• Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)

    by Published on November 23rd, 2017 07:13 PM
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    We are honored to have interviewed in person one of the most prominent figures in all of opera, the prestigious stage director and opera company/festival administrator Jürgen Flimm, who was the artistic director of the Salzburg Festival and the Intendant, among others, of the Berlin Staatsoper (which I would call one of the top five opera companies in the world). He just recently (in April 2018) passed the baton to his successor at the Berlin Staatsoper, Matthias Schulz. At the time, when we talked with him, he still held the position. We chatted about his production of Salvatore Sciarrino's contemporary opera Luci Mie Traditrice. This interview, then, is another one in this cycle (we also interviewed the two lead singers and the conductor for this performance). Unfortunately for various reasons that have nothing to do with the artist, there was a delay in transcribing and publishing this piece, for which we apologize. ...
    by Published on November 22nd, 2017 05:02 PM
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    For various reasons for which the artist is not responsible (in other words, it's our fault) we neglected to transcribe and publish this important and interesting interview with maestro David Robert Coleman, done in person at the Berlin Staatsoper in the summer of 2016 on the occasion of our coverage of the company's new production of Salvatore Sciarrino's gorgeous contemporary opera Luci Mie Traditrice, which Mr. Coleman conducted. We apologize to the maestro and we are catching up now, and it is a treat because his answers are very interesting. Of course lovers of contemporary music will be ecstatic (Mr. Coleman is also a composer), given that he addresses not only this opera, but also the field in general. I would think that other opera aficionados will enjoy this interview as well, to get his view on issues such as the public's reception to contemporary works. ...
    by Published on October 26th, 2017 06:42 PM
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    Our partner company Opera Carolina will be presenting a contemporary opera on Saturday November 4 at 8 PM (a performance that Opera Lively will attend and review), and Thursday November 9th at 7:30 PM, in Charlotte, NC, USA, at the Belk Theater of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The work is Cyrano, with music by David DiChiera, and a French libretto (with projected English titles) by Bernard Uzan, who is the stage director for this production. The opera premiered at the Michigan Opera Theater in 2007, and had subsequent performances by Philadelphia Opera and Florida Grand Opera. It is based on Cyrano de Bergerac, the famous stage play by Rostand that has inspired an opera by Alfano and several movies, such as Roxanne (spelled in the movie with two Ns) with Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah. ...
    by Published on September 23rd, 2017 05:52 PM
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    The Triangle Wagner Society invited the world-famous tenor Jay Hunter Morris to a soirée in a beautiful ...
    by Published on September 23rd, 2017 01:20 PM
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    The excellent company Piedmont Opera in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is presenting the phenomenal, ...
    by Published on September 21st, 2017 02:07 PM

    Our beloved company Piedmont Opera will present in Winston-Salem, NC, the extraordinary American contemporary opera Silent Night, a 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner, with music by Kevin Puts and libretto by Mark Campbell.

    The performances are scheduled for Friday October 27 at 8 PM, Sunday October 29 at 2 PM, and Tuesday October 31 at 7:30 PM, at the Stevens Center. Tickets ($20 to $98) can be found by clicking [here] (after you click, scroll down to find the links to the three dates).

    We are aware that many in our community are not deeply in love with contemporary opera. Well, they shouldn't be any less excited about Silent Night than about any of the beloved works of the standard repertory.

    Unlike many other contemporary operas, Silent Night has had enormous success everywhere it's been shown with many sold-out performances in the United States (Saint Paul, Philadelphia, San Jose, Atlanta, Kansas City, Detroit, and Cincinnati) and abroad (Calgary and Montreal, Canada; Frankfurt, Germany; and Wexford, Ireland). It is melodious, very theatrical, poignant, and just darn beautiful.

    Its source material is the excellent Oscar-nominated 2005 movie Joyeux Noël (or Merry Christmas, which will be shown in Winston-Salem at the a/perture cinema on October 22 at 3 PM - tickets [here]) depicting a real-life episode of World War I in December 1914, when an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allowed soldiers from opposing sides to gain insight into each other’s way of life.
    by Published on September 12th, 2017 02:51 AM

    The Triangle Wagner Society (TWS) in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (the Triangle area in North Carolina, USA) has two exciting September 2017 events. They’ve had an enthusiastic response but they still have additional room. If you haven’t already done so, please reserve your spot at both events by contacting Margie Satinsky at margiesatinsky@icloud.com or 919 383-5998.

    Friday, September 15, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Tenor Jay Hunter Morris, who has sung in many operas by Wagner and who will appear in the NC Opera production of Cold Mountain, will join the TWS for an informal program at a private home in Chapel Hill. He’ll talk about “What It’s Like to Sing a Six Hour Opera” followed by Q & A. The event is free and open to members only (click [here] to become a member) . The specific address and driving directions will be provided to all those who are coming.

