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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Related Article(s)
Original Article:
A New Stage for Artists
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The long-dominant model of what defines a performing artist's career is undergoing a rapid paradigm shift. Teaching artists are poised to replace the divas of stereotype with a new approach to the art of performance — both on and off stage.

Related Article(s):
Making Early Opera Sing
James Bash ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
One of the major recent trends in opera has been the resurgence of operas written before the time of Mozart. The gems of Monteverdi, Gluck, Handel and others are being dusted, polished and displayed, dazzling opera fans across North America. A handful of companies — such as Toronto's Opera Atelier or Washington, D.C.'s Opera Lafayette — specialize in this repertoire.
Creating and Performing Educational Programs
Kathy Erlandson Soroka ,
Voices1/1/1900
As young singers await their big career opportunities, they may lose sight of the opportunities they have now to practice their craft and share generously with audiences. Young singers often forget the most important part of being an artist — connecting their humanity to the music and to their audiences.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Have you ever wished you could find at least one audition aria that people haven’t heard from every other [fill in your Fach]? If that’s your predicament, this regular column may prove helpful. In each issue of Voices, "Aria Talk" will offer information on arias that are all viable alternatives, and will include at least one taken from a contemporary work.
The Operatic Evolution of John Adams: Remaking Opera for Our Time
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Nixon in China was an unlikely success when it premiered over two decades ago. But John Adams has continued forging new paths for American opera with his subsequent stage works and, in the process, evolving his own language as a composer.
A Quarter Century of Funding New Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Some may think that spending money is the surest way to find happiness. OPERA America, conversely, finds the greatest joy comes from giving money away. Since 1983, OPERA America has awarded over $10 million for the express purpose of encouraging the creation and subsequent production of new opera and music-theater works. The Opera Fund, a permanent Fund endowment from which OPERA America directly supports the creation, presentation and enjoyment of new and North American opera, was created with the benefit of OPERA America’s experience from three previous re-granting programs.
The Return of Gluck: The Reformer Makes His Mark Anew in America's Opera Houses
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Gluck has been, in some ways, a victim of his success. He’s most typically cast in the role of “reformer” — which is to say, he’s secured a prominent place in music history books. We’re all familiar with the image of Gluck as a pivotal link between baroque excess and more modern sensibilities.

Yet such historically minded, linear thinking sometimes encourages the impression that Gluck is merely a transitional chapter — and one superseded by those he went on to inspire. Meanwhile, clichés of his music as the quintessence of “noble purity” can be offputting. They’re uncomfortably reminiscent of the impatience Peter Schaefer’s Mozart (in Amadeus) voices for composers who “sound as if they shit marble.”
American Musical Theater in the Opera House
Larry Bomback, Director of Finance and Operations, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The American musical theater tradition, beginning with the musical comedies of the early 20th century and continuing through the musical plays and concept musicals of the present day, are rooted in a European tradition that has long captivated opera audiences around the world — from the Viennese operetta of Lehár and Strauss to the French opera bouffe of Offenbach and Chabrier, and even the British comic operas of Gilbert & Sullivan.

This article looks at several opera companies and their differing attitudes toward the inclusion of American musical theater in regular season programming, and celebrates those that have historically included the stage works of Romberg, Friml, Herbert, Weill, Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Rodgers, Berlin, Arlen, Loewe, Bernstein, Loesser, Willson, Sondheim and others as part of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2002-2003 production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Photo by Dan Rest/Lyric Opera of Chicago. their core repertory.
Weaving a Universal Song from Specific Stories
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
In November 2007, Houston Grand Opera presented the world premiere of The Refuge, a large-scale oratorio in which community performers joined the Houston Grand Opera chorus, orchestra, children’s chorus and members of the HGO Studio in a musical portrait of Houston’s rich cultural diversity. The project was not only a continuation of the company’s commitment to creating new work for the stage; it marked the beginning of a new effort to establish Houston Grand Opera as a vital cultural resource for the people of Houston. HGOco is the name given to a diversified menu of community programs, ranging from teacher workshops to a high school voice studio. Within HGOco, Song of Houston is a series of collaborative artistic projects — beginning with The Refuge — designed to explore the stories of Houston and the people who live and work there.
Refreshing the Repertory
Patrick J. Smith ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The English opera director Nicholas Hytner said it best: “The problem for opera is that its conventions haven’t been refreshed by a constantly evolving repertory.” This situation, endemic and almost rusted into opera, had existed from the beginning of the 20th century, but had become acute in the United States by the end of the 1970s. It was a product of several factors, not least the immense pull of the standard repertory and its box-office stars, but it could also have been the result of what could be termed “The Wagner Curse” — that is, the controlling idea that an opera, once commissioned or set on a course for performance, would be created by composer and librettist and presented with only limited adjustments during the rehearsal period to the public. The prime example of this kind of creative work, other than that of Wagner himself, was the image of the composer Olivier Messaien arriving at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris, entering the office of then-General Director Rolf Liebermann and plunking down 20 pounds of the full score of Saint Francois d’Assise. It had been commissioned; it was delivered. End of story.
Lone Star Opera
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
A certain tall-hatted swagger is often associated with residents of the Lone Star State — and why not? Texans have much to be proud of. Their home state is one of the top producers of oil, beef and cotton, as well as a leading player in the space and technology industries. Texas is also home to eight professional company members of OPERA America — only New York and California have more.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Soprano
Charles Gounod, Mireille (1864), Mireille’s “Air de la Crau,” Act IV, sc. ii: “Voici la vaste plaine”

“Je veux vivre” and the “Jewel Song” seem almost inevitable at auditions. If you’d like a change, check out another Gounod gem, Mireille. This opera’s neglect is a shame, particularly as regards the glorious title role.
People Make Opera
Bill Richardson ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Banff, Alberta, located in heart of the Canadian Rockies, is an inspiring place. Set amid the natural splendors of the area is The Banff Centre, a globally respected arts, cultural and educational institution.
Refining the Dramatic Rhythm
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
In an interview for Opera Canada, author and librettist Margaret Atwood likened the writing of a libretto to the construction of a coat-hanger: “If it’s a bad coat-hanger, that will be unfortunate, but if it’s a good coat-hanger, nobody will notice it.”

Is it possible for librettists to assess the sturdiness of their creation before entrusting the extravagant weight of an opera score to its delicate structure? Can words meant for music be evaluated in the absence of that essential element?

The Libretto Reading Series at Brooklyn’s American Opera Projects attempts to do just that, giving artists opportunity to hear a work read aloud and then discuss its structure, characters, themes and pacing. “While obviously spoken theater and opera are two very different art forms, you can look at the dramatic rhythm in a particular way, figuring out where the important beats are before the composer spends months writing music,” says Ned Canty, who is director of the series. “It is useful for a composer to think about beats from a performance perspective, to make sense of where you need a big shift in emotion, to see the amount of time an actor needs to get from one beat to the next.”
A New Stage for Artists
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The long-dominant model of what defines a performing artist's career is undergoing a rapid paradigm shift. Teaching artists are poised to replace the divas of stereotype with a new approach to the art of performance — both on and off stage.
In the Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Amelia
By Daron Hagen and Gardner McFall

Commissioned by Seattle Opera, Amelia is a two-act opera based on a story by the production’s director, Stephen Wadsworth. The piece uses the theme of flight as a motif to explore the human condition and takes place during the 30-year period from 1966 to 1996. Amelia addresses such issues as man’s fascination with flight, the Daedalus/Icarus myth and the American experience in Vietnam. Workshops will begin in December 2007, and a projected premiere is set for May 2010.
In the Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Alexandra
By Zack Settel and Yan Muckle

