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OperaNow! #231: Random Free For All

Every month is Black History Month!

This week features Michael, The OC (coming in later), Jenny Rivera and Mike Mayes

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Reader Comments (4)

Oliver, One of my classmates from Vassar let me know that you had mentioned me in the podcast as one of the few early music musicians of color. As it is true that I was most likely the first professional viola da gamba, vielle and violone player of color, there are several instrumentalists of color who are also professionals, but I won't dwell on those instrumentalists here. I am hoping you will give due time to Derek Lee Ragin, who has had a distinguished career as a countertenor of color in Baroque opera. I first worked with Derek here in the US with the Maryland Handel Festival. Among his notable performances: a debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 1988 in Handel's "Giulio Cesare," a solo recital at the Met Museum, a performance at the Salzberg Festival of Gluck's "Orfeo" with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, to name a few His voice was bleneded with soprano Ewa Malas-Godlewska as the voice of Farinelli in the film of the same name in 1994. He is back in the US, living in New York and it would be great if you could focus part of a futre podcast on his extraordinary talent.
March 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Ann Neely
Hey guys , liked the show this week! Oliver: I think Warfield sounds American to your ears (and mine too) because of his r and l consonants entering into the vowel/coloring the vowel too early. There is no "er" sound like "nerd" in German...but the rs of "Amis" often involve too much middle tongue. Same with the "Ls" which should be more Italianate in nature (late as possible and fast). But it's so easy to let them color the vowels. That said, he's got it going on! :). Greetings aus Leipzig .
March 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeanniebeannie
There were 3 black counter tenors in Dido and Aeneas at LA Opera earlier this season, but I didn't see it.
March 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterZach
Liked the discussion of the articles about the smaller opera companies in NYC. In Toronto we're experiencing the same phenomenon with some really great work by groups like Against the Grain Theatre, Essential Opera, Opera 5 etc. They're creating a lot of buzz, and certainly as they mature as organizations, are starting to offer some of the most interestingly-staged and sung presentations of opera in our city - both new works and new takes on old ones. I am very glad that Michael kept trying to step in with his point that it's very hard for anyone involved with these small companies to really make money. As much as we'd like to say this is the new model [pace Jennifer!] and that artists need to learn how to be more entrepreneurial [very true], the model has yet to evolve into one that singers/designers/administrators can rely on to make their living. I point especially to the people who run these companies [as opposed to the "regular" opera world in which, though it be difficult, people can actually make a living wage]. In Toronto at least, the more established of these companies certainly pay their singers and musicians basic union rates from what I understand, but anyone working for them as a director/publicity person/manager etc. etc. are often doing it out the goodness of their hearts! It's great that we have these people, but my question always is this: how long can a company rely on the goodwill of people who are usually already very busy with other full-time jobs to keep everything going. This will be the challenge I think, that will determine the ultimate survival of the indie opera movement.
March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGianmarco

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