• Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)

    by Published on September 27th, 2012 06:39 AM
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    As part of our coverage for our partners Opera Carolina's performance of Puccini's Tosca ...
    by Published on September 27th, 2012 04:25 AM
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    © Dario Acosta / provided by the Met Press Department

    Singer: Anna Yuryevna Netrebko (Анна Юрьевна Нетребко)
    Fach: Full lyric soprano
    Voice characteristics: both high and deep, lustrous and velvety
    Moniker: "La Bellissima"
    Web site: www.annanetrebko.com

    Currently in:
    L’Elisir d’Amore (Adina), Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, season opening night this past Monday September 24, and next performances on September 27, October 1, 5, 10, 13, 2012, and back in January 30, 2013, February 2, 6, and 9. Tickets [here] and our review of the opening night is [here].


    © Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera

    Next in:
    La Bohème (Mimi), Teatro alla Scala, Milan, October 19 and 22, 2012. Tickets [here]

    Life:
    Born in Krasnodar, Russia - dual citizen of Russia and Austria
    Lives in Vienna with secondary residences in Salzburg and New York City
    Married to Erwin Schrott, bass-baritone
    Child: son Tiago Aruã Schrott

    ...
    by Published on September 25th, 2012 04:41 PM
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    © Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

    L’Elisir d’Amore, melodramma giocoso in two acts. Music by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848). Libretto by Felice Romani, adapted from the French libretto by Eugene Scribe for the opera Le Philtre (1831) by Daniel François Auber, in its turn adapted from Silvio Malaperta’s Italian play Il Filtro. Premiered on May 12, 1832, at the Teatro alla Canobbiana, Milan, Italy.
    ...
    by Published on September 23rd, 2012 06:38 PM
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    As part of our coverage of our partners Opera Carolina's upcoming production of Puccini's Tosca, Opera Lively has interviewed maestro James Meena about the piece (we do touch a bit on other subjects at the end of the interview). This is our second talk with Maestro Meena - you can read his first interview with us [here]. The full announcement for Opera Carolina's show (including ticket information) can be found [here]. Navigation help for all our educational articles on Tosca filled with interesting facts can be found [here].

    The shows are scheduled for October 13, 18, and 21 in Charlotte, NC. Opera Carollina productions are 90% locally-made and are always first class, so this is not to be missed! Support your local opera company; there is nothing like live opera.


    Image © Opera Carolina, used with permission

    Let's read the maestro's thoughts on this beautiful opera:
    ...
    by Published on September 11th, 2012 12:24 AM
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    L'Heure Espagnole, comédie musicale in one act, 1904, music by Maurice Ravel, libretto by Franc-Nohain
    L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, fantaisie lyrique in one act, 1925, music by Maurice Ravel, libretto by Colette

    Live from Glyndebourne, August 19, 2012; sung in French with English titles; video direction François Roussillon
    ...
    by Published on September 5th, 2012 09:59 AM
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    We have talked with excellent American tenor Matthew Polenzani again [Opera Lively interview # 56], this time about his role in L'Elisir d'Amore alongside Anna Netrebko for the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera 2012-13 season, on September 24, 2012, followed by other dates (tickets [here]).
    Read our review of the opening night [here].

    See his first interview with us [here]. We won't be repeating the data on his career, since this article is a follow-up interview.


    © Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

    ------------

    OL - First, let's talk about your experience with L'Elisir d'Amore - you've done it in Vienna, Munich, Naples, and Rome - any others?

    MP - I think that's all of them, though I wouldn't be surprised to find out you and I missed one or two. Those are the only ones I can remember.

    ...
    by Published on August 29th, 2012 12:24 AM
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    Carmen is a "numbers opera" with no written-through music but rather a collection of arias, duets, ensembles, and scenes structured in the work's original form as an opéra-comique, the French term for operas with spoken dialogue that are not necessarily comedic. In other versions like we've extensively discussed elsewhere in this set of articles, it contains recitatives - not composed by Bizet himself - linking the numbers.
    ...
    by Published on August 26th, 2012 11:57 PM
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    This article is to talk about some significant past and present stagings of Bizet's Carmen. It is part of Opera Lively's In-Depth series on Carmen. (We'll be happy to provide photo credits when known - in many cases below we couldn't find them, but we're using these photos in good faith as fair usage, in the spirit of publicizing the work of these artists).
    ...
    by Published on August 26th, 2012 11:41 PM
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    Bizet: Carmen on Blu-ray


