"More than a few stage directors seem to think that the overture is theirs to play with, creating stage business that happens while the overture is being performed," complains Fred Plotkin.
In tough financial times, "we, as audiences, need to express faith and solidarity with our opera companies, encouraging them to be daring and creative and supporting them in their efforts," writes Fred Plotkin.
There are many singers, especially young ones, who go beyond their physical and mental limits because they feel they must do so to please a conductor or manager, writes Fred Plotkin in this cautionary tale.
Master classes are one of the most fascinating aspects of the process of taking talented young singers and trying to polish and mold them while allowing them to retain what makes them special, writes Fred Plotkin.
Pop music has addressed the concept of freedom in many different ways, writes Fred Plotkin. "In opera, freedom is described in ways that are more indirect but also more profound."
"There are singers who touch audience members very deeply for any number of reasons," writes Fred Plotkin. "For me, one of those was the Austrian soprano Leonie Rysanek."
In operas, the moon has come to signal lunacy in mad scenes, represent expressions of love and suggest the darker forces within characters. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers why the moon is such a force.
In a few days, if customary schedules are upheld, we will learn the names of the recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. Blogger Fred Plotkin names artists who have been overlooked or deserve recognition.
Richard Tucker would have been 99 on Tuesday. Blogger Fred Plotkin writes that "even when he was 60, his singing was fresh, musical and expressive and audiences loved him."
The Verbier Festival, held in a small French-Swiss town high in the Alps, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in the summer of 2013. It has become, in a relatively short period of time, one of the most important events on the annual calendar of not-to-miss musical events, right up there with the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and the BBC Proms in London.
Blogger Fred Plotkin looks at singers that do more than one role in an Opera. This second article of a two part series focuses on female singers, such as Leonie Rysanek.
Blogger Fred Plotkin looks at singers that do more than one role in an Opera. This first article of a two part series focuses on male singers, such as Plácido Domingo.
Operavore blogger Fred Plotkin takes a look at two new productions of Carmen and Carmélites from indie East Village Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble.
A home organization project prompts blogger Fred Plotkin to ask: What is the opera you have the most recordings of? Are there any operas you believe merit a new recording?
This summer has seen huge downpours interrupt several summer music festivals around the globe. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the presence of rain storms off-stage and on (see: Rossini, Wagner).
The ballet Giselle was the inspiration for Puccini’s first opera, Le Villi. It could be argued that this work, seldom seen now, had a profound impact on how Puccini’s career would develop.
The Italian tenor Giuseppe Filianoti recently encountered a lost aria from Francesco Cilea's 1897 opera L’Arlesiana. He tells blogger Fred Plotkin about his discovery.
What's the most popular operatic libretto of all time? It may be L’Olimpiade, which was set by dozens of composers in the 18th century. Blogger Fred Plotkin looks at the Olympic opera.
Plenty of us know the concert-going routine: an empty seat opens up in a better location and you pounce. But blogger Fred Plotkin believes this is problematic. Here's why.
"The greatest sound I heard (apart from the Opera Fairbanks performance of La Bohéme) were the ebullient barks and yelps of perhaps 70 Alaskan Huskies," writes blogger Fred Plotkin from Fairbanks.