Wagnerian Anecdotes

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Ethan Morden's excellent book, Opera Anecdotes"  has many stories about opera singers. One of the funniest sections is the one on Olive Fremstad, a great Wagnerian who sang the roles of Brünnhilde, Venus, Elsa, Kundry and Isolde at the turn of the 20th Century:

"The daughter of a stern Methodist, Fremstad often looked at the world - and art - from the vantage of fundamentalist "witness." Once she (Fremstad) said, "I consider the whole opera Parsifal to be just an elaborate revival meeting."

It Must Have Been a SLOW Game!

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Posted on October 9, 2014

In this week's New Yorker magazine (see attachment)....

"We're speeding up the game by replacing the seventh inning with the "Ring Cycle."  

SFO General Director David Gockley Announces Plans to Retire at End of 2015-16 Season

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Posted October 5, 2014

SFO General Director David Gockley wraps up a 44-year career as opera impresario.

Cutting-Edge Brooklyn Concert - FREE Live Videocast Oct 3rd, 9:00 PM EST

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Posted on October 2, 2014

Joyce DiDonato sings bel canto rarities to launch her new album Stella di Napoli.



Masterclasses Feature Thomas Hampson and Dolora Zajick

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Possted on September 29, 2014

Free masterclasses at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music 

Dessau Ring & Richard Wagner Verband 2015 Congress

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Posted September 26, 2014
A complete Ring Cycle will be performed during the 2015 Richard Wagner Verband International Congress in Dessau (Germany).

Bayerische Staatsoper - streaming live


Posted September 26, 2014

In 2014/15, the Bayerische Staatsoper is presenting its third season of selected performances as live streams free of
charge online with STAATSOPER.TV.

These will also include all the new productions by the General Music Director Kirill
Petrenko. Classical music fans from all over the world can thus follow seven
evenings of opera and two of ballet at the full length, live from Munich. The
first broadcast, on 5 October 2014, will be the audio-visual transmission of

Who's Running the Show?

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September 23, 2013

It was well publicized that Katharina Wagner has signed a 5 year extension of her contract to head the Bayreuth Festival through 2020. The new managing director Heinz-Dieter Sense has signed on to continue in his position through 2016. Eva Wagner-Pasquier leaves the Festival in 2015.

Everyone's a Critic


Posted September 23, 2014

The Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, founded at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, will hold it's first symposium November 6-10 in San Francisco. The events take place in numerous locations and several are imbeded in performances being held at the Symphony, Opera, Philharmonia Baroque and Cal Performances.

Ben Heppner Alive and Well Post-Opera Stage

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Posted on September 20, 2014

Ben Heppner:  "I'm really enjoying my time on CBC Radio as host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and Backstage with Ben Heppner."  He can be heard every Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm EST, CBC Radio 2, Toronto, Canada: