FRED PLOTKIN is one of America’s foremost experts on opera and has distinguished himself in many fields as a writer, speaker, consultant and as a compelling teacher. He is an expert on everything Italian, the person other so-called Italy experts turn to for definitive information. Fred discovered the concept of "The Renaissance Man" as a small child and has devoted himself to pursuing that ideal as the central role of his life. In a “Public Lives” profile in The New York Times on August 30, 2002, Plotkin was described as "one of those New York word-of-mouth legends, known by the cognoscenti for his renaissance mastery of two seemingly separate disciplines: music and the food of Italy." In the same publication, on May 11, 2006, it was written that "Fred is a New Yorker, but has the soul of an Italian."
Fred Plotkin appears in the following:
Monday, December 09, 2013
What does it take to present all of Mozart's 20-plus operas? Operavore's Fred Plotkin talks to the founder of a London-based company that plans to do a two-decade cycle of the works.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Maria Callas is fading from memory as a performer and is now being built up as a myth and an icon. So how can she be best remembered? Should it be with an opera?
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
"Così fan tutte," Fred Plotkin can hear you shriek, “how is that an overlooked opera?” To which he would answer that “overlooked” is a word with shades of meaning.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
In this year of composer anniversaries and in this month’s immersion in Mozart here at WQXR, there is another artistic event worth noting and taking pleasure in, writes Fred Plotkin.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Arnold Schoenberg was not only an influential composer but a visual artist of enough skill that his paintings rival masterpieces by Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, writes Fred Plotkin.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
"Among active singers, I can think of no one who owns as many roles as Karita Mattila," writes Fred Plotkin of the Finnish soprano who famously bared all in Salome at the Met.
Friday, November 01, 2013
Most people, when asked what comes to their minds first when they hear the name of Verona, immediately reply, “Romeo and Juliet!" As Fred Plotkin tells us, there's much more to discover.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Verdi's hometown is a special place, writes Fred Plotkin, with its misty climate and landmarks connected to the composer. It also faces some alarming financial difficulties.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Planning a trip to Italy but don’t know what is playing on opera stages? Fred Plotkin sorts it out for you, with this one-stop guide to opera calendars around the country.
Monday, October 21, 2013
In the wake of New York City Opera's demise, Fred Plotkin notes, "Italy is besieged in ways we cannot imagine. And yet they understand that culture is worth talking about and trying to save."
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The Filarmonica della Scala began as the pit orchestra for Italy's La Scala opera house. As Fred Plotkin reports from Milan, the ensemble has a lively agenda apart from accompanying opera singers.
Friday, October 11, 2013
The absolute, unforgettable highlight of the Verdi anniversary week was being in the presence, and then the company, of conductor Richard Bonynge, writes Fred Plotkin.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Fred Plotkin considers some of Verdi's most compelling religious works and how a non-religious man could produce music that speaks so powerfully to very devout people.
Friday, October 04, 2013
One of the most remarkable, but least remarked upon, events leading up to this Verdi year has been the release of a series of DVDs called Tutto Verdi that contains every one of his operas.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
A loss of leadership, mission, a home and visibility all contributed to City Opera's downfall, writes Fred Plotkin. But is it too late for a generous donor to step forward?
Friday, September 27, 2013
The Salzburg Festival named a new director this week. Fred Plotkin takes the occasion to consider why the town of Salzburg is about much more than just the Von Trapps and Mozart.
Monday, September 23, 2013
"In recent years, some of the traditional behaviors of audiences in the 30 minutes before the maestro enters the orchestra pit have fallen into disuse," laments Fred Plotkin.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Bringing a new opera into the world is a daunting task at any time, but Tobias Picker's Stephen King adaptation faced a challenge, potentially fatal, that few works do, writes Fred Plotkin.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Opera lovers in Washington, DC may not be the most demonstrative around, seldom with a "bravo" or "boo," but they can still recognize the city's rich offerings for fans of classical voice, writes Fred Plotkin.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Harlem-born soprano Martina Arroyo was one of five artists nominated for a Kennedy Center honor on Thursday. Fred Plotkin says the award was richly deserved.