June 8, 2002
I have been a subscriber to the L.A. Opera for five years, but never before have I seen such disregard for the balcony ticket-holders as was shown in Gian-Carlo del Monaco's production of "Turandot." I sat in the center of the first row of the balcony, and for a good portion of the first and second acts I could not see the singers, because they were so high up on the set that the proscenium cut off my view. Anyone who sat higher than I did saw even less. There is no excuse for this disregard of balcony ticket-holders.
January 16, 2008 |
The Dallas Opera plans a world premiere of the opera "Moby Dick" as part of its first season in its new digs. Tenor Ben Heppner will star in the role of Captain Ahab in the work by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer in April 2010 at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. "Moby Dick" will be one of five operas during the 2009-2010 inaugural season in the opera house, at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. The opera is based on the novel by Herman Melville and is a co-production with the San Francisco Opera, the San Diego Opera and the Calgary Opera of Canada.
July 15, 2005 |
Anthony Freud, general director of the Welsh National Opera, has been named general director and first chief executive of the Houston Grand Opera, effective March 2006. Freud succeeds David Glockley, who has led the company for 33 years and who becomes general director of the San Francisco Opera in January. Patrick Summers will continue as music director of the company. A London native, Freud, 47, has been at the helm of Welsh National Opera for 11 years.
October 6, 2004 |
Opera in Denmark has a new home after Maersk McKinney Moeller, a 91-year-old Danish billionaire, signed over a $417-million opera house on Copenhagen's waterfront to the government. The first performance -- Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida" -- will be presented in January. The sleekly modern opera hall -- with its bubble-faced front and four-story foyer -- was designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen.
January 18, 2005 |
A new opera based on the life of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, featuring a rapper as Kadafi and a chorus of all-female bodyguards, highlights the new season of the English National Opera. The program of London's second-largest opera company will be the first season fully curated by the company's new artistic director, Sean Doran.
October 20, 2006 |
Kristin Chenoweth is going back to her roots as an opera singer. The Tony winner will give a solo concert at New York's Metropolitan Opera on Jan. 19 and make her formal Met debut as Samira in John Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles" in March 2010. Chenoweth, 38, won a scholarship in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions as a lyric coloratura but turned down the scholarship for her first off-Broadway role. After a stint on "The West Wing," she returns to Broadway Dec.
May 30, 2008 |
First it was a film, then a book. The next stop for Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" is opera. La Scala officials say the Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli has been commissioned to produce an opera on the international multiformat hit for the 2011 season at the Milan opera house. The composer is currently artistic director of the Arena in Verona. Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his efforts to alert the world to the dangers of climate change.
March 20, 2003 |
Coming soon to an opera house in Prague: a celebration of the Czech Republic's hockey gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Scheduled to open April 8, 2004, "Nagano, the Birth of a Legend" -- commissioned by the Czech National Theater -- is billed as "an opera in three periods and one overtime." "Czech operas traditionally have a libretto based on heroic moments of this nation's history," said Pavel Petranek, program manager for the theater's opera. "Nagano certainly was one of them."
May 16, 2007 |
The West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's critically acclaimed new opera, "The Grapes of Wrath," and soprano Deborah Voigt singing the title role in Strauss' "Salome" will highlight Opera Pacific's 2008-09 season, the company has announced. Gordon's opera, based on John Steinbeck's novel, will be given four times in January 2009. Voigt will sing four performances of "Salome" the following March.
June 29, 2004 |
A Mozart opera modernized to feature prostitutes, full-frontal nudity, drugs and sadistic violence has created a storm in Berlin. The premiere of "The Abduction From the Seraglio" at the Komische Oper last week was met with shouts of "Scandal!" and "That's not Mozart!" and threats by opera house sponsor DaimlerChrysler that it would pull its $24,000 annual funding.