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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The Pros and Cons of Returning to a Role

Monday, November 21, 2011

Some operagoers like hearing their favorite singers return in familiar roles. Others prefer the spice of variety. Blogger Fred Plotkin looks at why companies return to the tried-and-true.

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The Fine Line Between Accelerometer and Accelerando

Monday, November 21, 2011

Unable to tear herself away from the "immensely listenable" London Philharmonic album of video game music, blogger Olivia Giovetti explores the links between the opera stage and the Nintendo console.

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The Maestra Myth

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Two female conductors were in town this weekend with operatic offerings. Does gender still play into podium politics? Read on for Operavore Olivia Giovetti's thoughts and to leave your own comments.

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How are You Making Out (at the Opera)?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Met was once a frisky couple's paradise, writes Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin. "In the seventies and eighties, there were nights in the audience that felt like the Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila."

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Critical Thinking: Whose Opinions Really Matter?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In a recent blog post, arts administrator Michael Kaiser considers the death of music criticism. Our Operavore blogger Olivia Giovetti has her own strong opinions on the matter.

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Kevin Puts's Opera Silent Night Evokes Grim Reality of War

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The unofficial "Christmas truce" involving opposing armies during World War I is the subject of a new opera by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell. Olivia Giovetti reviews the premiere.

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Planet Opera: Following Beethoven's Footsteps in Vienna

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vienna is often considered Mozart and Schubert's town. But Beethoven left his own indelible mark on the city, writes Fred Plotkin.

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The Top 10 Movies that Should Be Operas

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday marked the world premiere of Silent Night at the Minnesota Opera, based on the 2005 film Joeux Noel. Olivia Giovetti names her top ten picks for movies to be given the opera treatment.

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11-11-11

Friday, November 11, 2011

As scholars now attempt to explain a war that has passed into history, they should look to the artists at least as much as the politicians to understand what it was about, writes Fred Plotkin.

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