Showing posts from August, 2009

Meet Abigaille

This week's podcast introduces you to Abigaille . No, not your Aunt Abigail, or Abigail Adams, but Abigaille...ah-bee-gah-EE-leh...the power hungry, curtain chewing villainess in Verdi's Nabucco , one of our 2010 productions. She's ruined many a voice, beginning with the very first lady who attempted the role. Let's get to know her a bit and find out what it is that makes her so, well, difficult! Our podcasts are free, and run 15-20 minutes. As always, you can get them here . Or subscribe to us through iTunes . Enjoy!

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

Since we're closed again tomorrow (love these Fridays in August!) it is time to ask: what are you listening to this weekend? We'll admit it, we've been neglecting our weekly operas for the past few weeks - with vacation and travel we just couldn't find the time. Alas, this week is no different as the Aria Serious crew will be heading to Street Scene to listen to Calexico , Girl Talk, Thievery C orporation , Los Campesinos , Silversun Pickups and Of Montreal (among others). Are you going to Street Scene? What are you listening to this weekend? Share it in the comment section below. Whatever you do, make it a good one.

September Opera News

We're just getting around to reading our September issue of Opera News magazine and we're very happy to report that our Romeo and Juliet with Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello is considered a "hot ticket" by the editors. We cannot agree more. At first we were dismayed to see that our Boheme with Anja Harteros and Piotr Beczala didn't receive any love but reading on a few pages in we were excited to see a wonderful profile on Piotr Beczala that makes us even more excited for his debut with us in January. You can find Opera News on your local newsstand or online here . And just why are we so excited to have Piotr with us in January? Take a look and listen below as he performs an aria from The Land of Smiles.

A New National Anthem for Italy?

That's what Italian Senator Umberto Bossi wants. He is making a move to change the Italian National Anthem from "Fratelli d'Italia" to "Va Pensiero" from Verdi's Nabucco . We at Aria Serious think this is an excellent idea. And not just because we're presenting Nabucco in February. "Va Pensiero" really is a beautiful piece of music, with incredibly moving lyrics. It gets us every time. You can read the article here but more importantly you can watch our favorite version of this chorus from the Met DVD of Nabucco below.

Game On!

We've admitted it before, and we'll say it again: we here at Aria Serious like a good video game from time to time. And we just love music games. After mastering Guitar Hero, we're now taking on Rock Band, and after firing our bassist, we've decided, reluctantly, it is time to put the band on hiatus and take a break for awhile. But not for too long as along comes "Maestro: Jump Into Music." Coming out on the iPhone and to the Nintendo DS , "Maestro" seems to be the first classical music/opera inspired videogame we can think us (and let us know if we're wrong). Players take control of Presto a small music loving bird and using a stylus either strike up or down in time to the music to have them clear obstacles on the level. It is charmingly simple in appearance, and has a good soundtrack to boot. Could this be the way to get classical music in the ears (and hands) of the next generation? We'll be picking up "Maestro" when it release

How Can Opera Companies Increase Audiences?

That's the questions SDNN editor Valerie Scher asked our General and Artistic Director Ian Campbell. His response was posted on SDNN a few weeks back but as we're getting back into the swing of things, we're just getting around to it now. You can read it here.

Podcast Monday on Tuesday!?

Well wackier things have happened. Dr. Nic's newest podcast is now up. This one is on leitmotifs in honor of all the summer Ring Festivals. We'll resume our regular Podcast Monday on Monday. But this one is good, didn't want to sit on it any longer than I needed to. You can hear the podcast here. Enjoy!

While You Were Out

Easing back into the world of work, slowly of course... Over the past few weeks: - Is that fat lady singing for the fat lady? - Soprano Hildegard Behrens, one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation, has died while traveling in Japan. - Angela Gheorghiu withdraws from most of her Carmen's at the Met. - Anna Netrebko withdraws from the Met's new Traviata . - Dame Kiri Te Kanawa makes it official and announces her retirement from opera. - Is Muti heading to Rome Opera? - Look out below! A soprano falls into an Orchestra pit at Glyndebourne . Everyone was ok. Luckily the fat lady is singing for the fat lady. - Made in China: China looks to become an operatic powerhouse . - Washington National Opera heads to the ballpark .

