Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Opera in the News

Some interesting opera stories out there today.

This one caught my eye. When I first started with Kentucky Opera, I had a meeting with the editor of Louisville Music News who had this crazy idea of trying to get a younger crowd of hard core & heavy metal music, suggesting that the audiences while very different, have similar values toward their musical tastes.

It seems as though the Canadian Opera Company was a fly on the wall of that conversation...
As JOSHUA OSTROFF writes in Wednesday's Globe and Mail:
If you had to pick a pair of musical genres furthest apart from each other, opera and hip hop would be a fairly safe bet. One thing they do share is sizable purist fan bases, which, whether they use the phrase or not, prefer practitioners to keep it real. Nonetheless, these star-crossed genres are coming together in a performance called The Hip Hopera, a new collaboration by the Canadian Opera Company and the Royal Conservatory of Music. read more
Kudos to this collaboration that blends genres.

Another bit of news comes from Chicago - My boss just saw this Giovanni and said it was pretty spectacular, and only moments did the conducting lack in power that the music would have preferred.

ANDREW PATNER of the Chicago Sun Times review:
Journalists try to stay away from quoting marketing materials. But what to do when those materials are on the money? "Opera less ordinary," proclaims this year's COT brochure. "Less inhibited. Less predictable. Less expected." read more

Scott C. Morgan of Windy City Times reviews:
If Chicago Opera Theater's ( COT's ) new production of Don Giovanni was a movie, it would be slapped with an “R” rating for sexuality and violence. Thank heaven for that. read more
In any case, both of these stories exemplify the way opera is trying to appeal to a younger audience, the question now, is it working? By modernizing Mozart & merging contemporary music styles, is this changing the art form into something else?

I want to say no. If you run your fingers through any Opera News, the lush and provocative images are from the contemporary renditions and those visuals make me want to go and check it out. The image is from Faust produced in Dresden. Don't you wish you could have seen that set?

Ask Shakespeare - Most theater companies who have a large Shakespearian rep have modernized at least one of their productions.

We will look into this phenomenon.

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