• Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)

    by Published on September 12th, 2014 12:35 AM

    Our partners NC Opera will be presenting a very interesting season. We particularly like the fact that we are getting Wagner, and also contemporary opera. Some of these singers are phenomenal, such as Opera Lively interviewees Jay Hunter Morris and Elizabeth Bishop, and the recent winner of the Operalia, Mario Chang. We've heard live on stage Jacqueline Echols, Heidi Melton, and Hailey Clark, and we can confirm that all three are very good. NC Opera continues to evolve. In our coverage of their Rusalka last season, we were surprised with the high musical quality of the performance. This season, both the number of operas and the number of performances are up, which is extraordinary in this day and age of shrinking budgets. Opera Lively of course will be covering these events. Below, our readers can find a copy of the company's Press Release with details of the season.
    by Published on September 7th, 2014 11:56 AM
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    We have released Volume 2 of our Opera Lively Interview Series. It is available for purchase on paperback from our own e-Store right here:

    [Buy it from us by clicking here]

    The Kindle e-book edition is ready as well. Both versions are also sold by Amazon and here are the links to them: [paperback on Amazon] [Kindle on Amazon] but for those members and readers interested in supporting Opera Lively, buying the paperback from our own store increases our margin of profit.

    Click on Read More for the full press release.
    by Published on September 3rd, 2014 11:36 PM
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    We are happy to announce that our esteemed partner company Opera Carolina is starting the 2014-2015 season, and as usual Opera Lively will be delighted to cover the performances and interview the artists.

    Our readers who live at driving distance from Charlotte, NC, are used to Maestro James Meena's world-class shows that always feature talented casts and compelling sets. Patrons from South and North Carolina don't need to travel to New York City, Houston, or San Francisco to see great live opera, thanks to this regional company that is undoubtedly among the best in our country. Click on Read More below for the full announcement and exclusive Opera Lively interviews with five artists.
    by Published on May 29th, 2014 12:25 AM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 131] On the occasion of her performance of Dorabella for the Metropolitan Opera's Così fan tutte in early May 2014 (see our review [here]), Opera Lively met in person the great American singer Isabel Leonard, for this interesting interview. We were particularly impressed with Isabel for her intelligence, friendliness, and solid demeanor. She is direct, straightforward, articulate, genuine, and strikes us as a very good and hardworking person. Given her beautiful voice, fabulous looks, and accomplished acting, this young lady certainly deserves the success her career has achieved. Our already significant admiration for her artistry grew even deeper after her charming interview, which we are pleased to share with our readers.
    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 May 18th, 2014 06:57 PM
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    NC Opera closed its 2013-2014 season with a compelling open-air concert at the fabulous Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary on May 17. Opera Lively was present, after having interviewed star tenor Noah Stewart for the event (read his interview which contains his interesting 'rags to riches' story by clicking [here]).

