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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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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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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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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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Le Nozze di Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro Mozart 

Five Facts to know about Mozart and Da Ponte’s The Marriage of Figaro

Here are five facts to know about The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), one of the greatest operas ever written. 230 years after its premiere, we are still talking about it, performing it, and relishing in its glorious sounds and characters. Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is based on a French play by the name of La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro (The Mad Day, or the Marriage of Figaro), written by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais in 1778. It is the second play in the…

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Edita Gruberová Divi of the Day 

Edita Gruberová

Edita Gruberová is one of the singers I wish I had discovered earlier in my life; every time I hear her, I’m amazed by her intonation, ornamentation, and clarity in both tone and diction. Born in 1946, the Slovak soprano studied music at the Bratislava Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, which opened in 1949. Gruberová is a coloratura soprano. She is a renowned interpreter of many leading ladies in the bel canto genre, as well as the Queen of the Night (Mozart, Die Zauberflöte or The…

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Massimo Cavalletti Features 

Massimo Cavalletti on his career, La bohème, and new operagoers

Massimo Cavalletti is a natural talent; the 38 year-old baritone just sang his 100th Met performance of Puccini’s La bohème, the opera he made his Met debut in only six years ago. It’s hard to believe that Cavalletti’s first experience with opera occurred when he 20 years old. Within a decade of his first stage performance ever, Massimo Cavalletti has sung in the great opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala. He has proven himself time and time again a masterful interpreter of the great…

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