Friday, April 15, 2016

Claritin Allergy Medicine Could Save Escamillo From Spring Allergies

Claritin allows you to get back to your daily activities which may include kicking a soccer ball
into a shopping cart or going to the opera!

The latest commercial for allergy medication product Claritin features the overture from Bizet's Carmen. The tune is from the aria "Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre," more commonly known as Escamillo's "Toreador Song." Watch the commercial, and a video of James Levine conducting the overture, after the jump.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Chance To Live At Paul Robeson Residence In New York City

Paul Robeson was one of the first African-
American entertainers to live in the
apartment building on Edgecombe Avenue.
If you're hunting for a new spacious apartment in New York City, look no further than the National Historic Landmark building at 555 Edgecombe Avenue in Washington Heights. Former tenants include some of music's most famous African-American performers like Paul Robeson (for whom the building is now named) and Count Basie. The "ginormous" apartment has two bedrooms in addition to a full-size dining room measuring 13.5' by 10.5'! Apartment #6 is listed for $2,600. Call your broker and check out the listing here. "The Paul Robeson Residence, also known by its street address of 555 Edgecombe Avenue, is a National Historic Landmarked apartment building, located at 555 Edgecombe Avenue at the corner of West 160th Street in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was originally known as the Roger Morris when it was built in 1914-16 – after the retired British Army officer who built the nearby Morris-Jumel Mansion – and was designed by Schwartz & Gross, who specialized in apartment buildings. For the first 25 years of its existence, the building was restricted to white
Count Basie was another star in the
Washington Heights building.
tenants. Around 1940, as the racial characteristics of the neighborhood changed, this policy was dropped. Subsequently, the building became known for the noted African-American residents, including musician and composer Count Basie, boxer Joe Louis, musician and bandleader Andy Kirk, actor and producer Canada Lee, the psychologist Kenneth Clark, and the actor and singer Paul Robeson, who lived in the building from 1939 to 1941. After Robeson's death in 1976, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark in his honor. In 1993, it was designated a New York City landmark. Edgecombe Avenue has also been co-named Paul Robeson Boulevard." [Source] See photos rooms in the apartment up for rent, after the jump.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Congratulations To Anna Netrebko And Yusif Eyvazov On Their Marriage

Russian soprano Anna Netrebko married Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov at the Palais Coburg in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. Best wishes to the happy couple!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Renata Tebaldi Celebrated By Dolce&Gabbana Windows In Milan

"From 1st to 15th December the windows of the Via della Spiga 2 boutique are transformed into an elegant proscenium, paying homage to the great Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi, opera singer among the most popular and famous of all time for her unforgettable performances of Verdi and Puccini operas. The exhibit showcases some of the wonderful costumes the artist has worn in her long and acclaimed career, and kindly provided by the Renata Tebaldi Museum, images of the actress on the stage or in real life moments, and also original elements from the sets of historical works carried out at Teatro alla Scala. Objects, furniture and magnificent costumes, including the long turquoise dress of Aida and the velvet one of Tosca, give you the opportunity to relive the beauty and charm of the wonderful works of Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. A blend of art, elegance and refinement on the occasion of the Premiere of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan." [Source] See more photos after the jump.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jeopardy! Goes To The Metropolitan Opera For Costumes Category

Playing Henry VIII in the costume department for a behind-the-scenes video of Alex Trebek for Jeopardy!.
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek dressed as Méphistophélès in the MET costume department.
Contestants looked stunned trying to answer opera costume questions on Jeopardy!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Warner Classics Capitalizes On Natalie Dessay Discography

As Natalie Dessay makes the decision to exit the opera stage forever, her record label searches the archives to release a compilation pulled from her career over the last 15 years of singing Bach, Händel, Rameau, and Monteverdi with Emmanuelle Haïm and William Christie. The 2-CD set also comes with a DVD featuring Ms. Dessay in Händel's Alcina. The release is set for November 6. You can pre-order your copy by clicking here. See the complete track list after the jump.

Sabine Devieilhe Follows The Love Mozart Had For Weber Sisters

Mozart was in love with three sisters of the Weber family: Josepha, Aloysia and Konstanze. He wrote music for all of the muses (and their high tessituras) during the last 14 years of his life. This new recording, Sabine Devieilhe's second solo disc for Erato, features conductor Raphaël Pichon and Pygmalion creating a journey of Mozart's amorous awaking for these women as told through music that is bold, dangerous, naive and tormented. Some of the featured tracks include: "Der Hölle Rache" from Die Zauberflöte; "Non so d'onde viene" K.294; "Io non chiedo, eterni Dei" K.316; "Nehmt meinen Dank" KV 483; "Ah, vous dirais-je maman"; and more. Due out November 6, you can pre-order this limited edition disc by clicking here. Watch a video of the recording session after the jump.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Anna Netrebko And Yusif Eyvazov Perform Igor Krutoy In Sochi