    Not all metropolitan areas have such a nice venue like the Koka Booth. It sits by a lake in Cary, NC, in a nice and well maintained wooden area, and in spite of it being open air, it features good acoustics. A lawn in front of the stage allows patrons to bring folding tables, chairs, and blankets, and pic-nic foods including alcoholic beverages. For those who want more comfort, there are conventional tables under a roof further back, and concessions that sell gourmet items as well as soft drinks, beer, and wine.
    by Published on May 18th, 2014 04:25 PM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 128] On the occasion of the Metropolitan Opera's revival of its traditional I Puritani production in late spring 2014 (for our review, click [here]), the beautiful young Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko took New York City's operatic environment by storm, collecting glowing reviews in blogs and newspapers, and standing applause in curtain calls. Opera Lively heard first hand from Met officials that "this lady has a career and a future with us" which anticipates her frequent return to the Met stage. Other references to her talent had reached us before, from her European performances (we had heard positive comments about her from other singers and conductors we have interviewed), and she already boasts three CDs and four DVDs.
    by Published on May 14th, 2014 11:06 PM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 130] As part of our coverage for the upcoming outdoor concert Opera in the Pines by North Carolina Opera in Cary, NC on May 17, 2014 at 7 PM (Koka Booth Amphitheater, rain or shine) we interviewed tenor Noah Stewart. See Opera Lively's full announcement with more details including the artistic information about the other three singers (Hailey Clark, Ted Federle, and Kate Farrar) by clicking [here]. Tickets ($37, $25, and free for children under 14) may be purchased online at www.ncopera.org or by phone at 919.792.3850. We've heard all four singers before, and they are all good. The Koka Booth Amphitheater is a great lakeside venue with a lawn where patrons can bring their own pic-nic baskets including alcoholic beverages, or they can purchase drinks and meal packages from the venue. This will be a fun evening of opera, not to be missed.
    by Published on March 24th, 2014 04:58 AM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 129] North Carolina Opera will be presenting a single semi-staged performance of Antonín Dvořák's masterpiece Rusalka, one of our favorite operas, on March 30 at 3 PM at the Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, NC, sung in Czech with English supertitles. Tickets are $27-$85 and may be purchased online at www.ncopera.org or by phone at 919-792-3850. Timothy Myers conducts, and Crystal Manich is the stage director. Audiences less familiar with the piece are likely to have listened to the gorgeous aria "Song to the Moon" - but this famous passage is far from being the only musical reward of this exquisite opera, with its beautiful folk melodies and swirling romantic orchestral writing. Not only the music is compelling, but the dark fairy tale is psychologically deep and rewarding. Opera Lively will attend the performance and publish a review. Meanwhile, we have interviewed the star of the show, the excellent and beautiful soprano Joyce El-Khoury. ...
    by Published on March 22nd, 2014 10:18 AM

    Scholarship Benefit Concert: UNC Opera presents "Gianni Schicchi" and Michael Ching's "Buoso's Ghost"

    When: Mar 28 and 29, 2014
    from 08:00 PM to 10:00 PM
    Where: Hill Hall Auditorium - UNC Campus in downtown Chapel Hill, NC
    General admission tickets ($10 general admission; $5 UNC students, faculty and staff) are available at the door.

    UNC Opera presents Puccini’s classic one-act opera Gianni Schicchi alongside a modern day sequel from Michael Ching (Buoso's Ghost) as part of the UNC Department of Music’s Scholarship Benefit Series.
    by Published on March 15th, 2014 07:58 PM
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    Our esteemed company Opera Carolina is opening this coming weekend in Charlotte their production of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. As usual, Opera Lively's envoy will attend the opening night on March 22, 2014, and will be publishing a review. In preparation for what promises to be a great show given the quality of the cast, we are interviewing the singers.

    Below, we present Luretta Bybee in the role of Mary, famous international Wagnerian star Greer Grimsley in the title role (he has performed Wagner numerous times at the Met, Seattle Opera, and many companies around the world), and Elizabeth Kataria in the role of Senta. Greer and Luretta are husband and wife in real life. [Opera Lively interview # 126 with Bybee, a fragment of #103 with Grimsley, and # 127 with Kataria]
    by Published on March 8th, 2014 01:53 AM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 125] Dear readers, it is with immense pleasure that we bring to you this phenomenal interview with one of our favorite singers, British mezzo Sarah Connolly. She is an extraordinary artist and we were thrilled to meet her in person for this very interesting conversation. Ms. Connolly came to America to sing the role of Irene in Handel's oratorio Theodora, in tour with maestro Harry Bicket and his period orchestra The English Concert. You can read our piece with maestro Bicket by clicking [here]. The publication of this interview is timely, since in a week this performance will hit the waves with broadcasts on March 15-16 of the Theodora concerts scheduled on WQXR and France Musique.
    by Published on February 2nd, 2014 10:31 PM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 124] Opera Lively covered the Chapel Hill, North Carolina stop of Maestro Harry Bicket's and The English Concert's US tour of Handel's Theodora, featuring David Daniels, Sarah Connolly, Dorothea Röschmann, and the Trinity Choir. This report refers to the University of North Carolina Memorial Hall performance of January 30, 2014, part of the Carolina Performing Arts series, and specifically, of their HIP Festival. The tour which was coming from Sonoma and Orange counties in California, is right now at Carnegie Hall (Sunday February 2) and then returns to England, going next to Birmigham's Town Hall on February 6, then to London at the Barbican on February 8, and ends in Paris on February 14.
    by Published on January 22nd, 2014 01:14 AM
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    UNC - Carolina Performing Arts is presenting in Chapel Hill on January 30, 2014, Handel's Theodora in ...
    by Published on January 20th, 2014 11:50 PM
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    Master Class with Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano, and James Meredith, pianist, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Music, on March 6, 2013 - Opera Lively coverage.

