Lisa Daltirus, sopranoWe're thrilled to have such a stellar line-up! Check back over the next few weeks as I post videos and information on each guest artist.
Jennifer Holloway, mezzo-soprano
Adam Diegel, tenor
Timothy Kuhn, baritone
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
In other news, here's a review of Faust that I missed. This comes from the new local news website YourNews.com. Reviewer Bill Wineke says "The singing was superb, as was the orchestra..." in addition to many other nice things.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Most high-end perfumers spend months designing a signature scent they hope will stay on the market forever.
Christophe Laudamiel, who wants to turn fragrance into high art, has labored for two years on 23 scents that will last for just half an hour.
Mr. Laudamiel, a French fragrance designer who has created perfumes for Clinique, Estée Lauder, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, is collaborating on a "scent opera," a new performance art that pairs music with a carefully orchestrated sequence of smells, some pleasant and some real stinkers. The opera, titled "Green Aria," will test the boundaries of scent art when it opens at the Guggenheim Museum in New York May 31.
Friday, May 22, 2009
*Our original announcement online and in the performance programs incorrectly stated that the Faust broadcast was on June 6. Tomorrow, Saturday May 23, is the correct date.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thank you to everyone who came out for "Explore the Voice" at the UW Hospital and Clinics on Saturday, May 16, and a big thank you to the UW Voice and Swallow Clinic staff for all of their organizational efforts! The workshops were full and there was a great feeling in the air throughout the event. I think the content of the seminars and workshops was balanced really well between practical health management of the voice and career and vocal advice for singers.
From the Madison Opera team, we had General Director Allan Naplan presenting on how an opera company works, and Chorus Master Andrew Abrams discussing how to train for a career as a crossover artist in both opera and musical theater. There was a big mix of music educators, voice students, casual singers, and occupational voice users in attendance, and it seems there is great interest for a similar, FREE symposium next year.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Opera was, in effect, born twice. Its first coming was during the last decade of the sixteenth century, when humanist musicians and poets at the court of the Medici, in Florence, began to present a new kind of sung drama. The inaugural operas had impeccably high-minded subjects—Daphne changing into a laurel tree, Orpheus descending into Hades with his lyre—and were hyper-elegant in execution. Then, in 1637, a travelling troupe set off a fad for opera in the republic of Venice, and the art underwent a mutation. The season took place during Carnival, the time of dissolution and self-reinvention. Melodrama, bawdy humor, and disorienting collisions of high and low permeated the form. Mythological subjects took on a modern edge; castrato singers flamboyantly re-imagined classical heroes; star divas enacted scenes of madness and lament. A paying public showed lusty approval. For the rest of the century, up to five theatres operated in Venice at the same time, drawing an audience that included not only the patrician class but also courtesans, tourists, and a smattering of ordinary people. Opera acquired the intricate mixture of elements—élitist, populist, dignified, demented—which defines the genre to this day.Read the full article--"Unsung: Recovering the operas of Francesco Cavalli"--in The New Yorker.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Faust opens tonight, and I think Madison audiences are in for a memorable performance. Here are some links to help you get ready!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
It was a busy weekend for Madison Opera. Saturday, the Faust set was loaded in to Overture Hall during Overture's Open House. Meanwhile, the orchestra and singers got together for the first time at the sitzprobe rehearsal upstairs. On Sunday, David Pittsinger, David Lomeli, Jill Gardner, Director Bernard Uzan, and Maestro Laurent Campellone all joined Allan Naplan at Opera Up Close: The Faust Preview before their first rehearsal on stage.
In addition to loads of musical and historical details presented by Naplan at Opera Up Close, we learned of Maestro Campellone's first experience with Faust. He was 6 years old, and his Italian grandfather felt it was time for young Laurent's first opera, so they went to Faust. After Mephistopheles's entrance, however, 6 year-old Laurent was scared out of his mind and "went crazy." He said (sarcastically) that it was his grandfather's "greatest shame" to have to leave the theater early. We also learned that our tenor David Lomeli started off as football player and engineering student in Mexico. After the athletic department at his university could only offer a half-scholarship, he heard that the cultural department was offering more money and so auditioned for West Side Story. Though he had the voice, the director was unfortunately not looking for a football player-sized Tony, but as fate would have it, a new opera department was in the works and David was offered the scholarship for a tenor. So, as he said, he gave up the sports life and became an opera singer for the money.
You can relive Opera Up Close: The Faust Preview on Madison City Channel (Charter Analog 98, Charter Digital 994) on Wednesday, May 12 at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m., and Friday, May 22 at 8 p.m.
Friday, May 8, 2009
I had a fantastic time at rehearsal last night. Goosebumps abounded: we no doubt have a special cast on our hands, and the chorus is sounding extra strong and polished. There are a few things I love about being a fly on the wall at our rehearsals. First, I am perpetually blown away when I hear opera singers up close and stripped down, with just a piano in an enclosed rehearsal room: the massive volume they are capable of and the intense physical demands of performance are never more evident. And perhaps more importantly is the clear fun everyone is having and the sense of camaraderie that fills the room. Hopefully some of my pictures capture this. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
- Swing by the Overture Center for the Arts between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the Overture Open House. Madison Opera will have a booth in the lobby, plus you can observe our crew load in the Faust set on the Overture Hall stage and explore the Center's diverse performance spaces.
- If you're not downtown, turn on the radio and listen to a broadcast of Madison Opera's Cosi fan Tutte from March 15! Tune in to WERN 88.7 at 12:30 p.m., or go to the WPR website and listen online.
- OPERA UP CLOSE: THE FAUST PREVIEW, 4 - 6 p.m., MMoCA Lecture Hall, $20 Gen. Admission, FREE with student ID. Join General Director Allan Naplan for an engaging, multimedia, behind-the-scenes preview of Gounod's Faust. Stars of the show David Pittsigner, David Lomeli, and Jill Gardner will be on hand to talk about the production, as will our director Bernard Uzan and conductor Laurent Campellone. There's no better way to enhance your operatic experience!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
REMINDER: Registration for "Explore the Voice" on May 16 closes today, so sign up online now for this free event!