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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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Would you like your press releases and announcements featured on the OPERA America website and in OperaLink? Submit the url to your announcement in the "Submit a Press Release" section. Press releases must be hosted on your own site or through a third-party site like Google Docs or PitchEngine. Please contact Patricia K. Johnson at PKJohnson@operaamerica.org with questions.
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Main Page Headlines
Dallas Opera Expands Titus Series
Opera News DeskBroadway World
Beginning in 2015, the series will be expanded to include an annual recital to showcase the previous year's Marilyn Horne Competition winners.
Teacher's idea to stage an opera has many singing her praises
Don MainesHouston Chronicle
A music teacher at a Manvel school recently was surprised with a $7,000 check recognizing her program of bringing American history to life through opera.

"We're getting students to think outside the box," said Meredith Mooney, 25, whose "Opera Alive: Song, Story, Art" teaching idea will culminate in May when fifth-graders at Dr. James "Red" Duke Elementary School perform a one-act opera they've composed.
5 Book Recommendations for Nonprofit Networking and Data Nerds
Beth KanterBeth's Blog
There’s lots to enjoy during the holiday season – from gathering with friends and family to the festivities and fun. But it is also a quiet time of year and a good time to catch up on reading. Also, if you are looking for a last minute gift for the nonprofit networking and data nerd in your life, here’s some book recommendations.
When Opera Singers Groove to the Motown Sound
Fred PlotkinWQXR
A surprising number of opera singers take an interest in the music of 1960s Motown, Fred Plotkin writes. Which Motown song do you think could work in a recital repertoire?
Forward Motions: New York City Opera Seeks Auction Approval
Joseph ChecklerThe Wall Street Journal
Monday in Manhattan, New York City Opera Inc. will ask a judge to approve bidding procedures for an auction of the company, with a lead offer from an investor group led by Michael Capasso, general director of the Dicapo Opera Theatre.

The offer, which is likely to be challenged, is for $10,000 in cash plus the settling of $500,000 in debts and assumption of some liabilities.
Behind the scenes at the Portland Opera's costume department (Photos)
Andy Giegerich and Cathy CheneyPortland Business Journal
This week's Portland Business Journal features a glimpse at the Portland Opera's plans to convert its programming to a summer festival format. Which means that, yup, the Opera will compress its season, now held between September and May, into a three-month period. It will feature shows at both the Newmark and Keller venues.
Opera Review of 2014: the start of opera becoming the domain of the elite?
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
Until this year, opera in Britain has resisted the pressures of the economic crisis surprisingly well. But in recent months, ominous creaking noises have indicated some very deep rot developing beneath the plastered surface.

