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Craig Colclough Features 

“Music has the power to communicate far more complex thoughts,” says Bass-Baritone Craig Colclough

Minnesota audiences get to see Craig Colclough again this season – in only a few days! This time it’s in an opera you’re probably familiar with: Donizetti’s perennial favorite Don Pasquale. (Craig’s last performance with the Minnesota Opera was in Diana’s Garden last season). Despite his busy schedule, Craig was able to take some time to answer a few of our questions. Tell us a bit about your first operatic memory. What did you see (or hear)? How did it affect you? The first opera I ever saw was in…

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Riccardo Massi Features 

“Nothing else gives me those chills,” says Riccardo Massi about Opera

Riccardo Massi loves action and opera. This stuntman-gone-opera singer is currently finishing up a very successful run in LA Opera’s Carmen. We feel fortunate that he was willing to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions. I was amazed to read that you are a specialist in ancient and medieval weapons! In fact, you were once a stuntman! What was it like working on “Gangs of New York” or “Rome”? It was an amazing experience indeed. Working with great directors such as Martin…

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Carl Tanner Features 

“Most of all what I love about opera is the music,” says tenor Carl Tanner

You know those people who study Classics in college and then embark upon careers in finance? Well, here’s a new one for you: Carl Tanner went from being a bounty hunter to an opera singer. Yes, seriously, a bounty hunter (full disclosure: I didn’t even know such a career still existed). Once I heard that, I knew I had to interview this guy. Thankfully, Carl was willing to take the time to answer a few of our questions. I went to apprehend a simple DIP charge (drunk in public) charge…

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Annalisa Stroppa Features 

Annalisa Stroppa on Opera, Artistry, and Upcoming Engagements

There’s hardly an opera house in Europe that hasn’t worked with mezzo-soprano Annalisa Stroppa. Born in a small town in Northern Italy, Stroppa grew up playing the piano, and after completing her education, she started knocking down competitions. She has risen through the ranks and is currently performing the title role in Bizet’s beloved Carmen at the annual Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria. We are pleased that Ms. Stroppa was willing to take some time out of her tremendously busy schedule to sit down with us and share a few of…

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Saimir Pirgu Features 

“Without music, mankind would be very poor or might not even exist,” says Tenor Saimir Pirgu

Saimir Pirgu is one of those talents that seemed destined for greatness from the very beginning. Pavarotti discovered him when Pirgu was only 19. He went on to study many of the great tenor roles with the operatic titan. At 22, Pirgu won over Claudio Abbado with half an aria. We are grateful that Saimir Pirgu was willing to discuss some of his fantastic experiences with us! Since I was a child I have always seen in music something connected to a divine power and if God exists music must…

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Heartbeat Opera Features 

“The most beautiful thing humanity can achieve,” says Heartbeat Opera Co-Artistic Director Ethan Heard about Opera

Heartbeat Opera is breathing new life into the 400+ year old art form. This weekend, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to take in the company’s Spring Festival. Believe me – you don’t want to miss it! Fortunately for us, Co-Artistic Director Ethan Heard was willing to take a little time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions about Heartbeat Opera. [Photo above: Heartbeat Opera Co-Artistic Directors Ethan Heard and Louisa Proske] ​That moment when music, drama, dance, and design all come together to support…

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Edward Parks Features 

“This piece is all about the relationships,” says Edward Parks, Marcello in Minnesota Opera’s La bohème

Edward Parks is a baritone in high demand. His “warm, velvety baritone” (Opera News) voice has been heard on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, and most recently, Minnesota Opera. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the production and his life as an operatic baritone. You’ve sung all over the United States, in many different opera houses. How are you enjoying singing with Minnesota Opera? I am thoroughly enjoying my stay here in Minneapolis. Everyone here is so…

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Jonathan Brandani Features 

Meet Minnesota Opera’s New Assistant Conductor, Jonathan Brandani!

Last month I had the unique privilege of sitting down with Minnesota Opera’s new Assistant Conductor, Jonathan Brandani. Jonathan is a young, affable, and wonderfully delightful Italian conductor who has had a relationship with Minnesota Opera since the 2014/2015 season, when he worked with the company on Puccini’s La fanciulla del West. Last season I had the opportunity to witness his conducting of Tosca at Minnesota Opera. Even from the nosebleed section I could feel his passion and witness his masterful command of Puccini. You grew up in a culture…

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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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