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.
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.
Ainadamar is an old well located north of Granada. The name is Arabic for "Fountain of Tears," and it was there that Spain's preeminent poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca was murdered by Falangists in August 1936. Lorca and his death are at the core of Osvaldo Gulijov's opera 'Ainadamar,' presented this week at Music Hall by Cincinnati Opera.
Bigger is not necessarily better, and cooperation might ace competition among arts organizations in our changing culture, according to Diane E. Ragsdale of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, who spoke to an audience of art professionals and supporters at the University of Cincinnati May 6. She urged arts organizations to recognize that "we have a society in which the arts have become marginal" — big attendance numbers might not equal big impact.