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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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Main Page Headlines
Florentine Opera Offers Residencies For Young Conductors
Bonnie North and Audrey NowakowskiWUWM
Vladimir Kulenovic is the first recipient of a new conducting residency at the Florentine Opera. He has been working closely with the cast and orchestra to help the opera open its season with a new production of Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.

A collaboration between The Solti Foundation U.S. and Florentine Opera offers two emerging conductors, one now and one in the spring, private coaching and mentorship as well as opportunities to conduct staging/orchestra rehearsals.
Stickboy a bold gambit for Vancouver Opera
David Gordon DukeThe Vancouver Sun
Even before it opens tonight at the Vancouver Playhouse, Vancouver Opera’s Stickboy (by writer Shane Koyczan and composer Neil Weisensel) has already made its mark on opera culture.

Meryl Streep on for biopic of off-key opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins
Ben ChildThe Guardian
Meryl Streep is to star in a biopic of the famously awful opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins for director Stephen Frears, reports Variety.
Grant boosts opera’s education programs
Jan SjostromPalm Beach Daily News
A few years ago, when Palm Beach Opera was being squeezed by the recession, it allowed its education programs to languish. Under such conditions, “we did what we could,” General Director Daniel Biaggi said.

That’s changing now, thanks to a $500,000 matching grant from Jupiter residents Sandra and Paul Goldner. The money will recharge initiatives that bring singers to schools for intimate concerts and Q&As, invite students to dress rehearsals and underwrite an apprentice program for high school students who plan to pursue a voice degree in college. All are free to participants.

Met GM: ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ proves protesters wrong
Peter GelbNew York Post
Monday night’s premiere of “The Death of Klinghoffer” was not one of the easiest nights in the history of The Metropolitan Opera, but it was one of the most important.

Composer John Adams has now joined the ranks of Giuseppe Verdi, whose “Don Carlo,” set during the Spanish Inquisition, was protested by various religious groups in the early 1950s, and Richard Strauss, whose provocative “Salome” premiere at the Met in 1907 was thought to be unseemly on at least seven counts.
Stephen Paulus, Classical Composer Rich in Lyricism, Dies at 65
William YardleyThe New York Times
Stephen Paulus, an acclaimed American composer known for his melodic operas and choral works, including an operatic version of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and an oratorio about the Holocaust, died on Sunday in Arden Hills, Minn. He was 65.
Colorful productions of Opera Week celebrate the vocal arts
Mary Kunz Goldman The Buffalo News
Like Viva Vivaldi and “Baba Yaga,” Opera Week is fast becoming an autumn tradition for music-minded Western New Yorkers.

Every year, the celebration – which burst on the scene in 2012 – seems to get a little bit richer. This year’s festival, which kicks off today with a ceremony in the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library, celebrates more than opera. It embraces a wide variety of vocal arts.
Twin Cities Opera and Choral Composer Stephen Paulus Dies at 65
Ian HalubiakClassicalite
A leading figure in Minnesota's classical composing circle and an author of nearly 60 orchestral scores, 10 operas and 150 choral pieces, Stephen Paulus has died. He was 65. The Twin Cities composer, who might be best known for his 1982 opera The Postman Always Rings Twice, suffered a stroke last year that had been affecting his health up until he died Sunday, Oct. 19.

Indiana University Opera Hopes to Score in Football Stadium
Brian WiseOperavore
In the heart of basketball country, Indiana University's football team has long elicited collective sighs and groans. The school generates the second-lowest football revenue in the Big Ten and historically has had trouble filling 52,000-seat Memorial Stadium. The team's fall record is 3-3 – in advance of a daunting match-up Saturday against Michigan State.

