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Showing posts from October, 2010

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Happy Spooktacular Friday!

Time to ask what we always ask: vhat are you going to listen to this veekend, mwahahaha?
OK, fine, we've been dipping into the candy corn a little early.
We're starting Saturday morning with Britten's Turn of the Screwfor a little Gothic horror this Halloween weekend.
Then we'll turn up the Bauhaus on Sunday and pass candy out to the kids in our neighborhood. Then we're locking the doors and turning off the lights - The Walking Dead premieres on AMCat 10 PM and we've been big fans of the comic. We're keeping our undead fingers crossed the tv show will live up to our expectations.
Share your plans down below and please, make it a great one!

Science!

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We're firm believers that it should be correct to include an exclamation point after science! We just love science! so much. We love it even more when opera is involved. Like in this story here of an opera singer who received a double lung transplant and continued to sing.

It Gets Better

A message from our dear friends, the opera singers Patricia Racette and her partner Beth Clayton.


WWF - Wagner Wrestiling Federation!?

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As one who grew up in the 80's and spent Saturday nights watching the "WWF's Main Event" with religious devotion this one really speaks to us here at Aria Serious.

New York's Performance Lab 115 has taken the first two operas of Wagner's Ring Cycle and moved them to the world of 1980's professional wrestling and replaced Wagner's sublime music with 80's metal. Now, if only they sold Hot-Pockets at the concession stand would my childhood be complete.
You can read about "The Ring Cycle Part 1 +2" here. In the meantime, we're looking for cheap flights and our old Poison concert t-shirts...

This is not the version of Moby-Dick we will be doing in 2012

But it would be cool if we were. Joking aside, interesting to see how this story is still relevant to today's audience... I mean if you add a renegade sub, nukes and a very angry whale.

And classic lines such as "I'd strike the sun if it insulted me." Epic.

Coming straight to DVD we imagine in the very near future.


A Homecoming

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We here at Aria Serious love stories like these - when soprano Stephanie Weiss returns to San Diego for Der Rosenkavalier she'll also be making a homecoming. Stephanie attended La Jolla Country Day School when she was younger and started singing as part of the on-campus Madrigals. This eventually blossomed into a professional singing career.

Our friends at the Torrey Times have a short interview they conducted with Stephanie which you can read here.
Expect to hear more about this in the coming months!

RIP Walkman

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Ah, the Walkman, responsible for headphone hair all through the 80's. Sony has announced the retirement of the Walkman today. It seems it was no match for the MP3 player.
But did you know that we have opera to thank for the Walkman? Indeed, it was originally an in-house invention so a Sony chairman could listen to opera on his frequent flights overseas.

Just another way opera makes living life better.


Happy Anniversary McFly

The movies Back to the Future came out 25 years ago today and we wouldn't be doing our jobs properly if we didn't mark this occassion with a Pepsi commercial featuring a young Michael J. Fox AND opera.

Thanks to our friends over at Opera Colorado for the tip.

While You Were Out

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- Live in San Diego and have nothing planned tonight? Our first Community Conversation of the season is happening tonight at 7 PM at the Neurosciences Institute. The conversation will be about myth and Puccini's opera Turandot. The conversation will feature our very own Dr. NicReveles and the founding curator of the Joseph Campbell Archive, Dr. Jonathan Young. A few seats are still available and must be RSVP'd here. Oh, and it's free.

- Did you attend Dr. Nic's cooking class at Great News! on Friday? Let us know what you thought. And thanks for coming! While the first one sold-out there are three more cooking classes inspired by the other three operas of the season.



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?

With Halloween around the corner we're going to give Bartok's Bluebeard's Castlea listen for a little gothic horror.
We're also going to hit Amoeba's second annual Classical Music sale this weekend as we'll be in LA. Is there anything we should be looking for? Let us know.
We're also going to give the French pop band Revolver a careful close listen. We heard a webcast of them from CMJ and really liked what we heard. It was only after reading a bit more about them that we learned that they're classically trained and cite Benjamin Britten as one of their influences. They're debut LP "Music for a While" also shares the name of one of Henry Purcell's greatest works. This just might be our favorite music discovery of the year. Uh, so far...
Have a great weekend!

Introducing Children To Music Early Is Important

In case you forgot how much joy music can bring (I know, we're preaching to the choir since you're reading this blog) take a look at this video below.

So next time you're having a bad day, close the blinds, grab a pencil, turn it up and get into it!

Do Not Adjust Your Bass

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The Aria Serious crew has just discovered a delightful interview featuring our dear friend FerruccioFurlanetto conducted by the equally wonderful Eduardo Chama. Those of you who are regular readers here will recall Ferruccio and Eduardo performed together as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in Don Quixote with us a few years back. Their chemistry onstage was magical. It seems the chemistry has continued, evident in the following audio interview.

No need to adjust your bass.
You can listen to the audio file here.

Podcast Monday

On this week's podcast, Dr. Nic takes a listen to Valentin's aria in Faust, "Avant de quitter ces lieux", and compares three different baritones from three different generations.

You can find the podcast here.

While We Were Out

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What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Friday. A grey Friday at that. Which means we should probably listen to something cheery this weekend.

