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Opera Singers

December 5, 1996
Jules Bastin, 64, one of Europe's greatest opera singers. Bastin sang the starring bass roles in Verdi's "Don Carlo" and operas by composers ranging from Mozart to Wagner. A Belgian, he was best known for his sensitive interpretation of works in French and Italian. But his own favorite was Richard Strauss' comic German opera, "Der Rosenkavalier." The singer was appreciated for his acting talent as well as his voice.
August 23, 2013 | By Lauren Frayer
LISBON - One clear blue morning last October, professional opera singer Ana Maria Pinto boarded a bus at 6 a.m. in her hometown in Portugal's north and made her way to an 18th century colonnaded courtyard on this capital city's riverfront. It was Republic Day, a national holiday, but President Anibal Cavaco Silva's annual speech was closed to the public for the first time. Financially beleaguered Portugal is often hit by anti-austerity protests, and Lisbon's beleaguered officials wanted to avoid confrontation.
September 3, 1999
The Orange County District Metropolitan Opera will hold auditions Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. in Memorial Hall at Chapman University, 333 N. Glassell St., Orange. Sopranos, mezzo-sopranos and contraltos must have turned 19, and tenors, baritones and basses must have turned 20, by Aug. 1, 1999. No applicant may be older than 33. Winners at Chapman will compete in the Western Regional auditions, Nov. 12 and 13 at USC.
July 31, 2013 | Chris Erskine
So what's it like in the hyper-exclusive Lexus Dugout Club, hobnobbing with Tommy Baseball and the agents from CAA? Well, Lasorda's a lot more fun than the talent agents, but that's setting the bar pretty low. Let's just say this: The Dugout Club isn't everybody's cup of high-priced tea. But should you get the chance, should some wealthy uncle gift you with a couple of tickets, you might consider going. In fact, call off your wedding. Reschedule that appendectomy. For the Dugout Club is baseball's Magic Kingdom.
November 16, 1986 | Associated Press
Rudolf Schock, one of postwar Germany's best-known opera singers who also performed frequently abroad, died Thursday at the age of 71, a police spokesman said. A son-in-law found the tenor singer's body in his Dueren home, said the spokesman. Born in Duisburg on Sept. 4, 1915, Schock made his debut at age 18 with the opera house of that Ruhr Valley city.
Dr. Loren L. Zachary, who translated his love of Viennese opera into a support group to help young opera singers begin their careers, has died. Zachary died Saturday of heart failure in Brotman Hospital in Culver City, where he had practiced for four decades, said his wife, Nedra. He was 85, although he disliked revealing his age and once told The Times, "I'm too old to tell." With his wife, Zachary founded the Loren L.
August 28, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Leopold Simoneau, a tenor who was an expert interpreter of Mozart and was considered one of Canada's most acclaimed opera singers, has died. He was 90. Simoneau died Thursday night at the Victoria, Canada, home where he had lived since the early 1980s with his wife, soprano Pierrette Alarie. "He was without doubt one of the most accomplished singers we have ever produced," said Timothy Vernon, artistic director of Pacific Opera Victoria. "He had ...
Julie Makerov could have chosen an easier career than professional opera singer. But she says opera is her only passion. And she's determined to succeed. The 27-year-old USC graduate student has been singing since she was 5 and studying classical repertoire for 11 years. Makerov said she devotes 10 hours a day to "singing and music-related activities" and funnels virtually every cent she earns, an estimated $20,000 from music jobs, into her opera career.
July 19, 2007 | Chris Pasles, Times Staff Writer
Acclaimed tenor Jerry Hadley, once considered one of America's most versatile and important opera singers, died Wednesday at St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., said family spokeswoman Celia P. Novo. He was 55. Hadley was found unconscious on the floor of his bedroom in his upstate New York home on July 10 with what police said was a self-inflicted wound to his head from an air rifle.
Marilyn Horne travels with a complete medicine chest. Simon Estes gulps vitamins daily--at least 3,000 units of Vitamin C. Sherrill Milnes wears a scarf and rarely talks in the cold outdoors. Leigh Munro washes her hands often. Benjamin Luxon doesn't worry about his health and even spends time cutting wood on his farm. Opera singers sometimes take extraordinary precautions to avoid catching a cold or the flu. After all, that first sneeze can lead to a temporary loss of livelihood.
January 9, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
It's lunchtime at Punch Productions, Dustin Hoffman's company, and the Brentwood office is a hive of activity. As young female assistants scurry around offering up salads and beverages, Hoffman - in a blue button-down shirt, gray cords, running shoes and a pedometer - putters around, explaining his company's logo (it's based on the large-nosed Italian commedia dell'arte character Punchinello) and joking with a photographer ("You know why I look so good: extraordinary plastic surgery and a penile reduction.
