Welcome to Opera Lively. Here you can enjoy complimentary access to great exclusive journalistic content, educational material, and an active discussion forum, all in a safe browsing environment (we are monitored by Sucuri and certified to be malware and virus free).

    Since our software features only permit 20 articles to be represented on our front page, we have noticed that many members and visitors are unaware of part of our content. This is a descriptive index with clickable links (those 20 main articles in rotating bases are still available if you scroll down from this index as long as you are on our main page - if you are not, click on the Articles tab above, and you'll be).

    Opera Lively does include a discussion forum, but is much more than that: we are providers of original and exclusive journalism, in-depth essays, news, and announcements related to opera and some other artistic genres. We divide our content in four main areas: READ, LEARN, DISCUSS, and SEE. We also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/operalively and a Twitter feed at @Alma_viva_

    Around this index, you also find widgets for more navigation, most recent articles, most recent threads and posts, polls, etc. But here are our four areas:

    READ – Opera Lively’s journalism

    • Exclusive Interviews – by now, 102 interviewees, including the biggest contemporary opera stars, other established singers, beginning singers, scholars, educators, conductors, stage directors, composers, opera house managers. Our interviews are intellectually challenging and engaging, with a conversational style. Click [here] for a list of names. Don't just read the singers: interviews with scholars like Phillip Gossett or stage directors like Thaddeus Strassberger are extremely educational, as well as contemporary composers like Robert Ward and George Benjamin. And do notice that some less known singers also have good insights to share!

    • Opera Lively Press is our young publishing house arm, and has already released three books which are on sale from this site (click on our e-store tabs above - secure credit card orders and worldwide shipping are available) and from other venues. First, "Opera Lively - The Interviews" on paperback and Kindle edition. It is available from our e-Store by clicking on the appropriate tab above, and on Amazon sites around the world. Click [here] for full announcement and links to sales points. Second, a guide to Berlioz's opera Les Troyens - click [here], containing among many other pieces of information, our own new translation of the libretto into English, also on paperback and Kindle. Third is Jay Hunter Morris' memoirs "Diary of a Redneck Opera Zinger" (yes, with a Z), click [here]. Next will be our guide to Written on Skin, the great contemporary opera by George Benjamin. Volume 3 of our guidebook series should be Eugene Onegin, and planned for later, a novel continuing the story of Tosca (the author is publishing it here chapter by chapter but we'll have a print edition once it is ready). Volume 2 of the Interviews series is also forthcoming (already in preparation). Prospective authors should inquire about how to send manuscripts for consideration, by using the Contact Us link on the bottom of our pages.

    • Opera News – we summarize and digest the best in the print press for you, and generate our own news
      • In Print – contains detailed summaries of recent issues of magazines such as Opernwelt, Das Opernglas, Opera, Opera Now, and Opera News. Click [here]
      • Other news – Miscellaneous, under development [here] but we also have a more informal News thread in our discussion forum, click [here]

    • Series of articles and novels – Some fun reads for you
      • Once or Twice a Fortnight – short essays and playlists on various opera and classical music themes. Click [here]. Observe that there is a page two for this series, [here], and a page three [here]. Authored by the Canadian member who goes by “itywltmt”
      • The Opera Lively Serial Novel Project “Opera Deadly” – it’s a murder mystery with an operatic theme, collectively written. Any member can contribute to it by writing a chapter [here]. The existing chapters can be read [here]; it’s quite funny.
      • An Opera Novel – Outstanding novel by staff member who goes by “Amfortas” that is being published chapter by chapter on Opera Lively, with the imaginative fictional story of Floria Tosca of Puccini’s opera, speculating that she survived the fall from Castel Sant’Angelo and lived on. A fascinating read, click [here]
      • Other Articles - miscellaneous articles such as Opera Terms (addressing fachs, singing techniques), Legendary Italian Baritones, an interesting report of a Master Class with Lawrence Brownlee, others. [here]

    • Reviews of Opera DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and CDs – these can be found [here], divided by composers. Any general member can contribute.

    • Reviews of live performances in the opera house or cinema broadcasts – click [here]. Any general member can contribute.

    LEARN – Opera Lively’s educational content – it’s high quality and scattered throughout the site, overlapping with different areas, but here is a way to have access to all of it.

