In the past few years, several opera companies have shut their doors, seemingly due to a lack of funding. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers whether it's due to the Great Recession, or part of a larger trend.
It is not that we don’t have excellent singers now, writes Fred Plotkin. But Shirley Verrett’s generation was steeped in the kind of training to be an overall artist that is sorely missing today.
Why do some opera singers have such a hard time with what should be a key part of their job, namely, mastering foreign languages? Blogger Fred Plotkin has some theories.
Catania, Italy was the birthplace of Vincenzo Bellini, perhaps the greatest melodist of any opera composer. Blogger Fred Plotkin offers this guide.
Some operagoers like hearing their favorite singers return in familiar roles. Others prefer the spice of variety. Blogger Fred Plotkin looks at why companies return to the tried-and-true.
The Met was once a frisky couple's paradise, writes Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin. "In the seventies and eighties, there were nights in the audience that felt like the Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila."
Vienna is often considered Mozart and Schubert's town. But Beethoven left his own indelible mark on the city, writes Fred Plotkin.
As scholars now attempt to explain a war that has passed into history, they should look to the artists at least as much as the politicians to understand what it was about, writes Fred Plotkin.
In our modern world of opera, there is little room for the prima donna. They are capricious, hard to work with, often hard to live with. But they are never dull, writes Fred Plotkin.
More than 40 great singers, composers, directors and actors were present at a tribute to Marilyn Horne this week. Blogger Fred Plotkin reflects on her singular career.
This weekend will see a preview of parts of an opera about Salomon Sulzer, a composer known to Schubert and Liszt who was Vienna’s chief cantor during the 19th Century.
A great opera can be loud but not overbearing. That's not the case in many restaurants and other public spaces, where increasing noise has deadened our senses, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.
The centennial of Benjamin Britten's birth is 2013 and blogger Fred Plotkin fears he'll be overlooked amid the bicentennial celebrations of Wagner and Verdi. Here's why he shouldn't be.
Antonin Dvorak's vision of a "New World" still speaks to people today, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.
In the previous dispatches of this series about staging opera in tough economic times, we explored many choices opera companies can make to do great art without descending into financial disaster, whether it be cutting productions, re-using old ones or sharing costs among companies.
When times are tough, many opera companies play it safe. Blogger Fred Plotkin argues for the importance of diverse programming, particularly in light of the recent headlines about the Met's finances.
Like him or not, Christopher Columbus is one of the foremost figures in world history and, as such, more complex than even opera can do justice to. Yet some have tried, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.
When an opera company takes a beloved old production and replaces it with something new and potentially controversial, audiences become alarmed. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the keepers at the Met.
Even during these tough economic times, the Metropolitan Opera has been charging forth with ambitious projects in the belief that this energy and visibility will keep opera consequential. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the costs versus benefits.