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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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Would you like your press releases and announcements featured on the OPERA America website and in OperaLink? Submit the url to your announcement in the "Submit a Press Release" section. Press releases must be hosted on your own site or through a third-party site like Google Docs or PitchEngine. Please contact Patricia K. Johnson at PKJohnson@operaamerica.org with questions.
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Artistic & Production Administrators Headlines
David Pogue makes opera debut at Wolf Trap with Google Glass in ‘Carmen’
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
At Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, David Pogue is going on stage in “Carmen” with a Google Glass headset, a small wearable computer, and broadcasting snippets of the onstage action to give the audience a sense of what it’s like to be out there under the lights.
The Future of Opera
Terry TeachoutThe Wall Street Journal
Terry Teachout explains why opera needn't be bound for extinction.
Opera Australia Announces Lianna Haroutounian as Replacement for Tamar Iveri
Staffbroadwayworld.com
Opera Australia announces their replacement for Tamar Iveri, the Georgian singer who was fired last week following Facebook comments she made in which she compared homosexuals with "faecal masses". Opera Australia, who describes Iveri's views as "unconscionable, released her from her contract to perform the role of Desdemona in their staging of Otello.
Central City Opera to Focus on Touring
Marc ShulgoldColorado Public Radio
Central City Opera will travel to small cities and towns around Colorado with three little-known, one-act operas: The Prodigal Son, one of three church parables by English composer Benjamin Britten; Don Quixote and the Duchess by French composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier; and The Blind, a 1994 work by Russian-born American composer Lera Auerbach, written for an a cappella chorus of 12 who portray a group of stranded blind people.  
10 Things About Having an Opera Career That You Don't Learn in School
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
So you have a bachelors and a masters degree in... opera singing. Congratulations! According to about 85% of the population, you may as well have an advanced degree in underwater basket weaving. Now that you've done your upteenth young artist training program, it's time to venture out into the big bad world of classical singing. As someone who has been working in this industry for the past 15 years, I wanted to share with all of you some of the tidbits I wished someone had told me when I was starting out. Brace yourselves - it's not all pretty.
Lorin Maazel, an Intense and Enigmatic Conductor, Dies at 84
Allan KozinnThe New York Times
Lorin Maazel, a former child prodigy who went on to become the music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and several other ensembles and companies around the world, and who was known for his incisive and sometimes extreme interpretations, died on Sunday at his home in Castleton, Va. He was 84.
Bicycle opera in gear for five-week tour
Trish CrawfordThe Star
There's a new kind of opera riding into town.
Women in theatre: how the '2:1 problem' breaks down
Guardian/Elizabeth FreestoneThe Guardian
How well are women represented in theatre? New research by the Guardian in collaboration with Elizabeth Freestone shows a mixed picture.
What Do Opera Singers Actually Get Paid?
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
There has been a lot of union activity lately in the opera world, and numbers have been thrown around in the press which have caused many an ear to perk up.
Google Glass, Social Media Topics for Spark!
Janet Gramza Sightlines (USITT)
What place do Google Glass, social media, and smartphone apps have at live performances?
'A Streetcar Named Desire': Opera score gets new treatment
Joshua KosmanSFGate
Composer André Previn's operatic treatment of "A Streetcar Named Desire" has gone through some up-and-down cycles since its 1998 world premiere at the San Francisco Opera, which commissioned the piece under former General Director Lotfi Mansouri. There have been a few scattered productions over the intervening years, but it's never quite gained a solid foothold in the repertoire.
Who is Creative Placemaking? New Music, Integrity, and Community
Daniel Siepmann NewMusicBox
Daniel Siepmann examines the relationship between new music and placemaking – a new approach to contemporary arts funding that purports to culturally and economically reinvigorate American places through the arts. 
Cincinnati Opera is going mobile
Mike SarasonSoapbox Cincinnati
Cincinnati Opera has embarked on a new and innovative project called the Opera Express, thanks to a $50,000 Revolutionary Grant from OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences grant program.
On the State of Opera
Speight JenkinsOpera Sleuth
A lot of ink has recently been spilled about the demise of opera. Audiences are supposed to be drifting away; the number of subscribers is dwindling; people generally are not interested in our art form; all is gloomy, and opera has been described as being pushed off a precipice by public disdain and disinterest.
Revival Is on the Table for Bankrupt New York City Opera
Sara RandazzoThe Wall Street Journal
Could the curtain rise again at the New York City Opera? The shuttered institution, which closed its doors last fall after years of financial woes, could be revived in some fashion, according to two lawyers working on the opera’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
Distracted Diva: The Second Screen Goes to the Opera
Allan Kozinn ArtsBeat (The New York Times)
In June, On Site Opera presented a production of Rameau’s Pygmalion, at which operagoers were encouraged to use Google Glass, onto which a translation of the libretto was projected. The technology used to project the subtitles to Google Glass was created by Figaro Systems. Now Figaro is taking the next step: When the Wolf Trap Opera performs Bizet’s Carmen on July 25, Figaro and its MobiTxt technology will be on hand.
Lyric Opera Baltimore scales back to one production and concerts for 2014-2015 season
Tim SmithThe Baltimore Sun
Lyric Opera Baltimore, which scaled back from three productions to two after its 2011-2012 inaugural season, is scaling back again. Only one staged work, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, will be presented during 2014-2015, the company's fourth season.
Lyric Opera [of Chicago] reports banner year for ticket sales, revenue, fundraising
John von RheinChicago Tribune
On Monday evening, Lyric Opera of Chicago announced significant increases in ticket sales, ticket revenue and fundraising in fiscal year 2014.

