January 17, 2010 |
There are operas whose scores are hummable and whose tunes have worked their way into popular culture. And then there are operas that resist any sort of easy packaging -- operas that are, for lack of a better phrase, musical oddballs. Robert Kurka's "The Good Soldier Schweik" is considered by some opera scholars to be one of the oddest ducks ever to grace a stage. Those who prefer their operas to color within the lines should take heed: The spastic, constantly shifting style of "Schweik" is bound to keep even the most experienced listeners on their toes.
September 14, 2007 |
NEW YORK -- Picky opera fans are getting a vote. Online balloting will determine which segments will air during a December telecast on PBS to mark the 30th anniversary of Metropolitan Opera telecasts. Voting starts Monday and ends Oct. 12 on PBS' website, the Met said, and each voter can select 10 operas. Soprano Renée Fleming will host the telecast, which will feature the top 10 vote-getters.
August 7, 2005 |
AS operas by Handel, Vivaldi and other Baroque-era composers become increasingly popular, more people wonder about the castrati -- the emasculated singers who were often the richly paid stars of these works. Now, the Handel House Museum in London is planning an exhibition, to run from March through September 2006, that will focus on the castrati who worked with George Frideric Handel.
July 14, 1989 |
Eight years after its conception as part of President Francois Mitterrand's cultural legacy, and after almost as many years as a political football, the new home of the Paris Opera--the $400-million Opera Bastille--opened Thursday. There was a little music, a lot of pomp, and a ton of security to watch over Mitterrand and more than 30 other heads of state here for the bicentennial celebrations of the French Revolution.
August 23, 2013 |
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.
November 29, 2009 |
For young opera singers, lucky breaks don't come easy -- and for mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato they tend to be incredibly painful. This summer, DiDonato was in London performing in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" (a role she reprises today in her LA Opera debut). She was well on her way to a successful opening night at the Royal Opera House, finishing the famous aria "Una voce poco fa." Then suddenly, DiDonato tripped on a metal flap track onstage and fractured her fibula. Most singers would (and probably should)
October 22, 2010 |
Operas set in Los Angeles are exceedingly rare creatures. The ultra-modern metropolis would seem like an odd fit for an art form that isn't generally known for embracing the contemporary. But in the case of the opera "America Tropical," the history of L.A. provides an epic backdrop on which musicians harmonize the city's past and the present in poetically time-bending ways. "America Tropical" covers 200 years of Los Angeles history, from the city's founding in the 1780s to the Rodney G. King beating and aftermath of the early 1990s.
November 18, 2010 |
The surviving prologue of an unfinished, long-lost opera by Dmitri Shostakovich will have its world premiere in December 2011 in a semi-staged production at Walt Disney Concert Hall, capping a multi-year process of musical sleuthing and improbable discoveries that's nearly as eye-opening as the work's bizarre subject matter. Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in three performances of the reconstructed prologue to the opera, "Orango," a blisteringly satirical 1932 work about the wayward doings of a grotesque half-man, half-ape creature that the Russian composer wrote in collaboration with librettists Alexei Tolstoy and Alexander Starchakov.
October 18, 1997
Bravo! L.A. Times for "A Generation of L.A. Opera Singers Comes of Age" by Jan Breslauer (Oct. 15). I am a huge fan of L.A. Opera and it's about time that the company and its artists get the exposure they deserve. L.A. Opera is truly a gem and deserves more attention than it is receiving. That is why I was pleasantly surprised when I turned to the Calendar section and saw the familiar faces of Rodney Gilfry, Suzanna Guzman, Greg Fedderly and Hector Vasquez. Opera is alive and kicking, but the general public is not aware of this.
May 7, 2004 |
The Santa Fe Opera plans to present an opera in Spanish for the first time in nearly three decades, general director Richard Gaddes said. Argentine Osvaldo Golijov's "Ainadamar," which opened last year at Tanglewood, will be revised for the 2005 season by Golijov and director Peter Sellars. It is based on the life of poet-playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. The Santa Fe Opera's last Spanish-language production was Manuel de Falla's "La Vida Breve" in 1975.