    • Opera In-Depth Project – the jewels in our crown; a project that aims at publishing deep essays about the 100 most important operas in the repertoire, beyond anything that can be easily found in online encyclopedias. Each opera has at least six articles addressing sources, circumstances of composition, detailed musical structure, trivia, discography, past and present singers with audio and video examples, stagings, etcetera. Click [here]. It’s authored by our senior editors. It grows once a month or once every other month, and the following operas have been addressed already:
      • La Traviata (Verdi) – click [here]
      • Die Tote Stadt (Korngold) – click [here]
      • Il Trovatore (Verdi) – click [here]
      • Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) – click [here]
      • Les Troyens (Berlioz) – click [here] - now with our own full translation into English of the French libretto; as far as we know, this, to date, cannot be found for free anywhere else in the Internet.
      • Lulu (Berg) – click [here]
      • Tosca (Puccini) – click [here]
      • Carmen (Bizet) – click [here]
      • The Pearl Fishers - click [here]
      • Upcoming:
        Così fan Tutte - August / September

    • Singer In-Depth Project – a project that aims at exploring 50 great singers. It’s authored by senior editors and staff. Click [here]. It’s growing slowly but we already have:
      • Claudia Muzio – click [here]
      • Rosa Ponselle – click [here]
      • Fritz Wunderlich – click [here]
      • Natalie Dessay – click [here]
      • Sena Jurinac – click [here]
      • Anita Cerquetti - click [here]

    • Beyond the Standard Repertoire – in addition to the In-Depth projects for the 100 main operas, this project addresses those that are a bit off the beaten path. Other than senior editors and staff, contributions by general members are possible (you can place an entry [here] (and then you click on Post New Thread) and if judged of sufficient quality it will be promoted to this area. Click [here] to read the existent entries, which are:
      • Le Roi Malgré Lui (Chabrier) – click [here]
      • The Crucible (Ward) – click [here]
      • Padmâvatî (Roussel) – click [here]
      • Schwanda the Bagpiper (Weinberger) – click [here]
      • Orlando (Handel) – click [here]
      • Les Pêcheurs de Perles (Bizet) – click [here]
      • Un Giorno di Regno (Verdi) – click [here]
      • Der Ferne Klang (Schreker) – click [here]

    • Loge’s Hidden Operatic Gems – the outstanding operatic scholar, Spanish member who goes by “Loge” published here some in-depth analyses of his favorite operas. Click [here] for the series translated into English by member “Schigolch” and [here] for the original articles in Spanish (browse the forum, they're scattered around). They are:
      • Mireille (Gounod) – click [here]
      • La Juive (Halévy) – click [here]
      • Robert Le Diable (Meyerbeer) – click [here]
      • Around the World in Twelve Zarzuelas and One Prologue (analysis of thirteen Zarzuelas, the Spanish style of operetta) – click [here]
      • Der Mond (Orff) – click [here]
      • Edgar (Puccini) – click [here]
      • Fedra (Pizzetti) – click [here]

    • Opera Terms – This is a thread in our discussion forum that contains posts with detailed explanations of not only some common opera terms (such as definitions of the various voice types and ranges) but also of some vocal techniques like vibrato, passagio, portamento, squillo, trill, appogiature; musical structures like 12-tone system, serialism, minimalism; operatic devices like cabaletta, da capo aria, etcetera. This is arguably our most educational thread for those who want to better understand the artistry of the human voice. It’s slow to load due to the numerous video clips but worth the wait. Click [here], or, it also exists as an article under the Other Articles header: click [here]

    • Operatic books – Brief reviews of several publications on the topic of opera. Click [here]

    • Opera Lively's Virtual Opera Book Club - in-depth discussions of a Book of the Month selected by our members; all registered members should feel free to join, by clicking [here]

    • Opera Directors – A thread about the different styles of famous stage directors. Click [here]

    • Opera Lively Inventory of Opera Today – a list of several opera resources – singers, opera houses, conductors, recording companies, vendors, media, podcasts, blogs with clickable links, etc. Click [here]

    • What is Opera? A funny article with cartoons, clips, but also some serious history of opera. Click [here]

    • Other educational threads – This forum area contains threads with posts that are drafts of some of the educational articles, before they’ve been promoted to article, and some other scattered educational topics. Click [here]

    DISCUSS – our very active discussion forum with literally thousands of threads and posts covering the gamut of the operatic experience. Click [here] for the full forum list and index, but do notice these interesting areas (in addition to some that have been already addressed above due to overlapping, such as the educational and review threads):

