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It contains the best of one year of journalism from Opera Lively.

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Singers, conductors, stage and video directors, scholars, educators, opera company managers, and composers describe in eloquent terms the entire gamut of the operatic experience. Profound insights about characters and works are side by side with discussions of controversial topics such as Regietheater, critical editions, the cult of image, and the future of the art form.

Marilyn Taylor, opera company directors Maestro James Meena, Maestro James Allbritten, and Eric Mitchko, and many other operatic professionals and thinkers complete the roster of 39 interviewees. Opera journalist Luiz Gazzola, MD, PhD, the senior editor at Opera Lively, uses his three decades of experience as a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and opera lover to engage with the artists in a pleasant and conversational manner, while asking musically well-informed and intellectually challenging questions, in unusually deep interviews.

Aug 3, Recordings Recordings CD. Again, so happy you could be there! I realize that what is very special about it is that we have to have a great understanding of the character of the music and what it says beyond the words, between the singers, the conductors, and the orchestra. Of course we have grand scenes and the concertati at the end of Act II; yes, we have powerful moments, but the most important thing is to be able to create something very intimate, and that was possible this time with the wonderful cast that the Met put together. We really worked prior to the performances to make sure that we would be very, very close to each other during the performances to make this chamber music effect.

It was very intimate. Damrau was singing softly, which I loved. Was it your doing? But this exceeded all my expectations. And the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of course knows Verdi so well, and they react so well when singers are so intelligent and sing it beautifully and expressively, then the orchestra transforms automatically the way it plays. Is there a bigger space there for French opera as opposed to other Western countries where Italian and German-language operas seem to be more popular?

Opera Lively: The Interviews

Therefore it probably makes us accept some repertoire more easily than others. It is probably because of the language. YNS — [laughs, pleased] Yes, I would tend to agree with you! OL - What do you think of critical editions of opera scores? Do you like to consider all possible explanations for different versions of a work that scholars come up with, or do you like to follow the living tradition of operatic performance more than the scholarly research?

YNS — Yes, I think critical editions are very important. OL - Opera recordings in studio are becoming rarer, while live recordings in video media are becoming much more frequent. Is this a reason for concern? YNS — No, the video aspect of opera is not necessarily a concern. Because video now makes opera more accessible, and more visual; it is true that people have more immediate access to opera everywhere in the world, especially younger people, and I think this is something we should be happy about, because that means it is an art form that is far from dying.

However, like any new phenomenon, it has its own dangers.

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In that sense, maybe yes, there is a small concern about the visual taking the place of the musical aspects. Real opera for me must reach a perfect balance between the two. I think there is a place for recordings, and there is a special place for experiencing the intensity of the acting of the singers when we get the video. But opera at the end of the day is this perfect union of both visual and musical aspects, so I think we should always be careful to keep the balance right.

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What about the other way around: Everybody knows it; that makes it extra difficult to conduct, because first of all not only everyone has an opinion about it, but also there is always the danger of taking things for granted, for routine. In the end I find that the operas that are more difficult for me, personally, as a conductor, are the ones where we have to search really this delicate line and have the orchestra and the singers accept to sing more dolce and to express in a more intimate way, rather than for example Turandot. OL — Very nice answer, thank you.

Do you have an interest for contemporary opera?

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If yes, what composers? YNS — Regarding contemporary opera, what interests me is the process. Higdon is currently writing an opera based on Charles Frazier's "Cold Mountain". I would like to be with her for her second opera.

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What I would be interested in, is to witness the process from the very beginning when the composer decides for a libretto and decides for the shape of the piece, and I would be involved in every step, to feel that there is a real sense of creation. This is what was the most wonderful about the creation of music. For us, interpreters, we always wish that we would have the red telephone line to talk to the previous composers who are now dead.

And do you have any favorite contemporary composers that you admire? Purchase your copy today via Amazon. Under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, he will join the ensemble for nine concerts and perform a recital with Polish pianist Maciej Pikulski. This gala concert featured a kaleidoscopic array of artists and ensembles from the worlds of classical music, film, and Broadway, like Mr.

Hampson sings the title role in this epic love story, based on the life of the Roman emperor Hadrian, with libretto by Daniel MacIvor. This language of heart and mind says everything about the culture that created it. And when we sing our own songs, those who hear us will have experienced the best of what freedom of thought and purpose can achieve in the creation of great art.