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News & Information

Opera: May 2008 Archives

Resurgent Met

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Peter Gelb, by Dario Acosta

New Era Brings Buzz (and Big Budgets) to the Met

By Anthony Tommasini
New York Times

In his mission to reinvigorate the Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb, who completed his second season as general manager on Saturday night, has inaugurated outreach campaigns and digital-media ventures that are the envy of the opera world. There have been the enormously popular live high-definition transmissions of broadcasts to movie theaters worldwide, and the Met's lively 24-hour station on Sirius satellite radio. Mr. Gelb has proved a master of marketing and drawn high-profile directors from film and theater into the house.

It has all been exciting. It has also been expensive. As The Wall Street Journal reported last month, the Met's operating budget has grown more than 21 percent in two years, to a projected $268.3 million, and the company is drawing down nearly 6.5 percent yearly on its endowment. Mr. Gelb confirmed on Tuesday that this year's deficit will be $6 million to possibly $10 million. He added, though, that last year the Met had a break-even budget, and he anticipates another for next year.

Read more about this at the New York Times website:

   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/arts/music/21met.html

America Honors Opera

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Leontyne Price

NEA Launches National Opera Awards

By Anne Midgette
Washington Post

Think of American art forms, and opera doesn't typically spring to mind. But now the federal government is setting out to change that.

Yesterday the National Endowment for the Arts announced the four winners of the first annual NEA Opera Honors, the first new program of national arts awards since the Jazz Masters awards were established in 1982. The first opera honorees are the great soprano Leontyne Price, conductor James Levine (who has led the Metropolitan Opera for 32 years), composer Carlisle Floyd ("Susannah") and administrator Richard Gaddes, who will retire this year from the Santa Fe Opera. Each will receive $25,000 in a ceremony on Oct. 31 at the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, since the Washington National Opera is the NEA's partner for this first presentation.

Read more about this at the Washington Post website:

   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/13/AR2008051302755.html

Vivaldi's "Argippo" Found

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Antonio Vivaldi

Vivaldi's long-lost opera returns to Prague after 278 years

After hunting the missing manuscript down in a German archive, Czech conductor revives "Argippo"

By David Randall
aaaa

A long-lost opera by Antonio Vivaldi was to have its first performance in centuries last night. Argippo, discovered by a Czech musician as he rummaged through an old archive of anonymous scores, was being staged at a castle in Prague, the city where it had its premiere in 1730. Fittingly, it will be conducted by Ondrej Macek, the man who found the manuscript, and played by his Baroque Music Ensemble Hofmusici.

Vivaldi, called by contemporaries "the Red Priest" for the colour of his hair, is known these days, to all but serious lovers of Baroque music, for a single work: The Four Seasons. However, he was a prolific composer who produced more than 500 concertos, 73 sonatas, numerous pieces of sacred music and 46 operas. One of them, Argippo, opened in the Palace of Count Spork in the centre of Prague 278 years ago. The Czech capital was then a city of arts with some of the best music of the time, often performed by the continent's most prominent singers and musicians.

Read more about this at The Independent website:

   http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/820860.html

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