Showing posts from August, 2010

The Real Housewives of New York

Our friend, the baritone Jeff Mattsey, appeared on The Real Housewives of New York earlier this summer. We last saw Jeff as Marcello in January's La boheme.

And yes. We watched it. In our defense however we thought Top Chef was going to be on. By the time we realized we were wrong, well, we had already been sucked in. Doesn't it always happen that way...

A Company Introduction

A new and improved Company introduction video with lots of wonderful performance clips. Enjoy!

Podcast Monday

This week, Dr. Nic takes a listen to great Faust tenors on record.

You can download the podcast here. Enjoy!

Over the Weekend

A slow weekend in opera news.

Aria Serious has received word that the first Klingon Opera will premiere next month. In the Netherlands. And we all know what they're smoking...

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

The tradition continues - San Diego Opera will be closed this Friday. So please use our website for all your opera needs this weekend. We'll be back Monday morning starting at 8:30 AM.

So, what are you listening to this weekend?
One of our readers turned us onto to Otto Nicolai's IlTemplario, an opera we've never heard before. But we found it, and now own it, so we'll give this a listen on Friday while resting in the hammock. Then we'll move onto the shoegazing pop of Wild Nothing.
Share you listening plans in the comment section below. And make it a good one.

Met Donor Puts Money Where Her Mouth Is

"Your average opera-goer cannot be 65—give me break. You're not going to keep an opera house alive with that," said Met donor Agnes Varis and so she made a donation - $2.5 million to subsidize a program offering $25 orchestra for 13,600 seats during the upcoming season.

We here at Aria Serious, say "thank you Ms. Varis." for ensuring a new generation of audiences will get to experience live opera. Which leads us to thank all of our donors, big and small, who help keep the price of opera tickets down. Believe it or not about 50% of our tickets prices are subsidized by donors, grants and corporations. Opera is incredibly expensive to produce.
You can read the full story from the Wall Street Journal here.

Opera at the Movies - The Good vs. Bad Smackdown

Opera at the movies. In one camp you have those that believe it increases audiences and exposure to the art form. On the other hand you have those that feel it erodes audiences by offering a cheap ticket "close enough" to the real thing.

Finally, the debate you've been waiting for, in a handy audio format.
What do you think?

From the Department of WTF?

Aria Serious is simply baffled by the news this morning that the Orange County Register has reassigned their classical music critic, Tim Mangan - the highly intelligent, often funny, excellent writer (who by the way hasn't come down to review us in five or so years *ahem*) from Classical Music Critic to Celebrity Gossip or "People" columnist.

So, another cultural gatekeeper has fallen. And we're crestfallen as he was one of the first stops on the morning jaunt around the blogosphere as we searched for interesting stories.
Tim, we already missed you. Now we'll miss you even more. But perhaps this wouldn't have happened if you made San Diego Opera your regular beat. Who are we kidding; no drunken courtroom brawls here. At least yet.
You can read the announcement in Tim's own words here.

Surviving the Economic Crunch

The newest issue of Opera News is currently on bookshelves and in mailboxes and inside you can find an article that looks at what five opera companies are doing to survive during this current economic storm.

We're one of the Companies featured and it's a very interesting article to read. The good news: we're not going anywhere. We're financially stable and have no debt. Ian even offers up an opera we have planned for 2013.

You can find Opera News at your favorite bookstore or you can read the article online here.

Podcast Monday

OK, so we're a day late. We had some technical problems that have now been fixed and we're sorry for the delay. It's podcast time!

This week, Dr. Nic explores Strauss and his use of leitmotifs in Der Rosenkavalier. You can download the podcast here and as always they are free.

Can Snoop Dogg Sing Pagliacci? No.

While We Were Out

A bit of opera news that developed while we were watching deer and meeting bears.

- A look at the Merola Opera Program.
- Opera Australia is having an artistic revolution. Eventually. But they are joining the bandwagon and will be sending their performances to the movies theatre.
- Cosi fan twitter
- The Met reports a new box office record during the first day of single ticket sales and CultureGrrlcrunches the numbers a bit more closely.
- Wagner sisters take on Bayreuth.
- Why we need conductors. And while we're at it: what an assistant conductor does.

