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Counter/Culture

Counter/Culture

There was literally something for everyone who enjoys culture. Though many elements tied together, in the end it had the same effect as a large, complex mosaic - no surprise since it was the result of a collaboration between many: Mr. Costanzo conceived the project in conjunction with the artistic directors of Visionaire and National Sawdust, which is known for its interdisciplinary productions.

Loren Lester
"Pop-Up Opera"

"Pop-Up Opera"

Menotti holds an unusual niche in musical history – he's one of the rare post-Puccini composers who continued in the romantic or verismo style while the opera world became mostly atonal and minimalist. He is also one of only a handful of composers – like Wagner – who wrote his own libretti.

Loren Lester
Talking with singers: Siobhan Stagg

Talking with singers: Siobhan Stagg

For the moment, Stagg is enjoying Chicago. Recent highlights include bundling up for a walk through Millennium Park, an outing to hear Verdi's Requiem with Riccardo Muti at the Chicago Symphony, and a trip to the city's famed Art Institute, where she especially enjoyed the collection of French impressionist paintings.

Hannah De Priest
Amahl production a charming gift of youthful energy

Amahl production a charming gift of youthful energy

Amahl's widowed mother, played by soprano Megan Miceli, was another bright star of this production. Like Pfeifer, Miceli's portrayal was honest and nuanced, her round, vibrant tone filling the performance space with ease.

Oliver Munar
Check it out: an online hub for new opera

Check it out: an online hub for new opera

MyNewOpera is searchable by composer, theme, artist, and synopsis, making it a valuable resource for those curious what's happening among opera's small companies and even works-in-progress.

Jenna Simeonov
Don't miss: Verbotenlieder

Don't miss: Verbotenlieder

Launched in 2018 by baritones Michael Nyby and Aaron Durand, TICP is about unpacking and re-thinking the "often stiff nature" of classical music. With Verbotenlieder, they're upending two of opera's most ubiquitous traditions: gender and voice type.

Jenna Simeonov
Talking with singers: Artur Ruciński

Talking with singers: Artur Ruciński

We discussed all things opera: the career, the "life," the work, the music. Naturally, as compatriots, we touched on Polish music and reminisced on our experiences at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw where we both studied, albeit ten years apart. We conversed in Polish. Below I provide an English translation of our conversation, edited solely to account for grammatical and syntactic necessities.

Michael Pecak
First-rate comic experience from an immature masterpiece

First-rate comic experience from an immature masterpiece

The main story is about the lost son of a murdered king, fighting against the weak offspring of the usurper for love and his right to the throne, successfully winning both. That's it, literally. And this perfectly illustrates why a lot of similar operas are gathering dust on the shelves of libraries. A pity, since sometimes the musical material is real gold.

Polina Lyapustina
Standout performances in AVA double-bill

Standout performances in AVA double-bill

Richard A. Raub must be commended for his work with both the cast and the orchestra. While intonation was, at times a noticeable issue, the ensemble gracefully navigated from swelling passage to swelling passage. Raub also maintained an energetic momentum through the work. Raub kept the high level of romanticism without ever losing any precision.

Erik Flaten
Actual magic in Chicago Lyric's Cendrillon

Actual magic in Chicago Lyric's Cendrillon

At this point, Alice Coote is virtually synonymous with this production of Cendrillon, having sung the role of Prince Charming in London, Barcelona, and New York in recent seasons. She brings a beautiful, rich tone and an affable touch to Prince Charming's moping. Stagg and Coote's duets are especially rapturous, with their beautifully-matched instruments making Act III's long-anticipated reunion all the more sublime.

Hannah De Priest

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