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Friday
Dec152006

Requiem for a Mediumweight...

We did a show last night that tried to take apart the whole Alagna debacle...I thought that it went pretty well, but you all can decide for yourselves.

The long-term impact that this will have on his career is of course yet to be seen. In today’s market, companies are certainly less likely to put up with tantrums and other mad ravings from so called “stars” then they did in the old days. With budgets tight for every company they want people who sell tickets...but also people who show up to rehearsal...AND finish performances (let alone scenes.)

Could this sound the death knell for Roberto?

Will this be a warning to all who would try to place themselves above the art form itself?

Will Batman and Robin escape from The Penguin’s dastardly devilish death ray?

Stay tuned...

Wednesday
Dec132006

Tenor Walks Off Stage...Angers Possibly Dozens...

There's been a lot of press over the past few days concerning Roberto Alagna and his "take this job and shove it" stunt at La Scala in a production of Aida.

Apparently he was booed by the so called "loggionisti" (it would seem the Italian equivalent of the standing room opera die-hards at the Met) when he began his first aria (Celeste Aida for you novices). He gave the audience a salute, and promptly walked off the stage right in the middle of the music. They had to throw his cover on in his street clothes to keep the scene going.

We'll be discussing this in more depth on tomorrow's show, but I would like to go on the record that I love the idea. The whole truth of the matter will probably come out over the next few days, but the idea of someone just walking off in the face of booes right in the middle of an aria is pretty appealing to me. But then I may be different than most. One of my most treasured performing experiences was when a second show I was in was canceled because nobody showed up to watch! Man was that great!

As far as walking off in mid-performance, what the hell...if they don't want you, why bother? The story going around is that he was the weak link in an otherwise great production (which had opened a day or two before) and that's why they booed. Though the good old NY Times seemed to be pleased with him. Not that they are the final word...

Who really knows why it all happened. The best part has been his comments in the press to defend himself and his actions. He was quoted saying that he though something was in the air before the show started as he saw several people back stage making karate chop motions at him. I have no idea WHAT the hell he means by that...all I know is that he seems pretty crazy and that's great to watch! It's like he's going Tom Cruise on us! All I hope is that this continues for awhile and he turns out to be a major whack-job! At the very least I guess (begrudgingly for my part) we can all be thankful he didn't let loose a stream of expletives ala Michael (Kramer) Richards...

Note...After I wrote all this during the afternoon, I found the clip from the performance...judge for yourself!

The best part is when Peter Jackson comes in and takes over for him...

Tuesday
Dec122006

New Post, same Host...

I've come to the realization that if I want this dumb show to succeed, then I need to really keep on top things. The actual production of the show...the recording, the editing, etc. has really taken up most of my time. Initially I didn't even really have a "home" for the show. I would just tell people to get us from iTunes or from the cheap page the my hosting server gave me (no offense...Switchpod is great...and for now, it's FREE).

I'm sure I'm not using this blog format correctly as a way to host a podcast, but at the very least I need to keep the postings up-to-date. That will be my goal from now on. I'll try to get some kind of drivel up here every day. Sometimes it may be a pearl or two of wisdom...most of the time it will be pearls before swine...but at least it will keep me connected to you, my dear listeners. I say listeners because the show for me is the thing (wherein I'll catch the conscience...whatever) that is what I'm all about.

As a note, I want people out there that are or are not listening to the show that the term podcast can be a bit misleading. I (and many other "podcasters") have been told that they would like to listen, "but they don't have an iPod." I'm here to tell you that you don't need an iPod to listen. With this blog set up the way it is, you can listen right here...just click on the show link and your default audio player should open up.

Some proponents of this form of media have wondered if it might be a good idea to change the term podcast to something else..."netcast" has been bandied about, as well as my own, "show you listen to on a computer or portable audio device." Whatever you call it, you can listen to it anywhere!!!!

Show note...I think that the episode I've been mentioning for some time now...our look at new opera...is FINALLY going to happen...look for it some time next week!

And now...enjoy...

Thursday
Dec072006

Episode 7 - Why Can't the Americans?

This we week we continue our discussion of vocal training in America...

Episode 7 - Why Can't the Americans?

Monday
Nov272006

Episode 6 - Nothin' But Muppets!

It seems like puppets are all over the place nowadays...at the Met and elsewhere. We look at the trend as well as a few other choice bits from the past week...

Episode 6 - Nothin' But Muppets!

Friday
Nov242006

Jon Vickers as Peter Grimes

We've mentioned this clip in previous shows and I thought I'd put it up...

Great stuff!

Thursday
Nov232006

Episode 5 - Prisoners of Love...and Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!

Our latest show is up. Also, all the technical problems are over! When I recorded the show, we were still having problems...as of today, we are back up at the iTunes store. Just search for us again, and subscribe that way. Also, our email address is now:

operanow@gmail.com

This week's show is a heartwarming look at the redemptive power of opera in the prison system...in my opinion, a much better alternative to being shivved in the shower (well, at least BETTER if not much better).

We also take a look at the YouTubes and all the crap you can find on it...

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and we'll see you soon with a new show...

Click here for Prisoners of Love

Wednesday
Nov152006

We're Baaaaaaaaaack!

We are back up at iTunes...do the search in the store for "operanow" and re-subscribe...

We also have a new show up and a new email address: operanow@gmail.com...just click the link above to opine...

Sorry about all the crap that went down, but what can you do???

Tuesday
Nov142006

iTunes still down

For some reason the show is not showing up in iTunes. As I mentioned yesterday I've done some back-end changes and as a result, things seem to have gotten screwed up!

We should be posting a new show up tomorrow so stop by here to get it...

Monday
Nov132006

iTunes feed may be down for a day or so...

I am in the process of changing things on the back end so the iTunes feed will be down later tonight...it's amazing how complicated it can be to set everything up to get one of these shows up and running!

It should be back up tomorrow...if you subscribe via iTunes, just do a new search for "OperaNow!" and resubscribe...

Look for a new show later this week. Until then, here is another example of old school American singing...from Jerome Hines...a singer who was a mainstay at the Met but never really got the attention he deserved. This is a favorite clip of my father's...I think Hines actually drives away at the end, but it's cut in this posting...

PLEASE understand...the main thrust of the site and more importantly, the show, is to comment on topics and ideas..BETWEEN shows I think that it's good to try to redirect people to great singing. YouTube and the whole culture of podcasting has made this possible. We've discussed in previous shows how important listening was to the education of a singer...this is my way of doing that.

AND...if you leave a comment, please at least leave a name...I've opened the comments up to anyone, but I do ask that you at LEAST sign it!