Alas, this weekend we're breaking with tradition and watching an opera as opposed to listening to one. Mrs. Aria Serious is out of town this weekend thus freeing up the TV for some opera DVDs.
We're going to watch The Death of Klinghoffer by John Adams. We started this DVD many years ago and never got around to finishing it. It's not that we didn't enjoy it, I seem to recall the cat threw up in the other room and we never went back in to finish it after cleaning up.
Share your listening plans in the comment section below. And please, make it a good one.

Is Projection Mapping The Future Of Opera Productions?

Two things we like: opera and all things technologically wondrous.

So we're very excited about our upcoming production of Moby-Dick in 2012 which uses large format projections to create a variety of environments in a finite space. Moby-Dick will use a curved wall and projections to create the inside of the Pequod, the exterior of the Pequod, the ocean, whaling boats on a whale hunt and many more environments that can't realistically fit on stage. It's exciting cutting edge stuff, which, truth be told, one doesn't see very often in American opera houses.

Is projection mapping the future of opera? We'll surely see more of it we imagine. And as the technology becomes cheaper and widely available a Company could essentially create a season of opera productions digitally and project them onto a plain modular set. In fact, it's already starting to happen. Vancouver Opera is using the technology for the world premiere of Lilian Alling to create a variety of backdrops, a…

Moby-Dick

A bit more on our production of Moby-Dick in 2012, this time in a wonderful profile from the North County Times. Although it's over a year away, we're very excited. We hope you are too.

The Breast Kind Of Publicity

Vienna State Opera has pardoned a ballerina they recently fired for appearing in nude photos for the Austrian men's magazine "Wiener." *snicker*

In related news: opera subscriptions by men have increased 800%

Since we know you're now going to spend the next few minutes searching for above mentioned photo, we here at Aria Serious are here to help you out.

Bedbugs Discovered at Lincoln Center

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Some patrons you can do without. Bedbugs have been discovered at Lincoln Center in its David H. Koch Theater which is home of the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

I'm sure someone can come up with a funny political statement right now, as Koch, an incredibly generous arts philanthropist, is also a major supporter of the tea party movement. But we're not going to be that person.

Updated: It seems the Met Opera House is now experiencing their own bedbug problem. In related news, officials at Carnegie Hall panic.

Podcast Monday on a Tuesday

We're a day late, sorry. But this week's podcast is worth it. Promise!

This week Dr. Nic takes a look at The Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier and talks about how Strauss parodies the Italian style.

You can download the podcast here.

While You Were Out / Dame Joan Sutherland

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While we're certain there is plenty of opera news out there to report, today it seems the only news on our mind is the passing of Dame Joan Sutherland this morning, at the age of 83. Cause of death was not officially announced only that she passed peacefully.

The New York Times has a very comprehensive obituary they just posted which you can find here.

All of us here wish Maestro Bonynge and their companion Chester our deepest heartfelt sympathies - both Dame Joan and the Maestro were close friends to the Company - Joan performed here seven times: three of her appearances were concerts, four of them operas - Lucia diLammermoor (1974), Die Fledermaus (1980), Adriana Lecouvreur (1983) and I Masnadieri (1984). The Maestro accompanied her in each performance (he also continued to conduct nearly a dozen other productions for us without her).


Our General and Artistic Director, Ian Campbell, had this to add:
"Joan's death ends, at least for now, an era of full-voiced coloratura sin…

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Friday is here and so it's time to ask: what are you listening to this weekend? Share it in the comment section below.

The Aria Serious crew will be listening to Billy Budd. We're craving something ocean like - must have been all the talk of Moby-Dick this week.
Then we'll catch up on some pop music - NPR has both the new Belle and Sebastian and Sufjan Stevens streaming on their site.
For those of you who still collect physical media, and you know who you are, Amoeba Hollywood is getting ready for a huge classical music sale the weekend of 10/22 - 10/24 which is great as we'll actually be in LA that weekend. They'll be offering 20% off on their classical music inventory excluding DVDs but they have some great deals on their classical used LPs as well. You can read all about it here.
And oh, one more thing, make it a great weekend!

So We Take It She Sang Well

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Georgian (the European Georgia, not the peach) mezzo-soprano NinoSurguladze makes her debut with us in Carmen this coming May. She made another debut last night, this time at The Metropolitan Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto.

One reviewer commented:

"In a production marked by great singing and indifferent acting, NinoSurguladze stood out for her feisty physical presence. The Georgian mezzo, who acted in films and sang with pop groups before committing to a classical career, brought a sultry Maddalena to the table – quite literally in a scene that saw the Duke all but devouring her as she sprawled next to his wine glass."

Should make for an excellent Carmen.

You can read the rest of the review, from The Classical Review, here.

Podcast Monday

It's called Turandot, but it's Liu who often steals the show. Dr. Nic takes a look at Puccini's masterpiece and looks at how the composer shifted the audiences sympathies from the young slave girl to the title character. Or did he?

You can download our podcast here.

While You Were Out

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What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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What are you listening to this weekend?

The Aria Serious crew will be taking in Sextet tonight, a new opera by our very own Director of Education, Dr. NicReveles. We're incredibly proud of him and can't wait to hear what he's come up with.

On Sunday we'll be catching a performance by Moby-Dick composer Jake Heggie and San Diego Opera friend Suzanna Guzman who will be hosting a concert of arias and songs while talking about their craft at The Neurosciences Institute.
All this going out means we'll have very little time to listen to a complete opera, but there is always next week.
Share you plans in the comment section below and please, make it a good one.