Operavore

Operavore Operavore on WQXR keeps its finger on the pulse of the international opera scene. Listen via stream or radio. Tweet @Operavore

Operavore on WQXR is a 24-hour opera stream of all the best operas. Every Saturday the station features an interview-style show, where legendary mezzo soprano Marilyn Horne chats up an array of big players and personalities on the opera scene. The show hits on relevant news bulletins from the around the globe and reviews of operas in New York.

Fred Plotkin visits Sarasota, Fla., and reports on its rich culture and opera music scene.
03/02/2016
Sarasota Opera: Parma on the Gulf of Mexico

Fred Plotkin visits Sarasota, Fla., and reports on its rich culture and opera music scene.

What Sarasota offers more than any city in Florida ... is an intense devotion to the arts, especially the performing arts.

The Last Night of the BBC Proms took a curiously racy direction this past Saturday night when, after singing arias by Pu...
09/14/2015
3 Videos You Had to See Online This Weekend

The Last Night of the BBC Proms took a curiously racy direction this past Saturday night when, after singing arias by Puccini and Lehár, tenor Jonas Kaufmann was rewarded from Royal Albert Hall fans with at least two pairs of lacy women's underwear and one of boxer shorts.

From the sublime to the truly ridiculous, here are three moments that had classical music and opera fans talking this weekend.

06/10/2015
Love and Death, Wagner-Style: 'Tristan und Isolde' at 150

Today at noon, the Operavore stream will celebrate today's 150th anniversary of Wagner’s "Tristan und Isolde" premiere with an uninterrupted stream of the classic 1966 recording performed by the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Karl Böhm, with Wolfgang Windgassen as Tristan and Birgit Nilsson as Isolde.

Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde premiered 150 years ago Wednesday in Munich.

A wealthy donor had left New York City Opera a multi-million dollar bequest in his will, just weeks before the company d...
06/03/2015
Donor Left Millions for New York City Opera as Company Filed for Bankruptcy

A wealthy donor had left New York City Opera a multi-million dollar bequest in his will, just weeks before the company declared bankruptcy. On Tuesday it emerged that the executors of his estate have recently come forward with an effort to deliver the money — and potentially revive the defunct opera company.

The executors of a late City Opera benefactor's estate have come forward to deliver a bequest included in his will. 

Despite financial woes and the lingering effects of labor strife, there was a great deal to admire musically at the Met ...
05/13/2015
Met Ends its Season Licking its Wounds and Looking Ahead

Despite financial woes and the lingering effects of labor strife, there was a great deal to admire musically at the Met Opera this past season, writes Fred Plotkin.

There were many problems, but it could have been a lot worse.

Happy Monday!
05/04/2015

Happy Monday!

Everyone wants to go to the Metropolitan Opera...

“It’s strictly volunteer, so you really have to enjoy it,” Dr. Cho said. And she does: “I always say a bad day a...
04/28/2015
Doctors to Divas, Stagehands and Opera Lovers at the Met

“It’s strictly volunteer, so you really have to enjoy it,” Dr. Cho said. And she does: “I always say a bad day at the Met is better than a spectacular day anywhere else.”

Several physicians act as the Metropolitan Opera’s doctor on call, each serving once a week in exchange for a free night at the opera and the chance to spend time near singers they admire.

To Ms. Hassel, 69, an operatic soprano from Queens, the bridge is not simply an artery between that borough and Manhatta...
04/20/2015
59th Street Bridge Singer

To Ms. Hassel, 69, an operatic soprano from Queens, the bridge is not simply an artery between that borough and Manhattan, but an ideal voice studio.

For Sue Hassel, 69, an operatic soprano, the daily commute includes a slow walk over the Queensboro Bridge while singing arias.

04/17/2015
Renée Fleming Sends Up Opera World in 'Living on Love'

Soprano Renée Fleming — who has worked in the worlds of opera, indie rock and even sang at a Super Bowl — is opening next week on Broadway. She spoke with WQXR mid-day host Elliott Forrest backstage.

