. "Language is a wonderful thing, but sometimes there are no words to express feelings that might be complex, wrenching or exultant," writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Send in the (Insane) Clowns

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Olivia Giovetti can't stop listening to "Leck mich im Arsch," a Mozart cover by the rap duo Insane Clown Posse. So is it infantile and misrepresentative of the source material? Or a sly inside joke between past and present?

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Is Genius in The Creation or in The Performance?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin asks "Does creative genius reside exclusively in those who write words and music, or also in those who speak or sing these words and music? And are there different types of genius? What defines each?"

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Risky Business

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

For singers -- whose bodies are their instruments -- is riding a motorbike without a helmet any more acceptable or any less risky than smoking? Olivia Giovetti examines the circumstances surrounding tenor Salvatore Licitra's death and the context of opera singers playing un-safe.

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Workers of the (Opera) World, Unite!

Monday, September 05, 2011

For an analogy to modern-day labor-management relations, consider the works of Richard Wagner. "Wagner might have been a bad manager of his own money, but he was very attuned to the dignity of work," writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Four Ways of Performing a Mad Scene

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Blogger Olivia Giovetti asks four sopranos what it's like to sing the famous mad scene from Lucia di Lammermoor. Get a taste for crazy in advance of the Met's HD screening of the work on Sunday.

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