In 39th season, Opera Theatre of St. Louis shows good health, new work
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
This summer, Anne Midgette is traveling to several of the country’s leading opera festivals — St. Louis, Glimmerglass and Santa Fe — to evaluate how well they are doing in the current climate. A stop in St. Louis reveals that some of them are doing very well indeed.
Critic's Notebook: A Predicament Right Out of a Melodramatic Opera
Mark SwedLA Times
When announcements for the next opera season began arriving early this year, the overall impression was that our country's companies were getting livelier if not yet up to the more progressive European model.

Los Angeles Opera, in particular, is coming out of an economic slump and once again beginning to look like an artistic leader. In an especially encouraging development, American — and new American — opera has become commonplace all over the land.
A Modern Opera: Fat Unions May Kill the Fat Lady
Eric GibsonThe Wall Street Journal
An epic confrontation is playing out at the Metropolitan Opera, only it isn't the familiar one between star-crossed lovers. The famed opera company, which opened its doors in 1883, is in a life-or-death negotiation with its unions—15 of them.

That's right, 15 labor unions, with more than 2,000 workers. Stripped of its high-culture context, the Met finds itself in a battle that sounds eerily similar to the fiscal realities many big-city mayors are now confronting when negotiating overtime, work rules and health-care benefits with sanitation workers. It's not entirely similar, though: The average singer in the Met's 80-person chorus makes between $145,000 and $200,000 annually. The curtain could fall at the end of July, when the Met's contract with 15 of its 16 unions expires.
I turned Google Glass into opera glasses
Adi Robertson The Verge

For On Site Opera’s latest project — an adaptation of Rameau's Pygmalion performed amidst wax statues and mannequins — it tested a new kind of translation, projected not on a wall but on the lens of Google Glass.

Kentucky Opera secures next five years of leadership
Elizabeth KramerThe Courier-Journal

Kentucky Opera’s general director, David Roth, has renewed his contract for another five years, and Music Director and Principal Conductor Joseph Mechavich has signed a two-year contract. 

Pecan Summer: an opera for Indigenous Australia
Van BadhamAustralia Culture Blog
Pecan Summer was the first Aboriginal opera. Now, as it prepares to be staged for the fourth time in Adelaide, its composer Deborah Cheetham explains why it made such an impact.
The Dallas Opera and the San Diego Opera to Co-Produce 'Great Scott'
StaffBroadway World
The Dallas Opera proudly welcomes a co-producer, San Diego Opera, to the first major project in fourteen years by critically acclaimed American composer Jake Heggie (Moby-Dick) and Tony Award-winning playwright and librettist Terrence McNally (Master Class). Great Scott will star world-renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in her eagerly anticipated Dallas Opera debut.
Gertrude Stein Opera Finds Beauty in the Mundane
Jim DrydenDeceptive Cadence

Gertrude Stein was a big woman with a big ego. Her friends were big, important artists, like Picasso and Matisse. A new opera by composer Ricky Ian Gordon, best known for his acclaimed 2007 opera based on John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, takes place in Paris and gets its name, 27, from the street address where Stein and Alice B. Toklas hosted many of the greatest artists and writers of the early 20th Century.


