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OperaNow! #249: Peter Gelb and James Levine Walk into a Doctor's Office...

Peter Gelb and James Levine walk into a doctor's office...Castleton Festival goes on hiatus...The Vienna Opera Ball...Renee Fleming hints at retirement...Make opera more relevant (blah).

This week on Oliver's Corner:  The inimitable Roberta Alexander and rising stars Noah Stewart and J'nai Bridges.

Plus, Guess Who Died?

This week features Michael, The OC, Doug Dodson, the return of Jenny and special guest, director Paul Curran.

Reader Comments (8)

Please use my donation to buy a certain panelist a clue about black singers and the material they sing (i.e., they can and do sing everything). It's 2015!

I DID think the singers he chose to highlight were excellent and I enjoyed hearing them sing. Thank him for that.

February 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I'm wrong. It's now 2016! I can't tell you how saddened I am about some of the comments made about black singers by a certain panelist. I give him the benefit of the doubt and don't assume malice, just ignorance.

February 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Paul Curran was an absolute delight. I hope you invite him back!

February 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

Great show! Paul Curran was wonderful. Two of his thoughts stuck with me: that it's harder to direct period work than updates (so true) and that "traditional" only means is that someone else has done it before (also true.) Onward!

February 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Cederquist

In opera we both love and love to hate singers and conductors who have long careers and stay around for too long. Levine is a case of someone who is staying around longer than he probably should. Imagine if a singer like Renee Fleming reported that her Dr. thinks she can keep singing for a few more years by simply changing the dose of her meds! LOL I think Renee is smart to scale back now when she can still get through a complete Rosenkavalier. She is going to have a very graceful exit from the opera stage, but she is not fully retiring. She will be around for many years to come doing recitals, concerts, and creative consulting.

I also liked the singers who were featured in Oliver's Corner. As for the comments about Noah Stewart...he's an opera singers, and singing in different languages is part of his job.

February 15, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterzach

Dean Williamson is my favorite American opera conductor, by far. I honestly think he's the best choice for a true successor to Levine as principal conductor at the Met, but of course he might not have the star power to actually get the gig.

It's sad about Castleton, hopefully they'll get enough funds to scale back and do chamber operas in the future instead of the large Puccini, Verdi works they did the last few years (Carmen, Fanciulla, Otello, Boheme, Butterfly, etc).

February 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCoop

So great to hear Paul Curran! What a witty guy. Here in Toronto his production of Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk is oft-cited by company members as one of their all-time favourites. It was truly memorable. He'll be back here next season for the revival of his Tosca production. Oh, Oliver, you're so good at getting yourself into trouble, leaving everyone gob-smacked at some of your comments. I think anyone who listens regularly gets where you're coming from...I think!

February 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGianmarco

Thanks for getting Paul Curran on the podcast. He added some substance to the mix; bring him back and let him talk a little more.
Noah Stewart has never appealed to me, as he seems to have an unattractive veiled timbre through most of his range, except for the highest notes, and the overall musical presentation is so so.
What racial group is up next for operatic examination?

February 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBobo

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