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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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Education Headlines
Opera's 'Oscars'
Corinne RameyThe Wall Street Journal.
David Hyde Pierce and Joyce DiDonato Host the Opera News Awards
Closing an Opera With 'Dignity'
John M. EgerHuffington Post
After 49 years, the San Diego Opera announced a few weeks ago, it was closing its doors. Ian Campbell, the Opera's CEO and artistic director, said:

"The whole idea is to exit with dignity. ... Exiting with dignity is critical to us. This city doesn't need a bankrupt opera company."

This idea of closing "with dignity" was echoed by Karen Cohn, chairwoman of the San Diego Opera.
Opera production director a skilled mentor
Melissa Daniels Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Jerome R. Sherk of Ross died on Thursday, April 10, 2014, of cancer. He was 65.
UT opera singers stage free, live performance
Kritika Pramod KulshresthaThe Daily Texan
A trip to the SFC Farmers’ Market East last Tuesday would have allowed shoppers to witness a free live opera performance by UT students. 
Opera hits high note with 70 auditioning for Project Puccini
Pam McKayRockhampton Morning Bulletin
CYNDI Thomson works in cartography.

She is hoping her latest vocal venture could map a new course for her artistic career.

The talented Rockhampton performer was among the first of more than 70 budding artists who auditioned for a prized role in the chorus of Opera Queensland's production of La bohème.
Teaching music is good for business and law students
Kathryn FehrmanSan Diego Source
There have been more articles recently about schools cutting arts and music budgets. As though music is expendable. As though we and our children can live without it.
Stop Blaming Philanthropists for the Opera and 2015 Meltdowns
Scott LewisVoice of San Diego
The other day, John Lamb at CityBeat wondered what happened to the San Diego Opera and whether it could be linked to what happened to Balboa Park Celebration Inc., the entity charged with putting on a grand party to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 1915 Panama California Exposition.
Utah Opera Hosts 13th Annual Children's Opera Showcase Tonight
Opera News desk
Utah Opera will give local elementary school students a chance to take the spotlight to perform original operas in a professional theatre. The thirteenth annual Children's Opera Showcase will take place Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at 6:30 PM in the Jeanné Wagner Theatre located in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 West 300 South).
GRINDR The Opera to Premiere at The West End Cabaret, 5/2-3
Opera News desk
Libertine Idol Productions and Charles Czarnecki are presenting the world premiere of Erik Johannes von Ransom's GRINDR The Opera in concert on May 2nd and 3rd at The West End Cabaret, with direction by Rachel Klein. GRINDR is an unauthorized musical parody of the eponymous gay hook-up app that has sweepingly altered the course of modern gay intimacy.
Death Knell for Opera in San Diego After 49 Years
Adam NagourneyNew York Times
After a three-week battle that convulsed the community here and subjected its once revered opera company to widespread derision and accusations of mismanagement — Ian D. Campbell, its general and artistic director, was nearly booed off the stage when he stepped out to introduce “Don Quixote” this month on opening night — the board of directors on Friday reaffirmed its intention to close down. The final scheduled performance was on Sunday.
Opera classics to be performed by students as part of ‘Talk Opera’ programs
The world of talk shows is in a state of flux, with Jimmy Fallon taking over the desk for The Tonight Show and Seth Meyers becoming the new host for Late Night. One thing is unlikely to change, however: Opera will still be underrepresented in the mix of celebrity interviews and musical guests.
Ian Campbell's dramatic and controversial curtain call
Peter RoweSan Diego Union-Tribune
In long career, opera chief has amazed many and infuriated more than a few.
Opera Company Sings Out
Nancy King, opera singer and associate professor in the music department at University of North Carolina Wilmington along with Wendy and Jerry Fingerhut, transplanted New Yorkers and avid Metropolitan Opera fans, have started a grassroots effort to ensure Wilmington has its own performing opera company.
OPERA America: San Diego Opera's challenges are not insurmountable
JW AugustABC10 News
An open letter was sent to San Diego board members from the influential OPERA America, based in New York City, that advises them that the financial problems they're struggling with are not insurmountable.
Opera star takes interim post as company's musical adviser
Phil MillerThe Herald Scotland
