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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
When Opera Singers Groove to the Motown Sound
Fred PlotkinWQXR
A surprising number of opera singers take an interest in the music of 1960s Motown, Fred Plotkin writes. Which Motown song do you think could work in a recital repertoire?
Just Asking: Opera singer Soloman Howard on the football field vs. the stage
Joe HeimWashington Post

Soloman Howard, 33, is a graduate of the Washington National Opera’sDomingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. He was born in Washington and now lives in Shirlington.

What question about being an opera singer are you tired of hearing?

When I tell people I sing opera, they say, “Why? There’s so many things you could have done. Why opera?” Well, that’s what my gift is. People will say opera’s boring. And I’ll say, “Have you ever really experienced the grandeur of opera on a large scale?”And most of them have never been to an opera to know how emotional it can be and how it encompasses all of the areas of performing arts and how physically demanding it is.

US funds an opera about its ugliest massacre
Norman LebrechtSlippedisc.com
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $80,000 towards the production costs of an opera on the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, when more than 300 civilians were slaughtered by US forces.The opera was commissioned by the Kronos quartet from composer Jonathan Berger and librettist Harriet Chessman. It is scheduled for pemiere in 2015 at Stanford University, where Berger is a music professor. He says: ‘I think it will be a reasonably abstract performance… We’re not going to have war scenes set out on the stage…No blood and gore.’
Impresario Irene Dalis of Opera San José dies at 89
Joshua KosmanSan Francisco Chronicle
Irene Dalis, the San Jose native who established a starry international career as an operatic mezzo-soprano before returning to found and run Opera San José for 30 years, died Sunday in San Jose after a brief illness. She was 89.
Arts Education Matters: We Know, We Measured It
Jay P. Greene, Brian Kisida, Cari A. Bogulski, Anne Kraybill, Collin Hitt, & Daniel H. BowenEducation Week
We recently conducted two studies that used random-assignment research designs to identify causal effects of exposure to the arts through museum and theater attendance. In the museum study, we held a lottery with nearly 11,000 students from 123 Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma schools, roughly half of whom were assigned to visit Crystal Bridges of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., while the other half served as the control group. In the live-theater study, we conducted a lottery to offer free tickets to roughly half of the 700 Arkansas students applying to see "Hamlet" or "A Christmas Carol" at a professional theater in Fayetteville.
Opera company's strategic planner sees flowering of American projects
Casey LoganOmaha World-Herald
The art form’s future looks bright, according to Opera America President Marc Scorca, even as he acknowledges that opera faces some serious challenges in the 21st century.
Sale of New York City Opera's Remaining Assets Expected in Early 2015
Brian WiseOperavore (WQXR)
A sale of New York City Opera's remaining assets is expected take place as soon as January, after a bankruptcy court told the company it has until Dec. 18 to present a reorganization plan.
Opera on Wheels: Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ goes to preschooll
Sally VallongoThe Blade
The Toledo Opera really wants to make opera accessible to all. For years, it has taken adapted productions of famed operas to elementary schools all over the northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan region through its Opera on Wheels program. Some 20,000 students in 60 schools engage with opera first-hand

Feel the Noise: How to Appreciate Peking Opera
Kipp WhittakerThe Beijinger
We can all acknowledge that Chinese opera is very different from its Western counterpart. Although someone like Andrea Bocelli would probably make a fine eunuch on the Beijing stage, the similarities between the two styles are very limited. The use of gestures, acrobats, and cacophonous music is so alien to our cultural palate, but if you approach it with an open mind, the beauty of this amazing art form will eventually reveal itself. From the details of the costumes and makeup, to the other worldly sounds coming out of the performers, there is nothing else like it. Here are a few basic concepts to help newcomers get a better understanding of this art form, and clear your path to becoming a Mei Lanfang fanboy. 
What We Learned From 'The Death of Klinghoffer'
Brian LehrerWNYC
The Metropolitan Opera's production of "The Death of Klinghoffer" has generated praise and protest, with many boycotting the production. Before the opera's run ends this weekend, we explore the real events portrayed on stage, the history of art and controversy, and offer a critic's roundtable.
Townsend and Fresno Grand opera companies to partner
Marijke RowlandThe Modesto Bee
In what is hoped will be a precedent-setting artistic partnership, Modesto’s Townsend Opera and the Fresno Grand Opera are joining forces. Matthew Buckman, the current Townsend general and artistic director, has been named the next general director of Fresno Grand Opera. He will serve as the head of both groups, merging the two companies’ production seasons to share costs and increase reach. Both companies will remain separate entities, with their own board of directors, but will produce the same operas moving forward.
Here's a startup idea: take opera, add beer, put it in Brooklyn
Daniel RobertsFortune.com
Not every opera company has the budget of The Metropolitan Opera. But smaller companies are earning crowds and buzz thanks to unique, alternative models in creative venues.
Opera Now artist of the month: British soprano Mary Bevan
Owen MortimerClassical Music Magazine
The Bevan family are every music marketeer’s dream. A musical dynasty with their own family choir, at least three members of the current generation are already pursuing successful careers in opera. Elder sister Sophie was the Young Artist category winner at the first ever International Opera Awards and now Mary, who received this year’s Critics’ Circle Exceptional Young Talent Award, is enjoying her own meteoric rise.
Toledo Opera performs for Danbury students
Wanda ChandlerSandusky Register
A Toledo based group of Opera performers making up "Opera on Wheels" performed before Danbury School on Tuesday.  The group are resident artists from the Toledo Opera Company and perform through the Education Outreach program called "Opera on Wheels" going around to schools and have performed in front of more than 25,000 students.
Local students get a taste of professional opera
Mike PeelingBrant News
If the squeals of joy were any indication, the Canadian Opera Company may have accomplished its goal of challenging elementary school students to take a second look at and listen to opera. Once again, the COC is taking its Glencore Ensemble Studio School Tour to elementary schools in Brantford and across Ontario until Nov. 30.
Enrico Caruso’s love letters have the passion of a Puccini opera
Dalya AlbergeThe Guardian
The previously unpublished private papers of Enrico Caruso, one of the greatest singers of the last century, have come to light for the first time. Love letters with the passion of a Puccini opera are among hundreds of documents charting his rise to world fame and his troubled personal life.
Opera in the Age of Anxiety
Keith CernyTheater Jones
 If you talk to virtually any board leader of any American opera company about their audience—or a General Director, for that matter—you are likely to hear three, interrelated concerns. The first is that opera audiences, and opera donors, are “aging out,” and are not being replaced with enthusiastic supporters from the next generation. The second concern is that the opera audience is not sufficiently representative of the community, in terms of income and ethnic background. 
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?
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.
In a Busy Train Station, a Postmodern Opera Takes Shape
Julie BaumgardnerThe New York 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.” 
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.

