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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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Artistic & Production Administrators Headlines
Opera San Antonio's 'Fox' brings two performers full circle
Deborah MartinMy San Antonio
Opera San Antonio's staging of Fantastic Mr. Fox marks a bit of a homecoming for cast members Tynan Davis and Theo Lebow.
Tibor Rudas Dies at 94; Brought the World the Three Tenors
Douglas MartinThe New York Times
Tibor Rudas, an irrepressible impresario who took classical music from concert halls to casinos and from there to baseball stadiums and the Eiffel Tower, helping to propel the Three Tenors to global glory, died on Sept. 8 at his home in Santa Monica. Calif. He was 94.
2nd conductor resigns from Vienna State Opera
Associated PressThe Washington Post
The Vienna State Opera has lost Bertrand de Billy — its second star conductor in less than two weeks.
'Massive' Klinghoffer Protest Planned for Met Opening Night
Susan ElliottMusical America
The “Coalition Against the Met Terror Opera” (CATO) has announced a “massive” protest scheduled for Sept. 22 starting at 4:30 p.m. It promises “thousands” on hand to declare their disgust with an “opera promoting terrorism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism.”  ...CATO is protesting John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, which opens Oct. 20.
Sacramento classical music groups receive $1.1 million windfall from estate of former U.S. Forest Service worker
Edward OrtizThe Sacramento Bee
Three classical music organizations in the Sacramento region will share in a $1.1 million bequest from the late J. David Ramsey, a former U.S. Forest Service worker. It’s the most significant gift ever earmarked for classical music through the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which has been overseeing such gifts since 1983.
Why can't we hear more English operas?
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
Rupert Christiansen makes the case for staging rarely performed British operas. 
Korngold’s ‘Tote Stadt,’ one century later
Jeremy EichlerThe Boston Globe
When Odyssey Opera performs a keenly anticipated concert version of Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt next week, it will be, strange to say, the first Boston performance of a once enormously popular work that premiered in 1920. The question of why it took nearly a century for this significant score to arrive here is natural to wonder, and not so simple to answer.
Fall preview: From ’Florencia in the Amazon’ to ‘Dragon Rhyme,’ fantasy resounds in D.C.
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
Fantasy in opera? The canon features dozens of fairy tales of water sprites (Rusalka) and princes (The Magic Flute), giants and dragons (Wagner’s Ring), in which music swirls around and buoys the plots of magical stories. 
Kaminsky’s transgender opera “As One” makes a poignant and remarkable premiere
Eric C. SimpsonNew York Classical Review
American Opera Projects has produced a number of significant new pieces in its twenty-five-plus years, and the company’s latest does not disappoint. Premiered on Thursday night in the Fishman space at BAM’s Fisher building, As One, a ninety-minute chamber opera, is a rich addition to the repertoire. 
'As One' Opera Brings Husband And Wife Stars Together For Heartfelt Transgender Role
Curtis M. WongThe Huffington Post
Opera stars Kelly Markgraf and Sasha Cooke are a husband-and-wife team who've performed together in venues around the world. Still, they're set to explore new territory as the stars of As One, a new chamber opera in which they'll each portray one side of a single transgender character.
Amid Choruses of Despair, an Aria of Hope
Adam NagourneyThe New York Times
Five months ago, San Diego Opera appeared on the brink of extinction after its board of directors, responding to the dismal economic and attendance news confronting opera companies from New York to San Francisco, voted overwhelmingly to close down after 49 years. But things did not work out that way. An unlikely coalition — opera buffs, labor unions, community leaders caught off guard by the threat of the company’s collapse and worried about the damage it would do to San Diego’s civic reputation — formed a rescue mission. 
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Early Look at ‘JFK’ Opera
Allan Kozinn The New York Times (ArtsBeat)
David T. Little’s opera JFK, which looks at the 12 hours leading up to John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, is scheduled to have its world premiere at the Fort Worth Opera on April 23, 2016. But New Yorkers will be able to get an advance look in November. The American Lyric Theater, which is developing the score in a partnership with the Fort Worth company, will present a workshop performance of the opera-in-progress at Merkin Concert Hall on Nov. 25.
Peggy Dye gives Opera Columbus reason to sing
Nancy GilsonThe Columbus Dispatch
In her third year leading Opera Columbus, Peggy Dye — also a lyric soprano — is on a mission to make her beloved art form relevant and popular with audiences of all ages but especially the young.
This Isn't Your Grandfather's Opera. And That's Just How the Mellon Foundation Likes It.
Mike ScutariInside Philanthropy
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given the Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative (NWI) a $750,000 gift, signifying the completion of the first $7 million of the NWI fundraising campaign. This recent Mellon gift kickstarts phase two of the NWI, which will support the production of Stephen King's The Shining by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, as well as Dinner at Eight by William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman.
In Final Hours, Metropolitan Opera Extends Contract Deadlines for Unions
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera postponed a threatened lockout late on Thursday night, saying that it had done so at the request of a federal mediator who was brought in at the 11th hour to try to salvage its contract negotiations with the unions representing its orchestra and chorus.
Met Opera, unions extend contract talks
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
This is the most heartening progress yet in a negotiation period that has been conducted, throughout the summer, in the public eye. With blog posts, calls to the media, and a steady stream of press releases, both the unions and the Met have done their best to steer the discussion.
‘Noli Me Tangere’ Filipino opera will tell moving tale at Kennedy Center
Celia WrenThe Washington Post
The title may translate as “Touch Me Not,” but a team of intrepid producers haven’t hesitated to tackle Noli Me Tangere, which has been called the first full-length Filipino opera composed in the Western operatic tradition. On Aug. 8 and 9, the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater will host two performances of Noli Me Tangere, a tale of love, intrigue and nationalism set in the Philippines during Spanish colonial rule. 
Google (Opera) Glass Makes Debut in Puccini’s Turandot in Italy
Eric SylversDigits (WSJ)
How do you get young people interested in opera? A better pair of opera glasses, of course. In what is being touted as a first, the opera house in Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia, will have some of its singers and musicians wear Google Glass Wednesday night when they perform Puccini’s Turandot, with the images from the digital devices sent in real time to the organization’s Facebook page.
A New Frontier Opera Transports 20th Century New York City to Present Day
StaffSundance
In October 2013, Joshua Frankel (Director) and Judd Greenstein (Composer) participated in the New Frontier Story Lab with the project Untitled Opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. This innovative opera explores the epic battles between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses over the future of New York City. From Jacobs’ victory in stopping Moses’ destruction of Washington Square Park, to Moses’ efforts to build the Lower Manhattan Expressway across SoHo, this work catalyzes an important conversation about what principles and values our generation will use in building, managing and sustaining urban spaces in the 21st Century. It is projected to premiere in 2016.
Secret Opera Explores the Lives of Two Famous Women Characters, Uninterrupted
George GrellaNew York Classical Review
The Secret Opera is one of the small, imaginative opera companies rapidly proliferating in New York City. They are nimble, make the most of limited resources, and present talented singers and new works that are outside the physical and financial scope of the Metropolitan Opera. Of these small, peripatetic companies, Secret Opera is one of the smallest. In the tiny Scholes Street Studio in Williamsburg Saturday night, they presented two monodramas by Daniel Felsenfeld, under the title She, After. Starring in each was the charismatic soprano Alexis Rodda, one of Secret Opera’s founding directors.


