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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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Main Page Headlines
Apocalypse Later
Terry TeachoutThe Wall Street Journal
Instead of locking out the Metropolitan Opera's musicians and stagehands, Peter Gelb, the company's general manager, agreed to a still-to-be-ratified settlement with their labor unions that will allow America's biggest opera company to open its 2014-15 season on schedule.
For a Bronx composer, opera rises out of identity struggles
Maya RajamaniThe Riverdale Press
Laura Kaminsky's first opera, 'As One,' will premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Thursday, Sept. 4. It is a collaboration between Ms. Kaminsky, who wrote the music for string quartet and developed the concept, and Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell, who wrote the libretto.
Placido Domingo kicks off Operalia, says he's up for L.A. Opera opener
David NgLA Times
Plácido Domingo has been battling illness, but the 73-year-old general director of L.A. Opera confirmed that he is, indeed, healthy enough to take the stage for the company's season opener on Sept. 13. He made that point Tuesday by energetically kicking off his annual Operalia competition, held in Los Angeles for the first time in 10 years.
Ottawa's Opera Lyra replaces singer fired for remarks during Pride festivities
Peter RobbOttawa Citizen
A singer fired by Ottawa’s Opera Lyra for comments he made about a man wearing bejewelled fingernails is denying the remarks were homophobic.
St. Petersburg Composer's Opera Incites Violence
Sergey ChernovThe St. Petersburg Timres
The premiere of a new opera was canceled in St. Petersburg last week after both the refusal of yet another venue to hold it and an assault on the opera’s composer.

Called “New Jerusalem,” the opera composed by award-winning local composer Ilya Demutsky with librettist Artyom Suslov will not premiere in the city due to the worsening political and cultural climate, Demutsky said in an interview with The St. Petersburg Times on Aug. 23.
Oh, Susannah: San Francisco Opera Opens Its Golden Gate
Jeff KalissSan Francisco Classical Voice
The Sept. 6 company premiere of Susannah serves as a long-awaited reunion of San Francisco Opera’s general director, David Gockley, and the opera’s composer and librettist, Carlisle Floyd.
Laura Kaminsky Named AOP Composer in Residence
StaffBroadway World
American Opera Projects announces the appointment of Laura Kaminsky as its composer-in-residence commencing September 1, 2014, three days before her opera "As One" premieres at BAM in an AOP production. In this role, Kaminsky will bring broad expertise to AOP enabling the Brooklyn-based company to expand its mission of identifying, developing, and presenting new and innovative works of music theater by emerging and established artists and to engage audiences in an immersive, transformative theatrical experience.
For interns at nonprofits, don’t expect a paycheck
Kate NewmanAl Jazeera America
After college, Prisca Edwards moved to New York City and accepted an unpaid internship with a nonprofit devoted to economic and social-justice issues. She was able to stay with a family friend to save money but watched her fellow interns work late-night restaurant jobs to make ends meet, then show up exhausted at work the next morning.
AFM President Blasts NFL Super Bowl Halftime Kickback Scheme
Antoinette FollettAmerican Federation of Musicians
In what could be deemed the most colossal pay to play scheme ever, the National Football League (NFL) has reportedly asked potential Super Bowl halftime performers if they would be willing to pay the league to play at its big game.
Darren Woods : Ten Commandments of Auditioning
Darren K. Woods, Keith A. Woolfeyosingers.com
1. Always sing repertoire that you know well.
Why is opera so expensive? Well, no more than football
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
One question I am frequently asked in my capacity as an opera critic is why tickets are so expensive. It’s a complicated issue, but here are some pointers.
My favourite Mozart opera
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
Take a straw poll of the world's favourite Mozart opera and I guess Die Zauberflöte or Le Nozze di Figaro would come out top. But I think my vote would go to Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio).
I don't think it's the supreme masterpiece, but it has all the irresistible charm and beauty of youth – charged with a romantic vitality that must reflect some of the 25-year-old composer's own optimism, newly liberated from the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg.
At Home with Renée and Plácido
Michael CooperThe New York Times
...after a summer of armchair travels through the classical music world: Without removing my shoes at a single airport checkpoint, I was able to watch “Trauernacht,” Katie Mitchell’s somber modern staging of Bach cantatas in Aix, check out Anna Netrebko and a baritonal Plácido Domingo in the new production of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” at Salzburg, and hear the rising young tenor Michael Fabiano sing Alfredo in Verdi’s “La Traviata” from Glyndebourne.