Scotland's national opera company has appointed an acclaimed operatic baritone, Sir Thomas Allen, to the ­temporary role of music adviser as it searches for its next music director.
San Diego Opera, waiting for a savior, may have had its final curtain call
Soraya Nadia McDonaldThe Washington Post
After years of floundering ticket sales, the San Diego Opera performed to a sold-out matinee crowd Sunday afternoon, but it may have been too little, too late.
KCAI students visit Lyric Opera
Jill ToyoshibaThe Kansas City Star
Kansas City Art Institute students in the "Drama of the Body" figure drawing class had the opportunity to visit the Lyric Opera to learn about the building of an opera Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014. Their May 9 final will feature drawings and paintings from source material on Die Fledermaus. Xiaolei McKean (from left), Nandi Harrison, Whitney Johnson and Allason Lewis photograph the score of the opera.
The Little Match Girl Passion (or when is opera not opera?)
Roland PeelmanLimelight Magazine
David Lang's Pulitzer Prize winning Little Match Girl Passion is Australia bound, but is it opera?
Stanford University's Immersive Les Misérables, With Opera-Going Experience, Offered April 11-19
Michael GiolaPlaybill
Ram's Head Theatrical Society at Stanford University stages a reinvented production of the Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables, which includes an immersive element called the Opera-Going Experience Project, April 11-12 and 17-19 in California.
Putting a Ring on it elevates Houston Grand Opera to new heights — and accomplishes a great dare
Joseph CampanaCulturemap Houston
There’s only one Ring — Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, a mammoth endeavor comprised of four operas for which Wagner crafted both music and librettos over 26 years. With the Friday night premiere of Das Rheingold, Houston Grand Opera initiates this season on its very first Ring, a signature accomplishment for an opera company.
Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company
Mark MobleyNPR Music
One opera company has vowed to do what it does best until it gets the money it needs. For more than 60 years, Texas-based Rio Grande Opera has attracted world-class singers, directors, conductors and composers to its lavish McDermott Opera House. But as the economy began its freefall, and with no new major donors forthcoming, they hit on a last-ditch strategy no one had ever tried before: a pledge drive marathon they're calling a Lone Star Wagnerrama.
Three nonprofits forming alliance to enhance music education, performance opportunities throughout Central Alabama
Three nonprofit organizations are joining forces for the cause of music education in central Alabama.
Yo-Yo Ma, other artists bring music to Detroit's Spain Elementary
Ann ZaniewskiDetroit Free Press
Legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma had a captive audience as music flowed from his instrument, sparking smiles and a few dropped jaws. The setting was not an orchestra hall, but a classroom.
Funding Arts Education One Vans Custom Culture Sneaker at a Time
Jessica WiltARTSblog
Vans Custom Culture began as a much smaller project lead by a high school art teacher in Colorado, Franky Scaglione, and his best friend, Shawn Gruenhagen, who is a sales rep for Vans. The competition was originally held between classmates at Wheat Ridge High School in Denver who customized blank Vans shoes that Shawn brought them. It morphed into a larger, national high school art competition once Shawn brought the idea back to the Vans marketing team at our headquarters in Southern California. Using Franky and Shawn’s original concept of a competition around custom shoes, we launched the first national edition of Custom Culture in 2010. The goals of the program were the same then as they are now.  First, give high school students a chance to express themselves creatively. Second, put some much needed funds back into the hands of high school art programs. Third, create a platform to raise awareness for the importance of art education in our schools.
Sarasota Opera stays true to composer with Verdi bill
As far as I have been able to determine, Verdi’s Jérusalem has not been performed in Canada in all of the 167 years since its 1847 premiere in Paris. Come to think of it, it hasn’t been performed in most other countries either, at least since the 19th century, which is why music critics from around the continent converged on Florida recently for one of its extremely rare stagings by the world’s current leading producer of early Verdi, Sarasota Opera. No, I am not joking. By 2016, unless the gods intervene, Sarasota Opera will have become the first company anywhere to have produced every note Verdi wrote: all the operas in all their different versions (a total of 33), as well as all the Italian master’s nonoperatic music.