December 12, 2012
Galina Vishnevskaya Russian opera singer, wife of Rostropovich Galina Vishnevskaya, 86, a world-renowned Russian opera diva who with her husband defied the Soviet regime to give shelter to writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn and suffered exile from her homeland, died Tuesday in Moscow. Moscow's Opera Center, which Vishnevskaya created, announced her death but did not state the cause. Vishnevskaya, celebrated internationally for her rich soprano voice, married cellist Mstislav Rostropovich in 1955.
November 15, 2012 | By Hugh Hart
"Getting old is not for sissies. " That's a Bette Davis line, as quoted by a retired singer in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, "Quartet," but the world-weary wisecrack serves equally well as subtext for a bittersweet batch of new films that examine something that has been largely missing from the big screen: the aging process. At 82, Christopher Plummer's Oscar-winning turn in 2010's "Beginners" stood as something of an anomaly. This year, the "senior cinema" entries have grown to include two late-spring releases: Clint Eastwood's grumpy-old-man showcase "Trouble With the Curve" and the surprise hit "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," in which Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Bill Nighy appear as British pensioners in chaotic India.
November 5, 2012 | By Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
Mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin dreams in vivid color - though she's been blind since birth. Yellow? That's the scent of ripe lemons and the warm sun glinting off her cheeks as a child in Encino. White is the crunch of snow and the feel of frothy shaving cream oozing between her fingers. Silver is the cool silkiness of chrome. And brown? That's the sound of B-flat. It reminds the singer of chocolate. "I always joke that part of me can sense color from maybe having had a past life," Rubin says.
November 3, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
Billy Connolly may have been named the U.K.'s "most influential stand-up comedian of all time" this year, but at his core he's the same banjo-playing welder who infused his Humblebums gigs with joke-telling. So when he was asked to play a role recently abandoned by Albert Finney and opposite Maggie Smith in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut "Quartet," it was only natural the 69-year-old Scot would feel some pangs of trepidation. "I thought, 'Oh, my God!' I got a bit scared," said Connolly of acting opposite such acclaimed talent.
September 10, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling
TORONTO -- Actor Dustin Hoffman has been trying to direct a movie for years. At the age of 75, he has finally done so, and if the audience reaction inside the Elgin Theatre on Sunday evening was any indication, it was well worth the wait. From the two standing ovations awarded to Hoffman and his 77-year old star, Maggie Smith, before the film even began, to a third handed out at the conclusion of the screening, it was evident that this older crowd at the Toronto International Film Festival was thrilled with Hoffman's film "Quartet.
May 30, 1999 | MARK SWED
VILLA-LOBOS: Cho^ro No. 11 Ralf Gothoni, piano; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo, conductor Ondine *** 1/2 Although he was one of the most original and prolific composers of the 20th century, Heitor Villa-Lobos still is principally represented by a few guitar works and the "Bachiana Brazileira No. 5." And nothing could better prove how little we know Brazil's Bach than the fact that his "Cho^ro No. 11," a piano concerto that lasts more than an hour, is as obscure as it is.
July 19, 1992 | Michael Elliott, Michael Elliott is Washington bureau chief for the Economist
On a golden day last fall, longer ago than now seems possible, I was in Lincoln, Neb., for Sen. Bob Kerrey's declaration that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency. Remember Kerrey was, for a couple of months, not just any old candidate--he was seen as the chief rival to Bill Clinton for the role as this year's man of a new generation, one whose cultural mindset had not been formed by World War II but by the 1960s.
July 24, 2012 | By Chris Barton
It's a tip that bears repeating at a time when it's practically more of a subversive act to not have some kind of body art: If you must get a tattoo, take the long view when it comes to your choices. Faced with concerns about a swastika tattoo he received during his younger days fronting a heavy metal band, Russian opera singer Evgeny Nikitin has pulled out of the renowned Bayreuth Festival in Germany, according to the event's organizers. Nikitin was to appear in a performance of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" later this week.
July 18, 2012 | By Scott Timberg
Los Angeles-based Juliana Snapper is an avant-garde opera singer who aims to take apart opera and the tradition of singing. The Drama Review has said that "Snapper sings the voice as limit ... unbearably raw, a flayed shred of human need, desire, pain. " She has collaborated with Los Angeles body artist Ron Athey on the work "The Judas Cradle," which premiered at REDCAT, and performed in (and co-created) the world's first underwater opera, "You Who Will Emerge From the Flood," in Manchester, England.
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