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:
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
"I have heard more than a few conductors remark, when asked if there are any compensations for the inevitable fact that we are all getting older, that for a maestro his 70s can be a golden time," writes Fred Plotkin."
Friday, June 14, 2013
Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin writes of the State Choir of Latvia which he heard while attending a concert at Lucern, Switzerland.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin's thoughts on relevance in opera in an art form that is constantly being reframed in a world where events unfold at an accelerated rate.
Friday, June 07, 2013
When the announcement came that Alexander Pereira had been selected as the next chief of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, smartphones all over the music world commenced to vibrate ceaselessly.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
If you stroll down Philadelphia’s Broad Street, one of the city’s grand thoroughfares, you will notice that one prime section, not far from City Hall, is known as the Walk of Fame. It honors illustrious Philadelphians in the arts with their names in stars on the pavement. This is a positive indication of the values of this historic cradle of the American Republic.
Friday, May 31, 2013
"There has been a stunning revival of opera in unusual places this year, much of it in spring and summer, a period when opera offerings were once meager," writes Fred Plotkin. Here are a few highlights.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
"I used to have a slight depression when the Met ended its season," writes Fred Plotkin. But a busy crop of smaller opera companies serves as a needed pick-me-up.
Friday, May 24, 2013
"You don’t need me to tell you that San Francisco has a lot to like," writes Fred Plotkin. Along with its food, art, weather, sports and other virtues, that includes great opera.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Blogger Fred Plotkin addresses the question that that he is asked most often: “How/why can you like Wagner?” The answer: It's complicated.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Two current exhibits at the Met Museum prompt blogger Fred Plotkin to consider how "singers need to be taught how to wear costumes, not only for proper movement but for creation of character."
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
With 65 operas, Alessandro Scarlatti is considered by many scholars to be the most important Italian opera composer between Monteverdi and Rossini. But he's not so well known to audiences.
Friday, May 10, 2013
A documentary about the rehearsal for a new production of La Traviata at the 2011 Aix-en-Provence reminds blogger Fred Plotkin of the French town's mix of charm and beauty.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
In opera, and not only, sisters are doing it for themselves. It seems that everywhere I look and listen lately, there is a suora, soeur, cесtра or schwester on an operatic stage. I am in the midst of attending my 47th complete Ring Cycle (yes, I know...) and am writing this just after hearing a musically gratifying performance of Die Walküre at the Met. Deborah Voigt has added colors and texture to her Walküre Brünnhilde since I first heard it two years ago. It is always heartening to see an artist who deepens her approach to a role rather then simply repeat what she has already done.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
"I wonder whether regular exposure to certain types of music, particularly opera and song, could favorably affect developing fetuses," writes Fred Plotkin.
Friday, April 26, 2013
There is a subset of orchestral composers who wrote gorgeous songs and had a clear understanding of the human voice, writes Fred Plotkin. One was Mahler. Another is Edvard Grieg.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Old school or new, singers approach Schubert’s “An die Musik” with a variety of nuances, tempos and inflections. Fred Plotkin considers eight different approaches, with video examples.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Patrick Watson is both a trained opera singer and co-owner of Stinky Brooklyn, a cheese store in Carroll Gardens. His love of opera and cheese inspires Fred Plotkin to consider the two pursuits.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Florence's Maggio Musicale has suffered bombings, floods, managerial inattention and political maneuvering. But recent austerity measures in Italy are especially damaging, writes Fred Plotkin.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Montserrat Caballé turns 80 on Friday. Fred Plotkin considers the famed soprano – a sublime bel canto singer, dignified Tosca, notorious canceler and duet partner to Jose Carreras.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Opera fans are lurking among the student body at Columbia University, writes Fred Plotkin. "Opera companies would be wise to cultivate Columbia students for future audiences."