    Also read Ms. Stade's extremely interesting exclusive interview with Opera Lively the same day, by clicking [here] - the interview contains other information about this Grande Dame of opera.
    by Published on January 11th, 2014 11:11 AM
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    Opera Lively traveled to Greece and interviewed in person maestro Myron Michailidis, Artistic Director of the very dynamic and resourceful Greek National Opera. [Opera Lively interview # 123]

    Artistic Biography

    Myron Michailidis is regarded today as one of the most important Greek conductors of his generation. His vivid conducting style is characterized by conviction and authority coupled by outstanding dynamic control and variety of expression. Since 2011 he has been serving as Artistic Director of The Greek National Opera (GNO), following his former position as General Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of The Thessaloniki National Orchestra (TSSO), a post held since 2004. Between 1999 until 2004, Maestro Michailidis was Permanent Conductor at the Opera of Eastern Saxony in Germany.
    by Published on January 7th, 2014 06:15 PM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 122] Continuing our coverage of Opera Carolina's Il Trittico which will open on January 18 in Charlotte, NC, we have the pleasure of presenting to our readers Opera Lively's second exclusive interview with one of the most intelligent and cultured singers we've had the pleasure of interacting with, Ms. Jill Gardner.

    Singer: Jill Gardner
    Born in: Tobaccoville, North Carolina, USA
    Fach: lyric-spinto soprano
    Web site: http://www.jillbowengardner.com/
    by Published on December 26th, 2013 08:13 PM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 121] Our excellent regional opera company Opera Carolina in Charlotte will be presenting Puccini's Il Trittico on January 18, 23, and 26, 2014, at the Belk Theater, conducted by James Meena and staged by Jay Lesenger. Click [here] for tickets. Given Opera Carolina's consistent high level of quality, you won't regret it.

    Opera Lively is starting our coverage of the event, and the first piece is an exclusive interview with the excellent tenor Victor Ryan Robertson, who is well known to the Charlotte public from two previous production, and to our community from our first interview with him on the occasion of his performance in The Barber of Seville for Piedmont Opera. ...
    by Published on December 21st, 2013 10:21 PM

    [Opera Lively interviews # 117, 118, 119, 120] We have interviewed four gifted and interesting singers who performed Così fan Tutte ...
    by Published on December 18th, 2013 01:01 AM
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    [Opera Lively interview # 116] Opera Lively is thrilled to present to our members and readers the words of one of the most brilliant operatic stage directors in activity, Mr. Laurent Pelly. His answers to our questions are very entertaining and enjoyable.

    Photo Polo Garat, Odessa Photographies

    Artistic Biography

    French-born Laurent Pelly directs and designs costumes for productions that are detailed, satirical, often surreal, exquisite in taste and wonderfully imaginative in both conception and execution. He is particularly renowned for his work in French repertoire, and has a particular skill for revealing the serious side of comedy; however he is increasingly in demand as a director of more weighty music-dramas. He underlines his interpretation of characters through his skilful and inspired costume designs.
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