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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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Education Headlines
Placido Domingo kicks off Operalia, says he's up for L.A. Opera opener
David NgLA Times
Plácido Domingo has been battling illness, but the 73-year-old general director of L.A. Opera confirmed that he is, indeed, healthy enough to take the stage for the company's season opener on Sept. 13. He made that point Tuesday by energetically kicking off his annual Operalia competition, held in Los Angeles for the first time in 10 years.
Oh, Susannah: San Francisco Opera Opens Its Golden Gate
Jeff KalissSan Francisco Classical Voice
The Sept. 6 company premiere of Susannah serves as a long-awaited reunion of San Francisco Opera’s general director, David Gockley, and the opera’s composer and librettist, Carlisle Floyd.
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.
Vittorio Grigolo on Getting Young People to the Opera
Rosamaria ManciniThe Wall Street Journal
Vittorio Grigolo is the tenor of the moment. The 37-year-old Italian first made a name for himself singing the key role of Rudolfo in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2010 and since then has become the important young male face of the opera world. The former Sistine Chapel chorister will end his summer tour with a return to the 13,000-seat Arena di Verona. He will play Romeo in Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, based on Shakespeare's timeless love story.
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.
14 Artists Who Are Transforming The Future Of Opera
Priscilla FrankHuffington Post
Opera, which translates to "work" in Italian, doesn't only refer to women in viking helmets singing high notes in a foreign language. The medium officially extends to any dramatic art form in which all parts are sung to instrumental accompaniment, and it's evolved far past the "La Bohème" you dozed off to on your middle school field trip. (No offense, Puccini.) Although The Met may not be tapping into today's boldest operatic experiments, that's not to say they're not out there.
The Met averts shutdown: Does opera have to be grand to survive? (+video)
Harry BruiniusChristian Science Monitor
The live spectacle and resounding, unamplified human voices of opera, its dwindling number of aficionados say, is something the digital age, even with its many wonders, can never top.
John Adams Explains Why His Northridge Earthquake Opera Took 19 Years to Reach L.A.
Christian HertzogLA Weekly
It’s not a musical — there’s no dialogue between the songs. 

It’s not a traditional opera — there are no musical transitions from one emotional moment to the next.

Composer John Adams calls I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky a “songplay.” Librettist June Jordan calls it an “earthquake romance.” However their collaboration is pigeonholed, it hasn’t been heard in California since its world premiere in 1995 in Berkeley; the only professional American performance after its original run in Montreal, New York and Europe was in Cleveland 12 years ago.

Play it again: how to make an opera’s second run a success
Tim MurrayThe Guardian
How do you make an old and over-performed opera feel fresh and new? Start by reexamining the score, writes one conductor
Opera Goes Modern With Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad
Max BartlettNorthwest Public Radio
Opera is sometimes seen as stuffy, old-fashioned, even a little... you know. Elitist. But some operas are working to change that. Opera on Tap in Seattle works to make opera part of our musical pop culture, and Washington's Lyric Light Opera performs popular musicals such as the Music Man, and even adaptations of Beauty and the Beast.
In Surprise Finale at Metropolitan Opera’s Labor Talks, Both Sides Agree to Cuts
Michael CooperThe New York Times
After months of harsh words and escalating threats of a lockout, the Met and the unions representing its orchestra and chorus looked into the abyss and reached a tentative deal early on Monday, agreeing to significant and somewhat surprising cuts.
Licia Albanese, Exalted Soprano, Is Dead at 105
Margalit FoxThe New York Times
Licia Albanese, an Italian-born soprano whose veneration by audiences worldwide was copious even by the standards of operatic adulation, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 105.
Revised Ending
Fred CohnOpera News
It is one of the strangest chapters in the history of American opera. Earlier this year, working with key members of his board, Ian Campbell, the general director, artistic director and CEO of San Diego Opera, determined that the company he had led for thirty-one years should shut its doors. He almost succeeded in getting his way.
