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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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Press Releases & Season Announcements
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.
Please send all season announcements to Nicholas Wise (NWise@operaamerica.org), Communications and Publications Manager.
Artist Headlines
Labor Struggles at Metropolitan Opera Have a Past
Michael CooperThe New York Times
Now, after three relatively quiet decades, the Met is on the brink of its worst labor crisis in years: Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, is threatening to lock out the company’s orchestra, chorus, stage crews and other workers on Friday, endangering the coming opera season, if they do not agree to new contracts with cuts to their pay and benefits. The contracts for 15 unions at the Met expire on Thursday night.
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.
Remembering Seymour Barab (1921-2014)
Anahid AjemianNewMusicBox
Seymour Barab, one of the most prolific composers of operas and music for young audiences as well as a formidable cellist dedicated to the performance of new music, died on June 28, 2014 at the age of 93. To honor his memory, NewMusicBox asked violinist Anahid Ajemian—who knew Barab for more than half a century and who, along with him, Matthew Raimondi, and Bernard Zaslav were the founding members of the Composers Quartet formed in 1963—to share her recollections of Barab as composer, cellist, and friend. 
Age Before … What Does It Take to Be An Opera Singer?
Molly ColinSan Francisco Classical Voice
When Talya Lieberman awoke in her parents’ suburban New York City home one cold January morning in 2010, she was at a crossroads. The most logical direction led to work at a Philadelphia sleep research center and adding a Ph.D. in psychology to her degrees in linguistics and music. Lieberman, however, contemplated hanging a big left. Could she, at 25 years old, become a professional opera singer when the competition had seven years on her with training and role experience? She hoped her father's 99-year-old cousin Frances, a voice teacher, could tell her.
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.


Artbound Wins L.A. Area Emmy for "Invisible Cities" Documentary
StaffKCET.org
On Saturday July 26, KCET's Artbound was awarded an L.A.-Area Emmy Award for Entertainment Programming for the documentary Invisible Cities: An Opera for Headphones, a one-hour special episode tracing the creation and performance of The Industry's avant-garde opera Invisible Cities.
L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky exiting as a champion of arts
Mark SwedLA Times
The five-term supervisor, who will leave office at the end of year because of term limits, has been singularly fearless among U.S. politicians as an arts advocate.
Following the orchestra leader
Miriam Kreinin SouccarCrain's New York Business
Since the Dimenna Center opened, another rehearsal space for the performing arts has sprung up in Manhattan.
The Future of Classical Music
Diane RehmThe Diane Rehm Show
Classical music has thrived for centuries. But many say it is now facing its biggest challenges of all time, and risks becoming obsolete. Orchestras across the country face financial trouble, and there’s worry that the younger generations are connecting less and less with Brahms and Debussy. In response, many organizations are venturing into new musical and technological territory to attract loyal audiences…everything from intimate “living room” concerts organized on social media, to collaborations with pop and rock artists. A look at classical music’s place in society, and what’s in store for its future.
American Opera, Rising
Eileen CunniffeNonprofit Quarterly
Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed wrote a compelling piece last week exploring the state of opera in American cities and, notably, the increase in new American works of opera as a means of keeping the artistic discipline relevant and appealing to 21st-century American audiences. “The art form is not standing still,” he writes. “It’s growing, uncontrollably, by leaps and messy bounds.”
What is the Future of Arts Journalism?
Robert BettmannARTSblog
Arts journalism is changing rapidly. Newspaper coverage has shifted, and the number of blogs and small magazines covering the arts has grown exponentially. While it’s uncertain what the structural changes in arts journalism will mean for the arts over the next twenty years, changes are happening and affecting audience participation.
At Some Venues, iPads Take The Place Of Opera Glasses
Arun RathNPR
An experiment at a new production of Carmen has many wondering how technology will affect operagoers' experience. NPR's Arun Rath talks to Kim Witman, director of the Wolf Trap Opera.
Seattle Opera's Jenkins Looks Back At His Legacy, Including Making 'Colorblind’ Opera
Florangela DavilaKPLU
Speight Jenkins is stepping down as general director of Seattle Opera after 31 years. And among the things he’s most proud of are the productions of two successful Ring cycles, surviving the economic recession by not resorting to just producing popular operas and advancing the opportunities for African-American men.