Soprano debuts in two Met Opera roles within day
AP staffRapid City Journal
Opolais on Saturday become the first singer in the Met's 131-year history to make two major role debuts within a day.
Rants And Raves: Opera History Suggests Opera Will Not Go Away Quietly
Beth AccomandoKPBS News
San Diego Opera’s “Don Quixote” may be the last opera produced by the company. I saw a performance Tuesday night that made me think about opera in history.
A rare opportunity to see Clifton Forbis, the Michael Jordan of opera, in Nashville Opera's Otello
Abby WhiteNashville Scene
To close their 2013-14 season, Nashville Opera offers what artistic director John Hoomes says is "one of the most intense operas ever written."
Sir Thomas Allen appointed music adviser to Scottish Opera while the Vienna Phil win $1m prize
Tom ServiceThe Guardian
A couple of operatic stories for your delectation, or possible consternation: 
Locavore Music
Brett CampbellEugene Weekly

Thursday, April 17, at the Hult Center, the Eugene Symphony plays three 19th-century Euro-classics: Sibelius’s tone poemFinlandia, Schumann’s Piano Concerto (featuring the esteemed soloist Antonio Pompa-Baldi) and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3. It’s a typical program for American orchestras that regard classical music as a historical museum of centuries-old artifacts from Europe.

Frost Opera Theater to flash back to the 1960s with Daugherty’s “Jackie O”
Lawrence BudmenSouth Florida Classical Review
Contemporary operas tend to have a short performance life. A world premiere may be followed by one other production and then the score is forgotten, succeeded by the next premiere. Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O is an exception to that pattern.
Classical music, funny? Surely you're joking...
Ivan HewettThe Telegraph
Can classical music be funny? Anyone venturing into an orchestral concert for the first time is likely to say – you bet it can.
Houston Grand Opera goes for the gold with the "Ring" cycle
Steven BrownHouston Chronicle
The "Ring" presents so many musical, theatrical and financial challenges that only a handful of U.S. opera companies have done it. Houston Grand Opera will join them Friday when it presents the first part, "Das Rheingold," or "The Gold of the Rhine."
Operatic Drama Swells in Labor Talks at the Met
Michael CooperThe New York Times
As the latest labor talks at the Met have gotten off to their most contentious start in decades, replete with colorfully threatening emails and emotions running nearly as high offstage as on, it is beginning to look as if a little presidential intervention might come in handy again.
Peabody Soprano Breaks a Window With Her Voice
Brandon WeigelBaltimore City Paper
Last Friday, Peabody Institute soprano Tammie Woods was practicing the aria in Act One of Verdi’s Il Trovatore when the operatic equivalent of the hole-in-one happened: she broke a pane of glass in one of the studio’s windows.
Opera hopefuls get opportunity
Peter FoleyThe Logan Reporter
IPSWICH performers of all types are taking their shot at performing in the chorus of a new concert production of Puccini's La bohème. In Project Puccini, an initiative by Opera Queensland, 36 adults and 12 children from Ipswich will be chosen to form a chorus to sing in Italian and act alongside OperaQ's principal artists and musicians from Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Ipswich is one of eight regional communities involved in Project Puccini. It is an ambitious initiative which will train 48 people in each region to sing and act beside OperaQ's principal artists and Queensland Symphony Orchestra's musicians.
Can chocolate make workers more productive?

