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George Gagnidze Features 

“So many emotions from real life can be found in these works,” says Georgian Baritone George Gagnidze

He’s got a commanding presence on stage and a powerful set of pipes. His name: George Gagnidze. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Gagnidze is one of the world’s foremost baritones. In fact, this coming Saturday, April 15th, he will be performing in Verdi’s Aida at the Met. The performance will be broadcast around the globe, so be sure to catch it! I am thrilled that George was willing to take the time to answer a few of our questions. I can see from your bio and performance history that you are…

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Matthew Polenzani Features 

“It’s simply one of the most beautiful art forms in the world,” says Opera Superstar Matthew Polenzani

Matthew Polenzani is one of today’s opera superstars – he has sung it all and performed everywhere, all to great acclaim. He has a voice that today’s young artists know, respect, and attempt to emulate. Mr. Polenzani is one of the most sought after lyric tenors on stage today. When an audience member is transported, and finds him or herself living in the shoes of the character, and identifying with the things going on in their lives, we’ve done more than just make lovely music. -Matthew Polenzani What do you…

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Craig Bohmler's Riders of the Purple Sage Features 

“The story seemed to ‘sing’ from the very first pages,” says Craig Bohmler, Composer of Arizona Opera’s Riders of the Purple Sage

Few things in the opera world can compare to the excitement surrounding a world premiere, so the atmosphere at Arizona Opera is currently absolutely electrifying! Audience members will soon have the opportunity to witness history in the making: the first American Western opera. Riders of the Purple Sage, a new work by composer Craig Bohmler and librettist Steven Mark Kohn, takes to the stage this weekend. The opera is based on the novel of the same name by Zane Grey, a late 19th / early 20th century writer, dentist, and…

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Andrew Wilkowske Features 

“Opera can do something that no other art form can do,” says Andrew Wilkowske, the Fugitive in Chicago Opera Theater’s The Invention of Morel

Chicago Opera Theater has done it again: they’ve put together a stellar cast for yet another groundbreaking world premiere. The Invention of Morel, by Stewart Copeland, former drummer for the band The Police, and Jonathan Moore, will be on stage for the first time on Saturday, February 18, 2017. Not only will audience members get to experience the excitement that surrounds a world premiere, but they will also have the rare opportunity to experience the set of the opera in a virtual reality experience prior to the show! Baritone Andrew…

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Tai Oney Features 

A Refugee Trapped in an Airport, Countertenor Tai Oney discusses Opera Parallèle’s Flight

San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle is one of the hottest young opera companies in the nation. Since 2007, the company has focused on producing contemporary opera in intimate settings. Next week, San Francisco audiences will have the opportunity to see Opera Parallèle’s newest production: Jonathan Dove and April De Angelis‘ Flight, an English opera in three acts. This fascinating work looks at a day in the life of the Refugee, a character based on Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who lived in Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, France from…

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Robin Johannsen Features 

“I love how great music can transport you,” says Robin Johannsen, American Soprano

American soprano Robin Johannsen is one of the great interpreters of Baroque opera. This Philadelphia native has spent the majority of her career on the great stages of Europe, including the Berliner Staatsoper, Oper Leipzig, and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie to name but a few. I am extremely grateful that she was willing to take a little time out of her busy schedule to sit down and talk to us about her exciting career! What is your earliest opera memory? When did you decide you wanted to make opera…

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Peter Rothstein Features Minnesota Opera 

Peter Rothstein, Director of Minnesota Opera’s Diana’s Garden, talks about this forgotten work

So you haven’t heard of Diana’s Garden by Vicente Martín y Soler? That’s OK; nobody else has either. Although it was immensely popular in its day, Diana’s Garden has all but vanished from the opera houses of the world since its premiere in 1787, the same year that Mozart’s Don Giovanni premiered. In fact, the work may have been performed only once on the North American continent thus far. That’s all about to change this weekend. Minnesota Opera is opening 2017 with four performances of this unsung work. Stage Director…

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Corinne Winters Features 

“Opera is alive, and exists only from the downbeat until the curtain falls,” says Corinne Winters, Seattle Opera’s latest Violetta

American soprano Corinne Winters seems to be on the fast track to opera stardom – she’s making major house debuts left and right and transforming some of the great leading ladies – Violetta, Tatyana, and Mimì, to name a few – into her signature roles. Currently Winters is making her Seattle Opera debut as Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata. What is your earliest opera memory? Learning my first aria – the “Seguidilla” from Carmen – when I was 17. Crazy, I know. I started as a mezzo-soprano (if one can even call herself…

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Eric Neuville Features 

“Singing is my vocation,” says American Tenor Eric Neuville

American tenor Eric Neuville is a fascinating guy all around – he sings opera, writes books, re-engineers vocal labs, and sings in a Grammy Award winning ensemble. He is currently playing Gastone in Seattle Opera’s latest production of Verdi’s masterpiece La traviata, consistently the most performed opera worldwide. Opera Sense is thrilled that Neuville was willing to answer a few of our questions about his background and current projects. What is your earliest opera memory? I can vividly remember a production of Carmen I saw at Minnesota Opera as a…

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Jonathan Blalock Features 

“What I love most about opera is its transcendent power,” says American Tenor Jonathan Blalock

American tenor Jonathan Blalock is one of those opera singers who is not only a pleasure to listen to, but also a delight to talk to. The North Carolina native, who will soon be playing Beppe in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, was gracious enough to sit down with Opera Sense and answer a few of our questions about himself and his passion for opera. What is your earliest opera memory? When I was a sophomore in college I attended a production of La traviata in Chattanooga. It was a student dress rehearsal,…

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