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The business of opera

I went on WQXR radio's program "Arts File" this week to talk (very briefly) about a couple of opera companies that are managing to do interesting things and new work in spite of the recession. To listen, click the link.

It's worth mentioning that all three companies I cite are planning world premieres of new American operas in the next season or two. The Seattle Opera is staging Daron Hagen's Amelia in May; Fort Worth Opera is putting on Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls in May and June; and the Minnesota Opera has promised Ricky Ian Gordon's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis for the 2010-11 season (which has yet to be officially announced).

By Anne Midgette  |  January 15, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
Categories:  national , opera  
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Adding to the list of new American operas, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and Maryland Opera Studio are presenting the world premiere of "Shadowboxer: An Opera Based on the Life of Joe Louis" April 17-25, 2010 at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Posted by: azender | January 15, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

We'd be remiss not to include the world premiere of MADAME WHITE SNAKE by Opera Boston. Co-commissioned by the Beijing Music Festival (BMF), it is the first world premiere by the BMF and an American opera company. Performances include February 26, 28, March 2, 2010 at Boston's Cutler Majestic Theatre followed by two performances in Beijing in October 2010.

Posted by: apey2f | January 15, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

To make it clear I wasn't dissing the local organization: I wasn't trying to offer a comprehensive list of new American operas this year, though I'm delighted to start generating one. WQXR asked me to talk about opera companies that were managing to do interesting things despite the recession, and it later occurred to me that all three companies I mentioned happened to be doing world premieres. I didn't mention Maryland Opera Studio because it's not actually an opera company.

Posted by: MidgetteA | January 15, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: silviamtez | January 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed listening the story, and it was clear to me the focus was on opera companies. I think this would be a great platform for discussion about those mentioned in the interview and other new American operas; go with it!

Posted by: azender | January 15, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Then let's add the Dallas Opera's premiere of Jake Heggie's opera "Moby-Dick" in April.

Posted by: MidgetteA | January 15, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I am looking forward to listening to this when I get home but two initial observations:

1. I too am looking forward to Heggie's "Moby Dick" but only to see how exactly they get the barihunk's kit off. I believe its Nathan's Gunns.

2. I'm startled that this has been posted for some hours now and we're yet to hear the familiar refrain of congressional breaches for a certain company not being in this list.

Posted by: ianw2 | January 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Haiti is still in severe crisis, although the Kennedy Center and the NSO is now raising money for the U.S.A.I.D.


Can you believe that those pagliacci over at the Washington National Opera failed to list Scott Wheeler’s “Democracy: An American Comedy” on its official list of previous WNO seasons, while instead listing “Trilogy: Domingo and Guests in Three Acts”?

(Those guests were not Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and
Eleanor Holmes Norton.)

I’ll defer my remaining time to the Honorable Antonin Scalia:

(The NEA Opera Honors are the first new awards from the federal government for individual achievement in the arts in 26 years. They come after the Kennedy Center, in recent years, awarded achievement in the performing arts prizes to Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey of The Who. … And what does everyone think that Michael Kaiser plans to do after December 2011?)

Posted by: snaketime1 | January 19, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

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