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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Related Article(s)
Original Article:
Weaving a Universal Song from Specific Stories
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine
In November 2007, Houston Grand Opera presented the world premiere of The Refuge, a large-scale oratorio in which community performers joined the Houston Grand Opera chorus, orchestra, children’s chorus and members of the HGO Studio in a musical portrait of Houston’s rich cultural diversity. The project was not only a continuation of the company’s commitment to creating new work for the stage; it marked the beginning of a new effort to establish Houston Grand Opera as a vital cultural resource for the people of Houston. HGOco is the name given to a diversified menu of community programs, ranging from teacher workshops to a high school voice studio. Within HGOco, Song of Houston is a series of collaborative artistic projects — beginning with The Refuge — designed to explore the stories of Houston and the people who live and work there.

Related Article(s):
Making Early Opera Sing
James Bash ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
One of the major recent trends in opera has been the resurgence of operas written before the time of Mozart. The gems of Monteverdi, Gluck, Handel and others are being dusted, polished and displayed, dazzling opera fans across North America. A handful of companies — such as Toronto's Opera Atelier or Washington, D.C.'s Opera Lafayette — specialize in this repertoire.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Have you ever wished you could find at least one audition aria that people haven’t heard from every other [fill in your Fach]? If that’s your predicament, this regular column may prove helpful. In each issue of Voices, "Aria Talk" will offer information on arias that are all viable alternatives, and will include at least one taken from a contemporary work.
The Operatic Evolution of John Adams: Remaking Opera for Our Time
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Nixon in China was an unlikely success when it premiered over two decades ago. But John Adams has continued forging new paths for American opera with his subsequent stage works and, in the process, evolving his own language as a composer.
Weaving a Universal Song from Specific Stories
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
In November 2007, Houston Grand Opera presented the world premiere of The Refuge, a large-scale oratorio in which community performers joined the Houston Grand Opera chorus, orchestra, children’s chorus and members of the HGO Studio in a musical portrait of Houston’s rich cultural diversity. The project was not only a continuation of the company’s commitment to creating new work for the stage; it marked the beginning of a new effort to establish Houston Grand Opera as a vital cultural resource for the people of Houston. HGOco is the name given to a diversified menu of community programs, ranging from teacher workshops to a high school voice studio. Within HGOco, Song of Houston is a series of collaborative artistic projects — beginning with The Refuge — designed to explore the stories of Houston and the people who live and work there.
Refreshing the Repertory
Patrick J. Smith ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The English opera director Nicholas Hytner said it best: “The problem for opera is that its conventions haven’t been refreshed by a constantly evolving repertory.” This situation, endemic and almost rusted into opera, had existed from the beginning of the 20th century, but had become acute in the United States by the end of the 1970s. It was a product of several factors, not least the immense pull of the standard repertory and its box-office stars, but it could also have been the result of what could be termed “The Wagner Curse” — that is, the controlling idea that an opera, once commissioned or set on a course for performance, would be created by composer and librettist and presented with only limited adjustments during the rehearsal period to the public. The prime example of this kind of creative work, other than that of Wagner himself, was the image of the composer Olivier Messaien arriving at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris, entering the office of then-General Director Rolf Liebermann and plunking down 20 pounds of the full score of Saint Francois d’Assise. It had been commissioned; it was delivered. End of story.
Lone Star Opera
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
A certain tall-hatted swagger is often associated with residents of the Lone Star State — and why not? Texans have much to be proud of. Their home state is one of the top producers of oil, beef and cotton, as well as a leading player in the space and technology industries. Texas is also home to eight professional company members of OPERA America — only New York and California have more.
A Quarter Century of Funding New Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Some may think that spending money is the surest way to find happiness. OPERA America, conversely, finds the greatest joy comes from giving money away. Since 1983, OPERA America has awarded over $10 million for the express purpose of encouraging the creation and subsequent production of new opera and music-theater works. The Opera Fund, a permanent Fund endowment from which OPERA America directly supports the creation, presentation and enjoyment of new and North American opera, was created with the benefit of OPERA America’s experience from three previous re-granting programs.
The Return of Gluck: The Reformer Makes His Mark Anew in America's Opera Houses
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Gluck has been, in some ways, a victim of his success. He’s most typically cast in the role of “reformer” — which is to say, he’s secured a prominent place in music history books. We’re all familiar with the image of Gluck as a pivotal link between baroque excess and more modern sensibilities.

