Opera star who duetted with Freddie Mercury dies

Opera star Montserrat Caballe, who duetted with Freddie Mercury on the song Barcelona, has died.
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Paris Opera Ballet Kickstarts Season With Audience Participation

YOU CAN DANCE: Audience participation is not usually part of the deal when you go to the ballet, but the opening gala of the season at the Paris Opera set out to shake up traditions.
Guests were invited to join the Paris Opera Ballet on stage at the ornate Palais Garnier, where they were led by dancers to perform a waltz. In their colorful evening dresses, the untrained participants stood out from the sea of tuxedo-clad dancers.
“We weren’t given any indications whatsoever,” said music producer Pedro Winter, who was the only male picked to go on stage. “The dancers guided me through touch and by maintaining constant eye contact. It turned out to be pretty instinctive in the end. You just let go.”
It was all part of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s “Decadanse,” an electrifying performance featuring 31 dancers. The first act, an energetic group choreography to the tune of Goldfrapp’s “Black Cherry,” gave an indication of the unusual evening to come.
Russian prima ballerina Diana Vishneva and Aurélie Dupont earned rapturous applause for their “Boléro” pas de deux, wearing black asymmetrical costumes designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. Dupont, who retired from dancing in 2015, succeeded Benjamin Millepied as director of the

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Plácido Domingo, Opera Superstar, Achieves the Unthinkable: 150 Roles

The 77-year-old singer will reach a virtually unheard-of milestone when he sings his 150th role at the Salzburg Festival in Austria on Thursday.
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James Levine, a Fractured Partnership and a Met Opera Lawsuit

Mr. Levine, who was fired after accusations of sexual misconduct, claims that Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, had long wanted to force him out.
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Review: As James Levine Sues, the Met Opera Opens a New ‘Così’

A Mozart staging set in 1950s Coney Island had its premiere days after Mr. Levine was fired when an investigation found evidence of sexual misconduct.
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Cavaliers’ Smith refuses to dish on soup opera

Cavaliers guard JR Smith isn’t dishing about any details relating to his suspension for throwing a bowl of soup at assistant coach Damon Jones.
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photo essay: Watch the Met Opera Stage a Sea of Blood

A production of Wagner’s metaphysical “Parsifal,” which returns on Feb. 5, floods the stage with 1,250 gallons.
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The Best Opera Recording Ever Is Maria Callas Singing ‘Tosca.’ Hear Why.

These 10 clips show why a riveting 1953 version of Puccini’s opera deserves its status as one of the finest classical albums ever made.
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Met Opera to Investigate James Levine Over Sexual Abuse Accusation

A man filed a police report in Illinois in 2016 claiming that when he was a teenager in the 1980s, Mr. Levine began sexually abusing him.
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At the Met Opera, a Note So High, It’s Never Been Sung Before

It’s an A above high C — the equivalent of a pole vault to the sun. Few performers can hit it, but it’s a requirement in “The Exterminating Angel.”
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Review: If You See One Opera This Year, Make It ‘The Exterminating Angel’

The composer Thomas Adès’s audacious new opera based on Luis Buñuel’s surreal 1962 film “The Exterminating Angel” triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera.
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Hear the Surreal Instruments of the Met’s New Opera

Tiny violins, a spooky ondes Martenot and a slamming door come to the pit for Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel,” based on Luis Buñuel’s film.
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Anthony Roth Costanzo Exists to Transform Opera

The countertenor, a collaborator with Nico Muhly, Joyce DiDonato and Justin Vivian Bond, has created an unusual career of music very old and very new.
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The Diva Departs: Renée Fleming’s Farewell to Opera

With her art form in crisis, the soprano prepares for a poignant goodbye at the Met. But she has a second act in mind.
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Yannick Nézet-Séguin Will Shake Things Up at the Met Opera

This charismatic conductor led his first rehearsal since being named the company’s next music director. Here, he talks about his plans.
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Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC


Original Archive Photo from the Chicago Tribune archive, originally filed under LYRIC OPERA 1976. Approximate size is 8 x 10 inches. Photographer was not captured. Comes with a serialized Certificate of Authenticity.
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Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC


Original Archive Photo from the Chicago Tribune archive, originally filed under LYRIC OPERA 1976. Approximate size is 7 x 10 inches. Photographer was not captured. Comes with a serialized Certificate of Authenticity.
List Price: $ 14.99
Price: $ 14.99

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC


Original Archive Photo from the Chicago Tribune archive, originally filed under LYRIC OPERA 1976. Approximate size is 7 x 10 inches. Photographer was not captured. Comes with a serialized Certificate of Authenticity.
List Price: $ 14.99
Price: $ 14.99

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC


Original Archive Photo from the Chicago Tribune archive, originally filed under LYRIC OPERA 1976. Approximate size is 7 x 10 inches. Photographer was not captured. Comes with a serialized Certificate of Authenticity.
List Price: $ 14.99
Price: $ 14.99

