Opera Today is looking to expand its coverage of live performances in North America and Central Europe, particularly with respect to Seattle, Minneapolis, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, southern Florida, Berlin, Munich, Zurich and Vienna. Anyone wishing to review musical performances or recordings, as well as books on music, or to write discographic essays, is invited to send us a brief message. Books and recordings are available for review. Please include a CV and writing sample.
Monday, March 30, 2015, 7pm
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
Hear the stars of tomorrow today in a spectacular gala evening celebrating New York Festival of Song's Emerging Artists programs! Over the past decade, NYFOS has taken a growing interest in mentoring, coaching, and nurturing some of the most promising young vocalists of our era. Many opera programs exist for young artists but there are very few that focus only on the art of song. It is the most exposed and direct kind of performing—no costumes of make-up to mask one's vulnerability—just the musicianship, intelligence, and honesty of the singer. Over 100 young talents have participated in NYFOS residencies and some of our most distinguished alumni will appear in the gala, including Paul Appleby, John Brancy, Julia Bullock, Theo Lebow and Annie Rosen.
By Chris Hastings [Daily Mail, 14 February 2015]
She has dominated the airwaves during 30 years as a chart-topper, but now Radio 1 has decided that Madonna is an immaterial girl and just too old for its teenage listeners.
Despite her determined efforts to look - and sound - youthful, the 56-year-old has been dropped from the station’s playlist that determines which songs are played by DJs during the day.
By David Abrams [CNY Café Momus, 6 February 2015]
There’s little point in arguing whether Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music is, at its core, a musical or an operetta. It could be either, depending on the resources put into the production effort. Syracuse Opera chose to trumpet the work as “operetta,” not musical theater, during the weeks leading up to Friday’s premiere. And that label calls into question the company’s use of a chamber-sized pit orchestra.
By Michael Shae [The New York Review of Books, 24 January 2015]
Maria Callas converted me to opera. I am sure I am not unique in this, except in the particulars. In my early college years I immersed myself in recordings of the nineteenth-century symphonic repertory—Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner, the Russians—but for a long time I refused to listen to opera, would listen to an overture and then rush to change the record before the singing started. Then one day my roommate put Callas’s 1953 Tosca on the turntable and dropped the needle onto “Vissi d’arte.” I had no idea what she was singing, but near the conclusion of that imploring aria, as she comes to the end of the arching wordless phrase that soars from an A down slightly to a G, there is an audible intake of breath. She gasps—or is it a sob?
By John Yohalem [Parterre Box, 25 January 2015]
Operamission, a scrappy little company that performs music from all sorts of eras and styles in venues all over town, is in fact its Kapellmeisterin, Jennifer Peterson. Her latest brainstorm was to give A Countertenor Cabaret, starring no fewer than 14 of these once-rare songbirds, in the cabaret space of the Duplex on Sheridan Square, and to live-stream the entire event, with translations of the remarkably varied musical fare.
By David Abrams [CNY Café Momus, 17 January 2015]
Beyond the austere set and surreal visuals, Willy Decker’s controversial 2010 Met production probes deeply into the heroine’s psyche.
By Francis Carlin [FT, 19 January 2015]
Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936) was Italy’s answer to Ravel as far as orchestration is concerned and best known for a trio of tone poems on Rome. He also completed nine operas, none of them on today’s performance radar.
With news that The Metropolitan Opera is having financial problems -- again -- now a dispute is brewing over the assets of the defunct New York City Opera with a view to reviving the company. Why bother?
By Martin Bernheimer [FT, 14 January 2015]
Bartlett Sher’s interpretation of Les Contes d’Hoffmann was a mess at its Met premiere back in 2009. The sets, designed by Michael Yeargan, looked gaudy, the narrative seemed confused, and the stage remained chronically overpopulated.
By Neil Shah [WSJ, 11 December 2014]
Nearly eight million old-fashioned vinyl records have been sold this year, up 49% from the same period last year, industry data show. Younger people, especially indie-rock fans, are buying records in greater numbers, attracted to the perceived superior sound quality of vinyl and the ritual of putting needle to groove.
From Open Yale Courses
Lecture 17 — Mozart and His Operas
Mozart and the nature of his life and work make up the topic of this lecture. Professor Wright begins by discussing the basic ways in which classical music differs from Baroque music. He then launches an exploration of Mozart's life and compositional process, making use of Mozart's letters and compositional sketches to illustrate his points. The lecture culminates with a performance of select scenes from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, featuring guest singer Professor Richard Lalli.
By Matthew Gurewitsch [WSJ, 12 December 2014]
While he lived, the schoolmaster’s son Franz Schubert made no great splash in the world. Intimates called him Schwammerl, or Mushroom, supposedly because he was small and round. His occasional travels never took him more than 200 miles from his native Vienna. Before his death, much of his music was played only at private gatherings or not at all. Yet the catalog of symphonies, piano sonatas, chamber music and sacred works he brought forth in his brief 31 years—four years fewer than Mozart’s, 26 fewer than Beethoven’s—places him well and truly in the company of the immortals. Arguably most impressive of all is his legacy of song, inexhaustible in its Shakespearean variety, upward of 700 items, each, to the mind of Graham Johnson, “a law unto itself.”
By John Yohalem [Parterre Box, 12 December 2014]
A Birnam Wood of Macbeths and Ladys has come traipsing through New York this year. Dell’ Arte Opera staged Verdi’s early masterpiece last Summer, and the Met revived its grandiose production of the work back in the Fall. The Met followed that up with a splendid revival of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. And now the Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Theater program (through Sunday) is giving performances of Ernest Bloch’s opera of the same (only to be whispered) name.
By Eric Felten [WSJ, 28 November 2014]
In our age of easy playback, it’s hard to imagine how ephemeral music once was.
Opera Today, Inc. ("Opera Today") maintains this site (the "Site") for purposes of commerce, and for your personal entertainment, information, education, and communication. Please feel free to browse the Site. You may download material displayed on the Site for non-commercial, personal use only provided you also retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained on the materials. You may not, however, distribute, modify, transmit, reuse, re-post or use the content of the Site for public or commercial purposes, including the text, images, audio and video without Opera Today's written permission.
Your access to and use of the Site is also subject to the following terms and conditions ("Terms and Conditions") and all applicable laws. By accessing and browsing the Site, you accept, without limitation or qualification, these Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions, please do not use the Site.
Terms and Conditions
1. You should assume that everything you see or read on the Site is copyrighted unless otherwise noted, and may not be used except as provided in these Terms and Conditions without the written permission of Opera Today. Opera Today neither warrants nor represents that your use of materials displayed on the Site will not infringe rights of third parties not owned by or affiliated with Opera Today.
2. While Opera Today uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up to date information in the Site, Opera Today makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Opera Today assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content of the Site.
3. Your use of and browsing in the Site are at your risk. Neither Opera Today nor any other party involved in creating, producing or delivering the Site is liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect or punitive damages arising out of your access to, or use of, the Site. Without limiting the foregoing, everything on the Site is provided to you
"AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. Please note that some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. Check your local laws for any restrictions or limitations regarding the exclusion of implied warranties. Opera Today also assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for, any damages to, or viruses that may infect, your computer equipment or other property on account of your access to, use of or browsing on the Site, or your downloading of any materials, data, text, images, video or audio from the Site.
4. While we are always happy to hear from you, it is Opera Today's policy not to accept or consider creative materials, ideas or suggestions other than those we specifically request. This is to avoid any misunderstandings if your ideas are similar to those we have developed independently. Therefore we must request that you do not send to us any original creative materials such as demonstration recordings, stories, original artwork, etc. Any communication or material you do transmit to the Site by electronic mail or otherwise will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary. Anything you transmit or post may be used by Opera Today or its affiliates for any purpose, including, but not limited to, reproduction, disclosure, transmission, publication, broadcast and posting. Furthermore, Opera Today is free to use any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques contained in any communication you send to the Site for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to, developing, manufacturing and marketing products using such information.
5. Images of people or places displayed on the Site are either the property of, or used with permission by, Opera Today. The use of these images by you, or anyone else authorized by you, is prohibited unless specifically permitted by these Terms and Conditions or specific permission provided elsewhere on the Site. Any unauthorized use of the images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.