Gone Diving

Folks, this will be our last post for a few weeks as the Aria Serious crew will be blissfully floating in the deep blue. Unless conch shells now get wireless internet we'll be blissfully (hopefully) unconnected for a few weeks. But we will be back! In the meantime, please remember our office are closed Friday all this month. Also remember we have an awesome series of Taste of Opera events starting up on the 25th this month. Our first one is at Bondi with Ian Campbell. Have fun! Be safe!

Opera for the ADD Set, Part 2

Taking the Opera Twitter Synopsis contest even further, The Royal Opera House has announced The Twitter Opera which will take its actual libretto from tweets from the public sent to @youropera. You can read the entire article here . A reflection of the day and age we live in where everything must be digested in bullet points? A marketing gimmick? Or a post-modern approach to an artform in need of a reboot? We can't decide, but we're interested to hear what comes out of this.

What Are You Listening To This Weekend?

When Thursdays are like Fridays things really get messed up... but since we're closed on Fridays in August it is time to ask, what are you listening to this weekend? Here at the Aria Serious tower we're going to listen to Lehar's The Land of Smiles . We wonder why this isn't performed that much -- it is a wonderful piece of music. Share your listening plans in the comments below and whatever you listen to this weekend, make it a good one!

Fridays in August

A bit of business: just a reminder that our offices are closed on Fridays in August to enjoy our San Diego sun just a bit more. So if you call, nobody is going to answer but if you leave a message we'll call you back on Monday. As always our website is on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Backstage at San Diego Opera

Putting together an opera is an incredible undertaking. With so many moving parts I'm still amazed at how all these pieces move so organically so quickly. To capture the act of creating an opera, we here at San Diego Opera produce a series of TV shows called OperaSpotlight These 30 minute programs are behind-the-scenes looks at each one of our productions and feature artist interviews combined with rehearsal footage. While our 2010 programs are still months away, you can see the magnitude of work that goes into each of our operas by watching the episodes from last season. I'm personally a fan of Don Quixote so if you only want to watch one, I'd suggest starting with that one. A big special Aria Serious shout-out must be made to John Menier and Matt Alioto of UCSD-TV who are really the brains behind this whole operation. Even though I get a producer credit for these it is just for standing by the catering table. And by catering table I mean the counter in the rehearsal h

What Can The Arts Learn From Comic Con? Part 3

Our third and final installment of our conversation with the SDYS and OrchestraNova on what the Arts can learn from Comic Con. Read it at Culture Lust, here. ( )

Star Trek: le wrath di Khan

The best 2 minutes you'll spend today:

Why So Serious?

A look at how classical music can lighten up to attract new audiences and an argument that amateur opera might be good for the art form . We personally say "yes" to both.

What Can The Arts Learn From Comic Con? Part 2

Part 2 on our conversation on what the Arts can learn from Comic Con is now up. You can read it here . ( ) The third and final part runs tomorrow. I'm so expensing Comic Con next year...

What Can The Arts Learn From Comic Con?

Last week I was able to take part in a roundtable discussion on how the Arts can learn from Comic Con. I was joined by Tyler Richard Hewes , the Executive Director of Orchestra Nova San Diego and Dalouge Smith, the President and CEO of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. Culture Lust has the first of three parts up today with the next installment coming tomorrow. You can read it here .

You'll Love Our New Podcast So Much We're Betting on It

Monday got you down? Head on over and get Nic's new Podcast. We swear that you'll love it so much we're even betting on it. This week we take a look at gambling music in opera. But no need to bring a bucket of quarters because our Podcasts are always free. You can take a listen here .

While You Were Out

Over the weekend: - The "Mozart Effect," the claim that Mozart's music can stimulate brain activity is real, for some, scientists report . - Mozart's earliest compositions have been discovered, age 7 or 8 . Clearly, he listened to Mozart.