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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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Education Headlines
Portland Opera at 50: grander and weirder than you thought
David StablerThe Oregonian
You think you know your local opera company. They're the folks who put on the "Carmens" and the "Toscas." The people who let us enjoy powerful, unamplified voices pushed to the limits. Who give us moments of tenderness, sweetness and sorrow.

Then, suddenly, they turn 50 and you wonder, how did that happen?
Opera Star Joyce DiDonato Will Sing National Anthem at Game 7
Karen CrouseThe New York Times
The Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie was not the only person with Kansas City ties who spent Tuesday fervently hoping for the opportunity to perform on Wednesday at a World Series Game 7. The opera singer Joyce DiDonato, who grew up in Kansas City as an avid baseball fan, got the call from Major League Baseball to sing the national anthem for the game, should it be necessary.
In a Busy Train Station, a Postmodern Opera Takes Shape
Julie BaumgardnerNY Times
“Most people think of opera as institutionalized, like museums,” confides the director Yuval Sharon. “I believe that opera is an emerging art. If you look at developments in all the other fields — visual, theater, music, architecture — everything is moving toward the interdisciplinary; and the interdisciplinary is the kernel of what opera is.” 
Portland Opera makes dramatic move to summer seasons beginning in 2016: 'We want to avoid death by 1,000 paper cuts'
David StablerThe Oregonian
Portland Opera is planning to undergo the biggest change in its 50-year history. Beginning in 2016, the company will perform its entire season in a compressed, 12-week summer period.
Sarasota Opera caters to connoisseurs and opera-phobes
Marty ClearBradenton Herald
If you're not an opera fan, your image of the art form is probably shaped by the stereotypes from TV sitcoms or movies. People in tuxedoes sitting in balcony boxes. A large woman in a Viking helmet and pigtails over-emoting as she sings foreign words with an annoying voice. Men who have been forced to attend by their wives falling asleep as the opera stretches into it sixth hour. Or maybe you've just heard opera on the radio and you think it's unintelligible. Those perceptions are wrong.
Florida Grand Opera comes to Hialeah
Marisol MedinaMiami Herald
The visit is part of Opera Lab, a Florida Grand Opera program that visits South Florida high schools throughout the school year to show students how opera can relate to their classes, how they can learn about backstage careers and how to appreciate the centuries-old art form.
Opera for the impatient
Carrie SeidmanSarasota Herald Tribune
Opera, one of the world's most venerable and enduring art forms, has struggled in recent years. Aging patrons, an air of elitism, steep ticket prices, a younger generation's unfamiliarity with the art form and increased competition for the entertainment dollar have all contributed to a gradual decline in attendance.
The Anti-'Klinghoffer' Protests Are the Best Thing That Could Happen to the Metropolitan Opera
Raphael MagarikNew Repbulic
John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer opened at the Metropolitan Opera Monday night amid angry protests. The opera is based on the real-life, 1985 hijacking of a cruise-ship by Palestinian terrorists and their brutal killing of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound, 69-year-old American Jew. Inside Lincoln Center, the opera opened with paired choruses—a tense Chorus of Exiled Palestinians and a mournful Chorus of Exiled Jews—while outside, demonstrators shouted, somewhat less mellifluously, “Terror is not art!”
Grant boosts opera’s education programs
Jan SjostromPalm Beach Daily News
A few years ago, when Palm Beach Opera was being squeezed by the recession, it allowed its education programs to languish. That’s changing now, thanks to a $500,000 matching grant from Jupiter residents Sandra and Paul Goldner. The money will recharge initiatives that bring singers to schools for intimate concerts and Q&As, invite students to dress rehearsals and underwrite an apprentice program for high school students who plan to pursue a voice degree in college. All are free to participants.

Colorful productions of Opera Week celebrate the vocal arts
Mary Kunz Goldman The Buffalo News
Like Viva Vivaldi and “Baba Yaga,” Opera Week is fast becoming an autumn tradition for music-minded Western New Yorkers.

