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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Projections are a cheaper way for smaller companies to still present a visually compelling and evocative piece without having to rent expensive sets. It's a very valid technique in my opinion. Of course, it's gotta be tasteful. I think the author is not against projections, but rather, against poorly done or poorly conceived ones.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Well, as the article appropriately notices, New Jersey has always struggled to find an identity beyond being a collection of dorm suburbs for New York City and Philadelphia, and a beach vacation destination. It's the geography, being sandwiched between two great cities and a short car ride from them, in many cases, just crossing a bridge. So indeed it is hard to compete. We see this phenomenon even in sports, with NYC and Philadelphia sucking up the support, and even their major professional teams being seen (and in some cases, even moving to) really as members of the surrounding metropolitan areas rather than true New Jersey operations.

    But one solution for this, is a merger. Here in the Triangle metropolitan region of North Carolina, we used to have two professional opera companies that competed against each other and were both rather so-so. Well, they stopped the silly war and merged. The resulting company is becoming progressively stronger and its latest productions have been much better than anything the previous two companies were able to stage.

    Of course, people like to have their own fiefdoms, that's human nature, so sometimes egos clash and people can't get along for a merger. I'm saying this just in general, I wouldn't imply that it's the case in New Jersey, since I don't know the companies or the people involved. But in a small state sandwiched between two major metropolitan areas, if they want to survive, it would make all the sense in the world to merge two or more companies and create one strong company.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Of course, people like to have their own fiefdoms, that's human nature, so sometimes egos clash and people can't get along for a merger.
    And exactly for this reason, we here in the DC metro area saw an okay regional opera company split into one that is only so-so and another that is gasping for survival.

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    In the July issue of Opernwelt, it's confirmed that Alexander Pereira, head of the Salzburg Festival and former boss at the Zürich Opera, will be replacing Stéphane Lissner at La Scala. This is probably a good match. Pereira came from the corporate sector (Olivetti) and has been extremely successful in drumming up private sponsors to bolster Salzburg's and Zürich's coffers -- not a bad skill to have in view of the continuing public funding crisis in Italy's opera houses. He doesn't seem to be an "extreme Regietheater" enthusiast, either, which should mesh well with audience tastes at La Scala. And, last but not least, I look for him to engage some of his Zürich singers in Milan, as he's done in Salzburg -- Jonas Kaufmann among them.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post

    But one solution for this, is a merger. Here in the Triangle metropolitan region of North Carolina, we used to have two professional opera companies that competed against each other and were both rather so-so. Well, they stopped the silly war and merged. The resulting company is becoming progressively stronger and its latest productions have been much better than anything the previous two companies were able to stage.
    Yes in New Zealand there were two opera companies, one in the south Island and one in the North. They have recently merged. Still waiting to see the effects.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Leonid Bolden, dead at 83:


    He also appeared as Anton in Eduard Nápravník's Dubrovsky (1960) which Nervous Gentleman subtitled for us:

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    And exactly for this reason, we here in the DC metro area saw an okay regional opera company split into one that is only so-so and another that is gasping for survival.
    And now some news about that so-so one, which makes it appear that it is gasping too.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Well, they are postponing an opera because they are adding another venue so it doesn't look to me like they are struggling. I'm a bit surprised that you've called them "so-so" - is this an upgrade from your previous opinion of them?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Well, they are postponing an opera because they are adding another venue so it doesn't look to me like they are struggling. I'm a bit surprised that you've called them "so-so" - is this an upgrade from your previous opinion of them?
    It depends on the crew they get for the opera. They have no in-house directors, so everyone is an itinerant player. Just considering my last 3 operas there:
    • Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles: complete unacceptable
    • Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire: excellent
    • Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro: so-so, but the student's at GMU sing better



    BTW, I'm always suspicious when people make statements like this:
    Virginia Opera, as it seeks long-term sustainability, “must look closely at our programming and make fiscally responsible decisions so that we can continue to produce opera without sacrificing artistic quality,” Russell Allen, president and CEO of the company, said for the release. “The current climate tells us we must focus on growing our reach, rather than just our repertoire.”

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Hm... "The world’s most celebrated female opera singer, Angela Gheorghiu"??? That's news to me. I'd say that Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, and Kiri te Kanawa among current singers just to quote a few are all more celebrated than Angela Gheorghiu. Maybe as the article says, in Great Britain it is different. I wouldn't know - our British friends might tip in and say what's her reputation over there. Over here, I don't see her as the most celebrated opera singer, and we *are* part of the world, so... I did hear that she makes a killing in the concert/recital circuit in Europe.

    But now, regarding the matter at hand.

    Well, if this is true it is shocking and sad indeed, deplorable, and utterly unacceptable. I would never endorse for a fraction of a second any kind of domestic violence, and would drop any respect for Roberto Alagna.

