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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
"In the course of a highly concentrated twelve days, the Lincoln Center Festival’s A Magic Flute illustrates what happens over the course of a season or multiple years in houses such as the Met," writes WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti: "How do different artists shape and reshape the art?"
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
New York City Opera lays out a promising season divorced from Lincoln Center, writes WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti. But can they also reach a labor negotiation to help get the struggling company back on its feet?