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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Victorian Terror: “The Secret Agent”

Victorian Terror: “The Secret Agent”

This month, the Center for Contemporary Opera will present “The Secret Agent”, a new opera based on Joseph Conrad’s novel with music composed by Michael Dellaria and a libretto by J.D. “Sandy” McClatchy. The following conversations took place in New York City last week during the final rehearsals of the new work. The distinguished lyric soprano Amy Burton portrays the tragic character of Winnie Verloc in the opera. Composer Michael Dellaira is an award-winning composer and currently holds the title of composer-in-residence at the Center for Contemporary Opera.

 

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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Arts

 

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OONY presents Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine

On March 2, Eve Queler ascended the podium one last time as Music Director of the Opera Orchestra of New York to conduct a concert performance of the same work that inaugurated the company back in 1972: Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine. Following the thunderous applause that greeted her entrance, Ms. Queler raised her baton and proceeded to elegantly unwrap Meyerbeer’s exotic score to the near sold out Avery Fischer Hall for the next three hours. And what a score it is! Critics of Meyerbeer have dismissed his writing as calculated and cheaply affected, but this is bunk! Just the construction of Act One alone shows that Meyerbeer was a master musical dramaturgist. That he managed to entertain in the meantime is nothing but sheer bonus.

 

Eve Queler photo by Steve J. Sherman

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Arts

 

Paradise staged: Grand Opera and Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine

Grand Opera, what is it? To the common man, and certainly to many an opera company’s PR department, all operas ranging from Mozart’s to Giordano’s are grand operas. But Grand Opera, or rather French Grand Opera, is commonly defined by operas composed primarily for the French stage between the years 1828 to roughly 1868. Many ingredients contributed to the development of the new genre. The fall of the Napoleonic Empire in 1816 brought the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, and with it, the previously state ran L’Opera was privatized under the auspices of Louis Desire Veron in 1831. By then, the first run of what we now recognize as the first “opera in the grand style” (Auber’s La Muette de Portici) had already taken place.

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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Arts

 

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