Every year, the celebration – which burst on the scene in 2012 – seems to get a little bit richer. This year’s festival, which kicks off today with a ceremony in the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library, celebrates more than opera. It embraces a wide variety of vocal arts.
De Blasio Blasts Giuliani For Protesting ‘Klinghoffer’ Opera
Ross BarkanNew York Observer
“I don’t want to judge something that I haven’t seen. I think that there’s a serious problem today in the world that has nothing to do with this opera. I’ve spoken about it many times,” he said. “There’s an anti-Semitism problem in this world today, particularly in Western Europe that worries me greatly. That’s where my focus is.”
Lori Laitman and Dana Gioia Talk About Their New Opera, Opening This Week at Virginia Tech
Susan Dormady EisenbergHuffington Post
The premiere of a new American opera is always a cause for celebration, and a work for children is especially heartening since today's youth should be tomorrow's audience. But the rehearsal phase of Lori Laitman and Dana Gioia's The Three Feathers also offered "something rare," according to Ruth Waalkes, executive director of the Center for the Arts and associate provost for the arts at Virginia Tech, where the opera debuts this week.
Opera Theatre of St. Louis announces new Artists-in-Training class
Sarah Bryan MillerSt. Louis Post-Dispatch
It's a new school year, and a new Monsanto Artists-in-Training class has been chosen at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

