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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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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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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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Tito Gobbi Divi of the Day 

Tito Gobbi

Italian baritone Tito Gobbi was a prolific and versatile performer and stage director from his debut in 1935 to his retirement in 1979. He appeared in over 25 film versions of operas and played Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca almost 1,000 times. In fact, he played Scarpia opposite Maria Callas‘ Tosca in the famed 1953 de Sabata recording. Gobbi was also a famous interpreter of Verdi characters Iago and Falstaff, as well as Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva (in Le Nozze di Figaro). Listen to Gobbi’s power in one of…

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Maria Callas Divi of the Day 

Maria Callas

The quintessential diva, Maria Callas was renowned not just for her beautiful singing, but also for her superb acting. The short-lived Greek-American star was born in New York City in 1923. She studied music in Greece and first emerged on the operatic stage in Italy. Callas is widely regarded as one of the great interpreters of the 19th-century bel canto technique, singing virtually all the major Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini soprano roles. A recording of her singing the title role of Puccini’s Tosca in 1952 is still considered the gold…

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