Today’s assignment: go backstage and record an interview with soprano Renée Fleming, making her Broadway debut in "Living on Love."

04/16/2015
Do Broadway Musicals Have a Place on the Opera Stage?

Chicago Tribune chief theater critic Chris Jones says that nothing lights up his e-mail inbox like an opera company staging a Broadway musical using full amplification.

"It's full of disgruntled patrons," he said. "You get the natural hall acoustics working – and then you get a miked performer."

There is a fair amount of screaming in opera, most of it written or implied in the music. But lately Fred Plotkin has he...
04/13/2015
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream at the Opera

There is a fair amount of screaming in opera, most of it written or implied in the music. But lately Fred Plotkin has heard two very unwelcome screams at The Metropolitan Opera.

One afternoon I heard blood-curdling screams, one after the next. Such sounds did not resemble anything from an opera I knew.

Watch the archived video webcast from The Greene Space of an event featuring arias and scenes from The Metropolitan Oper...
04/08/2015
ICYMI: Metropolitan Opera Stars in The Greene Space

Watch the archived video webcast from The Greene Space of an event featuring arias and scenes from The Metropolitan Opera's spring season. Plus, download two of the pieces recorded live.

Arias and scenes from the Metropolitan Opera's spring season.

British composer Tansy Davies memorializes the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in her first Opera, "Between Worlds." Is the worl...
04/07/2015
'Between Worlds' Opera: A British Eulogy on 9/11 Attacks

British composer Tansy Davies memorializes the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in her first Opera, "Between Worlds."
Is the world ready for a 9/11 opera?

Davies collaborates with librettist Nick Drake and director Deborah Warner for the highly touted opera, which premieres this week.

04/06/2015
Opera for the L Train Crowd

New York is an opera-loving city, but it’s a tough town to run a large company. So Loft Opera is taking a "do-it-yourself" approach, and breaking a few taboos along the way.

Some opera fans have trouble adjusting to their expectations at these productions: The acoustics aren't great, the music is stripped down and the singers are young.

The marble statues in The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Vélez Blanco Patio are the "stars" of a new site-specific video ...
03/23/2015
Met Museum's Marble Statues 'Star' in New Opera

The marble statues in The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Vélez Blanco Patio are the "stars" of a new site-specific video opera based on "La Celestina."

The statues sing and talk to each other in the space.

Is there a future for the New York City Opera or should it just be left to blessed memory? Operavore's Fred Plotkin cons...
03/16/2015
Should New York City Opera Be Revived?

Is there a future for the New York City Opera or should it just be left to blessed memory? Operavore's Fred Plotkin considers the current efforts to revive the company.

Is there a future for the New York City Opera or should it just be left to blessed memory? Blogger Fred Plotkin considers the current efforts to revive the company.

How do restaurant offerings at opera houses stack up? Fred Plotkin has a taste and says that "the goal should be to eat ...
03/06/2015
Dining Democratically at the Opera

How do restaurant offerings at opera houses stack up? Fred Plotkin has a taste and says that "the goal should be to eat festively, comfortably and to prepare for a special night."

As part of my resolve to find ways to get more people to attend live opera, I have been giving thought to the whole experience of such an evening and not just the performance itself.

Quinn Kelsey, a baritone from Hawaii, has won the Beverly Sills Award, an annual $50,000 prize given by the Metropolitan...
03/02/2015
Baritone Quinn Kelsey Wins Beverly Sills Artist Award

Quinn Kelsey, a baritone from Hawaii, has won the Beverly Sills Award, an annual $50,000 prize given by the Metropolitan Opera to young singers.

The 36-year-old made his debut at the Met in 2008 as Schaunard in "La Bohème."

02/27/2015
Happy Birthday, Mirella Freni!

Listen to a portion of our 2014 interview with Italian soprano Mirella Freni, who turns 80 today.