    Jay's career highlights include performances at major opera houses around the world. In 2013 he won a Grammy for his portrayal of Siegfried at the Metropolitan Opera, performed his first Tristan in Valencia with Zubin Mehta and appeared in the Gurrelieder in Vienna with Kent Nagano. He was seen on PBS in the role of Captain Ahab in the San Francisco Opera’s production of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick. Other recent appearances include the role of Teague in Cold Mountain in Santa Fe and Philadelphia, Tristan in Warsaw and Beijing, Siegfried in Budapest and Houston and Ahab in LA and Dallas. He will perform Siegfried in a new production in Helsinki with Esa Pekka Salonen. In 2013 Jay’s book Diary of a Redneck Opera Zinger was published by Opera Lively Press (buy it by clicking here).

    Jay as Siegfried (photo credit Ken Howard):

    Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Bryan Gilliam, PhD, Professor of Music and Germanic Languages and Bass Fellow at Duke University will be Triangle Wagner Society's guest for a lecture on “The Influence of Wagner on Strauss”. Thanks to the hospitality of TWS member Nancy von Hoenacker, the event will be held at SearStone, 17001 Searstone Drive, Cary, NC 27513 (Winston Clubhouse Ballroom). The event is free for members and $15/person for those who wish to come as a guest.

    Dr. Gilliam was the TWS’s first guest speaker in 2016 and the Society is delighted to welcome him back. Dr. Gilliam is an internationally recognized expert on Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss who speaks regularly in both Salzburg and Bayreuth. He’s written extensively on late 19th and early 20th century German music including Rounding Wagner’s Mountain: Richard Strauss and Modern German Opera (2014).


    NC Opera has two upcoming performances of Jennifer Higdon’s opera Cold Mountain, Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 1 at 2:00 p.m. at the Memorial Auditorium (UNC Chapel Hill campus, North Carolina). Jay Hunter Morris will be singing the role of Teague. Visit www.ncopera.org for tickets which are selling out fast but are still available, starting at $25.


    At Opera Lively, we are happy to support the Triangle Wagner Society. Join it for the annual dues of $100, by visiting www.trianglewagnersociety.com - this is a good occasion to join, to have access to Jay's members only talk.

    The Society depends on annual dues and donations to support their growth. Please consider making a donation today. Additional information is available at the web site above (they accept credit card payments through PayPal). If you have questions, contact Jane Lynch, Secretary/Interim Treasurer, at janilu@mindspring.com or call (919) 383-5998.
    by Published on April 16th, 2017 11:38 PM
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    Our excellent partners Opera Carolina will be showing a Puccini opera that is rarely staged around here: La Fanciulla del West.

    This opera that is notable for its exquisite written-through score and was Puccini's own favorite is inaugurating an important step for Opera Carolina: its first international cooperation, with the Teatro di Giglio in Puccini’s hometown of Lucca, Italy, the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, and the New York City Opera.

    Charlotte will have the privilege of counting on world-class major star Marcello Giordani in the leading male role, and acclaimed Italian stage director Ivan Stefanutti. Sets and digital projections were built by Opera Carolina. New costumes are by Atelier Nicolao, Venice, Italy. Maestro Meena conducts.
    Published on March 18th, 2017 05:46 PM
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    Nicolas Mansfield is General Manager and Artistic Director of the Nederlandse Reisopera, the Dutch National Touring Opera and Nicolas was kind enough to grant an interview to Opera Lively in the middle of a hectic run of Don Giovanni.

    Nicolas Mansfield Photo © Corbino. http://corbino.nl/

    Nicolas Mansfield (1966) was born in Reigate, Surrey. Following his studies at the University of Sheffield (music and biblical studies) and the Royal Northern College of Music (opera) he moved to the Netherlands to begin a career as a professional singer (tenor) with the Dutch Radio Chorus.
    by Published on February 25th, 2017 02:00 PM
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    First of all our apologies to the conductor for the spelling of her name adopted by our URL above - it's a matter of not inserting special characters into the URL but her name of course is spelled Haïm.

    Opera Lively is honored to present to our readers an interview with such a prestigious conductor. It was collected this past summer in Aix-en-Provence. We did meet the charming and down-to-Earth artist in person afterwards but this interview was conducted over the phone in a plaza next to a street saxophone player and some five or six parts were omitted due to the tape recording being unintelligible - if the conductor later suggests corrections to the omitted parts or has other changes to make, we will include them (the text has been sent to her).

