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How You Doin’?

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Gone To The Dogs

It’s very seldom that I get mail at the office. And I mean that kind with a postage stamp on it (how quaint!) But yesterday, something arrived that went straight into my mailbox.

This:


Can you see that track list? Classic.

  • Barker of Seville
  • Toreadog
  • Nessun Dogma
  • Donna Immobile..eh?

I have to say, I was a little bummed when I popped in the CD, because it featured actual singing, not skillfully inflected barking. It’s no Pavarotti. It’s not even Andrea Bocelli. BUT–and I’m clearly biased here–how wrong can you go with something that embraces both opera and animals?
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For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her

It’s a Friday Salute to Interns!

Emily has joined us for January as an intern, helping with tasks like creating education materials, sending out mailings and cleaning my coop. (Just kidding…or not.)


She is a voice student at Oberlin’s Conservatory, but she’s originally from Florida. This is her first winter driving in snow. (She doesn’t know how lucky she is that the wintry explosions from the sky have been rather modest this season…so far.)

Thanks for helping, Emily!
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Eco-Carl: I Like To Move It Move It

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to move 30 years of opera history? Short answer: NOT easy.

I’m not talking about moving piles of yellowing scrapbooks or boxes of photographs. Our 30 years of opera history includes entire sets, a huge paint deck, and an abundance of props, costumes, set pieces and tools. This is an entire warehouse. We are moving a WAREHOUSE.

This endeavor does not involve promising your burliest friends free beer and pizza in exchange for a day of lifting and transporting. This is an eight-week planned operation, my friends.

It’s tempting to rely heavily on the dumpster when doing a move, and, unfortunately, there are items that just have no other destiny or way to be recycled. But we’re accessing everything and finding uses and homes for things that would otherwise share the remainder of their life with dirty diapers and banana peels.

One of the things Kish is doing is inviting her theater cronies over to loot adopt from our prop and set pieces we no longer need. (Theater storage is like GoodWill–but with an abundance of fake food and daggers.)

As we ready our new warehouse space, we’re salvaging old sets for building materials. Our walls have had former lives as pieces of Hansel and Gretel or Fidelio.

(see the outline of the stove from Hansel and Gretel?)

Reusing sets is really nothing new in the theater world, but it was a great starting point for our Green Opera Initiative. With the philosophy or re-use already in place, it’s easier to expand it to other areas and see how creative we can get.

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From Pop Star To Trainwreck

We love a good train wreck, don’t we? If we didn’t, reality television would not have us so in its thrall. I admit that I am itching, just itching to see the new British reality show Pop Star to Opera Star.

Of course, there’s the opera component. “No doubt the usual tosh about ‘bringing opera to the masses’ will be wheeled out in justification of this exercise,” writes Rupert Christiansen of the Telegraph. I really don’t mind that, but Christiansen makes a valid point: “All the programme offers (as I understand it) is the rehearsal of a few familiar arias, removed from the dramatic context which makes opera the theatrical art-form that it fundamentally is. Real opera singers don’t just sing the highlights, they have to get through the whole show, in character.”

An ad for the show:

We all really know that the show has less to do with opera than with eliciting grimaces, unrestrained OMGs and loyal viewing from TV watchers.
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Jumping On The End Of Year Cliche Bandwagon

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Holiday Wishlist

It’s that time of year. Time for my holiday wish list:

The Met’s Lucia di Lammermoor on DVD
With Anna Netrebko. (Watch out parents, this DVD is NOT RATED. And we never know what opera directors are going to do, do we?)

Karaoke machine pre-loaded with my favorite opera arias
Obviously, this item will take some coordination and savvy, but I have faith in you, readers! First, you will have to cleverly discern just what my favorite arias are. Then, you’ll have to find instrumental tracks of those arias to load into a karaoke machine. (Oh, and you’ll have to figure out if anyone still actually sells karaoke machines, because it’s no longer 1994.)

To meet the doyenne behind Opera Chic
Opera bloggers need to stick together, yo.

This recording of Massenet’s Werther
Ahh, divine!

The head of John the Baptist from Salome

I’m bored with the one I currently have. We’ve grown apart. It’s time to move on.

— One of my holiday wishes has already come true: I will be spending some time in Seattle with our Artistic Director Dean! Stay tuned for my dispatches from the Pac NW.

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O is for Opera

Muppets have been very good to opera, and I offer a belated birthday wish to Sesame Street with some clips of opera on the show:

Marilyn Horne loves cookies:

Denyce Graves gets buggy:

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Where Are They Now? Turandot-Edition

A few weeks ago, The Met opened a Zeffirelli production of Puccini’s Turandot, and just who stepped in at the last minute to sing the role of the princess? Lise Lindstrom, who sang the role in Cleveland in 2005. (Seen in the photo to the left.) She also sang Salome for Opera Cleveland in 2007.) She was scheduled to sing the role a couple weeks later, but her Met debut came early.

Not only did she sing it, sister, she received a standing ovation.

Tonight theaters across the nation are re-broadcasting Turandot, with Maria Guleghina (the soprano Lindstrom stepped in for). Check out info about the Met HD broadcast.

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Tell Us What You Really Think

With the 2009 season concluded, it’s a good time to get organized, clean out the coop…and survey our patrons.

We have a quick, anonymous survey online here. So let us know what you think–and feel free (I repeat: FEEL FREE) to tell Opera Cleveland you want more Chicken with your opera. ;)

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