Streams

Fred Plotkin

Fred Plotkin appears in the following:

Master Class: Thomas Allen on Making Mozart's Music Sing

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baritone Thomas Allen emphasizes how both the music of Mozart and the words of da Ponte express a duality that must be captured by singers as both musicians and actors, writes Fred Plotkin

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My Father’s an Opera Singer, and So Am I

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

If your father is famous or accomplished in his field of endeavor, it creates particular difficulties in forging your own path in the same profession. Blogger Fred Plotkin considers some famed singing families.

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Planet Opera: In Valencia, Spain, the Arts Still Matter

Friday, October 19, 2012

Despite the enormous economic crisis that's crippling Spain, Valencia, its third-largest city, remains a destination for opera. Blogger Fred Plotkin was just there and shares his impressions.

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The Song of the Ancient Soprano

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"There are a still some very old singers who walk among us, heads only slightly bowed, and seem like messengers from that lost world of opera in the 1920s and 1930s," writes Fred Plotkin. "They actually did know Puccini."

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Mirella Freni: La Prudentissima

Friday, October 12, 2012

For almost her entire life, when Mirella Freni sang, all people could do was stop and listen. Fred Plotkin considers why.

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Giuseppe Verdi, Lost and Found

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

At the time that Verdi's daughter was born, the composer was deep into the composition of Il Trovatore, his strange and compelling story about babies who are switched, abandoned, even burned in a fire.

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When Singers Seem to Matter Less

Thursday, October 04, 2012

"While there are some singers who still are engaged by opera companies and presented as stars whom audiences flock to see, there are fewer of these all the time," writes Fred Plotkin.

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Planet Opera: Cincinnati Balances Tradition with Innovation

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

This hilly, leafy city above the Ohio River grew in the 19th century with waves of German immigrants who brought values of hard work, love of music and of hearty food, writes Fred Plotkin.

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Smoking at the Opera

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Smoking used to be commonplace among opera singers, as it was the general public. These days, there remain a few hold-outs, despite its obvious dangers. Fred Plotkin considers the practice.

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Why it's Time to Reclaim the Overture

Monday, September 24, 2012

"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.

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What Audiences Can Bring to an Opera Performance

Friday, September 21, 2012

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.

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Notes on Rests: When Singers Face Vocal Breakdown

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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.

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The Art of the Master Class

Friday, September 14, 2012

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.

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Freedom, at the Opera and Everywhere Else

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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."

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Remembering the Great Leonie Rysanek

Thursday, September 06, 2012

"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."

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Mooning Over Opera

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

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.

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Who Should Receive the Kennedy Center Honors?

Friday, August 31, 2012

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.

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Celebrating Tenor Richard Tucker

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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."

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Planet Opera: An Alpine Symphony at the Verbier Festival

Friday, August 24, 2012

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.

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When Women Sing More Than One Role in the Same Opera

Monday, August 20, 2012

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.

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