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Opera Notes: New Opera for Baltimore?

Since the demise of the Baltimore Operawhose bankruptcy protection filing was converted to Chapter 7 liquidation on March 18 – other companies have been springing up to fill the gap. On March 25th, the Baltimore Concert Opera offered its inaugural performance of “Don Giovanni” (no sets, no costumes); the next performance, of three separate acts from Puccini operas with piano accompaniment, is April 29. And now, an impresario named Giorgio Lalov, who for 20-plus years has headed the touring outfit Teatro Lirico d’Europa around Europe and, since 2000, the United States, is preparing to announce the 2009-10 season of a brand-new Baltimore Opera Theater. It remains to be seen whether Lalov, who has made a career presenting second-string touring productions with unknown, mainly Eastern European singers, and who thinks rehearsing for more than a week is “a waste of time,” can create the four-production-a-season company he envisions in what he concedes are “tough economic times.”


Last fall, Lorin Maazel announced the creation of a new summer opera festival-cum-training program in Castleton, Virginia; yesterday, the festival released its performance calendar. Held from July 3-19 at the small theater in the Maazel’s own residential compound (“estate” by any other name), it will feature four chamber operas by Benjamin Britten -- making something of a virtue of necessity, since chamber operas are the only operas that will fit on the diminutive stage -- and two “symphonic concerts” with an orchestra of young artists ranging from young professionals to hand-picked high-school students. The festival, which will culminate a one-month training program for some 170 young musicians, will open with a new production of “The Turn of the Screw,” and reprise previous productions of “The Beggar’s Opera,” “The Rape of Lucretia,” and “Albert Herring.”

Maazel also presided today over the rather unexpected announcement that he was extending his contract as music director of the still-new Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Spain, for two more years; he had previously announced that he was stepping down at the end of his current three-year contract.


A couple of new favorite entries in the ongoing #operaplot Twitter competition (you have until Sunday night to post up to 10 entries yourself). Name these operas:

SGypsyF seeks man who doesn't love me. SWM w. mom issues seeks commitment. STorero seeks sex. This isn't going anywhere good. (ann_feeney)
||: hijinks among lovers; spunky maid & crusty old man stir up trouble :|| Moral: fake Albanians make better lovers than husbands. (txavocado)

By Anne Midgette  |  April 28, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Washington , festivals , news , opera  
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Next: CD of the Week: Road Trip Edition


Everything Old is New Again:
Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Album called A Party with Comden & Green.
A number called The Reader's Digest.
I remember one item: Jean Valjean no evildoer, he stole some bread 'cause he was poor, detective chased him through the sewer, THE END.

Posted by: c-clef | April 28, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Midgette does not seem to know that Giorgio Lalov's touring company, Teatro Lirico d'Europa, is a TOTALLY FIRST CLASS opera company. I wonder how many performances of theirs she has attended. From her comments, I am led to believe that she has ever seen them perform.

I've seen them do most of their repertoire at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center in CA and their shows are FABULOUS! I'm sure that the new Baltimore company will be excellent and I hope to see them perform on my next visit to the East Coast.

Posted by: susie621621 | April 29, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I have been attending the Teatro Lirico D'Europa
performances at the Majestic in Boston for the last ten years.
They have presented many American artists from the Metropolitan Opera and the NYC Opera as well as first class soloists of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatres.

Recently, they presented a TRAVIATA with one of the best Violettas I have ever heard: soprano, Marina Viskvorkina of Prague State Opera.

Posted by: heatmart5678 | April 30, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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