Yet such historically minded, linear thinking sometimes encourages the impression that Gluck is merely a transitional chapter — and one superseded by those he went on to inspire. Meanwhile, clichés of his music as the quintessence of “noble purity” can be offputting. They’re uncomfortably reminiscent of the impatience Peter Schaefer’s Mozart (in Amadeus) voices for composers who “sound as if they shit marble.”
American Musical Theater in the Opera House
Larry Bomback, Director of Finance and Operations, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The American musical theater tradition, beginning with the musical comedies of the early 20th century and continuing through the musical plays and concept musicals of the present day, are rooted in a European tradition that has long captivated opera audiences around the world — from the Viennese operetta of Lehár and Strauss to the French opera bouffe of Offenbach and Chabrier, and even the British comic operas of Gilbert & Sullivan.

This article looks at several opera companies and their differing attitudes toward the inclusion of American musical theater in regular season programming, and celebrates those that have historically included the stage works of Romberg, Friml, Herbert, Weill, Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Rodgers, Berlin, Arlen, Loewe, Bernstein, Loesser, Willson, Sondheim and others as part of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2002-2003 production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Photo by Dan Rest/Lyric Opera of Chicago. their core repertory.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Soprano
Charles Gounod, Mireille (1864), Mireille’s “Air de la Crau,” Act IV, sc. ii: “Voici la vaste plaine”

“Je veux vivre” and the “Jewel Song” seem almost inevitable at auditions. If you’d like a change, check out another Gounod gem, Mireille. This opera’s neglect is a shame, particularly as regards the glorious title role.
People Make Opera
Bill Richardson ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Banff, Alberta, located in heart of the Canadian Rockies, is an inspiring place. Set amid the natural splendors of the area is The Banff Centre, a globally respected arts, cultural and educational institution.
Refining the Dramatic Rhythm
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
In an interview for Opera Canada, author and librettist Margaret Atwood likened the writing of a libretto to the construction of a coat-hanger: “If it’s a bad coat-hanger, that will be unfortunate, but if it’s a good coat-hanger, nobody will notice it.”

Is it possible for librettists to assess the sturdiness of their creation before entrusting the extravagant weight of an opera score to its delicate structure? Can words meant for music be evaluated in the absence of that essential element?

The Libretto Reading Series at Brooklyn’s American Opera Projects attempts to do just that, giving artists opportunity to hear a work read aloud and then discuss its structure, characters, themes and pacing. “While obviously spoken theater and opera are two very different art forms, you can look at the dramatic rhythm in a particular way, figuring out where the important beats are before the composer spends months writing music,” says Ned Canty, who is director of the series. “It is useful for a composer to think about beats from a performance perspective, to make sense of where you need a big shift in emotion, to see the amount of time an actor needs to get from one beat to the next.”
A New Stage for Artists
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The long-dominant model of what defines a performing artist's career is undergoing a rapid paradigm shift. Teaching artists are poised to replace the divas of stereotype with a new approach to the art of performance — both on and off stage.
In the Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Alexandra
By Zack Settel and Yan Muckle

Set to premiere during the 2010-2011 season at Chants Libres, Alexandra chronicles the life of Alexandra David-Néel (1868-1969). An anarchist, opera singer, journalist, freemason, feminist, free thinker, reporter, lover of the Orient, philosopher and explorer, she was the first Western woman to enter the forbidden Lhassa, Tibet in 1924. This one-hour chamber opera uses her life and writings to touch upon the themes of courage, righteousness and wisdom.
In the Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Amelia
By Daron Hagen and Gardner McFall