Set to premiere during the 2010-2011 season at Chants Libres, Alexandra chronicles the life of Alexandra David-Néel (1868-1969). An anarchist, opera singer, journalist, freemason, feminist, free thinker, reporter, lover of the Orient, philosopher and explorer, she was the first Western woman to enter the forbidden Lhassa, Tibet in 1924. This one-hour chamber opera uses her life and writings to touch upon the themes of courage, righteousness and wisdom.
Your Recorded Heritage: Mozart
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
This article initiates an ongoing series focusing on singers who flourished pre-1960. One listens to singers of the past not to copy, but for enjoyment, inspiration, and food for thought. Ignoring great recorded singing is like an actor ignoring now-legendary documented performances of Laurence Olivier or Katharine Hepburn. In other words, you miss out on your heritage. Fortunately for us, the singing of historically-important artists on disc is there for the taking. Voices readers need little assistance to locate recordings highlighting today’s greats, but perhaps the information included here will prompt you to investigate those of an earlier vintage. We’ll proceed through the repertoire composer by composer, beginning with Mozart. I remind you that these are the choices of only one listener, chosen from a field of extraordinary richness.
Your Recorded Heritage: Rossini
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Our ears are convinced by much of the legato singing we hear in early Rossini recordings: Its elegance wears the years lightly. Coloratura, however, is another story: Once we get past 1920, florid Rossini (especially as far as male singers are concerned) is rarely handled with the astonishing expertise to which we’ve grown accustomed in the decades since Marilyn Horne initiated the “Rossini renaissance.” Major artists today are also expected to ornament Rossini with a degree of authenticity that was not part of the operatic scene when the singers cited in this article were making records. There is nonetheless a good deal to be learned from pre- 1960 Rossini recordings as regards individuality and beauty of timbre, grace of phrasing, and sheer force of personality.
Your Recorded Heritage: Bizet
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Georges Bizet’s Carmen has a distinguished recording history in both complete performances and excerpts. From this ever-popular work, as well as the composer’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, there are considerable lessons to be learned from the early decades of recording in terms of balancing elegant vocalism with dramatic urgency. Many singers have gotten by in Bizet with beauty at the expense of text, but a Solange Michel or a Charles Dalmorès demonstrates indisputably that Bizet does not come alive unless the text is commanded in depth.
Opera Ed 101
Paula Winans, Director of Education, Lyric Opera of Kansas City ,
Voices1/1/1900
When you are hired to sing at an opera company, singing your best is certainly a priority, but not your only consideration. In this volume of Voices, our series highlights expert advice on various components of working well with the company who hires you. Our last issue focused on the relationship between you — the singer — and stage management. This issue's article looks at the relationship between you and the company's education department.
Learning to Lead
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Those who aspire to a career in law attend law school; those who aspire to a career in medicine attend medical school. Legendary leaders in the opera field have taken a variety of paths to their professional destinations — destinations that were, for some, unexpected. Whether they entered the field as stagehands or sopranos, most of these successful leaders have shown a knack for managing their own education, often identifying and seizing learning opportunities in the most unlikely situations.

Until fairly recently, few of opera's senior managers had formal academic training in management. As more and more colleges and universities offer study in the business of the arts, aspiring and established arts managers are increasingly taking advantage of them. However, there appears to be no consensus on a single "best way" to acquire the myriad skills it takes to run an opera company — or a department within one. Interviews with a number of senior managers within the opera field revealed a variety of approaches to managing one's education — both inside and outside the classroom.
Preparing the Professional Singer for the 21st Century
Susan Ashbaker, et al ,
Voices1/1/1900
At the recent convention of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) a number of experts from across the field gathered to answer questions about the business of singing. The panel included Susan Ashbaker, director of musical and artistic administration, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Diana Hossack, artistic services director, OPERA America; Donald Nally, chorus master, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Stanford Olsen, tenor; Charlotte Schroeder, artist manager, Colbert Artists Management; and Karen Tiller, general director, Opera Festival of New Jersey. The panel was moderated by Laura Brooks Rice, singer and associate professor, Westminster Choir College. In an effort to share the insightful conversation that took place, we offer this excerpt.
Best Aria Forward/ Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/11/1999
Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself

The arias you choose can make or break an audition, so preparing your list requires considerable thought and more than a little soul-searching. Important issues related to aria choice are covered in these comments from Ken Benson, Artist Manager (Columbia Artists Management, Inc.); Ian D. Campbell, General Director, San Diego Opera; Neil Funkhouser, Artist Manager (Neil Funkhouser Artists Management); Gayletha Nichols, Director, Houston Opera Studio; and Peter Russell, Director, Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Metropolitan Opera.
Singers and North American Repertoire
Kelley Rourke ,
Voices12/1/1999
The operatic tradition has long traded in exoticism—over the centuries, audiences and artists alike have been drawn to faraway places, mythological figures, and ancient regimes. In North America, one of the more recently established venues and breeding grounds for “the extravagant art,” opera often has been far removed from the everyday experiences of its artists and audiences. But as the century comes to a close, a quick look around yields evidence of a sea change: Opera companies, large and small, are regularly programming North American repertoire, and today’s singers are finding that a mix of old and new works is an artistically satisfying—and professionally viable—way to conduct a career.
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”
Act Three; &ldquo Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride &rdquo (Marenka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/1/2000
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride (1870), Act Three: Marenka’s recitative and aria, “Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”

If you already sing Rusalka’s “Song to the Moon” but crave more Czech repertoire, give Marenka a try. Even if The Bartered Bride isn’t produced quite as frequently as it once was, this soulful lament should be a staple for any lyric soprano able to deal comfortably with a Czech text.
Soprano
Gilbert & Sullivan:
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2002
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Le roi de Lahore
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)
Bass
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai: Sadko
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Soprano
Blitzstein, Marc: Regina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)
Mezzo-Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Soprano
Dvorák, Antonín: Rusalka
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)
Tenor
Tippett, Sir Michael, The Midsummer Marriage
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Thaïs
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content4/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2003
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Baritone
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Mazeppa
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)
Tenor
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Alceste
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)
Soprano
Weber, Carl Maria von: Euryanthe
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Friederic: Partenope
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)
Baritone
Marschner, Heinrich: Hans Heiling
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)
Tenor
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Un giorno di regno
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Tenor
Weber, Carl Maria von: Oberon
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)
Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Mitridate, re di Ponto
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran cimento” (Sifare)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran imento” (Sifare)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)
Bass-Baritone
Strauss, Richard: Arabella
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Serse
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)
Coluratura Soprano
Offenbach, Jacques: Robinson Crusoë
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)
Bass-Baritone
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Iphigènie en Aulide
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)
Tenor
Mascagni, Pietro: L’amico Fritz
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Sapho
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Coluratura Soprano
Gounod, Charles: Mireille
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)
Bass
Handel, George Frideric: Orlando
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Rossini, Gioachino: Tancredi
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)
Soprano
Poulenc, Francis: Les mamelles de Tirésias
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)
Tenor
Smetana, Bedrich: Prodaná nevesta (The Bartered Bride)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Don Quichotte
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)
Soprano
Donizetti, Gaetano: Maria Stuarda
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Mar