All too aware of this, Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music announced Friday that it will present a live simulcast of its production of Puccini's La boheme on the stadium's Jumbotron. The simulcast, dubbed "Opera in the End Zone," will take place on October 24. Tickets will be free.  
De Blasio Blasts Giuliani For Protesting ‘Klinghoffer’ Opera
Ross BarkanNew York Observer
“I don’t want to judge something that I haven’t seen. I think that there’s a serious problem today in the world that has nothing to do with this opera. I’ve spoken about it many times,” he said. “There’s an anti-Semitism problem in this world today, particularly in Western Europe that worries me greatly. That’s where my focus is.”
Multimedia opera probes Wikileaks and Chelsea Manning
Noah HurowitzBrooklyn Daily
"The Source,” a new opera premiering at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Oct. 22–25, is all about espionage and information. The composer of the piece said he wrote the play after he became fascinated by how Americans interact with an array of data far too vast for any one person to consume.
The Depth of Klinghoffer: What Does the Controversy Say about Freedom of Expression?
Fred PlotkinOperavore
There is an opera at the Metropolitan Opera right now that is causing a great deal of discussion in the media and among the public in which an innocent man is murdered onstage and his killer sings an exultant aria. This opera is Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi.
Lori Laitman and Dana Gioia Talk About Their New Opera, Opening This Week at Virginia Tech
Susan Dormady EisenbergHuffington Post
The premiere of a new American opera is always a cause for celebration, and a work for children is especially heartening since today's youth should be tomorrow's audience. But the rehearsal phase of Lori Laitman and Dana Gioia's The Three Feathers also offered "something rare," according to Ruth Waalkes, executive director of the Center for the Arts and associate provost for the arts at Virginia Tech, where the opera debuts this week.
Vancouver Opera tackles issue of bullying with ‘Stick Boy’
Ben WilsonNews1311
It’s a provocative, emotional opera that looks at the issue of bullying and what it can do to a young person. Vancouver Opera is presenting the world premiere of “Stick Boy.”
Opera Ithaca launches with 'Bluebeard's Castle'
Barbara Adamsithaca Journal
What began as a stand-alone creative project among four artists — two singers, a pianist and choreographer — ended with founding a new professional opera company in Ithaca.
How Millennials Are Reshaping Charity And Online Giving
Elise HuNPR
Millennials are spending — and giving away their cash — a lot differently than previous generations, and that's changing the game for giving, and for the charities that depend on it.
An Opera Under Fire
Zachary WoolfeThe New York Times
When the arts play with contemporary history, they play with fire. The Metropolitan Opera has learned this lesson anew in the furious protests that have raged in advance of the company premiere, on Monday, of John Adams’s ruminative, unsettled, unsettling 1991 operatic masterpiece, “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Another simple, straightforward title concealing another story of seething pain from the recent past, “Klinghoffer” is a reflection on the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by Palestine Liberation Front militants, who murdered Leon Klinghoffer, a disabled Jewish-American passenger.
When art sings: How paintings have fared on the musical and opera stage
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” is one of the most famous works of concert music; even if you think you don’t know it, you know it. You don’t, however, know the paintings and drawings it was based on, by the artist Viktor Hartmann. Hartmann died at 39; after his abrupt death, friends arranged a show of his work; and Mussorgsky, who adored him, illustrated part of the show, in music, in about three weeks. The result is frequently played in both the original piano and subsequent orchestral version. Most of the images that inspired it have been lost.
Met Opera Director Peter Gelb Responds To Controversy Surrounding 'The Death of Klinghoffer'
Priscilla FrankHuffington Post
If the latest controversy in the world of opera is your thing, you're likely familiar with the heat building around John Adams' "The Death of Klinghoffer," a 1991 opera about the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship by Palestinian militants, and the subsequent killing of disabled American Jewish passenger Leon Klinghoffer. For the uninitiated, Klinghoffer was reportedly shot in the head by militants, and his wheelchair thrown overboard, in a particularly horrific murder scene.
San Diego Opera: Progress report
James ChuteSan Diego Union-Tribune
The reborn San Diego Opera continues to make strides. Here’s a progress report.
Opera Theatre of St. Louis announces new Artists-in-Training class
Sarah Bryan MillerSt. Louis Post-Dispatch
It's a new school year, and a new Monsanto Artists-in-Training class has been chosen at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

