• Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)

    by Published on February 22nd, 2012 01:51 AM

    [Opera Lively interview # 6]

    Originally from Louisville, KY, Maestro James Allbritten - also a professional tenor - began his operatic career with Kentucky Opera. While a student in Louisville, he was invited to participate as one of the youngest artists in the San Antonio Arts Festival, where he was apprenticed to Boris Goldovsky. His conducting studies began at Indiana University under Jan Harrington, Robert Porco, and Thomas Dunn. While there he also worked with Glyndebourne Festival Opera conductor Bryan Balkwill, and MET stage directors, Fritz Busch and James Lucas.

    He came to North Carolina in 1993 to join the faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where his duties now include Artistic Director of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute in Winston-Salem, and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Piedmont Opera, the professional opera company headquartered in the same city.
    ...
    by Published on February 14th, 2012 12:52 AM     Number of Views: 4098 

    Santa Fe Opera, 2012 summer festival
    http://www.santafeopera.org/index.aspx

    Tosca, by Puccini
    The Pearl Fishers, by Bizet
    Maometto II, by Rossini
    King Roger, by Szymanowski
    Arabella, by Strauss
    ...
    by Published on February 14th, 2012 12:17 AM     Number of Views: 3541 

    Long Beach Opera, California
    Remainder of the 2012 season.

    The Breasts of Tiresias/Tears of a Knife
    by Poulenc/Martinu
    March 11, 17, 2012

    Ainadamar, by Osvaldo Golijov
    May 19, 26, 2012

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, by Nyman
    June 16, 24, 2012

    Long Beach Opera specializes in rarities, old and new.
    by Published on February 12th, 2012 06:29 AM     Number of Views: 12096 

    As part of Opera Lively's support for regional opera companies and educational institutions, we'll be providing some writings on American contemporary composer Robert Ward and his most famous opera, The Crucible.

    This is in anticipation of Piedmont Opera's upcoming production of it on March 16 at 8 PM, 18 at 2 PM, and 20 at , 2012, at the Stevens Center, a magnificently restored neoclassical theater with 1,364 seats. It is located on 405 West Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

    Don't miss our other article on this topic, an exclusive long interview with Mr. Robert Ward; click [here] to read it. If you're visiting this article just to read this material, do consider exploring our other content in our Home and Forum pages, and becoming a member (it's for free).

    Mr. Ward, still alive, sharp, and witty in his mid-nineties, will attend the performance, and has been active in giving advice to the crew and the artists. A dinner in his honor (for which tickets are also available) will occur on March 16 at 5:30 PM, at the Embassy Suites in Winston-Salem.

    For tickets or information, call 336-725-7101, or visit Piedmont Opera's web site. It is a joint production between Piedmont Opera and the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
    ...
    by Published on February 11th, 2012 04:28 AM     Number of Views: 3278 

    San Diego Opera

    http://sdopera.com/Home

    Moby Dick, Jake Heggie

    Captain Ahab -- Ben Heppner
    Starbuck -- Morgan Smith
    Queequeg -- Jonathan Lemalu
    Greenhorn -- Jonathan Boyd
    Pip -- Talise Trevigne
    Conductor -- Karen Keltner
    Director -- Leonard Foglia
    Composer -- Jake Heggie
    Librettist -- Gene Scheer

    Production created by San Diego Opera, the Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, the State Opera of South Australia and Calgary Opera.
    Feb. 18 to 26.

    ...
    by Published on February 11th, 2012 01:32 AM     Number of Views: 1975 

    Here is an announcement from Opera Lively's official partners Opera Carolina:

    Join Us For the 4th Annual Family Opera

    PINOCCHIO
    February 26, 2012 - 2pm
    Please join us for an afternoon of family fun, music & theatre as we present Pinocchio, the children's classic adapted by John Davies. The Family Opera will take place at Charlotte Country Day School on Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 2pm.
    This fun event is highly recommended for children ages 4 - 10. Opera Carolina's acclaimed education program Opera Express will perform Pinocchio. The cost to attend is $10 per person.

    ...
    by Published on February 10th, 2012 11:17 AM     Number of Views: 3514 

    Los Angeles Opera season, 2012-2013

    http://www.laopera.com/season/12-13.aspx

    The Two Foscari, Verdi

    Francesco Foscari Plácido Domingo
    Jacopo Foscari Francesco Meli
    Lucrezia Contarini Marina Poplavskaya
    Pietro Loredano Ievgen Orlov

    Conductor James Conlon
    Director Thaddeus Strassberger
    Scenic Designer Kevin Knight
    Costume Designer Mattie Ullrich
    Lighting Designer Bruno Poet
    ...
    by Published on February 9th, 2012 04:12 AM     Number of Views: 2131 
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    UNC Greensboro Opera Theater will present a student performance of Don Giovanni on March 29 and 30 at 7:30 PM, and April 1 at 2 PM, at the Aycock Auditorium.

