Fred Plotkin

Fred Plotkin appears in the following:

Hooked on Sonics

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A great opera can be loud but not overbearing. That's not the case in many restaurants and other public spaces, where increasing noise has deadened our senses, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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War, Peace and Benjamin Britten

Monday, October 24, 2011

The centennial of Benjamin Britten's birth is 2013 and blogger Fred Plotkin fears he'll be overlooked amid the bicentennial celebrations of Wagner and Verdi. Here's why he shouldn't be.

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When Dvorak Discovered America (With Help from Christopher Columbus)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Antonin Dvorak's vision of a "New World" still speaks to people today, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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When Belts Are Tightened (Part Four): Opera Productions That Have to Go

Monday, October 17, 2011

In the previous dispatches of this series about staging opera in tough economic times, we explored many choices opera companies can make to do great art without descending into financial disaster, whether it be cutting productions, re-using old ones or sharing costs among companies.

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When Belts Are Tightened (Part Three): Long-Term Planning and Last-Minute Decisions

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When times are tough, many opera companies play it safe. Blogger Fred Plotkin argues for the importance of diverse programming, particularly in light of the recent headlines about the Met's finances.

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Opera's Voyage Into Columbus's Choppy Waters

Monday, October 10, 2011

Like him or not, Christopher Columbus is one of the foremost figures in world history and, as such, more complex than even opera can do justice to. Yet some have tried, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.

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When Belts Are Tightened (Part Two): Opera Productions Worth Saving

Thursday, October 06, 2011

When an opera company takes a beloved old production and replaces it with something new and potentially controversial, audiences become alarmed. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the keepers at the Met.

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When Belts Are Tightened (Part One): Keeping Opera Vibrant in Tough Times

Monday, October 03, 2011

Even during these tough economic times, the Metropolitan Opera has been charging forth with ambitious projects in the belief that this energy and visibility will keep opera consequential. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the costs versus benefits.

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Opening Notes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

After the Met's opening night gala, blogger Fred Plotkin considers a cast that was more Moscow than Manhattan, some concerns about Italian singing and house traditions both bygone and emerging.

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Comments [15]

Richard Bonynge, Maestro of Bel Canto

Monday, September 26, 2011


"The Metropolitan Opera premiere of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena is a cause for celebration and reflection for those of us with long memories," writes Fred Plotkin. And at least one advocate of bel canto opera deserves special credit for its arrival.

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What Makes a Gala a Gala?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

They are partly about the fancy wardrobe, air kisses, sparkling wine and finger food. "But a gala is really about the conviction," writes blogger Fred Plotkin, "that art matters and it is incumbent on us all to do our part to keep it front and center in the lives of us all."

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Planet Opera: Why Bordeaux is More Than The Grand Cru

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Say “Bordeaux” to most people and it is synonymous with the gold standard of wine. But as blogger Fred Plotkin discovered on a visit to the French city, there's also a generous mix of opera, recitals, concerts, dance and plays.

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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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