Saturday, April 27, 2013

Opera in the 21st Century

As you probably already know, I am an editor for the collaborative online magazine, Opera21.  This brilliant idea, launched by Jennifer Choi, has really taken off and I'm very proud to present the April 2013 issue.  The topic for this issue is Opera in the 21st Century.  There are some really interesting articles about the effects of changing technology on the opera industry and how that determines the expectations placed upon the art form.  I've attached it below so that you can easily peruse through it for yourself. 

Inside, you'll also find information about two important upcoming events:
1. a press release for New York Opera Exchange's production of Don Giovanni that I will be reviewing in May

2. details about this Monday (7pm EST) -- I will be part of an online panel addressing topics relevant to opera in the current world.  Check the Opera21 Tumblr for the link to the panel on Monday.

You'll also find the continuation of my historical fiction novella about Mozart.  What more could you ask for?  Check it out!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Journey to Cambridge: Bringing Music to Boston the Day After

Tuesday, I performed in the First Songs concert with Dawn Upshaw and my fellow Bard Vocal Arts Program singers at the Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall in Boston.  That (beautiful!) concert hall is part of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

The Boston performance of the First Songs concert, which premiered in New York City (I mention it here) and featured world premiere works, seemed doomed from the start.  We had to cancel our first engagement back in February because of a snow storm and after the horrific events on Monday, I thought that the concert would be cancelled once more.

But we all got on the bus and traveled to Boston early in the morning.  Dawn explained that Boston needed this music now more than ever.

Cambridge was beautiful and vibrant.  I got to walk on Harvard's campus (a nerdy dream of mine!) and have some amazing ginger tea.  I spent time with some old friends and some new ones.  I had the privilege of meeting fellow OperaRox member Sasha, which was an overall delight.

The concert went so smoothly.  I don't think my quartet has ever been so attuned to one another as we were that night.  I loved every minute of that experience.  The composer was in the audience and she was overjoyed by our performance.  The smile on her face made me light up with happiness.  A few other composers, including the illustrious John Harbison, were also in the audience.  This made me feel that this concert was really special.

After the concert, the Dean and the President approached me and personally thanked me for making the trip to Boston to share my music with them.  The gratitude was evident in everyone from the area.  I was glad that I could contribute, in some small way, to the healing that must happen in that place.

My heart goes out to the resilient people of Boston.  I wish all the comfort and peace in the world for the people of that great town and for all those who were affected by the tragedy.  I'm just glad that there are beautiful things in the world to compensate for all the bad.  May we all strive to create these beautiful things every day, in our own way, for all the people in our lives.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Feeling Legit

A little over a year ago, OperaRox was just a fun idea that was doing jumping-jacks in my head.  Now, it's a community of opera enthusiasts that spans continents, ages, and social media platforms. Most exciting of all, it is now being acknowledged by powers in the opera world.

First, mezzo Joyce DiDonato gave OperaRox a shout-out at her Juilliard Masterclass when asked how young people can get involved in opera.  I'd organized a meet-up at her performance of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda at the Met back in January and when they met her at the stage door, they told her that they were all part of the OperaRox group.  (Technically, they've deemed themselves the OperaRox "gang," but that's another story.)

Next, Met children's chorus member Melanie Spector mentioned OperaRox on the classical radio station WQXR during her intermission interview.  I've been listening to WQXR since I was a kid, so it was really special to get a shout-out there. 

As you can imagine, I was starting to feel pretty legit.

Finally, I got an email/phone call today from the artistic director of NY Opera Exchange asking me to review their new production of Don Giovanni.  I'm very excited about this opportunity and I'm hoping that it will only lead to more!  I've always been impressed with the quality of NY Opera Exchange's productions and concerts.  They're definitely a thriving part of NYC's opera scene.

If you're interested in the OperaRox community, you can find us on Tumblr and Twitter (with the hashtag #operarox or you can follow me @cherubino88).  I host LiveShows on occasion where you can interact with other opera lovers in real-time.  Announcements for the LiveShows are made on Tumblr and Twitter. 

So stick around and we'll see what comes of it.  Definitely check back for my review of NY Opera Exchange's Don Giovanni in May!