When we hear the name George Gershwin, we often associate it with jazz or musical theater, but he didn’t see himself that way. He saw himself as a standard composer of his time and influenced by the sounds around him. So what does that mean for his opera Porgy and Bess? Or is it a Broadway musical?
Coming off of the success of his first two operas, young Erich Wolfgang Korngold set out to write his third. His success was so massive, that opera houses all over duked it out for the rights to stage the premier, leaving Korngold with the tough decision of who to give those rights to.
The world of opera isn’t all glitz and glam. Opera maker Evan Kassof has dedicated his life to telling stories in a way that gives audiences a chance to step out of the opera house and potentially stumble upon something new in an unsuspecting place. Evan voices his opinions about the opera world of the past and how he is actively pushing the art in a direction that gives more people the chance to see the artform in a brand new light.
William Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy of two star-crossed lovers has been one of the most frequently adapted stories for musical purposes. Composers, such Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gounod, Berlioz, and even Duke Ellington, have been touched by its heart-wrenching tale since its creation, and this episode gives you a look into the many musical reincarnations of Shakespeare’s young lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
How far are you willing to go to get you want? Dame Ethel Smyth was determined to get her opera The Wreckers produced the way that she wanted. Although the opera was written in French, she had no luck with being able to premiere the opera on French stages, relying on her contacts in Leipzig to get the opera produce in a German translation, but future productions of the opera would only get more and more difficult to produce.
Wonderful news! Forests, Flowers, and Fairytales is now available on Barnes & Noble’s website!
Vol. 2 of the anthology Tales of Love, Loss, Magic, and Reality: Setting the Stage for Opera and Ballet—titled Beyond the Doorway: The Operas of Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas, and Maurice Ravel—is now updated on Barnes and Noble!
Vol. 2 of the anthology Tales of Love, Loss, Magic, and Reality: Setting the Stage for Opera and Ballet—titled Beyond the Doorway: The Operas of Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas, and Maurice Ravel—is now available again on Amazon after what seemed like technical difficulties.
Vols. 2 and 3 of the anthology Tales of Love, Loss, Magic, and Reality: Setting the Stage for Opera and Ballet have been updated and compiled into the anthology’s first print book titled Forests, Flowers, and Fairytales: The Operas and Ballets of Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas, and Maurice Ravel!
Today’s episode features opera singer Erica Wilens. She and Stephen chat about where opera is now compared to what it used to be and why it’s not as elitist as it is perceived to be. Erica provides additional insight as to what the art of opera looks like from the perspective of the singers and the best composers of opera from the singers’ standpoint.