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Maria)
Mezzo-Soprano
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)
Tenor
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)
Soprano
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Charodeika (The Enchantress or The Sorceress)
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)
Mezzo-Soprano
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)
Baritone
Janáček, Leos: The Cunning Little Vixen
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)
Bass
Donizetti, Gaetano: Lucia di Lammermoor
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)
Soprano
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)
Mezzo-Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Tenor
Britten, Benjamin: Gloriana
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2006
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)
Chicago Opera Theater: Opera for All Student Program at Von Humboldt Elementary School
Deborah Oberschelp, Chicago Opera Theater ,
EducationLink2/20/2007
Chicago Opera Theater (COT) offers a broad range of educational enrichment for all ages. Students in primary grades through high school benefit from COT’s Opera for All program in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). What makes COT’s Opera for All unique is its year-long presence and participatory emphasis. In the past seven years a team of teaching fellows has taught classes in opera, theater, voice, chorus, and violin to over 3,000 CPS students. Classes are taught weekly within the school day and culminate in a student-based opera production starring both children and COT Young Artists.
Opera: A Life-Long Learning Experience — Hinckley Elementary Students Create an Original Opera
Lisa Kramer Reichel, Opera Cleveland ,
EducationLink4/16/2007
Opera Cleveland isn't the only opera in town! Travel south on I-71 a little way, hang a left on Route 303 and you'll come upon Hinckley Elementary School. You may be scratching your head at this point, but yes, as music teacher Michael McClintock stated, "We are no longer Hinckley Elementary, we're The Scientific Opera Company of Hinckley."
The Santa Fe Opera: Kids Uncover Santa Fe's Past
Dolores McElroy, Press Office Associate, The Santa Fe Opera ,
EducationLink5/21/2007
"We're just gonna stare at a rock all day?" demanded Matthew, a second grader at Carlos Gilbert Elementary. The offending rock is a granite memorial perched atop a hill that looks out over modern-day Santa Fe and its low-lying adobe buildings and churches. The memorial commemorates the 4,555 Japanese men who were interned at Camp Santa Fe from 1942 until 1946.
VOX 2007: Showcasing American Composers
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink6/11/2007
Opera has an enormous capacity to convey the human experience. The energy of this possibility to express emotions was incredibly palpable at VOX, the annual new works showcase produced by New York City Opera (NYCO) and presented at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, on May 12 and 13, 2007. Each piece performed at VOX was preceded with a short video introduction consisting of interviews with the artists about their inspirations and creative processes. The weekend also included panel discussions and other presentations. More information, including 2008 application forms, can be found at nycopera.com/about/vox.
Indianapolis Opera: Making Connections between Music and Art
Andrea Johnson, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink7/16/2007
During the last week in June, Indianapolis Opera presented their summer professional development workshop for teachers, designed around OPERA America's MUSIC! WORDS! OPERA! (M!W!O!) curriculum. The M!W!O! curriculum, written for grades K-12, introduces the conventions of opera through the study of an operatic masterpiece and gives students the tools to create and present their own original opera. But this particular week-long workshop was in no way typical — Patty Harvey, Indianapolis Opera's education director developed a unique collaboration with the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) that enhanced the teachers' study of opera while introducing them to new teaching techniques.
University of Louisville Opera Theatre: An International Marriage — A Unique Opera Exchange between the University of Louisville and a Polish Conservatory
Carrie Page, Publications and Media Relations, University of Louisville ,
EducationLink8/20/2007
When it comes to a Mozart opera, the complicated plans of the characters are a tea party compared to the actual execution of a stage production. Throw in two casts at two schools separated by an ocean, and you can begin to guess the challenges faced by the University of Louisville Opera Theatre as they mount a collaborative production of Le nozze di Figaro with the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland.
The Crane School of Music, State University of New York-Potsdam: New Opera Teaches and Reaches New Audiences
Carleen Graham, Professor of Opera, The Crane School of Music, State University of New York-Potsdam ,
EducationLink9/17/2007
"The principal was really blown away when she found out that I sang in a production with a major operatic artist!"

"My sponsor teacher loved the study guide I helped create in class and we devised a similar one I used for student teaching."

"I think what sealed the deal for me [high school music teaching job] was the fact that I had worked on so many productions and knew how to build sets, costumes and stage manage full-scale productions."

These are a few of the comments from undergraduate students who participated in The Crane Opera Ensemble's premiere of The Sailor-Boy and the Falcon, an opera composed by Paul Siskind to a libretto by Alan Steinberg, based on The Sailor-boy's Tale, a short story by Isak Dinesen. The November 2006 performances featured professional mezzo-soprano and alumna Stephanie Blythe, singing with students of The Crane Opera Ensemble and Orchestra at The State University of New York-Potsdam (SUNY-Potsdam).
Funding Education Programs
Waddy Thompson, Director of Development, Symphony Space; Peter McDowell, Director of Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink10/15/2007
Opera education directors will often limit themselves to creating programs as funds become available. If your education programs are good (and we're sure they are!), find ways to be proactive about finding funds, within the organization or from outside.
The Making of The Refuge
Laura Chandler, Editorial Director, Houston Grand Opera ,
EducationLink11/19/2007
The best ideas arrive on butterfly wings; they alight for a moment and then they are gone, unless they are captured, thought about, mulled over. They are not sharply defined at first; rather, they take shape gradually. They don't always bend to the will of the captor; instead they escape, fluttering and sometimes soaring above. They don't always bend to the will of the captor; instead they escape, fluttering and sometimes soaring above. HGOco, Houston Grand Opera's (HGO) new initiative for creating partnerships within the community; Song of Houston, HGOco's ongoing project to tell Houstonians' own stories in music and words; and The Refuge, the first work in the Song of Houston project all began with a flutter, but they have already taken HGO in directions the company never dreamed.
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2007
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)
Opera's Flexibility in Connecting with Education
Paula Fowler, Director of Education and Outreach, Utah Symphony and Opera; Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink12/17/2007
The idea of opera as an inclusive art form is not a new one. Opera touches on several aspects of the performing arts, and can be a very powerful tool when integrated with scholastic curriculum. So how exactly can you successfully align opera with other content areas?
Tenor
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich, Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades) (1890)
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2008
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)
Opera Reaches Out
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink1/21/2008
The field of education and outreach within the world of opera is a rich landscape of companies with ties to their communities, education, teaching artistry and advancement of all kinds. For those who have an interest in creating or improving their programs, read on and learn about what some our members are doing.
Opera and Black History Month
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink2/18/2008
In 1976, February was declared to be Black History Month in order to celebrate and honor the history and contributions of African-Americans. Opera companies all around the country have focused works and programs around this commemoration.
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2008
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
The Internet as a Tool for Learning
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink3/17/2008
As technology and the Internet become more enmeshed in everyday life, new developments have been coupled with education initiatives. Arts organizations and opera presenters are adopting and integrating new trends, as well as expanding current uses of technology, to fulfill their missions.
Dramatic Voices
Staff ,
ArtistLink4/14/2008
Opera singing has not changed over the centuries, but opera houses, orchestras and the scope of repertoire are constantly growing and evolving. A great deal of mystery has surrounded the “dramatic voice,” and early career artists have many questions about their career path, choosing repertoire and training. In an effort to assist singers and educators to sift through the vast amount of information, OPERA America will soon add a Web page dedicated to dramatic voices, consisting of frequently asked questions and responses written by Roger Pines, dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago. The following is a sample of the upcoming Web page’s content:
Holocaust Remembrance through Opera and Education
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink4/21/2008
Composers have paid tribute to significant people and events through their operas, and companies have produced the works to educate audiences about history while entertaining them. Various works include John Adams’s Nixon in China, Adolphus Hailstork’s Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story, Philip Glass’s Appomattox and Virgil Thompson’s The Mother of Us All. Other topics recent works have focused on are World War II composers and victims of the Holocaust.
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: I Lombardi alla prima crociata (1842)
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/1/2008
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)
Pushing the Boundaries between Opera and Musical Theater
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink5/12/2008
The edge between opera and musical theater is definitely becoming more permeable as artists explore different ways to tell stories through music. OPERA America recently hosted a panel discussion on this subject as part of the Making Connections series — "Pushing the Boundaries between Opera and Musical Theater" — with composer Richard Danielpour; Sarah Schlesinger, director of the graduate musical theater writing program at New York University (NYU); and Kris Stewart, executive director of New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMTF). The discussion was moderated by the producing director of Music-Theatre Group, Diane Wondisford.
Opera from a Sistah's Point of View
Janet Jarriel, JEJ Artists ,
EducationLink5/19/2008
Soprano Angela Brown's voice is not her only asset — she is a tremendous advocate for diversity within opera. Her program, Opera from a Sistah's Point of View, is the result of her sincere desire to bring opera and classical vocal performance to diverse audiences. She has shared her program with schools, churches and civic organizations around the country, and through opera companies' education initiatives. JEJ Artists's Janet Jarriel recently conversed with Brown about the topic.
New Opera for Young People — Creating a Repertoire
Stephen McNeff, composer ,
EducationLink6/16/2008
Most composers write music for young people at some point, and authors and poets also write for that audience, yet the Cornish poet Charles Causley said there was no such thing as "children's" poetry. Writer Philip Pullman, who came to prominence through the Whitbread Prize, startled critics as a "children's" author succeeding in an adult world. Pullman barely recognizes that there is a divide — "Children deserve the best," he says.
Education Offerings from OPERA America's Opera Conference 2008
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink7/21/2008
This year, OPERA America's 38th Annual Conference was held in Denver, CO. The Conference, which took place within and beside the second National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC), was an enormous week of events and activities. For a complete list of the sessions and panelists discussed below, please visit operaamerica.org and download the program book.
Opera Education Programming for State and Federal Education Standards
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink8/18/2008
Since the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, arts educators from all backgrounds have experienced a reduction in the amount of time spent with their students. In fact, 30% of school districts with at least one identified school — those with students most responsive to the benefits of the arts — have decreased instructional time for art and music, according to Choices, Changes, and Challenges: Curriculum and Instruction in the NCLB Era from the Center for Education Policy. For those who service the field of education through the arts, this has required some creativity on how to make better and more significant use of their time with students.
The Significance of Opera Camps
Susan Hungerford, Production Associate, Education and Opera Camp Project Director, Opera Pacific ,
EducationLink9/15/2008
Opera Pacific's mainstage productions, extensive community outreach programs and energetic Guild Alliance combine to create a cultural resource for all of Southern California. More than 670,000 people have enjoyed Opera Pacific's productions at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, while over 575,000 young people have discovered the world of opera through the company's in-school presentations, student previews and nationally-recognized Opera Camp.
Why Family Opera?… And how what we do Might Work for Your Company
Grethe Barrett Holby, Executive Artistic Director, Family Opera Initiative/Ardea Arts ,
EducationLink10/20/2008
I think the best way to begin is to tell a story.

