Moving on & up: 3 ways my old career prepared me for my new one
In my own experience, coaching singers is kind of like journalism. There's a foundation of knowledge that continues to grow, but with every new singer - and every new story - there's the possibility of having your mind changed.Read More
Don't you deserve a little Spotlight?
We have an ongoing list of artists to keep an eye on, and we want your help in expanding that list. So, if you know an artist who deserves a little spotlight, let us know! Call them out in the comments, or get in touch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
5 reasons to get your drama fix from oratorio
Leave it to Krzysztof Penderecki, the Polish composer known for writing terrifying music, to bring to life every detail of the Passion according to the Gospel St. Luke. His St. Luke Passion is an eerie, uncomfortable, atonal setting; it's scored for three choruses, a boys chorus, three soloists, a narrator, and a huge orchestra that includes odd instruments like saxophones, vibraphones, and a harmonium.Read More
Jenna's list: the year's Top 10 of London
Well, it's been just over a year since I started running wildly around London, trying not to miss any of the city's endless operatic offerings. On top of the many, many shows, I'll miss the charming little ice creams at intermission (sorry, interval), and the weird named for different seating sections (what the hell are the stalls), and of course, the sheer quantity of things to see and hear all year long.Read More
Graceful exits & double standards
Why, when Domingo is clearly still involved in the operatic industry in a huge way, must his schedule still include staged performances in roles meant for true baritones? When his work at WNO, LAO, and Operalia includes time spent with such skilled artists at the starts of their careers, has Domingo considered the possibility that he is taking opportunities from these rising stars - particularly the hardworking baritones?Read More
Is new opera putting the répétiteur out of a job?
Centuries ago, the piano could act as a self-contained, portable element that encompassed the sound world of an orchestra; the role of the répétiteur has evolved organically out of this practice, and most rehearsal pianists are valuable assistants to conductors and liaisons for singers. Now, composers are now working with a sound spectrum that is larger than a piano can represent; to use a piano in rehearsal no longer achieves the goal of re-creating what the singers will hear when the "real orchestra" shows up.Read More
Natalie Dessay: "opera is an art which has not been able to renew."
Frankly, there are either examples of forward-looking operas, or there aren't. It's strange that Dessay dismisses the works of two of the great opera composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, as though their rarity makes them invalid. On top of the big names like Adams and Adès, a fair peruse of what's happening in places like Minnesota Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Houston Grand Opera can easily dispel the "rare" myth.Read More
Poor decisions & professional consequences
There's something to be said for adding personal comportment to the long list of must-haves within the competitive industry of opera; with so many great singers vying for coveted professional spots, why give the gigs to the man who drinks so much that he smashes peoples' heads against toilet bowls?Read More
Why opera fans love to name-drop
Basically, if we were to tell you that Terrence Malick has made a new Netflix miniseries starring Meryl Streep and John C. Reilly, and that it was written by JJ Abrams, and that it features cameos by Alan Rickman, Uzo Aduba, and (maybe?) Stan Lee, you'd go see it, right?Read More
It's been a year and change of fantastic musical experiences here in London. The companies have been generous and welcoming, the shows have been full of ear- and eye-candy, and the sheer quantity of operatic offerings have been a total treat.Read More