Fred Plotkin

Fred Plotkin appears in the following:

If You See Something, Say Something

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The numbing effects of our everyday lives have been brought into the theater, writes Fred Plotkin. As a result, "most opera audience members do not activate their eyes, ears and other senses to fully take in the experience."

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When There Are No Words

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When singers perform music without words, they might perform a vocalise. "Language is a wonderful thing, but sometimes there are no words to express feelings that might be complex, wrenching or exultant," writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Is Genius in The Creation or in The Performance?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin asks "Does creative genius reside exclusively in those who write words and music, or also in those who speak or sing these words and music? And are there different types of genius? What defines each?"

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Workers of the (Opera) World, Unite!

Monday, September 05, 2011

For an analogy to modern-day labor-management relations, consider the works of Richard Wagner. "Wagner might have been a bad manager of his own money, but he was very attuned to the dignity of work," writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Where are Italy’s Opera Singers? Part III

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The connective thread to the great Italian singers of the past is frayed, writes Fred Plotkin. "I wish Italians would come to feel not only proud of their cultural heritage but actively protective of it and expert in it," he writes.

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Where Are Italy's Opera Singers? Part II

Monday, August 29, 2011

One of the problems in the Italian opera world today is the fact that singers have been marginalized and cannot necessarily forge careers in the way Italian conductors do. Yet blogger Fred Plotkin looks at a few standouts.

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Where Are Italy’s Opera Singers? Part I

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Who are the great Italian opera singers of contemporary times? In the first of a three part series, Fred Plotkin takes us on a virtual tour  of the great Italian singers of recent past and present, introducing us to many you should know.

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Listening Room: Jussi Björling

Monday, August 22, 2011

Many consider tenor Jussi Björling to be one of the greats of the "old Met". Find out why Fred Plotkin considers him to be one of his great childhood influences in this Listening Room profile.

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A Bumper Crop of Italian Maestros: Part II

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why do we have so many fine Italian conductors today? Considering names like Chailly, Luisi, Armiliato and Noseda, blogger Fred Plotkin notes, "I believe that Italy continues to produce outstanding musicians in families that are keepers of the musical flame."

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A Bumper Crop of Italian Maestros: Part I

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Italian conductors have been very important in the pit at the Metropolitan Opera, writes blogger Fred Plotkin. "In the coming season, of the 22 conductors on the roster, there are six Italians and two more with Italian roots."

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Ham and Eggs Take a Holiday at the Opera

Monday, August 15, 2011

A holiday can present a composer with the opportunity to write festive music for chorus, orchestra, dancers and solo singers. Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci are two of the more colorful examples, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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Whether Wagner or Smetana, Don't Feed The Bears

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, Wagner's Siegfried and Sir William Walton's The Bear are just a few examples of operas involving grizzly adventures.

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In Memoriam: Michael Gray

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Anyone who attends opera performances regularly at a local opera company develops a relationship with a whole group of people whom he or she may not know personally: The chorus.

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Unsung Singers: Lucy Crowe

Sunday, August 07, 2011

On Tuesday and Wednesday, British soprano Lucy Crowe will make her Lincoln Center debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival. Previous entries in my series of “Unsung Singers” were artists further along in their careers who I feel deserve more recognition. Perhaps in the case of Ms. Crowe “unsung” should suggest that she has not yet performed in places where I could attend. Most of her career thus far has been in the United Kingdom.

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Shakespeare and Opera: Bringing Chilling Music to 'The Winter's Tale'

Thursday, August 04, 2011

On WQX-Aria, Fred Plotkin considers the operatic potential of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, including whether the character of the bear should have a singing part.

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The Anatomy of An Opera Rehearsal: Shaping The Music

Monday, August 01, 2011

The rehearsal process for an opera production is long and complex. Yet many younger of conductors don't dedicate themselves to working with singers properly, writes Fred Plotkin, which will be bad for the future of opera.

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Shakespeare and Opera: The Sound and Fury of Macbeth

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Giuseppe Verdi understood the operatic potential of the tragedy Macbeth and made it his first work based on Shakespeare. It may be a rare case of an opera improving upon the original play, notes Fred Plotkin on WQX-Aria.

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A Little Light Music: How Lighting Design Impacts Opera

Monday, July 25, 2011

There is a generation of people who work in the performing arts, mostly in their 50s and 60s, who are known as “Gilbert’s Children.” All of us had the same master instructor and draw on his wisdom as if it were genetically part of who we are. Gilbert Hemsley (1936-1983) was the kind of inspiring teacher one is lucky to have. He drew the best out of each student and knew how to shine a light on every person’s strengths.

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Magnificent Maestros: Leif Segerstam

Friday, July 22, 2011

The term maestro has two meanings. It is a conductor, of course, but it also means teacher. To some degree, every conductor is also a teacher, but some few of them so fully embrace pedagogy that it seems to dwarf their other achievements. A few maestros are also composers. Mahler and Leonard Bernstein both belong in this category, as did Mendelssohn in his short life.

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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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