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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
Portland Opera at 50: grander and weirder than you thought
David StablerThe Oregonian
You think you know your local opera company. They're the folks who put on the "Carmens" and the "Toscas." The people who let us enjoy powerful, unamplified voices pushed to the limits. Who give us moments of tenderness, sweetness and sorrow.

Then, suddenly, they turn 50 and you wonder, how did that happen?
Be very afraid: Another US opera company says it is going bust - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/10/be-very-afraid-another-us-opera-company-says-it-is-going-bust/#sthash.JajQJoSC.dpuf
Norman LebrechtSlipped Disc
The general director of Florida Grand Opera, Susan T. Danis, has written to patrons saying its business plan is not working, there is nothing left to sell and there is no money for new productions. Unless vast amounts are donated, Florida goes dark. 
Nonprofit CEOs Say Board Members Need to Be Better Fundraisers
Holly HallChronicle of Philanthropy
Nonprofit leaders gave their boards an average grade of B minus, according to a study, and trustees were judged to be better at technical tasks like financial oversight than they were at setting strategy or reaching out to the community.
Opera Star Joyce DiDonato Will Sing National Anthem at Game 7
Karen CrouseThe New York Times
The Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie was not the only person with Kansas City ties who spent Tuesday fervently hoping for the opportunity to perform on Wednesday at a World Series Game 7. The opera singer Joyce DiDonato, who grew up in Kansas City as an avid baseball fan, got the call from Major League Baseball to sing the national anthem for the game, should it be necessary.
On ‘The Death of Klinghoffer,’ Justice Ginsburg Finds for the Defense
Jess BravinThe Wall Street Journal
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday pronounced her verdict on “The Death of Klinghoffer”: Not guilty.

The John Adams opera opened last week at New York’s Metropolitan Opera amid accusations that the 1991 work is anti-Semitic and glorifies terrorism. While former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Gov. David Paterson joined protests outside Lincoln Center, Justice Ginsburg took her seat inside.
In a Busy Train Station, a Postmodern Opera Takes Shape
Julie BaumgardnerNY Times
“Most people think of opera as institutionalized, like museums,” confides the director Yuval Sharon. “I believe that opera is an emerging art. If you look at developments in all the other fields — visual, theater, music, architecture — everything is moving toward the interdisciplinary; and the interdisciplinary is the kernel of what opera is.” 
Franco Zeffirelli takes on La Scala: Legendary opera director in battle with theatre over sale of one of his 'greatest' productions to Kazakhstan
Michael DayThe Independent
The fur is flying at Milan’s La Scala, with the celebrated lyric theatre caught in a cat fight with opera legend Franco Zeffirelli. The prickly, 91-year-old director has expressed outrage at the way he says one of his “greatest” productions, the 2006 version of Aida, has been flogged off to a theatre in Astana, Kazakhstan, without his say-so.
Opera Queensland to lure new audiences with $25 tickets Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/opera/opera-queensland-to-lure-new-audiences-with-25-tickets-20141029-11dk7r.html#ixzz3HZcYp2x7
Natalie BochenskiSydney Morning Herald
Opera Queensland will offer $25 tickets and performances in new and surprising locations to draw city crowds back to the art form.
Artistic director Lindy Hume said the past two years had been "rocky" at times, but the fat lady wasn't singing yet.



Portland Opera makes dramatic move to summer seasons beginning in 2016: 'We want to avoid death by 1,000 paper cuts'
David StablerThe Oregonian
Portland Opera is planning to undergo the biggest change in its 50-year history. Beginning in 2016, the company will perform its entire season in a compressed, 12-week summer period.
Canadian Opera Company attendance numbers rise
Trish CrawfordThe Star
Audiences loved the Canadian Opera Company’s productions of Don Quichotte and La bohème last season, almost selling out both operas, the company announced Monday. The report of the 2013-2014 season presented to the COC’s annual general meeting celebrated an average audience capacity of 94 percent, up four percent from the previous year.
Opera Southwest premieres long-forgotten Hamlet opera
StaffAlbuquerque Journal
For Artistic Director Anthony Barrese this was a labor of passion, perhaps obsession. But labor certainly and nonetheless a formidable task. The fruits of his painstaking work at long last came to fruition on Sunday at the National Hispanic Cultural Center when Opera Southwest gave the stunning premiere of the long lost and forgotten “Amleto” (Hamlet) by Franco Faccio. The opera had been performed only once before, the 1865 premiere given by an ailing tenor badly received, causing Faccio to withdraw the work and never compose again.
Sarasota Opera caters to connoisseurs and opera-phobes
Marty ClearBradenton Herald
If you're not an opera fan, your image of the art form is probably shaped by the stereotypes from TV sitcoms or movies. People in tuxedoes sitting in balcony boxes. A large woman in a Viking helmet and pigtails over-emoting as she sings foreign words with an annoying voice. Men who have been forced to attend by their wives falling asleep as the opera stretches into it sixth hour. Or maybe you've just heard opera on the radio and you think it's unintelligible. Those perceptions are wrong.
Florida Grand Opera comes to Hialeah
Marisol MedinaMiami Herald
The visit is part of Opera Lab, a Florida Grand Opera program that visits South Florida high schools throughout the school year to show students how opera can relate to their classes, how they can learn about backstage careers and how to appreciate the centuries-old art form.
Financial state of arts: In Opera's shadow
James ChuteU-T San Diego
Every year, the U-T has examined the financial reports and interviewed the leaders of the top 12 arts and cultural organizations. This year, the inescapable subtext of nearly every discussion was: What about about the San Diego Opera? Here is this year's report.
Contemporary artists flock to the opera
Julia HalperinThe Art Newspaper
Why should blockbuster films get to have all the creative trailers? The Metropolitan Opera in New York has commissioned contemporary artists including T.J. Wilcox, Paul Chan and George Condo to create two-minute previews for its operas this season, which will be beamed into 2,000 movie theatres worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD programme.
Opera for the impatient
Carrie SeidmanSarasota Herald Tribune
Opera, one of the world's most venerable and enduring art forms, has struggled in recent years. Aging patrons, an air of elitism, steep ticket prices, a younger generation's unfamiliarity with the art form and increased competition for the entertainment dollar have all contributed to a gradual decline in attendance.
Minnesota Opera conjures a familiar Gretel
Graydon RoyceStar Tribune
Do you suppose that Minnesota Opera likes Angela Mortellaro? And that the soprano enjoys being in the Twin Cities?

During an interview, Mortellaro counted 10 appearances in Minnesota since 2010, the year she entered the Resident Artists’ Program here.
The Anti-'Klinghoffer' Protests Are the Best Thing That Could Happen to the Metropolitan Opera
Raphael MagarikNew Repbulic
John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer opened at the Metropolitan Opera Monday night amid angry protests. The opera is based on the real-life, 1985 hijacking of a cruise-ship by Palestinian terrorists and their brutal killing of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound, 69-year-old American Jew. Inside Lincoln Center, the opera opened with paired choruses—a tense Chorus of Exiled Palestinians and a mournful Chorus of Exiled Jews—while outside, demonstrators shouted, somewhat less mellifluously, “Terror is not art!”
Florentine Opera Offers Residencies For Young Conductors
Bonnie North and Audrey NowakowskiWUWM
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. 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.

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


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