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC

Lyric Opera LITTLE LYRIC


Original Archive Photo from the Chicago Tribune archive, originally filed under LYRIC OPERA 1976. Approximate size is 8 x 10 inches. Photographer was not captured. Comes with a serialized Certificate of Authenticity.
List Price: $ 14.99
Price: $ 14.99

Finding beauty. Simonetta Lein The Wishmaker Meets Opera Singer Andrea Bocelli

When you look for beauty, when you look for good you will find it. This doesn’t mean we will not run into problems or that bad things will never happen, but rather when we encounter difficulties, then it is right there, within those difficulties, that we need to seek even more fervently for good and we will be able to see it. Simonetta Lein

A year ago, after being engaged for 10 years, I got married. When it was time to choose the songs for the wedding, it came so naturally to me to pick my very favourite of Andrea Bocelli’s songs: the famous “Con te partirò”, also known as “Time to say goodbye.”. We got married in Philadelphia, at the City Tavern, a restaurant renowned for its original recipes from the 1700s, where the waiters are dressed from that period. They seated my whole family in a very special room where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would hold their meetings and plan America’s freedom. In that room I played Andrea Bocelli’s song again and again. I am Italian, and have moved to the US, and for me there is no greater pride that listening to music in your own language in another country and realizing that everybody knows it. Tears still well in my eyes when I think about it. And from listening to a song to actually getting to interview Andrea Bocelli, as The Wishmaker, is something that makes me feel so happy, proud and truly fortunate.

2016-04-26-1461694023-5308509-andreabocelli33.jpg

When you were a child, did you wish for the career and for the life that you have manifested today?

In my case, reality has surpassed even the rosiest of dreams and has gone far beyond the most ambitious imagination of youth. My life, if I look back on it, really does look like a fairy tale with a happy ending, and my adventure in music has surpassed the most far-fetched forecasts, and rewarded me with a life brimming with satisfaction. Quite apart from fame (which came upon me late, when I was over thirty-five), singing has always given me, right from when I was a boy, moments of great happiness… Music was a great passion, it was also a fruitful hobby… Even then I was sure I would never abandon it. Encouraged first by my relatives, and then by everyone who heard me, I would daydream for example that one day I’d perform on the operatic stage. Then, after many attempts, success arrived and I have had the privilege to dedicate myself professionally to something which – I repeat – has always been, and is, my great passion.

**It is so beautiful and poetic to me just thinking of a great man and what his dreams were when he was a kid. What it would be to have that voice, play with it and feel the immense joy of being blessed with something so special? Possessing a talent is magical, yet very difficult to handle. Many talents flounder and get lost when they do not have the right encouragement and support. Many give up because the path to success is long and hard; even if you are special you always have to prove it. Andrea also had to fight with his health; I always wondered where he got his strength from, and I think he got it from such a passion. When you really enjoy what you do, you know you are blessed and you can fight the most difficult fights.

Name a wish that you had for your life or for humanity that finally came true.

From a personal point of view, an aspiration that transformed into reality is that of being able to count on a united and happy family, on a life-companion with whom to share the problems and the joys of everyday life, and on wonderful children who are growing up with the sound values that I myself absorbed from the education my parents gave me. Another wish that became reality is the foundation which bears my name: the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, a dream that my wife and I have nurtured for years and that we finally realized, giving life to a body that drives forward world projects aimed at overcoming the barriers caused by poverty, disability and social exclusion.

**We both share a big dream, to give voice to the voiceless, and we both created this dream with our life companions. Family is truly a blessing, and having a life-companion who understands with you that there is so much more to be done, that happiness it is real only when it is shared.

If you were granted one wish for humanity or for our planet, what would it be?

I’m an incurable optimist. I am certain that in every woman, in every man, there are unexplored universes, harboring positive qualities that can truly create miracles, every day, on this earth. My optimism does not solely arise from the strength of my religious convictions: I have faith in man himself, in his intelligence, his goodwill. I hope that the new generations can live in a world without war, where good triumphs over evil, where man is able – via progress in medicine – to conquer pain, where one may receive and celebrate with serenity that extraordinary gift which is life.

**You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
I really do, I think that for as many times as this world shows its evil face, there are also very many people who are truly striving for peace, trying to be better people, to stand for good values and to sincerely create a better world. I firmly believe that many things can be changed by our attitude, with people coming together and demanding a better society. We the people, are the key and even when you think you are just one small person who has no voice and no power to change things remember you are not alone. Maybe we live, we work, we take action in different parts of the world but every action if united with other actions, no matter how small such actions may be, can change things.

If you could go back in time and ask one question from anyone from history, who would you want to meet and what question would you ask?

I’d have a thousand and one questions to ask and much to learn, for example, from the great composers I revere, ranging from Giuseppe Verdi to Giacomo Puccini and Pietro Mascagni. In addition, history is replete with enlightened women and men, who have spent their lives in the service of others in a condition of holiness: I would like to put questions to them, on their journey of faith, and hear the valuable advice they have to offer.

