Star Power

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Over the next two weeks, we turn our eyes to the stars and star-making machinery of the opera world. Our guides on this celestial exploration are Marilyn Horne and opera impresario Matthew Epstein. We hear about the frustrations, the dangers and the exhilaration.

For decades, Epstein was the director of the vocal divisions at the all-powerful Columbia Artists Management, where he was considered one of the most influential artist managers in the opera world. He also served as Artistic Director at Lyric Opera of Chicago from 1999-2005, having previously worked as an adviser and a consultant to the company.

Epstein's clients have included San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Carnegie Hall, Sony Classical, BMG/RCA Records, and Amberson Productions. Epstein's other posts included general director of the Welsh National Opera (1991-94) and artistic director of BAM Opera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (1988-1990).

Got a question about the world of opera? Leave your questions for Fred Plotkin in the comments box below. He'll be taking your operatic queries on coming editions of Operavore.

Handel:  Samson 
“Let the Bright Seraphim”
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
London/Decca Legends 467115
Mozart:  The Magic Flute
“Dies Bildnes”
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Claudio Abbado
Jonas Kaufmann
Decca B0014132-02
Vivaldi:  Griselda
“Agitata due venti”
Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
Cecilia Bartoli
Decca 455981
Rossini:  Semiramide 
“Bel raggio lusinghier”
Paris Opera Orchestra
Michelangelo Veltri
June Anderson
EMI 49067 2
Handel:  Ariodante  
“Scherza infida in grembo al drudo”
Le Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski
Archiv 457 271-2
Anne Sofie von Otter
Handel:  Semele    
“Myself I shall adore”
English Chamber Orchestra
John Nelson
Kathleen Battle
DG 435 782-2