We'll Be Back

The Aria Serious crew will be gone next week, so this place should be quiet for a few days.

We'll also be quiet on the Facebook front.
On Twitter we'll continue our #operahistory project but we'll be taking a week off from all our other tweets.
But we'll be back, better and more rested than ever.

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

A bit of business: San Diego Opera will continue our much appreciated tradition of being closed on Fridays in August. We'll be back Monday, August 16, 2010 for all your opera needs. In the meantime, our website should be able to assist you with everything you might need over the weekend.

As we always ask: what are you listening to this weekend?
This week we're going to listen to Giordano's Andrea Chenier, an opera we love but rarely listen to.
After that we'll listen to 60's R&B rock & roll sounds of 2010's The Like.
Share your listening plans in the comment section. And make it a good one!

Opera Singer or Singer of Opera?

The interwebz (my interwebz at least) has been buzzing with news about 10 year old Jackie Evancho who dazzzled audiences on America's Got Talent this with her rendition of O Mio Babbino Caro from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

While the Aria Serious crew thinks this girl has talent, does singing opera automatically make one an opera singer?

We hope Jackie follows her passion and gets some serious training. There might be a career there later on in life if she sticks with it and works hard. We've included her performance below so you can see it for yourself.

Podcast Monday

This week, Dr. Nic takes a listen to Puccini's Turandot and takes a look at the authentic Chinese folk tunes that the composer wove into the fabric of his opera.

Our podcasts are always free and can be downloaded here.

While You Were Out

Over the weekend:

- Bad news first. Opera Cleveland cuts staff and restructures to ensure future survival.
- Washington National Opera's restructuring and talked about merge with the Kennedy Center might be a windfall for the Metropolitan Opera.
- Wagner for children debuts at Bayreuth. A 70 minute Tannhauser? Sold.
- It's probably crap but there will be a run on tickets. The world's first opera about Irritable Bowel Syndrome is here.

Opera House Porn

That's the only way to describe these large format photos by David Leventi of the world's famous opera houses. They are truly incredible!

The one here is of Margravial Opera House, Bayreuth, Germany and it is amazing.

But there are plenty more to see and you can view a selection of David's other images here - but a word of warning: you might just pack your bags for a European opera binge if you linger too long. And for those of you in New Orleans, his exhibition opens on Saturday at the Arthur Roger Gallery.

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

Yes, we're a day early. But first a bit of business: the San Diego Opera Office will be closed tomorrow, Friday, August 6, 2010. We'll be back Monday. In the meantime, let our awesome website be your gateway to the wonderful world of opera. Or you can call us and leave a message. We'll call you back. Promise.

So, what are you listening to this weekend? We're actually going to do a bit of homework this weekend and listen to Der Rosenkavalierto get to know it better. I know, tough bringing work home over the weekend. We all need to do it sometime. We'll also listen to the new Arcade Fire LP and the newest one by Band of Horses.
Share your listening plans in the comment section below, and please, make it a good one.

The Story So Far... The Opera History Project

Late last year, after we started our Twitter account, @_SanDiegoOpera, we got the idea to start tweeting the entire history of opera. We were excited. We thought it would be a good idea. In retrospect we bit off considerably more than we could chew. We didn't realize how long it would take. At least two tweets a day, Monday through Friday, we still have plenty of opera history to cover. As we come up on the first year anniversary of our humble little project we thought it would be nice to compile all the tweets so far in one handy place. So, here's the history of opera we've tweeted so far.

A bit into to the project we received some feedback and started adding supplemental audio/video clips to illustrate certain points. We've included links to these as well - embedding would take far too much time, so you'll need to cut and paste to watch them.

And you can follow our up-to-date tweets by following our Twitter account or searching for the hashtag #operahistory.

And yes…

Podcast Monday

On this week's Podcast, Dr. Nic goes back into the stacks to listen to Conchita Supervia who many consider as the best Carmen ever. What do you think? Take a listen to this week's podcast and let us know.
You can download the podcast here.

While You Were Out

Slow week in the world of Opera but the big news is the status of Washington National Opera and if they will merge with the Kennedy Center to ensure their financial future.
You can read the entire article here and rest assured this is something we'll be following over the next few weeks.
And we hope for better news next week.