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August Issue Of Opera News - Educating A New Generation Of Aspiring Young Opera Singers

   The August issue of Opera News magazine focuses on the training of aspiring young opera singers in America.  Yes, right now , there are many talented young people in America's many conservatories and
universities who may be the next international opera stars before too long , there is an article where the renowned American soprano Catherine Malfitano ,who currently teaches at the Manhattan school of music , discusses her teaching philosophy and the challenges of imparting her knowledge of vocal technique ,musical
interpretation and stagecraft to aspiring young opera singers .

   Freelance writer Mark Thomas Ketterson discusses the possible advantages of vocal students attending
Liberal Arts schools with opera and vocal training instead of conservatories .  He rightly points out that
"a more balanced education is not going to hurt anybody ".There is also a delightful story by playwright
Michaell Slade about a two year old boy who has actually become the world's youngest opera fan under his parent's influence !

The renowned  South-African born music critic ,scholar and librettist Andrew Porter ,one of the world's foremost
experts on opera ,is interviewed by writer and pianist William R. Braun , and his discussion about his experiences as music critic ,scholar and librettist make most interesting reading . Porter was the music critic of the New Yorker magazine for may years and also  the Financial Times . He laments the modern tendency of American and English opera companies to do operas in the original language, with English-speaking singers who do not know Italian, French and German etc.,claiming that this has been the "death of schools of singing".

   However, most of these singers do study these languages in music school and at least understand what they are singing about,a fact which he does not mention. In addition, supertitles on stage with English translations help audiences to understand what is going on on stage.

  Donald Rosenberg, music critic of  the Cleveland Plain Dealer , discusses the difficult situation of Cleveland's opera company ,which has unfortunately never prospered or achieved the international
acclaim of the great Cleveland orchestra ,whose concerts he regularly reviewed until a recent kerfuffle over his negative reviews of its music director Franz Welser-Most's concerts, which caused him to be removed from his capacity as reviewer there.

   Music critic,composer and classical music commentator Greg Sandow discusses his admiration for
Puccini's operas , which like more than a few critics, he used to disdain for their supposed cheapness and  superficial audience appeal .

   As usual, the magazine's roving  music critics review  opera performances from  Europe, America and elsewhere ,including  Berlin, London , Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Washington,D.C. , and Seattle .
    There are reviews of new CDs ,including a new recording of Rossini's rarely performed Ermione ,
 Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience" , and an album of tenor arias by Italian composers such as Boito,
Giordano,Ponchieli, Leoncavallo and others sung by  German tenor Joans Kaufmann , one of today's hottest  opera stars . There are also reviews of recently issued  live performances of Wagner operas from
the Met in the 1960s ,with such great Wagner singers as Birgit Nilsson , Christa Ludwig, Jon Vickers, Thomas Stewart and Karl Ridderbusch .

   Reviews of opera on DVD include Verdi's La Forza Del Destino from La Scala ,Milan in the 70s and a recent production of Saint-Saens Samson &Dalilah from Antwerp, Belgium .  Even if you don't know a lot about opera ,  Opera News is always an absorbing read, and you can learn a great deal about this great and fascinating art form .


Posted: Aug 02 2011, 05:28 PM by the horn | with no comments
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