This year, there are 23 students from 15 high schools in St. Louis City, County, and Metro East, selected through an intensely competitive audition process. The students will receive weekly college-level vocal coaching from teachers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Washington University and Webster University. Next April 19th, they'll show what they've learned in a recital and scholarship competition with more than $12,000 to be dispersed.
Arizona Opera Hispanic Heritage Festival promotes understanding of culture with art
Maria LopezDowntown Devil
Local community leaders and scholars congregated at the Arizona Opera Center Monday to discuss Hispanic culture and issues, and how they can be better understood and promoted through the arts. The “Borders of Understanding” lecture was the first segment as part of the Arizona Opera’s Hispanic Heritage Festival, which will begin the 2014-2015 season for the Arizona Opera. The goal of the event, and the festival, is to recognize cultural contrasts and find a common ground.
Forget Netrebko. Here’s an Opera With Courtney Love.
Allan Kozinn The New York Times
“I’ve always been fascinated with her,” Mr. Almond said Thursday. “I love her voice, and I think she’s a great actress. And I thought she would find the character interesting.”
The Rumors of Opera's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (Pt. 1)
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
I first started ruminating on the idea for this post a couple of weeks ago when I was reading some glowing reviews for The Collaborative Works Festival in Chicago. The Collaborative Arts Institute was founded three years ago by three musicians: two of whom, Nicholas Phan and Shannon McGuiness, happen to be friends of mine, and so I have been eagerly following their progress. In only three seasons, the festival has collaborated with world class artists, presenting them in song recitals, and has created an organization which is not only artistically compelling, but also financially stable. All during a time in which a new press outlet or company head bemoans the death of opera and classical singing on a daily basis. The idea that two people I know, in spite of all the odds and the constant barrage of negative press about the "state of opera", managed to create something that makes a real artistic contribution from scratch got me wondering about just how many other companies and festivals featuring classical singing and opera had cropped up during this new millenium.
$40 Million to Help Build Audiences in the Arts
Felicia R. LeeArtsBeat (The New York Times)
Most arts organizations these days are seeking ways to fill seats and to expand their audiences. On Wednesday, the Wallace Foundation will announce a $40 million effort to help performing arts organizations around the country do so.
Winners Chosen in Program to Aid Female Composers
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (The New York Times)
The League of American Orchestras and EarShot, the organizations administering a new program to provide commissions and premieres for scores composed by women, announced the winners of its commissions on Tuesday.
[Maltese] Government buys opera tickets for elderly
staffMalta Today
The government has bought opera tickets for old people as part of its active ageing strategy, Parliamentary Secretary Justyne Caruana announced.
Ryan Opera Center Announces 2015-16 Season Ensemble
BWW News deskbroadwayworld.com
Dan Novak, director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago , have announced that soprano Diana Newman, mezzo-sopranos Lindsay Metzger and Annie Rosen, tenors Alec Carlson and Mingjie Lei, baritone Takaoki Onishi, and bass Patrick Guetti have been accepted into the prestigious program beginning April 27, 2015.
Next for Yuval Sharon, the Industry: 'Hopscotch,' L.A. opera in 18 cars
Jessica GeltLA Times
From opera on headphones to opera on wheels: The next work from Yuval Sharon and the Industry will unfold in 18 cars cruising downtown L.A., Boyle Heights and the Arts District.
Russia: Opera premiere cancelled after its composer was attacked
stafffreemuse.org
The premiere of a new opera in St. Petersburg has been cancelled after two venues refused to host it and the composer was savagely beaten and death threats were issued.
Party Diary: Opera with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
By Helena Andrews Washington Post
It’s not every day that one gets to audit a history lesson on past chief justices of the United States taught in the Supreme Court and led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Beth Morrison Projects brings ‘Ouroboros’ to Boston
David WeiningerThe Boston Globe
Even though she’s been based in New York for almost a decade, Beth Morrison knows Boston well. She earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Boston University, and it was during her exploration of Boston’s independent theater scene that she hatched the idea of forming her own company to produce contemporary opera and music theater works. Today, Beth Morrison Projects is a driving force in the difficult task of guiding new-music projects from conception to stage, with a portfolio that includes works by Nico Muhly, David T. Little, and David Lang.
Britain's killing talent, warns Dame Kiri
Vanessa ThorpeThe Guardian
One of the world's greatest opera stars has made an impassioned plea for Britain to stop blocking the flow of young singers into opera houses so that the top quality talents of the future can flower.
Los Angeles Opera comes to the beach in Santa Monica
Jessica GeltLA Times
Giuseppe Verdi's fallen woman soared at sunset Wednesday on the Santa Monica Pier as the Los Angeles Opera staged its first live digital simulcast, with an estimated 2,500 viewing La Traviata on a giant screen by the beach while the action was unfolding live at L.A.'s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Before a Night at the Opera, a Day Backstage
Sara KrulwichThe New York Times
As the Metropolitan Opera prepared for this season’s opening night, Sara Krulwich, a New York Times staff photographer, spent a day backstage documenting the intense preparations. Although a labor dispute almost derailed the season, there is no shortage of work to be done: More than 1,500 people work there some days, and this time of year is the busiest.
Long Beach Opera’s Andreas Mitisek Wants a More Connected Community
Asia MorrisLong Beach Post
National Arts Strategies (NAS), an organization that provides accessible and affordable, high quality leadership training programs that enable leaders in arts and culture to explore their toughest challenges, announced the 50 leaders that will be attending The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture.
Video: Vancouver Opera's production of Carmen
StaffVancouver Sun
Director Joel Ivany discusses the Vancouver Opera production of Carmen.