Carlo Bergonzi, Masterful Operatic Tenor, Dies at 90
Margalit FoxThe New York TImes
Carlo Bergonzi, one of the 20th century’s most distinguished operatic tenors, renowned for the refined interpretive taste and keen musical intelligence he brought to his art, died on Friday in Milan. He was 90.
Orchestra Faults Met Chief’s Record as a Lockout Looms
Michael CooperThe New York Times
Facing a potential lockout that could halt work at the Metropolitan Opera when its labor contracts expire next week, representatives of the company’s orchestra sat down with the administration on Friday for their first across-the-table negotiating session since February. The meeting appeared to be less than harmonious.
The changing landscape of audiences
Shoshana FanizzaAudience Development Specialists
“The simple answer is San Jose’s population changed a lot in three decades and the Rep changed very little.”
What's the difference between an opera and a musical?
Tim WongThe Telegraph
The line between operas and musicals is blurring. Earlier this month the English National Opera announced that the company will team up with Michael Grade and Michael Linnit to stage musicals – on top of their regular programme of operas. Aside from making full use of the Coliseum round the year, ENO is hoping that musicals will form part of an "audience development programme", nurturing opera goers of the future.

Revenue, labor woes have Met Opera singing the blues
Theresa AgovinoCrain's New York
Those numbers, and the Met's deficit, are among some of the hard realities facing the company as it attempts to renegotiate contracts with its 15 unions. Many observers think a strike or lockout will occur, which could further damage the Met's shaky finances.
Opera's Old-Fashioned Race Problem
Gwynn GuilfordThe Atlantic
For the last two weekends, 38 white amateur performers in Seattle cinched up their obis and daubed on facepaint to perform The Mikado—standard fare for an operetta set on the fictional Japanese island Titipu where characters are given ridiculous names like Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum.
Metropolitan Opera Leader Warns of Lockout
Jennifer MaloneyThe Wall Street Journal
The Metropolitan Opera's general manager said Wednesday that the company would likely lock out its union workers starting Aug. 1, and advised employees to prepare for a work stoppage.
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 Legal Pitfalls of Using Social Media
Asad AliCreative Bloq
There's no escaping the power or reach of social media, as newspapers, magazines and books are steadily being replaced by digital content on iPads, Kindles and smartphones. As both consumers and professionals, we are never far away from a device connecting us with online content that can be instantly shared with our friends and followers – which leaves us potentially vulnerable when it comes to legalities online.
Facebook Still Drives More Traffic Than Any Other Social Network
Alice TruongFast Company
From June 2013 to June 2014, Facebook drove 23.4% of social referrals across the web. Pinterest trailed at a distant second at 5.7%. Twitter, at 1%, came in third place, beating the combined referrals from StumbleUpon, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, according to content discovery company Shareaholic.
The Future of Opera
Terry TeachoutThe Wall Street Journal
Terry Teachout explains why opera needn't be bound for extinction.
Hear Elmer Fudd Sing Opera for the First Time
John JurgensenThe Wall Street Journal
A rare outtake from a Warner Bros. recording session documents the birth of one of Elmer Fudd’s most-quoted lines, from 1957’s “What’s Opera, Doc?” That cartoon and a trove of behind-the-scenes material help anchor a new exhibition about the animation director Chuck Jones, opening Saturday at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
Georgian opera singer Tamar Iveri announces charity concert for gay rights
Andrew Pottgaystarnews.com
Opera singer Tamar Iveri was let go by Opera Australia and La Monnaie opera company of Brussels after a homophobic post appeared on her Facebook account, but she is now planning a charity concert for LGBTI rights in the Georgian capital.
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.
Seymour Barab, 93, Composer of Playful Operas, Dies
Margalit FoxThe New York Times
Seymour Barab, a composer known for his whimsical chamber operas on such stirring subjects as passion, poison and pizza, died on June 28 in Manhattan. He was 93.
The Great Dream: An American Opera
Daron HagenThe Huffington Post
Philip Glass has penned at least 17; the fecund imagination of John Adams has so far brought forth two operas, a numbers musical, and an oratorio. Dominick Argento's 14 operas are a model of elegance and emotional integrity; William Bolcom's 10 are stylistically fearless and suave. In the near past, Gian Carlo Menotti created more than 25 "giovanni scuola" operas, two of which were awarded Pulitzer prizes.