The Opera Industry’s Struggle to Remain Relevant
Angelo FrancoHighbrow Magazine
Before the New York City Opera became a major opera house in the industry, it started out with a simple and clear vision: to make opera accessible to everyone.  To this end, the NYCO kept admission tickets at reasonably low prices which, in turn, created some collateral and perhaps unforeseen benefits.  The company was the first to feature a black performer with an otherwise white cast and to offer a regular contract to an African-American (Todd Duncan and Camilla Williams, respectively, both of Porgy and Bess fame); it advanced the American opera industry by producing works in English by American composers, including premieres by the likes of Thomas Pasatieri; and it helped boost the careers of many performers, such as Beverly Sills and Plácido Domingo, among others. Within a few years since its founding in 1943, the NYCO had become a relevant and important addition to the international opera repertoire.
The Metropolitan Opera: 'deep in crisis'
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
New York’s Metropolitan Opera is deep in crisis, and even the armistice this week, concluding months of open warfare with its unions, is unlikely to bring either victory or resolution – or even a way forward.
Vittorio Grigolo on Getting Young People to the Opera
Rosamaria ManciniThe Wall Street Journal
Vittorio Grigolo is the tenor of the moment. The 37-year-old Italian first made a name for himself singing the key role of Rudolfo in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2010 and since then has become the important young male face of the opera world. The former Sistine Chapel chorister will end his summer tour with a return to the 13,000-seat Arena di Verona. He will play Romeo in Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, based on Shakespeare's timeless love story.
After 3 seasons, it's curtains for Lyric Opera Virginia
Teresa AnnasHamptonRoads.com
Lyric Opera Virginia survived three seasons during an economic downturn, but dwindling audiences and insufficient cash caused the nonprofit company to quietly close its doors in late spring.
Laura Kaminsky Named Composer in Residence at American Opera Projects
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (The New York Times)
American Opera Projects, the adventurous Brooklyn company that has been commissioning, developing and staging new operas for a quarter century, has appointed Laura Kaminsky as its composer-in-residence, beginning Sept. 1, the company announced on Friday.
Met Opera, Remaining Unions Reach Contract Deals
Brian WiseOperavore
The Metropolitan Opera has now reached tentative labor agreements with all of its remaining unions. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) says the deal covers six unions representing several groups of workers, including camera operators, box office treasurers and scene artists and designers.
SoundCloud introduces ads so it can pay musicians and other creators
Stuart DredgeThe Guardian
With 175 million monthly listeners, SoundCloud is the second biggest streaming music service in the world behind YouTube. Yet it hasn’t paid royalties to the creators and rightsholders of that music for their plays on its site and apps.
Metropolitan Opera Clears Last Major Hurdle in Labor Talks
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera and the union representing its stagehands reached a contract deal early Wednesday morning, clearing the last major hurdle before the company could go ahead with its coming season of operas featuring murderously jealous lovers, dying sopranos and a fellow named Figaro — both before and after his marriage.
Has There Ever Been a Music of the Future?
Fred PlotkinOperavore
Fred Plotkin ponders "The Music of the Future," which Wagner discussed in a pamphlet in 1861. This essay was a response to readers and critics who, Wagner said, misinterpreted or did not understand the ideas he put forth in his 1850 treatise, 'Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft' (The Artwork of the Future). 
14 Artists Who Are Transforming The Future Of Opera
Priscilla FrankHuffington Post
Opera, which translates to "work" in Italian, doesn't only refer to women in viking helmets singing high notes in a foreign language. The medium officially extends to any dramatic art form in which all parts are sung to instrumental accompaniment, and it's evolved far past the "La Bohème" you dozed off to on your middle school field trip. (No offense, Puccini.) Although The Met may not be tapping into today's boldest operatic experiments, that's not to say they're not out there.
The Met averts shutdown: Does opera have to be grand to survive? (+video)
Harry BruiniusChristian Science Monitor
The live spectacle and resounding, unamplified human voices of opera, its dwindling number of aficionados say, is something the digital age, even with its many wonders, can never top.
