Classical Clicks: Do Opera Prodigies Exist?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Laura Bretan, 9, performs 'Nessun Dorma' on 'America's Got Talent.' Laura Bretan, 13, performs 'Nessun Dorma' on 'America's Got Talent.' (America's Got Talent/YouTube)

Here, at the WQXR offices, we read about, watch and listen to a lot of classical music. Our favorite stories from this week include an assessment of a reality television star, a week with maestro Daniel Barenboim and an oboist who overcame a finger-crippling case of focal dystonia. Please tell us what you are reading and watching in the comments below.

Do opera prodigies exist? The case of America’s Got Talent phenom, Laura Bretan. (The Economist)
(WQXR broached the subject in 2012, with the rise of then 11-year-old Jackie Evancho.)

What is it like to spend a week in Buenos Aires with Daniel Barenboim? Aditya Chakrabortty observes the maestro in rehearsal with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra for the Proms, talking Middle East politics and dining over platters of meat. (The Guardian)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra oboist Alex Klein suffered a musician’s nightmare: he could no longer control his fingers. John von Rhein talks to the oboist about how he was able to come back. (Chicago Tribune)

We’re thrilled that the Brooklyn Youth Chorus will be WQXR's artist-in-residence for the coming year. Here’s more on their season. (The New York Times)

Good news from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra: revenue is up under new CEO, Marie-Helene Bernard. (St. Louis Business Journal)

But labor unrest has paved the way to a possible strike in Chautaqua. (Buffalo News)

How did L.A. become a hub for new music? It started with Schoenberg. (NewMusicBox)

Alex Ross on Thomas Adès's latest opera, The Exterminating Angel. (The New Yorker)

What to do when you age out of young artist programs? Anne Midgette explores a new option for mid-career singers. (Washington Post)

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Comments [1]

Concerned from NYC

So glad to finally hear some sense about this. I have heard several very young "prodigies' over the years destroyed because they were pushed too far, too soon, before they were physically, technically and emotionally ready. This young lady has gifts but she is being pushed way too fast and consequently faces a very risky, possibly devastating outcome.

Aug. 21 2016 11:03 AM

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