The Life and Death of the Live Album

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

They used to be a dependable moneymaker for rock stars and record labels alike – but the live album seems to have gone the way of the 8-track. Today: the past, present and future of the live concert album. Plus: An update about the New York City Opera’s labor dispute. And: a visit from mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, who’s currently singing in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Rodelinda.

The Best Live Albums

It used to be, you couldn't be a major act without a live album... nay, a double live album. But the concert-on-record seems to have gone the way of the 8-track. Music critic and blogger Bill Wyman joins us today for a look at some of the classics, like "Frampton Comes Alive" and Cheap Trick's "At Budokan," and to ponder the question, "Whatever happened to the live album?"

Listeners: We want to hear from you! What are your favorite live albums, and why? And, do you think the live album is still...alive and well today?  Weigh in below.

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City Opera Update

In the midst of a financial crisis, New York City Opera recently moved out of its home in Lincoln Center and slashed its current season to four productions. But last week, talks between “The People’s Opera” and, well… its people… broke down. New York Times arts reporter Dan Wakin has been following the company’s union negotiations and fills us in.

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In Conversation: Stephanie Blythe

The last time that mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe joined us, she had just made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Orfeo in Christoph Gluck's opera "Orfeo ed Euridice.” More recently, the singer premiered John Corigliano’s 9/11 song cycle and is currently singing the role of Eduige in Handel’s Rodelinda opposite soprano Renee Fleming. Stephanie Blythe stops by for a visit in between performances.

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Got Live If You Want It

John Schaefer's mixed feelings about live albums

Gig Alert: Kathryn Calder

Canadian indie rocker Kathryn Calder (of The New Pornographers) plays the Knitting Factory on Tuesday night. Download her dreamy synthpop song "Turn A Light On" here. 

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