    Aycock Auditorium (renovated and re-opened in Summer/Fall of 2008), seats 1642 people, is located on the corner of Spring Garden and Tate Streets in Greensboro, North Carolina, is handicapped accessible and also features hearing-assistance listening devices. The street address is 408 Tate St Greensboro, NC 27403.
    ...
    by Published on February 9th, 2012 03:03 AM     Number of Views: 1985 
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    Opera Lively has just learned that another college opera program in North Carolina will be presenting an interesting performance.

    The Opera Workshop at Meredith College in Raleigh has two performances of two of the three operas of Puccini's Il Trittico; SUOR ANGELICA together with an adaptation of GIANNI SCHICCHI (The Tale of Johnnie S. Kickey) on April 13 at 7:30 PM and April 15 at 3 PM, at the Carswell Concert Hall on its beautiful campus.
    ...
    by Published on February 8th, 2012 04:11 AM
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    Generation Z Opera

    The A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has presented on February 3, 5, and 7, 2012, a student production of Otto Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Dear reader, please don't quit this article at the words "student production" because this one is unusual. I do not see this effort as any less good than most professional productions we watch these days.

    It happened at the school's Stevens Center which is a 1,380-seat theater fully equipped for opera. The version presented was sung in English, with English supertitles.

    The credits are as follows:

    Conductor, James Allbritten
    Stage Director, Steven LaCosse
    Vocal Preparation, Angela Vanstory Ward
    Scenic Designer, Kenneth Wills
    Costume Designer, Heather Jessup
    Wig and Makeup Designer, Ken Wilmot
    ...
    by Published on February 7th, 2012 04:28 AM     Number of Views: 4920 

    Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearlfishers) - Analyses of the opera

    It premiered on September 30, 1863
    Music by Georges Bizet (10.25.1838-6.3.1875)
    Libretto by Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré

    (This article is the first one of two - another one with more details exist, and there is a link to it at the bottom of this one)

    Poor Bizet, he never saw the astounding success of his Carmen, which premièred in March 1875 and was initially very poorly received by the critics and public. Obsessed by what he believed to be his failure as an opera composer and under severe stress, Bizet suffered two heart attacks in rapid succession, and died in three months. At the time of his premature death at the age of 36, the consensus was that he was a concert music composer who shouldn't have messed with opera (in spite of the fact that in his short life he composed 30 of them, although only 6 survived in some sort of performing version). Here are some of the adjectives thrown at Carmen by critics right after the première: "dull," "obscure," "vulgar," "undramatic," "unoriginal," "suffocating," and "contemptible."
    ...
    by Published on February 4th, 2012 06:26 PM     Number of Views: 6436 
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    Metropolitan Opera production by Robert Carsen, Set and Costume designs by Michael Levine, Lighting design by Jean Kalman, Choreographer Serge Bennathan, Stage Director Peter McClintock

    New York City, Metropolitan Opera House, February 2007

    This beautiful minimalistic production opens with a fall foliage cascade with the isolated figure of Eugene Onegin on the center of the stage, over simple tall walls.
    ...
    by Published on February 4th, 2012 04:34 PM     Number of Views: 10302 
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    Conductor- Vassily Nebolsin, Moscow 1936


    Onegin - Panteleimon Nortsov
    Lensky - Sergei Lemeshev
    Tatyana - Glafira Joukovskaya
    Olga - Bronislava Zlatogorova
    Larina - Maria Boutienina
    Filipyevna - Konkordiya Antarova
    Gremin - Alexander Pirogov
    Triquet - Ivan Kovalenko

    This is the first recorded Onegin, and a worthy candidate to be also the best.
    ...
    by Published on February 4th, 2012 02:50 PM     Number of Views: 5219 
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    YEVGÉNY ONÉGIN (Евгений Онегин - Eugene Onegin)
    Lyric Scenes in Three Acts (1879)
    Music by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky - Пётр Ильич Чайковский (1840-1893)
    Libretto by the composer, his brother Modest, and Konstantin Stepanovich Shilovsky, after Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin's novel in verse (1833)

    Setting and time setting - A country estate in Russia, and St. Petersburg, circa 1820
    Approximate running time - 2 hours and 30 minutes

