Opera

Friday, April 1, 2016

Creating a killer show in a day

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 4:36 PM

BELT IT: Hopefuls will compete this weekend. - JEFF ROFFMAN
  • Jeff Roffman
  • BELT IT: Hopefuls will compete this weekend.

A team of Atlanta Opera experts wrangled a team of composers, librettists (lyricists, if you will), stage directors, singers, and accompanists to join a group to compose, stage, and rehearse their own original operas. Here is the catch, it all takes place within a 24-hour period. An entire opera written and performed in one day — will the results be amazing or spiral completely downhill?

Education Manager Wade Thomas says the 24-Hour Opera Project has grown and changed each round of its six-year existence in Atlanta. “The mission of the first 24-Hour Opera event was to serve as an audience development activity for opera in the Metro Atlanta area and the state of Georgia, while putting Atlanta on the map in the context of opera and arts awareness in the region,” Thomas says.

Participants in the 24- Hour Opera Project must be at least 18 to qualify and have some experience in the realm..Once separated at random into teams, these artists hailing from across the country begin to create their homemade piece. SCADShow stages the final performance with an interactive showcase where the judges and audience members alike award the top piece for their best overall performance.

Audience members can expect a night of entertainment and spectacular music. “The main thing that most audiences have taken away in the past is how much can be done in only 24 hours- the writing, staging, directing,” Thomas says.

24-Hour Opera Project is Sat., April 2, at 7:30 p.m. $8. The Atlanta Opera, 1575 Northside Circle N.W., #350.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Two seldom-performed Verdi operas to screen this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 7:55 AM

A scene from Verdis Falstaff with Franco Vassallo as Ford.
Productions of such eternally popular Verdi masterpieces as La Traviata and Aida aren't hard to come by, but productions of the composer's lesser-known works can be as rare as hen's teeth. That's why this weekend offers a pretty extraordinary opportunity for Verdi fans. Two rarely-performed works will be broadcast to local cinemas this weekend from opera houses on two different sides of the pond.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Critic's Notebook: Tenor Nicholas Phan sings Britten at Spivey Hall

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 7:45 AM

GREAT BRITTEN: Tenor Nicholas Phan will sing the work of composer Benjamin Britten this Saturday night at Spivey Hall at Clayton State University. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the composers birth.
  • GREAT BRITTEN: Tenor Nicholas Phan will sing the work of composer Benjamin Britten this Saturday night at Spivey Hall at Clayton State University. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth.
The relationship between composer Benjamin Britten and tenor Peter Pears is one of the great love stories of the 20th century. It also, not coincidentally, resulted in some of the greatest music of the 20th century.

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.'

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Agent" becomes a world premiere opera

Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 9:32 AM

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Joseph Conrad's 1907 novel "The Secret Agent" has just about everything you'd ever want to put in an opera: intrigue, romance, violence, suspicion, guilt, murder, suicide. The list goes on, but let's just say it has all the bases covered.

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.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Met to broadcast "Maria Stuarda" to movie theaters on Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 8:17 AM

I TOLD THEE I WAS HARDCORE: Soprano Elza van den Heever shaved her head so that the elaborate wigs for the role of Queen Elizabeth would fit better during performances of the Mets Maria Stuarda. The Mets new production of the rarely performed Donizetti gem will be broadcast live to movie theaters this Saturday.
  • Ken Howard/The Metropolitan Opera
  • I TOLD THEE I WAS HARDCORE: Soprano Elza van den Heever shaved her head so that the elaborate wigs for the role of Queen Elizabeth would fit better during performances of the Met's "Maria Stuarda." The Met's new production will be broadcast live to movie theaters this Saturday.
The New York Times got it partially right. "2 Queens, 3 Lovers and One Death Warrant," read the headline for the rave review of the Met's new production of Maria Stuarda, which premiered New Year's Eve and will be broadcast live to local movie theaters this Saturday. But it seems to me that the most crucial and newsworthy item was left out of that little list. It should more accurately read: 2 Queens, 3 Lovers, One Death Warrant, and 200 Thousand Opera Fans Lose Their Friggin' Minds.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Met stirs up a "Tempest" for live broadcast

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM

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.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Atlanta Opera rolls out signature cocktails for "Carmen" premiere

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

BATTLE ROYALE: The national election may have overshadowed a significant local race. Fans of the Atlanta Opera voted on a drink to be served at productions of Carmen November 10-18 at the Cobb Energy Centre. It came down to Dirty Martini vs. Champagne Cocktail. Guess who won?
  • Andrew Alexander
  • BATTLE ROYALE: The national election may have overshadowed a significant local race. Earlier this Fall, fans of the Atlanta Opera voted on a drink to be served at productions of "Carmen" November 10-18. It came down to Dirty Martini vs. Champagne Cocktail. Guess who won?
Now that we've accomplished the task of picking a president, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and move on to another pressing question ... Champagne Cocktail or Dirty Martini?

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.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Celebrate National Opera Week with "Otello" broadcast, scavenger hunt

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM

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.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

What the Olympics sounded like, circa 1733

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM

BRAVE OLD WORLD: LOlimpiade recreates an Olympic opera of the Baroque era.
  • BRAVE OLD WORLD: "L'Olimpiade" recreates an Olympic opera of the Baroque era.
The modern world's fascination with the ancient Olympic Games is as old as, well, the modern world.

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).

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Keep cool with sweet Metropolitan Opera summer show

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

SWEET STUFF: Renée Flemings signature role as the Marschallin inspired a delicious dish. The Metropolitan Opera will broadcast her 2010 performance this Wednesday.
  • Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
  • SWEET STUFF: Renée Fleming's signature role as the Marschallin inspired a delicious dish. The Metropolitan Opera will re-broadcast her 2010 performance this Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Opera has been re-broadcasting popular performances from its Live in HD series to local movie theaters throughout the summer. There have been a lot of great shows on the schedule, but we're most intrigued by the last one which plays this Wednesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m.: Der Rosenkavalier, originally broadcast in January 2010.

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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