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This Author: Nick Reveles

San Diego Opera Video Podcast by Nick Reveles

San Diego Opera Video Podcast

by Nick Reveles

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Give us 15 minutes a week, we'll give you the operatic world! Learn all about the music and stories behind this great art form, and explore the San Diego Opera 2008 Season: Tannhauser, Maria Stuarda, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Aida and The Pearl Fishers.


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Meet the Maestro: Conductor David Agler


Thu, Apr 13, 2017


Conductor David Agler is making his debut with San Diego Opera with this production of La traviata. He is currently the Artistic Director of Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland and shares with us some of the achievements of that company which include the staging of rarely performed operas and the discovery of wonderful young singers. Enjoy!



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Meeting Germont: Baritone Stephen Powell


Wed, Apr 12, 2017


Stephen Powell has been a company favorite for twenty years, having started with us in a production of Carmen as Dancaire in 1997. Back now for Germont in La traviata, he has much to say in this interview about the role, his career and the state of opera in the United States. 



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Meeting Violetta: Soprano Corinne Winters


Mon, Apr 10, 2017


Corinne Winters is making her San Diego Opera debut in her signature role of Violetta in La traviata. In this interview with Dr. Nic she talks about her background, her career and this favorite role of hers. 

[Please note that this podcast is audio only]



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Meeting Alfredo: Tenor Jesus Garcia


Mon, Apr 10, 2017


Listen in to this interview with tenor, Jesus Garcia who is making his debut with us as Alfredo in our production of La traviata. You might be familiar with him as Rodolfo in the Baz Luhrmann Broadway production of La boheme, his first professional role. In this interview he speaks about his upbringing, his career up til now and the challenges of the role of Alfredo. Enjoy!

Please note, this is an audio-only podcast.



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An Introduction to La traviata


Wed, Mar 29, 2017


Especially for students and teachers coming to the April 20th Student Dress Rehearsal of La traviata, this video features our Director of Community Engagement Nic Reveles introducing this well known masterpiece by Giuseppe Verdi. Enjoy!



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A Word about The Tragedy of Carmen


Wed, Mar 01, 2017


The Tragedy of Carmen is not Carmen! Although you'll easily recognize Bizet's music, this is a version of the opera as a musical theatre piece devised by famed director Peter Brook to tell the story in a completely new way...or perhaps, depending on your point of view, the original way. Check out this video...Dr. Nic explains it all for you!



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Meeting Dame Quickly: Mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti


Thu, Feb 09, 2017


Mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti is one of this company's favorite people! Not only fun to be with and to talk to, she's a wonderful artist who lives inside her characters onstage. Enjoy this conversation with Nicolas Reveles as she talks about her role in Falstaff (Dame Quickly) and gives some advice to young singers.



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Meeting 'Alice Ford'; Soprano, Ellie Dehn


Wed, Feb 08, 2017


This is soprano Ellie Dehn's third appearance with our company, now making her role debut as Alice Ford in Verdi's Falstaff. In this interview with Nicolas Reveles she spends a little time talking about her career, as well as the role and the current rehearsal process. After Mimi and Donna Anna this is a role with rather different challenges! Enjoy. 



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Meet Falstaff: Baritone, Roberto de Candia


Mon, Feb 06, 2017


Baritone Roberto de Candia is making his West Coast debut with the role of Falstaff in our production of the Verdi opera opening on February 18th. This is one of his favorite roles and has the distinction of having coached it with Sesto Bruscantini, one of the great basso buffos of his generation. Roberto has much to say about this wonderful role and the fun he's having rehearsing the opera with this cast. Listen in!



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Meet Stage Director Olivier Tambosi


Mon, Feb 06, 2017


Paris-born stage director Olivier Tambosi is directing his own production of Verdi's Falstaff, a production which originated with Chicago Lyric Opera. In this fascinating interview he gives us his understanding of the essence of this opera, which is a celebration of life and laughter (from the pen of an 80-year-old composer!) Enjoy!



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The Tragedy of Carmen: A Preview


Fri, Jan 27, 2017


This isn't your grandma's Carmen! This is a version of the Bizet opera devised by eminent director Peter Brook back in the '80s in an attempt to focus intensely on the story and the important relationships in it. More based on the Prosper Merimee novella upon which the Bizet is based, The Tragedy of Carmen brings us much closer to the characters, especially the elemental power of the main character, while still using the great tunes and musical moments that we all know and love. In this conversation with Nic Reveles, stage director Alexander Gedeon gives us a preview of his take on this fascinating piece, complete with sneak peaks at video sequences by Yuki Izumihara and renderings of the costumes that will be used in our production by costume designer Adam Alonso. Enjoy!



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Meet Lauren McNeese: Cinderella


Thu, Oct 13, 2016


Making her debut with San Diego Opera as Cinderella in La cenerentola is mezzo soprano Lauren McNeese. This is her fifth production of the opera and she tells in this revealing interview how she learns something new every time she approaches the role. Enjoy!



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Meet Lindy Hume, Stage Director


Wed, Oct 12, 2016


Australian native Lindy Hume, Artistic Director of Opera Queensland, is making her San Diego Opera debut as the stage director for La cenerentola. Her delightful production of this Rossini opera has played in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and is now here. We talk about the genesis of the production and why its design is tied to mid-19th century London, a look and feel that seems to match the story perfectly. Enjoy!



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Meeting Frederica Von Stade


Mon, May 02, 2016


It's hard to believe that in her long and distinguished careermezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade is only just now making her debutat San Diego Opera in Great Scott. But we'remaking up for lost time by sitting down with her to talk about herrole in the opera (Winnie Flato, the founder and director of thefictional America Opera company), a couple of her outstandingrecordings, opera in the U.S. today and a special word ofencouragement for young singers. Enjoy!!



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Meeting the Maestro: Joseph Mechavich


Thu, Apr 28, 2016


Conductor Joseph Mechavich is back this season after having conducted John Adams' Nixon in China and Jake Heggie's Moby Dick a few seasons back. This new opera, Great Scott, is challenging in its own way but Maestro Mechavich obviously enjoys it and has a lot to say about its music, especially the interplay between two styles...one for the contemporary setting backstage at an opera house, and another for the 19th century opera that is being rehearsed. Enjoy!



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Meeting Anthony Roth Costanzo


Wed, Apr 27, 2016


American countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo plays the role of the stage manager Roane Heckle in Great Scott. In this interview he talks about the countertenor voice type, the role, and his own experience of stage managers in his substantial theatrical career. Enjoy!



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Meeting Joyce El Khoury


Tue, Apr 26, 2016


Soprano Joyce El Khoury plays the role of Tatiana Bakst in the opera Great Scott. This delightful Canadian artist has a lot to say to young singers about preparing yourself for a career...listen up! She also has a fun, wonderful take on the character she plays in the opera, an Eastern European diva who wants to take over the opera world! Enjoy!



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Meet Teodor Illincai


Thu, Apr 07, 2016


Our Pinkerton for this production of Madama Butterfly is Romanian tenor Teodor Ilincai. In this interview he talks about the role and, most interestingly, where his love of music and singing came from. This delightful young tenor has a budding career in Europe already, and with this production he is making his U.S. debut.



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Meet Latonia Moore


Thu, Apr 07, 2016


Soprano Latonia Moore, our Aida in the 2013 Season, returns to sing the role of Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly. Here she speaks about her life and career since then as well as her outlook on trends in American opera. 



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Meet J'nai Bridges


Wed, Apr 06, 2016


Mezzo-soprano J'nai Bridges plays the role of Cio Cio San's maid, Suzuki, in our production of Madama Butterfly. Her background is fascinating (from sports to opera!), her conservatory training exemplary and her voice is...luscious! Enjoy this interview. 



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Meet Anthony Clark Evans, baritone


Thu, Mar 31, 2016


Fresh from the Ryan Center for young artists at Chicago Lyric Opera, Kentucky native Anthony Clark Evans is a singer with a big career ahead of him. He's making his role debut as Sharpless, the American consul, in Madama Butterfly. In this interview with Nic Reveles he talks about his experience as a singer so far and assesses the role in approaching it as a young artist. 



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Meeting Cavaradossi: tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones


Tue, Feb 09, 2016


Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones has a lot to say about the tenor voice, his lirico-spinto forebears like Gigli and Martinelli, as well as the role of Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca. Enjoy this interview as we look forward to his performances, opening this weekend!



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Meet the Maestro: Massimo Zanetti


Thu, Feb 04, 2016


Maestro Zanetti was last with us in 2014, conducting A Masked Ball by Verdi. Some of you will remember, this was a tough time for the company. The maestro reflects on that moment of our history, as well as on the genius of Puccini and his love of Tosca. 



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Meeting Tosca: soprano, Alexia Voulgaridou


Wed, Feb 03, 2016


Our Tosca this season, soprano Alexia Voulgaridou, has been singing this role to great success all over the world, as well as roles such as Cio-Cio San, Marguerite and Liu. In this interview, she discusses Tosca with a very fresh 'take' on who this character really is.



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Meet the Director: Lesley Koenig


Mon, Feb 01, 2016


Stage director Lesley Koenig was last with us when she directed a terrific production of Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) for us in 2014. She's back as the stage director of our current production of Tosca. In this interview she speaks about the piece itself as well as shares a bit of the process that she goes through in order to approach such a well-known opera in a fresh and engaging way.



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Meet Baron Scarpia: bass-baritone Greer Grimsley


Fri, Jan 29, 2016


Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley is back in one of his favorite roles: Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca. In this interview he talks about the character and reflects a bit on what it is that makes this role so fulfilling and downright fun for him to sing!



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Meeting Scarpia: bass-baritone Greer Grimsley


Thu, Jan 28, 2016


Our favorite bass-baritone returns for one of his favorite roles: Greer Grimsley sings Baron Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca. Greer has some definite ideas about who this character is, what motivates him and how to sing him. Tune in to our first podcast of the 2016 season!



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Great Scott Revealed!


Fri, Nov 13, 2015


Fresh from seeing the premiere of Great Scott, the new opera by Jake Heggie and Terrence MacNally that SDO will produce in May, '16, Dr. Nic gives us his impressions and a few more details about it in order to give our audience a bit more information about this exciting "opera about opera"! Enjoy!



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The Origins of Madama Butterfly


Mon, Oct 26, 2015


The story of Cio-Cio San, Madama Butterfly, is an interesting and controversial tale with roots in actual events that occured as a result of intense interest in Japan in the 19th century. Dr. Nic explores the history, the story and the cultural collision of East and West. 



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Who Is Tosca?


Mon, Oct 19, 2015


Let's dig a little deeper! Tosca is a fictional character, of course, but her background was painstakingly detailed from history by her original creator, playwright Victorien Sardou. Nic Reveles gives us the low-down on that history, putting the story in a historical context. 



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Great Scott: An Intro


Mon, Oct 12, 2015


The West Coast Premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's new opera, Great Scott, is coming to San Diego Opera in May, 2016! Its World Premiere production at Dallas Opera is currently in rehearsal. In this podcast, Nic Reveles introduces us to the creators, the cast and the story of this wonderful new opera.



