New York-based tenor Nicholas Phan, who has been called "a major new Britten interpreter" by The New York Times, makes his Spivey Hall debut this Saturday, November 9. It's been a busy year for the singer, who has become especially renowned for his accessible, intelligent and poetic interpretations of Britten's music. We caught up with Phan to ask him about taking on the music Britten wrote for Pears, performing for the 2013 centenary celebrations of the composer's birth, and overcoming audiences' infamous 'fear of Britten.'
Atlanta composer Curtis Bryant has, in fact, turned the 1907 novel about a group of anarchists plotting to blow up the Greenwich Observatory into a full-length opera, and the work will have its world premiere this weekend, March 15-17, at Oglethorpe's Conant Center for the Performing Arts in a production by Atlanta's Capitol City Opera. We caught up with tenor Timothy Miller, who plays the anarchist Alexander Ossipon, so he could act as our super-secret undercover informant and tell us all about the new work.
The Metropolitan Opera will broadcast contemporary composer Thomas Adès opera based on Shakespeare's The Tempest to local movie theaters this Saturday, November 10, beginning at 12:55 p.m.
The work had its world premiere at London's Royal Opera House in 2004 and its Met premiere this season. Interestingly, the show is being staged by Cirque du Soleil Artistic Director Robert Lepage. We weren't ginormous fans of his staging of the Ring Cycle—that 45-ton machine sort of weighed things down in the end—but The Tempest seems like it could be a much better match for his showman's style. The cool costumes were designed by Kym Barrett, who also created the memorable looks for the characters in Cirque du Soleil's Totem, now under the big tent at Atlanta's Atlantic Station. Check out a yummy New York Times slideshow of the Tempest's costumes.
Visit the Met to find a venue or to purchase tickets for the live broadcast of The Tempest.
While the political campaigns raged away this Fall, the Atlanta Opera was holding an election of its own, and this one didn't cause any cute little girls to cry. For its upcoming production of Carmen, November 10-18, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, the Opera wanted a special concoction that would reflect all the passion and drama on stage. The organization asked fans to vote for the drink they most wanted, and the results are in.
National Opera Week begins today, Friday, October 26, and runs through Sunday, November 4. That's more than a week, but, hey, opera has always been about excess. Since we can't take off the entire ten days to sit on the couch, eat bon-bons, and listen to Maria Callas (we checked), we've been searching for some other ways to celebrate, and we think we may have found just the things.
Although the first attempts to fully emulate the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece didn't occur until the dawn of the 19th century, Europe already had Olympic fever way back in the early 1700s, along with a mania for all things Greek, and this popularity extended to opera, where Ancient Greece and the Olympic Games became fashionable subjects for the stage.
The famous Italian poet Metastasio wrote an Olympics-themed libretto titled L'Olimpiade that became the basis for operas by no fewer than 50 composers. It's an Arcadian love story that involves a lot of sub-plots, disguises, banishment, tested loyalties, mistaken identity, and so on, and it all culminates in a race at the Olympic Games (the winner gets the girl natch).
We're not huge Strauss fans, but we're eager to catch it since we've never even seen it before, and it is superstar Renée Fleming's signature role after all. There's even a popular dessert named in honor of her performance in the lead role of the Marschallin!
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