Fred Plotkin

Fred Plotkin appears in the following:

Alessandro Scarlatti, Ready for his Close Up?

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.

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Planet Opera: New Film Captures the Glowing Light of Aix-en-Provence

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.

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Opera's Top Sister Acts

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.

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Born to Love Opera

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.

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Edvard Grieg: The Opera Composer That Might Have Been

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.

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On the Music: Eight Singers, One Song

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.

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The Operatic Cheesemonger

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.

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Rocking the Cradle of Opera: Tough Times for Florence’s Maggio Musicale

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.

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Montserrat Caballé: Ultimate Diva

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.

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At Columbia University, Great Books to Great Opera

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."

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Board Games: When Trustees Need a Hand

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Fans often express their frustration with opera administrators, writes Fred Plotkin. But just as influential, in most cases, are the boards that govern opera companies and provide a large part of the money.

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Misconduct at the Opera House

Saturday, March 30, 2013

If a performance is "numbingly slow" with "no pacing to speak of, no structure or architecture to the rendering of the score" should the conductor be blamed? Absolutely, argues Fred Plotkin.

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Send Me No Flowers

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's the ultimate opera cliche: the diva showered with bouquets of flowers as she takes her bow. But as Fred Plotkin writes, "Strong fragrances, even pleasing ones," can lead to thorny situations.

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Habemus Operam: Popes and Cardinals in Opera

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The spectacle around Pope Francis's installation prompted Fred Plotkin to think about representations of popes and cardinals and potent Catholic figures in opera. Read on and share your own favorites.

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Royal House Names New Chief Executive

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday’s announcement that Alex Beard, 49, has been appointed as the new chief executive at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden was remarkable for its speed, especially because Beard comes from outside the institution. Typically, such searches take a longer period because the supply of able and qualified individuals is always limited, even for such a prestigious post, as few people have the necessary qualifications.

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How Michael Kaiser Manages: A Conversation with the President of the Kennedy Center

Friday, March 15, 2013

Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, sits down with Fred Plotkin to talk about the challenges facing the performing arts world -- and how to turn around faltering arts organizations.

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A Letter to Aspiring Opera Singers

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fred Plotkin offers young singers suggestions about things to think about as they develop their careers and personal lives.

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When Opera Singers Go it Alone

Saturday, March 09, 2013

"Social media has enabled singers to feel connected and loved in ways that would have been inconceivable only a few years ago," writes Fred Plotkin. Still, life on the road can be a lonely pursuit at times.

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In the Footsteps of Richard Wagner: Dresden

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

This Saxon city, so beautiful and so marked by centuries of tragedy and glory, was Richard Wagner’s second home. Fred Plotkin tells us why it matters today.

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Pondering the Mysteries of Parsifal

Friday, March 01, 2013

Wagner’s Parsifal is not my favorite opera and I doubt it ever will be," writes Fred Plotkin. "And yet, it has taken rather firm hold of my imagination.

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