In Ukraine, a night at the opera isn't just for adults
Sara Miller LlanaThe Christian Science Monitor
As an American, the Monitor's European bureau chief did not expect the audience at Kiev's opera house to be quite so youthful.
Opera bigwigs share survival strategies in SF
David WiegandArts & Not (San Francisco Chronicle)
For a moment there, the opera folks gathered in the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt for Friday’s opening session of the three-day national conference of Opera America were like a family assembled by the bedside of an ailing relative who’d just received a clean bill of health.
‘Hannibal’ Is Becoming An Opera
Jonathan Barkan.Bloody Disgusting
Composer Sung Jin Hong (Breaking Bad) will be bringing the story of Hannibal to the big stage in the form of a serial opera in the 2014/2015 season. The opera will be performed by One World Symphony on unplugged acoustical instruments. There is no other information except for a short teaser video...
Opera awaits after battle with cancer
Kieran BanksThe Queensland Times
Two years ago Booval singing teacher Helen Coleman faced the prospect of never being able to speak again as she faced a battle with thyroid cancer. After doctors performed a thyroidectomy, Ms Coleman's once powerful and classically trained voice was reduced to just a whisper. But month by month and note by note during a challenging rehabilitation period, her voice has returned.
Four Seasons picks up the baton for gourmet tailgating at the opera
Damon ScottAlbequerque Business First
The world-renowned Santa Fe Opera kicks off its season later this month and with it will come some pretty high-level tailgating opportunities. The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is offering a gourmet tailgate and backstage tour for guests and residents.
Terry Gilliam's opera diary: 'We have a big head problem'
Terry GilliamThe Guardian
Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini is incoherent, bombastic and nigh on unperformable. The perfect project, then, for Terry Gilliam to direct. We asked him to keep a diary as he brought the work to the English National Opera stage. Strap in for a bumpy ride…
The Art of Setting the Senses on Edge
Anthony TommasiniThe New York Times
An often-quoted phrase from Milton’s “Comus,” a masque about the god of festivities, describes a roar that emerged from the woods and “fill’d the Air with barbarous dissonance.”

That poetic image pretty well sums up the general notion of dissonance in music: a barbarous, discordant, clashing combination of notes. But it’s not that simple. And the subtleties of musical dissonance have become harder to keep straight as the term has been increasingly embraced by other fields, like American politics, where reporters speak of the growing “dissonance” between the two major parties, or psychology, which invented the term cognitive dissonance to describe a state of stress arising from internal contradiction.

Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Gets an Operatic Tale
Brian WiseOperavore
As the music and literary worlds remember the life and career of Maya Angelou, another eminent American author and poet is drawing attention in New York this week. Like Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe was celebrated for the musicality of his prose, for the melodious lilt he brought to words inherently tense and gothic. His 1845 poem The Raven is a masterpiece of the supernatural, depicting a distraught man's descent into madness as he's tormented by the presence of a mysterious raven.
Opera Screenings Do Not Drive Actual Opera Attendance, Study Finds
Patrick von SychowskiCelluloid Junkie
A UK study just released has found that screening opera in cinemas is not boosting the interest to attend performances in actual opera venues. The research would seem to provide ammunition to those who claim that event cinema screenings of Met and Royal Opera House productions is cannibalizing audiences from regional opera productions and is not increasing interest in the art form as a whole. However, a careful reading of the findings and underlying numbers provides a more complex picture.
Opera screenings failing to boost interest in the art form, survey finds
Nicola MerrifieldThe Stage
Around 85% of audiences that attend live screenings of opera do not feel more compelled to see the art form live afterwards, according to a new survey. The investigation found that, after seeing an opera at the cinema, around 75% of participants reported feeling no different about attending a live production, with around 10% feeling less motivated.
Sex Workers’ Opera opens in Hackney
Emma BartholomewLondon24
Street corner prostitutes, high class escorts, web cam workers and porn stars have all helped write an opera which some of them will perform in Hackney tonight. The Sex Workers’ Opera, which will be staged at The Courtyard Theatre, has been devised through a series of community workshops backed by the Royal Opera House. At least half of the opera’s performers are sex workers but to ensure anonymity for all those who do not want to be “outed” in the media, the whole cast has promised not to keep schtum over whether they’re employed in the industry or not.
The Opera Cocktail
StaffKitchen Riffs
The Opera Cocktail was a classic in pre-Prohibition days. And no wonder—its lightness and clean, crisp flavor make it the perfect palate cleanser before a summer dinner. We’ll be drinking it to celebrate the opening of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, a summer opera festival that runs from late May through late June. Tonight marks their second performance (Mozart’s The Magic Flute), and in June they’ll be presenting the world premiere of Gordon & Vavrek’s Twenty-Seven. More about all of this later.
Why Did A US Airways Pilot Not Allow Violins On A Charlotte Plane?
Carol JacksonWUNC 91.5
Two classical musicians tried to board a US Airways flight on Memorial Day. They were told that they were welcome, but their violins were not. Nicolas Kendall and Zachary De Pue are frequent flyers. They perform as part of the group Time for Three (Tf3.)  In recent weeks the trio has performed in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Indianapolis. They've always been able to bring their violins with them, in the cabin of the plane.
Paris Opera and Ballet Productions Thrive in Movie Theaters
Celestine BohlenThe New York Times
Going to the opera is an event in Saint-Louis, a small French town of some 20,300 inhabitants nestled near both the Swiss and German borders. People get dressed up, they sip Champagne at intermission: Like operagoers everywhere, they are there to enjoy the occasion, as well as the performance. It doesn’t seem to matter that they are watching a screen in the 250-seat La Coupole movie theater. The performance is live, beamed directly from the Opéra Bastille or the Palais Garnier in Paris, with added features such as behind-the-scenes interviews and an opening introduction.