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Let's Talk About Madama Butterfly


Mon, Jul 13, 2015


The tale of Giacomo Puccini's operatic journey continues with Madama Butterfly which followed Tosca. Your host Nic Reveles talks about the things that the two operas share, Puccini's 'signatures' as a composer, as well as some of the things that make them different.



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Let's Talk About Tosca


Mon, Jun 29, 2015


In this episode we listen to how Puccini "gets to the point", that there's no needless prelude or overture, that we always get right to the action when it comes to his operas, especially Tosca. Which is odd, because the Sardou play, La Tosca, upon which the opera was based is exactly the opposite of that!



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The Operas of 2016


Mon, Jun 08, 2015


In the first podcast of the season, Director of Community Engagement Nicolas Reveles takes an overall look at the operas coming up: Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Great Scott. We've got a lot to look forward to!



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Meet the Director: James Robinson


Mon, Mar 09, 2015


Stage Director James Robinson makes his debut with San Diego Opera as the director of John Adams' Nixon in China. Robinson originated this production, created for Opera Theatre St. Louis, in 2004. Listen to him in this interview with Nicolas Reveles, as he speaks about the challenges of mounting this exciting production.



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Meet the Maestro: Joseph Mechavich


Mon, Mar 09, 2015


Conductor Joseph Mechavich debuted with San Diego Opera by conducting Jake Heggie's Moby Dick a couple of seasons back. He's returned to lead John Adams' Nixon in China. In this interview with Education Director Nicolas Reveles he talks about the score as well as about the wonderful San Diego Symphony.



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Meeting Pat Nixon: Soprano, Maria Kanyova


Tue, Mar 03, 2015


Portraying the role of Pat Nixon in John Adams' opera Nixon in China is soprano Maria Kanyova. She's sung the role many times in her career and takes time during this interview with Nicolas Reveles to talk about the role, the music and the dramatic challenges. Enjoy!



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Meeting Nixon: Baritone Franco Pomponi


Thu, Feb 26, 2015


John Adams' brilliant opera Nixon in China is now in production here at San Diego Opera! Rehearsals began this past Tuesday and everything is going really well. Watch as Nicolas Reveles interviews the man in the title role, baritone Franco Pomponi, who is looking forward to his debut with our company in this stunning opera.



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Meet the Director: Nicholas Muni


Mon, Feb 09, 2015


Our stage director for Don Giovanni is Nicholas Muni who also happens to have originated and designed this production of the opera for Cincinnati Opera. It is an intriguing look at the opera that will challenge you to think about this fascinating character. Enjoy this interview.



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Meet the Maestro: Daniele Callegari


Sun, Feb 08, 2015


In this episode of the San Diego Opera Podcast, Nicolas Reveles interviews our maestro for Mozart's Don Giovanni, Daniele Callegari. He was last with us for our production of Aida a couple of seasons back. Enjoy this reunion with a wonderful conductor!



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Meeting Don Giovanni: Ildebrando D'Arcangelo


Wed, Feb 04, 2015


Baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is the "go to" singer for the role of Don Giovanni these days and has sung the role to great acclaim throughout the world. Here in San Diego for his company debut, he speaks with Education Director Nicolas Reveles about the role, his career and what he's looking forward to in the future.



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An Interview with Isabella Bywater


Thu, Jan 22, 2015


Isabella Bywater, a set and costume designer from the UK, is the director of San Diego Opera's production of Puccini's La boheme. In this fascinating, in-depth interview, she talks about her mentor Jonathan Miller (the original director of this particular production) and about her approach to both design and stage direction. This is a wonderful conversation with Education Director Nicolas Reveles and will be a great introduction to this wonderful production, never before seen in San Diego.



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An Interview with Harold Meers


Tue, Jan 20, 2015


Debut artist Harold Meers talks about his background, his experience with the role or Rodolfo and roles he sees for himself in the future in an interview with Nicolas Reveles.



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An Interview with Alyson Cambridge


Tue, Jan 20, 2015


As we look forward to opening night of La boheme, let's hear a few words from our Mimi, soprano Alyson Cambridge, in an interview conducted by our Director of Education and Community Engagement, Nicolas Reveles.



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Our Conductor, Karen Keltner


Wed, Jan 14, 2015


Karen Keltner is well known to all of us here at San Diego Opera and she's kicking off our 50th Anniversary Season as the conductor of Puccini's La boheme. This also marks her last official duty as Resident Conductor and Music Administrator after announcing that she will step down from those duties at the end of the production's run. But she will definitely still be conducting! Listen to her musings on the opera and 35 years with our company.



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Production Underway at San Diego Opera!


Fri, Jan 09, 2015


This is short and sweet, just a snapshot of the excitement with the arrival of the cast and crew of La boheme and a few words about the music that introduces us to the wonderful characters in this beloved opera.



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Happy New Year, Season 2015!


Mon, Dec 29, 2014


Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Community Engagement for San Diego Opera, looks forward to the 50th Anniversary Season with a 'thank you' to all of our supporters over the past year.



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Is John Adams a Minimalist?


Sun, Oct 26, 2014


Composer John Adams is universally acknowledged as one of the great opera composers of our time. We're tremendously excited to be producing his work Nixon In China (1987) in our Fiftieth Anniversary Season in March, 2015. Let's take a look and a listen to his musical style: is he a minimalist in the tradition of composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich? Nicolas Reveles asks the questions, and perhaps has a few answers for you!



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The Ladies of 2015


Wed, Oct 15, 2014


The 2015 Season is a great opera season for strong female roles. Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Musetta in La boheme, and Madame Mao in Nixon in China all fit that description: strong characters, bold music! Dr. Nic spends a little time with these three women in today's podcast.



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Don Giovanni: A Dangerous Opera!


Mon, Sep 22, 2014


Mozart and his poet-librettist Lorenzo DaPonte created a true masterwork in Don Giovanni, the story of a libertine nobleman and his constant need to seduce and abandon every woman he meets. A sordid story, sure, but filled with incredible music and drama. Dr. Nicolas Reveles lets you in on a few operatic secrets!



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LA BOHEME: The Perfect Opera


Fri, Sep 12, 2014


In this introductory podcast to Giacomo Puccini's La boheme, Nicolas Reveles discusses why this opera is such a favorite from the repertoire and gives us a glimpse into Puccini's creative process. This is an opera filled with passion, joy, tenderness, romance and tragedy...it's got everything you could want for a great evening of musical theatre. 



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Nixon in China: An Opera About Contrasts


Thu, Sep 04, 2014


Welcome to the first podcast of San Diego Opera's 2015 Season! Let's begin with a introduction to John Adams' brilliant opera, Nixon in China which premiered at Houston Opera in 1987. In this podcast, Nicolas Reveles (Director of Education and Community Engagement) talks about the origins of the opera, you'll hear a bit of the prelude to the first act, and hear about the creators' approach to this fascinating historical event. 



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The 2015 Season


Mon, Jun 02, 2014


"...and we're back!", as Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach says at the beginning of this podcast. And yes, we are! With your help we've been able to announce our 2015 Season with an exciting array of operas and a gala celebration of our 50th Anniversary of serving the San Diego community. Check it out...and join us!



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Meeting Sancho Panza: Bass-Baritone Eduardo Chama


Mon, Mar 31, 2014


Eduardo Chama is one of those singers that we look forward to having back again and again because he's such a delight to be around, besides being a wonderful artist onstage. In the role of Sancho Panza in Massenet's Don Quichotte, he's perfect as the sometimes comic, sometimes tragic sidekick of the title character. Listen in as Education Director Nicolas Reveles interviews Eduardo about the role and the challenges of the opera.



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Meet the Director: Keturah Stickann


Tue, Mar 25, 2014


We've known Keturah Stickann as a choreographer and as assistant director for two San Diego Opera seasons. Now she's back as the stage director for Massenet's Don Quixote. In this revealing interview, Education Director Nicolas Reveles speaks with her about the opera, working with Ferruccio Furlanetto and telling the story through music. Enjoy!



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Meeting Dulcinea: Mezzo-soprano Anke Vondung


Mon, Mar 24, 2014


German mezzo Anke Vondung was last with San Diego Opera as Octavian in our production of Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss in 2011. We loved her then, we love her now! She is debuting the role of Dulcinea in our production of Don Quichotte, so we thought it would be interesting to hear her talk about the role itself. Enjoy this interview with an utterly charming and outgoing singer, with Nicolas Reveles. 



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Meeting the Don: Bass, Ferruccio Furlanetto


Sat, Mar 22, 2014


We welcome our favorite basso, Ferruccio Furlanetto, back to San Diego Opera to sing the title role of Jules Massenet's Don Quichotte. This is one of Furlanetto's favorite roles, along with King Philip in Don Carlo and Boris Godunov. In this interview with Director of Education Nicolas Revlees, he reflects on forty years of working in the opera world (actually to the day when this interivew was conducted!) along with advice to young singers looking to jump into a singing career. Enjoy!



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Meet the King: Tenor, Piotr Beczala


Fri, Mar 07, 2014


San Diego Opera is delighted to have tenor Piotr Beczala back to sing King Gustav ('Gustavo') in Verdi's A Masked Ball. In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, he talks about the role, other Verdi characters he sings, 'updated' productions of opera and his recent appearance at The Met in Rusalka. You'll also hear a bit of one of his arias from Ballo. Enjoy!



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Meeting Ulrika: Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (Part Two)


Tue, Mar 04, 2014


In a continuation of her conversation with San Diego Opera Education Director Nicolas Reveles, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe turns her attention to the growth of the young singer, focusing on her work with the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar. Working with young artists energizes Ms. Blythe and she has strong opinions about what singers need when they are beginning their careers. This podcast is a must see for voice students looking to connect totally with their art!



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Meeting Ulrika: Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe (Part One)


Mon, Mar 03, 2014


Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is well known to opera audiences, especially through the Metropolitan Opera's HD broadcasts. She is making her debut with San Diego Opera in the critical role of Ulrika Arvidson in Verdi's A Masked Ball, one of her favorite roles. In this two-part conversation with Education Director Nicolas Reveles, she discusses the role itself and her connection with the great mezzo/contralto roles of Verdi. Enjoy!



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Meeting Anckarstrom: Baritone, Aris Argiris


Fri, Feb 28, 2014


Greek baritone Aris Argiris is making his debut with San Diego Opera in the role of Anckarstrom in A Masked Ball by Giuseppe Verdi. In this conversation with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education, he talks about his career, Verdi's baritone roles and singing with such great maestri as Zubin Mehta. Enjoy!



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Meeting Amelia: Krassimira Stoyanova


Tue, Feb 25, 2014


Soprano Krassimira Stoyanova comes to San Diego Opera for the first time to sing the role of Amelia in Verdi's A Masked Ball. Stoyanova has been receiving accolades for her singing all over the world, at all the great opera houses. In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, you'll hear about her early career, singing Verdi and this wonderful opera.



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Meeting Dulcamara: Bass, Kevin Burdette


Mon, Feb 10, 2014


One of the more delightful characters to grace the stage of San Diego Opera is coming your way in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, and inhabiting this marvelous character is another marvelous character, bass Kevin Burdette. Last with us in the 2013 Season (Sulpice in The Daughter of the Regiment) Kevin is stepping in at the last minute for an indisposed singer. He fits the role like a glove and is welcome company in this interview with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education, as he talks about his career and the role he's singing.