Italian soprano Mirella Freni talks about growing up in Italy, her career onstage and in film, and her husband Nicolai Ghiaurov.

ICYMI: Beginning at 9 am today, you can hear the entire first season of The Sopranos with Debbie Deborah Voigt on the Op...
02/11/2015
The Sopranos with Debbie Voigt Marathon

ICYMI: Beginning at 9 am today, you can hear the entire first season of The Sopranos with Debbie Deborah Voigt on the Operavore stream.

The Sopranos with Debbie Voigt celebrates the essential operatic role and the people who have given it voice.

ICYMI: The protester who took the stage at the Metropolitan Opera during the curtain call of Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" las...
02/06/2015
Video: Protester Takes the Stage at Met Opera

ICYMI: The protester who took the stage at the Metropolitan Opera during the curtain call of Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" last week has been at the center of previous political demonstrations involving Russian artists.

An anti-Vladimir Putin protester who took the stage at the Metropolitan Opera has been at the center of previous political demonstrations.

A staging of Richard Strauss's "Salome" at Northern Ireland Opera is causing controversy after the company decided to ad...
02/05/2015
Opera Company Adds Nudity to Salome , Stirring Uproar

A staging of Richard Strauss's "Salome" at Northern Ireland Opera is causing controversy after the company decided to add nudity to the climactic "Dance of the Seven Veils."

The decision was made after tickets went on sale – not before.

Today at 4 pm on World of Opera on the Operavore stream, hear Massenet's "Cléopâtre," the final drama by one France's ...
02/05/2015
Massenet's 'Cléopâtre' From Paris

Today at 4 pm on World of Opera on the Operavore stream, hear Massenet's "Cléopâtre," the final drama by one France's greatest opera composers, from the Champs-Elysées Theatre in Paris. Mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch stars in the title role, with baritone Frédéric Goncalves as Mark Antony, in a performance led by conductor Michel Plasson.

On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone presents Massanet's "Cléopâtre" from the Champs-Elysées Theatre in Paris.

The mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, a leading opera singer of Moscow's Bolshoi Opera for more than two decades, died tod...
01/12/2015
Russian Mezzo-Soprano Elena Obrazstova Dies at 75

The mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, a leading opera singer of Moscow's Bolshoi Opera for more than two decades, died today in Germany. She was 75-years-old.

Obraztsova's theatrical flair and vocal intensity made her a fixture at many prominent Russian and European opera houses

Sixty years ago today, Marian Anderson became the first African-American soloist to sing at New York's Metropolitan Oper...
01/07/2015
Marian Anderson's Groundbreaking Met Opera Moment

Sixty years ago today, Marian Anderson became the first African-American soloist to sing at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

Sixty years ago opera singer Marian Anderson made her long overdue debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera. She was the first African-American soloist to do so.

Since Anna Netrebko's 11th-hour withdrawal from the title role of Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" at the Bavarian State Opera,...
11/11/2014
Anna Netrebko Quits Munich 'Manon'; Company Brings Her Back For 'Onegin'

Since Anna Netrebko's 11th-hour withdrawal from the title role of Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" at the Bavarian State Opera, the production has become the object of much speculation.

Netrebko abruptly pulled out, and the company issued a statement citing "differing artistic perspectives."

The staging of John Adams’s "The Death of Klinghoffer" at the Met raises the inevitable question: Should we expect to ...
10/30/2014
Is Opera Supposed to Teach Us History?

The staging of John Adams’s "The Death of Klinghoffer" at the Met raises the inevitable question: Should we expect to learn history from opera?

Opera represents a couple of very important benefits to anyone interested in history.

An opera star beats out much more mainstream artists to sing the national anthem at tonight's decisive World Series Game...
10/29/2014
Just Who Is This Opera Star Singing At The World Series Tonight?

An opera star beats out much more mainstream artists to sing the national anthem at tonight's decisive World Series Game 7.

Joyce DiDonato — a Kansas native and lifelong Royals fan — happens to be one of the world's greatest opera singers. Here's what makes her so extraordinary.

