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Rossini’s La donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House boasts a superstar cast. Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez are perhaps the best in these roles in the business at this time. Yet the conductor Michele Mariotti is also hot news.
It would seem a logical step for the mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey to take on
the role of the Composer in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
“Aim for excellence”, says Douglas Boyd, new Artistic Director of Garsington Opera at Wormsley, “and the audience will follow you”.
When I spoke with Zandra Rhodes, she was in her large San Diego workspace, which she described as having walls decorated with her own huge black and white drawings.
Palm Beach audiences are famous for their glamour, but in recent years a special star has sparkled amid the jewels, sequins, feathers and furs (whatever the weather).
When the soprano Jessica Pratt first arrived in Italy, she had yet to learn the language or sing in a staged opera.
On Wednesday evening, February 20, Los Angeles Opera gave a press conference at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion featuring Music Director James Conlon.
It is another “What Could Have Been” moment. The debut of Brokeback
Mountain by Charles Wuorinen is part of Madridʼs Teatro Real coming
Plans for July’s Aix-en-Provence Festival were announced and opera is, of course, at the center of the program with a particularly noteworthy Richard Strauss production.
Amsterdam enjoys a rare visit from Moscow’s Stanislavski Opera at the landmark Koninklijk Carre Theater, for three performances of Tchaikovski’s Eugene Onegin and a Sunday morning opera concert, on February 1st-3rd.
A new festival hall has been inaugurated in the small town of Erl in the Tyrolean mountains.
Yesterday, Conductor Riccardo Muti opened the Rome Opera, where he is “honorary conductor for life,” with a gala presentation of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.
When tenor Michael Spyres takes the stage at Carnegie Hall on December 5th, he will be in heady company.
One of the most noteworthy and controversial productions in recent memory
arrived in Belgium with hurricane force as Director Terry Gilliam’s inaugural
opera, an inspired interpretation of Hector Berlioz’s Le Damnation de
Faust, blasted into Ghent, followed by a run in Antwerp.
Florian Boesch is singing Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin at the Oxford Lieder Festival on Sunday 14th October. This won’t be routine. Radically challenging conventional interpretation, Boesch says “I don’t believe it ends in suicide”
Exciting developments at Glyndebourne ! Many new initiatives which could transform Glyndebourne from a summer festival to a truly international, year-round opera experience.
The recently released numbers for the past season at Barcelona’s opera Liceu gives some hope for the future.
A record 278,978 people attended events of the 2012 edition of the famed Salzburg Festival in Austria, the largest number since its founding 92 years ago.
Just after things were settling after the scandal of baritone Evgeny Nitikin supposed swastika tattoo at the Bayreuth Festival, another one seems likely to take its place.
Three quarters of the way through this discussion, a question that inhabits the mind of anyone putting any thought to the subject — but no one dare ask — was rhetoricised, “what is opera?”
31 Oct 2004
Obstacles to Celebrity
Brownlee lends voice to the subject of race By Richard Dyer, Globe Staff | October 31, 2004 African-American divas have swept triumphantly across the international operatic stage for decades, and in this country Leontyne Price became a household name and...
Brownlee lends voice to the subject of race
By Richard Dyer, Globe Staff | October 31, 2004
African-American divas have swept triumphantly across the international operatic stage for decades, and in this country Leontyne Price became a household name and a national icon.
On the other hand, male African-American singers, especially tenors, have had a rougher time of it. That's one of the reasons the popular touring concert ''Three Mo' Tenors" was created in 2001. The show is devoted to celebrating the versatility that African-American tenors had to develop because so many operatic doors are closed to them; they sang art songs, spirituals, jazz, gospel, and blues instead. Baritones and basses can play fathers and priests; tenors usually take the romantic lead, which means they have to embrace the soprano sooner or later, and that is still a taboo if the soprano happens to be white.
In the 40 years since Price became a star, the world has applauded Shirley Verrett, Grace Bumbry, Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle, and Martina Arroyo. No black tenor has achieved a comparable level of celebrity. Boston's great tenor Roland Hayes broke the color barrier for concert singers early in the last century. Charles Holland was the first African-American tenor to make a career in opera in the 1950s, but he had to go to Europe to do it.
Since Holland, only three African-American tenors have achieved real operatic prominence. George Shirley arrived in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera in 1961. He also regularly sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. Vinson Cole came onto the scene in the 1980s and he's still going strong; last Monday night he stepped into Ben Heppner's big shoes in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony under James Levine in Carnegie Hall. And right now, there's Lawrence Brownlee.
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