Fred Plotkin

Fred Plotkin appears in the following:

Voices of Summer

Friday, May 31, 2013

"There has been a stunning revival of opera in unusual places this year, much of it in spring and summer, a period when opera offerings were once meager," writes Fred Plotkin. Here are a few highlights.

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Spring Awakening: Activity at NYC's Small Opera Companies

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"I used to have a slight depression when the Met ended its season," writes Fred Plotkin. But a busy crop of smaller opera companies serves as a needed pick-me-up.

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Planet Opera: A San Francisco Treat

Friday, May 24, 2013

"You don’t need me to tell you that San Francisco has a lot to like," writes Fred Plotkin. Along with its food, art, weather, sports and other virtues, that includes great opera.

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Richard Wagner, Love Him or Hate Him?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blogger Fred Plotkin addresses the question that that he is asked most often: “How/why can you like Wagner?” The answer: It's complicated.

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Comments [17]

In Opera, and at the Museum, Clothing Makes the Character

Friday, May 17, 2013

Two current exhibits at the Met Museum prompt blogger Fred Plotkin to consider how "singers need to be taught how to wear costumes, not only for proper movement but for creation of character."

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Alessandro Scarlatti, Ready for his Close Up?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

With 65 operas, Alessandro Scarlatti is considered by many scholars to be the most important Italian opera composer between Monteverdi and Rossini. But he's not so well known to audiences.

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Planet Opera: New Film Captures the Glowing Light of Aix-en-Provence

Friday, May 10, 2013

A documentary about the rehearsal for a new production of La Traviata at the 2011 Aix-en-Provence reminds blogger Fred Plotkin of the French town's mix of charm and beauty.

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Opera's Top Sister Acts

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

In opera, and not only, sisters are doing it for themselves. It seems that everywhere I look and listen lately, there is a suora, soeur, cесtра or schwester on an operatic stage. I am in the midst of attending my 47th complete Ring Cycle (yes, I know...) and am writing this just after hearing a musically gratifying performance of Die Walküre at the Met. Deborah Voigt has added colors and texture to her Walküre Brünnhilde since I first heard it two years ago. It is always heartening to see an artist who deepens her approach to a role rather then simply repeat what she has already done.

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Comments [3]

Born to Love Opera

Thursday, May 02, 2013

"I wonder whether regular exposure to certain types of music, particularly opera and song, could favorably affect developing fetuses," writes Fred Plotkin.

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Edvard Grieg: The Opera Composer That Might Have Been

Friday, April 26, 2013

There is a subset of orchestral composers who wrote gorgeous songs and had a clear understanding of the human voice, writes Fred Plotkin. One was Mahler. Another is Edvard Grieg.

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On the Music: Eight Singers, One Song

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Old school or new, singers approach Schubert’s “An die Musik” with a variety of nuances, tempos and inflections. Fred Plotkin considers eight different approaches, with video examples.

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The Operatic Cheesemonger

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Patrick Watson is both a trained opera singer and co-owner of Stinky Brooklyn, a cheese store in Carroll Gardens. His love of opera and cheese inspires Fred Plotkin to consider the two pursuits.

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Comments [8]

Rocking the Cradle of Opera: Tough Times for Florence’s Maggio Musicale

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Florence's Maggio Musicale has suffered bombings, floods, managerial inattention and political maneuvering. But recent austerity measures in Italy are especially damaging, writes Fred Plotkin.

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Montserrat Caballé: Ultimate Diva

Friday, April 12, 2013

Montserrat Caballé turns 80 on Friday. Fred Plotkin considers the famed soprano – a sublime bel canto singer, dignified Tosca, notorious canceler and duet partner to Jose Carreras.

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Comments [19]

At Columbia University, Great Books to Great Opera

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Opera fans are lurking among the student body at Columbia University, writes Fred Plotkin. "Opera companies would be wise to cultivate Columbia students for future audiences."

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Comments [11]

Board Games: When Trustees Need a Hand

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Fans often express their frustration with opera administrators, writes Fred Plotkin. But just as influential, in most cases, are the boards that govern opera companies and provide a large part of the money.

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Misconduct at the Opera House

Saturday, March 30, 2013

If a performance is "numbingly slow" with "no pacing to speak of, no structure or architecture to the rendering of the score" should the conductor be blamed? Absolutely, argues Fred Plotkin.

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Comments [16]

Send Me No Flowers

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's the ultimate opera cliche: the diva showered with bouquets of flowers as she takes her bow. But as Fred Plotkin writes, "Strong fragrances, even pleasing ones," can lead to thorny situations.

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Habemus Operam: Popes and Cardinals in Opera

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The spectacle around Pope Francis's installation prompted Fred Plotkin to think about representations of popes and cardinals and potent Catholic figures in opera. Read on and share your own favorites.

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Comments [5]

Royal House Names New Chief Executive

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday’s announcement that Alex Beard, 49, has been appointed as the new chief executive at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden was remarkable for its speed, especially because Beard comes from outside the institution. Typically, such searches take a longer period because the supply of able and qualified individuals is always limited, even for such a prestigious post, as few people have the necessary qualifications.

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