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Talking with singers: Mario Bahg

Talking with singers: Mario Bahg

"The greatest purpose is to be evaluated. Every major competition brings famous vocalists or professionals involved in music to the jury."

Jenna Simeonov
Pountney's oversimplified War and Peace

Pountney's oversimplified War and Peace

Writing an opera of this scale is not a simple charge and the task of producing it faces even more challenges; it is an immense work to attempt to pay homage to. There were a few magical, sparkling moments on stage that were completely true to the book, perfectly capturing the essence of Tolstoy's words.

Alessia Naccarato
Opera on the Lake makes charismatic debut with Die Fledermaus

Opera on the Lake makes charismatic debut with Die Fledermaus

Characters would regularly go and stand at the bar to the right of the stage and "hang out" while the action was happening. This made for a very relaxed, fun and interactive atmosphere. In the Prince's aria during the party scene, Falke brought up a random audience member to take part in the festivities.

Callie Cooper
Unique venue makes for a fresh Così fan tutte

Unique venue makes for a fresh Così fan tutte

I really liked Ms. Manich's bold choice at the end of having the sisters have suitcases in hand ready to leave. Just as the music ends the women make eye contact with their former fiancés, and they freeze.

Callie Cooper
Decadence at DMMO: Bon Appetit!

Decadence at DMMO: Bon Appetit!

At the end of the performance, the audience was served the very chocolate cake depicted in the opera, bringing the experience full circle. A decadent finish to a decadent evening.

Meghan Klinkenborg
Solid & subtle direction in WTO's Ariadne auf Naxos

Solid & subtle direction in WTO's Ariadne auf Naxos

On Friday, July 19, Wolf Trap Opera opened their second opera of their summer season with Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. An opera within an opera is always a difficult feat in my opinion, and the creative team made it an entertaining and comical evening.

Callie Cooper
Talking with singers: Rihab Chaieb

Talking with singers: Rihab Chaieb

"I've started listening back to my metal band that I was in during high school. That's the whole reason I started signing, is to be in a metal band. I had this nostalgia of going back and starting a band again. It's something in the back of my mind as a mid-30s project: create a metal band and tour the world after being an opera singer!"

Jenna Simeonov
Upcoming of note: Opera hits in BC & Henry VIII in Boston

Upcoming of note: Opera hits in BC & Henry VIII in Boston

On the opposite coast, Boston-based Odyssey Opera is set to offer its latest in opera's under-performed masterpieces. Saint-Saëns' 1883 opera, Henry VIII, centres on the famed love triangle between the Tudor king, his first wife Catherine of Aragon, and his soon-to-be second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Jenna Simeonov
Talking with composers: Jonathan Dove

Talking with composers: Jonathan Dove

"I don't try to write anything down until it's already quite a long way to being finished in my mind. Before that, I just keep playing (piano or keyboard) until I have an idea that seems to have a future, and then follow where it leads."

Jenna Simeonov
Elvis Costello's The Juliet Letters versatile & imaginative

Elvis Costello's The Juliet Letters versatile & imaginative

The staging and direction of this song cycle by Cara Gabriel was versatile and imaginative. The singers moved seamlessly between songs. I had absolutely no idea what the music would sound like, and I was pleasantly surprised. There were some minimalist crunchy 20th-century moments, but overall the melodies were beautiful and catchy. Some sounded very operatic, and some had a flower child, Simon and Garfunkel vibe.

Callie Cooper

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