Met’s Labor Woes Divide Opera Fans as Well as Participants
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The conflict, which threatens to silence the Met before its new season gets underway next month, is reverberating far beyond the travertine walls of the opera house. Opera buffs across America and the world, who have become part of the Met’s extended family through its Saturday radio broadcasts and live cinema transmissions, are watching closely and weighing in.
Fort Worth Opera announces cast of JFK opera
Betty DillardFort Worth Business Press
Fort Worth Opera in collaboration with American Lyric Theater in New York City announced the cast of the 2016 world premiere opera JFK about President John F. Kennedy’s final night and subsequent morning in Fort Worth on Nov. 22, 1963. 
Trying To Rehabiliate One Of History's Most Problematic Operas
David Patrick StearnsWRTI
Opera fans often hope to find some sort of lost masterpiece or even an obscure work by a great composer; which is what the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns recently encountered at the Bard Summerscape Festival, with the help of a creative team that knows Philadelphians well.
Santa Fe Opera’s sustained high note
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
The Santa Fe Opera sits like a shining white cloud in the red hills a few miles north of Santa Fe. Beams and cables hold up its roof like the top of a tent, poised for flight. Below this, warm adobe walls gently nudge the open air into the shapes of opera-house tradition, delineating lobbies and gathering places and, of course, the auditorium, its 2,200 seats now sheltered by the roof but still exposed to the elements on the sides. 
An opera contest of Wagnerian proportions
Seattle TimesMelinda Bargreen
The audience voted, the orchestra voted, and the judges also voted. Excitement ran high in McCaw Hall for the third International Wagner Competition, with nine competing singers who have the potential to make careers in one of the most demanding vocal categories of all.
Stop what you're doing and go see an opera about human trafficking
Carolina A. MirandaLos Angeles Times
It's not every day that someone tells you, "Drop whatever you're doing and go see an opera about human trafficking." But today is one of those days: So drop whatever you're doing this evening and go see an opera about human trafficking. I'm totally serious.
Metropolitan Opera Postpones Lockout by a Week
Jennifer MaloneyThe Wall Street Journal
The Metropolitan Opera and two of its unions have agreed to hire an independent financial analyst to assess the company's finances, postponing a threatened lockout by another week, officials said Saturday.
Lockout Is Delayed While an Independent Analyst Examines the Met’s Finances
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera, which had threatened to lock out its workers if it did not reach new deals with its labor unions by Sunday night, said Saturday evening that it would extend its current contracts for about a week while an independent analyst examined its finances.
In Final Hours, Metropolitan Opera Extends Contract Deadlines for Unions
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera postponed a threatened lockout late on Thursday night, saying that it had done so at the request of a federal mediator who was brought in at the 11th hour to try to salvage its contract negotiations with the unions representing its orchestra and chorus.
Met Opera, unions extend contract talks
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
This is the most heartening progress yet in a negotiation period that has been conducted, throughout the summer, in the public eye. With blog posts, calls to the media, and a steady stream of press releases, both the unions and the Met have done their best to steer the discussion.
Zambello’s Glimmerglass festival: strong parts looking for a greater whole
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
Zambello is, of course, the artistic director of the Washington National Opera. But since 2010 — a year before she became WNO’s artistic adviser and two years before assuming her current role — she has been the artistic and general director of Glimmerglass, and she has put her stamp on this once-struggling festival more than she has yet been able to do in Washington.
Labor Struggles at Metropolitan Opera Have a Past
Michael CooperThe New York Times
Now, after three relatively quiet decades, the Met is on the brink of its worst labor crisis in years: Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, is threatening to lock out the company’s orchestra, chorus, stage crews and other workers on Friday, endangering the coming opera season, if they do not agree to new contracts with cuts to their pay and benefits. The contracts for 15 unions at the Met expire on Thursday night.