**To be a great artist means there is always a journey to be taken, to be a great human being there is a journey to be made. Many times faith plays a fundamental role along this path, and having faith in our purpose lends a totally different strength to our lives. We are often so full of our life that we do not pay attention to the great things that have taken place through the sheer brilliance and ingeniousness of great man and women. We just sit back and enjoy the results, if we are able to, and we forget the many years of struggles that were painstakingly overcome to reach that hard-won situation. In many cases, the greatest adventures, the greatest art forms, the greatest discoveries came from a journey within oneself. I would be so curious to know what pushed Verdi to write “La Traviata” or “Rigoletto”, or Puccini and “La Tosca” “La Boheme” or “Madame Butterfly” and what was the inspiration that Pietro Mascagni needed to write “Cavalleria Rusticana”. And lest we forget, there are so many man and women who gave their lives in the service of others. I personally would like to talk to San Francis and Siddhartha and ask them where they both found the strength to leave everything, renouncing every comfort and giving their lives to the joy of others. Since I cannot talk to them, I read a lot about them, I research into faith every day; it is so fascinating.

Please tell me what influences your unique sense of style?

I can’t really put my finger on precisely what it is that has influenced me, and made me become who I am. I can say that study and my habitual association with music has educated my sense of the beautiful, as has my upbringing in Italy, in a land devoted to beauty itself, in all its expressions, this may have contributed to shaping my identity as an artist. I’ve defined my whole existence, evoking and paying homage to, via song, the power of love. In love, therefore, in all its forms, I find my inspiration, starting from the people I love the most: my children, my wife, my family and my dearest friends… A further crucial element that has influenced my existence, my inner growth and my inner peace, is faith. A gift I strive to cherish, foster and enrich every day.

**Isn’t it beautiful, the idea that faith can influence your sense of style? Peace can really influence your style, joy, as much as anxiety and anger. My wish for all of you is to always look for the best that lies within your emotions and feelings; many times you have to train yourself to delve down deep within, to overcome anger and transform it into joy. We are the only ones wasting our precious time if we decide to stay angry or sad; sometimes we have to force ourselves to come out of that state, we can put on some music, we can remind ourselves to smile, we can try to do something we know we like. Our mind has many opportunities to be trained, and keeping it going is up to us and us alone. I wish for everyone l to strive for inner growth and inner peace in the best of styles like Andrea.

Who is your favorite fashion designer or brand right now and why?

I’ve got many friends in the world of fashion, there are just so many I could name. If I really had to select one here and now I’d like to mention Stefano Ricci, an extremely fine stylist and a person with a great heart… My wife and I are bonded by a deep friendship to his large and beautiful family, and together we’ve embarked upon several major philanthropic undertakings, thanks to their sensitivity and their genuine desire to do good.

**Stefano Ricci creates amazing suits for men, with typical Italian elegance. He also does very refined interior design. We all share the desire to do good, to use art, in this case music and fashion as a vehicle to open doors to philanthropy. As a fashion icon and expert I am strongly convinced that fashion can play an active part in bringing value, it can contribute through beauty which is very important and it can be actively involved in drawing awareness to crucial problems. I really wish one day that we could all be involved in a humanitarian project together.

What is your fashion mantra?

I don’t pursue any, I haven’t any magic formula or surefire recipes. In fact, I think that the forced seeking-out of a personal style or elegance, rather than being a strength, is a symptom of inner insecurity. As I am fond of saying: the goodness of beauty enchants me, the beauty of the good moves me. One must always seek out goodness, in oneself and in others, and one will also find beauty.

**It’s so true, when you look for beauty, when you look for good you will find it. This doesn’t mean we will not run into problems or that bad things will never happen, but rather when we encounter difficulties, then it is right there, within those difficulties, that we need to seek even more fervently for good and we will be able to see it.

What is your final message for our readers?

I’d first of all like to thank them for taking the time and having the desire to read these words of mine. I’m delighted to share with all of them an idea that I hold dear, a reflection that also lies at the basis of the philanthropic institution I referred to earlier, which I founded five years ago, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation: life is like a great banquet at which everyone can do well if they have the essential minimum. If someone is not doing well, for whatever reason, the party’s a flop. It’s for this reason that I maintain that solidarity is not only a moral duty, but also an act of intelligence. Even if it doesn’t make the news headlines, we know that what is good represents, for the whole of humanity, the only real pathway to take. I am sure that also those reading this are doing their best to leave a better world for our children. And it is to them that my grateful thoughts turn, along with my most affectionate wishes.