I had fallen in love with opera. Late. By mistake. Because of Scott Joplin's Treemonisha. And because of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach. And then Marc Blitzstein's Regina. It took some time to venture in and love the classics. In the beginning, it was the excitement of recognition, or being delighted to sing along or of being stunned by a work that broke all expectations. But as I was drawn in, I found it was hard to bring my friends with me. People didn't want to come. What was wrong with this picture? Were the people wrong? Or was the art form not speaking to the people?
Baritone
Puccini, Giacomo: La fanciulla del West
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk11/1/2008
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)
Education Programs: The Big Picture
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink11/17/2008
Opera companies throughout North America produce rewarding educational opportunities for local schools and their communities. The same companies often introduce these audiences to opera — if not the arts as a whole — for the first time. With so many varied programs, it sometimes helps to take a step back and see the big picture of opera's potential in education and community programming.
Bass
Strauss, Richard: Die schweigsame Frau
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)
Mezzo-Soprano
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Selecting Audition Arias
Wendy Nielsen ,
ArtistLink12/8/2008
I often joke with singers that we are all waiting for our letter from God that reads:

Dear Wendy,

Your five audition arias should be:
  1. Mi tradì (Don Giovanni)
  2. Embroidery Aria (Peter Grimes)
  3. Vissi d'arte (Tosca)
  4. Song to the Moon (Rusalka)
  5. Es gibt ein reich (Ariadne auf Naxos)
Love, God
There's No Place like the Opera for the Holidays
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink12/15/2008
It's the time of year when thoughts are focused on humanity, kindness, giving, family and — of course — music! An essential part of the holidays, music can be heard almost everywhere. While everyone has their holiday music of choice, for opera listeners that choice is often Amahl and the Night Visitors
Baritone
Barber, Samuel: Vanessa
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Il pirata (1827)
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)
Baritone
Donizetti, Gaetano: Les Martyrs
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)
Baritone
Rossini, Gioachino: Il turco in Italia
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Attila (1846)
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Ernani (1844)
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)
Soprano
Charpentier, Gustave: Louise (1900)
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Jérusalem (1847)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Il trovatore
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)
Bass
Wagner, Richard: Lohengrin (1850)
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)
Contralto
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
Contralto
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Contralto
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Contralto
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Contralto
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Contralto
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Mezzo-Soprano
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Tenor
Giuseppe Verdi: Ernani (1844)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: La battaglia di Legnano (1849)
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)
Tenor
Giordano, Umberto: Siberia
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)
Tenor
Lortzing, Albert: Der Wildschütz (1842)
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)
Tenor
Haydn, Franz Joseph: L'anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Euridice
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)
Celebrating African-American Culture through Opera
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink1/19/2009
The arts play a vital role in celebrating and educating people about African-American history. This year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting an exhibit, Provocative Visions: Race and Identity. The University of Denver’s Lamont Symphony Orchestra will participate in the program, Dream, celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr., including a performance by singer Denyse Graves. Additionally, this year's tribute to African-American history is deeper due to the election of the first African-American president. 2008 was a pivotal moment in the history of not only our country, but Black culture.
Embracing the Past: The Value of History’s Great Opera Recordings
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink2/9/2009
I can trace my love for great opera recordings to one recording of one aria: Joan Sutherland’s “In questa reggia” from the 1972 recording of Puccini’s Turandot with Zubin Mehta conducting. As a high school student just beginning to discover my own voice, the beauty and power of Sutherland’s performance was unlike anything I had ever experienced and it inspired me to search for other treasures in the vast canon of opera recordings. By the time I entered the Crane School of Music I had compiled a list of personal favorites: Pavarotti’s Duke of Mantua, Schwarzkopf’s Marschallin and Popp’s Susanna, to name a few. Listening to these recordings not only reminded me why I loved to sing but also gave me a sense of the illustrious lineage of opera singers whose talent and artistry are an integral part of the art form’s history.
Weathering the Economic Crisis
Stephanie Golden ,
EducationLink3/16/2009
With the fundraising climate at its worst since 1998 (according to a December 2008 report by Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy), how can community arts education (CAE) organizations best meet the challenges of the economic downturn?
A Summary of Opera Education in North America
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink4/20/2009
As the leader in conducting research and analyses for the field of opera, OPERA America produces annual benchmarking surveys that examine every aspect of the field, from finance to upcoming repertoire. The Opera Education Survey Report focuses on the educational activities of OPERA America’s Professional Company Members.
Education and Community Service at OPERA America’s Opera Conference 2009
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink5/18/2009
While planning for this year’s annual Opera Conference, something unexpected happened — the economy turned upside down. The next few months brought news of closing companies, reductions in productions, staff layoffs and a swath of other issues. Prior to this, OPERA America had chosen the theme Making Opera Matter, which was fitting and helped respond to the field.
A Standing-Room-Only Community Project
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink6/15/2009
Last month, EducationLink summarized activities at Opera Conference 2009. The theme, Making Opera Matter, was especially relevant for education staff at opera companies, as much of the focus was on expanding educational initiatives to engage communities.
Learning to Work Together: Opera Companies and Academic Institutions
Staff ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
In some cities, collaboration means local opera patrons experience a greater range of repertoire than they might otherwise. Opera Company of Philadelphia has developed a partnership with The Curtis Institute of Music to co-present one production each season, beginning with Golijov's Ainadamar in 2008. "We have always had a very strong relationship with Curtis," says David B. Devan, executive director of Opera Company of Philadelphia. "We learned there were certain pieces they wanted to produce for their singers, but the school didn't have the resources. It dawned on me that conservatories don't have a lot of marketing horsepower, but we were in a position to provide them with a substantially larger audience. We came up with an arrangement whereby Curtis would produce the show and we would market it as part of our season and then hand over the revenue, allowing them to pay their bills."
Creative Programming in Hard Times
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
The majority of contemporary American opera companies sprang up after the Great Depression — which means they're now confronting the most severe economic downturn in their existence. And the performing arts are doubly vulnerable. Not only is institutional funding at risk: audiences, their very lifeblood, have also had to become more cautious about opening their wallets.
Letting the Lion Roar — Words of Wisdom on Developing and Maintaining the Dramatic Voice
