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Opera Interviews

BWW Exclusive: 107 Opera Singers, a Conductor plus Tech Magic Bring Some LIGHT from M Interview BWW Exclusive: 107 Opera Singers, a Conductor plus Tech Magic Bring Some LIGHT from Moravec, Campbell and OPERA America
by Richard Sasanow - May 13, 2020, Opera

Here's a look at how 'Light Shall Lift Us; Singers Unite in Song' (for OPERA America), a video project featuring 107 opera singers in “a song of hope and solidarity” by Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell, came together to help raise up the spirits of their communities as we deal with COVID-19. It went '...
Preview/Interview: To FRAU or Not to FRAU in 2021? Stemme's the Met's Dyer's Wife, wi Interview Preview/Interview: To FRAU or Not to FRAU in 2021? Stemme's the Met's Dyer's Wife, with Some Words from Birgit Nilsson
by Richard Sasanow - April 09, 2020, Opera

Some people dream of a White Christmas--or at least an end to the horrors of COVID-19 and a semblance of life returned to normal. I'll drink to that. But high on my list of events I'm hoping to hear in a world turned back on its feet, is the return of Richard Strauss's DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN to the ...
Lisette Oropesa, the Met's Courtesan of the Moment, Brings Her TRAVIATA to Town Interview Lisette Oropesa, the Met's Courtesan of the Moment, Brings Her TRAVIATA to Town
by Richard Sasanow - February 25, 2020, Opera

It's been a big year for soprano Lisette Oropesa, with starring roles at major European houses. But in this country, it's something else entirely: She won the Richard Tucker Award and the Met's Beverly Sills Award. That was followed by a pair of name-above-the-title roles, her first at the Met: her ...
On Site Opera Talks Location Specific DAS BARBECÜ Interview On Site Opera Talks Location Specific DAS BARBECÜ
by David Clarke - January 17, 2020, Opera

Are you lamenting that you can't get more cornbread and chili while taking in a performance of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA? Well, On Site Opera's site specific production of the family friendly musical DAS BARBECÜ, written by Jim Luigs and featuring music by Scott Warrender, is ...
To Hell and Back with Cerise Jacobs and REV. 23 at Prototype 2020 Interview To Hell and Back with Cerise Jacobs and REV. 23 at Prototype 2020
by Richard Sasanow - January 14, 2020, Opera

'The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.' And so ends the Book of Revelation, with Chapter 22, in the New Testament...or does it? In speaking with creator-librettist Cerise Lim Jacobs, I find someone who clearly believes that too much is never enough. Thus, she decided that there was...
Getting a Kick from Keckler at Opera Philadelphia's O19 Festival Interview Getting a Kick from Keckler at Opera Philadelphia's O19 Festival
by Richard Sasanow - September 18, 2019, Opera

Last January, Joseph Keckler seemed to burst forth, fully blown, like Athena from the head of Zeus, at New York's Prototype Festival (though his emergence was, in fact, no such thing, having already been a staple of the Downtown scene for several years). This month, Philadelphia's got him, at the Op...
Kim Reed Is Inspiration and Co-librettist of AS ONE at City Opera Interview Kim Reed Is Inspiration and Co-librettist of AS ONE at City Opera
by Richard Sasanow - May 28, 2019, Opera

“It's been quite a ride,” says Kim Reed, co-librettist, filmmaker—and inspiration--for AS ONE, the chamber opera by Laura Kaminsky, with co-librettist Mark Campbell. The work's 27th production, in under five years, opened on May 30 under the auspices of New York City Opera, American Opera Projects (...
BWW Review: Diana Damrau Plays the Palace with de Maistre's Elegant Harp in Barcelona Interview BWW Review: Diana Damrau Plays the Palace with de Maistre's Elegant Harp in Barcelona
by Richard Sasanow - May 25, 2019, Opera

For me, concert-going in Barcelona is not simply hearing a singer like Diana Damrau bring beauty and insights to the music of great composers, but where you get to hear her perform this magic. This week's evening of lieder and other art songs, for instance, performed with harpist Xavier de Maistre, ...
MEFISTOFELE is a Devil of a Hat-Trick for the Met's Rising Star Christian Van Horn Interview MEFISTOFELE is a Devil of a Hat-Trick for the Met's Rising Star Christian Van Horn
by Richard Sasanow - November 19, 2018, Opera

I caught up with rising star bass-baritone Christian Van Horn the other day, to find out what the devil was going on with his starring role in the Met's first performance of Arrigo Boito's MEFISTOFELE in almost 20 years. Were you nervous as hell (pun intended) on the first night, I asked Van Horn, w...
BWW NewsBreak: Five Minutes in Heaven with Superstar ANNA NETREBKO, the Met's Next Sa Interview BWW NewsBreak: Five Minutes in Heaven with Superstar ANNA NETREBKO, the Met's Next Salome
by Richard Sasanow - October 30, 2018, Opera

The traffic in midtown Manhattan was its usual horror at lunchtime last Friday--and Anna Netrebko was stuck in it. She was on the way to Cipriani 42nd Street, across from Grand Central Station, where the Metropolitan Opera Guild was celebrating the soprano at its 84th Annual Luncheon. Despite her de...
Meeting Mr. Wright (Nicholas, That Is), MARNIE's Librettist, at the Met Interview Meeting Mr. Wright (Nicholas, That Is), MARNIE's Librettist, at the Met
by Richard Sasanow - October 19, 2018, Opera

When the Met's literary advisor asked Nicholas Wright what he thought about doing the libretto for MARNIE, he said yes because he was really interested in working with composer Nico Muhly and Michael Mayer. He was somewhat reserved, however, about whether it was a good opera subject. That was unders...
Lembit Beecher SWINGS at Opera Philadelphia Festival Interview Lembit Beecher SWINGS at Opera Philadelphia Festival
by Richard Sasanow - September 19, 2018, Opera