**Thank you so much Andrea. You are absolutely right. If someone is having a bad time, then the party is a flop. If someone else’s child is ill, we should all feel it. We are so numbed. But it is time to wake up. It is, as Andrea says, an act of intelligence, and good is the only path to take. I strongly believe we can all be at the great banquet that Andrea envisions, we can redistribute wealth, we can become more diligent in our duty of human rights for ourselves and for others. We have to educate our children to respect others, we can spread good messages, it is possible to still find the beauty in everything we see and we can act when there is something wrong. Sometimes we have to accept that “it is what it is”, but many times we can change the situation. At least it is worth trying. If you do not know where to start please join the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and also the Wishwall Foundation. If you wish to donate, if you’d like to give your time, your knowledge then please do contact us. I personally cannot do it by myself and nor would I want to do it by myself. Like Andrea says, this Earth is everybody’s banquet. We can do this.

As always, make your wishes come true.

From Philadelphia, Simonetta Lein, The Wishmaker

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Credits: William Russell-Edu, Collaborator. Raphael Anthony Amabile creative director.
And a big shoutout to Opera Singer Marco Voleri and to Andrea’s assistant Alessia. Thank you all!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Met Opera director to retire after 40 years

James Levine, the music director at New York’s Metropolitan Opera for 40 years, is to retire for health reasons.
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6″ Musical Lighted Phantom of the Opera “Journey to the Lair” Shadow Box

6″ Musical Lighted Phantom of the Opera “Journey to the Lair” Shadow Box


Officially licensed merchandise Features The Phantom and Christine in a boat on their way to the Phantom’s Lair Plays the tune: “Overture” Requires 2 “AA” batteries (not included) Gift boxed Dimensions: 4″H x 6″W x 4.5″D Material(s): resin
List Price: $ 94.00
Price: $ 94.00

6″ Opera House Insipred Glittered Sideways Harp Christmas Ornament

6″ Opera House Insipred Glittered Sideways Harp Christmas Ornament


Glittered Sideways Harp Christmas Ornament Item #3214143 Features a plastic figurine of a golden harp one might see in the Opera houses in days of olde touched with glitter to add that extra shine to your Christmas tree Comes read-to-hang on a matching gold nylon cord Fully dimensional ornament Dimensions: 6″H x 4.5″W Material(S): plastic/nylon/glitter
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The Dead Alive: Or The Double Funeral. A Comic Opera. In Two Acts. With Additions And Alterations. As Performed By

The Dead Alive: Or The Double Funeral. A Comic Opera. In Two Acts. With Additions And Alterations. As Performed By


The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars.The eighteenth-century fascination with Greek and Roman antiquity followed the systematic excavation of the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum in southern Italy; and after 1750 a neoclassical style dominated all artistic fields. The titles here trace developments in mostly English-language works on painting, sculpture, architecture, music, theater, and other disciplines. Instructional works on musical instruments, catalogs of art objects, comic operas, and more are also included. ++++The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to insure edition identification:++++<sourceLibrary>Library of Congress<ESTCID>W031674<Notes>Libretto only. The music was composed by Samuel Arnold. Cf. Grove''s dictionary of music and musicians, 3rd ed. Booksellers'' advertisements, p. [47-48].<imprintFull>New-York : Printed by Hodge, Allen, and Campbell; and sold at their respective book-stores, M.DCC.LXXXIX. [1789]. <collation>[2],iv,[1],8-46,[2]p. ; 12deg
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What the FACH? ~ The Definitive Guide for Opera Singers Auditioning & Working in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (2nd Edition).

What the FACH? ~ The Definitive Guide for Opera Singers Auditioning & Working in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (2nd Edition).


If you are looking to expand your opera career to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. If you want to work as a full-time singer (Fest) in one or more opera houses. If you are curious about what life is like as a singer in a German-speaking Fest ensemble. If you want to become fluent in German. What The FACH? 2nd Edition (http://www. what-the-fach.com) gives you a detailed, first-hand look into life as an English-speaking opera singer in the German theater system. Written by a full-time opera singer working in Europe, this invaluable resource is a ‘must have’ for every singer wanting to break into the German-speaking opera world. The bestselling guide is back for its Second Edition with detailed information covering virtually everything you can think of, including everything you never thought to think of but still need to know! There are countless English-speaking singers already working in the German-speaking world, and with What The FACH? 2nd Edition, you can have the knowledge they already possess in hand. READ WHAT OPERA PROFESSIONALS ARE SAYING. “.a comprehensive resource for decoding the mysteries of professional singing in Europe.”- HUGH RUSSELL, Canadian baritone “.without a doubt the best reference of its kind. .What the FACH? answers the obvious and not-so obvious questions – in a concise and very funny way – that one comes across while working in Central Europe’s ‘Fest’ opera system.”- KATE ALDRICH, American mezzo-soprano “Any singer planning an audition trip to Germany should READ THIS BOOK FIRST! It will answer multiple questions, help in travel planning, seve them money AND prevent many headaches!”- KIRSTEN GUNLOGSON, American mezzo-soprano “Not only is this book a MUST HAVE for any singer who has considered going to Europe, it is also a wildly entertaining read!”- COREY MCKERN, American baritone “What the FACH? is a witty, common sense approach to one of the most challenging endeavors for a develop

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Where High Concept Performance Art Meets The Trashy Soap Opera

Many an art lover, no matter how classy her tastes may be, gets a certain buzz from vegging out in front of a trashy soap opera or a bawdy reality show. We certainly qualify. If you fit this bill, you better be keeping a close eye on performance art darling Kalup Linzy, whose portfolio takes the shape of a mutant hybrid of high brow art and low brow TV in the best of ways.