    But I said, *if* this is true. First of all, she mentions violence but doesn't specify what went on. Is this psychological violence? Yelling and being nasty? Or did he hit her? She never makes it clear. The article of course wants to be sensational and says "and left her unable to sing" in the sub-header. It implies that he beat her up so badly that she couldn't sing. Well, that's not what she said. She said that all the screaming and crying made her tired and unable to sing. So, in terms of ethical journalism, this article is suspicious. It's the kind of shiny headline intended to make waves. I don't like this kind of journalism.

    Then Roberto's sister dismisses it rather aggressively as "idiocy."

    Is implying stuff to discredit Roberto, within Angela's pattern of behavior? Well, who am I to know? I've interviewed 98 artists so far but not these two, and even the ones I've interviewed, of course I'm not that close to them, to get this kind of personal information, it's just a professional relationship and they're mostly interested in PR when they talk to the press and wouldn't share any of this stuff, although in two occasions among these 98, I was indeed told "in off" some surprising personal information, which of course I will never, ever reveal (and won't say who among these 98 got into a more confidence-laden mode, either - it would be highly unethical of me to do so).

    So, I'm not speaking out of any first hand knowledge and I'm fully aware that it's sheer speculation, but I must say, issues that have surfaced in the past among those two do tend in my humble opinion to depict a poorer picture of the lady, than of the gentleman.

    When they first separated (before they got together again), Roberto was asked in interviews about Angela, and he was absolutely classy. He said something to the effect that "Angela is the mother of my children, a cherished partner for years, an outstanding artists, I have the utmost respect for her and wish we'll remain friends." Meanwhile, Angela was bashing Roberto to the press, saying among other nasty things, that he lacked class, that she was born into a much more sophisticated family, and so on and so forth. Well, again, in my humble opinion, *this* kind of talk, publicly bashing your ex (unless completely justified, and it would be justified if he indeed has committed domestic violence), is much more a sign of lacking class, than whether or not someone's origin is humble.

    Also, in the matter of tantrums and cancellations, we've had a lot more of these coming from Angela than from Roberto; she is the one who unfortunately has gathered a reputation for some unstable behavior, rather than him. Again, whether or not this reputation is fair, I wouldn't know. But the reputation is there, and is undeniable. Sometimes very innocent people acquire unfairly a bad reputation. But sometimes, where there is smoke, there is fire.

    So now that they're finally divorced and he's been seen with some rather appealing younger women, Angela is lashing out again. Why now? Maybe this should have surfaced before when they first separated, if true. His side says it's nonsense. In whom should we believe?

    Again, don't read me wrong, this is no attempt to excuse domestic violence. If it is true, then my relatively high opinion of Roberto Alagna as an affable, convivial, nice guy (although I think his singing is irregular - can be outstanding in some roles and nights, and rather mediocre in some other roles and nights - unlike Angela Gheorghiu's which is pretty much top notch most of the time) will be completely shattered, and even though one should separate the man from the artist (like we do for Wagner - not that I think Roberto Alagna and Richard Wagner are on the same level regarding artistic merit, but just as an example), I would personally have a hard time ever patronizing him again in any way, shape, or form, such as buying tickets, issuing favorable reviews, and buying CDs and DVDs - I know, why shouldn't I issue a favorable review if he did well in an opera? But it's just that I think domestic violence against one's wife is so despicable that it would significantly cloud my judgment of his artistic merits - I'm just a human being. If I were to see him singing, I'd be distracted, thinking "OK, that's the guy who beat his wife."

    But I insist... *if* it is true. I think it remains to be seen. I found her statements a bit suspicious in terms of implying stuff without explicitly stating anything... and she does have a reputation (justified or not, I don't know) for over-stating the drama. Of course, we'll probably never know, short of charges being filed and the matter going into some sort of police investigation, which seems highly unlikely given that she seems to be referring to events of the past. Still, maybe he'll issue a denial, she'll be more specific, her family will back her up with specific descriptions, things will be harder for him to deny, etc. - so maybe we, the public, will still hear more about this with some higher degree of reliability, and until we do (if we do) then any speculation on our part - both by considering Roberto as a spouse abuser, or considering Angela as a drama queen who is exaggerating his behavior to damage his career out of some vendetta, are nothing more than speculations, and both should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise (or at least strongly suggested otherwise by more evidence), in the spirit of "innocent until proven guilty." Pre-judging either one in the court of public opinion is not a good idea.

    All I'm saying, is that I don't know how reliable her statement is, at this point.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  17. #675
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Hm... "The world’s most celebrated female opera singer, Angela Gheorghiu"??? That's news to me. I'd say that Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, and Kiri te Kanawa among current singers just to quote a few are all more celebrated than Angela Gheorghiu. Maybe as the article says, in Great Britain it is different. I wouldn't know - our British friends might tip in and say what's her reputation over there. Over here, I don't see her as the most celebrated opera singer, and we *are* part of the world, so... I did hear that she makes a killing in the concert/recital circuit in Europe.

    But now, regarding the matter at hand.

