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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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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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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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