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
Singers with dramatic voices — those who will someday sing heavy Verdi and Wagner roles — present a special challenge for both academic and professional training programs. At meetings of OPERA America's Singer Training Forum, challenges related to the nurturing of these rare artists are a frequent topic of conversation.
The Importance and Value of Program Assessment
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink7/20/2009
Education stakeholders have long been aware of how crucial evaluation is to the success of programming. In the age of testing and assessment, arts educators should know this better than most, especially when the 2008 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in arts and music, The Nation’s Report Card: Arts 2008 Music & Visual Arts, showed marginal student achievement.
A Learning Laboratory for Opera
Adam Gustafson ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
A lot is happening as OPERA America heads into its 40th year, including a virtual facelift. A new Web site design puts OPERA America’s wealth of existing resources, along with some new additions, at the fingertips of its members in a format that is easy to navigate.
Pin the Tail on the Arts Education Donkey: Where Does Opera Fit in K-12 Public Education Today?
Richard Kessler ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
So, you're at an opera company. Perhaps you're director of education, or chair of the education committee or even general director, and you're wondering what, if anything, your K-12 education programs could or should be doing differently to connect to and address key issues. You know the discourse on K-12 public education has changed dramatically in the past few years, but you're not exactly sure how your opera company's approach should change in response. What you read in the newspaper often seems worlds away from what you thought you knew about schools.
Music! Words! Opera! Celebrates 20 Years
Clifford Brooks, Roger Ames ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
It all began about 1980, when Marthalie Furber, newly-appointed education director of OPERA America, conducted an environmental scan to discern what was going on in opera education throughout the country. Many of us already involved in company education departments knew of "create an opera" projects in different opera companies. Exciting things were happening in such locales as the Berkshires, San Diego, Tulsa and Tucson. Carroll Reinhart, a pioneer in the field of music education, had observed the work of a colleague in San Diego and began building from a number of creative processes to develop a methodology for children to create their own pieces of musical theater. He shared this with several opera professionals, including Henry Holt. Not long afterward, he was contacted by Marthalie Furber. The discussions began in earnest.
Teachers Test the New M!W!O!
Sarah Bryan Miller ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
Teach children to write operas? The idea may seem daunting, but the with help of OPERA America’s Music! Words! Opera! (M!W!O!) curriculum, teachers across the country have been doing just that for the last 20 years. M!W!O!’s intense five-day summer course provides teachers with the tools they need to build those operas.
Why Opera Camps?
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
EducationLink9/21/2009
From opera creation to after-school programs, opera company education departments offer a wide array of initiatives. According to the most recent Opera Education Survey Report, the number of companies offering opera camps has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Between 2003-2004 and 2007-2008, a surveyed constant sample group of companies that offered opera camps rose from 44% to 59%.

Opera camp activities have been part of Austin Lyric Opera's programming for the past eight years. The camps, hosted through ALO's Armstrong Community Music School, provide opportunities for roughly 100 students each year, ages five through 22. ALO offers a half-day summer camp for five- to seven-year-olds, camps for eight- to 12-year-olds and a week-long workshop for ages 14 to 22.
Puccini Plus Participation Equals Passion
Paula Winans, Director of Education, Lyric Opera of Kansas City ,
Original Content9/29/2009
Seventeen years ago, Lyric Opera of Kansas City offered its first summer opera camp. The two-week camp is open to youth ages 10 through 18, but if a parent calls and discusses a child's musical interests and ability to focus, children as young as five years old can attend and participate.

On the first day of camp, the young people fill out a survey to show what they know about opera. Most first-time campers have neither seen nor sung in an opera and cannot answer the questions. We tell them that they do not need to worry if they can't answer the questions because, by the end of our first day, they will be able to show a lot more knowledge. We also have the campers take a "drop the needle" listening test. We play three excerpts of well-known arias and ask them to name the work, the composer, the language being sung, the character's name and what the character is singing about. Most of first-timers leave their paper totally blank. However, approximately 50 percent of the campers are returning from previous summers; they pass the test with flying colors, even though the test is different each year.
For the Love of the Game: Considering a Career in Opera Administration
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
Original Content9/30/2009
Most opera administrators working today probably did not enter college with the goal of working for a nonprofit arts organization someday. I know this was the case for me when I began studying voice as an undergraduate. In fact, I was unaware of arts administration as a field until, as a college senior, I was offered a chance to design some marketing materials for a production of Orpheus in the Underworld. By that point, I knew I lacked the same hunger for a performing career as some of my music school colleagues, but I'd retained my passion for opera as an art form and wanted to devote my energy to instilling the same passion in others.
The Role of the Voice Teacher in the Young Artist Program
Dr. Rebecca L. Folsom ,
Original Content11/3/2009
For singers pursuing operatic careers, young artist programs are essential to career development. The programs vary in level and length, and play a vital role in fostering a singer's talent and potential. Professional voice teachers are an integral part of the faculty/staff/training team in the young artist programs.

The voice teacher commonly addresses such issues as breath control, registration, laryngeal function, resonance adjustment and acoustical exactness, articulation of vowels, all of which promote free, efficient vocal production. Professionals also ensure that singers have proper physiological coordination within the mechanisms that produce vocal sound. As a budding mezzo-soprano commented: “What makes voice teachers a distinct and essential part of a young artist program is their vested interest in our longevity as singers, and they generally have skills to teach ways in which we can extend our vocal life by means of warm-ups and technical adjustments." The preferred role of a voice teacher is not to change an established singer's technique, particularly in a short period of time. According to one young tenor, “the primary role of a young artist program voice teacher is to combine the skills of critical listening, technical knowledge of the voice and instructive abilities to help maintain a healthy singing voice." To achieve healthy singing, teachers must decide whether to delve into technical considerations or work in a flexible manner with the singer's established method of tonal production.
To Promote the Expansion and Growth of the Art Form:
OPERA America and American Opera

Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine12/1/2009
When 17 opera companies came together to create OPERA America in 1970, they articulated a number of goals toward the advancement of the opera. However, it was not until the 1980s that field-wide momentum began to gather around new work.

In 1979, members voted to include a Composer-Librettist Showcase in conjunction with the organization’s annual conference. The first showcase took place in New Orleans in 1981. Fifty-two works were submitted for consideration; seven were chosen for concert presentation, followed by a discussion with composers, librettists and producers. A 144-page volume was published to accompany the showcase and seminar; in addition to a catalog of all the nominated works, it included essays on the state of contemporary opera production. The conversation had begun.