David Pogue makes opera debut at Wolf Trap with Google Glass in ‘Carmen’
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
At Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, David Pogue is going on stage in “Carmen” with a Google Glass headset, a small wearable computer, and broadcasting snippets of the onstage action to give the audience a sense of what it’s like to be out there under the lights.
The Future of Opera
Terry TeachoutThe Wall Street Journal
Terry Teachout explains why opera needn't be bound for extinction.
Opera Australia Announces Lianna Haroutounian as Replacement for Tamar Iveri
Staffbroadwayworld.com
Opera Australia announces their replacement for Tamar Iveri, the Georgian singer who was fired last week following Facebook comments she made in which she compared homosexuals with "faecal masses". Opera Australia, who describes Iveri's views as "unconscionable, released her from her contract to perform the role of Desdemona in their staging of Otello.
Central City Opera to Focus on Touring
Marc ShulgoldColorado Public Radio
Central City Opera will travel to small cities and towns around Colorado with three little-known, one-act operas: The Prodigal Son, one of three church parables by English composer Benjamin Britten; Don Quixote and the Duchess by French composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier; and The Blind, a 1994 work by Russian-born American composer Lera Auerbach, written for an a cappella chorus of 12 who portray a group of stranded blind people.  
10 Things About Having an Opera Career That You Don't Learn in School
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
So you have a bachelors and a masters degree in... opera singing. Congratulations! According to about 85% of the population, you may as well have an advanced degree in underwater basket weaving. Now that you've done your upteenth young artist training program, it's time to venture out into the big bad world of classical singing. As someone who has been working in this industry for the past 15 years, I wanted to share with all of you some of the tidbits I wished someone had told me when I was starting out. Brace yourselves - it's not all pretty.
Lorin Maazel, an Intense and Enigmatic Conductor, Dies at 84
Allan KozinnThe New York Times
Lorin Maazel, a former child prodigy who went on to become the music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and several other ensembles and companies around the world, and who was known for his incisive and sometimes extreme interpretations, died on Sunday at his home in Castleton, Va. He was 84.
Bicycle opera in gear for five-week tour
Trish CrawfordThe Star
There's a new kind of opera riding into town.
Women in theatre: how the '2:1 problem' breaks down
Guardian/Elizabeth FreestoneThe Guardian
How well are women represented in theatre? New research by the Guardian in collaboration with Elizabeth Freestone shows a mixed picture.
What Do Opera Singers Actually Get Paid?
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
There has been a lot of union activity lately in the opera world, and numbers have been thrown around in the press which have caused many an ear to perk up.
Google Glass, Social Media Topics for Spark!
Janet Gramza Sightlines (USITT)
What place do Google Glass, social media, and smartphone apps have at live performances?
'A Streetcar Named Desire': Opera score gets new treatment
Joshua KosmanSFGate
Composer André Previn's operatic treatment of "A Streetcar Named Desire" has gone through some up-and-down cycles since its 1998 world premiere at the San Francisco Opera, which commissioned the piece under former General Director Lotfi Mansouri. There have been a few scattered productions over the intervening years, but it's never quite gained a solid foothold in the repertoire.
Who is Creative Placemaking? New Music, Integrity, and Community
Daniel Siepmann NewMusicBox
Daniel Siepmann examines the relationship between new music and placemaking – a new approach to contemporary arts funding that purports to culturally and economically reinvigorate American places through the arts. 
Cincinnati Opera is going mobile
Mike SarasonSoapbox Cincinnati
Cincinnati Opera has embarked on a new and innovative project called the Opera Express, thanks to a $50,000 Revolutionary Grant from OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences grant program.
On the State of Opera
Speight JenkinsOpera Sleuth
A lot of ink has recently been spilled about the demise of opera. Audiences are supposed to be drifting away; the number of subscribers is dwindling; people generally are not interested in our art form; all is gloomy, and opera has been described as being pushed off a precipice by public disdain and disinterest.
Revival Is on the Table for Bankrupt New York City Opera
Sara RandazzoThe Wall Street Journal
Could the curtain rise again at the New York City Opera? The shuttered institution, which closed its doors last fall after years of financial woes, could be revived in some fashion, according to two lawyers working on the opera’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
Distracted Diva: The Second Screen Goes to the Opera
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (The New York Times)
In June, On Site Opera presented a production of Rameau’s Pygmalion, at which operagoers were encouraged to use Google Glass, onto which a translation of the libretto was projected. The technology used to project the subtitles to Google Glass was created by Figaro Systems. Now Figaro is taking the next step: When the Wolf Trap Opera performs Bizet’s Carmen on July 25, Figaro and its MobiTxt technology will be on hand.
Lyric Opera Baltimore scales back to one production and concerts for 2014-2015 season
Tim SmithThe Baltimore Sun
Lyric Opera Baltimore, which scaled back from three productions to two after its 2011-2012 inaugural season, is scaling back again. Only one staged work, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, will be presented during 2014-2015, the company's fourth season.
Lyric Opera [of Chicago] reports banner year for ticket sales, revenue, fundraising
John von RheinChicago Tribune
On Monday evening, Lyric Opera of Chicago announced significant increases in ticket sales, ticket revenue and fundraising in fiscal year 2014.

