Fred Plotkin

Fred Plotkin appears in the following:

Should Opera Companies Feature More Ballet?

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.

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Shakespeare and Opera: The Strange But True Story of Verdi's King Lear

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.

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Casting Your Fantasy Opera Production

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On WQX-Aria Fred Plotkin reports on the Caramoor revival of Rossini's William Tell and asks: "What opera has been forgotten, ignored or badly served that you would present in five years?"

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A 'Master Class' Worth Auditing: Tyne Daly Excels as Maria Callas

Friday, July 08, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin reports on the revival of the Terrence McNally play "Master Class." "Daly fully stakes her claim as heir to a role that has prismatically brought forth distinct traits of Callas with each actress who plays her."

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Do 'Tell'

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

You may know the famous William Tell Overture but what about the opera it introduces? WQX-Aria blogger Fred Plotkin considers why it is often referred to as Rossini’s masterpiece.

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Arts Funding and Apple Pie

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Kansas recently became the nation's first state without an arts agency. On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin considers the implications of that dubious distinction, and why "the arts will be our legacy as a civilization long after we forget who our politicians were."

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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In Memoriam: Giorgio Tozzi

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

As the news of death of the great bass Giorgio Tozzi (January 8, 1923-May 30, 2011) has begun to spread, a few people have asked, “Where in Italy was he from?” The answer was Chicago, writes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria.

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Fifteen Essential European Opera Festivals

Thursday, May 26, 2011

There are the famous, evergreen festivals including Bayreuth, Edinburgh, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and Verona. All are great and deserve to be attended at least once. But there is so much more, in big cities and small towns.

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To Be a Good Singer, It Helps to Be a 'Lissner'

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"There are still great voices today, but they might reside in bodies that look more like those of the average person rather than an operatic Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt," writes blogger Fred Plotkin. "I have seen many pretty or handsome singers who bore me silly."

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Keeping it Real: Teatro Grattacielo Rescues Forgotten Verismo Operas

Monday, May 23, 2011

In my post about operatic Genoa, I made passing reference to the grattacielo (skyscraper) there that contained a 1000-seat cinema where opera was presented from after World War II until 1992. Among the many artists who sang there were Renata Tebaldi and Maria Callas. This building is usually called the first skyscraper in Italy, a nation that still has very few buildings that merit this designation. This one, and the Pirelli Tower in Milan, are my favorites.

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Is That All There Is?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

All of this talk of rapture and apocalypse has reminded blogger Fred Plotkin of what is known in German opera as the Schlussszene: a great dramatic closing scene that only a word with three consecutive S's could convey. Do you have a favorite closing scene in opera?

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