In Memoriam: Alice Playten

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alice Plotkin (August 28, 1947-June 25, 2011), my beloved cousin, died this past weekend in New York, the city of her birth and the place where she most thrived.

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From Pop Star to Opera Star

Monday, June 27, 2011

As Rufus Wainwright readies to perform with New York City Opera tonight, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti writes "with opera opening up musically to a wider public, mirroring in a way the de-privatization of the art form in 17th-century Venice, the possibilities on offer are tantalizing."

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Three More Reasons: Topsy Turvy

Friday, June 24, 2011

As Caramoor presents H.M.S. Pinafore this Saturday, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti takes a look at the recently re-released DVD of the Gilbert and Sullivan biopic Topsy Turvy.

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Life, Death and Leos Janacek

Thursday, June 23, 2011

For the finale to his second season as music director, Alan Gilbert chose to stage Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. Fred Plotkin offers an assessment of its significance in the operatic canon.

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David T. Little: 'It's Not Just About the Art, It's About the Ideas'

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti speaks with composer David T. Little about his upcoming performance of Soldier Songs, a searing, war-themed cycle, at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

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Make Music New York Takes Opera to the Streets

Monday, June 20, 2011

With the broader context of opera in public spaces, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti takes a look at three very different operatic happenings courtesy of Tuesday's Make Music New York festivities.

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How Do You Cast an Actress Like Maria?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

As Tony Award winner Tyne Daly makes her return to Broadway as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's biographical drama, "Master Class," Fred Plotkin considers the many actresses who have portrayed the famous soprano.

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Bang On: What to Listen for at Sunday's Bang on a Can Festival

Friday, June 17, 2011

In advance of Sunday's annual Bang on a Can concert at the Winter Garden, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti highlights the marathon's operatic offerings.

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The Mouths (and Not Only) of Babes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Riccardo Muti concluded his five-year tenure as the artistic director of the Pfingstfestspiele (Whitsun) Festival in Salzburg on June 13 by playing one of his strong suits: the music of Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842). Muti has been a leading interpreter and champion of the Florence-born composer who is most famous for his opera, Medea

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The Music that Makes Ulysses

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In honor of Bloomsday, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti examines three key operatic moments in Ulysses.

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Unsung Singers (Part Two): Vivica Genaux

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On WQX-Aria, blogger Fred Plotkin claims a special feeling for the mezzo-soprano voices. "There is a warmth and sensuality to middle range voices (including the baritone) that exerts a special appeal." Alaska-born mezzo Vivica Genaux is in a case in point.

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'I Thought This Was an Opera Shop'

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

With the disappearance of Lincoln Center's Barnes & Noble, the Metropolitan Opera Shop is quickly becoming the only game in town for classical and opera CDs. One problem, as WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti notes: They have dramatically cut back on selling CDs. 

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A Forgotten Operatic Tale of Figaro Returns After 176 Years

Monday, June 13, 2011

From Salzburg, Fred Plotkin reports on a revival of I Due Figaro, a forgotten operatic tale of Figaro, the character famously popularized by Mozart and Rossini. This one, however, comes via "a production without imagination."

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In Greenwich, Le Cocteau d'Or

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reporting from Connecticut, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti reviews the Cocteau-inspired Greenwich Music Festival. It included a remarkable performance by the blind mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin.

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Deborah Voigt's New Chapter

Thursday, June 09, 2011

As megawatt soprano Deborah Voigt prepares to sing Schoenberg with the Philharmonic and Irving Berlin with Glimmerglass, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti wonders if the diva may be exploring a new chapter of her career.

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Five by Fiedler

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

In the wake of recent news about Johanna Fiedler's untimely death, WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti looks at some of the author and former Met press rep's operatic zingers in Molto Agitato.

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Magnificent Maestros: The Right and Left Hand of God

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

To be a great maestro, less is more, writes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. "The best conductors sort out almost all of the stylistic and musical issues in rehearsal, leaving themselves and musicians free to just play and breathe spontaneously."

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Listening Room: Historic Live Performances from the Met

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Experiencing the Met's radio broadcasts is no longer an ephemeral experience, writes blogger Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. The Met, along with Sony, has begun to take some jewels out of the vault, including recordings of Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner operas.

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Opera Feroce Concocts a Pastry-Like Pasticcio

Friday, June 03, 2011

WQX-Aria blogger Olivia Giovetti takes a look at Opera Feroce's upcoming production of Amor & Psyche, operatic pasticcio and entrepreneurial singers.

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Two Unsung Singers: Anna Caterina Antonacci and Daniela Barcellona

Thursday, June 02, 2011

At the moment, there are few top Italian female singers known to international audiences, writes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria. But two getting fresh attention and are well worth hearing: Anna Caterina Antonacci and Daniela Barcellona.

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