Commissioned by Seattle Opera, Amelia is a two-act opera based on a story by the production’s director, Stephen Wadsworth. The piece uses the theme of flight as a motif to explore the human condition and takes place during the 30-year period from 1966 to 1996. Amelia addresses such issues as man’s fascination with flight, the Daedalus/Icarus myth and the American experience in Vietnam. Workshops will begin in December 2007, and a projected premiere is set for May 2010.
Your Recorded Heritage: Mozart
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
This article initiates an ongoing series focusing on singers who flourished pre-1960. One listens to singers of the past not to copy, but for enjoyment, inspiration, and food for thought. Ignoring great recorded singing is like an actor ignoring now-legendary documented performances of Laurence Olivier or Katharine Hepburn. In other words, you miss out on your heritage. Fortunately for us, the singing of historically-important artists on disc is there for the taking. Voices readers need little assistance to locate recordings highlighting today’s greats, but perhaps the information included here will prompt you to investigate those of an earlier vintage. We’ll proceed through the repertoire composer by composer, beginning with Mozart. I remind you that these are the choices of only one listener, chosen from a field of extraordinary richness.
Your Recorded Heritage: Rossini
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Our ears are convinced by much of the legato singing we hear in early Rossini recordings: Its elegance wears the years lightly. Coloratura, however, is another story: Once we get past 1920, florid Rossini (especially as far as male singers are concerned) is rarely handled with the astonishing expertise to which we’ve grown accustomed in the decades since Marilyn Horne initiated the “Rossini renaissance.” Major artists today are also expected to ornament Rossini with a degree of authenticity that was not part of the operatic scene when the singers cited in this article were making records. There is nonetheless a good deal to be learned from pre- 1960 Rossini recordings as regards individuality and beauty of timbre, grace of phrasing, and sheer force of personality.
Your Recorded Heritage: Bizet
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Georges Bizet’s Carmen has a distinguished recording history in both complete performances and excerpts. From this ever-popular work, as well as the composer’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, there are considerable lessons to be learned from the early decades of recording in terms of balancing elegant vocalism with dramatic urgency. Many singers have gotten by in Bizet with beauty at the expense of text, but a Solange Michel or a Charles Dalmorès demonstrates indisputably that Bizet does not come alive unless the text is commanded in depth.
Best Aria Forward/ Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/11/1999
Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself

The arias you choose can make or break an audition, so preparing your list requires considerable thought and more than a little soul-searching. Important issues related to aria choice are covered in these comments from Ken Benson, Artist Manager (Columbia Artists Management, Inc.); Ian D. Campbell, General Director, San Diego Opera; Neil Funkhouser, Artist Manager (Neil Funkhouser Artists Management); Gayletha Nichols, Director, Houston Opera Studio; and Peter Russell, Director, Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Metropolitan Opera.
Singers and North American Repertoire
Kelley Rourke ,
Voices12/1/1999
The operatic tradition has long traded in exoticism—over the centuries, audiences and artists alike have been drawn to faraway places, mythological figures, and ancient regimes. In North America, one of the more recently established venues and breeding grounds for “the extravagant art,” opera often has been far removed from the everyday experiences of its artists and audiences. But as the century comes to a close, a quick look around yields evidence of a sea change: Opera companies, large and small, are regularly programming North American repertoire, and today’s singers are finding that a mix of old and new works is an artistically satisfying—and professionally viable—way to conduct a career.
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”
Act Three; &ldquo Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride &rdquo (Marenka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/1/2000
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride (1870), Act Three: Marenka’s recitative and aria, “Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”