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Conductor, Karen Kamensek


Thu, Feb 06, 2014


Making her debut with us as conductor of Donizetti's Elixir of Love is Karen Kamensek, Musical Director and Chief Conductor of Opera Hannover in Germany. In this interesting conversation with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, she talks about how she got from her hometown of Chicago to Hannover with little detours to New York, Vienna and Hamburg along the way. Enjoy!



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Meeting Nemorino: Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti


Tue, Feb 04, 2014


Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti hails from the southernmost tip of Italy (the 'toe' of the boot!) and has been singing his entire life. His operatic career has exploded and he can be heard in the lyric tenor repertoire in all the great opera houses of the world. In this conversation with Education Director Nicolas Reveles he speaks about the role of Nemorino, what a singer needs to be successful in the bel canto repertoire, and the influence of his two great mentors, conductor Riccardo Muti and tenor Alfredo Kraus. Enjoy!



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Meeting Adina: Soprano Tatiana Lisnic


Thu, Jan 30, 2014


Moldavian soprano Tatiana Lisnic joins San Diego Opera for the first time as Adina in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. Enjoy this conversation she has with Director of Education & Outreach Nicolas Reveles as they explore her career, her first appearance in the U.S., and the nature of Adina, the heroine in this romantic comedy.



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Meeting Canio: An Interview with Tenor, Frank Porretta


Wed, Jan 22, 2014


Tenor Frank Porretta was with us last in 2002, singing the role of the Duke in Rigoletto. His repertoire has darkened considerably with roles like Otello, Don Alfaro (La forza del destino), Calaf (Turandot) and Canio in Pagliacci which he's singing for us. Join Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, in a lively conversation with this wonderful artist about his career and the nature of this complicated character, Canio. 



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Interview: Pagliacci Director, Andrew Sinclair


Mon, Jan 20, 2014


Australian native Andrew Sinclair is currently centered in London staging opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. But he is a popular visitor here in San Diego where, most recently, he directed the Zandra Rhodes production of Verdi's Aida. In this interview he talks about his particular view of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, his latest assignment for San Diego Opera, with Nicolas Reveles. 



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Meeting Silvio: Baritone, David Adam Moore


Tue, Jan 14, 2014


Enjoy this interview with David Adam Moore who will sing the role of Silvio in San Diego Opera's production of Pagliacci opening January 25th. David's musical activities include an upcoming performance of the Schubert song cycle Die Winterreise (Winter's Journey) in Anchorage, in an unusual production including video projections and a set. Nicolas Reveles talks to him about the role, his operatic career and his creative work that keeps this singer on the cutting edge of artistic innovation.



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Meeting Nedda: Soprano Adina Nitescu


Fri, Jan 10, 2014


Singing the role of Nedda in our San Diego Opera production of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci is Romanian soprano Adina Nitescu. Here she talks with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, about her career and about the role that she'll be singing with us, opening January 25th. Enjoy!



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Season 2014: What I'm Looking Forward To


Sun, Jan 05, 2014


Dr. Nic takes a look at the upcoming season at San Diego Opera and shares with us the things he's most looking forward to. A great intro for the uninitiated, but maybe you'd like to share what you are looking forward to! E-mail your thoughts to Nicolas.Reveles@sdopera.com.



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Voice Types of the Season 2014: The Tenors


Sun, Dec 15, 2013


Tenors, like sopranos, mezzos and basses, come in all types each with their distinctive characteristics. Today we'll introduce you to the lyric, spinto and dramatic voices within the tenor category who'll grace the stage of San Diego Opera this season: Nemorino, Gustavo and Canio. Education Director Nicolas Reveles does the honors. Enjoy!



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Voice Types of the Season: Basses and Baritones


Mon, Nov 25, 2013


In a continuation of our series on voice types in the 2014 Season, we focus on the basses and baritones with roles like Dr. Dulcamara, Don Quixote, Silvio, Tonio and Anckarstom. Listen to the differences between lyric voices and voices more suited to the big, dramatic roles. Dr. Nicolas Reveles, Education Director for San Diego Opera, tells it all.



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What is a Requiem?


Thu, Nov 14, 2013


On March 20, 2014, San Diego Opera will present Verdi's Requiem with a cast of soloists that would rival any opera or symphonic organization in the world: Stoyanova, Blythe, Beczala And Furlanetto. Massimo Zanetti will conduct the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera Chorus plus members of other choral organizations in the city. This is a very special event, but we have audiences wondering: just what is a Requiem? Let Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach fill you in! Enjoy.



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Voice Types of the Season: The Women


Tue, Nov 05, 2013


Did you know that there are many sub-categories within the standard soprano/mezzo/tenor/baritone/bass voice types? And we have many of them on display this coming season, 2014! Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, surveys the women of the season; and watch for the next installment on the men!



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Music of the Season: Don Quixote


Wed, Oct 30, 2013


Jules Massenet was a master of scene setting. Just as a scenic designer is responsible for coming up with a theatrical set that matches the location, mood and era of the drama, a composer must do much the same thing, using musical elements as his building blocks. Watch Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach describe how this French master 'paints' the story of Don Quixote through his brilliant music. 



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Music of the Season: A Masked Ball


Mon, Oct 07, 2013


Gershwin's famous Tin Pan Alley tune, "I've Got Rhythm" came to mind during the production of this podcast, because Verdi's A Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera) is ALL about rhythm and how rhythmic choices help to hone in on the personalities and emotions of the characters in this wonderful opera. Join Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for an unusual look at one of the masterpieces of the great Giuseppe Verdi, who turns 200 this week!



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Music of the Season: The Elixir of Love


Mon, Sep 30, 2013


Bel canto is a much misunderstood operatic/vocal term. If you're not familiar with the term, you're in luck because today's podcast will help define its meaning. Donizetti, for instance, is considered a bel canto composer; but what does that really mean? Is it just a musical term or does it perhaps have something to do with the text of an opera, it's poetry? Let Dr. Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, explain it all to you!



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Music of the Season: Pagliacci


Mon, Sep 23, 2013


In a podcast focusing on the music of Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, shows how opera communicates dramatic moments, atmosphere, the emotions of the characters, even the physical environment within which the characters find themselves. A 'must see' for audience members new to opera or those who want to deepen their experience!



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Don Quixote: A French 'Take' On Spanish Style!


Mon, Sep 16, 2013


How is it that some of the most beautiful and rhythmically infectious 'Spanish' music is by French composers? Think of Bizet's Carmen! Massenet pulls off a similar trick in his beautiful opera Don Quichotte, or Don Quixote. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, takes you through it. Enjoy!



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Royalty, Political Intrigue and Forbidden Love!


Mon, Sep 09, 2013


Verdi is at his best when he's dealing with politics and passion. Throw in a very true historical story (the assassination of Gustav III of Sweden at a masked opera ball in 1792) and you have the makings of terrific opera. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera takes you through the historical background of this great work, A Masked Ball.



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Elixir: Donizetti's RomCom!


Mon, Sep 02, 2013


The Elixir of Love could well be considered Gaetano Donizetti's ultimate romantic comedy and Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera makes that point (and more!) in this delightful look at San Diego Opera's second offering for the 2014 Season. Enjoy!



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Pagliacci: A Verismo Horror Story


Mon, Aug 26, 2013


Pagliacci is a terrific piece of musical theatre: exciting, dramatic, suspenseful and overpowering. One can make more than a few connections between the verismo style of this opera and the world of cinema, especially the films of Alfred Hitchcock and giallo specialists like Bava and Argento. Let's have a little fun with those connections as Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera discusses some of his favorite things!



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Opera 101: Homework?!!


Mon, Jul 08, 2013


"Homework??", you exclaim, "I didn't sign up for that!" No, you didn't. But Geisel Director of Education and Outreach Nicolas Reveles would like to talk about homework and its place in preparing to see an opera you might not know. Used to be we had to go through all sorts of contortions to go to the opera and understand what we were seeing & hearing because we didn't understand the languages being used. Now, of course, we have the amazing convenience of supertitles. But you can go 'deeper' than simply being able to know what the singers are singing about...



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Opera 101: How do you say "I Love You" in music?


Wed, Jul 03, 2013


In a kind of expansion of our last episode of Opera 101, let's explore what all those operatic duets (or at least, most of them) are about: Love! Luckily, love is a major theme in all four of the operas that we're presenting in our 2014 Season: The Elixir of (naturally) Love, Pagliacci, A Masked Ball and Don Quixote. Dr. Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Driector of Education and Outreach, discusses how our four different composers...Leoncavallo, Donizetti, Massenet and Verdi...approach love in four very different ways musically. Enjoy!



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Opera 101: The Duet


Tue, Jun 18, 2013


The duet may seem to be a pretty simple musical form featured in opera that really doesn't need any explanation, right? But there's a little more to it than just "this person sings, then that person sings, then they sing together!" Dr. Nic Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, lets you in on what kinds of duets exist in opera and how they communicate the feelings of the characters using the love duet from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, A Masked Ball. Enjoy!



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Opera 101: "I've Heard This Before!"


Tue, Jun 11, 2013


Whenever an opera company prepares to do an important work from the standard repertoire (like Pagliacci for instance) we hear the complaint, "Oh, I've heard (or seen) that opera before. I think I'll pass this time." But WAIT:approaches to the standard rep can be very different, depending entirely on the artistic team that's put together by the management. Let Dr. Nic, our Director of Education and Outreach, explore this issue with you and listen, through examples from Leoncavallo's great opera, how different the same music can sound coming from different singers. Sometimes, the difference is radical!



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Opera 101, #3: What Is An Aria?


Mon, Jun 03, 2013


Continuing our 'summer school series' on opera basics, today we explore the aria, moving very quickly from Monteverdi's L'Orfeo to Verdi's A Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera). Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera explains it all for you in a fun and informative way. Enjoy!



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Opera 101: Words & Music


Tue, May 28, 2013


Continuing our Summer School for Opera Fans, Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, gives us more information on the intimate connection between two of opera's most potent elements...the words and the music! With generous examples from our first opera for the 2014 season, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Dr. Nic tries to help you make the connection between what the characters are communicating through their words and what we actually hear in the music!



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Opera 101: Summer School for Opera Fans


Mon, May 20, 2013


At the end of this week we'll be celebrating the beginning of summer, 2013, and we'll begin getting ready for our exciting 2014 International Season! What better way to do that then to have a few podcasts dedicated to a 'refresher' course in opera? Today Nicolas Reveles, our Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera takes a look at the essence of the art form, how composers approach a dramatic idea and "musicalize" it. We'll explore the connection between what we see on the stage and what we hear from the wonderful music that these composers create. Enjoy!



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The International Season 2014: An Overview


Tue, Apr 23, 2013


Join the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, Nicolas Reveles, in a brief exploration of the 2014 from Pagliacci to Don Quixote, The Elixir of Love to A Masked Ball with a dollop of Verdi's Requiem thrown in to the mix. This exciting season has something for everyone, as you'll discover. For each opera Dr. Reveles gives us some of his own personal reasons for looking forward to each of these great masterworks. Enjoy!



