• OPERA LIVELY

    by Published on April 1st, 2016 01:00 PM
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    Opera Lively's 200th interview couldn't be any more interesting. Maestro Luiz Fernando Malheiro is, by his own definition, the crazy man who staged two complete cycles of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung in the middle of the Amazon Forest in the historic Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. With 35 years of career in the operatic world, the conductor commands vast experience and has many stories to tell. We will learn from him about the environment in Brazil in the present and the past, and his heroic effort putting together the Ring. His insights about the training of young opera singers are precious.

    The affable and convivial conductor received us in person in his office from where he presides over the opera company and the orchestra of Theatro São Pedro, a prominent cultural organization in São Paulo, Brazil that thanks to Maestro Malheiro is presenting 22 operas in the 2016 season, a number unheard of in Brazilian houses with ten times the São Pedro's budget (for comparison, the best funded house in the city, Theatro Municipal, is showing 4 operas this season). This is a must-read interview for all opera lovers. Enjoy!
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    by Published on April 8th, 2016 03:45 AM
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    American baritone Scott Hendricks is one of the most exciting and versatile opera artists of our days - he is successful in an extremely wide-ranging repertoire that includes the great Verdi baritone roles, Puccini, Strauss, Schreker, modern music (in the beginning of the year he had a great success in Rihm's Die Hamletmaschine at the Zurich Opera House) and even musical theater (in June he will sing the title role of Sweeney Todd at La Monnaie in Brussels).

    He has performed at several important opera houses and festivals: The Metropolitan Opera (where he sang Sharpless in Butterfly), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Scarpia), the Bavarian State Opera (Scarpia), La Monnaie (where he sang many different roles, most recently Jochanaan, Macbeth and Renato), the Liceu in Barcelona (Scarpia), the Zurich Opera (apart from Hamletmaschine he was heard as Jack Rance there), the Bregenz Festival and many more.

    He is currently back in the States for two performances of Tosca at the New Orleans Opera, tomorrow evening April 8, and Sunday April 10 matinée. Opera Lively interviewed him regarding his Scarpia, as well as his career experiences in other roles and productions. Scott's answers are very interesting. Enjoy!
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    by Published on March 27th, 2016 02:00 AM
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    This is a fascinating interview with the very smart, very creative avant-garde composer and conductor Huang Ruo. He is the Chinese-born creator of four operas, including the very successful Dr. Sun Yat-sen that recently had its US premiere in Santa Fe, and Paradise Interrupted shown in the 2015 Spoleto USA Festival (it will be soon at the Asia Society in New York City on April 5, 2016). This exclusive, in-person, must-read interview contains many interesting insights by one of the most talented contemporary composers in activity. It is Opera Lively's interview #173, done in the summer of 2015, but for various reasons it only now got transcribed and published, out of order. The delay doesn't detract from the content, given that Mr. Huang often talks about his music and opera in general rather than only about his exquisite piece that we were about to see when we met him in Charleston, SC. From him we can learn about ancient Chinese instruments, the state of opera in China, and the workings of his creative process, among other topics. Mr. Huang impressed us for his calm demeanor, relaxed and friendly style, and contagious smile. He patiently walked us through the complexity of his music. Enjoy!
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    by Published on March 23rd, 2016 06:00 PM
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    We had the pleasure of interviewing Alaskan-born mezzo-soprano Ms. Vivica Genaux (one of our favorite singers and a major star in the European Baroque circuits), through a video call to her house in Italy in 2012, and now we have enjoyed even more an opportunity to interview her again, this time in person in Charleston, SC, during the Spoleto USA Festival 2015 last summer, when she performed the title role in Cavalli's opera Veremonda. We apologize for the fact that for reasons that are our fault rather than the singer's, the transcription of this interview was badly delayed, but we have finally finished it, several months later. All fans of Baroque opera will be delighted with Ms. Genaux's deep knowledge of the art form and her descriptions of the ins and outs of performing and recording the genre, in a "must read" interview. Enjoy!
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    by Published on March 22nd, 2016 03:30 PM
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    We got to know Chinese soprano Qian Yi at the Spoleto USA Festival 2015, when she starred in Paradise Interrupted, an arresting new installation opera that centers on a woman in search of an unattainable ideal in a world activated by her lone voice. The story is inspired by the Garden of Eden and the classic Chinese opera The Peony Pavilion, and the composition merges 600-year-old Chinese music with contemporary Western music. Interactive technology enables a vast garden and a host of digital characters to interact with the protagonist and respond to her voice. Visual artist Jennifer Wen Ma directed and designed this visually stunning staging. Huang Ruo, also interviewed by Opera Lively (his piece is coming shortly) wrote the music for the piece, which is at once a continuation of tradition and entirely new. Click [here] to read Opera Lively's review of the show.

