by Published on December 26th, 2019 07:51 PM

    Sorry, readers, this one was a long time in the making. We interviewed someone I've always admired a lot, the great French mezzo-soprano Stéphanie d'Oustrac in July of 2018, and submitted the interview to the singer's contacts for review via an opera house's Press Department, but never got an answer, after repeated attempts. At this point I'm considering the lack of an answer as a "no objection" so I'm publishing the interview. If the artist or her representatives wish to suggest or request corrections, I'll be very happy to immediately implement them, but I can't deprive our readers of this text any longer, given that the artist did accept the interview, did express her contentment with the interview (see her last line), and in our disclosures, it is established that by accepting to be interviewed by us, an artist implicitly gives permission to the publication of the interview. I did mention to Stéphanie how and where her words would be published, and she was happy to proceed. Besides, there isn't anything controversial in her answers. So, here it goes.


    Given that we never got the opportunity to collect from the singer or her representatives any additional approval for photos or video-clips, I will not include any of this here, unlike the customary Opera Lively style. I'll merely provide the link to the singer's website, and curious readers can click on it to learn more and to see pictures of this outstanding singer.

    Click [
    here] for the singer's website, in English and French.

    Questions by Luiz Gazzola, in French. Translation to English by Luiz Gazzola. Copyright Opera Lively. Reproduction is authorized as long as the source is quoted and a link to this original publication is given.


    The Exclusive Opera Lively Interview with Stéphanie d'Oustrac, French mezzo-soprano ...
    by Published on December 22nd, 2018 07:19 PM
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    As part of our Central European coverage in the summer of 2018, Opera Lively interviewed in person Andreas Homoki in early July 2018 in Zurich. His fascinating answers are an interesting read. This interview is one of several done in that time period, together with reviews of sixteen live shows (three of them, at the Zurich Opera House). Our readers can consult the coverage portal by clicking [here], to find links to all those articles. We apologize for the delay in publishing this interview, which happened due to some unpredictable difficulties that are not the artist's fault, nor the opera house's. ...
    by Published on January 28th, 2018 03:28 PM
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    In 2015 Opera Lively extensively interviewed the great tenor Roberto Alagna, in one of our most interesting pieces to date. That must-read article can be consulted by clicking [here]. On January 25, 2018, we had the pleasure of meeting the singer again, backstage at the Met in his dressing room, after his extraordinary performances of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Canio in Pagliacci. Our review of the show can be read [here], with many production pictures.

    Roberto was extremely kind to Opera Lively, agreeing with a mini-interview of about ten questions and some follow-up dialogue, in spite of the fatigue of two strenuous roles back-to-back, and a very long line of fans who were eager to get an autograph and a selfie with the artist. We voluntarily kept the interview short because it was past midnight, but Roberto gave us no sign that he wanted to rush it through, and most likely would have answered more questions if we had asked them.
    by Published on March 28th, 2018 06:45 PM
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    After our spectacular interview with Maestro Riccardo Muti, we are now publishing the words of another giant of Italian music, Salvatore Sciarrino, the most important living Italian composer. Mr. Sciarrino is delightful and possesses great erudition. He speaks in a very literary manner, and likely would have produced even more sophisticated words, but since the interview was conducted in Italian, Mr. Sciarrino said he tried to "keep it simple" so that the translation would be easier. Well, it wasn't simple... His answers are deep and meaningful. We believe this is one of the best interviews we ever published on Opera Lively. ...
    by Published on February 24th, 2018 04:34 PM
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    Two Opera Lively journalists - James Wieber and Luiz Gazzola - covered numerous operas and interviewed artists and administrators in several opera companies located in German-speaking areas of Central Europe (and one in Slovakia) in the Summer of 2018. Like we did for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and for a previous trip to Berlin in 2016, we published a portal that centralizes the links to the various performance reviews, interviews, pictorial travel blogs, and brief hotel and restaurant recommendations, which will be helpful to our readers if they also travel to these areas in the future. ...
    by Published on July 19th, 2018 01:19 AM
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    Opera Lively had the pleasure of interviewing the great tenor Jonas Kaufmann, on the occasion of his magnificent interpretation of the title role of Parsifal in the new production of the opera by the Bayerische Staatsoper, which we attended live on July 1, 2018 in Munich. Given the multiple demands on the famous tenor's time, we kept it short, but his intelligence and erudition still shine through, in his answers to our eight questions.

    This interview is part of our Central Europe coverage trip in the summer of 2018, when we visited four countries, seven cities, and eight opera companies where we attended sixteen performances in as many days and interviewed twenty-one artists. We gathered this material in a portal with links to all articles, reviews, and interviews. Click [here] to consult the portal, and on "read more" below for Mr. Kaufmann's words. ...
    by Published on July 15th, 2018 01:13 AM
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    This interview is part of our Central Europe coverage trip in the summer of 2018, when we visited four countries, seven cities, and eight opera companies where we attended sixteen performances in as many days and interviewed twenty artists. We gathered this material in a portal with links to all articles and interviews. Click [here] to consult the portal.


    Meeting in person the charming and intelligent French soprano Julie Fuchs was a pleasure. Even more impressive was attending her phenomenal rendition of the title role in Calixto Bieito's new production of L'incoronazione di Poppea for Opernhaus Zürich. As our readers can see by consulting our review [clicking (here)] (numerous production pictures are included), we granted to this gifted singer a score of A+++, which is above our usual maximum of A++, and issued this enthusiastic comment:

    "I have her CD "Yes!" (highly recommended, by the way), and I've seen her on DVD and some video clips, and already enjoyed her voice very ...
    by Published on December 10th, 2017 04:12 PM
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    This interview with the great French singer Sandrine Piau is being published very late for no fault of the artist, and we apologize for it. But even if it is no longer timely, it is still very interesting given Ms. Piau's intelligence and profound insights regarding the character Despina in Così fan tutte, which in the summer of 2016 she was singing for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. This piece is therefore to be situated in our extensive coverage of that edition of the festival. We made a portal where we listed links to all the articles we published about Aix, and our readers can consult the other numerous interviews and reviews by clicking [here]. ...
    by Published on November 30th, 2017 12:35 AM
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    The interview you are about to read was very pleasant, and turned into a lively dialogue between two people who love opera, and one who doesn't only love it with a passion, but also performs it to the highest level of quality. Opera Lively was in Berlin visiting the Staatsoper and the Komische Oper, and James Weber and Luiz Gazzola, our two envoys, had the pleasure of chatting for over one hour with one of the best bass-baritones in the world specializing in contemporary music, the great Otto Katzameier. For various reasons unrelated to the artist, it took us a long time to transcribe and publish this piece, and we apologize to the artist. But it's never too late to catch up, especially given that his answers were so compelling. We believe that this interview is essential, for what it does for the understanding of the importance of contemporary opera. Luiz is a big fan of the subgenre, and Jim is not (or not yet, Luiz hopes), which brought about some interesting dynamics to the dialogue. Enjoy! ...
    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 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 May 22nd, 2014 02:29 PM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 132] Opera Lively was honored to present to our readers a short interview with the outstanding tenor Juan Diego Flórez the day we launched our website. A couple of years later and after Opera Lively's growth including 131 exclusive interviews with prominent artists, it was our pleasure to address Mr. Flórez again, this time for a long in-person interview at the Met in early May on the occasion of his performance of Prince Ramiro in La Cenerentola. Below you will find the transcript of this piece. We again thank Mr. Flórez for his support of Opera Lively and his time.
    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 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.
    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.
    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.
    by Published on April 5th, 2018 01:00 PM
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    Opera Lively Press in conjunction with CreateSpace has published on April 3, 2018, the third book of our opera guides series, on Tchaikovsky's masterspiece Eugene Onegin.

    It is 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, Khovanschina…), fairy tales (Ruslan and Ludmila, Rusalka, May Night…) or even biblical adaptations like Serov’s Judith. However, Onegin was centered on the life and passions of standard human beings.

    Onegin is a Romantic opera. It is also full of melody. There are no formal experiments here. It was the perfect daughter of her times. Of course, with such a skillful instrumental music composer for the orchestra as Tchaikovsky, 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.

    This Opera Lively guidebook will walk the reader through the opera’s libretto (with a new translation), musical structure (in terms that can be understood by all), circumstance of composition, trivia, and wil provide CD and DVD reviews, comments on live performances, and interviews with singers and a conductor. Enjoy!

    Available now on Amazon.com (and various international Amazon sites for the Kindle e-book): click [here] for the paperback and [here] for the Kindle edition. ...

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