Colorado Hiker Sings Opera to Calm Stalking Mountain Lion
Daniel XuOutdoor Hub
Can music soothe a savage beast? If you were to ask 40-year-old Kyra Kopenstonsky, she will tell you that it might have saved her from a cougar attack. Kopenstonsky was hiking a trail near Down Valley Park in Placerville, Colorado on Monday when she encountered a mountain lion. According to a report by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, the lion stalked the hiker for about 20 minutes, during which it would often jump forward and crouch whenever Kopenstonsky attempted to move backwards. She told deputies that when she first saw the animal, she picked up a large branch and attempted to look big. That did not seem to faze the cat, so Kopenstonsky said she did the next thing that came to her mind.
John Adams Explains Why His Northridge Earthquake Opera Took 19 Years to Reach L.A.
Christian HertzogLA Weekly
It’s not a musical — there’s no dialogue between the songs. 

It’s not a traditional opera — there are no musical transitions from one emotional moment to the next.

Composer John Adams calls I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky a “songplay.” Librettist June Jordan calls it an “earthquake romance.” However their collaboration is pigeonholed, it hasn’t been heard in California since its world premiere in 1995 in Berkeley; the only professional American performance after its original run in Montreal, New York and Europe was in Cleveland 12 years ago.

Play it again: how to make an opera’s second run a success
Tim MurrayThe Guardian
How do you make an old and over-performed opera feel fresh and new? Start by reexamining the score, writes one conductor
Musical Chairs in S.F. Opera Administration
Janos GerebenSan Francisco Classical Voice
The San Francisco Opera's Director of Production, Greg Weber, will become Tulsa Opera's managing director in October. The search has begun to find his successor. 
Metropolitan Opera and Two Unions Reach a Tentative Deal
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera reached tentative agreements early Monday morning with the unions representing its orchestra and chorus after an all-night bargaining session, and called off its threat to lock out workers a little more than a month before the new season is set to open.
Opera Goes Modern With Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad
Max BartlettNorthwest Public Radio
Opera is sometimes seen as stuffy, old-fashioned, even a little... you know. Elitist. But some operas are working to change that. Opera on Tap in Seattle works to make opera part of our musical pop culture, and Washington's Lyric Light Opera performs popular musicals such as the Music Man, and even adaptations of Beauty and the Beast.
Arts: When understudies triumph
Nick GalvinSydney Morning Herald
After soprano Jane Ede heard she might be needed to step in at the last minute to the demanding lead role on the opening night of The Elixir of Love, her reaction was understandable.
"When I first got word there was a possibility I might be on, my husband found me on the floor in the foetal position going, ‘No, no, no, no, nooo’, because the task seemed fairly insurmountable at that point," she says.


In Surprise Finale at Metropolitan Opera’s Labor Talks, Both Sides Agree to Cuts
Michael CooperThe New York Times
After months of harsh words and escalating threats of a lockout, the Met and the unions representing its orchestra and chorus looked into the abyss and reached a tentative deal early on Monday, agreeing to significant and somewhat surprising cuts.
Licia Albanese, Exalted Soprano, Is Dead at 105
Margalit FoxThe New York Times
Licia Albanese, an Italian-born soprano whose veneration by audiences worldwide was copious even by the standards of operatic adulation, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 105.
Opera Idaho elects new board members
StaffIdaho Business Review
Vicki Kreimeyer and Andrew Owczarek have been elected to the Opera Idaho board of directors.
Cristina Deutekom dies at 82
StaffDutch News
The world famous Dutch coloratura soprano Cristina Deutekom died on Thursday evening. She was 82 years old. 
Revised Ending
Fred CohnOpera News
It is one of the strangest chapters in the history of American opera. Earlier this year, working with key members of his board, Ian Campbell, the general director, artistic director and CEO of San Diego Opera, determined that the company he had led for thirty-one years should shut its doors. He almost succeeded in getting his way.
Lifting the Curtain on Live Events
StaffThinkWithGoogle.com
The data is in and interest is up: More people are attending live events—concerts, sports and theater—than ever before. How are they researching and buying tickets to these events?
Met’s Labor Woes Divide Opera Fans as Well as Participants
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The conflict, which threatens to silence the Met before its new season gets underway next month, is reverberating far beyond the travertine walls of the opera house. Opera buffs across America and the world, who have become part of the Met’s extended family through its Saturday radio broadcasts and live cinema transmissions, are watching closely and weighing in.
