opera

James Darrah
Simon Kessler

  Bard SummerScape’s 2016 season presents seven weeks of opera, music, theater, dance, film, and cabaret. 

The prime focus of these offerings is the 27th annual Bard Music Festival, exploring the life and times of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. The rich arts and culture of turn-of-the century Italy inspires a revival of Pietro Mascagni’s art nouveau opera, Iris. 

The production at Bard boasts a new staging and sleek, edgy design and is directed by James Darrah.

  Nadine Sierra makes her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and her first appearance at Tanglewood tomorrow night as part of the festival’s opening weekend concerts. Tomorrow night’s concert will hear the American singer in her acclaimed account of the soprano soloist’s role in Orff’s Carmina Burana. Jacques Lacombe will conduct the performance.

Praised for her vocal beauty, seamless technique, and abundant musicality, Sierra is being hailed as one of the most promising emerging talents in the opera world today. She is already making a name for herself through her performances with top opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Marriage of Figaro"

Jun 30, 2016
Principal Artists of The Marriage of Figaro
Susan Bardack / Buzz Media Solutions

Troy Record theater reviewer Bob Goepfert takes a look at Opera Saratoga's production of "The Marriage of Figaro."  

  Il Volo, the critically acclaimed trio, will play the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY tonight.

Il Volo is comprised of members Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble and have released four albums so far, starting in 2011: two studio albums, a live album, and a Christmas album. Recently, Il Volo won the "Big Artist" Award at the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, which led them to go 3x Platinum in Italy with their latest EP and contributed to their sold-out summer tour.

Piero Barone joins us.

  The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas.

This year’s festival - running July 29-August 2 - will be a Celebration of the Diverse Voices of America. We are joined by world renowned opera singers, Executive Director Maria Todaro and Artistic Director Louis Otey. 

Courtesy of Bard College, Peter Aaron '68/Esto

  Now in its 13th season, Bard SummerScape presents eight weeks of stellar events in opera, music, theater, dance, film, and cabaret.

The prime focus of these offerings is the 26th annual Bard Music Festival, which this year examines the life, times, and creative output of the 20th century Mexican composer, conductor, and educator Carlos Chávez. whose compositions synthesize Indian, Spanish, and Mexican elements together with trends in European musical modernism.

  Marcella Sembrich, internationally known Polish soprano, first sang with the New York Metropolitan Opera in its initial season in 1883. She retired in 1909 and sang concert tours until 1917. Her teaching studio, built in 1924 is located in Bolton Landing, NY and has been a operating as museum in her honor and to commemorate opera during the summers since 1937 – two years after her death in 1935.

Each summer's schedule at The Sembrich centers around a theme artfully crafted by Sembrich's artistic director, composer Richard Wargo. He joins us now to tell us what is on tap for this season, the theme of which is “On Wings of Song: The Marriage of Music and Poetry.”

  The new opera The Long Walk is based on Brian Castner’s critically acclaimed book of the same name. The opera is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and his battle with what he calls “the Crazy” as he tries to reintegrate into his family life upon returning from the war.

Opera Saratoga at the Spa Little Theatre is presenting the world premiere of The Long Walk in partnership with American Lyric Theater. Internationally renowned theater and opera director David Schweizer makes his Opera Saratoga debut.

Grammy Award winning baritone Daniel Belcher returns to Opera Saratoga to create the role of Brian, alongside mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, who makes her company debut as his wife Jessie. The two performers join us for this interview.

mahaiwe.org

  The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA is marking its 10th anniversary season with performances by, among others, Graham Nash, Art Garfunkel, Audra McDonald, Don McLean and many, many others.

The Castle Street theatre came alive 10 seasons ago and now Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly says they are ready for the next phase in the theatre’s development.

Three years ago the Mahaiwe’s Board of Director’s set a goal of raising $2.2 million to stabilize the Mahaiwe to the next level of programming excellence and financial stability as part of their Impact campaign. Since then they have raised $1.9 million towards that goal. With just $250,000 to go, they are turning to their loyal audience to help complete the historic campaign.

Claire Sabbattié / http://caravanstage.org/

The Caravan Stage Company has a most unique theatre venue — a 90 ft tall ship, the Caravan Stage Tall Ship Theatre. After 20 years of touring contemporary professional theatre the Caravan now tours its innovative theatrical productions on to the deck of the Amara Zee, a unique Ship Theatre.