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The 'Look' of Aida: An Interview with Zandra Rhodes


Fri, Apr 19, 2013


San Diego Opera's exciting production of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida opens this Saturday night, April 20, and one thing we can say about it: it's not your grandma's Aida! Internationally renowned fasion designer Zandra Rhodes has created this production (sets as well as costumes) and it's a visually stunning, indeed delightful version of this evergreen classic with colors and shapes inspired by ancient Egypt. Join Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education & Outreach, as we explore Zandra's inspiration for this wonderful opera. 



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An Interview with Maestro Daniele Callegari


Tue, Apr 16, 2013


Meet Daniele Callegari, a San Diego Opera debut artist who hails from Milan and lives in Barcelona! He has taken the company by storm with his energy, his enthusiasm for music and opera, as well as his positive presence in rehearsals for Verdi's Aida. Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, has a conversation with him about this wonderful opera and what draws it to him again and again. 



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Meeting Amneris: An Interview with Mezzo-Soprano Jill Grove


Mon, Apr 15, 2013


We all know and love Verdi's great opera Aida. We thought it might be informative for our podcast audience to hear a different 'take' on our production of this wonderful opera to ask mezzo-soprano Jill Grove, our Amneris, about the current state of the opera business. What's it like for singers out there right now? How is the HD operas-at-the-movies effort effecting regional companies? What's it like to be involved in the opera business today? Jill offers her thoughts on these and other subjects in this interview with Nicolas Reveles, the Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera. Enjoy!



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An Interview with Amonasro: Bass-Baritone Mark S. Doss


Mon, Apr 08, 2013


We're welcoming back bass-baritone Mark S. Doss after a rather lengthy hiatus: he was last here as Friar Lawrence in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet in 1998. He has since established himself as one of the most exciting Escamillos (Carmen), Mephistopheles (Faust) and Amonasros (Aida) in the world. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera discusses his career and the role of Amonasro with this wonderful artist. 



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An Interview with Aida: Latonia Moore


Fri, Apr 05, 2013


We have long awaited the arrival of soprano Latonia Moore (pronounced lah-TAH-nee-yah) since her dramatic debut at the Metropolitan Opera a few years back in the role of Aida. Her performance made front page news in the New York Times and was feted throughout the opera world as being one of the most auspicious debuts in recent Met history. She's delightfully open and forthcoming about that exciting moment and about all things vocal and dramatic in her conversation here with Education Director Nicolas Reveles. 



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The Music of Murder!


Fri, Mar 29, 2013


We're hearing lots of folks wondering what the music of Murder in the Cathedral is like. We suspect that they might be just a bit fearful that it may be off-putting or that it sounds like some of those "other" pieces of music from the mid-twentieth century that were so tough on audiences. Fear not! Dr. Nic is here to help you! Watch and listen as he tackles this important subject in a short eleven-minute podcast. Share with your friends! 



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An Interview with Ferruccio Furlanetto


Thu, Mar 21, 2013


We're always honored and delighted to have the return to San Diego Opera of one of the world's greatest singers, bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. This season he sings, for the first time in the U.S., the role of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Ildebrando Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral, a role that he thinks compares to the other great roles for bass: Boris, Philip in Don Carlo, Don Quixote. In this wide-ranging conversation with Nicolas Reveles, Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, he talks about this neglected opera and the challenges of the role.



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An Interview with Maestro Donato Renzetti


Mon, Mar 18, 2013


Conducting for San Diego Opera for the first time is Maestro Donato Renzetti, the wonderful Italian conductor who led the La Scala forces for a revival of Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral with Ferruccio Furlanetto a couple of years ago. He comes to us, then, with unique experience of the work. As well, as you'll hear in this interview, he studied conducting with Gianandrea Gavazzeni, the original conductor of the La Scala orchestra, chorus and soloists at the premiere of the work in 1958. Enjoy this delightful conversation with a marvelous new friend of San Diego Opera!



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An Interview with Soprano, Susan Neves


Thu, Mar 14, 2013


Is it a "star turn" or a "dubious distinction" to be cast as the First Chorister in Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral? Well, however ungracious the name of the character, the music for her is wonderful and she's in the unique position of having the only full aria in the opera. So according to Susan Neves (an Abigaille, Norma, Turandot and Lady Macbeth with stunning qualifications!), this role is a remarkable opportunity to stake claim to an unusual piece of the operatic repertoire. Watch and listen to her delightful conversation with Education Director Nicolas Reveles.



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Mariachi! An interview with Jeff Nevin


Wed, Mar 06, 2013


As we look forward to next week's performances of Cruzar la cara de la luna, the first-ever mariachi opera by Jose 'Pepe' Martinez, it's time to get more familiar with mariachi as a musical form. Just what is mariachi, what are its roots, how has it developed and what has it to do with opera? Professor of Mariachi Studies at Southwestern College, classical and mariachi trumpet player Jeff Nevin has some answers for us and we think you'll find entertaining and interesting. Join Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for this wonderful conversation.



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Murder in the Cathedral: An Interview with Ian Campbell


Tue, Feb 19, 2013


The opera Murder in the Cathedral by Ildebrando Pizzetti is unknown to most of our audience members so here's an opportunity to fix that! Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera interviews General & Artistic Director Ian Campbell about why he chose this unusual work for staging and what he expects to do with it as the stage director of the work which goes up on our stage March 30. There's lots of information here, especially designed for those of you who have questions about this wonderful opera!



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An Interview with Samson: tenor, Clifton Forbis


Thu, Feb 14, 2013


Heldentenor Clifton Forbis has been here before: as Samson in our last go 'round with the opera in 2007. But he's as fresh as ever, fun to be with, exciting to watch and hear, and delightful to chat with. Join Director of Education and Outreach Nicolas Reveles in an interview with this international opera star.



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An Interview with Anooshah Golesorkhi


Mon, Feb 11, 2013


Welcome to 'old home week', or alumni day as we're calling it! Anooshah Golesorkhi, baritone, is making his debut with San Diego Opera as the High Priest of Dagon in Samson and Delilah which opens this week. But many local folks remember him as an undergraduate student at USD and graduate student at SDSU. As Dr. Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach explains, Anooshah was being trained as a young voice student when Dr. Reveles began teaching at USD, so many memories are shared as well as the excitement of a locally schooled baritone who's making an international career as an opera singer! He also shares how he got his start in the business through a rather roundabout gateway...enjoy! 



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An Interview with Karen Keltner


Thu, Feb 07, 2013


In a wide-ranging interview with Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, our resident conductor Karen Keltner discusses the music of Samson and Delilah, our exciting next production. The Saint-Saens' sensitivity to the Hebrews as well as his touches of exoticism in the score are discussed, as well as the overall spectacular effect of this French 'grand opera'. Enjoy!



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An Interview with Delilah: Nadia Krasteva


Mon, Feb 04, 2013


The beautiful Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva is making her company debut with us in the role of Dalilah in our upcoming production of Samson and Delilah. Nadia has already impressed the company with her good nature, delightful sense of humor and fantastic (and seductive!) voice. Join Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for a fun interview with this terrific new artist.



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An Interview with Yves Abel


Wed, Jan 23, 2013


Franco-Canadian conductor Yves Abel is our maestro for the first opera in our 2013 Season, The Daughter of the Regiment. In this free flowing conversation with Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, he shares his background, information on his studies in New York and his career. This exciting young conductor has wonderful ideas about music, conducting and theatre. Tune in!



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An Interview with Tenor, Stephen Costello


Sun, Jan 13, 2013


In past seasons tenor, Stephen Costello has appeared on the San Diego Opera stage in the serious roles of Faust and Romeo in Gounod's two masterworks. Opening January 26, he takes on comedy in the role of Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment for the first time. In this interview Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education & Outreach, talks to Costello about his career and how he's approaching this challenging comic character.



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Basses and Baritones in the 2013 Season


Sat, Jan 05, 2013


From Thomas Becket to Sergeant Sulpice, from Amonasro to the High Priest of Dagon, we have a parade of exciting lower voices coming to you this season. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, reveals it all to you!



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Some Random Thoughts on Opera


Mon, Dec 10, 2012


Taking a break from our series on voice-types for the 2013 Season, Dr. Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, reflects on the meaning of opera, what it is about this art form that attracts us, why we go to the opera and what is the essence of it, what makes it 'tick'. You're invited to come along on a meditative journey about the artform that transforms us!



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The Tenor in the 2013 Season


Tue, Dec 04, 2012


Tenors are considered by many audience members as the 'glories' of opera. What they do seems beautiful, athletic, stunning and unreasonable, all at once. Well, we have some wonderful tenor roles this upcoming season: Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment, Samson in Samson and Delilah, and Radames in Aida. Tune in as Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach opens up the world of the operatic tenor in this week's installment.



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Mezzo-Sopranos in our 2013 Season


Mon, Nov 19, 2012


There are two major mezzo-soprano roles in this upcoming opera season: Delilah in Saint-Saens' Samson and Delilah and the Princess Amneris in Verdi's Aida. Both roles are major dramatic commitments for the mezzo that demand lyricism and declamatory singing. Let Nicolas Reveles, our Director of Education and Outreach, give you a quick review of these two roles!



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The Sopranos of the 2013 Season


Wed, Nov 07, 2012


Starting today, a new series of podcasts about the various voice-types that you'll hear in the 2013 Season. Let's start with the sopranos; we have three stunning roles for soprano this season in Marie from The Daughter of the Regiment, the corifea or 'chorister' from Murder in the Cathedral and Aida in the Verdi opera of the same name. Let Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, introduce you to the lovely music written for soprano by composers Donizetti, Pizzetti and Verdi in this exciting podcast!



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What is Mariachi?


Mon, Oct 29, 2012


As we look forward to the presentation of Cruzar la cara de la luna, the first mariachi opera, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at mariachi style and its history. This is an easy, brief introduction to the style that you may think you know (but probably really don't!) Watch and listen to Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, as he unfolds the style and history of mariachi for you.



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The Orchestra in the 2013 Season


Tue, Oct 16, 2012


The orchestra is a major element in the presentation of an opera, and is foremost in the establishment of setting, time, emotion, psychological state...creating the 'sonic environment' for the telling of a powerful story. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, shares some important orchestral moments from the upcoming 2013 Season!



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The Chorus in 2013


Thu, Oct 04, 2012


Every opera has a chorus. Well, not quite every opera: Cruzar la cara de la luna doesn't have an 'official' chorus, although the band (in this case the Mariachi Vargas) joins in enthusiastically with some of the singers in the opera! But Daughter of the Regiment, Murder in the Cathedral, Samson and Delilah and Aida definitely DO have choruses, and great ones at that! Join Dr. Nicolas Reveles as he shares some of that wonderful music with you!



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The Duet in the 2013 Season


Tue, Sep 25, 2012


Last week, arias: the solo 'songs' for singers in an opera. Today, duets: compositions or pieces for two singers in an opera. There are some stunning examples of duets this coming season, and Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, gives you some examples for your listening (and educational!) pleasure.