Happy people work harder (especially if they get chocolate)

University of Warwick researchers say they've discovered through experiments that being happy -- such as receiving free chocolate -- can make people 12% more productive.
Fresh Meadows teen opera singer dreams big at the Met
Alex Robinson
Most teenage girls would rather dream of becoming Beyoncé than Maria Callas, but not Regina Fierro.
The 16-year-old Fresh Meadows junior recently took part in a four-day intensive program at the Metropolitan Opera for High School students, in the hope of one day becoming a professional opera singer.
Julian Anderson’s ‘Thebans’ at the English National Opera
Andrew ClarkFinancial Times
The sound of “Summertime”, one of Gershwin’s most famous tunes, wafts through the air from a piano in the hotel lounge. It’s hardly a conversation stopper, least of all when a classical composer is present, 
NEA Captures Data on Artists with Day Jobs
Not long ago we wrote about a study that took up the question of who is an artist, examining some of the ways in which defining creative workers is difficult. One of those issues stems from employment — whether the label “artist” refers only to people who work as such full time. On Monday the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) added to the conversation by releasing a new data set called “Keeping My Day Job: Identifying U.S. Workers Who Have Dual Careers as Artists.”
Bachelor Alum Sharleen Joynt: The Opera World Takes Me "Less Seriously" Because of Show
Apparently there's not a lot of overlap between Bachelor Nation and the classical music world. Opera singer Sharleen Joynt hit all the right notes with Juan Pablo Galavis on season 18 of ABC's The Bachelor, but now that she's back among the masses, she's having a difficult time separating her real life from reality TV life. Resuming her career as a coloratura soprano has been especially challenging, the New York City resident said in an interview with WQXR.
Northern Arizona University to Open First Early Baroque Opera: Claudio Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea”
Abbie GripmanArizona Daily Sun
Early Baroque opera comes to Northern Arizona University for the first time this spring with NAU Opera’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) by Claudio Monteverdi.  NAU Chamber Orchestra will provide the musical accompaniment for this performance, with two cellos and approximately 10 string instruments, as well as a synthesizer filling in for the sounds of authentic Baroque instruments.
Behind the Scenes: LA Opera’s Costume Shop
Michelle MillsSan Gabriel Valley Tribune
L.A. Opera’s costume shop is not far from the garment district in Downtown Los Angeles. Just a few steps across its foyer is the main floor, bustling with people working at sewing machines and sergers, snipping and ironing fabric, and hand stitching beads or other embellishments onto costume pieces. The tables and walls of the work areas are papered with photos, pages ripped from fashion magazines, sketches and open books, all serving as examples of the fashions being created.
Opera in Texas Houston, we have mariachi
HOUSTON: oil city, NASA base…opera hub? Not long ago, the notion might have seemed outlandish. But the city's opera house, Houston Grand Opera (or HGO, as it's commonly known), is about to stage Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle, the rite of passage for any serious opera company. And in a development with potentially longer-term implications, it’s attracting ethnic minorities to its performances.
BBC axes Review Show in week Tony Hall pledges commitment to the arts
Jason DeansThe Guardian
The BBC has axed long-running culture programme The Review Show, in the week director general Tony Hall promised the corporation's "strongest commitment to the arts in a generation".
Chew On This: Operatic Mastication
Susanne MentzerThe Huffington Post
Opera lovers have been on the edge of their proverbial seats waiting to hear the latest about yet another company having trouble.
Winners Named in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
Anthony TommasiniArtsBeat (The New York Times)
This season more than 1,500 aspiring singers participated in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, thought to be the most prestigious voice competition in the field. After auditions in 40 districts and 13 regions in the United States and Canada, it all came down to the Grand Finals concert on Sunday afternoon at the Met.
Drama At The San Diego Opera Enters Second Act
Angela CaroneKPBS
Directors of the San Diego Opera will meet today to address mounting concern among some on the board that they did not have adequate information — including an investigation of the opera’s management tactics — before voting two weeks ago to shutter the venerable institution.
San Diego Opera votes to postpone closure
James Chute San Diego Union-Tribune
Following a nearly five-hour emergency meeting, the San Diego Opera’s board of directors voted Monday to stop the clock on the opera’s looming liquidation.
How to Appreciate an Evening at the Opera
StaffMental Floss
If you think going to the opera means listening to a Viking wail in a language you don’t understand for three boring hours, think again. Here’s how to go further and actually appreciate it.

Winter 2013 Magazine Issue
  • A Banner Year for America Repertoire
  • The Political Voice on the Opera Stage
  • Trustees as New Music Advocates

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