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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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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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Scott Hendricks Features 

Baritone Scott Hendricks on John Adams’ Nixon in China

Texan Scott Hendricks is Mr. Versatile; the world-famous baritone has graced the stages of many of the finest opera houses around the world, including the Royal Opera House and the Met, singing all the great Italian, Russian, French, English, and even Czech roles. Next month, Mr. Hendricks is starring in the title role of John Adams’ Nixon in China, a work that premiered in 1987, at Houston Grand Opera. We are so thankful that Mr. Hendricks was willing to sit down with Opera Sense and answer a few of our…

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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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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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