    Characters and voices

    Larina, a landowner - mezzo soprano
    Tatyana, her daughter, a teenager - soprano
    Olga, Tatyana's older sister - contralto
    Filipyevna - an old nursemaid - mezzo soprano
    Yevgeny Onegin - landowner and playboy - baritone
    Lensky - his friend, a poet, the Larins' neighbor and Olga's intended - tenor
    Prince Gremin - Tatyana's husband in the third act - bass
    A Company Commander - bass
    Zaretsky - Lensky's second and duel organizer - bass
    Triquet - a Frenchman - tenor
    Guillot - a valet de chambre, Onegin's man - silent
    Peasants, ballroom guests, landowners, officers
    ...
    by Published on February 4th, 2012 03:19 AM     Number of Views: 4947 
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    An interesting fact surrounding this opera is that it came a long way after a very slow start: it premiered as a student production (at the Malïy Theater in Moscow, on March 29, 1879, with student singers from the Moscow Conservatory), and only got a professional performance at the Bolshoi one year and ten months later, on January 23, 1881.

    Reception wasn't that great, especially as compared to the wild success of Maid of Orleans. Many critics complained that Tchaikovsky shouldn't have messed with one of Russia's most beloved works of literature.

    Outside Russia the initial reception was lukewarm as well, and it was slow to conquer other European cities, being seen as a Russian curiosity.
    ...
    by Published on February 3rd, 2012 02:12 PM     Number of Views: 2990 

    There is a very interesting symposium/festival coming up in March in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, sponsored ...
    by Published on February 3rd, 2012 12:25 AM     Number of Views: 8872 

    So that our readers can follow the opera while they read the musical analysis scene by scene, here is the first complete recording of Eugene Onegin, made in 1936. It was allegedly the soundtrack for a film that was never made.

    Eugene Onegin Vassily Nebolsin Bolshoi 1936 Tchaikovsky
    Lensky -Sergei Lemeshev
    Eugene Onegin - Panteleimon Nortsov
    Prince Gremin - Alexander Pirogov
    Tatania - Glafira Joukovskaya
    Olga - Bronislava Zlatogorova
    Larina - Maria Boutienina
    Filipievna - Konkordiya Antarova
    Triquet - Ivan Kovalenko
    Zaretsky - Anatoly Yakhontov
    Captain - Igor Mantchavin



    MUSICAL ANALYSIS

    It's difficult to appreciate in the 21st century how much of a novelty was Onegin, when it premiered in Moscow, back in 1879. Most of Russian and Slavic opera was devoted to political topics (A Life for the Tsar, Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina,...), fairy tales (Ruslan and Ludmila, Rusalka, May Night,..) or even Biblical adaptations like Serov's Judith. However, Onegin was centered in the life and passions of standard human beings.

    Onegin is a Romantic opera. It's also full of melody, there are no formal experiments here, it was the perfect daughter of her times. Of course, with such a crafted instrumental music composer for the orchestra as Tchaikovsky was, we can find many fine details in the orchestration, as well as some motif building, but the prominent role is never in the pit, it's in the voices of the singers. Not that there is any spectacular vocal pyrotechnics, that was very far from Tchaikovsky's intention, nor do they fight a huge orchestra. He just wanted from his singers expressiveness, and flawless delivery of the text.
    ...
    by Published on February 2nd, 2012 10:56 PM  Number of Views: 3595 

    You see a content widget on your right.
    Click on Exclusive Articles.
    Click on Opera In-Depth
    Click on Die Tote Stadt
    Now click one by one on the articles to read them (Genesis, Around the Opera, etc)
    by Published on February 2nd, 2012 04:42 PM     Number of Views: 1650 

    Our partners at UNC Opera are holding masterclasses that are free and open to the public at Person Recital ...
    by Published on February 1st, 2012 04:53 AM     Number of Views: 2994 

    Our new partners UNC Opera of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences - Department of Music, will be presenting in March and April two operas by African-American composers:

    William Grant Still's HIGHWAY #1 and Samuel Coleridge Taylor's DREAM LOVERS

    The dates for the UNC Opera performances are: Sat. March 24 at 5 pm at Hill Hall Auditorium in campus (with a lecture by Judith Still at 4 on her father's work in Rm 107); Wed April 18 at 7:30 and Friday April 20 at 8 pm in Hill Hall Aud.

    Also, a community performance at the University Mall sponsored by Friends of the Library will happen on Monday April 23 at 7 pm.

    Please support your local opera companies and opera schools, and attend these performances.

    For more information, call (919) 962-1039 or click here: UNC Department of Music
    ...
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