Monday, April 29, 2013

One (Namesake) Table That Manon Would Not Be Wishing Adieu

"From the people that brought you Brasserie Pushkin comes Manon, a bi-level Meatpacking fun house opening on May Day. This place has everything: crystal chandeliers, overstuffed leather couches, Corinthian columns, cocktails by Aaron Polsky, a bar made of glowing blue glass, a food menu by Public veteran Tae Strain, clay cherubs, pastries by a former EMP staffer, Amish chicken, Chatham cod, Denver lamb loin, Long Island duck breast, Jerusalem artichoke soup, Berkshire pork chops, and we're just getting started here." [Source]

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sumi Jo and Cecilia Bartoli: A 25-year Working Relationship

A video from circa 1987 shows Sumi Jo and Cecilia Bartoli working together with Herbert von Karajan in an excerpt of "Et in unum dominum" from Bach's Mass in B minor. Now more than 25 years later, they team up again for a recording of Bellini's Norma on Decca. 

Bass-Baritone Donovan Singletary Gives German TV Interview

A native of Crestview, Florida, Mr. Singletary received his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Stetson University in Deland, Florida, and pursued additional music studies at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He is a Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Winner, where he was the youngest competitor, and won the Met's then-General Director, Joseph Volpe Award. He was the 2011 Sullivan Foundation Major Grand Winnter and was awarded the 2011 Vienna Prize by the George London Foundation. He is also a top prize winner in several other competitions, including First Prize in the 2010 George London Foundation Competition, Second Prize in the 2010 Loren L. Zachary International Vocal Competition, First Prize in the 2009 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, First Prize in the 2009 Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition, Second Prize in the 2009 Mario Lanza Vocal Competition, Second Prize in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition, First Prize in the Mt. Dora Festival Competition, First Prize in the Heinz Rehfuss Singing Actors Competition, and he was awarded the Betty Allen Award from the Sullivan Foundation. He was also named the 2010 World Premiere Artist for the Negro Spiritual Foundation. For more information, visit his official website here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kathleen Battle Makes Waffles and Grits with B. Smith in 1997

From the television show B. Smith With Style in 1997, Miss Kathleen Battle joins in to make a brunch of waffles and grits. Watch the clip after the jump.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bryn Terfel Talks About Getting Golf Time in Down Under

Terfel at the 2010 at the Ryder Cup golf tournament.
"The booming bass-baritone - an operatic superstar - seizes every opportunity to play courses around the world. And this week in Melbourne has been no exception with Terfel shuttling between Hamer Hall and Royal Melbourne Golf Club. 'Oh, it's the best, just beautiful,' the barrel-chested Welshman says of Royal Melbourne. 'I'm not a very good golfer. I'm a calm golfer and it doesn't faze me that I can't par every hole but if I have a couple of good shots, that always brings me back to the course.' But how does this powerhouse singer motivate himself?

Dressers Featured Backstage of "Giulio Cesare" at the MET

"Dressers Suzi Gomez-Pizzo and Lou Valantasis prepare Natalie Dessay and David Daniels for their roles as Cleopatra and Caesar for a performance of Handel's Giulio Cesare, directed by David McVicar, at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Photographs by Mike McGregor for the Guardian." Watch the slide show here.

Ms. Gomez-Pizzo was also featured dressing another MET opera diva in the New York Times. Check out the photo and link after the jump.

Harry Bicket To Spend More Time in the Summer Desert

(Photo: Richard Haughton)
"Harry Bicket, the British early music specialist, is to be the next chief conductor of Santa Fe Opera, starting in October. He succeeds conductor Frederic Chaslin, who resigned last August after just two seasons on the job, saying he wanted to focus on composing and his duties as music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Bicket's appointment, announced on Wednesday morning, is to some extent an indication of the inroads Baroque music has made in the traditional operatic establishment. He is currently manning the pit in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the Metropolitan Opera. His opera resume also includes Handel performances at the Royal Opera House, the Glyndebourne Festival and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment." [Source]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Record Store Performances Are a Thing of the Past

File this under "Things You Will Never See Again." An opera singer making an impromptu performance at a public appearance in a record store. At least we have video proof that a halcyon day truly existed.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hildegard Behrens Rare 1977 Verdi Duet With James King

Otello: "Già nella notte densa" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: Hildegard Behrens (Soprano), James King (Tenor)
Conductor: Heinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble: Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1887; Italy
Date of Recording: 03/27/1977
Venue: Live Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany
Language: Italian

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stephanie Blythe Talks About Her Kate Smith Tribute Concert

Watch Stephanie Blythe Talks Kate Smith on PBS. See more from pbs.

The Collaborations of Sir Colin Davis and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Sir Colin Davis (September 25, 1927 – April 14, 2013) made innumerable contributions to the opera world, but it was one singer in particular with whom he shared quite a number of recordings after first working together on Le Nozze di Figaro: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Their catalog includes complete recordings of Don Giovanni and Faust, recital discs of Mozart opera arias (Il re pastore, Zaide, La finta giardiniera, etc.) and sacred arias (Vesperae solennes de confessore; "Exsultate, jubilate" K. 165). Here are some samples of their work together:
For more about the conductor's involvement with opera in England, check out the The Telegraph's brief story here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New York on Sundays with Wagnerian Soprano Deborah Voigt

Soprano, and "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" fan, Deborah Voigt at Cafe Luxembourg.
(Photo: James Estrin/The New York Times)
Read a wonderful capsule of soprano Deborah Voigt's typical Sunday in New York City, as featured in The New York Times, by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Sad Reality of How Many New Yorkers Get to Attend the Opera

Operatic Flair: A scene from Starlight Express
In a recent article written by Mark Brennan Rosenberg for the Huffington Post, the author debunks some fantasies about living in New York City. A excerpt reveals much about how some New Yorkers are getting their opera:

It's the epicenter of culture.
New York has more to offer culturally than almost any other city in the world. However, I don't care what anyone says, no one really likes going to the ballet, the opera or museums. If you have actually gone to the opera this year, it was because your friend had a free ticket and it was: "A very New York thing to do and there wasn't a good party happening that night" so you took the ticket, but didn't pay for it because you're too broke to afford that shit, even though you're working three jobs. Deep down inside, you know that you'd rather be watching Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Don't front. You know you would. As bad as that crap is, people being flung from the rafters and nearly meeting their death in order to entertain you is much more thrilling that a fat woman singing a language you never bothered to learn. Come on, admit it, it's okay, no one will criticize you... except for your friend who invited you to the opera who thinks that "all theater is trash" but secretly listens to the cast recording of Starlight Express every night before he goes to bed so that he can make fun of you to your face and not look like a hypocrite.