"On January 25, at the Juilliard School, Joyce DiDonato gave a master class on how to give a master class," writes Fred Plotkin.
Anyone who loves opera surely knows by now that 2013 marks the bicentennial of the births of Richard Wagner (May 22) and Giuseppe Verdi (October 10), the colossi of 19th Century opera.
"Quartet," a new film directed by Dustin Hoffman, "is a bit too pat and contrived in its conflation of opera and the rigors of old age," writes Fred Plotkin. But he commends it despite its limitations.
"Friends, New Yorkers, Opera Lovers Everywhere," writes Fred Plotkin. "Do I really need to explain why people should not engage in extended conversations at the opera?"
Four cities in Italy have created what is known as the Circuito Lirico Lombardo, a consortium that works collaboratively to create four opera productions every season. Fred Plotkin reports from Italy.
A new museum dedicated to Richard Wagner opens this weekend near Dresden. Located in a former hunting lodge, it opens as the world gets ready to mark his 200th anniversary, reports Fred Plotkin.
"When technological devices demand our attention and we feel we are missing something if we don’t constantly check for updates, then we use our time and our senses in different ways," writes Fred Plotkin.
"While not everything works ideally in any opera company, the Royal Opera has been on a roll," Fred Plotkin reports. But what does the future hold at a time when the company's chief executive is leaving?
One of its arias became the the most memorable scene in the 1993 film Philadelphia. But far too many opera lovers aren't familiar with Umberto Giordano’s verismo gem, writes Fred Plotkin.
This glorious city, capital of the nation that gave birth to opera, has long been considered second-tier musically when compared to Milan, Venice and Naples. All of a sudden, though, that has changed.
Life imitates art at La Scala, writes Fred Plotkin. "Lohengrin tells the story of a besieged nation whose leadership is fragile and whose freedom is imperiled."
A London-based organization called the Opera Awards Foundation announced plans last month for an annual awards gala. Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin considers potential recipients.
"This Art Deco theater is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in Paris to attend a performance," writes Fred Plotkin. And it is a good thing that it was not destroyed during a famous 1913 riot.
Most of the works of the great bel canto composers — Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti — are seldom performed because few singers are ever up to the task, writes Fred Plotkin. But one such rarity arrives in New York Wednesday night.
"When, about ten months ago, I began my Montsalvatge immersion, my approach was to listen to any music I could find," notes Fred Plotkin. "Then, recently, it came to my attention that an exemplary biography has just been published."
Opera fans can be woefully sloppy, writes Fred Plotkin, taking their seats with rumpled coats and multiple shopping bags in tow. Theaters make matters worse by not providing adequate coat check facilities.
Berenice is suddenly everywhere, writes Fred Plotkin. "In the past week I have encountered her in London, at Carnegie Hall and, Tuesday night she was at the Metropolitan Opera."
A visit to the Handel House Museum, the composer's former home in London, inspires blogger Fred Plotkin to consider his place in the operatic canon.
"Michelangelo is to art what Beethoven is to music," writes Fred Plotkin. "Beethoven’s music is so life-affirming and we get a sense of the greatness of human potential in his music and in Michelangelo’s art."