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Showing posts from July, 2010

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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What are you listening to this weekend?

We here at the Aria Serious are going to break with tradition (needs to happen from time to time) and instead of listening to a complete opera this weekend were going to listen to Vivaldi opera arias sung by our friend VivicaGenaux. Her album Pyrotechnics has been out for some time and we're just getting around to listening to it. Our bad, we know.

What are you listening to this weekend?
Share your plans in the comment section, and please, make it a good one.

Comic Time!

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Click through to see the full comic...

Can Orchestras Get A 1-UP By Presenting Video Game Concerts?

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If this weekend was any indication, well, yes.

San Diego was home to two video game inspired symphonic concerts during the heady, geeky, Comic-Con week we're still recovering from. While we didn't attend either (we had parties to go to and movie premieres to see and uh, crime to fight) we could see from the crowds gathered at the venues that they were well attended. Attended by 30 year old men carrying lightsabers and dressed as Spider Man, in other words, not the typical classical music concert goer. But let's be honest here. Show of hands. Who here hasn't wanted to walk around in public with a lightsaber strapped to your utility belt? Exactly.

The Washington Post takes a look at the untapped market that presenting video game concerts offers symphonies.

The Aria Serious crew is excited by this fact. We'll admit it, we're life long gamers, and some of those themes can instill emotions in us the way The Flight of the Valkyries can instill emotion in others.

But trut…

Kim Jong-Il Continues To Do It All

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He coaches the North Korean soccer team by invisible phone, can control the weather based on his mood, shoots on average three or four holes-in-one per round of golf, and can wear sunglasses like no other man on Earth and now, Kim Jong-Il can add opera impresario to his list of accomplishments. North Korea's opera Sea of Blood is getting rave reviews in China and sold out its initial run.

The reason for success? "We took the guidance and suggestions of our Dear Leader" said the performers.

We here at Aria Serious can't help remember that South Korea launched their first ever opera festival back in May. Could this be North Korea's retaliatory strike?

Mini-Fett

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The best part of Comic Con are the things that pop up unexpected.

Podcast Monday

This week, we're going on the record to talk about great Marguerites from Faust on record. You can download the Podcast here. Enjoy!

Faster than a speeding bullet...

The Aria Serious crew will be taking a short break from the world of opera, and will be spending the rest of the week on the world of Krypton, otherwise known as Comic Con. We'll be back next week. Maybe we'll even have some opera releated comic stories.

How Opera Saved A Life, Or, Everyone's A Critic

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As told to the Aria Serious crew by Michelle in our Development Department who just returned from a hiking trip today:

I was hiking near Lake Tahoe last week. Saw bear droppings on the trail (fresh). Then saw big bear paw prints (also fresh). Figured a bear was nearby (brilliant, huh?) So remembered the thing to do is a) stand still b) be loud and c) allow bear to make his exit. So I stood there and sang “Libiamo” in an Ethel Merman-esque voice. The bear burst out of a bush about 20 ft away and went TEARING off. I’m not sure if it was my choice of repertoire or my vocal technique, but I sure scared the crap out of it.

So, before heading out to the woods 1.) learn at least one opera aria and 2.) forget your singing lessons.

Podcast Monday

This week's podcast takes a look at the second opera of our 2011 season, Der Rosenkavalier, and looks at the gender bending trouser role of Octavian, a role of a man sung by a woman and how Octavian fits into this operatic tradition.

You can download the Podcast here. Enjoy!

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Friday, the best day of the work week, and time to ask: what are you listening to this weekend?

There's a lot going on in town this weekend so we're afraid we won't get much listening in which is why we'll listen to Berstein's Candide and go opera-lite with this operetta.
Then we'll cheer friends, family and coworkers on in the Gay Pride parade this weekend.
After that we're going to head down to the Museum of Contemporary Art for opening night of Viva la Revolucion - been seeing a lot of street art around town? This is why. It should be great. And even better is the view from my office which has views of work by Invader, Twist and what looks like a JR as I type this (it's still being worked on).
Sunday we'll do yard work and dig into the Brazilian rock and roll with NovosBaianosthat I finally found misfiled in the record collection after all these years.
Share your plans in the comments and make it a good one.

Harvey Pekar, Cartoonist and Opera Librettist

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The cartoonist Harvey Pekar passed away earlier this week. While he was known for his autobiographical comics which eventually was released as the graphic novel American Splendor (also a great movie) we didn't know until recently his passing that he had also written a libretto for an opera called Leave Me Alone.

You can read about it here.
The article is a fascinating story about a fascinating man, well, actually a very mundane man but a man filled with so many astute observations that the world he lives in is completely fascinating.
Rest in peace.

Opera and Soccer - A Common History?

As we endure the final pangs of World Cup withdrawal we bring you this fascinating piece on Opera and Soccer from Getty Iris blog. Is it possible they shared a common history?