The Juilliard School’s 109th Commencement Speech ~ Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonatoYankeediva
I stand before you this morning, duly humbled, and in awe of the distinguished and hard-earned accomplishment awarded to each and every single one of you on this unforgettable and long-awaited day of your graduation. Look at you! You are gowned and tassled and you’re ready to take on the world! Through that first nerve-racking audition, all those subsequent sleepless nights, the painstaking preparation for your recitals, the endless hours of reed-making and memorization, the blisters and the tears, and now here you walk side by side with the life-long friendships you have now forged, you are about to be Alumni of the acclaimed Juilliard School! I invite you to breathe that in. You, my friends, are living the dream!
15 Cities for Creative 20-Somethings That Aren't New York or Los Angeles
elyssa goldbergPolicyMic.com
Being an artist in America doesn't have to mean living in a shoebox on a coast with nothing but the pennies you make at your day job to support an artistic endeavor. Contrary to popular lore, the U.S. is home to many artistic cities aside from the requisite stops of New York and Los Angeles.
In theatre, fiction is being underrated
Lyn GardnerThe Guardian
One of the errors that verbatim theatre often makes is to conclude that because something is true, it is more interesting. Or rather, more interesting than something that has been made up. It's like those Hollywood movie openings that tell you the film you are about to see is "based on a true story". Why should that give it any more currency than a story that has been entirely made up and yet feels as if it's real – or more real than real? After all, imagination is the currency of all writers and theatre-makers.
Maintaining a Classical-­Music Miracle in Cleveland
Craig DuffThe New York Times
When Milton Maltz looked down from his box seat in Severance Hall — the stately home of the Cleveland Orchestra — he used to fear for its future. “I saw gray hair and no hair,” said the longtime orchestra benefactor. “And I said, ‘Where are the young people?’”
Postscript: on opera and the critics’ responsibility
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
I have already had my say about the case of Tara Erraught, the mezzo-soprano who was so soundly criticized for being “dumpy” in Glyndebourne’s new “Der Rosenkavalier.” But as the discussion continues to rage online, and the glee of the critic-bashers mounts, I feel the need to make three more points.
An opera singer’s backlash wasn’t just sexism
Mary Elizabeth WilliamsSalon
It’s not just about the sexism – but don’t worry, I’ll give you a little angry feminist ranting about that too. And this is more than about body shaming, though there’s plenty of that in the tale as well. But mostly, this is about arrogance and snark, and what that does to artists — and the aspiring artists watching them.
Met Orchestra's Players Turn to Social Media
Michael CooperThe New York Times
Sometimes the musicians post behind-the-scenes tidbits, like some decades-old advice a viola player found penciled into her part for “Andrea Chénier” by one of her predecessors: “whatcha da mice!” — meaning watch the maestro in one tricky passage. But the recently revamped website by the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra — imagine a cross between Opera News and BuzzFeed — also has infographics (“Reeds by the Numbers” explains the hours it takes woodwind players to make reeds for their mouthpieces); offers a look at how the audition process recently chose one player from the 208 who had applied; and has an interactive quiz to help newcomers decide “What should your first opera be?”
The famous Canadian author makes her first attempt at writing opera with Pauline
StaffWe Vancouver
We all know Margaret Atwood can write novels. Now, one of Canada’s most beloved writers tackles a new genre. Pauline is Atwood’s first attempt at writing an opera. The opera, with music by world-renowned composer, Tobin Stokes, tells the tale of Canadian writer, poet and actress Pauline Johnson.
How The Metropolitan Opera Could Go Dark This Summer
Dave JamiesonHuffington Post
Before the Metropolitan Opera began airing in high definition in theaters in 2006, Margot Therre's job in the opera's scenic department was a bit simpler. Back then, Therre and her colleagues designed scenes for a theoretical viewer seated about 200 feet from the stage. But with the advent of HD broadcasts, it was like the whole audience was sitting in the front row.
Are opera singers now to be judged on their looks not their voice?
Jennifer JohnstonThe Guardian
A storm of protest has erupted over critics' disparaging comments about a Glyndebourne singer's size and shape. If there is a line over which opera critics should not step, then it is into the realms of a singers' personal appearance, writes mezzo soprano Jennifer Johnston.

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
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