Stage Spotlight

Interviews Stage Spotlight
An Indomitable Force – Mezzo-Soprano Annalisa Stroppa on Playing ‘Carmen’ & Rosina in ‘Il Barbiere Di Siviglia
When she was a young girl, mezzo-soprano Annalisa Stroppa would come home from school to a healthy diet of “The Three Tenors” and Mario del Monaco. Her grandparents idolized these artists and quickly impregnated their granddaughter with an unshakeable passion for opera. “That’s when I discovered I had a special voice and from then on, there was no one stopping my dream of singing,” she told OperaWire during an exclusive…
Stage Spotlight
Carnegie Hall To Host Giusppe Giacomini Opera Gala
A week from today, Carnegie Hall audiences will get a chance to experience the Giuseppe Giacomini Opera Gala at the Zankel Hall. The performance, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 4, is slated to honor the famed tenor who is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his Met Opera debut in Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino.” The gala will feature performances from numerous artists including Nancy Fabiola…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
An Unusual Start – How Soprano Iwona Sobotka Transitioned Into the Opera World After Turning It Down
Most opera singers can’t wait to rush in and sing their dream roles. In fact, in today’s world, with the high demand for singers to mature at an earlier age, a lot of young singers start young and end young, the pressure simply too great to sustain a lasting and healthy career. Iwona Sobotka was privy to this scenario early on. At age 22 she was the winner of the…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
A Tale of Two Seasons – David Portillo on ‘Fidelio,’ ‘The Exterminating Angel’ & Contributing to the Evolution of Opera
David Portillo's career at the Metropolitan Opera got off to an expected start. As a lyric tenor, he sang the lead role in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," an opera that he and most tenors of his FACH are quite familiar with. His debut was a huge success, the tenor earning rave reviews for his lush vocal quality and fearless coloratura. So as you might expect, the Met Opera brought…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
The Lyrical Heldentenor – Klaus Florian Vogt On A Different Wagnerian Approach & ‘Fidelio’s’ Rigidity
The Wagner tenor is a rare breed, often defined by a thick and granular quality that can easily cut through the orchestra, all while singing the most difficult music in the operatic canon. When we think of Wagnerian voices, we think dark and heavy, not light and delicate. Unless of course, we are talking about Klaus Florian Vogt. Arguably the tenor most associated with the Wagnerian repertoire today, Vogt is…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
The Art of Vocal Longevity – Adrianne Pieczonka On Tackling Two of Her Most Difficult Operas, ‘Fidelio’ & ‘Elektra’
How do you maintain a dramatic soprano voice fresh? The answer isn't always obvious for a singer of that voice type. These voices, prized for their sheer power and weight, often face the most difficult repertoire in the operatic canon, many of which can be damaging if sung too often. But for acclaimed Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, who sings Beethoven's 'Fidelio' starting this Thursday at the Metropolitan Opera, the answer…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
It’s Good to Be King – Matthew Polenzani On ‘Idomeneo,’ His Favorite Mozart Opera
Matthew Polenzani loves Mozart’s “Idomeneo.” During a recent interview with OperaWire, the tenor went so far as to call it the composer’s “greatest opera.” That’s right, with output that includes gems such as “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” “Così Fan Tutte” and “Die Zauberflote,” Polenzani, who is among the greatest exponents of these very operas, puts his marker on the early drama. “For me, this is Mozart’s greatest opera.…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
Q&A: Anna Caterina Antonacci On The Dramatic & Vocal Challenges Of ‘La Voix Humaine’
Anna Caterina Antonacci is regarded as one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of our time. She has performed all over the world in diverse repertoire and has thrilled audiences with her dramatic acting and vocal fireworks. Recently she has been making waves in Poulenc's "La Voix Humaine," one of the most popular one-woman operas in the world. She has performed the role at the Opera San Antonio, Opéra Royal de Wallonie,…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
The Outsider – How Elza van den Heever Found Her Voice, Overcame Insecurity & Learned to Have Fun
“I have always felt like the odd one out. The way I put my voice together. No one knows what to do with me. In terms of my height, I was a six-foot girl since I was 10-years-old. I have always been the outsider.” This was Elza Van Den Heever’s response to my question regarding how she relates to the character of Elettra in Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” which she sings for…
Interviews Stage Spotlight
The Butterfly – Pretty Yende’s Never-Ending Search For Artistic Freedom
A butterfly can never be caged or it dies. The same can be said of an opera singer, who needs the freedom to explore and develop as an artist. When an artist is caged and not allowed to carve out an organic path, he or she may burn out very quickly. During a recent interview with OperaWire, soprano Pretty Yende repeatedly used this very metaphor to describe how she views…