opera

Music Interviews
9:56 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Tobias Picker On His Family Opera, "Fantastic Mr. Fox"

Credit Chris Eudaily/TPR

Composer Tobias Picker has written three symphonies, eight concertos, and scores of works for solo piano, chamber musicians, and voice. But in his role as Artistic Director of Opera San Antonio, his focus is on the stage. For the opening of its inaugural season, Picker has selected one of his own works, and one designed to open the doors for all ages to an art form that engages the senses in unparalleled fashion. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" was Picker's second opera, written in 1998 for the Los Angeles Opera.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:30 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Enduringly Dramatic Italian Soprano Magda Olivero Dies At 104

Magda Olivero performing Francis Poulenc's one-woman opera La voix humaine at San Francisco Opera in 1979.
Ron Scherl Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 6:53 pm

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NPR Story
1:28 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Aspiring Opera Singer Mines For 'Bering Sea Gold'

Emily Riedel pans for gold on board the boat Steve's World on Ice. (Tim Beers, Jr./Discovery Communications)

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:52 pm

In the annals of scary jobs, Emily Riedel’s must be near the top. The 26-year-old is captain of a dredge boat off the coast of Nome, Alaska. She and her crew are looking for gold at the bottom of the icy sea.

It’s dangerous work. Getting to the gold requires going deep under the water, and this month a diver near Nome died doing it.

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Classical Music
2:03 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

With Both Farce And Feeling, Currentzis' 'Figaro' Succeeds Magnificently

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 2:17 pm

There are many recordings of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Do we need another? In the case of this new recording led by the young Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis, Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says, "Absolutely."

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Deceptive Cadence
2:14 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

Centenarian Soprano Licia Albanese Dies

Soprano Licia Albanese in an undated photo, posing as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata.
Sedge LeBlang courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 7:59 am

Italian-American lyric soprano Licia Albanese, known for her deeply felt character portrayals, died Friday at her home in New York, her son, Joseph Gimma, told NPR Music Saturday. She was 105 years old.

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Music News
4:04 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Met Opera's Union Lockout Postponed; Financial Analysis To Come

A worker unveils advertisement for future productions at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City. The Metropolitan Opera's general manager Peter Gelb has threatened a lockout if there is no an agreement with unions to that represent musicians, stagehands and other employees.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:11 am

Labor negotiations for New York's Metropolitan Opera took a surprising turn Saturday evening. Twelve of the opera's 16 unions faced the threat of a lockout at midnight Sunday, but negotiations were put on hold for a week while an outside analyst takes a look at the Met's finances.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:40 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Meet The Cast Of The Met Opera's Labor Drama

Members of the American Guild of Musical Artists and the American Federation of Musicians, two of the unions embroiled in contract negotiations with Metropolitan Opera management, rally this morning at Dante Park across from Lincoln Center.
Jeff Lunden for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 12:37 pm

Think opera plots are tough to follow? Try wading through the complicated drama playing out offstage at the Metropolitan Opera. At its most basic, it's the story of management and labor unions fighting over a supposedly dwindling pot of money.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:49 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

On The Eve Of A Possible Lockout, Met Opera Talks Remain Contentious

A worker unveils posters Tuesday for the coming season of New York's Metropolitan Opera. The Met's fall schedule could be in jeopardy if failed labor negotiations result in a lockout Friday.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 7:12 am

At the Metropolitan Opera, drama is usually onstage. But for the past several months, it's been in the newspapers.

Contract deadlines for 15 of the 16 unions at the Met in New York are set to expire at midnight tonight, and negotiations will likely go down to the wire. A lockout shutting down the world's largest opera house seems imminent.

Management wants concessions from the unions to offset dwindling ticket sales. Union employees think they're being asked to pay for unchecked spending.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:54 am
Sun July 27, 2014

War Of Words At Met Opera May Signal Shutdown

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in the Met's production of Wagner's Ring cycle, one of the productions that has been criticized by some as too costly.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 12:32 pm

When an opera company is in the midst of contentious labor negotiations, the results can be dramatic. This week, the war of words between unions and management at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the world's largest opera company, escalated. An Aug. 1 shut down now seems likely.

At the center of the debate is the ballooning Met budget, which stood at $200 million in 2006 but has since climbed to more than $325 million. Met General Manager Peter Gelb asserts that union salaries and benefits are his biggest costs, accounting for two-thirds of the operating budget.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:25 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Labor Conflict May Lock Out Met Opera Workers

Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb has warned union workers of a lockout if a contract deal isn't settled by July 31.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:22 pm

The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The world's largest opera company may be headed for a shutdown. Most of the union contracts for the Met expire in a week. Yesterday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb sent a letter to the unions, warning them to prepare for a lockout if they don't come to terms.

For months now, the company and its unions have been at an impasse. Management has proposed cutting 16 percent of union members' compensation. Otherwise, Gelb contends, the company could go bankrupt in two to three years.

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