I don’t know enough about football to pun…

Operavore, the Opera-dedicated division of WQXR, New York’s public classical music radio station, will be celebrating March Madness in its own way this week, with a full streaming opera each weekday at 2pm, each having some notable “mad scene”.  The week’s full schedule, from Mozart’s Idomeneo to Bernstein’s Candide, is available here; the Operavore stream can be listened to on the WQXR website.

In keeping with the sports theme, a new opera about Bum Phillips, American football coach, premiered in New York at La MaMa last week, and is up through the end of the month.  Commissioned by the collective Monk Parrots, with music by Peter Stopschinski and libretto by Kirk Lynn, it was apparently live-streamed earlier today  : P  How did I miss that!?



So I saw The Turn of the Screw at New York City Opera and it was sooo great!  Everything I’d hoped for and more.  The updating to the 1980s worked great, the set was neat (even if it could’ve stood to change a bit more for certain scenes), there were some wonderfully creepy ghost-related stage pictures, and most importantly of all: the music, story, and performances were just spectac’.

But when soprano Lauren Worsham (below) who, despite being 30 was great as the skittish child Flora, came out for her bow in an oversized purple ’80s sweater, what cartoon character did she remind me of?

Soprano Lauren Worsham in NYCO's Turn of the Screw

Photo credit Richard Termine (who has an opera section in his portfolio!)

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Bernstein Centennial forthcoming

I’ve repeatedly mentioned how this year has been a big one for operatic anniversaries;  bicentennials of Verdi and Wagner and a centennial for Britten (born on St. Cecelia‘s Day, appropriately enough!).  Well, some people are gearing up for another centennial five years in advance…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgXMxhMhYm4&w=350&h=300]

Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918, and the Leonard Bernstein Office in New York is now fielding submissions for a logo for his centennial.  Information on competition guidelines are here, and the last day to submit is January 31st, 2013.  Any creative followers out there get cracking!  And definitely share your submissions with us!

(PS: If you came through Facebook, the photo of Bernstein appearing in that status update is by Jack Mitchell; credit where it’s due!)

Morning, Good Morning

Continuing my pattern of early morning wake-up songs, here’s one from Leonard Bernstein:

You’ll need Spotify to hear this, but it’s definitely worth getting.  It’s a free program that lets you stream full CDs of all kinds, including an amazing selection of classical & opera, so check it out if you like free music : )

I actually saw A Quiet Place at New York City Opera a few seasons ago (a rare revival since its ’83 premiere), and it did suffer from a melodramatic, “very special episode” style in places.  Bit awkward, but I guess they were a bit risqué thematically, so that could do it.  I did like the way this aria opened the third act, though.

EDIT: Ok, for anyone who can’t hear the above track through Spotify, here’s the opening of Trouble in Tahiti, Bernstein’s 1952 one-act opera that was ultimately folded in to A Quiet Place.  They do say “morning” a few times in the jazzy opening number, so I guess that counts?


This is from a 2001 BBC film version available for purchase as a DVD on Opus Arte (ProTip though: the whole thing’s actually available as a playlist on YouTube.)