• Angels In America 001

    Dream opera seasons

    Let me imagine for a few minutes that I am in charge of season programming for an opera house. Let me further imagine that my opera house is guaranteed to sell out every performance. That is, there are no commercial incentives behind my choices–only artistic …

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  • 10614254 10203486523501832 3995614798096337544 N

    Pretty opera houses

    I know, I know. Opera is about the music (and acting), not the setting where it’s performed. And that’s really true—I’ve seen great operas in unconventional spaces, and I usually forget about the theater itself once the action starts. That said, I’m a sucker for …

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  • Img 1041

    A good opera season

    I’ve been in Poland for the past week. I was only in Warsaw for a day, but I saw something that impressed me a lot. It wasn’t the opera house, although that’s very pretty indeed: No, what impressed me was the upcoming season Warsaw Opera …

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  • Angelameadenorma

    Opera in small spaces

    Famous opera houses are almost invariably large. The Met seats 3,800; the Vienna State Opera, 2,280; the Royal Opera House, 2,250; Teatro alla Scala, 2,800. Rarely will a major company perform to an audience of fewer than 1,500–it simply isn’t sufficient to justify the production expenses! …

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  • Operainenglish

    The language question

    I’m currently visiting friends in San Francisco. Yesterday, a cab we were taking happened to pass the opera house. Banners proudly advertised the upcoming season, which included Verdi’s A Masked Ball. I mused aloud about why they used the English title rather than the Italian …

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