6. The trademarks, logos and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed on the Site are registered and unregistered Trademarks of Opera Today and others. Nothing contained on the Site should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark displayed on the Site without the written permission of Opera Today or such third party that may own the Trademarks displayed on the Site. Your misuse of the Trademarks displayed on the Site, or any other content on the Site, except as provided in these Terms and Conditions, is strictly prohibited. You are also advised that Opera Today will aggressively enforce its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law, including the seeking of criminal prosecution.
7. Opera Today has not reviewed all of the sites linked to the Site and is not responsible for the content of any off-site pages or any other sites linked to the Site. Your linking to any other off-site pages or other sites is at your own risk.
8. Although Opera Today may from time to time monitor or review discussions, chats, postings, transmissions, bulletin boards and the like on the Site, Opera Today is under no obligation to do so and assumes no responsibility or liability arising from the content of any such locations nor for any error, defamation, libel, slander, omission, falsehood, obscenity, pornography, profanity, danger or inaccuracy contained in any information within such locations on the Site. You are prohibited from posting or transmitting any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic or profane material, or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law. Opera Today will fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing Opera Today to disclose the identity of anyone posting any such information or materials.
9. You agree to indemnify, defend and hold Opera Today and its affiliates, and their respective officers, directors, owners, agents, information providers and licensors (collectively, the "Indemnified Parties") harmless from and against any and all claims, liability, losses, costs and expenses (including attorneys' fees) incurred by any Indemnified Party in connection with any breach by you of these Terms and Conditions. Opera Today reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you, and in such case, you agree to cooperate with Opera Today's defense of such claim.
10. The Site is controlled and operated by Opera Today, Inc. from its offices within the State of Nebraska, United States of America. Opera Today, Inc. makes no representation that materials in the Site are appropriate or available for use in other locations and other countries. Those who choose to access the Site from other locations do so on their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws, if and to the extent local laws are applicable.
This agreement shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Nebraska, as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such State. Any action you, any third party or Opera Today, Inc. bring to enforce this agreement or, in connection with, any matters related to this site shall be brought only in either the state or Federal Courts located in Douglas County, Nebraska, and you expressly consent to the jurisdiction of said courts. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. This is the entire agreement between the parties relating to the matters contained herein and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by Opera Today, Inc.
11. Software from this Site is further subject to United States Export Controls. No software from this Site may be downloaded or exported (i) into (or to a national or resident of) Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Iran, Syria, or any other country to which the United States has embargoed goods; or (ii) anyone on the United States Treasury Department's list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Department's Table of Deny Orders. By downloading or using the software, you represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any such country or on any such list.
12. Prices and availability of the products and services listed on Opera Today are subject to change without notice. The listing, description of, or reference to, a product or service on this Site does not imply that the product or service is presently available or that we endorse that product or service. In the event a product or service is listed at an incorrect price due to a typographical error or error in pricing information received from a supplier, we shall have the right to refuse or cancel any order placed for such product or service at the incorrect price, even if the order has been confirmed and/or your credit card has been charged. If your credit card has already been charged for the purchase and your order is canceled, we shall promptly issue a credit to your credit card account in the amount of the incorrect price. Your receipt of an electronic or other form of order confirmation does not signify our acceptance of your order, nor does it constitute confirmation of our offer to sell. We reserve the right at any time after receipt of your order to accept or decline your order for any reason or for no reason at all. We reserve the right at any time after receipt of your order, without prior notice to you, to supply less than the quantity you ordered of any product or service. Not all products and services listed on this Site may be available for sale or delivery in every area. All orders of products or services are subject to prevailing law, including, as appropriate, export and import regulations and boycotting restrictions, if any, imposed by governing bodies having jurisdiction over such orders, products or services.
13. From time to time, Opera Today may offer certain items or all items in the store at prices lower than the normal Opera Today retail price. These sale prices will be honored only for the time period in which they are displayed on the Site. We do not honor sale prices for items and/or orders placed before or after the sale period. The sale period is defined by the time period when the discounted prices are displayed on the Site.
14. You may return new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Opera Today within 30 days of delivery for a full refund or exchange, if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.). Items that are opened or returned more than 30 days after delivery will not be eligible for refund or exchange.
15. Opera Today may at any time revise these Terms and Conditions by updating this posting. You are bound by any such revisions and should therefore periodically visit this page to review the then current Terms and Conditions to which you are bound.
Last Modified 15 December 2005.