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OperaNow! #236: All About Matthan

Vancouver Opera goes to a festival season and some aren't happy...Hey, I'm just a critic!...Opera by African-American composer sees a revival...Jake Heggie profiled in Opera News...Berlin Philharmonic names new music director...Trans woman sings national anthem at A's game...Robot makes operatic debut...It's not a UFO, it's marketing.

In part 2 of Oliver's Corner on Handel's Rinaldo, everyone not named Rinaldo.

This week features Michael, The OC and Matthan Black of the podcast Doing The Work.

Reader Comments (3)

Thanks for covering the Vancouver Opera story. Of course we in Canada followed it closely. I think the big deal for some is that Vancouver is really one of our major cities - in a Canadian context that is...a bigger metropolis than say some of the other companies in the USA (Portland; Fort Worth) that have gone to a festival format. It would be the equivalent of say, Chicago doing something like this. I'm glad Matthan (great addition to the panel!) noticed what seems to be a pretty small savings of $1 million per year - I too thought the same when the story first broke: "is it really worth dismantling the season just to save $1 mill?" And, as someone heavily invested and employed in the arts industry I (like Oliver) immediately thought about the employees - both admin and musicians - for whom this will have the greatest effect. I'm sure they'll be shedding several full-time, year-long positions because of this change. Musicians and chorus members will also likely be taking a cut as the numbers of performances are reduced. Not to mention one of the productions in the "festival" will be a musical, leaving only two operas - kind of measly for a large, bustling metropolis like Vancouver.

June 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergianmarco

Oliver: that duet described as "Bartoli singing with her twin brother" was a little bizarre and hot. Thanks.

Doug: helping from afar by reminding us, through Oliver, that it was considered romantic to hear equal voices singing together instead of the current fashion of having voices an octave apart duet together.

Re: the festival format for Vancouver Opera. Such a change has seemed to work in the past for companies like Fort Worth Opera, which Michael mentioned, and for tiny companies like West Edge Opera, based in Berkeley, California. as an traveling audience member, I think it's a good idea for some companies as it enables me to see multiple operas in a short length of time. If my local company tried to squeeze its 9 month season into 3 weeks, though, I would be beyond pissed.

July 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I agree that critics should comment on specific performances AND on culture more widely, but I think they have to maintain a degree of separation between the two. You don't want a review going off on a tangent about the whole state of classical music, and equally you don't want an illustrative example in a cultural overview turning into a long critique. Having said that, I very rarely read reviews unless it's something I've actually seen in person.

Luca Pisaroni is better at Glyndebourne:

One of my favourite arias ever, so I was very glad to hear this featured!

Sonia Prina is good in small rooms. I saw her at Wigmore Hall a while ago and it was great... in fact I think I may have mentioned it in a previous comment...

I might have imagined it, but I'm sure I read that Handel used live birds as a special effect for Rinaldo? Maybe that's why there are bird sounds in the Bartoli recording...

Iestyn Davies is the best! He played Farinelli in a play recently:

On an unrelated note, there's a really good series on the BBC at the moment - Pappano's Classical Voices. Not sure if you can access it in North America, and I'm sure it doesn't contain anything you don't know already, but still an entertaining watch!

July 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMenuet alla Zoppa

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