This year, there are 23 students from 15 high schools in St. Louis City, County, and Metro East, selected through an intensely competitive audition process. The students will receive weekly college-level vocal coaching from teachers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Washington University and Webster University. Next April 19th, they'll show what they've learned in a recital and scholarship competition with more than $12,000 to be dispersed.
Dance Like an Egyptian
Heidi WalesonThe Wall Street Journal
This year’s 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau hasn’t led to any high-profile productions in the U.S., other than the concert version of “Platée” by Les Arts Florissants at Lincoln Center this past spring. So kudos to Opera Lafayette, the intrepid Washington, D.C.-based company that specializes in 18th-century French opera, for mounting “Les Fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour, ou Les Dieux d’Égypte” (1747), in one of their most imaginative productions ever, and bringing it to the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center last Thursday.
Arts marketers finding new ways to target audiences
Jan SjostromPalm Beach Daily News
Winning patrons these days is no easy matter. Just listen to what marketing expert Sara Billmann said during a recent workshop for arts marketing professionals presented by Americans for the Arts at Palm Beach Opera’s production center in West Palm Beach.

Aidan Lang: Seattle Opera ‘really pays attention to detail’
Nicole BrodeurThe Seattle Times
Newly appointed general director of Seattle Opera, Aidan Lang, on taking over from Speight Jenkins, the reputation of the company and the sterling acoustics of McCaw Hall.
Opera finds new life in Central Jersey
Carlton WilkinsonAsbury Park Press
The latest attempt to keep opera alive in the Central New Jersey region is Jason Tramm’s company, MidAtlantic Opera, which unveils its first fully-staged performances on Oct. 26 in Basking Ridge with the production of Giuseppe Verdi’s classic “Rigoletto.”
Met’s ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Remains a Lightning Rod
Michael CooperThe New York Times
As the Metropolitan Opera prepares to stage John Adams’s critically acclaimed 1991 opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” on Monday for the first time, it has become enmeshed in a vitriolic debate that often seems to have more to do with the polarizing politics of Israel and the Middle East than the oratorio-like opera its singers have been rehearsing.
Opera Philadelphia celebrates 40 years with groundbreaking initiatives
Bobbi Booker The Philadelphia Tribune
The Delaware Valley is the creative hub for the future of opera. Since 1975, Opera Philadelphia has been committed to delivering outstanding productions of traditional repertoire, often in new and innovative ways. Now in its 40th year, Opera Philadelphia is launching groundbreaking initiatives that are making the music world stand up and take notice. David B. Devan, general director and president of Opera Philadelphia, relocated to the region from Victoria, B.C. two years ago to lead the company and is enthusiastic about the future. “I was just blown away by the quality of arts in this community, the vast amount of it and the high quality of it.”
Opera Lafayette celebrates 20th anniversary, and Rameau
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
This year is the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau and the 20th anniversary of Opera Lafayette. It makes perfect sense that the one should celebrate the other. Opera Lafayette, which started in the Capitol Hill basement of its conductor, Ryan Brown, has turned into an internationally recognized company precisely because it performs work that hardly anyone else is doing. Rameau is one of the most important French composers, but you’re unlikely to see his work at the Washington National Opera or the Metropolitan Opera, compelling as much of his music may be.
Opera Saratoga Aims High for 2015
Amy BiancolliTimes Union
A world premiere, more community engagement and a production featuring dance are forthcoming next summer at Opera Saratoga, which has bumped its season from June to July and expanded its productions from two to three under the guidance of new artistic and general director Lawrence Edelson.
Houston Grand Opera to present second mariachi-style work in May
Steven BrownHouston Chronicle
Houston Grand Opera will follow up on the success of its mariachi opera "Cruzar la Cara de la Luna" by presenting a new mariachi-style work by the same creators in May. "El Pasado Nunca Se Termina," or "The Past Is Never Finished," comes from composer Jose "Pepe" Martinez, leader of the band Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and librettist Leonard Foglia." Mariachi Vargas will perform
