Fred Plotkin appears in the following:
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
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.
Friday, February 03, 2012
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.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
"When outstanding singers appear in unfamiliar works, many current operagoers won’t buy tickets," observes Fred Plotkin. "This is a serious problem."
Friday, January 27, 2012
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?
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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.
Friday, January 20, 2012
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.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
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.
Monday, January 02, 2012
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."
Thursday, December 29, 2011
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?
Friday, December 23, 2011
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.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
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.
Monday, December 12, 2011
As long as words, whether in printed notes or projected titles, are part of opera- and concert-going, we need to think about better, more meaningful ways to integrate them into performances, writes blogger Fred Plotkin.
Friday, December 09, 2011
How does illness or disability affect creative and performing artists? As blogger Fred Plotkin writes, this question has confronted artists from Mahler and Britten to James Levine and Thomas Quasthoff.
Monday, December 05, 2011
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.
Friday, December 02, 2011
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.
Monday, November 28, 2011
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.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Catania, Italy was the birthplace of Vincenzo Bellini, perhaps the greatest melodist of any opera composer. Blogger Fred Plotkin offers this guide.