Star Power: Part II

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This week, Marilyn Horne and opera impresario Matthew Epstein continue their exploration of the star-making machinery of the opera business. This week we ask: Do looks matter? And does television make a difference?

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.

Plus: Star quality is often associated with grand gestures and fabulous gowns, but New York Post opera critic James Jorden says sometimes it comes in much less flamboyant packages.

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.



Dvorak:  Rusalka 
“Song to Moon”
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir George Solti
Renee Fleming
London/Decca 455760
Puccini:  La Bohème
“O soave fanciulla”
Berlin Philharmonic
Herbert von Karajan
Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti
London 421 308-2
Rossini:  Le Comte Ory
“Veillar sans cesse”
Munich Radio Orchestra
Jacques Delacorte
Samuel Ramey
EMI Classics 49582
Saint-Saëns:  Samson and Delilah
“Mon Coeur s’ouvre a ta Voix”
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis
Delilah:  Olga Borodina
Erato 24756
Handel: Xerxes
“Ombra mai fu”
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Sir Neville Marriner
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Philips 00639802
Peter Grimes Act III
“Steady.  There you are.  Nearly home.”
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Orchestra and Chorus
Sir Colin Davis
Peter Grimes:  Jon Vickers
Canteloube:  Songs from the Auvergne
Royal Philharmonic
Antonio de Almeida
CBS/Sony 3799
Frederica von Stade, mezzo soprano