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Digital opera, growing pains, & critic's picks

Digital opera, growing pains, & critic's picks

It's the kind of thing I imagined would happen within the performing arts - yes, even opera. True, the opera world isn't known for making sudden movements, but there are certainly minds in the industry who are staunchly forward-thinking; those people are experiencing some serious inspiration right now.

Jenna Simeonov
Orlando: gender bending and the sound of androgyny in Vienna

Orlando: gender bending and the sound of androgyny in Vienna

Instead, composer Olga Neuwirth chose Woolf’s Orlando, her often funny faux-autobiography about a young nobleman in the court of Elizabeth I who awakens one morning as a woman and proceeds to roam about time and space for the next 300 years.

John Hohmann
What the Met's At-Home Gala teaches us about evolution

What the Met's At-Home Gala teaches us about evolution

And speaking of the participating artists - I wonder very loudly how they felt about doing this for no fee, particularly those who found out about their cancelled Met contracts through social media posts. It's quite something for Peter Gelb to not call his contracted artists when COVID-19 shut everything down, and then ask them to come help "Save The Met" with a free performance at home. Yikes.

Jenna Simeonov
Isolation blogging: it's &@%#ed out there

Isolation blogging: it's &@%#ed out there

I guess the most humbling thing about this is realizing how utterly in love I am with something that the rest of the world just might deem unessential. Like, in the big-scheme, unessential; the line-up for government aid is already enormous, and priorities have already become clear. The performing arts are certainly a staple of human society...but opera?

Jenna Simeonov
A case for relatable Handel: ABOC's Rinaldo

A case for relatable Handel: ABOC's Rinaldo

I felt like I was actually in a garden surrounded by drooping blossoms, or actually at the opening of a cavernous hole. Throughout I got the sense that this was a production that put a great deal of effort into engaging the senses all at once and imparting an aura of wonderment.

Andrew Schneider
The global pandemic strikes The Metropolitan Opera

The global pandemic strikes The Metropolitan Opera

How sad that in announcing the Met’s 2020-21 season and the addition of the first European tour by the Met Orchestra in 20 years, it has taken this course. 26 opera companies in North America have waived Force Majeure and many have adopted plans to pay their soloists at least 50% of their fees.

John Hohmann
Marian's Song: a poignant, hopeful message

Marian's Song: a poignant, hopeful message

Some variant of this sentence appears in many a history textbook at some point, but only rarely can it hope to make the sheer impact that Marian's Song did in Houston Grand Opera's world premiere performance.

Andrew Schneider
Talking with singers: Helen Charlston

Talking with singers: Helen Charlston

"'Good singing' is getting the very best out of your voice; a partnership between a solid technique and a need to let your voice be heard. We all only have our own sound, and there is nothing more thrilling than listening to singers who let their voice flood out direct to our hearts."

Jenna Simeonov
Magic everywhere in SDO's Aging Magician

Magic everywhere in SDO's Aging Magician

"After years of creating work after work, it becomes your life," he says about why he is an artist. "Initially, I was drawn to things just because I was fascinated by ideas. The traditional world was not where I belonged. I knew I wanted to be in the arts and I had an impulse to perform."

Eva Cahen
An enduring Beethoven's Ninth with the Vancouver Academy of Music

An enduring Beethoven's Ninth with the Vancouver Academy of Music

Under the assured baton of conductor emeritus Leslie Dala, the program brought together the young professional-level orchestra with the veteran vocals of amateur Vancouver Bach Choir, along with four professional soloists, and featured a delightful performance of Concerto No. 4 by Ian Parker at the keys

Sam Darling

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