November 1, 2004 |
Opera companies can inspire the hometown loyalty of a sports team, the sort that says, "It may not be the best, but it's ours. " And when a smallish company like Opera Delaware mounts a biggish opera like Puccini's Turandot, the kind of raucous, whooping ovation it received at Saturday's opening is justified even if the production is just an approximation of the piece. The opera is full of "greatest hits" arias one applauds almost by reflex, but it also presents such casting challenges - the biggest one met by the exciting young dramatic soprano Othalie Graham - that it's not coming back any time soon outside any of the major operatic capitals.
February 10, 1991 |
Luxuriating in its Egyptian name, Memphis is building a giant downtown pyramid to house a sports complex. But at the other end of Main Street, at the newly restored Orpheum Theater, Opera Memphis is hoping the nine-year building project by artistic director Robert B. Driver will stand as tall. Driver, 46, who will become general director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia (OCP) on March 4, said goodbye to Memphis last week after the company staged his production of Gluck's Orfeo ed Eurydice.
December 21, 1994 |
The Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition is back - and will remain in Philadelphia. Tibor Rudas, the Hungarian-born, California-based impresario behind the Three Tenors extravaganzas, is the producer, and he plans to take the competition big-time, televising the concert finals at the Academy of Music in September 1996, with audio and video releases to follow. "I'm already running it, and I'm very excited about it," Rudas said, speaking by telephone from his Pacific Grove, Calif.
April 19, 1988 |
John Reardon, 58, a former Metropolitan Opera baritone and a star of the concert hall and musical comedy, died Saturday of pneumonia at his home in Sante Fe, N.M. A spokesman described Mr. Reardon's illness as "sudden and brief. " He had recently completed national tours of Man of La Mancha and Kiss Me Kate with Opera Carolina and appeared in March with the Cleveland Opera, singing Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro. His last appearance was March 11 with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
July 17, 2002 |
Savvy opera companies, like nature, abhor a vacuum, and there's a big one where Benjamin Britten's smaller, brainier operas ought to be. These are among the best works of the last century, but they don't reveal their substance easily. So Opera Festival of New Jersey demonstrates courage by producing one of the most challenging Britten works of all, The Rape of Lucretia, at the McCarter Theatre Center. Although the composer's 1946 opera has few of the knotty dissonances of some modern works this company has wrestled with in past years, Lucretia poses the challenge of concision.
September 27, 1988 |
The Pennsylvania Opera Theater has been awarded $60,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts to establish a program that will take its productions to cities that do not have opera companies. Under TPOT's plan, according to artistic director Barbara Silverstein, the company would rehearse and mount productions in outlying communities during three-week residencies before opening the shows in Philadelphia. Now, Silverstein said, the company occasionally mounts its productions briefly in other cities after they have been presented to audiences here.
July 27, 1995 |
Joseph M. Tomei, 102, a self-educated man and a Vineland tailor for more than three decades, died Monday at his home in Vineland. Born in Italy, Mr. Tomei also had homes in Ventnor and Ocean Ridge, Fla. At 17, Mr. Tomei, with skills in barbering and tailoring, was unable to find work in the region between Rome and Naples and came to the United States, said his son, Dr. Mario Tomei of Vineland. At first, Mr. Tomei settled in Providence, R.I., and because he couldn't speak English he worked in mills six days a week, 10 hours a day, for $3 a week, his son said.
March 6, 2013 |
With its history of inhabiting and mixing song genres, Lyricfest eventually was bound to find its way to the spiritual and its offshoots, and did so Sunday with singers who packed the First Presbyterian Church: Denyce Graves, Lisa Daltirus, and Kevin Deas. Lyricfest has a penchant for spoken commentary, and this "Journey Toward Freedom" program had the Rev. Charles Rice sketching the Civil Rights movement's progress, interspersed with songs by Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and more classically slanted pieces by Ricky Ian Gordon, a great champion of Langston Hughes.
February 21, 2012 |
AFTER MORE than 60 years of performances, Opera Cleveland closed its doors in 2009. Then Hartford, Conn., lost its only opera company. Boston quickly followed, shutting down after a final performance of Mozart's "Bastien und Bastienne. " Across America, from Fremont, Calif., to San Antonio, to Baltimore, opera companies mired in massive financial debts and under pressure from underfunded arts organizations have been closing. (Philadelphia is bucking the trend, see Page 26.) Time cannot silence Verdi, Mozart or Stravinsky, but a lack of money can. This is the unstable world facing opera singers in training at Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts.
March 3, 1997 |
Boy, does the Fat Lady have something to sing about these days. The old girl's mainstay, the opera, has been gaining a reputation as the coolest art form. Locally, the Opera Company of Philadelphia is riding this wave of popularity clear up to the rafters: For the first time in 20 years, the company is solvent. Ticket sales among those under 35 years old have doubled in the last three seasons, as going to the opera has become a great way to socialize, and a classy date.