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Domingo on the problem with opera

Quoted in today's MusicalAmerica.com: Plácido Domingo, on BBC radio, about the problems of casting today in opera houses:

"There are many, many, many more theaters around the world, so the needs, the variety of repertoire is tremendous. The directors of the theaters, they don't care. They need an artist, and if one of the characters gets sick they just get another. Probably the voice is not for the piece but they have to do it."

This may well be true. But Domingo is also director of two companies himself. Are things done in a significantly different manner at the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera than elsewhere? Is he the exception in "caring" enough to change things - to step in, for example, when both his Hamlet and Ophelia drop out of a "Hamlet" production and suggest that the production be changed, suspended, canceled?

This quote seems slightly disingenuous, to say the least. Outrage is easy. Change is hard.

By Anne Midgette  |  June 30, 2010; 9:00 PM ET
Categories:  opera  
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Comments

I am the President of the Maryland Opera Society. Last Sunday at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts (in Bowie, Maryland), we had an Aria Competition won by tenor Rolando Sanz. His award was $2000. We pay out a total of $5500 in Scholarship Awards for this event.
From July 12 through July 17, our Opera Master Class will be performing Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" at the Bowie Theater in the Woods. The Director is Gerald F. Muller, DMA, and our Artist in Residence is internationally known tenor, John Aler. The class students will be performing and tickets range from $20 to $12.
Our organization is doing all we can to promote and encourage opera and its young singers. We have been in existence since 1992 and have fought to financially stay in business every step of the way. It hasn't stopped us but life has been difficult.
We have performed two fully staged operas, "Amahl and the Night Visitors," and "Hansel and Gretel." Both were done in conjunction with Prince George's County schools, using students for chorus and dance scenes. We received outstanding financial support from County Executive Jack B. Johnson.
With the right support we hope to continue our work with opera.
We need some financial friends in the worst way.
Hoping for the best, Steve Cone

Posted by: stevecone36 | July 1, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I cannot confirm the quoted in "MusicalAmerica.com" but I can read the article in Telegraph.co.uk, Jun.30th by Stephen Adams. (I think both are same.)

"Directors often "don't care" about making singers perform roles that do not suit their voices, he claimed."

'Many opera singers don't fit the role' - then, they'll get sick. This IS the problem.

Posted by: gary_o_a | July 2, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

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