    • General Operatic Discussion – The largest forum with very varied topics, including Opera Small Talk, Index of Complete Operas on YouTube, Contemporary Opera, Verdi’s Bicentennial, Wagner’s Bicentennial, sources for librettos, etcetera, etcetera – just about anything you want to talk about that is opera related – click [here].
    • Singer-Oriented Forum – Talk about your favorite singers – click [here]
    • Non-Operatic Classical Music – To discuss other classical genres – click [here]
    • Off-Topic Discussions – To talk about films, literature, general chit-chat, light banter, humor – click [here] (politics and religion are banned topics)
    • New members – Introductions – To talk about yourself when you join – click [here]
    • Announcements from Staff to Members – We direct your attention to new interviews, general housekeeping matters, etc. – click [here]
    • Classifieds – ads, exclusively for opera-related or classical music-related items that are legitimate and don’t infringe copyrights – click [here]
    • International Area – for posts in languages other than English, including the languages below. International members, please help with the growth of this area!
      • Spanish – click [here] - sizable, active area
      • Portuguese – click [here] - still small but with some threads
      • Italian – click [here] - very small
      • French – click [here] - still small but with some threads
      • German – click [here] - very small

    – Here is where we encourage you to see your local performances, broadcasts, online streaming, and we announce local events.

    • The Local Area – this area is in constant growth and contains all sorts of announcements and events of geographically local interest. North Carolina, USA, which is where Opera Lively headquarters are located, has a more complete such area, but any general member can develop a new one by sending news by PM (private message) to staff member “Almaviva” – if deemed noteworthy, it will be included. We have already announcements and local articles for:
      • United States
        • North Carolina – click [here]
        • Ohio – click [here]
        • Washington State – click [here]
        • California – click [here]
        • New Mexico – click [here]
        • New York – click [here]
        • Colorado – click [here]
        • Washington D.C. - click [here]

      • Spain – click [here]
      • United Kingdom – click [here]
      • Brazil – click [here]
      • Canada – click [here]
      • The Netherlands – click [here]

    • New Seasons – schedules for many opera companies around the world. Click [here]
    • Summer Festivals and Concerts. Click [here]
    • Broadcasts and Streaming. Click [here]
    • Complete operas on YouTube. Click [here] for a partial index, and [here] for the thread with the videos of the operas.

    – Here are some other useful areas that don’t fall under the above:

    • Links to sites of our partners and other worthy venues are [here] but many other links can be found [here]
    • Our About Us containing our foundation Manifesto can be found [here]
    • The Activity Stream provides the first line of the most recent posts and can be found [here]
    • The list of New Posts since your last visit can be found [here]
    • Our FAQ with navigation help, how to post, how to use our software features, etc., can be found [here]
    • Our Terms of Services with general rules for member behavior are [here] and legal disclosures and rules are [here]
    • Registration for new members are free and can be done by clicking [here] - Sometimes this link is disable to fight off hacker and spammer attacks, but you can still register by using the Contact Us form (scroll down to the bottom of our pages and see the link there, it's also listed next) to send us a message introducing yourself and asking for your account to be created by telling us your chosen user ID and your date of birth (the latter will remain private but is needed to comply with US laws governing children and the Internet); a temporary password will be mailed to you, and you can change it later.
    • Contact Us resource can be found [here]
    • Opera Lively’s Portal – No longer active. We used to have a beautiful presentation of our mission statement and general areas, with striking pictures. It was so rarely used that we've decided to delete it since it generated monthly billing for little gain. In memory of it, a screenshot with one of its pictures is below. Our .net domain is no longer active (although we still own it). If you used to access our site through the portal, then you'll need to bookmark this page, instead.

    • Also notice that we have a Search button on the top right corner, a Google Search button inside the forum, and various social media buttons to share or "like" content with Facebook, to tweet about us, to email content to friends, and so forth (other then the individual buttons for Facebook and Twitter, click on the "Share" button to see many other options.
    • Once you become a member, a Notification tab will appear on the top right, showing you private messages you have received, and "likes" and "thanks" your posts have received. You'll also have a profile with various functions.

    Enjoy Opera Lively! Bookmark it, tell your friends, Facebook about it, Tweet about it! You can read our content at will (it’s free) even if you are not a member, but you can also register as a member (it’s free as well) in order to be able to post your own comments.