If you already sing Rusalka’s “Song to the Moon” but crave more Czech repertoire, give Marenka a try. Even if The Bartered Bride isn’t produced quite as frequently as it once was, this soulful lament should be a staple for any lyric soprano able to deal comfortably with a Czech text.
Soprano
Gilbert & Sullivan:
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2002
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Le roi de Lahore
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)
Bass
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai: Sadko
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Soprano
Blitzstein, Marc: Regina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)
Mezzo-Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Soprano
Dvorák, Antonín: Rusalka
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)
Tenor
Tippett, Sir Michael, The Midsummer Marriage
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Thaïs
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content4/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2003
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Tenor
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Alceste
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)
Baritone
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Mazeppa
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Friederic: Partenope
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)
Soprano
Weber, Carl Maria von: Euryanthe
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)
Tenor
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)
Baritone
Marschner, Heinrich: Hans Heiling
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Un giorno di regno
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Tenor
Weber, Carl Maria von: Oberon
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)
Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Mitridate, re di Ponto
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran cimento” (Sifare)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran imento” (Sifare)
Bass-Baritone
Strauss, Richard: Arabella
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Serse
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)
Coluratura Soprano
Offenbach, Jacques: Robinson Crusoë
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)
Bass-Baritone
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Iphigènie en Aulide
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)
Tenor
Mascagni, Pietro: L’amico Fritz
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Sapho
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)
Coluratura Soprano
Gounod, Charles: Mireille
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)
Bass
Handel, George Frideric: Orlando
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Rossini, Gioachino: Tancredi
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)
Soprano
Poulenc, Francis: Les mamelles de Tirésias
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Don Quichotte
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)
Tenor
Smetana, Bedrich: Prodaná nevesta (The Bartered Bride)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)
Soprano
Donizetti, Gaetano: Maria Stuarda
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Mar

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Maria)
Mezzo-Soprano
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Tenor
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)
Soprano
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Charodeika (The Enchantress or The Sorceress)
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)
Mezzo-Soprano
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)
Baritone
Janáček, Leos: The Cunning Little Vixen
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)
Bass
Donizetti, Gaetano: Lucia di Lammermoor
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)
Soprano
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)
Mezzo-Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Tenor
Britten, Benjamin: Gloriana
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2006
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)
VOX 2007: Showcasing American Composers
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink6/11/2007
Opera has an enormous capacity to convey the human experience. The energy of this possibility to express emotions was incredibly palpable at VOX, the annual new works showcase produced by New York City Opera (NYCO) and presented at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, on May 12 and 13, 2007. Each piece performed at VOX was preceded with a short video introduction consisting of interviews with the artists about their inspirations and creative processes. The weekend also included panel discussions and other presentations. More information, including 2008 application forms, can be found at nycopera.com/about/vox.
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2007
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)
Tenor
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich, Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades) (1890)
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2008
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2008
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
Dramatic Voices
Staff ,
ArtistLink4/14/2008
Opera singing has not changed over the centuries, but opera houses, orchestras and the scope of repertoire are constantly growing and evolving. A great deal of mystery has surrounded the “dramatic voice,” and early career artists have many questions about their career path, choosing repertoire and training. In an effort to assist singers and educators to sift through the vast amount of information, OPERA America will soon add a Web page dedicated to dramatic voices, consisting of frequently asked questions and responses written by Roger Pines, dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago. The following is a sample of the upcoming Web page’s content:
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: I Lombardi alla prima crociata (1842)
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/1/2008
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)
Pushing the Boundaries between Opera and Musical Theater
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink5/12/2008
The edge between opera and musical theater is definitely becoming more permeable as artists explore different ways to tell stories through music. OPERA America recently hosted a panel discussion on this subject as part of the Making Connections series — "Pushing the Boundaries between Opera and Musical Theater" — with composer Richard Danielpour; Sarah Schlesinger, director of the graduate musical theater writing program at New York University (NYU); and Kris Stewart, executive director of New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMTF). The discussion was moderated by the producing director of Music-Theatre Group, Diane Wondisford.
Baritone
Puccini, Giacomo: La fanciulla del West
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk11/1/2008
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)
Bass
Strauss, Richard: Die schweigsame Frau
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)
Mezzo-Soprano
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Selecting Audition Arias
Wendy Nielsen ,
ArtistLink12/8/2008
I often joke with singers that we are all waiting for our letter from God that reads:

