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Showing posts from November, 2010

While We Were Out

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We hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.

- English National Opera is under fire for their staging of Don Giovanni over graphic rape scenes. What's your take on stagings such as this one?
- Closer to home, Rigoletto opened up in Los Angeles.
- It's called the "Opera" watch and it's incredibly sexy, reminding us of The Nautilus from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. But for $1.2 million I expected it to give us mastery over time.

While You Were Out

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Over the weekend:

- Lohengrin opened up in Los Angeles.
- Pop star Rufus Wainwright begins a residency at Royal Opera House.
- A bit of business: the San Diego Opera offices will be closed beginning Thursday, November 25, 2010 and will reopen on Monday, November 29, 2010. Our website is always on at http://www.sdopera.com/. Happy Thanksgiving.

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Happy Friday!

What are you listening to this weekend?
The Aria Serious crew will be getting busy with Debussy's Pelleaset Melisandesince we've never listened to this one in its entirety. After that we'll be catching up with the new Belle and Sebastian LP Write About Love among others. Forecast calls for rain this weekend. So it'll be a perfect time to stay in front of the fire, with tunes on the radio while my friends humbly school me in German board games.
Stay thirsty my friends!

Science + Music

You already know we love science and music, so we're pretty darn excited with this article about acoustic scientists recording a pre-Incan shell flute. And yes, you can even hear it being played.

Which leads us to ask: does anyone know of a culture of civilization that doesn't have music? Seems to be a universal thing that binds us all together.

What the Fach?

It's not the first time a mezzo has gone soprano. Joan Sutherland started her career as a mezzo before taking on coloratura roles, even our dear friend Priti Gandhi has made the switch from mezzo to soprano, to name just a few. It's an exciting change and one that opens new career goals but we've never heard it compared to a "sex change operation" until today.

Still, here's a fascinating article about the wonderful mezzo - oops - we mean soprano Elza van den Heever on making the change. It's a fascinating article, even if a bit overdramatic, but then again we are talking about opera and we have a flair for the overdramatic. It's part of our charm,

When Worlds Collide

We love it when worlds collide and we especially love it when the comic and opera worlds collide.

A quick trip to Santa Barbara this weekend brought us to Metro Comic Saturday morning. We had popped in to pick up X'ed Out by Charles Burns but spent a good hour browsing the store when we discovered P. Craig Russel's Opera Adaptions Vol. 3. Having never heard of Mr. Russell but totally fans of opera (duh) and comics we jumped up and down like a, well, like a kid in a comic book store.

After googling Mr. Russell we were amazed to find that late last week, just days before we discovered the book on the out-of-print shelf in the comic book store, his adaption of Salome (one of the operas included in volume 3) had been re-released as a digital comic. And to celebrate this release, Mr. Russell had done some wonderful promotional segments.

And so, here is where you can watch Mr. Russell talk about adapting Salome to comic form.

Here are the original thumbnail sketches to the Salome comic.

While You Were Out

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Over the weekend:

- Baroque opera finally returned to Vienna (as did Anja Harteros - she sings her first Marschallin with us in April).
- We went comic book shopping this weekend and we're mighty pleased with our find (to the left).

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Happy Friday!

What are you listening to this weekend?
The Aria Serious crew will be listening to Intermezzo by Richard Strauss. We've been in a Strauss kick lately, in anticipation of Der Rosenkavalier and we've yet to give Intermezzo a listen so we figured, hey, why not give something new a try.
Share you plans in the comment section below. And please, make it a good one!

Lise Lindstrom on the Record

Sure, Lise has talked about it before with us, but our friends over at Florida Grand Opera actually sat Lise down in front of a camera to ask her about her sudden Met debut as Turandot last season. See, Lise is currently getting ready to open FGO's season as the icy princess, and then hopefully she can catch some sun and some tasty stone crabs before heading over to us in January to reprise what is clearly one of her signature roles.

Meet Jazzbot!

We here at Aria Serious are fans of science! in case you haven't noticed, and were even more excited when science! is combined with music.

So we were happy to learn about Jazzbot - a robot that can jam with musicians by learning their styles and mimicking them. Can classical music be far behind?

(And bonus the programmers who programmed the "head bob" - nice touch).

Will Contemporary Vocal Music Save the World?

Or, does the world even need saving? An interesting look at how new vocal works and avant opera can increase attendance and make vocal music interesting again. We obviously didn't get the memo here at Aria Serious; we've always thought vocal music was interesting.

Podcast Monday

Let's dance! Why? Podcast Monday is back. This week? Dr. Nic explores dance in Bizet's Carmen.
Our podcasts are always free and you can download them here.

While You Were Out

Over the weekend:
- Opera singer Shirley Verrett passed away late last week at 79. Her obituary is a fascinating portrait of passionate artist breaking racial stereotypes.
- Is Opera Cleveland the next casualty of the economy?
- The Met Opera after four years of Gelb.
- Not opera but cool: They recreated the instruments from Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights." How do they sound? Horrible. No word on if they were played as depicted in the painting. Yes, Flue Butt, I'm looking at you.

Contest Time!

Happy November, Dear Readers!

Opera season is right around the corner!

To celebrate, we're holding a contest.

A contest where you can win free tickets, go backstage and meet the cast of one of our operas!

Since you read us here at Aria Serious, or are a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, we know you love opera. And really, who doesn't love opera once they've heard it?

Since opera, like all good art, is an intensely personal experience we want to hear from you about how opera has changed your life and inspires you. And we want you to make a video about it.

The rules:

- We're looking for a short video on how opera has changed your life. By short we mean no more than three minutes and by video we mean any type of video that you can easily make and upload to Youtube. Your cellphone camera will be fine, your fancy HD camera will be fine as well. This is not the Jean-Luc Godard opera video contest. We'll hold that one next year.

- Be creative. Be honest. Be passionate. Al…

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

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Friday, the best of the weekdays, but only because of what follows it.

Time to ask: what are you listening to this weekend?
We're ashamed to admit it but we're skipping on the opera this weekend as we have far too much going on.
The San Diego Beer Week is on tap, but really, when isn't it beer week in San Diego?
There's also a robot expo in Riverside that is beckoning to us. Robots and beer! Boop beep.
Closer to home there's a Steampunk Art Show in Oceanside this Friday. Free parking for airships!
Our music time will be spent at Sezio's Four Day Weekend at the Sushi Gallery which actually started last night with the wonderful The Tree Ring and ends on Sunday with the equally wonderful Avi Buffalo with a bunch of other great bands in between.
Share your listening plans in the comment section and make it a great weekend!
Steampunk dog in photo by StephaneHalleux

Our 2011 Acting Chorus Masters

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As we mentioned a few months back, our long time Chorus Master, Timothy Todd Simmons, left us to become General Manager of New Orleans Opera. We now have something new to add - three new things to add in fact - our Acting Chorus Masters for the 2011 season.

CHARLES PRESTINARI
Acting Chorus Master, Turandot
Dr. Charles Prestinari currently serves as Chorus Master of the New York City Opera, a position he has held since 2008; prior to that he was assistant chorus master from 2004-2007. At New York City Opera, he has prepared and assisted in preparation for opera choruses on over 40 different operas. While obtaining graduate degrees in choral conducting from Indiana University, he held the position of Chorus Master of the Indiana University Opera Theatre for seasons 2001 through 2003 and opera coach from 2001-through 2004 with that organization and on the faculty of the IU School of Music. He has also held accompanist positions at the Brevard Summer Music Festival in North Carolina and the …

While We Were Out

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