    Sustaining such a high quality and varied opera website is very expensive. Even though we sell advertising to survive and sell our books, we are still facing a huge deficit. If you like all that we do (again, for free; we are not in this for profit but rather because of our love for the art form) consider a donation (any amount is a generous gesture) to keep the site alive by clicking on the appropriate button, down at the bottom of our pages. Thank you for visiting Opera Lively.
    by Published on March 8th, 2014 01:53 AM
    Article Preview

    Dear readers, it is with immense pleasure that we bring to you this phenomenal interview with one of our favorite singers, British mezzo Sarah Connolly. She is an extraordinary artist and we were thrilled to meet her in person for this very interesting conversation. Ms. Connolly came to America to sing the role of Irene in Handel's oratorio Theodora, in tour with maestro Harry Bicket and his period orchestra The English Concert. You can read our piece with maestro Bicket by clicking [here]. The publication of this interview is timely, since in a week this performance will hit the waves with broadcasts on March 15-16 of the Theodora concerts scheduled on WQXR and France Musique.
    by Published on January 11th, 2014 11:11 AM
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    Opera Lively traveled to Greece and interviewed in person maestro Myron Michailidis, Artistic Director of the very dynamic and resourceful Greek National Opera.

    Artistic Biography

    Myron Michailidis is regarded today as one of the most important Greek conductors of his generation. His vivid conducting style is characterized by conviction and authority coupled by outstanding dynamic control and variety of expression. Since 2011 he has been serving as Artistic Director of The Greek National Opera (GNO), following his former position as General Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of The Thessaloniki National Orchestra (TSSO), a post held since 2004. Between 1999 until 2004, Maestro Michailidis was Permanent Conductor at the Opera of Eastern Saxony in Germany.
    by Published on February 2nd, 2014 10:31 PM
    Article Preview

    Opera Lively covered the Chapel Hill, North Carolina stop of Maestro Harry Bicket's and The English Concert's US tour of Handel's Theodora, featuring David Daniels, Sarah Connolly, Dorothea Röschmann, and the Trinity Choir. This report refers to the University of North Carolina Memorial Hall performance of January 30, 2014, part of the Carolina Performing Arts series, and specifically, of their HIP Festival. The tour which was coming from Sonoma and Orange counties in California, is right now at Carnegie Hall (Sunday February 2) and then returns to England, going next to Birmigham's Town Hall on February 6, then to London at the Barbican on February 8, and ends in Paris on February 14.
    by Published on December 18th, 2013 01:01 AM
    Article Preview

    Opera Lively is thrilled to present to our members and readers the words of one of the most brilliant operatic stage directors in activity, Mr. Laurent Pelly. His answers to our questions are very entertaining and enjoyable.

    Photo Polo Garat, Odessa Photographies

    Artistic Biography

    French-born Laurent Pelly directs and designs costumes for productions that are detailed, satirical, often surreal, exquisite in taste and wonderfully imaginative in both conception and execution. He is particularly renowned for his work in French repertoire, and has a particular skill for revealing the serious side of comedy; however he is increasingly in demand as a director of more weighty music-dramas. He underlines his interpretation of characters through his skilful and inspired costume designs.
    by Published on December 26th, 2013 08:13 PM
    Article Preview

    Our excellent regional opera company Opera Carolina in Charlotte will be presenting Puccini's Il Trittico on January 18, 23, and 26, 2014, at the Belk Theater, conducted by James Meena and staged by Jay Lesenger. Click [here] for tickets. Given Opera Carolina's consistent high level of quality, you won't regret it.

    Opera Lively is starting our coverage of the event, and the first piece is an exclusive interview with the excellent tenor Victor Ryan Robertson, who is well known to the Charlotte public from two previous production, and to our community from our first interview with him on the occasion of his performance in The Barber of Seville for Piedmont Opera. ...
    by Published on January 7th, 2014 06:15 PM
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    Continuing our coverage of Opera Carolina's Il Trittico which will open on January 18 in Charlotte, NC, we have the pleasure of presenting to our readers Opera Lively's second exclusive interview with one of the most intelligent and cultured singers we've had the pleasure of interacting with, Ms. Jill Gardner.