    OK, folks, I'll be reviewing the famous Rosi movie, considered by many to be the best version of Carmen on VHS - it used to be out of print and very expensive and now has been re-released on DVD and blu-ray.
    ...
    by Published on August 26th, 2012 11:26 PM
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    - Bizet was a very precocious musical child prodigy. He was reading music at the age of four, played the piano very proficiently at age six, and at age nine he was able to play all Mozart sonatas from memory. He was admitted at a young age to the Conservatoire de Paris and won in 1857 the prestigious Prix de Rome.

    - Bizet married the daughter of one of his music teachers, composer Jacques-François Fromental Halévy, who wrote La Juive.
    ...
    by Published on August 26th, 2012 11:23 PM
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    Interesting facts about Carmen

    - The circumstances around the opera's reception by public and critic at the time of its world premiere constitutes one of the greatest unfairness in the history of classical music. Bizet was rather proud of and optimistic about the qualities of his work - said that it was "all clarity and vivacity, full of color and melody," but the apathetic reception disappointed him so much that many musical historians attribute to his distress and depression an important role in the heart condition that prematurely took his life (at age 36), just three months after the opening. Shortly after that, Carmen started its journey towards becoming one of the most successful and popular operas of all time, and it is sad and ironic that Bizet did not survive to see its triumph.
    ...
    by Published on August 26th, 2012 11:00 PM

    Greetings, Piedmont Opera customers. Opera Lively is proud to partner with this excellent company, and appreciative of Maestro James Allbritten's and Mr. Frank Dickerson's support, as well as Ms. Mariedith Appanaitis'.

    Bizet's great opera Carmen has been scheduled by our partners to be shown in Winston-Salem, NC, at the Stevens Center, on October 26, 28, and 30, 2012. Read the full announcement and ticket information [here] - individual tickets are already on sale.



    Opera Lively is putting together a series of eight articles on this opera, for those among you who want to learn a bit more about it. They are part of what we call our "Opera In-Depth" series. They really go deep, much more than what you usually find online, but they are accessible and fun to read.

    On the top right of this page you see a "widget" (a box with links) - depending on how you got to this page, it may or may not be already open, displaying the titles of the articles - if it's open, just click on the link to each Carmen article to have access to the full text. If the widget is not open, click on the + sign next to Exclusive Articles (attention, there's also an Exclusive Interviews link; you want the Exclusive Articles), then on the + sign next to Opera In-Depth Project, then on the + sign next to Carmen, and you'll find the links to the articles. The two Discography articles (audio and video) are under the same header, and the two on the musical structure (The Music of Carmen, and Carmen: Musical Structure) are also under the same header.

    Again, depending on how you got to this page, you may find previews of the Carmen articles by just scrolling down from this text. In this case, just click on the "read more" link after each preview, to have access to that article's full text. If you don't see previews below this page, then you have to use the widget as above.

    Attention: some articles are short but the Comments section below them have the continuation and in many case are also written by the article's author. This is just a feature of our software (when we add to the article, the additions go to the Comments section).

    A review of the show can be found [here].

    The seven articles include:

    1. Carmen: The Genesis of the Opera - it talks about circumstances of composition, how the idea came to Bizet, addresses briefly the source material, and provides a detailed synopsis of the plot.

    2. Carmen: Around the Opera - this article talks about trivia and curious facts around the opera such as reactions of the public on opening night, funny anecdotes, and many other interesting facts about this opera that you're not likely to find elsewhere.

    3. Carmen: The Music of Carmen - this article is quite interesting to enhance the appreciation of the show, preparing the public to pay attention to some musical details during the performance. Don't miss this article!

    4. Carmen: Musical Structure - this article develops a bit more the structure of the piece of a "numbers" opera that alternates sweet and harsh music quite often, becoming a true rollercoaster.

    5.Carmen: The Characters and Their Voices - this article talks about the main singers who have tackled the four main roles in the past and present - Carmen, Don José, Escamillo, and Micaëla - and contains video clips!