A large part of the problem, ironically, is the burgeoning of a new audience – one that is diminishing the operatic economy even as it replenishes it. This phenomenon is largely made up of older people, mostly living outside central London, who toddle along to the local cinema where for about £20 they can see star-studded broadcasts live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, projected with super-duper HD sound and picture quality, gift-wrapped with glimpses backstage and interviews with the performers.
Just Asking: Opera singer Soloman Howard on the football field vs. the stage
Joe HeimWashington Post
When I tell people I sing opera, they say, “Why? There’s so many things you could have done. Why opera?” Well, that’s what my gift is. People will say opera’s boring. And I’ll say, “Have you ever really experienced the grandeur of opera on a large scale?”And most of them have never been to an opera to know how emotional it can be and how it encompasses all of the areas of performing arts and how physically demanding it is.
San Diego Opera's Keltner stepping down
James ChuteU-T San Diego
Karen Keltner, conductor of the San Diego Opera for more than three decades, is stepping down. Keltner’s last appearance as resident conductor will be Feb. 1, 2015, the final performance of the opera’s season opening production of “La Boheme” at the San Diego Civic Theatre.
Sioux City native tells of international success in opera
Ally KarsynSioux City Journal
Growing up in Sioux City, opera singer John Osborn dabbled in a bit of everything from sports like baseball, football and track to being an altar boy. Somewhere between church carnivals and Cub Scouts, he found time to do music and theater, too....
Freud's goal: Keep Chicago's Lyric Opera relevant
Mike Silvermantucson.com
When Anthony Freud was 14, his favorite pastime was going to the opera in London and then, on the train ride home to Wimbledon where he lived with his parents, "dreaming about how I could do it better when I ran a company of my own some day." He's gotten his chance, not once but three times: first in Wales, then in Houston and now in Chicago, where he has been general director of the Lyric Opera since 2011.
US funds an opera about its ugliest massacre
Norman LebrechtSlippedisc.com
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $80,000 towards the production costs of an opera on the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, when more than 300 civilians were slaughtered by US forces.The opera was commissioned by the Kronos quartet from composer Jonathan Berger and librettist Harriet Chessman. It is scheduled for pemiere in 2015 at Stanford University, where Berger is a music professor. He says: ‘I think it will be a reasonably abstract performance… We’re not going to have war scenes set out on the stage…No blood and gore.’
Irene Dalis, Opera Singer and Company Founder, Dies at 89
William YardleyThe New York Times
Irene Dalis, a versatile and fiery mezzo-soprano who starred at the Metropolitan Opera for two decades before building a second career as the director of Opera San José, an innovative company she founded in her California hometown, died on Sunday in nearby Saratoga, Calif. She was 89.
Gotham Chamber Opera Presents 'The Tempest Songbook' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jaime PriscoClassicalite
The Tempest Songbook is comprised of incidental music for The Tempest composed in 1695 and attributed to Henry Purcell and Kaija Saariaho's 2004 Tempest Songbook for soprano, baritone and period instrument ensemble. This is the show's U.S. and world-stage premiere.

The performance will be a co-production with the Martha Graham Dance Co. The Martha Graham Dance Co. has received international acclaim from audiences in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Impresario Irene Dalis of Opera San José dies at 89
Joshua KosmanSan Francisco Chronicle
Irene Dalis, the San Jose native who established a starry international career as an operatic mezzo-soprano before returning to found and run Opera San José for 30 years, died Sunday in San Jose after a brief illness. She was 89.
Arts Education Matters: We Know, We Measured It
Jay P. Greene, Brian Kisida, Cari A. Bogulski, Anne Kraybill, Collin Hitt, & Daniel H. BowenEducation Week
We recently conducted two studies that used random-assignment research designs to identify causal effects of exposure to the arts through museum and theater attendance. In the museum study, we held a lottery with nearly 11,000 students from 123 Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma schools, roughly half of whom were assigned to visit Crystal Bridges of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., while the other half served as the control group. In the live-theater study, we conducted a lottery to offer free tickets to roughly half of the 700 Arkansas students applying to see "Hamlet" or "A Christmas Carol" at a professional theater in Fayetteville.
Cast announced for Puccini opera in Savannah
Linda SicklerSavannah Morning News
Full-fledged opera is coming to the 2015 Savannah Music Festival. A collaboration between the Savannah VOICE Festival and Savannah Music Festival will result in the performance of two Puccini operas during the first weekend of the music festival. The full cast, including some local singers, has been announced.
Russian opera diva Anna Netrebko invited to sing in east Ukrainian Donetsk
StaffTASS
World-acclaimed Russian opera singer, Anna Netrebko, who donated one million roubles (18,980 U.S. dollars) to the opera and ballet theatre in the war-gripped east Ukrainian city of Donetsk, has been invited to sing at this theatre after the warfare is over, the theatre’s director general Yevgeny Denisenko said in an interview with the Thursday issue of the Izvestia newspaper.
Obituary: Irving Guttman ‘lived and breathed’ opera
Beth LindsayThe Vancouver Sun
To Vancouver’s arts community, Irving Guttman was known as the father of western Canadian opera, but for those who knew him well, he’ll be remembered as a tireless mentor to young singers who had an unmatched genius for identifying new talent. Guttman, the founding artistic director of the Vancouver Opera, died Sunday at the age of 86 following a lengthy illness.