    Singer: Jill Gardner
    Born in: Tobaccoville, North Carolina, USA
    Fach: lyric-spinto soprano
    Web site: http://www.jillbowengardner.com/
    Published on October 26th, 2013 12:10 PM
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    This interview with Italian tenor Massimo Giordano demonstrates the singer's nice personality. His answers are very compelling. Enjoy!
    by Published on September 8th, 2013 12:30 AM
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    On the occasion of the recent Santa Fe Opera new production of Offebach's La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein, Opera Lively interviewed in person the up and coming, bright American tenor Paul Appleby, who sang the role of Fritz alongside Susan Graham's Duchess. We very much enjoyed our time with Mr. Appleby, a very friendly, charming, knowledgeable, and intelligent artist. Our readers will certainly appreciate his insightful answers. In connection with this article, read also our review of the opera [here] with many production pictures, and our interview with Susan Graham [here].
    by Published on August 31st, 2013 10:36 PM
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    On the occasion of the Glimmerglass Festival that ended a few days ago, Opera Lively's envoy interviewed in person the excellent young American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny who gathered excellent reviews from critics everywhere for his great rendition of the title role in Francesca Zambello's production of The Flying Dutchman. Our readers may recognize the singer from his participation in the DVD The Audition, a documentary featuring the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions finals. It is nice to see that his career has developed quite nicely.
    by Published on August 26th, 2013 01:56 AM
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    On the occasion of the Glimmerglass Festival that ended a few days ago, Opera Lively's envoy interviewed in person the friendly and personable young mezzo Ginger Costa-Jackson who was ravishing as the Marchesa del Poggio in the company's production of Verdi's Un Giorno di Regno. Ms. Costa-Jackson was born in Italy from an Italian mother and an American father, and was raised since a young age in Utah in a musically-inclined family (her two sisters are also opera singers). ...
    by Published on August 16th, 2013 04:48 PM
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    On the occasion of the 2013 Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Lively has interviewed in person the gifted American stage director, and Glimmerglass Artistic and General Director Ms. Francesca Zambello, focusing on the company and how she put together the current festival, as well as on her production of The Flying Dutchmanand other aspects of her illustrious career. We touched a bit on her tenure at Washington National Opera as well since she also accumulates the function of Artistic Director of that company.
    by Published on August 7th, 2013 11:56 PM
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    This is a very special interview, for me. I have been in awe of what is being called "Opera's new masterpiece" and according to some sources, the best opera written in the last 20 years [French newspaper Le Monde]: George Benjamin's Written on Skin. I've heard mention that it is actually the best one in the last 60 years. Personally I'd favor the 60-year assessment more than the 20-year. It is truly exquisite!

    Its world premiere in July of 2012 in Aix-en-Provence and several subsequent revivals (Covent Garden, Vienna, Amsterdam, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, others to come) featured the extraordinary Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, for whom the leading role of Agnès was written.
    by Published on July 29th, 2013 05:13 AM
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    I've rarely enjoyed so much an interview as the one you are about to read, with the great American mezzo Susan Graham. Sometimes we reproduce the entire conversation without skipping the more conversational bits (like when Ms. Graham tells us that it is raining in Santa Fe) when we want to convey the artist's friendliness, and that's what we did here. ...
    by Published on July 25th, 2013 11:39 PM
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    In one of our most interesting interviews to date - and fittingly, Professor Benjamin is our 100th interviewee ...
    by Published on July 6th, 2013 05:15 PM
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    Dear readers, brace yourselves for one of our most interesting interviews to date, especially if you are a fan of Wagner's operas. We have interviewed the very intelligent, insightful, experienced, and knowledgeable bass-baritone Greer Grimsley, who specializes in the Wagnerian repertoire and was a phenomenal Wotan in the latest Metropolitan Opera complete The Ring of the Nibelung cycle.
    by Published on July 7th, 2013 08:51 PM
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    Special article: Master class pearls and good advice about singing from Lawrence Brownlee – exclusive
    by Published on June 29th, 2013 08:11 PM
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    Opera Lively has interviewed bright young soprano Lisette Oropesa, in the premises of the Met Press ...
    by Published on June 29th, 2013 06:52 PM
    Article Preview

    Opera Lively talked with Mark Schubin, the free-lance engineer-in-charge of the Media Department at ...
    Article Preview

    Opera Lively has interviewed over Skype up-and-coming British born, Australian-raised, Italian-trained ...

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