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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
$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.
[Maltese] Government buys opera tickets for elderly
staffMalta Today
The government has bought opera tickets for old people as part of its active ageing strategy, Parliamentary Secretary Justyne Caruana announced.
Ryan Opera Center Announces 2015-16 Season Ensemble
BWW News deskbroadwayworld.com
Dan Novak, director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago , have announced that soprano Diana Newman, mezzo-sopranos Lindsay Metzger and Annie Rosen, tenors Alec Carlson and Mingjie Lei, baritone Takaoki Onishi, and bass Patrick Guetti have been accepted into the prestigious program beginning April 27, 2015.
Next for Yuval Sharon, the Industry: 'Hopscotch,' L.A. opera in 18 cars
Jessica GeltLA Times
From opera on headphones to opera on wheels: The next work from Yuval Sharon and the Industry will unfold in 18 cars cruising downtown L.A., Boyle Heights and the Arts District.
Russia: Opera premiere cancelled after its composer was attacked
stafffreemuse.org
The premiere of a new opera in St. Petersburg has been cancelled after two venues refused to host it and the composer was savagely beaten and death threats were issued.
Party Diary: Opera with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
By Helena Andrews Washington Post
It’s not every day that one gets to audit a history lesson on past chief justices of the United States taught in the Supreme Court and led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Beth Morrison Projects brings ‘Ouroboros’ to Boston
David WeiningerThe Boston Globe
Even though she’s been based in New York for almost a decade, Beth Morrison knows Boston well. She earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Boston University, and it was during her exploration of Boston’s independent theater scene that she hatched the idea of forming her own company to produce contemporary opera and music theater works. Today, Beth Morrison Projects is a driving force in the difficult task of guiding new-music projects from conception to stage, with a portfolio that includes works by Nico Muhly, David T. Little, and David Lang.
Britain's killing talent, warns Dame Kiri
Vanessa ThorpeThe Guardian
One of the world's greatest opera stars has made an impassioned plea for Britain to stop blocking the flow of young singers into opera houses so that the top quality talents of the future can flower.
Los Angeles Opera comes to the beach in Santa Monica
Jessica GeltLA Times
Giuseppe Verdi's fallen woman soared at sunset Wednesday on the Santa Monica Pier as the Los Angeles Opera staged its first live digital simulcast, with an estimated 2,500 viewing La Traviata on a giant screen by the beach while the action was unfolding live at L.A.'s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Before a Night at the Opera, a Day Backstage
Sara KrulwichThe New York Times
As the Metropolitan Opera prepared for this season’s opening night, Sara Krulwich, a New York Times staff photographer, spent a day backstage documenting the intense preparations. Although a labor dispute almost derailed the season, there is no shortage of work to be done: More than 1,500 people work there some days, and this time of year is the busiest.
Long Beach Opera’s Andreas Mitisek Wants a More Connected Community
Asia MorrisLong Beach Post
National Arts Strategies (NAS), an organization that provides accessible and affordable, high quality leadership training programs that enable leaders in arts and culture to explore their toughest challenges, announced the 50 leaders that will be attending The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture.
Video: Vancouver Opera's production of Carmen
StaffVancouver Sun
Director Joel Ivany discusses the Vancouver Opera production of Carmen.


Encompass New Opera, Treehouse Shakers and More Ste for BAM's 2014-15 PDP
StaffBroadway World
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) today announced the participants of the third cycle of the BAM Professional Development Program (BAM PDP), led by BAM and the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. The companies for this session represent mixed disciplines ranging from dance to theater to opera.
New York City ID Cards Coming With Cultural Benefits
Michael M. Grynbaum, Robin PogrebinThe New York Times
The municipal identification cards that New York plans to start issuing next year in an effort to make life easier for undocumented immigrants will come with an added benefit so enticing that many others may sign up for them too: an offer of free tickets or discounts at 33 of the city’s leading cultural institutions.
'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.
Tobias Picker On His Family Opera, "Fantasic Mr. Fox"
Nathan ConeTexas Public Radio
Composer Tobias Picker has written three symphonies, eight concertos, and scores of works for solo piano, chamber musicians, and voice. But in his role as Artistic Director of Opera San Antonio, his focus is on the stage. For the opening of its inaugural season, Picker has selected one of his own works, and one designed to open the doors for all ages to an art form that engages the senses in unparalleled fashion. Fantastic Mr. Fox was Picker's second opera, written in 1998 for the Los Angeles Opera.

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


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