    Qian Yi has been lauded by The New York Times as “China’s reigning opera princess.” She has a very impressive career, spanning multiple media. We spoke with her in person in Charleston, SC, and collected this charming interview. We apologize for the significant delay in getting it published.
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    by Published on June 19th, 2015 03:15 PM
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    Opera Lively's interview # 161 is with rising star soprano Ailyn Pérez, a sweet and charming artist. Two Opera Lively journalists met the singer in person in New York City in early February 2015 on the occasion of her Met debut, singing Micaëla alongside Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanca.
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    by Published on April 21st, 2015 12:13 AM
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    Opera Lively's interview # 163 is with the great Swedish baritone Peter Mattei. His unconventional and insightful answers are very entertaining. The interview was done in person at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City on February 11, 2015, on the occasion of his performance of the title role in Don Giovanni.
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    by Published on February 19th, 2015 06:05 AM
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    Photo © Jean-Baptiste Millot - Interview © Opera Lively

    Opera Lively has interviewed Roberto Alagna, and it is one of our best interviews to date. This is the Opera Lively interview #159, and now both the French original and the English translation are available. Our French-speaking readers can benefit from this delightful and revealing piece by clicking [here] to see the French version. Scroll down or click on Read More below for the the English version.
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    by Published on March 27th, 2015 07:30 PM
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    Opera Lively interview # 160 is with the outstanding Latvian mezzo Elīna Garanča. She is a fierce, proud, and intelligent artist. Her answers are extremely interesting and it is a great honor that a singer who is seen by many of our members as the best mezzo in her generation has granted us this interview. Two Opera Lively journalists met her in person on February 10, 2015, at the Metropolitan Opera Press Lounge, on the occasion of her Carmen with Roberto Alagna (who was also interviewed by us). We found that Elīna is a fascinating person, in addition to being a great artist.
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    by Published on November 24th, 2014 01:58 AM

    This is Opera Lively interview # 150, with the great Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, who granted us her answers for the second time (read her first Opera Lively interview [here]). The interview was conducted in person on November 21, 2014, on the occasion of her outstanding performance as Katerina Ismailova in Shostakovich's masterpiece Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk Distric at the Metropoitan Opera House. Opera Lively's envoy and one of his friends met the charming and personable singer at a coffee shop for a relaxed and fun chat. Read our review of her performance by clicking [here].
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    by Published on February 1st, 2015 06:44 AM
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    This is Opera Lively interview # 149, with the famous British baritone Christopher Maltman. The interview was conducted in person on November 19, 2014, at the Metropolitan Opera House Press Lounge.

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    Singer: Christopher Maltman
    Fach: Baritone
    Born in: Lincolnshire, England
    Recently in: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro) Metropolitan Opera, New York City
    Next in: Pélleas et Mélisande (Golaud) Stockholm, 6-8 March, 2015; same in Cologne, 13 March
    Website: http://christophermaltman.moonfruit.com/#
    Management: http://www.askonasholt.co.uk/artists...topher-maltman ...
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    PLEASE DO NOTICE THAT OUR MOST CURRENT AND RELEVANT INTERVIEWS AND ARTICLES CAN BE SEEN BY SCROLLING DOWN PAST THIS CLICKABLE INDEX