In the years that followed, OPERA America led several initiatives to promote the expansion and growth of the art form. Three landmark regranting programs lessened the financial risk and encouraged companies to add commissions or subsequent productions of American work to their seasons. The success of these programs eventually led to the creation of The Opera Fund, a growing permanent endowment dedicated to enhancing the quality, quantity and creativity of new opera and music-theater. The Opera Fund and its precursor programs have awarded nearly $11 million in funds to companies throughout North America in support of their efforts to expand and enrich the repertoire.
Brundibar at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: Creativity and Efficiency in Tandem
Wendall K. Harrington ,
Original Content12/3/2009
About three years ago, Steve Ryan, director of production for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis called me and asked if I would be interested in working on a new production of Brundibar for their education department. The previous production had a lot of scenery he said, and he was looking to make something that would be more portable.

I was immediately interested. For decades I have been trying to encourage the use of projections for educational theatrical use: Once created, productions can be easily remounted and require virtually no storage. When I looked at a tape of the previous production I understood the real issue with Brundibar for education was twofold. On one hand, opera companies are looking to introduce young people to the beauty of opera with the hope of instilling at least curiosity about the art form, and at the same time they are using Brundibar to teach the history of the Holocaust. Brundibar is a musical fable most famous for being played and sung by the Jewish children interned in the Terezin concentration camp. The subject matter — two children in need of money to buy milk for their sick mother, who triumph over the organ grinder Brundibar — does not neatly illuminate the struggle in the camps, but the idea of any kind of triumph must have been mighty appealing for the inmates, who also were allowed to remove their yellow stars in performance.
Opera and the Holidays
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content12/3/2009
In the midst of the holiday frenzy, the music that accompanies the festive season provides a happy and sometimes nostalgic respite. The holidays will come and go in the next three weeks, but good art will outlast the more prosaic parts of the season. As opera companies close out 2009 with productions and community events geared to the festive season, families and audiences have ample opportunity to add opera to their celebrations.
Honoring African-Americans through Opera, School and the Community
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/1/2010
The Civil Rights Movement, as we know it today, can be traced back to July 26, 1948, with the signing of Executive Order 9981 by President Harry S. Truman, which desegregated the American armed forces. In the 1950s and 60s, key events and individuals including Brown v. Board of Education, Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. advanced the movement. In 2010, opera companies throughout the U.S. will continue to celebrate African-American history, honor the activists involved in the Civil Rights Movement and commemorate the reform movement itself with new commissions and special events.

Kentucky Opera studio artists will work with the Louisville Orchestra on a celebratory concert for Dr. King on January 15, the day on which he would have turned 81. Additionally, the company commissioned a new work by local composer Harry Pickens, celebrating President Barack Obama, called Chorus of Hope. The work will premiere at a free event on January 17 at St. Stephen Church, the largest primarily African-American church in Louisville. These events not only serve cultural needs, but they also provided Kentucky Opera with an opportunity to collaborate with orchestra, theater, drum corps and other community partners. "In essence," says Director of Education Deanna R. Hoying, "the community will have a new structure to celebrate Dr. King produced by Kentucky Opera, with performances ranging from opera to drums, to children and adult choirs, dancers and musicians. It meets a lot of needs in the community, as well as for us to become more a part of the fabric of Louisville."
Made Possible, in Part, by the National Endowment for the Arts
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/29/2010
As the largest annual funder of the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), has a long history with opera. Since its inception in 1965, the NEA has made more than 4,500 grants to opera companies, artists and organizations, totaling nearly $167 million. Many of these grants have assisted the creation or implementation of education, community and outreach programs. Throughout the past year, the NEA has made grant investments totaling nearly $2.1 million in support of opera projects, through two of the NEA's grant categories: Access to Artistic Excellence (AAE) and Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth (LITA).

Of the 62 AAE grants awarded in FY2010, more than half supported educational opportunities such as a lectures, in-school presentations, young artist programs or community events. For instance, Des Moines Metro Opera's educational touring troupe, Opera Iowa, will travel to over 70 schools presenting age-appropriate workshops and one-act operas. The Atlanta Opera will develop a program tailored for middle and high school students at area schools, as well as an educational touring production based on Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. A March spring break opera camp will be offered by Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Nonprofits and Copyrights: What You Need to Know
Kate Spelman, attorney, Cobalt LLP ,
Original Content2/23/2010
There are two things to worry about with copyrights: protecting original material that your organization has created, and making sure that your organization isn't improperly using material that someone else owns. Blue Avocado asked copyright attorney Kate Spelman to help with these issues, and she generously gave all her expertise and time.

Kate Spelman is an attorney at Cobalt LLP in Berkeley, CA, with a national and international practice in copyright law. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies, as well as many nonprofits. She is a board member of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation.
Tenor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mitridate, Re di Ponto (1770)
Act 1: Cavata: “Se di lauri il crine adorno” (Mitridate)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2010
Mitridate, Re di Ponto isn’t an unknown work anymore. Over the past 25 years it’s been produced by many major opera companies and festivals internationally. If you enjoy Mozart but feel that Don Ottavio and even Ferrando don’t show off your extensive range to the utmost, try Mitridate, who traverses a full two octaves in the first of his five (!) arias.
Ten Ways to Get Your Students to Use the OPERA America Web Site and Love it
Laura Lee Everett, University of Maryland Opera Studio ,
Original Content3/3/2010
In working with both the Technical/Production and Singer Training Forums, I was lucky enough to be taken on a “virtual tour” of the newly updated OPERA America Web site. Twice. The second time around, I was able to take note of the moments where my colleagues’ attention seemed to wander and asked, “What do I need to point up to get everyone engaged when I take this information back to school?” Here are 10 easy ways to get your students, staff and faculty to utilize the great resources on the OPERA America Web site.
Good Reads: A Book List for Singers
Megan Young, Artistic Services Director, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/5/2010
At OPERA America, we love books. In our office, we have a huge library full of them with titles ranging from the studious (e.g. Schoenberg's Fundamentals of Musical Composition) to the salacious (The Private Lives of the Three Tenors, anyone?). Yes, we know we can download books to our e-readers, subscribe to just about everything via RSS and absorb today's news from our smart phones, but to many of us there's nothing like pulling a well-worn paperback out for a good read. Call us old-fashioned.

In light of our collective bibliophilia, OPERA America staff members, along with constituents of the Singer Training Forum steering committee, put together a suggested reading list for singers. Some choices are highly-specialized books for singers; others are less obviously connected to the art of singing, but provide rich fodder for thought. The books have been separated into categories for easy navigation, but note that some selections may be appropriate to more than one category.

The reading list is not a definitive list, but rather a starting point. As always, we encourage you to seek the advice of your personal network (teachers, coaches, professional contacts) in considering other important resources and areas of study. Happy reading!