Hip Opera Stars: Yusif Eyvazov and Anna Netrebko during rehearsals in Sochi, Russia, for "New Wave."
Soprano Anna Netrebko, currently singing Leonora in Verdi's Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera, was joined by her fiancé Yusif Eyvazov in singing music of Igor Krutoy a the opening of the popular singing competition known as "New Wave" in Sochi, Russia. The October 5 event drew spectators like the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedeva and wife Svetlana, singer Philipp Kirkorov, singer Joseph Kobzon, actor Vladimir Vinokur, singer Lev Leshchenko, and more. This new musical project is based on poems of Lilia Vinogradova set to music of Igor Krutoy. The conductor for the evening was Nikita Mikhalkov. Ms. Netrebko has previously discussed the duets album she is recording with her fiancé of the Krutoy music. She has stated in an interview she is not interested in doing crossover music, but the lyrical songs of Igor Krutoy are just too beautiful not to sing. [Source] More photos, and a couple videos from the concert, after the jump.
Music Lovers: The happy couple backstage after singing Igor Krustoy in Sochi, Russia.

Plácido Domingo Surrounded By Yoncheva, Peretyatko, Yende At MET

Tenor Plácido Domingo backstage at the Metropolitan Opera following a performance of Verdi's Otello, a role he has sung over 225 times, with sopranos (left to right) Sonya Yoncheva, Olga Peretyatko and Pretty Yende.

Maria Luigia Borsi Interviewed During "La Bohème" At Atlanta Opera

A portrait of Maria Luigia Borsi by Brad Repp
"The masterpiece by Puccini introduces us to Mimì and Rodolfo, young lovers living in Paris in the nineteenth century. Their group of bohemians (poets, painters, philosophers) traverses the emotional landscapes of love, poverty and ultimately, loss. This production by General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun will bring a grand cinematic approach to one of the greatest operas of all time. Italian soprano Maria Luigia Borsi portrays Mimì. Tenor (and fellow Italy native) Gianluca Terranova plays her lover, Rodolfo. American soprano Leah Partridge sings the role of Musetta and baritone Trevor Scheunemann will portray Marcello. Theo Hoffman sings the role of Shaunard. Arthur Fagen, Carl & Sally Gable Music Director of the Atlanta Opera, will conduct." [Source] For ticket information, visit the Atlanta Opera website. Listen to the interview with Maria Luigia Borsi by clicking here. Hear the soprano sing "Donde lieta usci," from Act III of La Bohème, after the jump.

Schubert "Die Forelle" Used To Sell Axe Dry Spray Antiperspirant

Nothing Fishy Here: Ad man promotes the new product from Axe.
The latest product from Axe, White Label Dry Spray Antiperspirant, features the music of Franz Schubert's famous lied "Die Forelle" in the commercial promoting the product. "Introducing the first ever dry spray antiperspirant line from Axe® -- an entirely new way from Axe® to stay dry. Applied to the underarms, this revolutionary new product was specially designed to go on instantly dry with no visible residue, keeping you fresh and protected from sweat for 48 hours. Featuring a cool rush of grapefruit, lavender, cedarwood and praline notes, the Axe White Label Night dry spray will keep you immaculately fresh so you feel your finest." [Source] Watch the commercial for Axe, and hear Renée Fleming sing "Die Forelle," after the jump.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mary Lambert Gets Wagnerian In Her "Secrets" Music Video

Wagnerian Tribute: Mary Lambert in her music video for "Secrets"
Seattle-based singer Mary Lambert released her debut album Heart on My Sleeve in October 2014. Featured on the album was the single "Secrets," which peaked at number one on U.S. Dance charts. She is a declared Christian and out lesbian. Often described as a mix of Adele, Tori Amos and James Blake, the singer often writes about her own personal experiences of early childhood sexual abuse, body image, bipolar disorder, and her sexuality. She taught herself how to play piano and write songs at age 6. She is originally from Everett, Washington, where she attended Mariner High School between 2003 and 2007. Her mother is a recording artist. Lambert moved to Seattle, Washington, to study at Cornish College of the Arts where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Composition. In the music video for "Secrets," you see a clip of Mary Lambert assuming the role of a Valkyrie from a Wagner opera. Watch the video, after the jump. [Source]

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Natalie Dessay Claims No Opera Roles Left For Her To Sing Onstage

