Fred Plotkin appears in the following:
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
"The idea of optimism becomes difficult in difficult times," writes Fred Plotkin. "And yet it is a renewable tonic, one that is not based on naiveté as much as belief."
Friday, November 02, 2012
The Russian maestro speaks with Fred Plotkin about a range of topics, including concert hall construction in St. Petersburg, Russia, the stigma around Shostakovich and the benefits of constant touring.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Spells, potions, black cats, tarot cards and incantations are the stuff of great opera plots. Fred Plotkin considers some of the great scary characters in the opera canon.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Baritone Thomas Allen emphasizes how both the music of Mozart and the words of da Ponte express a duality that must be captured by singers as both musicians and actors, writes Fred Plotkin
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
If your father is famous or accomplished in his field of endeavor, it creates particular difficulties in forging your own path in the same profession. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers some famed singing families.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Despite the enormous economic crisis that's crippling Spain, Valencia, its third-largest city, remains a destination for opera. Blogger Fred Plotkin was just there and shares his impressions.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
"There are a still some very old singers who walk among us, heads only slightly bowed, and seem like messengers from that lost world of opera in the 1920s and 1930s," writes Fred Plotkin. "They actually did know Puccini."
Friday, October 12, 2012
For almost her entire life, when Mirella Freni sang, all people could do was stop and listen. Fred Plotkin considers why.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
At the time that Verdi's daughter was born, the composer was deep into the composition of Il Trovatore, his strange and compelling story about babies who are switched, abandoned, even burned in a fire.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
"While there are some singers who still are engaged by opera companies and presented as stars whom audiences flock to see, there are fewer of these all the time," writes Fred Plotkin.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
This hilly, leafy city above the Ohio River grew in the 19th century with waves of German immigrants who brought values of hard work, love of music and of hearty food, writes Fred Plotkin.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Smoking used to be commonplace among opera singers, as it was the general public. These days, there remain a few hold-outs, despite its obvious dangers. Fred Plotkin considers the practice.
Monday, September 24, 2012
"More than a few stage directors seem to think that the overture is theirs to play with, creating stage business that happens while the overture is being performed," complains Fred Plotkin.
Friday, September 21, 2012
In tough financial times, "we, as audiences, need to express faith and solidarity with our opera companies, encouraging them to be daring and creative and supporting them in their efforts," writes Fred Plotkin.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
There are many singers, especially young ones, who go beyond their physical and mental limits because they feel they must do so to please a conductor or manager, writes Fred Plotkin in this cautionary tale.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Master classes are one of the most fascinating aspects of the process of taking talented young singers and trying to polish and mold them while allowing them to retain what makes them special, writes Fred Plotkin.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Pop music has addressed the concept of freedom in many different ways, writes Fred Plotkin. "In opera, freedom is described in ways that are more indirect but also more profound."
Thursday, September 06, 2012
"There are singers who touch audience members very deeply for any number of reasons," writes Fred Plotkin. "For me, one of those was the Austrian soprano Leonie Rysanek."
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
In operas, the moon has come to signal lunacy in mad scenes, represent expressions of love and suggest the darker forces within characters. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers why the moon is such a force.