    Well, if this is true it is shocking and sad indeed, deplorable, and utterly unacceptable. I would never endorse for a fraction of a second any kind of domestic violence, and would drop any respect for Roberto Alagna.

    But I said, *if* this is true. First of all, she mentions violence but doesn't specify what went on. Is this psychological violence? Yelling and being nasty? Or did he hit her? She never makes it clear. The article of course wants to be sensational and says "and left her unable to sing." It implies that he beat her up so badly that she couldn't sing. Well, that's now what she said. She said that all the screaming and crying made her tired and unable to sing. So, in terms of ethical journalism, this article is suspicious.

    Then Roberto's sister dismisses it rather aggressively as "idiocy."

    Is implying stuff to discredit Roberto, within Angela's pattern of behavior? Well, who am I to know? I've interviewed 98 artists so far but not these two, and even the ones I've interviewed, of course I'm not that close to them, to get this kind of personal information, it's just a professional relationship and they're mostly interested in PR when they talk to the press and wouldn't share any of this stuff, although in two occasions among these 98, I was indeed told "in off" some surprising personal information, which of course I will never, ever reveal (and won't say who among these 98 got into a more confidence-laden mode, either - it would be highly unethical of me to do so).

    So, I'm not speaking out of any first hand knowledge and I'm fully aware that it's sheer speculation, but I must say, issues that have surfaced in the past among those two do tend in my humble opinion to depict a poorer picture of the lady, than of the gentleman.

    When they first separated (before they got together again), Roberto was asked in interviews about Angela, and he was absolutely classy. He said something to the effect that "Angela is the mother of my children, a cherished partner for years, an outstanding artists, I have the utmost respect for her and wish we'll remain friends." Meanwhile, Angela was bashing Roberto to the press, saying among other nasty things, that he lacked class, that she was born into a much more sophisticated family, and so on and so forth. Well, again, in my humble opinion, *this* kind of talk, publicly bashing your ex (unless completely justified, and it would be justified if he indeed has committed domestic violence), is much more a sign of lacking class, than whether or not someone's origin is humble.

    Also, in the matter of tantrums and cancellations, we've had a lot more of these coming from Angela than from Roberto; she is the one who unfortunately has gathered a reputation for some unstable behavior, rather than him. Again, whether or not this reputation is fair, I wouldn't know. But the reputation is there, and is undeniable. Sometimes very innocent people acquire unfairly a bad reputation. But sometimes, where there is smoke, there is fire.

    So now that they're finally divorced and he's been seen with some rather appealing younger women, Angela is lashing out again. Why now? Maybe this should have surfaced before when they first separated, if true. His side says it's nonsense. In whom should we believe?

    Again, don't read me wrong, this is no attempt to excuse domestic violence. If it is true, then my relatively high opinion of Roberto Alagna as an affable, convivial, nice guy (although I think his singing is irregular - can be outstanding in some roles and nights, and rather mediocre in some other roles and nights - unlike Angela Gheorghiu's which is pretty much top notch most of the time) will be completely shattered, and even though one should separate the man from the artist (like we do for Wagner - not that I think Roberto Alagna and Richard Wagner are on the same level regarding artistic merit, but just as an example), I would personally have a hard time ever patronizing him again in any way, shape, or form, such as buying tickets, issuing favorable reviews, and buying CDs and DVDs - I know, why shouldn't I issue a favorable review if he did well in an opera? But it's just that I think domestic violence against one's wife is so despicable that it would significantly cloud my judgment of his artistic merits - I'm just a human being. If I were to see him singing, I'd be distracted, thinking "OK, that's the guy who beat his wife."

    But I insist... *if* it is true. I think it remains to be seen. I found her statements a bit suspicious in terms of implying stuff without explicitly stating anything... and she does have a reputation (justified or not, I don't know) for over-stating the drama. Of course, we'll probably never know, short of charges being filed and the matter going into some sort of police investigation, which seems highly unlikely given that she seems to be referring to events of the past. Still, maybe he'll issue a denial, she'll be more specific, her family will back her up with specific descriptions, things will be harder for him to deny, etc. - so maybe we, the public, will still hear more about this with some higher degree of reliability, and until we do (if we do) then any speculation on our part - both by considering Roberto as a spouse abuser, or considering Angela as a drama queen who is exaggerating his behavior to damage his career out of some vendetta, are nothing more than speculations, and both should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise (or at least strongly suggested otherwise by more evidence), in the spirit of "innocent until proven guilty." Pre-judging either one in the court of public opinion is not a good idea.

    All I'm saying, is that I don't know how reliable her statement is, at this point.
    This can only be the first of these articles. This one is from her perspective. I agree that we haven't yet heard from his side.

    If this is false, this will destroy his career--or at the very least, very seriously damage it, for much the same reasons as you mentioned above. Perhaps I just have never understood the side of human nature where one person tries to destroy another out of spite. And since I don't understand it, and am too trusting that human nature is good, I think the best thing for me to do is to shutup on this entire topic until more information comes in. But all I can say about this though is:

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