An Interview With the Man Now in Charge of Reviving New York City Opera
Jennifer RiveraThe Huffington Post
On Friday, an article in the New York Times announced that the Board of the currently defunct New York City Opera had decided to sell its remaining assets to one of the various investor groups that had been vying for the right to revive the company. Working under the radar for the past year, asset manager and former board member Roy Niederhoffer, after pledging $1 million of his own money and raising a total of over $2.5 million to date, has now won the right (pending court approval) to revive and reinvent the company we all thought had left us forever.
Police and protesters clash in Milan as La Scala opera season opens
Rosie ScammelThe Guardian
Violent clashes broke out between protesters and police in Milan on Sunday, as the La Scala opera season opened with a performance shaped by this year’s events in Ukraine and the Middle East.
Don't call Stephanie Blythe an 'opera singer'
James ChuteU-T San Diego
If you talk to enough singers, you’ll hear all sorts of explanations about why their voice might be special. . . . But ask mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, whom the San Diego Opera brings to the Balboa Theatre on Thursday, what gives her voice its distinct character and unusual presence and she’ll give you the straight story.

Why is the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Flush With Cash?
Mike ScutariInside Philanthropy
Are you a struggling theatrical or musical production that's hemorrhaging money? We have a solution. Just follow the lead of your Broadway counterparts and have your rock star composer emerge from the shadows and take the lead role in the production.
Netrebko Donates 1M Roubles to Opera Theatre in Donetsk
Shaun WalkerThe Guardian
The Russian-Austrian opera soprano Anna Netrebko has given support to east Ukrainian separatists, posing with one of their top political leaders and holding up the flag of Novorossia, a self-declared amalgamation of territory that is seeking independence from Kiev.

Netrebko, who holds dual citizenship, was pictured with the flag during a press conference in St Petersburg over the weekend, where she announced she was donating 1m roubles (£12,000) to the Donetsk Opera Theatre.
Bid for New York City Opera’s Assets Wins Board’s Support
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The board of the bankrupt New York City Opera said on Friday that it wanted to sell the opera company’s name and thrift store to a group led by a local impresario who hopes to revive the troupe, but who had been sued in the past for failing to pay his musicians/
Investors Seek to Revive N.Y. City Opera
Jennifer Smith and Sara RandazzoThe Wall Street Journal
A group of investors is proposing to pay slightly more than $500,000 for the shuttered opera company’s name as well as some other assets and liabilities, according to Gerard Catalanello, an attorney for the group.
Composer Joins Warhol Opera Development in Philadelphia
Allan Kozinn The New York Times
When Opera Philadelphia announced “ANDY: A Popera,” a hybrid opera and cabaret show about Andy Warhol, the company had the cabaret side of the production fully in place: the Bearded Ladies, an experimental troupe, would put together the production, with John Jarboe directing, and with music by the group’s resident composer, Heath Allen. 

But the operatic side of the work remained a mystery until Monday, when the company said that it had engaged Dan Visconti, a 32-year-old composer whose music embraces both the rigorous side of contemporary music language and the rhythmic vitality of rock and jazz. The company also announced that the world premiere, originally planned for March, would be moved to September 2015
Show must go on in a war zone
Nataliya TrachKyivPost
It takes lead soprano singer Tetyana Plekhanova three hours to get to work. It's not because of the long commute, but because she has not been paid for months and has to walk to work. To feed herself, the opera diva trades her clothes for food. But that's not the worst part of it.