Linzy, born in Florida and based in New York, creates low-budget videos inspired by daytime soap operas, with Linzy himself donning a variety of characters, from talented and naive struggling starlets to conniving vixens who will do anything to get to the top. In his current solo exhibition, “Art.Jobs.Lullabies,” Linzy adds to and remixes his ongoing drama-drenched mythology, divulging the lives of performance artist Pisces and video artist/singer Kaye, among others.

chewing

The timing of Kalup’s work is a little bit off and causes a delay that is really funny,” Thomas Lax, exhibition coordinator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, told The New York Times. “All his characters are trying to approximate an ideal, but they’re just behind or ahead of it.”

Somewhere between Cindy Sherman, Ru Paul and Tim and Eric, Linzy crafts a glittery art world parody that captures the very real value of role playing in self­-actualization. In Linzy’s words: “​I’m still learning where I fit in with all these personas… Sometimes these roles are embarrassing, but the more embarrassed I feel, the better it is for the audience, a relative once said to me. That creates a space of real freedom.”

If you love the guilty pleasure of binging on YouTube music videos but hate the shameful aftermath, get ready for your holy grail. Linzy’s two new videos, “Don’t Make Me Over” and “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue” premiere below.

Don’t Make Me Over/We People Who Are Darker Than Blue from KalupLinzyStudio Films on Vimeo.

“Art.Jobs.Lullabies” will run until May 2, 2015 at Garis & Hahn in New York. See Linzy’s blogs on the Huffington Post here.

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History of the Opera: From Its Origin in Italy to the Present Time. with Anecdotes of the Most Celebrated Composers and Vocalists of Europe,

History of the Opera: From Its Origin in Italy to the Present Time. with Anecdotes of the Most Celebrated Composers and Vocalists of Europe,


Used – This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1862 edition. Excerpt: …music of the principal parts,” he continues, ” wer$ written for a class of voices which 110 longer exists, t and for these parts no performers could now be found. A series of recitatives and airs, with only an occasional duet, and a concluding chorus of the slightest kind, w

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Soap Opera Star Freddie Smith Charged With DUI After Crash That Injured His Girlfriend

JEFFERSON, Ohio (AP) — Soap opera actor Freddie Smith has been charged with felony vehicular assault and misdemeanor driving under the influence after a single-vehicle crash that injured his girlfriend in northeast Ohio.

The 26-year-old “Days of Our Lives” actor lost control of his car on a curve in Ashtabula (ash-tuh-BYOO’-luh) County on Oct. 7 and ended up in a culvert, causing his car to flip over. Authorities say Smith, who was visiting his Ohio hometown, was legally drunk at the time of the accident, with a blood-alcohol level of .093. The legal limit in Ohio is .08.

Smith’s attorney declined to comment.

Twenty-seven-year-old actress Alyssa Tabit of North Hollywood, California, was trapped in the car and was seriously hurt. She is recovering.

Smith suffered minor injuries.
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Dido & Aeneas , Bluebeard’s Castle in a Duo at LA Opera

2014-10-31-GlobalLAOGalleryPressDido_Bluebeard201414278175PR.jpg

Two probing views of obsessive love spelled success for the marriage of inconvenience between Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Their double-bill opening Saturday at the Chandler Pavilion marked the LA Opera’s second collaboration with wave-making Australian stage director Barrie Kosky. It also heralded the promise of a long-term relationship.

Chief Director of Berlin’s Komische Oper from 2012, Kosky debuted here last year with a spoofy Mozart’s Magic Flute that looked like a silent movie. As with that production, this sparely staged pairing originated in Europe, but that’s where their resemblance ends. Change-ups are a habit of the chameleon-like director.

Two and a half centuries span the two tragedies of Dido and Bluebeard, one with a lot of fun, the other with none. When Kosky teases in an interview before the opening that the works have little in common, you can count on seeing as many parallels as lanes on the freeway you took to the Music Center. He spins an enigmatic few of them in the printed program: “Arrival and departure, departure and arrival, a woman and a man, a man and a woman, a lost Eden, a forgotten Eden and a remembered Eden.”

The protagonists of these tales are fodder for a psychiatrist’s couch. Except for her brief amatory union with Aeneas, Dido’s clinical depression keeps her so withdrawn from her court she heeds neither cheering up nor sinister plots. Duke Bluebeard’s guarded split personality is a fatal attraction to obsessive new wife Judith, who, against his will and her own safety, makes him reveal his lethal all.