Dear Wendy,

Your five audition arias should be:
  1. Mi tradì (Don Giovanni)
  2. Embroidery Aria (Peter Grimes)
  3. Vissi d'arte (Tosca)
  4. Song to the Moon (Rusalka)
  5. Es gibt ein reich (Ariadne auf Naxos)
Love, God
Baritone
Barber, Samuel: Vanessa
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Il pirata (1827)
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)
Baritone
Donizetti, Gaetano: Les Martyrs
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)
Baritone
Rossini, Gioachino: Il turco in Italia
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Attila (1846)
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Ernani (1844)
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Jérusalem (1847)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Il trovatore
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)
Bass
Wagner, Richard: Lohengrin (1850)
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)
Contralto
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
Contralto
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Contralto
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Contralto
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Contralto
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Contralto
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Mezzo-Soprano
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Soprano
Charpentier, Gustave: Louise (1900)
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: La battaglia di Legnano (1849)
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)
Tenor
Giordano, Umberto: Siberia
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)
Tenor
Lortzing, Albert: Der Wildschütz (1842)
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)
Tenor
Haydn, Franz Joseph: L'anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Euridice
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)
Tenor
Giuseppe Verdi: Ernani (1844)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)
Embracing the Past: The Value of History’s Great Opera Recordings
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink2/9/2009
I can trace my love for great opera recordings to one recording of one aria: Joan Sutherland’s “In questa reggia” from the 1972 recording of Puccini’s Turandot with Zubin Mehta conducting. As a high school student just beginning to discover my own voice, the beauty and power of Sutherland’s performance was unlike anything I had ever experienced and it inspired me to search for other treasures in the vast canon of opera recordings. By the time I entered the Crane School of Music I had compiled a list of personal favorites: Pavarotti’s Duke of Mantua, Schwarzkopf’s Marschallin and Popp’s Susanna, to name a few. Listening to these recordings not only reminded me why I loved to sing but also gave me a sense of the illustrious lineage of opera singers whose talent and artistry are an integral part of the art form’s history.
Creative Programming in Hard Times
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
The majority of contemporary American opera companies sprang up after the Great Depression — which means they're now confronting the most severe economic downturn in their existence. And the performing arts are doubly vulnerable. Not only is institutional funding at risk: audiences, their very lifeblood, have also had to become more cautious about opening their wallets.
To Promote the Expansion and Growth of the Art Form:
OPERA America and American Opera

Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine12/1/2009
When 17 opera companies came together to create OPERA America in 1970, they articulated a number of goals toward the advancement of the opera. However, it was not until the 1980s that field-wide momentum began to gather around new work.

In 1979, members voted to include a Composer-Librettist Showcase in conjunction with the organization’s annual conference. The first showcase took place in New Orleans in 1981. Fifty-two works were submitted for consideration; seven were chosen for concert presentation, followed by a discussion with composers, librettists and producers. A 144-page volume was published to accompany the showcase and seminar; in addition to a catalog of all the nominated works, it included essays on the state of contemporary opera production. The conversation had begun.

