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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, sits down with Fred Plotkin to talk about the challenges facing the performing arts world -- and how to turn around faltering arts organizations.
Fred Plotkin offers young singers suggestions about things to think about as they develop their careers and personal lives.
"Social media has enabled singers to feel connected and loved in ways that would have been inconceivable only a few years ago," writes Fred Plotkin. Still, life on the road can be a lonely pursuit at times.
This Saxon city, so beautiful and so marked by centuries of tragedy and glory, was Richard Wagner’s second home. Fred Plotkin tells us why it matters today.
Wagner’s Parsifal is not my favorite opera and I doubt it ever will be," writes Fred Plotkin. "And yet, it has taken rather firm hold of my imagination.
Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin considers the Met's next season, which has some conspicuously absent singers but also the return of conductor James Levine.
Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin takes on marketing strategies and dynamic pricing in today's opera companies in his follow up article about the future of performing arts institutions and audience loyalty.
Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin ponders the role of subscriptions in the health of performance arts institutions.
Puppets and dolls have, since antiquity, served as surrogates for humans in religious and secular celebrations. Fred Plotkin considers the work of Hendrik Bonneur, who uses puppets in opera.
A particular characteristic of life in Amsterdam is the nearly untranslatable and unpronounceable word gezellig. It applies to many aspects of life and music in the Dutch city, writes Fred Plotkin.
Sometimes a good conductor can help an orchestra overcome a flawed concert hall; other times a great hall can mask the shortcomings of a poor conductor. Fred Plotkin considers the relationship of maestro, hall and orchestra.