Thank you to Ann Baltz of OperaWorks, Laura Brooks Rice of Westminster Choir College/CoOPERAtive Program and Kelley Rourke for contributing their favorite books to this list.
Teen Audiences and Education Programs
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/6/2010
The most recent Opera Education Survey Report (2008) reported that opera companies are devoting less time and resources to teen audiences. This survey found that grades 6-8 represented 5% of education audiences, while grades 9-12 comprised 8%. In 2006, the survey found the same audiences were 12% and 9%, respectively. There is consensus in the field that it is a challenge to reach teen audiences for many reasons. "In general," says Fort Worth Opera Education Director Clyde Berry, "teens are the trickiest audience because you have to justify why anything you want them to know is important. If you can't make it relevant to them with real-world connections, then they're not going to 'buy' it."
Baritone
Gaetano Donizetti: Maria di Rohan (1843)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina, recitative, cabaletta: “Son cifre di Riccardo!...Bella e di sol vestita…Voce fatal di morte…Ogni mio bene in te sperai” (Enrico, Duke of Chevreuse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/3/2010
The only baritone aria/cabaletta scene by Donizetti that I ever hear in auditions is Enrico’s from Lucia. There’s a lot more where that came from! Maria di Rohan, next-to-last of Donizetti’s more than 50 operas and not as familiar as it deserves to be, boasts a terrific baritone scena where you can show everything you’ve got.
What is the Best Way for Teachers to be Evaluated?
By Larry Ferlazzo, Educator, Luther Burbank High School (CA) ,
Original Content9/1/2010
What is the best way for teachers to be evaluated? A loaded question, indeed. Evaluating someone's performance is always tricky. It has become even more so in education where public discussions of new forms of teacher evaluations are often introduced in the context of developing a tool to fire educators.

Reading the Blueprint: Educators Debate Proposed Reforms
By Laura Varlas, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development ,
Original Content10/1/2010
Nine years after the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) garnered bipartisan support in Congress, the legislation officially known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is up for reauthorization. For many educators frustrated with how NCLB reshaped the classroom experience, this has been a long wait.

In March, with the release of the Obama administration's road map for revamping ESEA, A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act (the blueprint), the U.S. Department of Education outlined its proposal for overhauling the law.
Innovative Arts Integration
Staff ,
Original Content12/1/2010
Creativity, innovation and imagination are increasingly viewed as integral to shaping the future of both the emerging workforce and the concept of a world citizen.

Mezzo-soprano and Contralto
George Frideric Handel, Hercules (1744)
Act 1: A. Recitative and aria, “Then I am lost!… There in myrtle shades reclined” B. Aria, “Begone my fears” (Dejanira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2011
OPERA America’s “Aria Talk” column focuses not on the tried-and-true audition arias you undoubtedly already know, but on somewhat more off-the-beaten-track repertoire. The hope is that this music will prove a refreshing musical and interpretive change not only for you, the performer, but also for those hearing you in auditions.

Are We Asking the Right Questions?
by Laura Day Giarolo, Manager of Education & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/1/2011
Collecting and carefully mining data to make informed decisions can lead to increased quality, efficiency and effectiveness in any field. In order for that to be the case, an organization must first establish common goals, a common vocabulary and agree on both definitions and metrics of success. Taking this approach requires the re-evaluation and re-examination of tacit assumptions, especially in the field of arts education.

Ask not what arts education can do for you. Ask what you can do for arts education.
by Laura Day Giarolo, Manager of Education & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content2/1/2011
This past month saw the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic inaugural address, and the beginning of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the performing arts center that bears his name: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Take Action to Support Arts Education
By Laura Day Giarolo and Brandon Gryde ,
Original Content3/1/2011
The continuing resolution passed by the House last Tuesday avoids a government shutdown and gives lawmakers two weeks to come to terms on a budget agreement for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which lasts through September 30. This resolution cuts $4 billion in domestic spending, including the U.S. Department of Education-funded Arts in Education program (currently funded at $40 million), which supports newly emerging education models in high-poverty schools that improve arts learning. The loss of this program could result in the elimination of funding for more than 200 multi-year projects.
Healthy and Creative Aging
Laura Day Giarolo, Manager of Education & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/28/2011
Baby boomers are hitting retirement and a great shift in the American population is underway. By 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau has projected that older adults (ages 65 and up) will number 88.5 million; nearly one in five Americans will be over age 65 by the year 2030. While this statistic may send some of our marketing colleagues into a quiet panic over the need to develop a new and younger audience, it opens up a whole new area of arts education: creative aging and true lifelong learning.
Storytelling and Advocacy
Brandon Gryde, Director of Government Affairs, Dance/USA and OPERA America ,
Original Content6/7/2011
"What was your very first arts experience?"

This was the first question I received when I interviewed for the position of government affairs director. It's a softball question that allowed me to easily shift into storytelling mode. Yet it's also an impactful question because my first arts experience was also the first step that led to a life of arts participation as an audience member, a performer, an arts education director, as well as my current position with Dance/USA and OPERA America. My exposure to arts as a child increased my desire to want to learn more.
DIY Professional Development
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content8/4/2011

Conferences and informal conversations alike provide opportunities for professionals to learn from and share with one another, building on the strength of their shared experiences. OPERA America provides several opportunities for mentors, mentees and peer groups to reconnect through in-person Forums, online chats and listserv conversations, and other arts organizations and arts service organizations offer similar services. Weekly or monthly e-newsletters (like OperaLink) have been known to spark conversations around the water cooler, but many of the more recent transformations in do-it-yourself professional development (DIYPD) have come through the blogosphere and through social and professional networking sites.

How Can I Keep from Singing?
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement ,
Original Content9/12/2011
Despite my ruddy Irish-American complexion and Minnesotan upbringing, standing in front of Guernica at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and seeing that great work in person made me a Spaniard and a Basque. I had read the history and knew of the devastation during the Spanish Civil War, but it wasn't until I was face to face with Picasso's masterpiece and breathed in deeply that I was forced to grapple with the gruesome reality of a war that happened decades before I was born.

Creative expression of one's own story can provide victims of great tragedies an outlet for dealing with their grief and anguish. The resulting art — be it a painting, a poem, a sculpture, a song — provides release for its creator, and enables observers, audience members and participants in a performance the opportunity to relate to the event and its survivors, no matter how far removed in time or space. These works provide a level of detail and uncomfortable intimacy that a more objectively written historical record simply can't capture or convey. It is the responsibility of artists and educators alike to ensure all people have the opportunity to take ownership of their history through art.
Last Chance Summer Reading!: Arts Education Reading and Resources
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning and Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content9/12/2011
Though summer weather is still going strong, the start of another school year is right around the corner! As you begin planning for the fall, be sure to check out these great resources for arts education:

Not in Kansas Anymore
Joyce DiDonato sounds off on the recent elimination of funding for the arts by her home state of Kansas.

Art Talk
The National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works Blog features Art Talk interviews with prominent artists. See what Sandra Radvanovsky has to say about arts education, gain new insights from Marna Stalcup of the Right Brain Initiative and hear how early experiences with arts education made a lasting impact on NEA staff.
Engaging a Diverse Community
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, and Alexa B. Antopol, Research & Reference Librarian ,
Original Content10/17/2011
The title of a pre-conference seminar from Opera Conference 2011 was especially relevant last week as three different reports and announcements stimulated much thinking about how opera companies — and all performing arts organizations — can do a better job of engaging a diverse community.