    6. Carmen: Discography (audio) - this article is still growing, and contains reviews of Carmen CDs, as well as a complete list of the 211+ Carmen recordings. Come back periodically to it and you'll find more reviews.

    7. Camen: Discography (video) - again, it is still growing as we add reviews, and is for versions of Carmen on DVD and blu-ray discs.

    8. Carmen: The Opera in the opera house - it contains comments on notable past and present stagings of this opera (also, more reviews will be added as they become available).

    Enjoy, and don't miss the show!

    Support your local opera company! Piedmont Opera brings to Winston-Salem world-class, first-rate performances and is not a touring company - its shows are done almost entirely locally; opera is expensive to produce (especially at Piedmont Opera's exquisite level of quality), and the company needs and deserves your help and continuous support.

    -------------

    Opera Lively (a locally operated journalistic organization headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC) also deserves your patronage:

    If you like what you see here and you aren't an Opera Lively member yet, make sure that you register as a member. It takes two minutes, is entirely free, and will remain forever entirely free. We don't try to push anything onto you and don't sell your information to anybody. You can read our files without being a member, but if you want to post comments and replies, you must be a member as required by our forum software. To register, just click on the Register button and follow the instructions.

    Even if you don't become a member, please explore what our site has to offer. The Forum tab will take you to a lively discussion forum with all sorts of topics including hundreds of reviews, material about singers, and even off-topic themes such as non-operatic classical music, films, etc. The discussion are very friendly, non-snobbish, and suited to beginners as well as experts.

    The Articles tab will take you to our journalist area featuring dozens of exclusive Opera Lively interviews with opera singers, conductors (there is one with Maestro Meena where he talks about Opera Carolina), composers, stage directors, educators and scholars, etc. Some of these names are quite famous, such as Danielle de Niese, Deborah Voigt, Joyce DiDonato, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Piotr Beczala, Anna Caterina Antonaccy, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Matthew Polenzani, Sylvia Sass, Vivica Genaux, Bryan Hymel, and many others (these are long and rich interviews) as well as two short interviews with Juan Diego Flórez and Anna Netrebko (the latter, ultra-short, but we're working on it; stay tuned, come back in October and you may find a surprise regarding the Netrebko interview). Scholar Philip Gosset's and stage director Thaddeus Strassberger's are particularly rich interviews in terms of understanding the innards of the opera trade. Only 20 interviews can be displayed on the Home page, but you'll find three times more than that (including Maestro Meena's - they do appear on rotating basis and Mr. Meena's was done last year - but it is still relevant and interesting!) by clicking on the widget line for Exclusive Interviews. Upcoming interviews to appear shortly should include Joseph Calleja, Samuel Ramey, and Saimir Pirgu (I say "should" because sometimes these things get cancelled or post-poned but we're pretty sure that these are coming).

    And then, we have other fun content like our Opera Deadly serial novel, our Once or Twice a Fortnight very erudit series, our Educational Area (operalively.com/learn), and our various local areas including under USA, North Carolina with plenty of local announcements and reviews.

    Enjoy, bookmark our site, and come back soon, hopefully as a member!

    Thank you for visiting,

    The Staff at Opera Lively
    by Published on August 23rd, 2012 01:05 AM

    Here are the operas scheduled for the 2012-13 season in the United States by our main 103 opera companies (not counting in many cases, other smaller companies and opera-producing academic departments). Let's list them by number of productions, so that we can try to understand some trends.

    I've included musicals and operettas when they're being given by opera companies, since we are trying to look at the patterns of behavior of the opera companies during these times of economic crisis.

    The name of the opera is followed by a number - not of how many runs, but of how many companies are staging the opera this season (how many different productions) - so, an opera may be given by a company just twice on a Friday evening and Sunday matinée in some cases, or 10-12 times in other cases by a different, larger company, and each of these situations will count as *one* production in my numbers. So this is not a list of performances, but rather a list of productions.

    This list is more complete than the one recently published by Opera News Magazine, since I've included seasons of some companies that had not announced theirs yet, at the Opera News Magazine press time.