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The Aria in the 2013 Season


Mon, Sep 17, 2012


In a series of video podcasts Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, will cover various elements of the operatic artform in order to help us get to know the 2013 International Season. We'll start with the aria, that one thing in opera that so many of us wait for, especially in operas that we know well. What about in operas that we don't quite know as well, like Murder in the Cathedral or Cruzar la cara de la luna? Tune in and find out!



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Aida: The Sound


Thu, Aug 16, 2012


Verdi's sound world for Aida conjures up the ancient environment of the story but never strays far from Italian opera at its grandest. Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education for San Diego Opera, gives you a brief summary of the special music carrying this story of a doomed love.



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Aida: The Look


Thu, Aug 16, 2012


The wonderful thing about Aida this time around is that it will be sporting a new 'look': the costume and set designs of internationally renowned fashion designer, Zandra Rhodes. Nicolas Reveles, Education Director of San Diego Opera, gives you a preview.



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Aida: The Story


Thu, Aug 16, 2012


Giuseppe Verdi's Aida is one of the best known repertory items in opera, but that doesn't mean that there aren't people out there who've never seen it! So here is a brief overview of the story which takes place in ancient Egypt during the time of the pharoahs. Education Director Nicolas Reveles takes you there! 



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Murder in the Cathedral: The Sound


Wed, Aug 08, 2012


Although the story is English, influenced by English history and literature, the opera Murder in the Cathedral is Italian. It was written by Ildebrando Pizzetti and premiere at La Scala in 1958. And although the music is lyrical and quite approachable, it isn't your grandma's typical Italian opera! Listen to this brief overview of the music of this outstanding opera by Education Director Nicolas Reveles.



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Murder in the Cathedral: The Look


Wed, Aug 08, 2012


San Diego Opera is building its own production of Murder in the Cathedral with sets designed by renowned designer Ralph Funicello. Get a brief preview of the look of Murder in this podcast by Education Director Nicolas Reveles.



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Murder in the Cathedral: The Story


Wed, Aug 08, 2012


Based on the historical events surrounding the assassination of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury by knights loyal to Henry II, King of England in 1170, the opera follows the story rather closely. Watch and listen as Director of Education Nicolas Reveles takes you through a brief summary of the story of this brilliant opera.



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Samson and Delilah: The Sound


Mon, Jul 30, 2012


Grand French Romanticism at its best! That's the finest description that we can think of when trying to capture the essence of the wonderful music in Camille Saint-Saens Samson and Delilah. Hear a few brief excerpts, introduced by Education Director Dr. Nicolas Reveles, in this "fly through" to discover some of the melodic charms in this great biblical drama.



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Samson and Delilah: The Look


Mon, Jul 30, 2012


Back by popular demand is the spectacular production from San Francisco Opera that you may have seen a number of seasons back, with the realistic, glitzy and colorful sets and costumes that bring the story of this exciting opera to life. Join Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education, for a few minutes to take glimpse at what's in store for you when you come to see Samson and Delilah.



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Samson and Delilah: The Story


Mon, Jul 30, 2012


Here's a brief synopsis of Camille Saint-Saens' biblically based opera Samson and Delilah from Director of Education Nicolas Reveles. This summary is perfect for those of you who don't have a lot of time on your hands to prepare for opening night. Enjoy!



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The Daughter of the Regiment: The Sound


Fri, Jul 27, 2012


Enjoy this brief description of the sound (the music) that you'll encounter in Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment. For an overview of the 2013 operas with Education Director, Nicolas Reveles, start here!



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The Daughter of the Regiment: The Look


Fri, Jul 27, 2012


Here's a brief glimpse of the look for our production of The Daughter of the Regiment by Donizetti which comes from the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. For an overview of our 2013 Season with Education Director, Nicolas Reveles, start here!



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The Daughter of the Regiment: The Story


Fri, Jul 27, 2012


Here's the first of a brand new series of seriously (!) short podcasts on the story, the look and the music of Donizetti's comedy, The Daughter of the Regiment. For a quick overview of the 2013 operas from Education Director Nicolas Reveles, start here!



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The Daughter of the Regiment: An Overview


Mon, Jul 16, 2012


Donizetti was a formidable composer in his time and was the toast of Paris in 1840 when he had four operas running simultaneously at the city's largest theatres. Sounds a bit like Andrew Lloyd Webber, eh? Join Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, for an overview of this charming opera which logged 1,000 performances between its premiere and 1900 at the Opera Comique!



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Aida, An Overview


Mon, Jul 09, 2012


Verdi's Aida is certainly the best-known of the operas we're producing in the 2013 Season. But do we really know this opera all that well? Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, takes another look at this perennial favorite, an opera with great music, great spectacle and great drama.



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Murder in the Cathedral: An Overview


Mon, May 14, 2012


Ildebrando Pizzetti is not a composer known to most U.S. operagoers, but his opera Murder in the Cathedral which premiered at La Scala in 1958, made quite a splash when it first appeared. Based on the historical assassination of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 and more specifically the T.S. Eliot verse-play about this event, the opera turned out to be a tour de force for bass, along the lines of Boris Godunov and King Philip. Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, explores this unusual and exciting entry in our 2013 season.



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Samson and Delilah: An Overview


Mon, May 14, 2012


Camille Saint-Saens took his time turning his idea for an opera on this biblical subject (originally conceived as an oratorio) into reality and had to have some encouragement from his friend Franz Liszt to bring it to the stage. Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, explains it all for you as we look forward to the return of this sumptuous, brilliant French opera.



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2013 International Season Overview


Mon, Apr 23, 2012


Here it is...the summary video podcast of the 2013 Season! Dr. Nicolas Reveles tells it all, an exciting preview of our best season ever with Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment, Saint-Saens' Samson and Delilah, Pizetti's Murder in the Cathedral, Verdi's Aida and the first mariachi opera ever written, Cruzar la cara de la luna (To cross the face of the moon) featuring Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan! An unbelievable season with extraordinary casts of singers and spectacular productions. Enjoy!



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Meeting Rosina: Mezzo-soprano Silvia Tro Santafe


Wed, Apr 18, 2012


The ultimate independent woman, the most level-headed character in all of opera buffa, is surely Rosina in The Barber of Seville. We have a wonderful Rossini "specialist" in Spanish mezzo-soprano Silvia Tro Santafe who has the personality and the voice (!) for this wonderful role. Listen to Nicolas Reveles' interview with this debut artist who gives us some insight into this brilliant comedy.



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Meeting Almaviva: Tenor John Osborn


Mon, Apr 16, 2012


The tenor always gets the girl, and The Barber of Seville is no exception. But it takes some wrangling, disguises and subterfuge to finally get Count Almaviva and his beloved Rosina together. Tenor John Osborn is certainly up to the task, a Rossini 'specialist' who is just coming off of a series of critically acclaimed performances of the composer's Otello. Listen in as Nicolas Reveles interviews this talented singer about his career and about the role.



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Shades of Magritte: Herb Kellner, Stage Director


Wed, Apr 11, 2012


Herb Kellner is directing our upcoming production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville in a production original conceived by John Copley, a longtime guest director here at San Diego Opera. The production is based on the images and motifs that occur in the work of the Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte. Join Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, in a discussion of the Magritte influences on this Barber and its unique look.



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Meeting Figaro: An Interview with Lucas Meachem


Fri, Apr 06, 2012


Our final installment of the 2012 Season is upon us: Rossini's The Barber of Seville. In a free-wheeling interview with Geisel Director of Education and Outreach Nicolas Reveles, baritone Lucas Meachem talks about his roots, his musical upbringing and his special take on the character of Figaro, the pivotal character in Barber who pulls all the strings and pushes all the plot points. Enjoy!



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Meeting Don Pasquale: Bass, John Del Carlo


Sat, Mar 10, 2012


An old friend to the company, John Del Carlo has been involved with us since his days as a young artist in the mid-seventies. Tune in and hear his views on the basso buffo repertoire, his career and the role of Don Pasquale, a delightful conversation with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach. 



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Meeting Ernesto: Tenor Charles Castronovo


Mon, Mar 05, 2012


Tenor Charles Castronovo was last with us as Nadir in The Pearl Fishers. According to this interview, his voice has darkened and he's been taking on heavier, albeit still lyrical, roles like Romeo (Gounod). In a wide-ranging conversation with Education Director Nicolas Reveles, Castronovo describes the vocal challenges involved in taking on Ernesto in Don Pasquale. Enjoy!



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Meet Danielle de Niese


Thu, Mar 01, 2012


In a fun, fast-paced interview, soprano Danielle de Niese talks about her career and her upcoming performances as Norina in Don Pasquale. Education Director Nicolas Reveles, as always, asks the right questions. Enjoy!



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Meeting Starbuck: Baritone Morgan Smith


Sat, Feb 18, 2012


One of the stars of the opera Moby Dick is baritone Morgan Smith who portrays Captain Ahab's first mate, Starbuck. The characters' conflict is at the heart of the opera. In a wide-ranging interview with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, the singer discusses his career and how the role of Starbuck came to him through an earlier work with composer, Jake Heggie.



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An Interview with Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer--AUDIO ONLY!


Sat, Feb 18, 2012


In this audio-only and very special podcast, we offer an interview with the creators of Moby Dick, composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. They reflect on their work together and on the sometimes daunting task of taking an 800 page book and simmering it down into a piece for musical theatre, a stirring opera that's been exciting audiences since its premiere in 2010. Listen in as Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, questions them about their stunning work.



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Meeting Ahab: Tenor, Ben Heppner


Thu, Feb 16, 2012


We've waited a long, long time for this; but we finally have the great Canadian heldentenor Ben Heppner in our cast of Moby Dick, singing the role of Captain Ahab. In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, the tenor talks about the creation of the role, its similarity to other roles he sings and the challenges of wearing a peg leg! Enjoy.



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Meeting Queequeg: Bass-Baritone Jonathan Lemalu


Wed, Feb 08, 2012


Bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu has had a meteoric rise in the opera world. This singer from a Samoan family in New Zealand is a favorite with conductors and audiences because of his natural presence, friendliness and, of course, his sumptuous voice. In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, Jon talks about his background, his training and the role of Queequeg which he debuted at the world premiere of Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick at Dallas Opera in 2010.



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An Interview with Pip: Soprano Talise Trevigne


Fri, Feb 03, 2012


What's it like to be the only woman in a cast literally overrun with men? Find out as soprano Talise Trevigne, who graced our stage last season as Micaela in Carmen, speaks with Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach. Talise talks about the opera Moby-Dick, its overwhelming music and the challenges of taking on a 'pants' role as Pip, the cabin boy of Captain Ahab. Not incidentally, her big moment in this opera is sung from 30 feet in the air! 



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An Interview with Herod: Tenor, Allan Glassman


Wed, Jan 25, 2012


Tenor Allan Glassman sings all the big lyric Italian roles, roles like Otello and Canio. He comes to San Diego to sing a role often given to 'character' tenors, that of King Herod in Strauss's Salome. What a difference a voice makes! In a role that is often more 'spoken' than sung, Glassman makes a very good point of actually singing the role and stressing its lyrical potential. Enjoy this interivew with Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, Nicolas Reveles.



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An Interview with Jochanaan: Bass-Baritone Greer Grimsley


Thu, Jan 19, 2012


Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley usually comes to town toting the role of a villain: Pizarro in Fidelio, Telramund in Lohengrin, Scarpia in Tosca, and last season, Mephistopheles in Faust. He returns this season as the one 'good guy', the shining light in Salome, Jochanaan (John the Baptist). In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, our Director of Education and Outreach, he talks about the role, the opera and his career. Enjoy!



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An Interview with Salome: Soprano Lise Lindstrom


Fri, Jan 13, 2012


Today we welcome back one of our favorite sopranos, Lise Lindstrom, who had such a great success last season as Turandot. In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, she talks about her career, her recent debut at La Scala as the "ice princess" in Puccini's opera, and about the role of Salome. Enjoy!



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Putting DON PASQUALE in Context


Mon, Dec 19, 2011


Continuing with our series on the historical/cultural contexts for our 2012 operas, Nicolas Reveles talks about Donizetti's brilliant comedy Don Pasquale, giving you an idea how old Italian theatrical traditions informed the plot and its characters, as well as how lots of current Hollywood and television properties still revere those old traditions. Enjoy!



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Putting The Barber of Seville in Context


Tue, Dec 13, 2011


Continuing with our series (placing our 4 operas in historical and cultural context), here is a look at The Barber of Seville and its roots in the Italian commedia dell'arte tradition. Now that sounds pretty esoteric, right? But no, it has a lot to do with the plot and characters in the Rossini opera and, when you come to think about it, has a lot to do with what passes as nightly entertainment on our multitudinous television networks! (Think situation comedies!) Nicolas Reveles explains it all to you! Enjoy.



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Putting MOBY-DICK in Context


Mon, Dec 05, 2011


Our series continues, putting the four opera productions of 2012 into a historical and cultural context. For the Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer opera Moby-Dick, the context is obvious: 19th century whaling and its influence on the writing of Herman Melville's epic novel which was first published in 1851. Let Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, explain it all to you!



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Putting SALOME in Context


Wed, Nov 30, 2011


Beginning this week, we'll put all four of our opera productions for 2012 in context of both the eras in which they were originally produced as well as in context of the time and place of their stories. Salome, for instance, is set in first-century Galilee, but the opera has much more to say about the time during which it was written, at the turn of the 20th century. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, explains it all to you!



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How to Follow Salome: Leitmotivs and That Sort of Thing...


Mon, Nov 21, 2011


Dr. Nick explains it all to you: like most German operas written after the extraordinary career of Richard Wagner, Strauss used a leitmotiv system to unify his opera Salome. It's easy to follow and can be quite fun once you get your ears tuned to them. Watch listen and enjoy!



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Overtures, Preludes and 'Let's Get This Party Started'!


Tue, Nov 01, 2011


Think about it...different operas demand different beginnings. Composers from Handel to Heggie have come up with myriad ways to open their operas...with overtures, preludes or, quite frankly, almost nothing at all! San Diego Opera's 2012 Season offers an object lesson on this subject and shows that the variety of solutions is always fascinating. Watch and listen to Nicolas Reveles, the Education and Outreach Director of San Diego Opera, talk about these "opening statements".



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Going to the Opera: A Reality Check


Thu, Oct 20, 2011


Why go to the opera? Especially in this time of economic hardship, we want our entertainmet dollars to go a long way and opera is no exception: we who are passionate about it have no problem spending money on it. But we don't want to (nor are all of us capable) spend an arm and a leg on it. Watch Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach grapple with this issue and suggest ways to make it less expensive for true opera lovers!



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SALOME: On The Precipice


Wed, Oct 12, 2011


Richard Strauss's opera Salome was written during a cultural, artistic ferment that eventually gave way to the expressionism movement in Germany and Austria. Watch and listen to Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, illuminate for you the special sound-world of this unique opera!



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Using Your Ears at the Opera: Rosina in The Barber of Seville


Tue, Oct 04, 2011


Composers like Rossini wrote their operas for specific singers, often waiting until actual rehearsals to finish the music so that the arias and ensembles could be tailored to that singer's particular gifts. Such was the case for Rosina, the heroine in The Barber of Seville. Listen to Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera talk about how important it is to match the personality of the VOICE with the personality of the CHARACTER in opera.



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Donizetti, Don Pasquale and "bel canto"


Mon, Sep 26, 2011


For our very first video podcast episode, here's a brief discussion by Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, of bel canto, Donizetti, Chopin (!) and Don Pasquale. Watch and listen, especially to the first part of Norina's aria "Quel guardo il cavaliere", a wonderful example of the bel canto style. Enjoy!



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The Male Chorus in "Moby-Dick"


Mon, Sep 19, 2011


Among the unique features of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's opera Moby-Dick is the use of an all-male chorus. That's to be expected, of course, since the story is set entirely at sea on the Pequod, a whaling ship out of Nantucket. The only female voice in the opera is the role of Pip, the cabin boy, which is sung by a soprano. It turns out that there's an interesting tradition of the use of the male chorus in opera. Listen in as our Director of Education, Nicolas Reveles, explores this interesting vocal 'color' in Moby-Dick and other great works.



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In Memoriam: Salvatore Licitra


Tue, Sep 06, 2011


Tenor Salvatore Licitra died this past weekend at the age of 43 from complications due to a motorscooter accident as well as a possible cerebral hemorrhage. The opera world mourns his passing, as do we here at San Diego Opera where he was due to make his role debut as Don Jose in Bizet's Carmen (a contract he had to cancel due to a back injury) and his appearance as Radames in our 2013 season closer, Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Join Nicolas Reveles, Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, for a collection of excerpts from some of his wonderful opera recordings.



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Casting the Role of Salome


Mon, Aug 29, 2011


What do you have to keep in mind if you're and opera director and you're considering a soprano for the role of Salome? Well, quite a bit actually, according to Geisel Director of Education and Outreach Nicolas Reveles. Listen in as we discuss the role's musical and physical demands, and hear the final monologue of Strauss's opera with Cheryl Studer in the title role, Giuseppe Sinopoli conducting the Deutsche Oper Berlin Orchestra. 



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The Perfect 'Opera buffa', "The Barber of Seville"


Mon, Aug 22, 2011


Last week this podcast reviewed some of the commedia roots of Donizetti's Don Pasquale. This week Education Director Nicolas Reveles does the same thing for Rossini's Barber of Seville, the quintessential opera buffa or comic opera. Enjoy!



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"Don Pasquale" and Opera Buffa


Mon, Aug 15, 2011


We finish our 2012 International Season with two wonderful Italian comic operas, The Barber of Seville by Rossini and Don Pasquale by Donizetti. Let's spend a couple of weeks looking at the influences that created the form we call opera buffa and spend some time with their comic characters. Today, Norina, the star of Don Pasquale, and her delightful entrance aria.



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The Role of Captain Ahab in "Moby-Dick"


Mon, Aug 08, 2011


You've got to be sure that one of the first things Jake Heggie did when he sat down to compose Moby-Dick to Gene Scheer's wonderful libretto was that he had to decide what voice-type Captain Ahab was. The choice he made? Heldentenor! You might find that to be an odd choice, or a fortuitous one. You decide, but after you listen to Dr. Nicolas Reveles's podcast this week!



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Musical Imagery and Atmosphere in Strauss's "Salome"


Mon, Aug 01, 2011


The orchestra is a very active participant in Strauss's Salome, detailing the stage action at every moment in the drama. Just what is it that makes this work so well in the operas of Strauss? Take a listen to Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, as he analyzes three important characters in the opera: Jokanaan (John the Baptist), Herod and Salome herself.



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Great Recordings of "The Barber of Seville"


Mon, Jul 25, 2011


There are 30 to 40 recordings of Rossini's great opera, The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia). How does one choose? Let Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera give you a few suggestions. Along the way you'll hear some of the more significant excerpts from this delightful comic opera!



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Great Recordings of "Don Pasquale"


Mon, Jul 18, 2011


Dr. Nicolas Reveles, Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, chooses three recordings of Donizetti's comic masterpiece Don Pasquale to help you get to know the opera (with a little help from Beverly Sills, Alfredo Kraus, Gabriel Bacquier and Fernando Corena!)



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Meet Jake Heggie, Composer of Moby-Dick


Mon, Jul 11, 2011


One of the most exciting things to happen on the cultural landscape of San Diego next season is the West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's opera Moby-Dick. In this podcast hosted by Nicolas Reveles we'll experience some of the earlier music of composer Heggie, including a couple of art songs and excerpts from Dead Man Walking, his first opera, commissioned by San Francisco Opera. You'll easily hear that this composer's music is readily accessible and melodic, with a dramatic & theatrical sense that attracts audiences of all ages!



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NEW! The San Diego Opera 2012 Podcasts Begin!


Fri, Jul 01, 2011


Great Recordings of Salome: From Birgit Nilsson to Inge Nielson, from Georg Solti to Giuseppe Sinopoli, there have been terrific recordings of Richard Strauss's thrilling opera based on the play by Oscar Wilde. Let's explore a few of them; maybe there's one that will capture your interest during this survey that you'll want to download to your MP3 player or order from your favorite online store.



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San Diego Opera's 2012 International Season Preview


Mon, May 16, 2011


It's that time again: the announcement of our new season! This special podcast includes audio clips from the operas Salome by Richard Strauss, Moby-Dick by Jake Heggie, Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. With commentary by Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, this hour-long podcast will fill you in on some of the music and the great singing that we have to look forward to next year. Enjoy!



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Der Rosenkavalier: The Marschallin's Monologue


Fri, Feb 18, 2011


One of the most poignant moments in the score of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier comes towards the end of Act I, the Marschallin's Monologue, "Da geht er hin". Let's explore what makes this monologue so reflective of the experience of being human, aging against our will, and having to watch it happen day by day in our bathroom mirrors. Strauss gets it!



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Revisiting the Leitmotifs in Der Rosenkavalier


Wed, Feb 09, 2011


The leitmotifs or "leading motives" in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier are explored by our Education Director, Nicolas Reveles, in a podcast first posted on August 16, 2010. After defining the leitmotif and its use by Richard Wagner, we'll listen to those used by Strauss to help tell the story of this wonderful opera.



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Best Of...Famous Turandots on Record


Mon, Jan 24, 2011


Luckily for us, Puccini's opera Turandot premiered in 1926, well after the invention of sound recording.  So even though we don't have a recording of excerpts from the opera by the two principals (soprano Rosa Raisa and Miguel Fleta), we do have recordings of some of the sopranos who made history in the role.  Let's survey a handful of those sopranos and see if we can get a good sound picture of what Puccini might have expected for the role. Take a listen to this repeat of a popular podcast from June 14, 2010.



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An Interview with Liu: Soprano, Ermonela Jaho


Fri, Jan 21, 2011


Listen in to a revealing interview with soprano Ermonela Jaho who will be singing the role of Liu in Turandot. The Albanian singer made her debut with San Diego Opera in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, standing in for an ailing colleague on opening night. Now she's back, singing the entire run of course, and delighted to be in San Diego!



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An Interview with Lise Lindstrom, our Turandot


Thu, Jan 20, 2011


Dr. Nic spends some time with the wonderful and lovely young soprano Lise Lindstrom who will make her San Diego Opera debut in the challenging role of Turandot. The conversation traverses her recent triumph in the role at the Metropolitan opera as a last-minute replacement and a discussion of the vocal challenges in the aria "In questa reggia".  Listen in!



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Tenor Carlo Ventre: An Interview about Calaf


Mon, Jan 17, 2011


And so we begin with a new element in our San Diego Opera podcasts: interviews with some of the personalities involved with our 2011 productions.  Let's begin with a chat with tenor Carlo Ventre, who will be singing the role of Calaf in Puccini's Turandot, opening January 29.  In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, Ventre reveals the challenges of the role as well as the physical sensation he experiences in performing great tenor roles like Calaf on stage in front of a large audience.



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San Diego Opera's 2011 Season: The "Golden Moments"


Tue, Jan 04, 2011


Well, folks, it's here: 2011, and we open our season in four weeks!  Let's take some time to survey the wonderful musical and vocal pleasures that we're about to enjoy in Puccini's Turandot, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, Gounod's Faust and Bizet's Carmen.



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The Orchestral Interludes in Bizet's Carmen


Wed, Dec 29, 2010


One of the things that attracts us all to Bizet's Carmen is his use of the orchestra, especially in those wonderful entr'actes the he places prior to each act.  Let's explore and have a listen to them as we look forward to our 2011 International Season!



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Faust: The Scene You'll Probably Never See


Mon, Dec 13, 2010


In olden days (!), Gounod's opera Faust was performed in its entirety.  That makes for a very long evening.  Having recently caught a Met broadcast on Sirius radio from 1972 with Domingo, Zylis-Gara and Tozzi (as a marvelous Mephistopheles!), I can attest that it took forever, however gorgeous the performance was!  The scene that is normally dropped for both time and dramatic reasons is the Walpurgis Night Scene.  Let's take a listen to some of the music from that scene.



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The Waltz in Der Rosenkavalier


Mon, Dec 06, 2010


Did you ever wonder exactly why Richard Strauss uses the waltz throughout his comic opera Der Rosenkavalier?  Considering that the story takes place in mid-18th century Vienna (a time when the waltz had not quite developed yet) it seems a bit anachronistic.  And yet, Strauss makes it work so well!  Listen to a theory proposed by the great conductor Georg Solti and a few choice examples from the score!



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The Spectacular Choruses in Turandot


Tue, Nov 30, 2010


One doesn't automatically think of Giacomo Puccini as a "choral" composer, but there are some glorious choral moments in nearly all of his operas as well as a lovely Mass, the Messa di Gloria.  The chorus writing in Turandot, however, is masterful and the choristers are busy throughout the entire opera.  Let's explore some of this wonderful music.



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Carmen: Let's Dance!


Mon, Nov 01, 2010


You're probably aware that there are lots of "danceable" moments in Bizet's opera Carmen.  Let's explore some of those moments, one of which might surprise you!



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Valentin's Aria from Faust


Mon, Oct 18, 2010


One of the most memorable moments in Gounod's opera Faust is the baritone aria, "Avant de quitter ces lieux".  It is probably the most popular aria for lyric baritones to audition with, as well as a key moment in the opera.  By the way, it ain't easy!  Let's listen to three baritones from three different generations of opera artists apply their mastery to this wonderful piece.



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The Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier


Mon, Oct 11, 2010


Strauss parodies the "Italianate" style, especially Puccini, in Act One of Der Rosenkavalier with the appearance of the Italian Singer.  Let's spend a bit of time with this character who'll be sung in our production this coming season by Stephen Costello, our Faust for 2011.



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Why Liu Steals the Show from Turandot!


Mon, Oct 04, 2010


It's the classic problem with Puccini's Turandot: how do you move the audience's sympathies from Liu to the title character after falling in love with the beautiful young slave girl?  It was Puccini's problem, and we're not sure he entirely solved it.  Let's explore and listen!



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The Opera Comique version of Carmen


Mon, Sep 27, 2010


Carmen premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris in March, 1875.  The Comique had certain performing traditions that Bizet and his team had to follow, one of them being that dialogue between characters was normally spoken, not sung.  In fact it wasn't until after Bizet's death in June of that same year that the fully-sung version of the opera was first presented to the public.  Let's briefly explore the difference in these two versions.



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Meet Baron Ochs


Mon, Sep 13, 2010


If you don't know who Baron Ochs is, take a listen.  He's the biggest boor in opera and he's the comic foil to the romance and the waltz atmosphere of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier.  Here's a short introduction.



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Original Cast Recordings of Turandot


Tue, Sep 07, 2010


You mean, there were original cast recordings of Puccini's last opera?  Yes, there were.  There are also recordings of some of the singers that Puccini wanted to cast in the roles of Turandot and Calaf back in 1926 but who ended up being unavailable.  Let's take a listen to some real audio history!



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Great Don Jose's in Audio Recordings


Mon, Aug 30, 2010


Just as we did last week with Faust, here are some stellar examples of great tenors who made Don Jose in Carmen a signature role.  What could be more challenging for a singing actor than to trace the deterioration of a character both musically and dramatically in an exciting evening of opera?  Listen in!



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Great Fausts on Record


Tue, Aug 24, 2010


There is no dearth of great tenors who have recorded portions or all of the role of Faust in Gounod's opera.  Let's listen to a few of them: Caruso, Gigli, Bjoerling, Corelli and Gedda.  What fun!



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Leitmotifs in Der Rosenkavalier


Mon, Aug 16, 2010


Something common to many operas composed after the death of Richard Wagner is the use of the leitmotif, a musical idea, tune or melodic "germ" used by a composer to unify a complicated score.   Richard Strauss was one of the earliest inheritors of the leitmotif system and he uses it with abandon in Der Rosenkavalier.  Let's explore some of the leitmotifs used in that opera.



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Chinese Tunes in Puccini's Turandot


Tue, Aug 03, 2010


Thanks to an Italian diplomat who'd spent some time in China and gave a Chinese music box to the composer, Puccini was able to discover and then use actual folk tunes within the fabric of his score for the opera Turandot.  This podcast will introduce you to those tunes as they are utilized by Puccini in order to help you get to know more about the opera.  Have fun!



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Conchita Supervia: The Greatest Carmen?


Mon, Aug 02, 2010


Some of you might be familiar with the name, some of you may not.  But there was a time when, especially in Europe, mezzo-soprano Conchita Supervia was considered the greatest Carmen of all time.  Luckily for us, she left some brilliant recordings behind, dating from the 1930s.  Take a listen and see if you agree that this singer might just have left a standard of performance that has yet to be surpassed!



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Faust: Great Marguerites on Record


Mon, Jul 26, 2010


We're lucky in that many of the great sopranos of the past who've sung the role of Marguerite in Gounod's Faust recorded excerpts or were involved in complete commercial recordings of the work.  Let's survey them and bask for awhile in the beauty of these voices!



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The Gender-Bending Role of Octavian


Mon, Jul 19, 2010


In Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier we have a wonderful example of a hosenrolle or 'trouser role', a female singer portraying a male character in an opera.  Strauss and other composers in opera history had a lot of fun with these roles, and it's time to explore how Octavian fits into the tradition.



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The Role of Calaf in Puccini's Turandot


Mon, Jul 12, 2010


One of the most exciting male roles in all of Puccini's operas is the role of Calaf, the Tartar Prince who comes to China and falls in love with Turandot.  Although Miguel Fleta, who created the role in 1926, did not record anything from the role the tenor whom the composer had in mind all along did.  Take a listen to some of the tenors who made the role famous, find out more about Calaf and hear some beautiful music!



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Carmen: Why It's All About Don Jose!


Mon, Jul 05, 2010


Sure, she's the 'star', and yes, she gets all the great, memorable tunes.  But did you every think that maybe, just possibly, the opera is really about Don Jose?  Musically, at least, I think he's more interesting!  Let's take a listen!



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Faust: The Devil, You Say!


Mon, Jun 28, 2010


In looking forward to bass-baritone Greer Grimsley's performance in our upcoming production of Gounod's FAUST, I thought it would be fun to look more closely at the role of Mephistopheles and the historic basses who sang the role.

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Margarethe Siems: the First Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier


Mon, Jun 21, 2010


Imagine my surprise when I discovered, not terribly long ago, that there were recordings of members of the very first production of Der Rosenkavalier from Dresden, 1911!  Here's an introduction to the very first soprano to sing the marvelous role of the Marschallin, Margarethe Siems.  Enjoy!



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Famous Turandots on Record


Mon, Jun 21, 2010


Luckily for us, Puccini's opera Turandot premiered in 1926, well after the invention of sound recording.  So even though we don't have a recording of excerpts from the opera by the two principals (soprano Rosa Raisa and Miguel Fleta), we do have recordings of some of the sopranos who made history in the role.  Let's survey a handful of those sopranos and see if we can get a good sound picture of what Puccini might have expected for the role.



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San Diego Opera's 2011 Season Podcast


Mon, Apr 12, 2010


Announcing San Diego Opera's 2011 International Season!  Listen to Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach introduce Puccini's Turandot, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, Gounod's Faust and Bizet's Carmen, operas that will be brilliantly produced and performed at the Civic Theatre.  Join Dr. Reveles for an operatic adventure in listening!



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Great Tenors in La Traviata


Fri, Mar 26, 2010


Tenors from Caruso to Domingo have sung and recorded music from Verdi's opera La traviata.  Here's a survey of some of those famous singers and their recordings for your enjoyment, a benefit of which will be to get more familiar with Alfredo's music before you come see our production!



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Giorgio Germont: You've Gotta Love Alfredo's Father!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010


Poor Alfredo's father: he often gets short shrift in discussions of Verdi's masterpiece La Traviata, and he deserves better!  Here's a survey of his role in the opera as well as some wonderful recorded excerpts to help you get to know him better.



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Great Choices, Great Opera: Nabucco


Thu, Feb 25, 2010


Great art is about great choices, and Verdi made great choices in writing operas like Nabucco! I'd like to reflect for a few minutes on just what kinds of choices he made in this exciting opera as we come to the end of this brilliant production!



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Nabucco's Prayers


Tue, Feb 09, 2010


We all know by now that Verdi's Nabucco is loosely based on the Bible, and the deep background of the story is the Babylonian Captivity, the Exile.  Upon looking more closely at the libretto of the opera, one can find all of the different forms of prayer that one can actually find in the Bible, prayer-forms that are actually recognized by Biblical scholars.  Did Temistocle Solera, the librettist for Verdi's opera, know the Bible that well?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  But listen to the examples you'll find in today's podcast and make up your own mind. 



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Great Sopranos Sing Mimi!


Mon, Jan 25, 2010


In the same spirit as a podcast we posted a few months back about great Rodolfos in the history of recorded sound, here is a brief survey of some of the great sopranos who've sung the role of Mimi, especially created for this week as we open Puccini's La Boheme! Enjoy the sounds of Farrar, Albanese, de los Angeles, Tebaldi and Freni as we look forward to Saturday night's opening.

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Puccini's La boheme: Another Look at "Another Look"!