If the passions of the fans are any indication then yes, I can believe this. At least at the opera house, fans don't come dressed up as their favorite characters and play along on the vuvuzela.

On second thought. Please come dressed up as your favorite opera character. Leave the vuvuzelas at home.

You can read the story here.

Podcast Monday

We apologize in our delay in getting our Monday morning Podcast up. Your host, Dr. Nic, attempted his best Lance Armstrong imitation over the weekend and crashed his bike. He's fine. But sore. You think a fractured rib is going to stop Nic from his weekly podcast? Clearly, you don't know Nic.

This week's topic: The role of Calaf in Turandot.

Enjoy!
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While you were out:

- How do you lose $5,960,000 on an opera?
- DomoArigato, Maestro Roboto.
- Social Media is infiltrating the Arts. In case you haven't noticed.
- Where opera is thriving: Baltimore. Baltimore!?
- The supersizing of America has lead to the supersizing of theatre seats.
- Bavarian State Opera music director Kent Nagano resigns amid controversy.
- Spain wins their first World Cup. While the Aria Serious crew was pulling all contest for the Netherlands, we're not afraid to say the best team won yesterday. Now what to do with all this free time...







What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Don't you just love it when Friday sneaks up on you? We thought it was Thursday.

What are you listening to this weekend?
We'll spend Saturday morning with Alexander Borodin's Prince Igor. Why? We've never heard it before and found a used copy for $3.99 a few months back.
Then we'll spend the rest of the weekend cheering on the Netherlands soccer/football team. And not just because they wear orange and make it work for them but because they play a clean almost scientific game of football and that's something we admire.
Share you listening plans with us, and make it a good one.

10 Question With Lise Lindstrom

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It is always a pleasure to welcome a new singer to our Company, especially one we’ve been hearing so much about in recent months. So it is our great pleasure to welcome American soprano Lise Lindstrom to our Company. Lise will be making her Company debut as Turandot in the season opener. Turandot is a role that has become her calling card in recent seasons and the role she sang at the Met for her debut (two weeks early with just a few hours notice) as well as just about everywhere else. But she is equally acclaimed for her Senta in The Flying Dutchman, Amelia in A Masked Ball, Ariadne in Ariadne aufNaxos and Giulietta in The Tales of Hoffmann. Lise took time out of her incredibly busy schedule (she’s getting ready to sing her first Tosca) to answer our 10 or so questions. We’re really excited to welcome her to our Company. And we’ll get to welcome her back. She sings Salome with us to start the 2012 season.

San Diego Opera (SDO): First, welcome to San Diego Opera – we’re very excited t…

Podcast Tuesday

As we were closed yesterday, we present Podcast Monday on a Tuesday. This week's topic: Carmen, it's really about Don Jose. Crazy talk. Or is it? Take a listen and find out.

While You Were Out

Over the extended weekend:

- Who is listening to American Opera? The Washington Post continues their look with part 2, of their 2 part series.

- Los Angeles Opera's Ring is now over. How did it do? It lost $6 million, sold at 80% capacity and the good news...

- Who's calling the shots at the Met?

- La Scala's Barber of Seville director abruptly quit the production yesterday.

- The Italian bass Cesare Siepi passed away yesterday at 87. He was an inspiration to our frequent singer Ferruccio Furlanetto who had this to add when contacted yesterday evening:

CESARE SIEPI HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INSPIRATION OF MY CAREER, NOT ONLY WHEN I WAS AT THE BEGINNING BUT THROUGH OUT MY 36 YEARS SO FAR AND IT WILL BE FOR THE REST OF MY TIME. HE WILL BE THE MOST LUMINOUS MODEL TO FOLLOW FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS OF BASSES AND SINGERS IN GENERAL,FROM THE VOCAL POINT OF VIEW AND AS A SINGING ACTOR. HE HAD A SPLENDID LONG LIFE AND A WONDERFUL FAMILY,THIS IS LIFE,BUT IT IS ALWAYS TERRIBLY SAD TO SAY GO…

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

Happy Friday, and a Friday before a long weekend at that.

A bit of business: The San Diego Opera Offices will be closed - Friday, July 2, 2010 at 2 PM and will not reopen until Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 8:30 AM. But as the Internet never takes a vacation, all your San Diego Opera needs can be fulfilled online here.

What are you listening to this weekend?

Besides vuvuzelas in a hotel bar, The Aria Serious crew is taking a quick weekend trip cross country for a wedding. This means we'll have 10 or so hours to listen to music. Billy Budd is on tap as is Daughter of the Regiment. We also imagine we'll squeeze in the delux edition of The Cure'sDisintegration and the Local Native'sGorilla Manor (perhaps our favorite album of 2010). Then it'll be shuffle play where Mozart rolls with Mos Def and Bellini rubs elbows with Bauhaus. Fun!

What are your listening plans this weekend? Share them in the comment section below and make it a good, firework filled, weekend.