However linked the psycho-atmospherics may be, their respective stagings sharply contrast. Katrin Lea Tag’s spare scenery, slow-rising curtains, and vivid costumes (owing much to Julie Taymor and Germany’s Pina Bausch) evoke radically different landscapes, historic time zones, and sound-worlds. The use of unscripted whispers in both works heightens the drama and helps span their stylistic discontinuities.

Dido and Aeneas

Dido is bathed in bright lights and dressed in (mostly) pastel-infused but freakish period clothing. Its drama unfolds on the outer edge of the stage proscenium, barricaded from behind by an accordion-shaped screen. The narrowly defined space emphasizes the wafer-thin superficiality of the courtiers, and probably also Dido’s hold on power. A long white bench stretches across the stage to seat the retinue: a collection of nit-wits, sycophants and nasty plotters, who by turns ape the droopy sentiments of their queen or trot off to bizarre and brazen behaviors.

All the while they sing nicely to Purcell’s delicate score. (“If you drop it will break” was Kosky’s earlier characterization.) The music was realized with great fluency in the large hall, aided in projection by the forward placed screen. The modest-sized baroque orchestra was peppered with period instruments (wood bassoon, oboe and flute, with a continuo of organ, harpsichord and theorbos) and conducted to precision by Steven Sloane.

As Dido’s sister Belinda, soubrette soprano Kateryna Kasper is the court’s excitable teenybopper. Her “To the hills and the vales” shimmered with youthful enthusiasm as sung to an enchanted audience from the outer edge of the orchestra pit.

Outlandish comedy comes from the combo of a sorceress and two witches sung by an improbable assemblage of three African-American countertenors, led by recent Operalia winner John Holiday (the sorceress) with G. Thomas Allen and Darryl Taylor. Dressed in pitch black and suggesting a trio of harping crows, they were the conspirators against Dido who pranced and danced and shook their jowly cheeks in celebration of their own wickedness. Holiday even changed into a mock Dido dress as he spitefully employed an imposter Mercury to order Aeneas’ departure for Rome. This has the intended effect of fatally demoralizing his queen. The sketch leveled the audience with laughter.

Handsome Liam Bonner’s Aeneas, en route from Troy to Rome, is presented more as feckless wanderer than purposeful hero. His plush baritonal colors lent plummy hues to his bass region and a tenorial gleam higher up. After Dido’s fragile state of mind dismisses him for even thinking of leaving her, Aeneas stomps off stage and down to the the audience seating area, slamming a side door on his way out. Temper, temper.

Dido is the only role treated as serious, and the contrast of her demeanor with that of the others enhances her isolation. In her local debut as the sole holdover from European productions, Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy’s aristocratic poise and pearly voice captured Dido’s exquisite melancholy, furious anger, and, in her famous lament “When I am laid in earth” and its aftermath, her grisly end-of-life journey of shocking gasps and sighs. As she dies, orchestra members and courtiers, who earlier had migrated from stage to pit, depart one by one, so that when Dido finally expires in a slump, she is left alone to commune with eternity. The scene touchingly recollected the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson of not so many years ago singing Bach’s “Ich habe genug.”

Bluebeard’s Castle

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The mood of Bluebeard’s Castle after the interval grows even darker and much heavier. It unfolds on a large empty disc sitting in the Chandler’s cavernous backstage, blackened but otherwise unadorned. The two protagonists, also draped in black, rotate on this disc in a glacially slow but intense dance of death. The spatial infinity suggests the bottomless pit of Bluebeard’s concealed and bloody marital history and also Judith’s morbid curiosity. The use of people in lieu of sets, which was suggested in Dido, here becomes literal. Traditional productions employ seven actual doors, which Judith coaxes Bluebeard to open, but in this instance three sets of supernumeraries stand in for the chambers containing his former wives. Former iterations of the Duke himself stream gold dust, leafy vines, and water in a dystopian Garden of Eden made fearsome and fatal after the fall.

Claudia Mahnke as Judith and Robert Hayward as Bluebeard act out their Hungarian rendition of Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf, forcing open the doors to each other’s personalities. If, due to unrelieved narratives, their vocal tours de force can’t quite keep us engaged for the hour-long layer-peeling intensity, their joint efforts earn points for honesty and sheer perseverance.

Bartók’s score is an expressionistic time bomb. Its massive modern orchestra can be compared in size and sonority, also artistic importance, to those of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Berg’s Wozzeck. Each morbid revelation in the opera is accompanied by an ever more splendid soundscape, the most dramatic being the brass ensemble that depicts the castle’s magnificent gardens in a kind of post-Wagnerian grandeur. Steven Sloane and his instrumental charges bridged the huge stylistic chasm after Purcell’s light textures to realize superbly this musical Mount Everest.

Apropos and worthy of note, the heavy costs of this joint production were not in sets but in musicians, and thanks for that.