This summer they present Hacked: The Treasure of Empire -- a operatic theatre fantasy featuring a Band of Virtual Pirate Hacksters who have deleted the “Treasure of the Empire”.

Jaime Alvarez

  Hamilton Fish II was a descendant of one of the most prominent families in New York State. Hamilton “Albert” Fish was a psychopath and a most notorious child murderer. They died one day apart in 1936. A newspaper editor becomes obsessed with the coincidence of their shared names after publishing their obituaries on his front page.

The Lives of Hamilton Fish is a cinematic rock opera inspired by that true story. Rachel Mason wrote, directed and stars in the film, much of it was shot on location at historic sites in the Hudson Valley.

Opera fans in Saratoga Springs will have the ability to ask questions and hear about the future of one particular arts organization this weekend.

10/20/14 Panel

Oct 20, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Texas Hospital Apology
Catholic Church Gay U-Turn
NY No Gun List
Voter ID Decision
Black Vote for Senate
Opera Protest

  Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting a week-long opera festival in Stockbridge, MA through this weekend.

Part of the workshop festival is a fully-staged production of the Verdi opera La Traviata. It will have performances at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theater Friday August 29th at 8:00pm and Sunday Aug 31st at 2:00pm.

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas. From opera to gospel, world music to Broadway, the Festival celebrates the human voice in all its multi-faceted glory. This year’s festival takes place July 30th through August 3rd.

Stephen Gottlieb: Madame Butterfly

Jul 15, 2014

  I’ve been away for a week while conflict heated up in the Middle East. But all week I’ve been thinking about a different form of grief, death and cultural conflict.

    One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming is loved for her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony last July, the President awarded Ms. Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist.

Known as “the people’s diva” and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Over the past few seasons, Ms. Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series for movie theaters and television, and Live From Lincoln Center on PBS.

She will be performing at the Tanglewood opener on Saturday night and later this month, she will stay in the Berkshires to perform her first role in a play. She will make her debut at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Living on Love, playing an opera diva at odds with her husband over the people they’ve hired to ghostwrite their autobiographies. It runs July 16 through 26th.

    Act one of award-winning opera composer Evan Mack's new work Roscoe will be part of Opera Saratoga's 2014 summer festival. The opera is based on the novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winning author, William Kennedy.

The 80 minute concert performance will give Saratoga audiences a first look at this brand new piece at The Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College on June 8th at 2pm.

Composer Evan Mack joins us along with Opera Saratoga's General Director, Curtis Tucker.

Sarah LaDuke

  The Graduate Vocal Arts Program at The Bard College Conservatory of Music is a unique master of music program in vocal performance. Conceived, designed and led by renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw.

The Fisher Center at Bard College is presenting two one-act operas performed by the Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts program singers on March 14 and 16th. One of the operas, Payne Hollow by Shawn Jaeger, is a world premiere, and the other is Benjamin Britten’s beloved The Turn of the Screw.

  Ars Choralis will present the new opera, Miracle in Bethlehem, for its annual “Welcome Yule” concert on Dec. 7th and 8th at the Overlook Methodist Church in Woodstock. The opera is composed by Ars Choralis Artistic Director, Barbara Pickhardt with lyrics by Johanna Hall.

The two-act opera features 40 choir members, 13 soloists and an instrumental ensemble that includes piano, cello, violin, horns and flutes and – as one might guess from the title – tells the story of the nativity.

Johanna Hall’s songwriting career began in 1970 and her songs have been recorded by Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, The Doobie Brothers – and many others. She joins us to talk about Miracle in Bethlehem.

  On Monday evening August 5th, Maureen O'Flynn and John Cheek - leading singers from the Metropolitan opera - will be among the performers in the return performance of the new opera Pearl, which is a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter from the viewpoint of the daughter of Hester Prynne – now with new music and a new ending.

The project was initiated by the conductor Sara Jobin, a Berkshire resident and the first woman to conduct the San Francisco Opera, the composer is Amy Scurria and the libretto, written by Carol Gilligan and her son Jonathan Gilligan, based on her play, The Scarlet Letter, which was commissioned and produced by Shakespeare & Company in 2002.

