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Behind the Scenes, Interviews

Q & A: Conductor Nicole Paiement on Championing Rare Works at San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle


Photo credit: Cory Weaver Opera Parallèle was founded in 2007 by conductor Nicole Paiement to develop and produce contemporary opera. It continues to pioneer the commissioning of new works and exploring underperformed musical creations and landscapes. Coming up in April 2024, Opera Parallèle (OP) joins with SFJAZZ to present “Birds & Balls,” a program of multimedia opera, pairing two short {…}

Reviews, Stage Reviews

Opéra National de Paris Review 2024: The Exterminating Angel


Photo credit: Agathe Poupeney-OnP Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel” is one of the most successful contemporary operas of the century. Beyond its many productions—the Parisian one being the best of them all—, the opera quickly entered the symphonic repertoire with a very well-crafted symphonic suite. The opera, based on Luís Buñuel’s homonymous film, follows its source material: more than a {…}

Reviews, Stage Reviews

The Atlanta Opera Review 2024: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Photo credit: Raftermen “Toi toi toi, y’all,” intones the attractive, Southern-inflected t-shirt at The Atlanta Opera’s pop-up gift shop. An apt tagline for a company having outgrown regional status, still honoring its roots in this de facto capital of the American South. Like Atlanta—now the sixth most populous metropolitan area in the United States, having recently edged past Philadelphia and {…}


Opera Southwest to Present ‘Beyond Carmen’


Opera Southwest is set to present “Beyond Carmen.” The performance, scheduled for April 13 and 14, 2024, will feature mezzo-soprano, flautist, and percussionist Audrey Babcock and guitarist and percussionist Andrés Vadin as they explore an homage to Bizet’s famed opera and her musical roots. “With Beyond Carmen we will explore her Sephardic roots, singing in Ladino or ‘Judeo Spanish,’ similar {…}


Four Essential Operas by Women Composers


(Photo credit: Christophe-Abramowitz) Throughout time, women have routinely been at the bad end of the deal when it came to composing, performing, or really anything that has to do with music. However, as we now know that didn’t mean women composers, performers, critics, and everything in between didn’t exist. Actually, the opposite! Composers like Hildegard von Bingen, Barbara Strozzi, Clara {…}

Opera Wiki

Opera Profile: Igor Escudero’s ‘I, Claudius’ Trilogy


“I, Claudius” and “Claudius the God“ is a trio of operas composed by Spanish composer Igor Escudero and librettist Pablo Gómez during 2019 on the theme of two Roman rulers, Augustus and Claudius, as well as the dynamics of the Julio-Claudian family. The opera’s initial began in 2014 following the eponymous BBC TV series. The opera premiered at the Miguel {…}

Special Features

National Sawdust & The Met Opera Present ‘Opera Evolved: Genre Fluidity’


(Photo: Jill Steinberg) National Sawdust and The Met Opera presented “Opera Evolved: Genre Fluidity” on Thursday, February 22nd, 2024. This was the second installment of this three-part series that, according to the program, celebrates artistic convergence by investigating the intersection of innovation and tradition at National Sawdust. The evening included composer and co-founder of National Sawdust, Paola Prestini, and theater {…}

Reviews, Stage Reviews

Lyric Opera of Chicago 2023-24 Review: Terence Blanchard’s ‘Champion’


(Photo: Michael Brosilow) Fresh from a Metropolitan Opera premiere last spring (and its subsequent Grammy Award victory), Terence Blanchard’s first opera in jazz, “Champion,” enjoyed its Lyric Opera of Chicago premiere in James Robinson’s vivid and effective staging, a co-production on January 27th, 2024. A dazzling cast led by Justin Austin as Emile Griffith made a powerful case for repeated {…}

Behind the Scenes, Interviews, Stage Spotlight

Q & A: Ari Pelto on Opera Colorado & Being Music Director


In 2015, Opera Colorado appointed its first-ever Music Director, Ari Pelto. For the last eight years, he has been widely celebrated with the company conducting a wide array of repertoire and bringing the company’s artistic powers to the fore. He has also been in demand at opera houses and concert halls throughout the United States at the Spoleto Festival, Lyric {…}