Tue, Jan 12, 2010


Since we are going into production on our first opera of the season, let's take another look at a podcast that first ran on June 10, 2009, all about the first act of Puccini's La boheme and how the composer uses musical ideas to tell a great story.  This is a great brush-up in preparation for your trip to the theatre, beginning on January 30!



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Stars of our 2010 Season: Meet Piotr Beczala


Tue, Jan 05, 2010


Let's kick off our 2010 San Diego Opera Podcast Season by meeting one of the stars of our first production, Puccini's La Boheme: the young Polish tenor Piotr Beczala!  This is first class singing from the lyric tenor that we've all been waiting for!

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Opera's Game-Changers: Revolutions in an Art Form


Sun, Dec 27, 2009


With the opening of James Cameron's film Avatar last week, I started thinking about moments in opera history that were game-changing, that began revolutions in the art form.  Let's take a quick look!

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Verdi: The Early Years


Tue, Nov 17, 2009


Nabucco might have been Verdi's first success, but it was his third opera.  What were the first two like?  And how about the two that followed that success in 1842?  Let's explore the operas of Verdi, the early years.

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Making the Case for La Rondine, Puccini's "Operetta"


Thu, Nov 05, 2009


San Diego Opera is producing the evergreen standard "La boheme" by Puccini, an opera that all opera lovers know and love.  But what about one of his lesser known works?  Not terribly long ago, I discovered "La Rondine" and realize what a get this opera is.  Let me introduce it to you so that you can come to love it as much as I do!



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Recitative Revisted: Defining Character


Mon, Nov 02, 2009


Maybe you haven't noticed, but recitative is treated differently in different  eras of opera history.  Earlier operas utilized harpsichord and other keyboard instruments to accompany recitative, later operas used the full orchestra.  But are operatic characters treated differently, even within the same opera?  Let's explore!



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What On Earth Is The Concertato?


Mon, Oct 12, 2009


Impress your opera-loving friends with your newly found knowledge of one of the most exciting musical events in most standard repertory Italian operas and that even occasionally shows up in the French and German repertoire!  The Concertato…here it is.  Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.  Free of charge.



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German Opera Composers Before Wagner


Mon, Oct 05, 2009


You may well wonder: was there such a thing as a German opera composer before Wagner?  His works so outshone every other German composer within his lifetime that we tend to forget about people like Weber, Spohr, Nicolai, Lortzing and Marschner.  Who??



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Great Arias from Operas You've Never Seen!


Mon, Sep 21, 2009


Now here's a sample of wonderful music from operas that I'm sure you've either never seen or never WILL see!  You'll hear music by such diverse composers as Cilea, Catalani, Auber, Thomas and...Rossini.  Enjoy this excursion into the unknown.

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The "Other" Roles in 2010


Tue, Sep 15, 2009


Let's take a few minutes to listen to excerpts from our 2010 Season which feature the secondary principal singers, roles like Marcello, Ismaele, Mercutio and Germont.  You can have the greatest Rodolfo and Mimi in the world, but you'd better have a Marcello who can match them!



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Just What Is A Leitmotif?


Tue, Aug 11, 2009


We've thrown this term around a lot in our podcast series.  It's time to define it and listen to some worthy examples from the operas of Richard Wagner.  It is summer, after all, with Ring festivals going on throughout the world!

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The Art of the Love Duet


Mon, Jul 13, 2009


Love duets are a part of just about every opera in the standard repertory, so much so that we don’t think about them much.  We just luxuriate in their beautiful melodies.  But there’s always a reason for those ebbs and flows of passion.  Let’s explore some of the love duets in the early periods of opera history and see what makes them tick!



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La Traviata: The Real Violetta


Mon, Jun 29, 2009


The most fascinating aspect of Verdi’s La traviata is that the story is based on true events in the life of a real, 19th century French socialite, who had many aristocratic, well-connected and famous lovers, went through numerous fortunes and died of tuberculosis at the tender age of 23.  Who was this remarkable woman?  Listen to this week’s podcast to find out!



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Romeo and Juliet: The Love Duets


Mon, Jun 22, 2009


One of the more unusual aspects of Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet is the fact that the tenor and soprano who sing the two title roles have four (count ‘em, FOUR) love duets!  Let’s take a look at these duets and see what the challenges are in them for the singers as well as for the audience.



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Nabucco: Verdi's First Success


Mon, Jun 15, 2009


Nabucco was Verdi’s third opera and his first true success.  But what was the measure of success in opera in 1840s Italy?  What were other composers doing at the time?  Who inspired Verdi?  Let’s explore this opera by placing it in the context of music and drama of that time.



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The Color of Rigoletto and Other Mysteries


Mon, Mar 23, 2009


And now for your semi-annual Italian lesson: the word is 'tinta', and it means 'color'.  Now that you know what it means to us, let's discover what it meant to composer Giuseppe Verdi, especially with regards to our next production, Rigoletto, opening this week!

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Rigoletto Sound-Alikes: The Verdi Baritone


Mon, Mar 16, 2009


Verdi's Rigoletto didn't just spring from nothingness: there were a number of baritone roles in his earlier operas that foreshadowed this brilliant creation.  Here are examples of two of them from Ernani and Macbeth.  Enjoy!

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Heard Any Early Verdi Lately?


Mon, Feb 23, 2009


As we look forward to San Diego Opera's production of Verdi's Rigoletto opening in March, let's take a quick tour of the operas that put Verdi on the operatic map!

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Bel Canto: Is It The Words Or The Music?


Mon, Dec 15, 2008


Let’s explore further a topic that we discussed a few months back, inspired by a recent article in the New York Times by the eminent music critic Anthony Tommasini on the nature of bel canto.  Does this elusive Italian term describe a style of musical composition, especially in terms of melodic direction, or a composer’s sensitivity to words?  Or both?  You be the judge!



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Dance In Opera. And I'm Not Talking Ballet!


Mon, Dec 01, 2008


We all know that opera and dance have been intertwined since the beginning, and in France they were co-equal arts living in the same space.  But have you ever given thought to all of those moments in opera where dance actually moves the drama along, not a tacked on, pretty addition to the opera but an important part of the narrative?  Let's talk about it!

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Scaling the Heights: Coloratura Sopranos


Mon, Nov 17, 2008


In a series of occasional surveys of specialized voice types here are a few words (and a few sound clips) of every opera lover's stratospheric dream...the coloratura soprano.  When the composer says 'jump', she asks 'how high?'

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Is There Recitative In Modern Opera?


Mon, Nov 03, 2008


Whatever happened to recitative?  Did it die with Donizetti or did composers somehow carry on the style?  And more importantly, does recitative still have a place in so called modern opera?



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Overtures, Part Deux


Tue, Oct 21, 2008


Let's continue our discussion of the opera overture by looking at Mozart, Rossini and the composers of our 2009 Season operas.  More on the evolution of the overture...

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Sinfonias, Preludes and Overtures: Where Do We Begin?


Mon, Oct 13, 2008


Let's take a little time out to focus on the role of the orchestra in opera, beginning at the beginning: the overture.  What is the role of the overture?  Since it's the first music you hear, it's pretty important, right?  Well, maybe.  Here's a brief history.

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Are You New? Here's How To Really Enjoy An Evening At The Opera!


Tue, Sep 09, 2008


Are you dreading it?  Are you looking forward to it?  You're just putting up with it because your wife wants to go?  Which opera is good to bring the kids to?  Give me 15 minutes, I'll show you how to have a good time at the opera, from dinner before to drinks after!

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Benjamin Britten and English Opera


Tue, Aug 26, 2008


Britten, the composer of "Peter Grimes" which San Diego Opera will be producing in 2009,  was a crucial link to composers today who work in the English language.  Let's explore his contribution to the art.

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The Vocal Cadenza: Some Singers Just Want to Show Off!


Mon, Aug 18, 2008


Besides defining just what a cadenza is, let's go a bit further and ask ourselves if there are dramatic or even emotional reasons for cadenzas, or are they just an opportunity for a singer to milk applause from the audience?

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Massenet. The French Puccini?


Tue, Aug 12, 2008


In my humble opinion, Massenet and Puccini are speaking essentially the same language and share a similar turn-of-the-century aesthetic.  Listen in and see if you agree!



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Thematic Reminiscence: Come Again?


Tue, Aug 05, 2008


Yes it's a formidable name, but it's one of the most easily recognizable techniques that composers use to pull their operas together.  Spend a few moments and let me give you some great examples from our 2009 season!

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Tosca: Recordings I Love


Mon, Jul 28, 2008


A little summer diversion: there are so many good recordings of Tosca out there, but which ones are best?  I'm not sure, but here are some of my favorites, recordings that you'll be able to find on Amazon.com.

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Recitative: OK, So Just What Is It?


Mon, Jul 14, 2008


Recitative.  It's a word you hear thrown around a lot in operatic circles, but do you know what it really means?  Not to worry...here's everything you need to know about recitative and then some.  You'll be thanking me when you can use it intelligently during the next intermission at the opera.  Your friends will be impressed.  Seriously.



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Exoticism in opera. Is that incense I smell?


Mon, Apr 21, 2008


What's up with operas like Aida, The Pearl Fishers, Madama Butterfly and Turandot?  Nineteenth century opera seemed to corner the market on exotic locales. 

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Basses: the lowdown on the down low!


Fri, Apr 11, 2008


OK, OK, I was just trying to get your attention.  Nothing salacious here, just a brief overview of the guys at the bottom.  No, really!

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A Word on Verdi


Tue, Apr 01, 2008


The old man knew what he was doing: he wanted opera to be real theatre.  And if a Verdi opera doesn't come off that way, then something's wrong.

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Baritones: Every man thinks he IS one


Tue, Mar 25, 2008


The baritone is the man's man of opera.  If George Clooney were an opera singer, he'd probably be one.  But he's not.  So we won't go there.

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Italy and the Opera. Why?


Fri, Mar 07, 2008


Because.  A brief history of Italy and its relationship to one of her most glorious exports.  Besides limoncello.  Say Euridice three times fast.

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Mezzo-Sopranos: Tony Still Doesn't Live Here!


Tue, Mar 04, 2008


Mamas, witches and gypsies.  And real women with an independent streak.  If The Sopranos were an opera, Livia would be one.  A mezzo, that is.

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What Is An Aria?


Mon, Feb 25, 2008


A brief history of something you didn't know existed until you started coming to San Diego Opera.  Why don't we just call it a song and be done with it?

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Tenors: Opera's 'Players'


Mon, Feb 18, 2008


The sopranos all die and the tenors have all the sex.  Wassup wid dat?

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Is 'bel canto' a new restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter?


Mon, Feb 04, 2008


Maybe it oughta be.  But short answer: no.  Tune in the long answer.  It's got something to do with beautiful singing and we've got it!

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The Sopranos: Tony Doesn't Live Here!


Mon, Jan 28, 2008


...or Carmela or Meadow or Johnny Sack.  But if you want to get to know the other sopranos, tune in.  Coloraturas, dramatics, lyrics...they're all gorgeous and they're all here.



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Opera Basics: Words and Music


Mon, Jan 14, 2008


Something kind of cool happens when words and music meet.  You know, your song??  It reminds you of when you met that special person...where you were, what you did, maybe even what time it was.  Multiply that by one hundred and you have opera!

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