For Plekhanova and her colleagues, going to work is plain dangerous because they work in the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theater, located in the rebel controlled territory, and have continued their practices and performance despite constant shelling in the city.
Lyric Opera Hints at How They’ll Stage the Ring Cycle
Graham MeyerChicago Magazine
t a media event Tuesday afternoon, in a windowless room deep in the bowels of the Civic Opera House, members of the creative team for Lyric Opera’s still-distant cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen gathered to hint at what audiences could expect when the four operas reach Lyric’s stage between 2016 and 2020. Those present received a few misty evocations of the character of the productions, and some negative information, too—so although we can’t really say what Lyric’s Ring is yet, we can say more about what it is not.
An Opera Offered on the Installment Plan
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (The New York Times)
For opera critics pondering the future of the form, the composer Lisa Bielawa’s latest work, “Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser,” offers a new twist. The work is a serial opera – serial in the television sense, not in the 12-tone sense – and although it will be filmed before live audiences, it is meant to be seen on television or online, in short installments that will be released over two years. The production will also include online extras, including video clips that look at the process of composing and staging the piece.
How to Fix an Opera Company Before It's Broken -- Big Changes at Portland Opera
Jennifer RiveraThe Huffington Post
In the opera world, it seems like it's always the bad news that makes the headlines. While there is certainly plenty of good news from the fleet of new, lithe opera companies cropping up, we still continue to see headlines that make us worry for the financial future of this glorious art form. First the New York City Opera goes out of business, then San Diego Opera comes a breath away from shuttering. More recentlyFlorida Grand Opera sent a letter to the community admitting its need for a huge fundraising push to stay alive, and the Metropolitan Opera reported that despite success with its recent negotiations, it faces a deficit that has grown into 22 million worrisome dollars. The news may be good for the smaller, leaner companies, but for the top 15 or so companies, nobody really feels safe.
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scalia? Set His Dissents to Music
Jess BravinThe Wall Street Journal
Justice Antonin Scalia , whose barbed wit entertains audiences at Supreme Court arguments, has some competition from Antonin Scalia, the fictional character. Like no justice before him, the 78-year-old jurist is being portrayed in works that draw on his words and legacy as the longest-serving sitting justice and one of the court’s most polarizing figures.
Martina Arroyo Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary
Nino PantanoBrooklyn Eagle
On the evening of Nov. 17, the Martina Arroyo Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Essex House on Central Park South. Cecilia Teng, Gala chair, welcomed everyone and introduced Midge Woolsey from PBS and Brian Kellow from Opera News.
Fort Worth Opera to Showcase Works in Progress
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (NYT)
Time was when the best way to get a quick reading of what opera composers were thinking about and working on was to drop in at the New York City Opera’s annual Vox Contemporary Opera Lab programs, which offered first glimpses of works in progress. But the City Opera is no more, and other companies have taken up the challenge, including the Fort Worth Opera, which announced the program for its Frontiers series on Monday.
Opera company's strategic planner sees flowering of American projects
Casey LoganOmaha World-Herald
The art form’s future looks bright, according to Opera America President Marc Scorca, even as he acknowledges that opera faces some serious challenges in the 21st century.
San Diego Opera releases 2013-14 audit
James ChuteU-T San Diego
The San Diego Opera has released its 2013-14 audited financial statements, which show the opera ending its June, 30, 2014 fiscal year in solid financial condition. The company, which nearly closed this year, posted an operating deficit of $52,067 on operating expenses of $15.9 million.
Sale of New York City Opera's Remaining Assets Expected in Early 2015
Brian WiseOperavore (WQXR)
A sale of New York City Opera's remaining assets is expected take place as soon as January, after a bankruptcy court told the company it has until Dec. 18 to present a reorganization plan.
A Christmas Carol Becomes an Opera Thanks to a Houston Grand Opera Commission
Margaret DowningHoustonPress
Until eight months ago, British composer Iain Bell was writing in his bedroom in London. That's where he did most of his work on the world premiere we're about to see of the operatic version of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. (He's since moved to a larger place with two rooms, one of which is an office)
Opera on Wheels: Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ goes to preschooll
Sally VallongoThe Blade
The Toledo Opera really wants to make opera accessible to all. For years, it has taken adapted productions of famed operas to elementary schools all over the northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan region through its Opera on Wheels program. Some 20,000 students in 60 schools engage with opera first-hand