National Public Radio's Deceptive Cadence blog posted about two notable mentions of opera in the New York Times: an incidental (and unflattering) reference in a restaurant review and a front page article about the success of the Metropolitan Opera's fundraising efforts last year. In "Is Opera Stuff (Only) Rich People Like?", Anastasia Tsioulcas used the language of the Occupy Wall Street protests to ask readers about opera's status as an elitist art form. Twenty-four hours later, Tsioulcas knew the answer to her question was a resounding NO: Opera is for the 99%.
Online Education Resources
Staff ,
Original Content11/29/2011
Opera educators are right to focus on the work being performed on the main stage or in touring productions, but there are many online resources related to opera that can be used to our advantage as well. Though not opera-specific, two new resources from Ovation and Broadway Online Learning Center may be of particular interest in our field. Each of these takes a serious look at different aspects of the creation of a new work of opera or music-theater, and is worth exploring.
In Conversation with Stephanie Blythe
Stephanie Blythe, Marc A. Scorca ,
Making Connections1/4/2012
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed opera artists of our time. She has performed at major opera houses all over the world in repertoire ranging from Handel to Wagner and this season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Rodelinda, Aida and the complete Ring Cycle. Join us as this singular artist discusses her craft and career with OPERA America President & CEO Marc A. Scorca.
The Blind Leap of Leadership
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning and Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/24/2012
"I need you to jump off a cliff."
— President Josiah Bartlett, "The West Wing," Season 6, episode 3 ("Third Day Story")

It's not exactly the warmest, most enthusiastic job offer ever; yet, in many ways, assuming a position of leadership requires a leap of faith. Whether an individual is a new CEO or it is his or her first time supervising staff, being an effective leader requires a delicate blend of personal know-how and interpersonal skills.
An Evening with Librettist Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell, Jennifer Aylmer, Wallis Giunta, Troy Cook, Matthew Tuell, Timothy Long ,
Salon Series2/17/2012
Excerpts from Silent Night, Rappahannock County, Lucrezia, The Inspector, A Letter to East 11th Street and Songs from an Unmade Bed performed by soprano Jennifer Aylmer, mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, tenor Matthew Tuell, baritone Troy Cook and pianist Timothy Long.

Mark Campbell is one of the most in-demand librettists working in opera today. In the past year alone he premiered four new works, including Silent Night for Minnesota Opera (music by Kevin Puts, directed by Eric Simonson), The Inspector for Wolf Trap Opera (music by John Musto, directed by Leon Major) and Rappahannock County for Virginia Opera, Virginia Arts Festival, University of Richmond and the University of Texas (music by Ricky Ian Gordon, directed by Kevin Newbury).
Evaluation and Assessment: Beyond Anecdotal Evidence
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content3/5/2012
Once a month, OPERA America staff members gather to discuss reports and publications that we’ve recently read. At our most recent Journal Club, one colleague reported on The Arts and Human Development: Framing a National Research Agenda for the Arts, Lifelong Learning, and Individual Well-Being, released fall 2011 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While the report’s purpose was to outline areas of arts participation ripe for future research, one of the studies cited, The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults, found that older adults who participated in arts activities "reported higher overall physical health, fewer doctor visits, less medication use, fewer instances of falls and fewer health problems when compared to the comparison group. The intervention group also evidenced better morale and less loneliness than the comparison group. Similarly, [those participating in arts activities]… reported a trend toward increased activity." To which OPERA America staff members said, "Well, duh!"
In Conversation with Stephen Wadsworth
Stephen Wadsworth; Marc A. Scorca ,
Original Content3/13/2012
Director Stephen Wadsworth’s work has been seen at major opera houses around the world including La Scala, Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden. He recently directed the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Boris Godunov and the Broadway production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Join us as this leading artist sits down with OPERA America President Marc A. Scorca for an evening of candid conversation.

Stephen Wadsworth’s 2010—2011 season began with a new Boris Godunov at the Metropolitan Opera, continued with a Met revival of Iphigénie en Tauride and a production of The Bartered Bride shared by the Met’s Lindemann program and The Juilliard School, and ended with Terrence McNally’s Master Class on Broadway with Tyne Daly as Maria Callas. This season he directs Rodelinda at the Met, King Roger at Santa Fe and Don Giovanni at Juilliard, where he is, and begins a new translation of Beaumarchais’ Figaro plays commissioned by the McCarter Theater in Princeton. As The James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and director of the post-graduate advanced training for singers at Juilliard and Head of Dramatic Studies for the Lindemann program, he teaches the full school year. He has directed at La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, the Edinburgh Festival and Netherlands Opera, as well as all over the United States, including at Seattle Opera, for whom he has staged ten productions, notably the Ring cycle (last revival 2013). He co-wrote A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein and has translated and adapted plays of Marivaux (published by Smith and Kraus), Molière and Goldoni. His work in the spoken theater includes Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy at Berkeley Rep, Molière’s Don Juan at Seattle Rep, the Old Globe in San Diego, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. and the McCarter, three Marivaux titles all over the country, and world premieres of Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy and Beth Henley’s Impossible Marriage at Roundabout. The French government named him a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, and he is an Artist-in-Residence at the Aspen Institute.
Jules Massenet, Werther (1892), Act One: Recitative and Aria, “Alors, c’est bien ici…Ô Nature”; and Act Two, Recitative and Aria, “Un autre est son époux!…J’aurais sur ma poitrine”
by Roger Pines ,
Aria Talk8/2/2012
I’ve heard innumerable tenors audition with “Pourquoi me réveiller,” but no one sings either of Werther’s other two arias. This seems unfortunate, considering that “Pourquoi” is handicapped by its unvaried mood and two identical verses. You have fabulous alternatives in the arias from both Act One (ravishing musically and textually) and Act Two (blazingly dramatic, with a stunning climax). Don’t ignore those other two arias — it’s time to remind your listeners that Werther isn’t all about waiting for his high A-sharps!

Living Opera
Darren K. Woods, General Director, Fort Worth Opera ,
Original Content10/1/2012
Fort Worth Opera’s Darren K. Woods on setting a new festival agenda

I guess you could say that opera festivals are in my blood. My first opera job as a professional singer was as an apprentice artist for Santa Fe Opera. I worked at Santa Fe most summers for the next 14 years, along with the festivals in Saint Louis, Chautauqua, Glimmerglass, Sarasota and several others, but eventually I retired from singing and became a general director. When I came to Fort Worth, the board charged me with breathing new life into our 60-year-old stagione company, and the idea of changing into a festival format was a natural leap for me — albeit an exciting and frightening one. It would necessitate altering our business model completely, trying something that had never been done in north Texas, and risking a patron base that was comfortable attending operas spaced out over the year. However, facing stiff competition from the hundreds of other arts organizations serving a population of over six million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, it was a matter of change or die.
"Teacherese" for Arts Programming
Clyde Berry, Director of Education, Fort Worth Opera ,
EducationLink10/12/2012
As the new school year gets underway, it is important to remember the importance of the relationship with classroom teachers. Below, Clyde Berry, a classroom teacher for more than 10 years, offers "teacherse" for those working with teachers.

Every classroom teacher, especially with the current implementation of No Child Left Behind, has a very challenging task in creating smart lessons that will lead directly to high test scores. No other time is given to extracurricular or enrichment lessons, as schools/teachers with low test scores face serious disciplinary actions from their own school systems. While this is a serious impediment to the education paradigm, the bottom line of funding high-testing schools has become all important. Administrators will not allow anything to interfere or pull from test prep time and therefore risking funding.
OPERA America's Role Preparation Primer
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
Original Content10/10/2013
Contributors: Ann Baltz, OperaWorks; Valerie Beaman; ActingforOpera.com; Clyde Berry, Fort Worth Opera; Daniel Biaggi, Palm Beach Opera; Johnathon Pape, Eastman School of Music
Learning a complete operatic role is a major milestone in a singer's career that requires organization and strategy. The preparation process begins long before any notes are plunked on the piano and continues after the final double bar. To get a sense of what it takes to effectively learn a new role, OPERA America surveyed five members of the Singer Training Forum for what they consider to be the essential steps, questions and resources a singer should keep in mind throughout the preparation process.

The contributors to OPERA America’s role preparation primer offer a range of experience and expertise in the field of singer training and career development. And while their respective strategies for tackling a role are nuanced and unique, four main areas of focus emerge when the strategies are compared: the source, the score, the text and the character. These areas, and other considerations, are further explored in this article.

Winter 2013 Magazine Issue
  • A Banner Year for America Repertoire
  • The Political Voice on the Opera Stage
  • Trustees as New Music Advocates

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The building is on the same block as the train stop.

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