In the years that followed, OPERA America led several initiatives to promote the expansion and growth of the art form. Three landmark regranting programs lessened the financial risk and encouraged companies to add commissions or subsequent productions of American work to their seasons. The success of these programs eventually led to the creation of The Opera Fund, a growing permanent endowment dedicated to enhancing the quality, quantity and creativity of new opera and music-theater. The Opera Fund and its precursor programs have awarded nearly $11 million in funds to companies throughout North America in support of their efforts to expand and enrich the repertoire.
Opera and the Holidays
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content12/3/2009
In the midst of the holiday frenzy, the music that accompanies the festive season provides a happy and sometimes nostalgic respite. The holidays will come and go in the next three weeks, but good art will outlast the more prosaic parts of the season. As opera companies close out 2009 with productions and community events geared to the festive season, families and audiences have ample opportunity to add opera to their celebrations.
Tenor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mitridate, Re di Ponto (1770)
Act 1: Cavata: “Se di lauri il crine adorno” (Mitridate)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2010
Mitridate, Re di Ponto isn’t an unknown work anymore. Over the past 25 years it’s been produced by many major opera companies and festivals internationally. If you enjoy Mozart but feel that Don Ottavio and even Ferrando don’t show off your extensive range to the utmost, try Mitridate, who traverses a full two octaves in the first of his five (!) arias.
Baritone
Gaetano Donizetti: Maria di Rohan (1843)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina, recitative, cabaletta: “Son cifre di Riccardo!...Bella e di sol vestita…Voce fatal di morte…Ogni mio bene in te sperai” (Enrico, Duke of Chevreuse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/3/2010
The only baritone aria/cabaletta scene by Donizetti that I ever hear in auditions is Enrico’s from Lucia. There’s a lot more where that came from! Maria di Rohan, next-to-last of Donizetti’s more than 50 operas and not as familiar as it deserves to be, boasts a terrific baritone scena where you can show everything you’ve got.
Mezzo-soprano and Contralto
George Frideric Handel, Hercules (1744)
Act 1: A. Recitative and aria, “Then I am lost!… There in myrtle shades reclined” B. Aria, “Begone my fears” (Dejanira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2011
OPERA America’s “Aria Talk” column focuses not on the tried-and-true audition arias you undoubtedly already know, but on somewhat more off-the-beaten-track repertoire. The hope is that this music will prove a refreshing musical and interpretive change not only for you, the performer, but also for those hearing you in auditions.

In Conversation with Stephanie Blythe
Stephanie Blythe, Marc A. Scorca ,
Making Connections1/4/2012
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed opera artists of our time. She has performed at major opera houses all over the world in repertoire ranging from Handel to Wagner and this season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Rodelinda, Aida and the complete Ring Cycle. Join us as this singular artist discusses her craft and career with OPERA America President & CEO Marc A. Scorca.
In Conversation with Stephen Wadsworth
Stephen Wadsworth; Marc A. Scorca ,
Original Content3/13/2012
Director Stephen Wadsworth’s work has been seen at major opera houses around the world including La Scala, Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden. He recently directed the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Boris Godunov and the Broadway production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Join us as this leading artist sits down with OPERA America President Marc A. Scorca for an evening of candid conversation.

Stephen Wadsworth’s 2010—2011 season began with a new Boris Godunov at the Metropolitan Opera, continued with a Met revival of Iphigénie en Tauride and a production of The Bartered Bride shared by the Met’s Lindemann program and The Juilliard School, and ended with Terrence McNally’s Master Class on Broadway with Tyne Daly as Maria Callas. This season he directs Rodelinda at the Met, King Roger at Santa Fe and Don Giovanni at Juilliard, where he is, and begins a new translation of Beaumarchais’ Figaro plays commissioned by the McCarter Theater in Princeton. As The James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and director of the post-graduate advanced training for singers at Juilliard and Head of Dramatic Studies for the Lindemann program, he teaches the full school year. He has directed at La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, the Edinburgh Festival and Netherlands Opera, as well as all over the United States, including at Seattle Opera, for whom he has staged ten productions, notably the Ring cycle (last revival 2013). He co-wrote A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein and has translated and adapted plays of Marivaux (published by Smith and Kraus), Molière and Goldoni. His work in the spoken theater includes Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy at Berkeley Rep, Molière’s Don Juan at Seattle Rep, the Old Globe in San Diego, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. and the McCarter, three Marivaux titles all over the country, and world premieres of Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy and Beth Henley’s Impossible Marriage at Roundabout. The French government named him a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, and he is an Artist-in-Residence at the Aspen Institute.
Jules Massenet, Werther (1892), Act One: Recitative and Aria, “Alors, c’est bien ici…Ô Nature”; and Act Two, Recitative and Aria, “Un autre est son époux!…J’aurais sur ma poitrine”
by Roger Pines ,
Aria Talk8/2/2012
I’ve heard innumerable tenors audition with “Pourquoi me réveiller,” but no one sings either of Werther’s other two arias. This seems unfortunate, considering that “Pourquoi” is handicapped by its unvaried mood and two identical verses. You have fabulous alternatives in the arias from both Act One (ravishing musically and textually) and Act Two (blazingly dramatic, with a stunning climax). Don’t ignore those other two arias — it’s time to remind your listeners that Werther isn’t all about waiting for his high A-sharps!