Google (Opera) Glass Makes Debut in Puccini’s Turandot in Italy
Eric SylversDigits (WSJ)
How do you get young people interested in opera? A better pair of opera glasses, of course. In what is being touted as a first, the opera house in Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia, will have some of its singers and musicians wear Google Glass Wednesday night when they perform Puccini’s Turandot, with the images from the digital devices sent in real time to the organization’s Facebook page.
Metropolitan Opera Considers Mediation in Contract Talks
Jennifer MaloneyThe Wall Street Journal
The Metropolitan Opera has proposed bringing in a mediator to facilitate talks with two of its unions, a move that labor experts said could delay a lockout that management has threatened for Friday.
Artbound Wins L.A. Area Emmy for "Invisible Cities" Documentary
StaffKCET.org
On Saturday July 26, KCET's Artbound was awarded an L.A.-Area Emmy Award for Entertainment Programming for the documentary Invisible Cities: An Opera for Headphones, a one-hour special episode tracing the creation and performance of The Industry's avant-garde opera Invisible Cities.
L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky exiting as a champion of arts
Mark SwedLA Times
The five-term supervisor, who will leave office at the end of year because of term limits, has been singularly fearless among U.S. politicians as an arts advocate.
The Future of Classical Music
Diane RehmThe Diane Rehm Show
Classical music has thrived for centuries. But many say it is now facing its biggest challenges of all time, and risks becoming obsolete. Orchestras across the country face financial trouble, and there’s worry that the younger generations are connecting less and less with Brahms and Debussy. In response, many organizations are venturing into new musical and technological territory to attract loyal audiences…everything from intimate “living room” concerts organized on social media, to collaborations with pop and rock artists. A look at classical music’s place in society, and what’s in store for its future.
American Opera, Rising
Eileen CunniffeNonprofit Quarterly
Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed wrote a compelling piece last week exploring the state of opera in American cities and, notably, the increase in new American works of opera as a means of keeping the artistic discipline relevant and appealing to 21st-century American audiences. “The art form is not standing still,” he writes. “It’s growing, uncontrollably, by leaps and messy bounds.”
What is the Future of Arts Journalism?
Robert BettmannARTSblog
Arts journalism is changing rapidly. Newspaper coverage has shifted, and the number of blogs and small magazines covering the arts has grown exponentially. While it’s uncertain what the structural changes in arts journalism will mean for the arts over the next twenty years, changes are happening and affecting audience participation.
At Some Venues, iPads Take The Place Of Opera Glasses
Arun RathNPR
An experiment at a new production of Carmen has many wondering how technology will affect operagoers' experience. NPR's Arun Rath talks to Kim Witman, director of the Wolf Trap Opera.
Seattle Opera's Jenkins Looks Back At His Legacy, Including Making 'Colorblind’ Opera
Florangela DavilaKPLU
Speight Jenkins is stepping down as general director of Seattle Opera after 31 years. And among the things he’s most proud of are the productions of two successful Ring cycles, surviving the economic recession by not resorting to just producing popular operas and advancing the opportunities for African-American men.
Carlo Bergonzi, Masterful Operatic Tenor, Dies at 90
Margalit FoxThe New York TImes
Carlo Bergonzi, one of the 20th century’s most distinguished operatic tenors, renowned for the refined interpretive taste and keen musical intelligence he brought to his art, died on Friday in Milan. He was 90.
Orchestra Faults Met Chief’s Record as a Lockout Looms
Michael CooperThe New York Times
Facing a potential lockout that could halt work at the Metropolitan Opera when its labor contracts expire next week, representatives of the company’s orchestra sat down with the administration on Friday for their first across-the-table negotiating session since February. The meeting appeared to be less than harmonious.
What's the difference between an opera and a musical?
Tim WongThe Telegraph
The line between operas and musicals is blurring. Earlier this month the English National Opera announced that the company will team up with Michael Grade and Michael Linnit to stage musicals – on top of their regular programme of operas. Aside from making full use of the Coliseum round the year, ENO is hoping that musicals will form part of an "audience development programme", nurturing opera goers of the future.