    La Bohème 14
    Don Giovanni 14
    Tosca 11
    Die Zauberflöte 11
    Madama Butterfly 11
    La Traviata 10
    Il Barbiere di Siviglia 10
    Le Nozze di Figaro 9
    Pagliacci 8
    La Cenerentola 7
    Rigoletto 7
    Il Trovatore 7
    Aïda 7
    Der Fliegende Holländer 6
    Don Pasquale 5
    Così fan Tutte 5
    Die Fledermaus 5
    Turandot 5
    Falstaff 4
    La Fille du Régiment 4
    Les Pêcheurs de Perles 4
    Lucia di ...
    Published on August 19th, 2012 07:19 PM
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    By sospiro (Annie), Opera Lively Media Consultant



    The trip

    As I arrived, Seattle was experiencing the worst snowfall for over 50 years and the only topic of conversation was the weather, so I felt right at home straightaway!

    Seattle Opera website lists a good selection of hotels and I had chosen one from that list and it really couldn't have been better - five minutes walk from the opera house.

    I had tickets for the matinee and for two evening performances, three pre-performance talks and planned to attend the Speight Jenkins Q&A sessions after each performance.



    The snow rapidly disappeared and I was able to do some sightseeing, Seattle really is a beautiful city. I had always wanted to visit the FHCRC as this was where José Carreras had his life saving bone marrow transplant and it was through Carreras that I got into opera. I just walked in off the street clutching a small cash donation ...
    by Published on August 19th, 2012 04:12 PM

    Greetings, Opera Carolina customers. Opera Lively is proud to partner with this excellent company, and appreciative of Maestro James Meena's and Mr. Brandon Stanley's support.

    Puccini's great opera Tosca has been scheduled by our partners to be shown in Charlotte, NC, at the Blumenthal Center, on October 13, 18, and 21, 2012, with Jill Gardner in the title role. Read the full announcement and ticket information [here] - individual tickets are already on sale.


    Jill Gardner as Tosca, Mercury Opera Rochester, 2009


    Jill Gardner as Tosca, Mercury Opera Rochester, 2009

    Opera Lively has put together a series of seven articles on this opera, for those among you who want to learn a bit more about it. They are part of what we call our "Opera In-Depth" series. They really go deep, much more than what you usually find online, but they are accessible and fun to read.

    On the top right of this page you see a "widget" (a box with links) - depending on how you got to this page, it may or may not be already open, displaying the titles of the articles - if it's open, just click on the link to each Tosca article to have access to the full text. If the widget is not open, click on the + sign next to Exclusive Articles (attention, there's also an Exclusive Interviews link; you want the Exclusive Articles), then on the + sign next to Opera In-Depth Project, then on the + sign next to Tosca, and you'll find the links to the articles. The two Discography articles (audio and video) are under the same header.

    Again, depending on how you got to this page, you may find previews of the Tosca articles by just scrolling down from this text. In this case, just click on the "read more" link after each preview, to have access to that article's full text. If you don't see previews below this page, then you have to use the widget as above.

    Attention: some articles are short but the Comments section below them have the continuation and in many case are also written by the article's author. This is just a feature of our software (when we add to the article, the additions go to the Comments section).

    Interviews with the artists - and then a review of the show - will appear later on this space; stay tuned. Maestro James Meena's interview is up already, scroll down for it.

    Jill Gardner will be Tosca; Raúl Melo will be Cavaradossi, and Todd Thomas will be Scarpia.



    For now, the seven articles include:

    1. Tosca: The Genesis of the Opera - it talks about circumstances of composition, how the idea came to Puccini, how he got the rights to the stage play, etc.

    2. Tosca: Around the Opera - this article talks about trivia and curious facts around the opera such as reactions of the public on opening night, funny anecdotes, and many other interesting facts about this opera that you're not likely to find elsewhere.

    3. Tosca: Synopsis and Musical Structure - you probably know already the synopsis for Tosca (ours is very detailed) - but the second part of the article with the musical structure is quite interesting to enhance the appreciation of the show, preparing the public to pay attention to some musical details during the performance. Don't miss this article!

    4.Tosca: The Characters and Their Voices - this article talks about the main singers who have tackled the tree main roles in the past and present - Tosca, Cavaradossi, and Scarpia - and contains video clips!

    5. Tosca: Discography (audio) - this article is still growing, and contains reviews of Tosca CDs, as well as a complete list of the 250+ Tosca recordings. Come back periodically to it and you'll find more reviews.

    6. Tosca: Discography (video) - again, it is still growing as we add reviews, and is for versions of Tosca on DVD and blu-ray discs.