Joining this morning, Librettist Carol Gilligan, Music Director and Producer Sara Jobin and soprano Maureen Flynn.

    Bard SummerScape 2013 presents seven inspired weeks of opera, music, theater, dance, film, and cabaret. This summer Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, presents their 24th annual Bard Music Festival with the theme "Stravinsky and His World."

A major highlight of the season, however, isn't by Stravinsky but is instead by Sergey Taneyev - a composer Stravinsky admired. Thaddeus Strassberger returns to SummerScape to direct Oresteia, with The American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein. Performances begin at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, July 26th.

Thaddeus and SummerScape Opera producer, Susanna Meyer join us to tell us more.

    Carin Gilfry and Alex Lawrence met in 2011 as Young Artists with the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY. The mezzo-soprano and baritone fell in love, were married, and now get to balance those facts with their very busy and far-flung opera careers.

Alex is singing the role of Belfiore in Verdi's King for a Day at Glimmerglass this summer and during the year he has a contract with the Zurich Opera in Switzerland.

Carin recently performed in La Perichole with New York City Opera, and covered in Le Nozze di Figaro in Los Angeles.

The couple joins us now to talk about life as married opera singers and about The Glimmerglass Festival.

Kathy Wittman

    The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) will return to the Berkshires this summer with Almira, the first opera by the celebrated and beloved Baroque composer, George Frideric Handel in its first modern-day historically conceived production.

BEMF will offer three fully-staged performances of the production at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22 at 7pm, and Sunday, June 23 at 2:30pm; all performances will be sung in German with English supertitles.

Three-time Grammy-nominated Artistic Co-Director Paul O’Dette joins us.

    BY Experience kicked off the digital revolution of live events to movie theaters and other locations globally with David Bowie’s 2003 Reality album launch and since then, over 17 million tickets have been sold worldwide for cinema events BY Experience has distributed globally.

  Their broadcasts include - The Met: Live in HD series, the U.K.’s National Theatre Live series, the public radio shows This American Life – Live! with Ira Glass, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and the upcoming broadcast of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me; the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest, Red Hot Chili Peppers Live: I’m With You, The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax and much more! BY Experience distributes to over 60 countries, to 2,000 movie screens - including many in the WAMC listening area.

Their newest project is EXHIBITION: Great Art On Screen - The eagerly awaited exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Manet: Portraying Life premiers in cinemas worldwide today.

BY Experience was founded and is run by Julie and Robert Borchard-Young. Julie joins us to tell us more.

Internationally acclaimed singer/actor/performer Maureen O’Flynn – a native of the Berkshires – will perform her brilliantly reviewed cabaret show on Saturday afternoon, September 22, to benefit Riverbrook’s Education and Training Programs.

“At the Crossroads”, according to O’Flynn, is a semi-autobiographical collection from the American songbook, highlighting composers including Sondheim, Porter, Strouse and Weil. She is accompanied by pianist, music director and arranger Don Rebic.

The Hubbard Hall Opera Theater was launched in 2008. The company’s latest production is Mozart’s beloved “The Magic Flute,” running for five more performances through August 19th. The singing is in German (with supertitles), the spoken dialogue in English. Kelly Crandell conducts the 19-piece orchestra and Paul Houghtaling, who joins us this morning, directs the production. We are also joined by the Company’s Artistic Director – Alix Jones.

Photo courtesy of Bernard Handzel

On August 2nd–5th, The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, transforms Phoenicia into a hub of the vocal arts. We are joined by Kerry Henderson and Louis Otey, two of the three (Maria Todaro is the third) founders of the fest.

Bard SummerScape's production of Emmanuel Chabrier's rarely produced opera, The King in Spite of Himself (Le Roi Malgré Lui) opens tonight in the Sosnoff Theater at the Richard B. Fisher Center. We learn more about the opera from accomplished director, Thaddeus Strassberger, and world-class Soprano, Nathalie Paulin.

Kobie Van Rensburg

Stephanie Blythe's commanding mezzo-soprano has captivated audiences at the world's greatest opera houses. Following her critically-acclaimed appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, Ms. Blythe brings to The Mahaiwe, for one show only, her personal tribute to the songs made famous by Kate Smith, the popular music icon whose stirring voice helped the country through the Depression and World War II. She is accompanied by Craig Terry on piano and the show is presented by Berkshire Cabaret.