The Rumors of Opera's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (Pt. 2)
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
A couple of weeks ago while I was admiring all the work The Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago has been doing, I was simultaneously following another project that I found especially intriguing and that I was frankly a little jealous not to have been a part of myself. I first started hearing about director R.B. Schlather's presentation of Handel's Alcina at the Whitebox Gallery in Soho after noticing that several of my colleagues whose work I greatly admire were all participating in the same project. The rehearsals all took place in the gallery and were open to the public, and the performance, which looked sleek, stylish, and unique (from photos and online streaming - I wasn't able to attend in person), was highly commended by several critics. 
Arizona Opera Hispanic Heritage Festival promotes understanding of culture with art
Maria LopezDowntown Devil
Local community leaders and scholars congregated at the Arizona Opera Center Monday to discuss Hispanic culture and issues, and how they can be better understood and promoted through the arts. The “Borders of Understanding” lecture was the first segment as part of the Arizona Opera’s Hispanic Heritage Festival, which will begin the 2014-2015 season for the Arizona Opera. The goal of the event, and the festival, is to recognize cultural contrasts and find a common ground.
'Klinghoffer' opera captures the violent dynamic of the Israeli-Arab conflict
Mira Sucharov Haaretz
As the Metropolitan Opera prepares to launch its production of “The Death of Klinghoffer,” John Adams and Alice Goodman’s 1991 operatic account of the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and the murder of a Jewish, wheelchair-bound passenger by Palestinian militants, the media has been abuzz. Protestors have gathered outside Lincoln Centre demanding that the Met cancel the show, and agitating by the likes of the ADL has succeeded in blocking the planned global simulcast.
Salome's Second Act
Keith CernyTheaterJones
In his latest "Off the Cuff," The Dallas Opera's Keith Cerny imagines a longer version of the Richard Strauss opera, based on Oscar Wilde's original thoughts about his play.
Opera Saratoga Season to Grow
Michael CooperArtsBeat (NYT)
The evolution of Opera Saratoga, which changed its name from Lake George Opera in 2011 to better reflect its new home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is continuing. The company said Monday that it was planning an expanded three-week season this July featuring Rossini’s “La Cenerentola,” Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” and its first world premiere in 27 years, “The Long Walk,” composed by Jeremy Howard Beck with a libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann.
Syrian refugees join Mozart opera to deliver message of peace
Kieran GuilbertReuters
Appeals for peace in Syria are usually made by politicians and activists calling for ceasefires, negotiations and aid supplies. However, in southwest Germany dozens of Syrian refugees who have, for now, found safe haven after fleeing civil war in their homeland, are delivering a message of peace through opera. A special adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, which had its premiere in Stuttgart on Sunday, starred several Syrian refugees alongside a cast of international opera singers.
Rome opera house sacks orchestra, chorus as arts funding shrivels
StaffReuters
Rome's opera house has sacked nearly 200 members of its permanent orchestra and chorus as Italy's worst economic crisis for decades chokes state spending on the arts.
Forget Netrebko. Here’s an Opera With Courtney Love.
Allan Kozinn The New York Times
“I’ve always been fascinated with her,” Mr. Almond said Thursday. “I love her voice, and I think she’s a great actress. And I thought she would find the character interesting.”
Rome Opera Fires Orchestra and Chorus
Rachel DonadioNew York Times
Facing steep budget cuts, the board of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma has voted to fire its entire strike-prone orchestra and chorus and replace them with outsourced musicians, a strategy that is in place elsewhere in Europe but would be a first for Italy.
The Rumors of Opera's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (Pt. 1)
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