    7. Tosca: The Opera in the opera house - it contains comments on notable past and present stagings of this opera (also, more reviews will be added as they become available).

    Enjoy, and don't miss the show!

    Support your local opera company! Opera Carolina brings to Charlotte world-class, first-rate performances and is not a touring company - its shows are done 90-95% locally; opera is expensive to produce (especially at Opera Carolina's exquisite level of quality), and the company needs and deserves your help and continuous support.

    -------------

    Opera Lively (a locally operated journalistic organization headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC) also deserves your patronage:

    If you like what you see here and you aren't an Opera Lively member yet, make sure that you register as a member. It takes two minutes, is entirely free, and will remain forever entirely free. We don't try to push anything onto you and don't sell your information to anybody. You can read our files without being a member, but if you want to post comments and replies, you must be a member as required by our forum software. To register, just click on the Register button and follow the instructions.

    Even if you don't become a member, please explore what our site has to offer. The Forum tab will take you to a lively discussion forum with all sorts of topics including hundreds of reviews, material about singers, and even off-topic themes such as non-operatic classical music, films, etc. The discussion are very friendly, non-snobbish, and suited to beginners as well as experts.

    The Articles tab will take you to our journalist area featuring dozens of exclusive Opera Lively interviews with opera singers, conductors (there is one with Maestro Meena where he talks about Opera Carolina), composers, stage directors, educators and scholars, etc. Some of these names are quite famous, such as Danielle de Niese, Deborah Voigt, Joyce DiDonato, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Piotr Beczala, Anna Caterina Antonaccy, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Matthew Polenzani, Sylvia Sass, Vivica Genaux, Bryan Hymel, and many others (these are long and rich interviews) as well as two short interviews with Juan Diego Flórez and Anna Netrebko (the latter, ultra-short, but we're working on it; stay tuned, come back in October and you may find a surprise regarding the Netrebko interview). Scholar Philip Gosset's and stage director Thaddeus Strassberger's are particularly rich interviews in terms of understanding the innards of the opera trade. Only 20 interviews can be displayed on the Home page, but you'll find three times more than that (including Maestro Meena's - they do appear on rotating basis and Mr. Meena's was done last year - but it is still relevant and interesting!) by clicking on the widget line for Exclusive Interviews. Upcoming interviews to appear shortly should include Joseph Calleja, Samuel Ramey, and Saimir Pirgu (I say "should" because sometimes these things get cancelled or post-poned but we're pretty sure that these are coming).

    And then, we have other fun content like our Opera Deadly serial novel, our Once or Twice a Fortnight very erudit series, our Educational Area (operalively.com/learn), and our various local areas including under USA, North Carolina with plenty of local announcements and reviews.

    Enjoy, bookmark our site, and come back soon, hopefully as a member!

    Thank you for visiting,

    The Staff at Opera Lively
    by Published on August 18th, 2012 05:30 PM
    Article Preview

    Reviews of Tosca on video media
    -----------


    Tosca on blu-ray - a review by member Almaviva

    This is a bargain. $8.99 on Amazon.com, plus 2 hours and 20 minutes of highlights from 47 other productions of opera and ballet.

    Clicky (to buy it).

    2006, Daniel Oren, Orchestra and Chorus of the Arena di Verona
    Stage director, sets, costumes, and lighting: Hugo de Ana
    ...
    by Published on August 18th, 2012 05:18 PM
    Article Preview

    Here is the Opera Lively review of a staging of Tosca by the Santa Fe Opera, NM, USA:



    Tosca, opera in three acts (1900)
    Music by Giacomo Puccini
    Libretto by Giuseppe Giocosa and Luigi Illica
    Sung in Italian with English and Spanish opera titles in each seat
    This review is of the performance on July 13, 2012
    ...
    by Published on August 18th, 2012 03:01 PM
    Article Preview

    Tosca, melodrama in three acts, premiered on January 14, 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, setting ...
    Published on August 15th, 2012 02:33 AM

    [Authored by Schigolch]

    As many of you know, and we will further discuss in this in-Depth ...
    by Published on August 11th, 2012 11:38 AM
    Article Preview

    Almaviva attended on August 10 a concert of operatic arias and duets by Handel and Mozart at the Cary ...
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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

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