Living Opera
Darren K. Woods, General Director, Fort Worth Opera ,
Original Content10/1/2012
Fort Worth Opera’s Darren K. Woods on setting a new festival agenda

I guess you could say that opera festivals are in my blood. My first opera job as a professional singer was as an apprentice artist for Santa Fe Opera. I worked at Santa Fe most summers for the next 14 years, along with the festivals in Saint Louis, Chautauqua, Glimmerglass, Sarasota and several others, but eventually I retired from singing and became a general director. When I came to Fort Worth, the board charged me with breathing new life into our 60-year-old stagione company, and the idea of changing into a festival format was a natural leap for me — albeit an exciting and frightening one. It would necessitate altering our business model completely, trying something that had never been done in north Texas, and risking a patron base that was comfortable attending operas spaced out over the year. However, facing stiff competition from the hundreds of other arts organizations serving a population of over six million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, it was a matter of change or die.
OPERA America's Role Preparation Primer
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
Original Content10/10/2013
Contributors: Ann Baltz, OperaWorks; Valerie Beaman; ActingforOpera.com; Clyde Berry, Fort Worth Opera; Daniel Biaggi, Palm Beach Opera; Johnathon Pape, Eastman School of Music
Learning a complete operatic role is a major milestone in a singer's career that requires organization and strategy. The preparation process begins long before any notes are plunked on the piano and continues after the final double bar. To get a sense of what it takes to effectively learn a new role, OPERA America surveyed five members of the Singer Training Forum for what they consider to be the essential steps, questions and resources a singer should keep in mind throughout the preparation process.

The contributors to OPERA America’s role preparation primer offer a range of experience and expertise in the field of singer training and career development. And while their respective strategies for tackling a role are nuanced and unique, four main areas of focus emerge when the strategies are compared: the source, the score, the text and the character. These areas, and other considerations, are further explored in this article.
An Evening with Librettist Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell, Jennifer Aylmer, Wallis Giunta, Troy Cook, Matthew Tuell, Timothy Long ,
Salon Series8/14/2014
Excerpts from Silent Night, Rappahannock County, Lucrezia, The Inspector, A Letter to East 11th Street and Songs from an Unmade Bed performed by soprano Jennifer Aylmer, mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, tenor Matthew Tuell, baritone Troy Cook and pianist Timothy Long.

Mark Campbell is one of the most in-demand librettists working in opera today. In the past year alone he premiered four new works, including Silent Night for Minnesota Opera (music by Kevin Puts, directed by Eric Simonson), The Inspector for Wolf Trap Opera (music by John Musto, directed by Leon Major) and Rappahannock County for Virginia Opera, Virginia Arts Festival, University of Richmond and the University of Texas (music by Ricky Ian Gordon, directed by Kevin Newbury).

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One


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P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
Info@operaamerica.orgDirections
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.