Fred Plotkin

Fred Plotkin appears in the following:

Shakespeare, the Musical Muse

Friday, August 16, 2013

Shakespeare’s plays, with their gorgeous language, are not always congenial for musical adaptation. And yet, the stories and characters are so vivid and, yes, human, writes Fred Plotkin.

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Remembering Regina Resnik

Monday, August 12, 2013

"The death of someone like Regina Resnik, which happened on August 8, just weeks before her 91st birthday, is akin to a library burning to the ground," writes Fred Plotkin in this appreciation.

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The Russians are Coming! Locating the Slavic Soul in Opera

Friday, August 09, 2013

Two rarely-heard operas have caught the attention of blogger Fred Plotkin: Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Prokofiev's Maddalena. The latter is being called "a scandalous, hot-blooded love triangle."

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The Sacred Rossini

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

If Rossini took comfort from religious observance, we don’t know too much about it. His letters are seldom pious in nature, but his music offers other clues, writes Fred Plotkin.

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Thomas Hampson Takes the Hot Seat on BBC's 'HardTalk'

Friday, August 02, 2013

Thomas Hampson recently appeared on the BBC's interview program, and the questioning turned predictably tough. To Fred Plotkin, it also reinforced some stereotypes about opera.

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The Gospel Truth About Opera

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

No matter how extravagant the vocal acrobatics might be, if singing—whether opera, gospel or just about anything else—is not anchored in genuine sentiment, it will ring as heartless and false, writes Fred Plotkin.

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In the Footsteps of Richard Wagner: Zürich (Part II)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wagner's relationship with Otto Wesendonck, his most important financial backer, and the young and beautiful Mathilde Wesendonck, who became his most important muse, made for real drama, writes Fred Plotkin.

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In the Footsteps of Richard Wagner: Zürich

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Zürich, Wagner's base for nine years, became a place where he could reflect upon, and amplify, his ideas and theories, writes Fred Plotkin.

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Microphones at the Opera: Reverb, Static and Feedback

Friday, July 19, 2013

Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin continues his discussion of the contentious topic of amplified opera singers with microphones and how it affects our senses.

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In Opera, There is No Such Thing as a Magic Mike

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin reviews the issue of microphones and amplification during opera performances. Should they be used? Should they be disclosed to those attending?

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The Art of the Prima Donna: Grace Bumbry

Thursday, July 11, 2013

This is the first of what will be an occasional series about prima donnas, those irresistible singers whose talents and larger-than-life personalities never fail to fascinate and inspire opera fans.

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Overlooked Operas: Weber's Der Freischütz

Monday, July 08, 2013

Weber's Der Freischütz has been unjustly ignored outside of the German-speaking world, writes Fred Plotkin. Yet this opera foreshadows much of what followed.

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King George III: Mad About Opera

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

An opera about George III, who reigned from 1760 to 1820, was written by Peter Maxwell Davies in the late 1960s and is called Eight Songs for a Mad King. This 33-minute work is a searing account of madness.

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In Memoriam: Alida Ferrarini

Monday, July 01, 2013

Soprano Alida Ferrarini, who died last week, was one of the most idiomatic interpreters of the light soprano repertory, mostly in Italian, writes Fred Plotkin in this appreciation.

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Singers and their Finances, Part Two: Time and Taxes

Friday, June 28, 2013

Blogger Fred Plotkin addresses some basic ideas for the singer (and, to a lesser extent, all self-employed creative people) about how to manage your life so that art and commerce can happily coexist.

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Singers and their Finances, Part One: The Challenges

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Most aspiring opera singers must find ways to pay the bills and student loans while aiming for the stage. Some get day jobs, more than a few go to Europe. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the operatic paycheck.

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Understanding Opera Singers and their Health

Friday, June 21, 2013

Singers lead a rough life. They travel a great deal, being exposed to airplanes, jet lag, unfamiliar food, and people with germs who gush too long and too close. The result: a nonstop battle against sickness.

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What Makes for a Winning Conductor?

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."

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Letts Do It: Little Latvia Packs a Big Musical Punch

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.

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Yearning to Breathe Free: How Opera Speaks to Our Deepest Selves

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.

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