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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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Artistic & Production Administrators 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
San Diego Opera: Progress report
James ChuteSan Diego Union-Tribune
The reborn San Diego Opera continues to make strides. Here’s a progress report.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
$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.
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.
Smog Serenade: Opera in 18 Cars Planned Through Downtown L.A.
Brian WiseOperavore
A Southern California director is planning an opera that will take place inside 18 cars as they simultaneously cruise the streets and highways of Los Angeles. Hopscotch: A Mobile Opera for 18 Cars is the brainchild of Yuval Sharon, the artistic director of the L.A. opera company the Industry, set to debut in the fall of 2015. 
Soprano Nicole Cabell Saves the Day for Washington Concert Opera
Gary TischlerThe Georgetowner
It’s hard to talk about Washington Concert Opera as “show biz,” but what happened to the critically acclaimed company as it prepared for its season opener over last weekend gives rise to that old expression, “That’s show biz!”
Maria Callas Opera Academy In Her Old Apartment Approved By Greece
Maria Jean SullivanClassicalite
The now-dilapidated house where opera legend Maria Callas lived from 1940-45 is set to become an opera school itself, approved by Greece.
Opera San Antonio's 'Fox' brings two performers full circle
Deborah MartinMy San Antonio
Opera San Antonio's staging of Fantastic Mr. Fox marks a bit of a homecoming for cast members Tynan Davis and Theo Lebow.
Tibor Rudas Dies at 94; Brought the World the Three Tenors
Douglas MartinThe New York Times
Tibor Rudas, an irrepressible impresario who took classical music from concert halls to casinos and from there to baseball stadiums and the Eiffel Tower, helping to propel the Three Tenors to global glory, died on Sept. 8 at his home in Santa Monica. Calif. He was 94.
2nd conductor resigns from Vienna State Opera
Associated PressThe Washington Post
The Vienna State Opera has lost Bertrand de Billy — its second star conductor in less than two weeks.
'Massive' Klinghoffer Protest Planned for Met Opening Night
Susan ElliottMusical America
The “Coalition Against the Met Terror Opera” (CATO) has announced a “massive” protest scheduled for Sept. 22 starting at 4:30 p.m. It promises “thousands” on hand to declare their disgust with an “opera promoting terrorism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism.”  ...CATO is protesting John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, which opens Oct. 20.
Sacramento classical music groups receive $1.1 million windfall from estate of former U.S. Forest Service worker
Edward OrtizThe Sacramento Bee
Three classical music organizations in the Sacramento region will share in a $1.1 million bequest from the late J. David Ramsey, a former U.S. Forest Service worker. It’s the most significant gift ever earmarked for classical music through the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which has been overseeing such gifts since 1983.
Why can't we hear more English operas?
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
Rupert Christiansen makes the case for staging rarely performed British operas. 
Korngold’s ‘Tote Stadt,’ one century later
Jeremy EichlerThe Boston Globe
When Odyssey Opera performs a keenly anticipated concert version of Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt next week, it will be, strange to say, the first Boston performance of a once enormously popular work that premiered in 1920. The question of why it took nearly a century for this significant score to arrive here is natural to wonder, and not so simple to answer.
Fall preview: From ’Florencia in the Amazon’ to ‘Dragon Rhyme,’ fantasy resounds in D.C.
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
Fantasy in opera? The canon features dozens of fairy tales of water sprites (Rusalka) and princes (The Magic Flute), giants and dragons (Wagner’s Ring), in which music swirls around and buoys the plots of magical stories. 
Kaminsky’s transgender opera “As One” makes a poignant and remarkable premiere
Eric C. SimpsonNew York Classical Review
American Opera Projects has produced a number of significant new pieces in its twenty-five-plus years, and the company’s latest does not disappoint. Premiered on Thursday night in the Fishman space at BAM’s Fisher building, As One, a ninety-minute chamber opera, is a rich addition to the repertoire. 
'As One' Opera Brings Husband And Wife Stars Together For Heartfelt Transgender Role
Curtis M. WongThe Huffington Post
Opera stars Kelly Markgraf and Sasha Cooke are a husband-and-wife team who've performed together in venues around the world. Still, they're set to explore new territory as the stars of As One, a new chamber opera in which they'll each portray one side of a single transgender character.
Amid Choruses of Despair, an Aria of Hope
Adam NagourneyThe New York Times
Five months ago, San Diego Opera appeared on the brink of extinction after its board of directors, responding to the dismal economic and attendance news confronting opera companies from New York to San Francisco, voted overwhelmingly to close down after 49 years. But things did not work out that way. An unlikely coalition — opera buffs, labor unions, community leaders caught off guard by the threat of the company’s collapse and worried about the damage it would do to San Diego’s civic reputation — formed a rescue mission. 
AFM President Blasts NFL Super Bowl Halftime Kickback Scheme
Antoinette FollettAmerican Federation of Musicians
In what could be deemed the most colossal pay to play scheme ever, the National Football League (NFL) has reportedly asked potential Super Bowl halftime performers if they would be willing to pay the league to play at its big game.
At Home with Renée and Plácido
Michael CooperThe New York Times
...after a summer of armchair travels through the classical music world: Without removing my shoes at a single airport checkpoint, I was able to watch “Trauernacht,” Katie Mitchell’s somber modern staging of Bach cantatas in Aix, check out Anna Netrebko and a baritonal Plácido Domingo in the new production of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” at Salzburg, and hear the rising young tenor Michael Fabiano sing Alfredo in Verdi’s “La Traviata” from Glyndebourne.
Met Opera, Remaining Unions Reach Contract Deals
Brian WiseOperavore
The Metropolitan Opera has now reached tentative labor agreements with all of its remaining unions. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) says the deal covers six unions representing several groups of workers, including camera operators, box office treasurers and scene artists and designers.
SoundCloud introduces ads so it can pay musicians and other creators
Stuart DredgeThe Guardian
With 175 million monthly listeners, SoundCloud is the second biggest streaming music service in the world behind YouTube. Yet it hasn’t paid royalties to the creators and rightsholders of that music for their plays on its site and apps.
Metropolitan Opera Clears Last Major Hurdle in Labor Talks
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera and the union representing its stagehands reached a contract deal early Wednesday morning, clearing the last major hurdle before the company could go ahead with its coming season of operas featuring murderously jealous lovers, dying sopranos and a fellow named Figaro — both before and after his marriage.
Colorado Hiker Sings Opera to Calm Stalking Mountain Lion
Daniel XuOutdoor Hub
Can music soothe a savage beast? If you were to ask 40-year-old Kyra Kopenstonsky, she will tell you that it might have saved her from a cougar attack. Kopenstonsky was hiking a trail near Down Valley Park in Placerville, Colorado on Monday when she encountered a mountain lion. According to a report by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, the lion stalked the hiker for about 20 minutes, during which it would often jump forward and crouch whenever Kopenstonsky attempted to move backwards. She told deputies that when she first saw the animal, she picked up a large branch and attempted to look big. That did not seem to faze the cat, so Kopenstonsky said she did the next thing that came to her mind.

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


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