The Vetere Studio Presents “Opera Grandissima”

Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 7pm

At Niagara’s Historic “Seneca Theatre”

in the heart of downtown

Niagara Falls, Canada

Tickets: $25

Order Online at: The Lyndesfarne Box Office for “The Seneca Theatre”

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Rising Soprano, Latonia Moore to make Metropolitan Opera Debut as Aida

Latonia Moore makes her Met debut as Aida at 1pm, March 3rd, 2012

Every now and again, the opera world gets to marvel in the thrill of excitement when a young singer makes their debut…but not any debut.  A debut at the Metropolitan Opera is probably the most exciting of them all.  In a few hours, young soprano Latonia Moore will make her debut in a role that established many a great singer; Zinka Milanov, Renata Tebaldi, Leontyne Price, and Aprile Millo: Verdi’s magnificent Aida. In this historical and political opera, Verdi created three roles that are powerhouses of vocal prowess:  Aida, Amneris, and in my mind, Amonasro, even more than Radames.  This afternoon, Ms. Moore will sing Aida to Stephanie Blythe’s Amneris, Marcello Giordani’s Radames, and Lado Ataneli’s Amonasro.  The performance will be conducted by Marco Armiliato.  In Bocca al Lupo to Latonia!

Born in Houston and raised in Texas, Latonia Moore began her study at the University of North Texas, originally planed to study Jazz. Fortunately for opera lovers, one of her teachers convinced her to study classical music. She continued as a student of Bill Schuman at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia where she graduated in 2005.

She has won:

  • Richard Tucker Foundation Grant (2005),
  • first price and audience award at Concours International d’Opéra in Marseille (2003)
  • special price “Kammeroper der Internationalen Hans Gabor Belvedere Gesangswettbewerbe” (2003)
  • first price and adiance award “Internationalen Gesangswettbewerbs der italienischen Oper Dresden (2002)
  • Metropolitan Opera’s National Auditions (2000)

Here is a link to a “Sneak Peak” of Latonia’s singing from La Cieca on Parterre Box

“Cieli Azzurri” from Aida

Aprile Millo: A Christmas Celebration. Don’t Miss it!

The Last Verista’s Pick of the Week on Met Opera Radio: Remembering Salvatore Licitra

This week, Met Opera Radio is offering some pretty impressive broadcasts.  I especially recommend: the 1963 Sonnambula with Sutherland, the 1957 Gioconda with Milanov, and the 1989 Aida with Domingo and Millo.  In honour and memory of the young tenor who passed away, tragically, on Sept 5th, 2011, Met Opera Radio is broadcasting a 2006 production of Licitra in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino. It is the last Verista’s Pick of the Week in honour of Mr. Licitra and his love of opera.

Licitra in Verdi’s Forza with Nina Stemme

Monday, September 12, 2011

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6am: Verdi: La Forza del Destino

3/11/2006-Noseda; Voigt, Licitra, Delavan, Ramey, Komlósi, Pons

9am: Bellini: La Sonnambula
3/30/1963-Varviso; Sutherland, Gedda, Flagello, Scovotti

12pm: R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
1/29/2000-Levine; Graham, Fleming, Hawlata, Murphy, Ketelsen

3:20pm: Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
2/23/1985-Järvi; Nucci, Griffel, Raitzin, Jones, Plishka

6pm: Ponchielli: La Gioconda
4/20/1957-Cleva; Milanov, Poggi, Rankin, Warren, Siepi

9pm: Gounod: Roméo et Juliette 4/13/1968-Molinari-Pradelli; Gedda, Freni, Macurdy, Baldwin, Reardon

12am: Verdi: Aida
1/7/1989-Levine; Millo, Toczyska, Domingo, Milnes, Plishka

Aprile Millo as Verdi’s Aida

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

6am: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

12/18/1971-Leinsdorf; Thomas, Nilsson, Dooley, Dalis

12am: Verdi: Rigoletto
3/7/1992-Santi; Nucci, Swenson, Leech, White, Rootering

3pm: Handel: Rodelinda
1/1/2005-Bicket; Fleming, Blythe, van Rensburg, Relyea, Daniels

6pm: Rossini: L’Assedio di Corinto 4/19/1975-Schippers; Sills, Verrett, Theyard, Díaz

9pm: Puccini: Tosca
1/4/1997-Badea; Guleghina, Larin, Morris

12am: Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro

4/22/2006-Wigglesworth; Relyea, Rost, Mattei, Isokoski, Coote, Muraro

The great Zinka in Gioconda

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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6am: Meyerbeer: Le Prophète
1/29/1977-Lewis; McCracken, Scotto, Horne, Hines

9am: Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
2/23/1985-Järvi; Nucci, Griffel, Raitzin, Jones, Plishka

12pm: Ponchielli: La Gioconda
4/20/1957-Cleva; Milanov, Poggi, Rankin, Warren, Siepi

3pm: Gounod: Roméo et Juliette 4/13/1968-Molinari-Pradelli; Gedda, Freni, Macurdy, Baldwin, Reardon

