• Exclusive Interviews

    by Published on September 14th, 2018 02:26 PM
    Article Preview

    Opera Lively interviewed in person Dominique Meyer, the Intendant (general director) of the Vienna State Opera, the man who currently occupies the position once held by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Karl Böhm, and Herbert von Karajan. Speaking with the polite and soft-spoken administrator was a pleasure, and his interesting answers provide and inside view of the world-class operation of this magnificent company.

    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, or else, click on Read More or on the title of this article, to read Mr. Meyer's words.
    by Published on July 19th, 2018 01:19 AM
    Article Preview

    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
    Article Preview

    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 April 3rd, 2018 11:01 AM
    Article Preview

    We met the excellent bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni on the occasion of his March 22, 2018 recital of Italian and American art songs with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, at the Kimmel Center. A review of this show and the program can be found by clicking [here]. We talked about his choice of songs and he gave us a brief update on how his career is progressing, after his first interview with us six years ago.
    by Published on March 28th, 2018 06:45 PM
    Article Preview

    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 16th, 2018 11:16 PM
    Article Preview

    Dear readers, prepare to get more closely acquainted with perhaps the most important artist ever interviewed by Opera Lively, the great Riccardo Muti, arguably the best opera conductor in the world. It is fitting that Maestro Muti is our 250th interviewee, given that such a round number seems to beg for a very special one. While we had some epic interviews with many of the leading singers, composers, conductors, administrators, and stage directors in the business (consult the widget on the top left corner of our Home page and click on Exclusive Interviews for the full list), it is hard to top Maestro Muti's passion, erudition, depth of knowledge, and wealth of information that he is willing to share with us, from his memories of his prestigious career that spans more than half a century. His words are really fascinating and informative. If there is an interview that truly deserves the "must read" label, this is the one. ...
    by Published on January 28th, 2018 09:45 PM
    Article Preview

    [First of all, we have not included the diacritic marks in the title of this article because they cause problems with the URL links in our software; the correct spelling of the artist's name is Željko Lučić]

    Opera Lively met the excellent baritone Željko Lučić in his dressing room backstage at the Metropolitan Opera House on January 23, 2018 for a pleasant chat about Tosca, which we later continued by email, resulting in this interesting dialogue-like interview you are about to read. The singer had just delivered another fabulous performance of the role of Scarpia, in the gorgeous Sir David McVicar new production that we attended in person and reviewed recently (read our review by clicking [here]), which was, four days later, shown worldwide on Met Live in HD, to universal acclaim.
    by Published on January 28th, 2018 03:28 PM
    Article Preview

    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 January 25th, 2018 02:02 PM
    Article Preview

    Opera Lively met the adorable and intelligent soprano Aleksandra Kurzak at the Press Lounge of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City for a lovely interview, on the occasion of her performance as Nedda in Pagliacci. Aleksandra is outspoken and a straight shooter, unafraid of courageously spelling out her ideas. This Poland-born singer is notable for being fast-thinking and for expressing herself very well in English, a language that is foreign to her. She is very self-confident and charming, and one can understand why her husband Roberto Alagna spoke so highly of her during his extraordinary interview with us (read it by clicking [here]). Also see our review of Aleksandra's Pagliacci by clicking [here]. Read Aleksandra's interesting answers to Opera Lively's questions, below. You'll see how she comes across as very genuine.
    by Published on December 10th, 2017 04:12 PM
    Article Preview

    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]. ...
    Article Preview

    This is our last piece that was still incomplete, for our extensive coverage of the 2016 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. You can consult the numerous other interviews, reviews, and pictorial blogs in our coverage portal, by clicking [here]. This is not an Opera Lively exclusive interview, but rather a public Q&A session that we attended and recorded. The singer was so thorough in describing her experiences, that it became unnecessary to interview her in person, since she covered everything that we might have wanted to ask her. She particularly addressed in a very interesting way, how the stage director shaped the festival's production of Handel's oratorio Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, staged like an opera. Sabine sang - and very well - the main female role. ...
    by Published on December 3rd, 2017 03:45 AM
    Article Preview

    Bernard Foccroulle is a prestigious organist and composer for the organ and chamber orchestra, and an opera administrator who directed the La Monnaie opera company in Brussels from 1992 until 2007, and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence from 2007 until the present.


    Please bear with me for an important disclosure (or skip it if you don't care for Legalese).

    This interview is not an Opera Lively exclusive. It resulted from a mini-press conference held in Mr. Foccroulle’s office in Aix-en-Provence in July of 2016. Opera Lively was invited with three other press organizations; one journalist from each. So while some of the questions were asked by Opera Lively, others were asked by the other three organizations’ representatives. ...
    by Published on December 2nd, 2017 09:22 PM
    Article Preview

    This interview was done two and a half years ago, on May 6, 2005, on the occasion of Stephen Costello's role in the Metropolitan Opera production of The Merry Widow. We contacted the singer and his agents repeatedly to get the final text reviewed. We sent the full text to then repeatedly. We never got an answer. Meanwhile the singer changed agents and we tried the new agent too, still to no avail. So, we never published it.

    However, this is a pity because such interviews take a lot of preparation time, execution, transcribing, editing, and our readers deserve to have access to the text, which the artist had agreed upon providing. So we are belatedly considering that the lack of response is implicit indication that the agent had no desire to make any suggestions or corrections to the text, and we are publishing the interview today. However, we will not publicize this interview the usual way with Facebook and Twitter notices, but will simply paste it here on the website. If later the artist has any objection to any material here, he can use the Contact Us form (available by scrolling down to the bottom of any of our pages and clicking on the link) and request changes or deletions, and we'll oblige. ...
    by Published on November 30th, 2017 12:35 AM
    Article Preview

    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
    Article Preview

    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
    Article Preview

    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 September 23rd, 2017 05:52 PM
    Article Preview

    The Triangle Wagner Society invited the world-famous tenor Jay Hunter Morris to a soirée in a beautiful ...
    Published on March 18th, 2017 05:46 PM
    Article Preview

    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
    Article Preview

    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 October 9th, 2016 06:35 PM
    Article Preview

    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.

free html visitor counters
hit counter

Official Media Partners of Opera Carolina

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Opera Carolina

Official Media Partners of NC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of North Carolina Opera

Official Media Partners of Greensboro Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Greensboro Opera

Official Media Partners of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and Piedmont Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences