'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg' requires an enormous amount of musical and stagecraft resources, and it's rarely presented by opera companies in the United States. Cincinnati Opera opens its 90th season with performances of Wagner's six-hour epic on Wednesday and Saturday at Music Hall.
Richard Wagner's operas are hardly metaphors for fast food, but when it comes to the "ultra grande" menu nothing competes with his 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.' There might be no calories or saturated fats, but mounting a production of 'Meistersinger' can put a company at risk for cardiac arrest ... which it nearly did for Cincinnnati Opera.
Cincinnati Opera's 90th anniversary season already has more drama than a Verdi potboiler in an Italian opera house about to go on strike. But despite casting woes for the opening work, there's plenty to celebrate: three great operas with world-class performers, conductors and directors. It all kicks off with a gala concert June 19 featuring acclaimed performers from the company's past and present.
CCM presents 'Of Mice and Men' in a production by Nic Muni. John Steinbeck's bleak novella about the tragic bond between two itinerant farm hands "has one dramatic scene after another," says composer Carlisle Floyd, who wrote the libretto (which Steinbeck approved) and stripped away "the nonessentials." Thursday-Sunday.
April has been the cruelest month as far as Cincinnati Opera is concerned. Within a two-week span, the highly anticipated production of Richard Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg' lost three of its star performers, mostly for health reasons, and Artistic Director Evans Mirageas was stuck in London when volcanic ash grounded his flights. But pinch hitters are stepping up.
General director of Seattle Opera since 1983, Speight Jenkins will speak as part of the Opera Rap series Thursday at Music Hall, and when it comes to “Explaining Wagner” (as his “Rap” is called) there’s hardly anyone more uniquely qualified than the lanky, bespectacled Texan.
Speight Jenkins will be the first to tell you that there's grand opera and then there are Richard Wagner's operas, those massive, sprawling epics populated by feuding gods, warrior women sporting winged helmets, knights of the Grail and sexually frustrated lovers. These "integrated works of art," as Wagner called them, are the ultimate challenge for any opera company, demanding forces that could populate a small town.
George Gershwin had high hopes for his first opera, a setting of DuBose Heyward's novel 'Porgy.' "If I am successful," he wrote, "it will resemble a combination of the drama and romance of 'Carmen' and the beauty of 'Meistersinger,' if you can imagine that." The 75th anniversary touring company comes to Cincinnati for one night (Feb. 24) with a production approved by the Gershwin estate and overseen by Michael Capasso, general director of New York's Dicapo Opera Theatre.
The 75th anniversary touring company of Porgy and Bess comes to Cincinnati for one night. Set in the vibrant black working class neighborhood of Catfish Row in Charleston, S.C., the story of the crippled beggar Porgy and his love for good-time girl Bess plays out against the realities of a tightly-knit community, segregation, violence and drugs. 8 p.m. at the Aronoff.
I am on a bus with 46 other members of MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir, and we're headed for prison: the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. We're singing for the inmates, and a current of unease runs underneath the animated chatter.