I first started ruminating on the idea for this post a couple of weeks ago when I was reading some glowing reviews for The Collaborative Works Festival in Chicago. The Collaborative Arts Institute was founded three years ago by three musicians: two of whom, Nicholas Phan and Shannon McGuiness, happen to be friends of mine, and so I have been eagerly following their progress. In only three seasons, the festival has collaborated with world class artists, presenting them in song recitals, and has created an organization which is not only artistically compelling, but also financially stable. All during a time in which a new press outlet or company head bemoans the death of opera and classical singing on a daily basis. The idea that two people I know, in spite of all the odds and the constant barrage of negative press about the "state of opera", managed to create something that makes a real artistic contribution from scratch got me wondering about just how many other companies and festivals featuring classical singing and opera had cropped up during this new millenium.
Paola Prestini: Following Her Vision
Frank J. OteriNewMusicBox
Paola Prestini combines wild imagination and controlled practicality on an almost molecular level—it’s as if both are fused together in her DNA. Whether she’s talking about her own multimedia operas or VisionIntoArt, the interdisciplinary arts production company she co-founded 15 years ago, she tends to think big but she always manages to make it happen.
San Francisco Opera Director to Step Down
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (NYT)
The San Francisco Opera announced at a news conference on Friday that David Gockley, its general director since 2006, would retire in July 2016, putting the double bar on a tenure that by then will have run 10 years and two months. Mr. Gockley, 71, has long been regarded as one of the most innovative and adventurous leaders in the American opera world.
Forgotten opera 'Amleto' proves worthy of excavation
Tim SmithBaltimore Sun
The first public hearing in 143 years of Franco Faccio's “Amleto,” presented Thursday night by Baltimore Concert Opera in the elegant ballroom of the Engineers Club, offered rewards and frustrations.
New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Review for Downgrade
Michelle KaskeBloomberg
New York City’s Metropolitan Opera Association, the largest performing arts organization in the U.S., is under review for a downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited reduced revenue. Moody’s, which rates the Met’s $100 million of debt A3, seventh-highest, said the review “reflects softening in earned and gift revenue,” according to a report by analyst Dennis Gephardt.
Forget Netrebko. Here’s an Opera With Courtney Love.
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (The New York Times)
Most productions at the Prototype: Opera/Theater/Now festival seek ways to erode the boundaries between opera and pop. But the composer Todd Almond and the director Kevin Newbury plan to kick those boundaries over entirely. They have cast Courtney Love, the rock singer and widow of Kurt Cobain, as the star of Mr. Almond’s “Kansas City Choir Boy,” which will have its world premiere at the Manhattan Arts Center during the next Prototype festival, Jan. 8 to 17.
Donation puts Houston Grand Opera near $165 million goal
StaffHouston Chronicle
Houston Grand Opera’s “Inspiring Performance” endowment campaign reached $163 million in contributions Tuesday, thanks to a $1 million gift from Ernest C. and Sarah Butler of Austin. The Butlers’ donation, which will sponsor the company’s chorus-master position, puts the multi-year endowment drive near the $165 million goal set for Dec. 31.
$40 Million to Help Build Audiences in the Arts
Felicia R. LeeArtsBeat (The New York Times)
Most arts organizations these days are seeking ways to fill seats and to expand their audiences. On Wednesday, the Wallace Foundation will announce a $40 million effort to help performing arts organizations around the country do so.
Winners Chosen in Program to Aid Female Composers
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (The New York Times)
The League of American Orchestras and EarShot, the organizations administering a new program to provide commissions and premieres for scores composed by women, announced the winners of its commissions on Tuesday.
Migrating Maestros: Why Are So Many European Conductors Quitting?
Fred PlotkinOperavore
Last year, I wrote about long-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's negative impact on every aspect of Italian society, including the arts. Reform efforts after his departure came through a new law called Il Legge Valore Cultura, which was intended to strengthen and maintain monuments (such as the Coliseum) and the 14 important Italian opera houses, often called foundations. One of the stipulations of this law was to reduce the size of the boards of the theaters, which may have resulted in a reduction in fundraising potential precisely when more money has to be sought from private sources.
Jessye Norman: Why I Ignore My Critics
StaffBBC
Award-winning opera singer Jessye Norman has explained why she does not read what critics say about her. 

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


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