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Diary of a Super Woman

A first-person account of being a super for Cincinnati Opera

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 13, 2011
After years of writing about classical music and opera, I’m actually in an opera as a supernumerary, the operatic equivalent of an extra. My role: a Russian peasant peeling potatoes in the first scene of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. The audition was easy: fill out a form and be photographed next to a measuring stick.  

Verdi, Verdi Good

The leads in Rigoletto draw on personal experience for their roles

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
An intense father-daughter relationship is at the heart of Verdi’s opera Rigoletto, which opens Cincinnati Opera’s summer season with performances Thursday and Saturday. Baritone Stephen Powell makes his role debut as Rigoletto, the acid-tongued jester, and soprano Sarah Coburn is his daughter Gilda.  

Above the Law

From future legal eagle to songbird, Lawrence Brownlee’s diverted flight path

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
In the summer of 2004, an unknown African-American tenor starred in Cincinnati Opera’s production of The Daughter of the Regiment, best known for the killer aria “Ah! Mes Amis!” with its nine high C notes. Lawrence Brownlee made it sound effortless, spinning off octave jumps with crystalline purity.  

Jonathan Miller's Dramatic Truth

Veteran British director helps Cincinnati Opera tackle 'La Boheme'

0 Comments · Sunday, July 18, 2010
Puccini's 'La Boheme' is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The inspiration for 'Rent,' it's the perfect opera for first-timers, for date night, for anyone. And when the staging is by veteran British director Jonathan Miller, 'La Boheme' is a must-see, a Cincinnati Opera co-production with the English National Opera updated to Paris in the early 1930s with a cast of exciting young singers. Miller speaks with CityBeat about his insistence on hewing to the dramatic truth in opera productions.  

Leave 'Em Wanting Moor

Acclaimed conductor Robert Spano leads Cincinnati Opera's production of 'Otello'

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Cincinnati Opera's 90th anniversary season roars back with 'Otello,' Verdi's brilliant setting of Shakespeare's tragedy of toxic doubt and jealousy. There's plenty of drama onstage, but look for an equally compelling performance from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by Robert Spano, one of the most acclaimed conductors in the business. Spano spoke with CityBeat about his Cincinnati Opera debut.  

Supersize Me(istersinger)

Cincinnati Opera makes a huge production out of its 90th season opener

0 Comments · Monday, June 21, 2010
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.  

Nine Decades Strong

Cincinnati Opera celebrates its 90th season with three promising operas and a gala

0 Comments · Monday, June 14, 2010
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.  

Wagner Blues

Despite cancellations by key players, Cincy Opera's 90th season debut is on track

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 5, 2010
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.  

The King of the Ring

Seattle Opera's general director comes to town to talk Wagner

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 16, 2010
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.  

Music and Lyrics

Cincinnati Opera's 'Ainadamar' tells the story of Federico Garcia Lorca

0 Comments · Monday, July 6, 2009
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.  

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