Encompass New Opera, Treehouse Shakers and More Ste for BAM's 2014-15 PDP
StaffBroadway World
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) today announced the participants of the third cycle of the BAM Professional Development Program (BAM PDP), led by BAM and the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. The companies for this session represent mixed disciplines ranging from dance to theater to opera.
New York City ID Cards Coming With Cultural Benefits
Michael M. Grynbaum, Robin PogrebinThe New York Times
The municipal identification cards that New York plans to start issuing next year in an effort to make life easier for undocumented immigrants will come with an added benefit so enticing that many others may sign up for them too: an offer of free tickets or discounts at 33 of the city’s leading cultural institutions.
'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.
Tobias Picker On His Family Opera, "Fantasic Mr. Fox"
Nathan ConeTexas Public Radio
Composer Tobias Picker has written three symphonies, eight concertos, and scores of works for solo piano, chamber musicians, and voice. But in his role as Artistic Director of Opera San Antonio, his focus is on the stage. For the opening of its inaugural season, Picker has selected one of his own works, and one designed to open the doors for all ages to an art form that engages the senses in unparalleled fashion. Fantastic Mr. Fox was Picker's second opera, written in 1998 for the Los Angeles Opera.
What makes a musical leading lady?
Mark LawsonThe Guardian
The word "diva" was co‑opted from opera to refer to powerful women in other fields. But, in three shows being staged this autumn, the metaphor is reversed by turning non-singing high-achieving controversial figures into musical leading ladies.
Verdi’s Otello: a role to approach with caution
Stuart SkeltonThe Guardian
Described as a ‘voice killer’, it is one of the most demanding parts in opera. Tenor Stuart Skelton explains why he is now ready to take it on.
This Is What Downsizing Looks Like: the San Diego Opera
Ruth McCambridgeNonprofit Quarterly
The 49-year-old San Diego Opera almost suffered an untimely death this past summer when the board voted to close it down, despite the fact that it was not running a deficit and had no debt. The decision seems to have been partially based on some assumptions about the viability of opera companies everywhere. In the end, there was a stakeholder rebellion and the company was rescued by a loose coalition of volunteers. Meanwhile, the board’s vote to close the opera resulted in $2.23 million in donations to keep it open and, reportedly, there has been a 285 percent increase in first-time subscribers this year over last.
Don't Miss the Opera in the Pit
Daron HagenHuffington Post
I am occasionally asked, on panels, and in master classes, why it is important for an opera composer to write well for the orchestra, do their own orchestrations, and use it for more than mere accompaniment to what's going on twelve feet above.
30 Days of Opera aims to shake up Memphis
Jon W. SparksMemphis Commercial Appeal
As Ned Canty puts it: “We’re turning the opera house inside out.”

When Canty came to Memphis 3½ years ago as general director of Opera Memphis, he saw a need to shake things up, rattle some assumptions and roll out the music. An idea that he started two years ago was 30 Days of Opera, a plan to have at least one public opera-related event every day for a month.
Battle Cry A new opera explores the traumatic aftermath of combat.
Deborah KennedyWillamette Week
Midway through The Canticle of the Black Madonna, a war veteran named Adam curls into the fetal position. Discordant, frenetic music plays as Adam relives the deaths of his fellow soldiers in a grenade attack in Afghanistan. Over and over, he poses the same question: “Why them and not me?”

Opera and the battlefield have long been good bedfellows, perhaps because the latter packs an inherent dramatic punch. From Bellini’s I Puritani, set during the English Civil War in the 1640s, to Glinka’s masterpiece of Russian propaganda, A Life for the Tsar, to Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, the art form has embraced the glamour and glory of war.
So You Want to Be An Opera Singer?
J. Nelson AvianceHuffington Post
Not long ago, I wrote a piece about how college ranking systems aren't useful for students looking to go into music programs. Many people thought I was spot on; a few had criticism. Let me be clear -- many of the programs in the USA Today top 10 list are great universities, and perhaps have solid music programs. 
Husband and wife share role of transgender woman in new opera
Carla SinclairThe Brooklyn Paper
“As One,” a new chamber opera premiering at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Sept. 4, is pushing boundaries in more ways than one. Not only does it tell the story of a transgender character transitioning from male to female, but the role will be shared simultaneously by a male and a female singer.
Composer Philip Glass on his Walt Disney opera, The Perfect American
Matthew WestwoodThe Australian
PHILIP Glass, he’s everywhere. It’s not only that the composer, 77, has been writing music since his teens, and can count in his catalogue 10 symphonies, 27 operas, music for dance and theatre, and many works for ensembles of various shapes and sizes. His umpteen film scores — from stoner favourite Koyaanisqatsi to art-house dramas The Hours and Notes on a Scandal — have given him an audience far beyond the concert hall or opera house. Some of his music has even been used in Grand Theft Auto IV, the video game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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


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