Unpaid Artists, and All the Ways They Can Stay That Way
Jenna DouglasSchmopera
I came across two separate articles the other day, on the topic of artists working without pay. The first was this open letter to Oprah, written by Revolva, a professional hula hoop act and vaudeville performer. Apparently, Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend tour invited Revolva to work for their San Jose stop earlier this month. The catch: she’d be working for free.
Jake Heggie's golden moment for 'Great Scott'
Janelle GelfandCincinnati.com
It's crunch time for Jake Heggie. The composer of "Dead Man Walking," "Moby-Dick" and "The End of the Affair" is in town for a workshop with the creative team of his latest opera "Great Scott. This is the golden moment where, instead of just hearing it in my head, I get to hear it coming off the page," says the 53-year-old American composer, over coffee last week at the Netherland Hilton, Downtown.
At Washington National Opera, 20-minute operas are on the right track
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
The Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative commissions work from young composers. This is a good thing. I am not completely ready to embrace its premise that the best way to start is by commissioning 20-minute operas, because I’m not sure exactly what writing a short-form piece proves about a composer’s ability to write an evening-length work — any more than short-story writers are all necessarily great novelists. But thanks to this program, the company is giving out four commissions every year — three 20-minute operas and a one-hour opera — and that alone is cause for celebration.
New world and old world combine for tweeting at the opera
Shayne DwyerWDBJ7
Opera Roanoke invited a select few Twitter users to live tweet the final dress rehearsal of Mozart's Abduction.
Smartphone App, Tweet Seats Add Interactivity to Philadelphia Concert Halls
David Patrick StearnsOperavore
The technological barbarians are at the gate – and are being welcomed graciously. Only three years after an errant ringtone during the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony sparked an international uproar, two august Philadelphia institutions are telling audiences to keep their phones on – within particular limits.
Metropolitan Opera’s Deficit Swells to $22 Million
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera’s deficit ballooned to an estimated $22 million last year, the company said Thursday, as weaker-than-expected contributions and ticket sales combined with expenses related to the company’s labor talks to create its most serious shortfall in decades.
Joyful Opera Performed In Nazi Concentration Camp Revived In Chicago
Cheryl CoreyNPR
Brundibár, a children's opera that premiered during World War II, became both a symbol of hope and resistance and a Nazi propaganda tool. Now, Petite Opera, a small company in suburban Chicago, is reprising the opera, originally performed by Jewish children held in a concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia.
The Sale of Manhattan, Retold From a Native American Viewpoint
James BarronThe New York Times
Peter Minuit does not come off well in Brent Michael Davids’s concert opera “Purchase of Manhattan.” The libretto by Joseph Bruchac and Mr. Davids makes Minuit, the Dutch official who arranged the transaction, sound greedy and conniving. “I see handsome profits from this ground,” Minuit sings. A few bars later, he adds, “So dark and rich, the soil is gold!” And shortly after that, “Oh, bless me, Lord, I want this land.”
Feel the Noise: How to Appreciate Peking Opera
Kipp WhittakerThe Beijinger
We can all acknowledge that Chinese opera is very different from its Western counterpart. Although someone like Andrea Bocelli would probably make a fine eunuch on the Beijing stage, the similarities between the two styles are very limited. The use of gestures, acrobats, and cacophonous music is so alien to our cultural palate, but if you approach it with an open mind, the beauty of this amazing art form will eventually reveal itself. From the details of the costumes and makeup, to the other worldly sounds coming out of the performers, there is nothing else like it. Here are a few basic concepts to help newcomers get a better understanding of this art form, and clear your path to becoming a Mei Lanfang fanboy. 
Tenor Michael Fabiano: On La Bohème, Now at San Francisco Opera
Sean MartinfieldThe Huffington Post
Tenor Michael Fabiano is superb as Rodolfo in San Francisco Opera's current presentation of La Bohème. Already acclaimed for his command of the role, Fabiano's dynamic range, musical finesse and passionate energy shine in this exciting co-production with Houston Grand Opera and Canadian Opera Company. This final entry of SFOpera's fall season is performed by two extraordinary casts and runs through Sunday, December 2. Designed by David Farley, directed by John Caird and conducted by Giuseppe Finzi, the production is a must-see experience.
What We Learned From 'The Death of Klinghoffer'
Brian LehrerWNYC
The Metropolitan Opera's production of "The Death of Klinghoffer" has generated praise and protest, with many boycotting the production. Before the opera's run ends this weekend, we explore the real events portrayed on stage, the history of art and controversy, and offer a critic's roundtable.

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One


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