Dynamic Duo: Dessay (left) with recital and recording partner
Philippe Cassard in a photo from their most recent release.
"French soprano Natalie Dessay gave a recent recital in London that one critic called 'sublime' and her latest CD of French art songs has been well received, but she says her fans will never see her again on the opera stage that made her famous. Dessay, the petite gamine of the French opera world, soared to fame as the mechanical doll Olympia in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann and scared the living daylights out of her male counterparts as the mad, knife-wielding Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. But at age 50, she says the opera is no longer for her. 'I have no roles anymore, I've done everything I could do and I don't want to repeat myself over and over,' Dessay told Reuters in an interview at London's Barbican....With opera behind her, Dessay is alternating song recitals, with piano accompanist Philippe Cassard, and tours with the French pop song and film composer Michel Legrand, but her real passion is for live theater. She recently starred in a French revival of the British playwright Howard Barker's dark, one-woman play Und, about a Jewish woman whose guest is overdue for tea, and who will not accept that the reason her house comes under a series of escalating malicious attacks is because the visitor is a German camp officer. She is looking for more such roles, but in the meantime she hopes her opera audiences will look out for her in the different venues where she will still be performing. 'It turns all the time around the same thing,' she said. 'How to make people travel with me, how to tell them stories in different ways.'" [Source]

Stephen Costello Leans On Family Member During Tough Times

Familial Lifeline: Stephen Costello (left) with his cousin
Brian Costello (Photo: Facebook)
"'Not trusting people, not believing you have anyone there to support you. I did have people, but I just didn’t know they were there.' One of the few people who knew the full story was Costello’s cousin Brian Costello. They grew up together in the working class suburb of Northeast Philadelphia. Brian’s dad Pat co-founded a boxing club for underprivileged teens from the neighborhood with their uncle, Tim, named the Jack Costello Boxing Club after their father, Costello and Brian’s grandfather. At the opening of the boxing club in 1996, Stephen sang the national anthem for the inaugural exhibition fight, in which Brian fought. They were 15. Born less than a month apart, Costello and Brian grew up together having sleepovers every weekend, watching horror movies, and eating pizza. Costello’s interest in music started in sixth grade; Brian played the saxophone and Costello “wanted to be like Brian,” so he took up the trumpet. Brian, sober since 2010, lives in their grandmother’s old house in the Tacony section of Philadelphia right down the street from the boxing club with his wife Nicole and two children. When Costello first decided to divorce he called Brian, who flew immediately to be with him in Chicago. In the midst of his Traviata cancellation crisis, Costello called Brian again, just after he had pulled out of the first performance, and the second one approaching. Brian told The Daily Beast, 'He called me and I could barely hear him. He had such a depressed tone. He felt like he let people down.' Brian told Costello he had to let go of everything that happened prior, and the stress of worrying about what people thought and how things looked. He came to join him in New York, and attended Costello’s second night of Traviata, Brian’s first opera at the Met, and the first opera he had seen Costello in. Brian gave Costello the 24-hour AA coin they had given him the day he left rehab. 'I told him what happened yesterday or last week

Philip Pierce Named New Director of Artistic Administration At FGO

Sunshine State-Bound: Philip Pierce gets new position
"Florida Grand Opera (FGO) is pleased to welcome Philip Pierce as Director of Artistic Administration. Mr. Pierce will be responsible for the overall supervision and logistics of the artistic department, including the casting process, rehearsal schedule, artistic budget, and contracting of artists, among other duties. In recent months, Mr. Pierce has transitioned actively from a solo career into the realm of artistic administration Through these experiences, he acquired a great understanding of the opera companies, agents, and singers. Most recently Mr. Pierce has served as the assistant to the Director of Opera at the Caramoor Music Festival in Katonah, NY. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and his Master of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory. 'Philip is very intelligent, highly organized, and passionate about opera and FGO,' says Susan T. Danis, General Director & CEO of Florida Grand Opera. 'We look forward to his arrival and welcoming him to the team!'" [Source]

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Gheorghiu And Kaufmann At European Culture Awards In Dresden

Award-Winning Smiles: Gheorghiu and Kaufmann
"Thirteen individuals and organizations have been honored with the European Culture Award in Dresden. Awardees include former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and former VW supervisory chief Ferdinand Piech. The prizes were awarded at Dresden's Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) on Friday, with 25 years of Germany's reunification as its central theme. The ceremony looked back at special achievements before and after the historical event. The European Culture Award is given out to individuals and organizations who have contributed towards the idea of a unified Europe. Tenor Jonas Kaufmann and Romanian soprano singer Angela Gheorghiu were the two soloists honored this year. The organizers also recognized the contributions of actress Kathrin Sass, the British violinist Daniel Hope and a civil society intiative for the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche in Dresden. Former VW supervisory chief Ferdinand Piech and former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez , who worked towards Germany's reunification, won the prize of honor at Friday's event. The Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic, led by Kristjan Järvi and cellist Maximilian Hornung were honored in the emerging talents category. 22-year-old Iva Kovic, a Lebanese artist of Slovenian origin, was the inaugural winner of the new visual arts category. The European Culture Prizes were awarded for the first time in 1993 and carry no monetary compensation. Its organizers include the European Cultural Foundation and the Frauenkirche in Dresden." [Source]