    This coverage is part of our Aix-en-Provence portal - see all the other interviews and articles including review of her performance by clicking [here].
    by Published on December 15th, 2016 12:22 AM
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    Our esteemed partner company Opera Carolina is continuing its season, and after the success ...
    by Published on October 9th, 2016 06:35 PM
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    Our rendition of the great interviews we collected this past summer in Aix-en-Provence continues. We apologize for the slow pace: this one, since it was conducted in French, needed to be transcribed in French, submitted to the artist, then translated into English, but the wait was worth it, because the excellent baritone Stéphane Degout who sung a superb Pelléas has very interesting insights about the symbolic aspects of the opera. Stéphane is a great singer with very acclaimed performances in the best European houses and although more rarely, he's been to this side of the pond as well, performing the same role (and three others) at the Metropolitan Opera House, and he was also seen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
    by Published on October 6th, 2016 12:47 AM
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    It's that time of the year again: our beloved Opera Carolina is restarting its season, and it is with a crowd favorite: The Barber of Seville. Opera Lively will be attending the opening night and publishing a review as usual, and is doing brief exclusive 6-question interviews with the trio of principal singers: Hyung Yun as Figaro (it's our first time talking with him but not the first one we see this excellent baritone on stage), our good friend Victor Ryan Robertson as Count Almaviva (this is our third interview with him), and the excellent Kathryn Lewek as Rosina (who granted us a great interview when she sang Lucia in Charlotte).
    by Published on September 3rd, 2016 07:09 PM
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    Opera Lively traveled to Berlin this summer for in-person coverage of Cendrillon at the Komische Oper and Luce mie traditrici at the Staatsoper. The second of our five interviews related to this coverage (the first one has already appeared in our online review of Luce mie traditrici) is now being brought to our readers, and features the delightful young soprano Nadja Mchantaf who sang the title role of Massenet's opera (see our full review by clicking [here]). The charming Ms. Mchantaf is full of life and energy, and is enjoying the big push that her budding career is getting from this very successful run. We counted on the input of Dr. Andrea C. Röber, Komische Oper Press Officer, who sat with us at the table during the interview.
    by Published on August 28th, 2016 08:18 PM
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    Continuing our publication of the interviews and reviews that resulted from our in-person coverage of the latest Festival d'Aix-en-Provence [see the portal which contains links to all articles by clicking (here)], today we are bringing to our members and readers a very interesting interview with the intelligent French bass-baritone Laurent Naouri, who sang a perfect Golaud in the gorgeous Katie Mitchell production of Pelléas et Mélisande (a full review of the show and other related interviews are also available in the portal above). Laurent's long and prestigious career boasts great roles and fantastic discography. The artist commands incredibly good English and possesses an engaging personality. Talking with him in person was a pleasure. Enjoy!
    by Published on August 10th, 2016 01:50 AM
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    Barbara Hannigan in our opinion is simply the best interpreter of contemporary music in activity (an opinion we share with Sir Simon Rattle) - and she certainly holds her own in the Baroque and Classical repertories as well, not to forget that she is now a well-regarded conductor too. After the spectacular and deep interview that this hugely intelligent and multi-talented artist gave us on the occasion of her creation of the role of Agnès for George Benjamin's masterpiece Written on Skin, we had the pleasure of meeting her again in person at the 2016 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in Southern France, when she sang the female title role in Pelléas et Mélisande, in arguably the best production of this opera in modern times. We had a very relaxed and informal talk in a sidewalk café in the beautiful town of Aix, discussing several psychological nuances in this opera, and a number of other topics.
    by Published on August 3rd, 2016 11:41 PM
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    Opera Lively attended in person the fabulous Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in Southern France, in the summer of 2016. We interviewed the talented and intelligent artist Kate Lindsey who sang the role of Dorabella in Christophe Honoré's daring production of Mozart's Così fan tutte. Kate's answers are very interesting!

    Our Aix-en-Provence coverage contains several interviews, articles, and reviews (including our take on this Così). We gathered all the links on a portal that can be consulted by clicking [here]. ...
    by Published on July 21st, 2016 11:05 PM

    These are the impressive final stats for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, an event Opera Lively highly admired. We are still processing the phenomenal exclusive interviews we got from several artists in Aix; stay tuned for these interesting pieces.


    5 lyrical productions
    18 ...
    by Published on July 5th, 2016 02:31 PM
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    Opera Lively is officially covering the fabulous Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in Southern France. The weather is nice, the city is beautiful, and the festival is of an extremely high artistic quality with great production values. The Bureau de Presse has been very efficient in helping Opera Lively and we are grateful for their professionalism.

    We will be featuring several reviews and interviews, and travel pictorial blogs.

    This portal will function as the entry point for the coverage. We'll be posting links to all the articles here, so readers can simply click on them to be taken to the various pieces.
    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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