Left in the mind’s eye after the performances was Dido’s white claustrophobia and Bluebeard’s black infinity, like the eternally clinging teardrops in a yin-yang.

—ooo—

Performances continue through November 25. Contact: LA Opera

Photos are by Craig Matthew for the Los Angeles Opera
Top: Paula Murrihy and Liam Bonner as Dido and Aeneas
Bottom: Claudia Mahnke as Judith and Robert Hayward as Duke Bluebeard

Rodney Punt can be contacted at Rodney@ArtsPacifica.net
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki And 2 Congressmen Plan Protest Of ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ At Metropolitan Opera

NEW YORK (AP) — Some big-name politicians are joining Jewish protesters in a growing firestorm against an opera they say glorifies Palestinian terrorists.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Gov. George Pataki and two U.S. congressmen are among hundreds expected outside the Metropolitan Opera on Monday to protest the Met premiere of “The Death of Klinghoffer.” It’s based on the 1985 murder of a disabled Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, on the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship hijacked by four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front. The 69-year-old New York retiree was shot in his wheelchair and pushed overboard.

Organizers plan to bring 100 symbolic wheelchairs to the rally at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan.

The Met already has canceled its planned November movie theater and radio broadcasts of American composer John Adams’ 1991 work amid pressure from Jewish groups — especially the Anti-Defamation League — whose members say the music romanticizes Klinghoffer’s killers, along with the opening “Chorus of Exiled Palestinians.”

Met General Manager Peter Gelb warned the broadcasts could trigger anti-Semitism overseas.

But opera expert Fred Plotkin says the work depicts the Klinghoffers as the moral backbone.

“Does this opera present the killers in a favorable light? No,” he says. “Are the Klinghoffers far and away the most sympathetic characters in the opera, the ones we care about most? I believe so.”

The opera has been a lightning rod since February, when it was first scheduled for this season.

The opposition is now reaching fever pitch, with word spreading that protesters may try to disrupt Monday’s performance.

It’s the second large New York demonstration against the work since the Met’s Sept. 22 season opening night, when protesters carried signs that read “Klinghoffer Opera/Propaganda Masquerading as Art” and jeered at arriving spectators.

Plotkin notes that many “Klinghoffer” opponents have never seen the work.

The Met is advertising it with the slogan: “See it. Then decide.”

“The Death of Klinghoffer” was first premiered in Brussels in 1991, with little controversy, then in various European cities as well as at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it was greeted with both praise and anger — especially from Klinghoffer’s two daughters.

“The Death of Klinghoffer” runs through Nov. 15 at the Met.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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1858 in Sports: 1858 in Chess, 1858 in Cricket, Sports Clubs Established in 1858, Blackheath F.C., Opera Game, King James VI Golf Club

1858 in Sports: 1858 in Chess, 1858 in Cricket, Sports Clubs Established in 1858, Blackheath F.C., Opera Game, King James VI Golf Club


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First Nighter: Musicals “Atomic,” “The Mapmaker’s Opera,” “ValueVille”

Atomic, at the Acorn, is the show that asks the musical question: Once the A-bomb was realized, was it wise to use it? Coming up with an answer requires a great deal of serious thought, which is what librettist-lyricists Danny Ginges and Gregory Bonsignore and composer-lyricist Philip Foxman give it. Whether they’ve given it enough thought–in a tuner that may push the limit on how far musicals dealing with difficult issues can go–remains in question.

Ginges, Bonsignore and Foxman tell their story within an intriguing framework. Appearing before the House Un-American Activities Committee, the brilliant though arrogant J. Robert Oppenheimer (Euan Morton) decides to defend his loyalty to the country by telling the history of the development of the devastating weapon that irrevocably changed mankind’s history.

Oppenheimer introduces the tale of Leo Szilard (Jeremy Kushnier), then and now an almost forgotten figure in the building of the atomic bomb. It was Szilard who got the genius notion about a chain reaction leading to splitting the atom, a possibility discounted prior to the mid-1930s.

Fearful, particularly when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, that German scientists would build a bomb before anyone else, Szilard devoted his life to the project (eventually the Manhattan Project), at times jeopardizing his marriage to pediatrician Trudy Weiss Szilard (Sara Gettelfinger).

When the war with Germany ends, Szilard considers the long-term implications of the bomb and concludes that using it against Japan is too much for his conscience to bear. He tries to stop it but is foiled in an attempt to reach Harry Truman–partly because Oppenheimer argued successfully that deploying the bomb would result in the occasion’s being an effective future deterrent, which, of course, it has been. So far.

It’s a meaty subject, all right, with Ginges, Bonsignore and Foxman bringing in supporting players like Enrico Fermi (Jonathan Hammond), Edward Teller (Randy Harrison) and project liaison Arthur Compton (David Abeles), who objected to Szilard’s resistant attitude towards the kind of secrecy under which he was expected to operate.

