opera

About eight years ago, as a grad student, Annie Holt was working in Columbia University's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library when she was assigned to catalogue the work of Harry Lawrence Freeman, a largely forgotten Harlem-based composer from the early 20th century.

"It was fabulous!" she says. "I had the honor of going through all the cardboard boxes that came right from his family's house and unearthing everything, and I, for myself, discovered how amazing his story was and how amazing his music is."

Matthew Aucoin is being compared to Mozart, Wagner and Leonard Bernstein. He's worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Margaret Juntwait was the mellifluous voice of the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday live radio broadcasts. She was also a longtime host at NPR member station WNYC in New York. Juntwait died Wednesday at age 58 of complications from ovarian cancer. The Met and WNYC have each offered tributes.

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

Tom Summers

There's an Opera Company you may not know about, playing in places that seem highly unlikely: the Hill Country. But if you think opera’s new there—nope.

“Oh no—not at all. In places like Sisterdale, Fredericksburg, Comfort, Texas, all around the Hill Country, they brought with them culture from Europe.”

Arden Dorn is the President of Hill Country Opera and he’s talking about the mid 1800s. “They would have opera singers entertain every week. They originally had seven resident opera singers in the Sisterdale area.”

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