Why We've Been Seeing More 'Yellowface' In Recent Months
Sam SandersNPR
You might have heard a lot about "yellowface" in recent months. It's the word widely used to refer to someone donning make-up or clothing to present the appearance of looking Asian. But why is it that we're seeing the word — and the phenomenon it refers to — so much this year? Is it because it's happening more, or are we just more aware?
A spate of accolades as Jenkins departs Seattle Opera
Nicole BrodeurSeattle Times
All night, the accolades and the Champagne flowed. But so did the tears, as the Seattle Opera community said goodbye to Speight Jenkins after his 31 years as general director.
Fort Worth Opera announces cast of JFK opera
Betty DillardFort Worth Business Press
Fort Worth Opera in collaboration with American Lyric Theater in New York City announced the cast of the 2016 world premiere opera JFK about President John F. Kennedy’s final night and subsequent morning in Fort Worth on Nov. 22, 1963. 
Trying To Rehabiliate One Of History's Most Problematic Operas
David Patrick StearnsWRTI
Opera fans often hope to find some sort of lost masterpiece or even an obscure work by a great composer; which is what the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns recently encountered at the Bard Summerscape Festival, with the help of a creative team that knows Philadelphians well.
Musa: A Name You'll Remember...
Susan LewisWRTI
The Philadelphia region is rich with music schools training the next generation of artists. South-African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana, a recent graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts and a 2013 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, stands out and already has a busy international performance schedule in the upcoming season.
Scaling the Wall: 5 Ways to Get Unsolicited Proposals Heard
Rick CohenNonprofit Quarterly
Philanthropy is, increasingly, a world of insiders. How many foundation websites explain in no uncertain terms that they do not accept unsolicited proposals, or even unsolicited letters of interest? For nonprofits that aren’t already in the foundations’ circles or don’t socialize with the foundation leaders and staff, it looks and feels like an impenetrable, unscalable, concrete wall. 
Indy Opera to develop new artistic vision
Michael Anthony AdamsIndianapolis Star
“The Indianapolis Opera is on the front end of an important period of discovery and reinvention,” said Arnie Hanish, acting president of the Opera’s board of directors. “We are eager to honor the success and tradition of the Opera’s first 40 years, while developing a bright and sustainable strategy for the future.”
Santa Fe Opera’s sustained high note
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
The Santa Fe Opera sits like a shining white cloud in the red hills a few miles north of Santa Fe. Beams and cables hold up its roof like the top of a tent, poised for flight. Below this, warm adobe walls gently nudge the open air into the shapes of opera-house tradition, delineating lobbies and gathering places and, of course, the auditorium, its 2,200 seats now sheltered by the roof but still exposed to the elements on the sides. 
An opera contest of Wagnerian proportions
Seattle TimesMelinda Bargreen
The audience voted, the orchestra voted, and the judges also voted. Excitement ran high in McCaw Hall for the third International Wagner Competition, with nine competing singers who have the potential to make careers in one of the most demanding vocal categories of all.
Union Trouble Isn't the Met's Only Problem
Joseph HorowitzThe Wall Street Journal
With New York's Metropolitan Opera embroiled in complex labor talks that threaten the coming 2014-15 season, most of the controversy seems to hinge on whether the proposed salary and benefit cuts are mandated by changing times, or by administrative missteps by General Manager Peter Gelb. As of this writing, a mediator has been called in to scrutinize the company's finances. Wherever that may lead, one exacerbating reality will not change: the Metropolitan Opera House itself. Physically and metaphorically, it signifies a notion of "grand opera" that is increasingly unsustainable
Indianapolis Opera hires Stolen to help assess future
Lou HarryIndianapolis Business Journal
The Indianapolis Opera has hired Steven Stolen, former managing director of the Indiana Repertory Theatre, to direct an assessment and strategic-planning effort.
Stop what you're doing and go see an opera about human trafficking
Carolina A. MirandaLos Angeles Times
It's not every day that someone tells you, "Drop whatever you're doing and go see an opera about human trafficking." But today is one of those days: So drop whatever you're doing this evening and go see an opera about human trafficking. I'm totally serious.

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
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