Revenue, labor woes have Met Opera singing the blues
Theresa AgovinoCrain's New York
Those numbers, and the Met's deficit, are among some of the hard realities facing the company as it attempts to renegotiate contracts with its 15 unions. Many observers think a strike or lockout will occur, which could further damage the Met's shaky finances.
Opera's Old-Fashioned Race Problem
Gwynn GuilfordThe Atlantic
For the last two weekends, 38 white amateur performers in Seattle cinched up their obis and daubed on facepaint to perform The Mikado—standard fare for an operetta set on the fictional Japanese island Titipu where characters are given ridiculous names like Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum.
Hear Elmer Fudd Sing Opera for the First Time
John JurgensenThe Wall Street Journal
A rare outtake from a Warner Bros. recording session documents the birth of one of Elmer Fudd’s most-quoted lines, from 1957’s “What’s Opera, Doc?” That cartoon and a trove of behind-the-scenes material help anchor a new exhibition about the animation director Chuck Jones, opening Saturday at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
Georgian opera singer Tamar Iveri announces charity concert for gay rights
Andrew Pottgaystarnews.com
Opera singer Tamar Iveri was let go by Opera Australia and La Monnaie opera company of Brussels after a homophobic post appeared on her Facebook account, but she is now planning a charity concert for LGBTI rights in the Georgian capital.
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.
Is it soup yet? Andy Warhol opera in progress
Samantha MelamedPhiladelphia Inquirer
On May 2, John Miles began the evening swathed in blue plastic, belting out Velvet Underground lyrics, and quoting Andy Warhol ("Oh wow! Oh gee!") at a pop-up performance with the Bearded Ladies Cabaret at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At intermission, he left - and sped toward the Academy of Music in Friday evening traffic, to lend his baritone to the chorus in Opera Philadelphia's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Opera Begins Here – Exploring Cavalli’s Calisto
Evans MirageasWVXU Cincinnati
Jove, ruler of the gods, sets his sights on the beautiful nymph Calisto. But she—a devotee of the goddess Diana—is sworn to die a virgin. Undeterred, Jove hatches a plan to wend his way into her heart (and her bed) by donning a Diana-like disguise. But when Jove’s wife catches wind of the scheme, neither god nor mortal can know how far her fury will go.
Vancouver opera scene is on a roll
David Gordon DukeEdmonton Journal
With the premiere a few weeks ago of the Stokes/Atwood collaboration Pauline and the building hype about Weisensel and Koyczan’s forthcoming Stickboy, the Vancouver opera scene is on a roll. Although we will have to wait for it until next year, another new work is underway: the comic opera Choir Practice by the team — in life as in art — of Stephen Chatman and Tara Wohlberg.
Lyric Opera lifts the veil on its work-in-progress “Bel Canto”
Dennis PokowThe Classical Review
On Friday, the Lyric Opera of Chicago presented what it called a “Bel Canto Workshop” for some members of the media and a select group of donors in its William Mason rehearsal room.
Stalinist Opera Revived to Celebrate Crimea Takeover
Janos GerebenSan Francisco Classical Voice
On July 10, the St. Petersburg Opera Theater debuted Crimea, a new production based on a 1946 opera called The Sevastopolians by Marian Koval. Koval, who died in 1971, was a laureate of the prestigious Stalin Prize, and well known for his role in the Stalin-inspired campaign against fellow composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
How The 3 Tenors Sang The Hits And Changed The Game
Anastasia TsioulcasUALR Public Radio
The Three Tenors joined to conquer. When this trio of famous opera singers — José Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti — gave a one-night-only show at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium on July 16, 1994, it was a massive spectacle watched by a billion people worldwide. More than that, the Three Tenors phenomenon permanently altered how a large amount of classical music is presented, packaged and sold.
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.  

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