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    by Published on February 3rd, 2015 01:25 AM
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    Rising American tenor Paul Appleby has granted to Opera Lively a second (and 90 minutes-long) interview on the occasion of his role of David in the Met's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, also with comments about his upcoming title role in the Met's The Rake's Progress. This interview is one of the most interesting Opera Lively pieces to date, since Paul is a specially articulate, thoughtful, and intelligent artist. This is Opera Lively interview # 154. It was conducted via Skype on 12/13/2014. Our readers should also consult Paul's first interview with Opera Lively which is equally compelling, by clicking [here].
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    by Published on November 24th, 2014 01:36 AM
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    We met Alyson Cambridge in person at the Washington National Opera on November 14, 2014. For various reasons it took a long time to publish the interview in full, and while the La Bohème show we were covering at the time is long gone (see our review of the show [here] with many photos), Ms. Cambridge has addressed many other interesting topics regarding her eventful career; she is very intelligent, friendly, and articulate, therefore this text is of interest even though it's been a couple of months. We are sure our readers will quite enjoy this piece. This is Opera Lively's interveiw # 146.
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    by Published on December 28th, 2014 04:03 PM
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    Headshot from the singer's website, credit unknown, fair promotional use

    This is Opera Lively interview # 153. Copyright by Opera Lively; not to be reproduced without authorization (use the Contact Us form). Conducted over online video call in early December 2014. See more information on the singer's repertoire and upcoming scheduled after the interview, and also read his first interview with us (OL interview # 7) by clicking [here]. For more details on the singer, consult his website at www.renebarbera.com ...
    by Published on November 24th, 2014 03:40 AM
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    In the context of Opera Lively's upcoming guidebook to the phenomenal contemporary opera Written on Skin by George Benjamin (it should be published by year end, or in January 2015), we interviewed countertenor Tim Mead who performed the roles of The Boy/First Angel in two runs of the opera (Toulouse and Lisbon) and will be singing these roles again in a future performance (details still to be announced). This is the Opera Lively interview # 151.

    In addition to several questions about Written on Skin, the interview addresses other aspects of the singer's career and artistry - such as comments on Baroque opera, the countertenor voice, and the use of Historically Informed orchestras with period instruments. His answers are very intelligent and interesting, making of this piece one of the best Opera Lively interviews.
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    by Published on July 25th, 2013 11:39 PM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 104] In one of our most interesting interviews to date Opera Lively talked over the phone with the incredibly talented composer in anticipation of the US Premiere of his outstanding opera Written on Skin.
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    by Published on September 7th, 2014 11:56 AM
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    We have released Volume 2 of our Opera Lively Interview Series. It is available for purchase on paperback from our own e-Store right here:

    [Buy it from us by clicking here]

    The Kindle e-book edition is ready as well. Both versions are also sold by Amazon and here are the links to them: [paperback on Amazon] [Kindle on Amazon] but for those members and readers interested in supporting Opera Lively, buying the paperback from our own store increases our margin of profit.

    Click on Read More for the full press release.
    ...
    by Published on May 29th, 2014 12:25 AM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 131] On the occasion of her performance of Dorabella for the Metropolitan Opera's Così fan tutte in early May 2014 (see our review [here]), Opera Lively met in person the great American singer Isabel Leonard, for this interesting interview. We were particularly impressed with Isabel for her intelligence, friendliness, and solid demeanor. She is direct, straightforward, articulate, genuine, and strikes us as a very good and hardworking person. Given her beautiful voice, fabulous looks, and accomplished acting, this young lady certainly deserves the success her career has achieved. Our already significant admiration for her artistry grew even deeper after her charming interview, which we are pleased to share with our readers.
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    by Published on October 1st, 2014 06:59 PM
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    Opera Lively Press is preparing a guidebook to George Benjamin's and Martin Crimp's spectacular contemporary opera Written on Skin, which has been heralded as the best opera written in the last twenty years, and a true masterpiece. British baritone Christopher Purves created the role of The Protector in the world premiere in July of 2012 in Aix-en-Provence, and has since sung the role several times. In this context, we interviewed the talented and intelligent singer, who delivered some extremely insightful and interesting answers that are worth reading not only by those who are interested in contemporary opera, but by all opera lovers, in one of our best interviews to date. [Opera Lively interview # 138]
    ...

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