In a production where Neil Patel’s sleek grid-like set (that annoyingly obscures lights behind it specifying locales) and David Finn’s lighting are crucially effective, the human and humane nature of those associated with the super-human efforts–the amount of drinking the participants did, for instance, and then their abiding post-bombing guilt–is both surveyed and stinted.

Szilard’s details are unfolded in great detail, but Oppenheimer’s, on the other hand, aren’t. (Fermi is presented almost strictly as a caricature Italian.) It’s not unusual for musicals to jump over biographical segments, and that occurs in excess with Oppenheimer. How he became Manhattan Project head is completely ignored, practically reducing him to the heavy in the piece, a bombastic bombing advocate with his signature cigarette in hand.

And since this is a musical, there’s the music. It’s something of a rock score during which every once in a while Kushnier, who has a solid belt, steps center stage–sometimes on a table–and, not unlike Idina Menzel in If/Then, delivers a power ballad with all his might. That just about every song he’s given sounds like the one that preceded it isn’t helpful, nor are the lyrics, which are rife with clumsy off rhymes. Neither Oscar Hammerstein nor Stephen Sondheim nor any other Golden Age lyricist you might mention would ever rhyme “office” with “nauseous”–especially since the correct adjective is ‘nauseated.”

Kushnier isn’t the only forceful singer in the group, directed with cogency by Damien Grey and choreographed when it’s called for by Greg Graham. The other eight ensemble members match him when their turns come. Is it going too far to say they’re all a blast?
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Most people know about Swan Lake, but perhaps only those who see The Mapmaker’s Opera at PTC Performance Place as part of the New York Music Festival, will know about Paloma Lake. That could be the English title of “Leyenda de la Paloma,” the dance that begins the musical’s second act and, as choreographed by Stas Kmiec and danced by Natalia Lepore Hagan and Andrés Acosta, is the most interesting part of an otherwise uninvolving work.

Adapting Béa Gonzalez’s novel of the same name set on the eve of the Mexican Revolution, librettist-lyricist Victor Kazan and composer Kevin Purcell unfold the story of naturalist’s assistant Diego Clemente (Joel Perez), who paints birds, and rich man’s daughter Sofia Duarte (Madeleine Featherby), who fall in love across class lines and eventually bear the consequences.

While occasionally throwing in flimsy references to the increasingly inflammatory ruling class/workers condition, the flamenco-influenced musical musters little urgency. While guitarists Nilko Andreas Guarin, Frederick Bryant Hollister, Richard Miller and David Boddington add flavor, the songs eventually give the impression of being a series of rhymed clichés.

The cast, directed half-heartedly by Donald Brenner, is divided into two halves, the half that does its best with the material (Alma Cuervo, Lorraine Serabian, Tony Chiroldes) and the half that doesn’t. But there is money on the stage in a series of animated drawings that indicate various Yucatån locales. Since there’s no credit for a projections designer, set designer Andrew Lu must deserve the credit.
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Pretentious and muddled aren’t the most encouraging words to describe a production of any kind, but they unfortunately apply to ValueVille, also at the PCT Performance Space and part of this year’s NYMF.

It’s a spin on Jean-:Paul Sartre’s No Exit, and in it a handful of people are trapped with each other in an Ikea-like Purgatory akin to a roach hotel where you can check-in but you can’t check out.

Eddie (David Spadora), a recent college grad, arrives and immediately encounters nervous ex-girlfriend Meg (Emily Koch), a tyrannical boss Don (Christopher Sutton) and a few others, including a forever-pregnant shopper (Stephanie Fittro).

The idea seems to be that once any of them realizes what landed them in this pre-Hell and right the personality flaw, he or she is free to go. Yet, several of them do make the connection but still remain condemned to their dire spot. So what does librettist-lyricist-composer Rowan Casey think he’s doing?

Not crafting memorable songs, that’s for sure. At one point there’s a “cheesy feel-good ballad,” which isn’t my assessment but that of naysayer Don. Towards the end, Sharonda (NaTasha Yvette Williams) blares an 11 o’clock gospel song that lands in the time-honored way of 11 o’clock gospel rants. It’s followed by Eddie, Meg and company singing a rather sweet song called “Heart & Soul.” It’s not the Frank Loesser-Hoagy Carmichael “Heart and Soul,” but arranger Ryan Cartwell has the wit to end the ditty with a piano reference to the golden oldie.

ValueVille is directed by the terrific performer Donna Lynne Champlin making her debut in this capacity, and choreographed by the terrific performer Jeffry Denman. They both can be forgiven the lapse.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Beijing Opera Facial Masks Deck Playing Cards Poker

Beijing Opera Facial Masks Deck Playing Cards Poker


Beijing opera types of facial makeup in operas, is a special feature of a national cosmetic. As each historical figure or a certain type of person has an approximate spectral type, like sing, play music to the music, so called types of facial makeup in operas. On the types of facial makeup in operas sources, the general view is from mask. You can enjoy your games.

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