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Edward Parks Featured 

“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 Featured 

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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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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Features 

“It’s such epic music,” Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Jessica Hall on being an opera pianist for Wagner’s Das Rheingold

Prior to the Das Rheingold preview night at Minnesota Opera on Thursday, November 10, 2016, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Jessica Hall, one of the two opera pianists for Minnesota Opera’s current production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the prologue in his epic four-opera Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), more commonly known as the Ring Cycle. Jessica Hall is currently in her second season as a Minnesota Opera Resident Artist. She obtained her Graduate Certificate, Master of Music, and…

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Michael Christie Das Rheingold Features 

Maestro Michael Christie on Minnesota Opera’s Das Rheingold

Maestro Michael Christie has been Music Director of the Minnesota Opera since the 2012 / 2013 season, and since that time he has helped shape the Minnesota Opera into the powerhouse it has become. For the first time in its history, Minnesota Opera is putting on one of the four works from Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or the Ring Cycle). Minnesota Opera patrons will have the privilege to hear Maestro Michael Christie conduct Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), the prologue in the four-opera…

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Romeo and Juliet In Review 

Romeo & Juliet @ Minnesota Opera, In Review

I enjoyed the Minnesota Opera’s production immensely, but Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet) is not one of my favorite operas. Sitting in the front row of the Ordway on Sunday afternoon, October 2, 2016, I watched both actors and maestro have their respective moments of glory during, of which there were many. The opera tells the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with a few minor alterations: Act III, scene 2 of the opera begins with a character – Stéphano – absent from Shakespeare’s version; Juliet and Romeo…

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Behind the Curtain, Romeo and Juliet Gounod Minnesota Opera New to opera 

Behind the Curtain, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, @mnopera

On September 14, 2016, a little after 7:00 p.m., Peter Mercer-Taylor made Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette come alive for me for the first time at the Minnesota Opera Behind the Curtain event at the Minnesota Opera Center in Minneapolis’s North Loop district. This rather obscure mid-19th century opera has never had a consistent place in the canon, but after Mercer-Taylor’s lecture, I wonder if it deserves one. 00

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Can / should opera be politically correct?

I was reading the libretto to Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by Mozart when I saw the following lines, sung by Monostatos: Alles fühlt der Lieve Freuden, (All may feel the joys of love,) Schnabelt, tandelt, hertzt und küßt; (trifle, flirt, fondle and kiss;) Und ich sollt’ die Liebe meiden, (and I abstain from love,) 00

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