In 39th season, Opera Theatre of St. Louis shows good health, new work
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
This summer, Anne Midgette is traveling to several of the country’s leading opera festivals — St. Louis, Glimmerglass and Santa Fe — to evaluate how well they are doing in the current climate. A stop in St. Louis reveals that some of them are doing very well indeed.
Critic's Notebook: A Predicament Right Out of a Melodramatic Opera
Mark SwedLA Times
When announcements for the next opera season began arriving early this year, the overall impression was that our country's companies were getting livelier if not yet up to the more progressive European model.

Los Angeles Opera, in particular, is coming out of an economic slump and once again beginning to look like an artistic leader. In an especially encouraging development, American — and new American — opera has become commonplace all over the land.
A Modern Opera: Fat Unions May Kill the Fat Lady
Eric GibsonThe Wall Street Journal
An epic confrontation is playing out at the Metropolitan Opera, only it isn't the familiar one between star-crossed lovers. The famed opera company, which opened its doors in 1883, is in a life-or-death negotiation with its unions—15 of them.

That's right, 15 labor unions, with more than 2,000 workers. Stripped of its high-culture context, the Met finds itself in a battle that sounds eerily similar to the fiscal realities many big-city mayors are now confronting when negotiating overtime, work rules and health-care benefits with sanitation workers. It's not entirely similar, though: The average singer in the Met's 80-person chorus makes between $145,000 and $200,000 annually. The curtain could fall at the end of July, when the Met's contract with 15 of its 16 unions expires.
I turned Google Glass into opera glasses
Adi Robertson The Verge

For On Site Opera’s latest project — an adaptation of Rameau's Pygmalion performed amidst wax statues and mannequins — it tested a new kind of translation, projected not on a wall but on the lens of Google Glass.

Kentucky Opera secures next five years of leadership
Elizabeth KramerThe Courier-Journal

Kentucky Opera’s general director, David Roth, has renewed his contract for another five years, and Music Director and Principal Conductor Joseph Mechavich has signed a two-year contract. 

Pecan Summer: an opera for Indigenous Australia
Van BadhamAustralia Culture Blog
Pecan Summer was the first Aboriginal opera. Now, as it prepares to be staged for the fourth time in Adelaide, its composer Deborah Cheetham explains why it made such an impact.

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


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