Is it soup yet? Andy Warhol opera in progress
Samantha MelamedPhiladelphia Inquirer
On May 2, John Miles began the evening swathed in blue plastic, belting out Velvet Underground lyrics, and quoting Andy Warhol ("Oh wow! Oh gee!") at a pop-up performance with the Bearded Ladies Cabaret at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At intermission, he left - and sped toward the Academy of Music in Friday evening traffic, to lend his baritone to the chorus in Opera Philadelphia's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Opera Begins Here – Exploring Cavalli’s Calisto
Evans MirageasWVXU Cincinnati
Jove, ruler of the gods, sets his sights on the beautiful nymph Calisto. But she—a devotee of the goddess Diana—is sworn to die a virgin. Undeterred, Jove hatches a plan to wend his way into her heart (and her bed) by donning a Diana-like disguise. But when Jove’s wife catches wind of the scheme, neither god nor mortal can know how far her fury will go.
Vancouver opera scene is on a roll
David Gordon DukeEdmonton Journal
With the premiere a few weeks ago of the Stokes/Atwood collaboration Pauline and the building hype about Weisensel and Koyczan’s forthcoming Stickboy, the Vancouver opera scene is on a roll. Although we will have to wait for it until next year, another new work is underway: the comic opera Choir Practice by the team — in life as in art — of Stephen Chatman and Tara Wohlberg.
Lyric Opera lifts the veil on its work-in-progress “Bel Canto”
Dennis PokowThe Classical Review
On Friday, the Lyric Opera of Chicago presented what it called a “Bel Canto Workshop” for some members of the media and a select group of donors in its William Mason rehearsal room.
Stalinist Opera Revived to Celebrate Crimea Takeover
Janos GerebenSan Francisco Classical Voice
On July 10, the St. Petersburg Opera Theater debuted Crimea, a new production based on a 1946 opera called The Sevastopolians by Marian Koval. Koval, who died in 1971, was a laureate of the prestigious Stalin Prize, and well known for his role in the Stalin-inspired campaign against fellow composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
How The 3 Tenors Sang The Hits And Changed The Game
Anastasia TsioulcasUALR Public Radio
The Three Tenors joined to conquer. When this trio of famous opera singers — José Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti — gave a one-night-only show at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium on July 16, 1994, it was a massive spectacle watched by a billion people worldwide. More than that, the Three Tenors phenomenon permanently altered how a large amount of classical music is presented, packaged and sold.
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.
Opera in the modern world The lure of the old
E.H.B.Economist
Another opera season, another predictable La Traviata? Far from it, says Sir Mark Elder, the music director of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, who is conducting Verdi’s perennial favourite at this year's Glyndebourne festival. Well-researched performances can bring freshness to the most familiar works, he suggests. “I tell the singers, ‘if you get this bar right, it will be a world premiere’.”
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.
New Opera 'Red Death' To Premiere At KC Fringe Festival
Julie DeneshaKCUR.org
Edgar Allen Poe's 1842 short story "The Masque of the Red Death" serves as the inspiration for a new opera called "Red Death" that premieres next week in Kansas City, Mo.
Potential buyer of New York City Opera objects to delays
Edith HonanReuters
A creditor who hopes to rescue the bankrupt New York City Opera filed an objection on Monday to delays in consideration of his bid and called for an independent trustee to be put in charge.
Backstage Breakdown
James PaneroCity Journal
Labor troubles in the performing arts have often reached operatic proportions.
Two Sides to Every Screen
Keith CernyTheaterJones
In a recent interview on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters, the General Manager of The Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb, revealed that 75 percent of the American theatrical audience for the Met HD broadcasts is older than 65, and 30 percent of the total audience is older than 75. This surprising announcement started me thinking about different segments of the opera audience, particularly in light of TDO’s emphasis on “community footprint” as the central element of its audience development strategy.
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.
Meet Nicole Paiement
Gregory Sullivan IsaacsTheater Jones
 In the appointing of new artistic staff in the past year, the Dallas Opera added Nicole Paiement to the roster in June. She becomes the group’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor, following the appointment of Emmanuel Villaume as Music Director a year prior; and preceding the more recent appointment of Ian Derrer as Artistic Administrator.

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