Even while absent from the conductor's podium, Music Director James Levine's presence is nonetheless still felt in The Metropolitan Opera's upcoming programs. Blogger Fred Plotkin shares his highlights.
Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is composer-in-residence at Carnegie Hall this year. Her much-admired body of work includes the operas L’Amour de loin and Adriana Mater. Blogger Fred Plotkin spoke with her about her upcoming engagement.
Sipping a flavorful tea and enjoying an opera are mutually compatible activities, writes blogger Fred Plotkin. One composer has even written an opera on the subject.
One is a veteran artist who gets better all the time; the other is a young singer whose immense gifts and potential suggest he might achieve comparable things, writes Fred Plotkin.
Marco Armiliato will set a Metropolitan Opera record this week by leading six operas in six days, the highest number ever in a single week by one conductor. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the feat.
The trailblazing African-American tenor George Shirley recently wrote an essay on race in opera that serves as a reminder of the opera field's past inequities and potential for progress, writes Fred Plotkin.
A scholarly book looks at the many depictions of people "of color" in opera, including the thorny stage practice in which performers apply heavy makeup to play leading roles such as Otello and Aïda. Fred Plotkin considers.
Opera company managers must decide how to balance the wishes of audiences with the larger goal of moving the artform forward. Those two priorities are not always in sync, writes Fred Plotkin.
"When outstanding singers appear in unfamiliar works, many current operagoers won’t buy tickets," observes Fred Plotkin. "This is a serious problem."
Today is the 256th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But who remembers his sister, Nannerl, who was an aspiring musician who lived in her brother's shadow?
It is one thing to be a famous, historical figure and quite another to be that person's relative. Inevitably, their own destinies are affected by their association with their famous relations.
He is a composer who had no notable success until he was well into his forties, one who is largely forgotten as the 150th anniversary of his birth approaches. But don't let that dissuade you from Frederick Delius.
Many producers believe they have to give an opera a spin or a concept to make it “relevant.” That's what makes The Enchanted Island so different, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.
La Scala, the theater whose stage was the launching pad for a political movement that led to Italy’s becoming a nation, is still at the center of things, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.
Only three of the 75 works voted on in the 2011 Classical Countdown could be called operatic. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers this dearth of vocal pieces and exhorts us to "listen without prejudice."
In anticipation of the world premiere of The Enchanted Island, the new pasticcio (pastiche) at the Metropolitan Opera, a question emerges: just what is a pasticcio?
Certain operas seem like a natural fit for holiday time, writes Fred Plotkin, from Hansel and Gretel to Rimsky-Korsakov's unjustly forgotten Christmas Eve.
La Scala, despite its famous history of temperamental divas and conductors and its frequent labor strife, also reminds us of the dignity, the glory and the sheer visceral thrill of opera, writes Fred Plotkin.
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the premiere of Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La Bohème. This production, more than any other, changed operagoing at the Met, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.