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Opera in Close Quarters

I tend to leap at any opportunity to hear opera singers perform in an intimate venue. True, their voices are made – or at any rate trained – to fill vast spaces, reaching across a teeming orchestra pit to touch thousands of awed listeners.

But up close, you can watch how they breathe — how they summon the necessary stamina. You can read expressions, not just broad gestures.

Three events in New York this …more…

A Field Day for Virtuosi

Michele Angelini, Susannah Biller, Marie-Eve Munger

Il sogno di Scipione is seldom performed – for the simple reason that the author, a 16-year-old Mozart, was feeling his adolescent oats and loaded it with intricate, high-flying arias that would challenge the most skilled of singers, then or now. In fact, the piece was never even produced in this country until 2002, when the then brand-new (and apparently fearless) Gotham Chamber Opera …more…

The Halls Are Alive

Is it something in the air? There’s so much opera going on as spring sets in, you’d swear we were genetically programmed to burst into song in sync with the  croci and daffodils.

I’m super-psyched to hear Anna Caterina Antonacci making her New York recital debut as part of Lincoln Center’s “Art of the Song” series at Allice Tully Hall on April 8. Antonacci – celebrated on the Continent — can …more…

Opera 24-7

The Met’s current revival of director Adrian Noble’s 2007 version of Verdi’s Macbeth is remarkable not just for Mark Thompson’s thrillingly stark sets, and for Thomas Hampson and Nadja Michael’s chilling portrayal of a timeless power couple, but for Dimitri Pittas’s show-stopping lament as Macduff. If his traumatized “Ah la paterna mano” does not bring a lump to your throat, better check your pulse. Macbeth plays, passim, to April 9, …more…

Tomorrow’s Stars Get Their Start

Just as baseball fanatics – especially self-styled scouts — look forward to spring season, opera-lovers savor open contests such as the Marcello Giordani Foundation Vocal Competition,  which took place March 3 at the Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center in New York City. Conceived  as a boost for early-career singers, the sing-off could well prove life-changing. ...more...

Opera on a Roll

It has been a bit of a tumultuous season so far for East Coast opera. On the minus side, Opera Boston — the city’s innovative, second-tier company, a boon to the local scene since 2003 — abruptly shut down just before Christmas: a sad case of the piper (i.e., principal donor) calling the tune. Happily, as if to compensate, the union standoff that had been holding up New York City …more…