“I was, like many composers, not someone who was immediately in love with the human voice, the operatic voice, in new music,” says Lembit Beecher, whose opinion has definitely changed. He has become a powerful new force in the medium, with his new opera, SKY ON SWINGS, written with librettist Hannah...
Thea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all Seasons Interview Thea Musgrave at 90, Queen of SCOTS and Composer for all Seasons
by Richard Sasanow - May 22, 2018, Opera

Composer Thea Musgrave is celebrating these days. It's not just that she's marking her 90th birthday on May 27 with a concert in New York, but that the concert is showcasing a gaggle of world premieres, US premieres and NY premieres (along with more familiar works), which highlight her rich musical ...
Lawrence Brownlee on CYCLES OF MY BEING, in NY Premiere at Carnegie's Zankel Hall Interview Lawrence Brownlee on CYCLES OF MY BEING, in NY Premiere at Carnegie's Zankel Hall
by Richard Sasanow - April 19, 2018, Opera

When tenor Lawrence Brownlee--he of the sweet, cultured tones and ringing high Cs--was first asked to put a recital together by Carnegie Hall, he chose Robert Schumann's “Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love),” the song cycle about rapture, disillusionment and regret as the centerpiece. But in filling out th...
Maestro Atsushi Yamada Talks Philharmonia Orchestra of New York's LA TRAVIATA With 3D Interview Maestro Atsushi Yamada Talks Philharmonia Orchestra of New York's LA TRAVIATA With 3D Holograms
by David Clarke - March 19, 2018, Opera

This week in New York City, Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY) is premiering LA TRAVIATA with 3D holographic projections for the sets. On March 20 and 21, 2018 audiences at the Rose Theater will be treated to the show's classic and beloved arias set against awe-inspiring backdrops like Niagar...
Baritones Are Like That, Says Christopher Maltman of the Met's COSI FAN TUTTE Interview Baritones Are Like That, Says Christopher Maltman of the Met's COSI FAN TUTTE
by Richard Sasanow - March 15, 2018, Opera

'My goal at the moment is to sound like a dead Italian,' says British baritone Christopher Maltman, who stars as Don Alfonso with Broadway's Kelli O'Hara as Despina, co-conspirators against young lovers in the Met's new production of Mozart's comedy COSI FAN TUTTE. 'Or, at least, to sound like a 'li...
From BOHEME to OTELLO and Back, Met Tenor Russell Thomas Finds Variety the Spice of S Interview From BOHEME to OTELLO and Back, Met Tenor Russell Thomas Finds Variety the Spice of Singing Opera
by Richard Sasanow - October 26, 2017, Opera

'Bread-and-butter operas usually bore me,' tenor Russell Thomas told me frankly, as he prepared for his first performance of Rodolfo, at the Met, in Puccini's LA BOHEME--one of opera's most popular tenor roles--in nearly 15 years. But it wasn't any disdain for the role that kept him away from it: It...
Barnes-Storming in THE WAKE WORLD of Composer David Hertzberg Interview Barnes-Storming in THE WAKE WORLD of Composer David Hertzberg
by Richard Sasanow - September 15, 2017, Opera

The last of the new operas at the center of Opera Philadelphia's O17 opera fest is THE WAKE WORLD, a chamber piece written by composer/librettist David Hertzberg and directed by RB Schlather. It opens on Monday September 18 at the Barnes collection--the great museum in central Philadelphia--and prom...
Five Questions for Composer Moto Osada on FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM, New Chamber Opera Ope Interview Five Questions for Composer Moto Osada on FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM, New Chamber Opera Opening Sept. 13
by Richard Sasanow - September 11, 2017, Opera

Tokyo and New York City are the two home cities of composer Moto Osada, whose new chamber opera, FOUR NIGHTS OF DREAM will have its North American premiere at the Japan Society in Manhattan on September 13, directed by Alec Duffy....
BWW Preview: Turn Off Your iPhone. STEVE JOBS Arrives at Santa Fe Opera on July 22 Interview BWW Preview: Turn Off Your iPhone. STEVE JOBS Arrives at Santa Fe Opera on July 22
by Richard Sasanow - July 19, 2017, Opera

With Grammy-nominated American composer Mason Bates dipping his toe into full-length operatic waters for the first time--and star librettist Mark Campbell doing it for the umpteenth--the Guggenheim Museum's “Works & Process” series gave an extended peak into the development of their new opera, THE (...
Walking the Tightrope with Angela Meade in Bellini's IL PIRATA at Caramoor
by Richard Sasanow - July 07, 2017, Opera

Being an opera singer is a little like walking a tightrope without a net--no matter who you're singing with, you're out there on stage, alone, for the crowd to cheer but, also for everyone to hear each glitch or misstep in your singing. Soprano Angela Meade--who's starring as Imogene in Caramoor's c...
Kevin Newbury of THE (R)EVOLUTION OF STEVE JOBS at Santa Fe Opera
by Maria Nockin - June 07, 2017, Opera

Kevin Newbury is a theatre, opera and film director who has staged over sixty original productions for numerous opera companies, festivals, and symphonies. Especially committed to developing new material, he has directed more than two-dozen world premieres of operas and plays. His staging of Mason B...
David T. Little on Becoming a Composer, Collaborating with Royce Vavrek and JFK the Opera
by Richard Sasanow - April 20, 2017, Opera

Last year's premiere of JFK by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek at the Fort Worth Opera caused some big-time foot-stomping in the Lone Star State. New Yorkers will have a taste of the work--which will have its next full-scale production at the Opera de Montreal next January--on April 23 at the Morga...