The immediacy and excitement of the music and character of Princess Eboli in "Don Carlo" are irresistible even to people...
10/24/2014
Succumbing to the Eboli Virus

The immediacy and excitement of the music and character of Princess Eboli in "Don Carlo" are irresistible even to people who insist that they hate opera, writes Fred Plotkin.

When things get bad in the world, unreconstructed opera lovers turn to music for solace.

Tonight at 10 on WQXR, hear from the sopranos who have found the vocal Fountain of Youth. These “girls” of opera are...
10/22/2014
The Girls of Opera: Singers whose roles keep them forever young

Tonight at 10 on WQXR, hear from the sopranos who have found the vocal Fountain of Youth. These “girls” of opera are the ingénues, the teenagers in love and the sassy chambermaids. The women who play them have fresh and flexible voices. While their careers lengthen, these women are still convincing as young and innocent girls — and, of course, sometimes not-so-innocent girls.

Host Debbie Voigt takes a listen to the sopranos who have found the vocal Fountain of Youth.

ICYMI: The Metropolitan Opera opened its 130th season last month with a new production of Mozart’s "Le Nozze di Figaro...
10/21/2014
Singing in 'Le Nozze di Figaro' at the Metropolitan Opera

ICYMI: The Metropolitan Opera opened its 130th season last month with a new production of Mozart’s "Le Nozze di Figaro." Stars Marlis Petersen and Isabel Leonard discussed their roles and the new production on The Leonard Lopate Show.

It’s the first time since 1941 that Mozart’s enormously popular comedy has been chosen to open the Met season.

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has announced that it will present a live simulcast of its production of Pucci...
10/20/2014
Indiana University Opera Hopes to Score in Football Stadium

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has announced that it will present a live simulcast of its production of Puccini's "La Boheme" on the football stadium's Jumbotron. The simulcast is dubbed "Opera in the End Zone."

The Jacobs School of Music has been frequently ranked among the top college music schools in the U.S.

As young singing talent gets recognized at a gala awards gatherings, Fred Plotkin asks why the Kennedy Center Honors hav...
10/16/2014
Youth Gets Its Day in Opera. Now Where Are the Honors for Veteran Artists?

As young singing talent gets recognized at a gala awards gatherings, Fred Plotkin asks why the Kennedy Center Honors have overlooked opera this year, and who deserves the awards.

Following the Tucker gala, I drew up a list of artists in opera whom I would recommend for a Kennedy Center honor.

"Besides having a magnetically lush soprano (with mezzo-ish depths one associates with Eleanor Steber), this 30-year-old...
10/15/2014
Review: Pretty Yende Enterprising in New York Recital Debut

"Besides having a magnetically lush soprano (with mezzo-ish depths one associates with Eleanor Steber), this 30-year-old singer," writes David Patrick Stearns, "exudes as much genuine warmth as she does boundless artistic confidence — plus a touch of vulnerability that draws you closer to her."

Magnetically lush, genuine warmth, boundless artistic confidence – plus a touch of vulnerability.

Operavore's cover photo
10/13/2014

Operavore's cover photo

Soprano Pretty Yende, who returned to The Metropolitan Opera this past Monday in "Die Zauberflöte" and who will give he...
10/10/2014
Soprano Pretty Yende’s New York Story Began in Rural South Africa

Soprano Pretty Yende, who returned to The Metropolitan Opera this past Monday in "Die Zauberflöte" and who will give her Carnegie Hall recital debut this coming Monday night, has to continually pinch herself.

I’m a happy person and my life has been amazing. I have amazing joy in my heart that I always wish to bring out to the world.”

10/06/2014
Soprano Manages Demanding Debuts with Humor, Prop Pillows

Like many young sopranos, Amanda Majeski has been making her mark in the operas of Mozart. But unlike many, she's done so with a particular flair for the dramatic.

"With 30 minutes' notice, there I was singing for James Levine."

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