6pm: Verdi: La Forza del Destino
3/11/2006-Noseda; Voigt, Licitra, Delavan, Ramey, Komlósi, Pons

9pm: Bellini: La Sonnambula
3/30/1963-Varviso; Sutherland, Gedda, Flagello, Scovotti

12am: R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
1/29/2000-Levine; Graham, Fleming, Hawlata, Murphy, Ketelsen

Sutherland as Amina

Thursday, September 15, 2011

6am: Verdi: Rigoletto
3/7/1992-Santi; Nucci, Swenson, Leech, White, Rootering

9am: Handel: Rodelinda
1/1/2005-Bicket; Fleming, Blythe, van Rensburg, Relyea, Daniels

12pm: Rossini: L’Assedio di Corinto

4/19/1975-Schippers; Sills, Verrett, Theyard, Díaz

3pm: Puccini: Tosca
1/4/1997-Badea; Guleghina, Larin, Morris

6:00 PM ET Verdi: Aida
1/7/1989-Levine; Millo, Toczyska, Domingo, Milnes, Plishka

9:00 PM ET Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
12/18/1971-Leinsdorf; Thomas, Nilsson, Dooley, Dalis

Friday, September 16, 2011

6am: R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

1/29/2000-Levine; Graham, Fleming, Hawlata, Murphy, Ketelsen

9:20am: Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
4/22/2006-Wigglesworth; Relyea, Rost, Mattei, Isokoski, Coote, Muraro

12:15pm: Verdi: La Forza del Destino
3/11/2006-Noseda; Voigt, Licitra, Delavan, Ramey, Komlósi, Pons

3:15pm: Bellini: La Sonnambula
3/30/1963-Varviso; Sutherland, Gedda, Flagello, Scovotti

8:00pm: Verdi: Il Trovatore (2010-2011 ENCORE BROADCAST)

4/23/2011-Armiliato; Álvarez, Radvanovsky, Hvorostovsky, Zajick, Kocán

12am: Meyerbeer: Le Prophète
1/29/1977-Lewis; McCracken, Scotto, Horne, Hines

Saturday, September 17, 2011

6am: Handel: Rodelinda

1/1/2005-Bicket; Fleming, Blythe, van Rensburg, Relyea, Daniels

9am: Gounod: Roméo et Juliette 4/13/1968-Molinari-Pradelli; Gedda, Freni, Macurdy, Baldwin, Reardon

12pm: Verdi: Aida
1/7/1989-Levine; Millo, Toczyska, Domingo, Milnes, Plishka

3pm: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

12/18/1971-Leinsdorf; Thomas, Nilsson, Dooley, Dalis

9:00 PM ET Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
2/23/1985-Järvi; Nucci, Griffel, Raitzin, Jones, Plishka

12:00 AM ET Ponchielli: La Gioconda
4/20/1957-Cleva; Milanov, Poggi, Rankin, Warren, Siepi

Sunday, September 18, 2011

6am: Rossini: L’Assedio di Corinto 4/19/1975-Schippers; Sills, Verrett, Theyard, Díaz

9am: Puccini: Tosca
1/4/1997-Badea; Guleghina, Larin, Morris

12pm: Meyerbeer: Le Prophète
1/29/1977-Lewis; McCracken, Scotto, Horne, Hines

3pm: Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
4/22/2006-Wigglesworth; Relyea, Rost, Mattei, Isokoski, Coote, Muraro

6pm: Verdi: Rigoletto
3/7/1992-Santi; Nucci, Swenson, Leech, White, Rootering

9pm: The Met on Record: Wagner: Das Rheingold (1988) Levine; Morris, Ludwig, Jerusalem, Wlaschiha, Moll, Rootering, Zednik

12am: Verdi: La Forza del Destino
3/11/2006-Noseda; Voigt, Licitra, Delavan, Ramey, Komlósi, Pons

The Generalization of Opera and the old “Maniera D’Eleganza Superiore”

What of the singing and the majesty of an art form that is anything BUT ordinary?

“So They Want Singers To Be Ordinary….” (from Operavision)

Callas surrounded by crowds

    I thought it relevant to post a link to Aprile Millo’s recent blog post, which expresses an intimate and personal opinion about the differences between our conceptions of singers today and how singers were once perceived.  They were larger than life, in possession of a sacred gift that was revered, received with grace, and even worshipped.  The Golden Age of voices saw droves of fans lining up to catch a glimpse of Tebaldi, or Callas, and those mega-stars who often seemed (and were) super-human where vocal stage-feats are concerned, carried themselves in what the Italians call “una maniera d’eleganza superiore” (a manner of superior elegance).  This is not to say that singers today fail to carry themselves with elegance, but it seems that the  high class stigma associated with opera and the present need to bring it to the masses, or what I think is a complete “dumbing down” with modern and unnecessary brick-a-brack, has forced singers to detach themselves from the elegance that once was.

Gigli with Fans

      Ms. Millo’s opinion is well-stated and she fervently states that “opera can not be small if it is to be opera,” a statement I agree with wholeheartedly.  Oftentimes, I find myself sitting in my study listening to old recordings and looking at old pics of singers and wishing that I had been born a tad earlier so that I could have experienced that Golden Age more viscerally rather than through literature and recordings.  In reading Ms. Millo’s post, I asked myself if singers are now forced to consider themselves ordinary just to make themselves feel less pressure, to be more approachable in an attempt to make opera accessible to all?  Opera has ALWAYS BEEN accessible to all.  Do we modernize the symphony in order to make it more accessible to our present day audiences?  Of course, now opera flourishes in the movie theatre, which is a wonderful idea for those who cannot travel to New York or Milano to see opera live ( but if you love opera, then you’d best go hear an opera live to experience the voice of your favourite singer…one can never judge from a record or video), however, these stage-films require that the singers are not ordinary but look like A-class movie-stars, waif-like and more like ballerinas than singers.  How do we expect a dramatic soprano to support that type of voice if she ways 120 pounds?  The voice has become much less important, looks more important, and accessibility to common people has become everything….apparently.

Tebaldi with adoring fans

      Personally, I have become dumbfounded by the generalization of things, and because I spend much of my time reading through historical texts, recollections, reception history, and letters of composers, I’ve realized just how much opera has changed.  It is not simply a generalization of, “let’s all look beautiful and pretend we’re nothing special” but also of voices.  Lyric sopranos are being cast in roles that are much too heavy for their fach and yet it’s acceptable.  And what, I ask, would have happened had we done this in the age of Verdi, Puccini, and Mascagni, or even Wagner and Strauss.  The fact is, and I say with an acceptable amount of historical knowledge, IT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED!  So, what makes it alright today?  These issues remain and for those of us who expect the art form as it was intended  to be might be disappointed for some time.  Food for thought.

Millo speaks about the World of Opera and “Minnie’s Beautiful Heart” (in GBOpera Magazine)

Known for her super-magnificent opera blog, Operavision, for her elevated intellect, and for her eloquence in writing and speech, it is obvious that Aprile Millo doesn’t just sing well (even if her’s is one of the greatest voices of all-time)–she is a true defender of the faith; operatic faith, that is. Recently, she has developed a column at the request of  GBOPERA Magazine, an Italian-based publication that is devoted to all-things operatic.  Here is a link to Opera AM and her recent publication:

“Puccini’s Love Letter to the Golden West” (April 2, 2011) English Version

Opera AM with Aprile Millo Italian Version

 


Big Time Buzz from NYC about Grace Millo’s New Rock Musical: “Connections”.

Grace Millo, composer/writer/musician

Bound to be one of the hottest tickets of the coming year, composer, writer, musician, Grace Millo is on the cusp of artistic explosion.  Born to two opera singers, G. Millo has maintained a primarily musical life alongside her equally talented siblings, Rick Wilder (front man of the Mau Mau’s), and opera diva, Aprile Millo.  Having performed throughout the circuit in New York City and before that in California, Grace decided it was time to hone and pull together her strongest artistic vessels: songwriting and rock.

With a CD, “Quicksand Ground” released in 2005, G. Millo had already compiled a number of melodically beautiful, textually moving, and rhythmically profound songs, but what stands out more is her ability to layer both harmonic and rhythmic textures.  Her voice is nothing to shy at either; mixing husky with power, and then delicacy and softness merges well with her potent lyrics and layered musical palate.  Now, Millo has taken the best of her personal repertoire and made it the heart’s blood of her new and upcoming musical, “Connections,” that is scheduled to begin backer’s previews in the spring.

In a time when out-of-tune voices make it as “the next American Idol” we really need to swing the pendulum back a bit and get back to core roots. We need to pay attention when something truly great comes to the fore.  It is my feeling that “Connections” will be one of those great gems that expresses what artistry in this field ought to be:  an expression of self, a development of the soul, and an instructive about life and art.  Millo’s music for “Connections” is not only catchy and expressive, it is also layered, harmonic, and soulful.  Wedding to her varied instrumental palate, these aspects will create more broad-based prospects and a larger fan base because multiple genres are dealt with simultaneously, a genius mark of any large-scale production and one that is often lacking in Musicals today.  Broadway has gone the way of separating genres, which can segregate audiences.

Writing the book and music herself, Millo has shown determination and has pulled together a core group of artists to help support her in her endeavour.  Although nothing about the musical can be revealed yet in terms of plot or storyline, I urge you to stay tuned!  It is a remarkable thing to watch an artist flourish and achieve artistic realization.  Those of us who have ever had to create a large artistic or creative project understand the difficulties and the passion of this process.  It’s like the Agony and the Ecstasy of Michelangelo….”If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t right.”  For Grace Millo, art is life and life is art. She is the name to watch this year in NYC.

Millo talks Verdian Singing on La Cieca’s “Parterre Box”

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend your ears to what La Profonda has to say.

Millo’s Essay on Verdian Singing

Millo’s love letter to Puccini

On a day of anniversary, these thoughts from a great soprano could not be overlooked. Her posting on Operavision could not have been more well-researched or heart-felt. In a time when appearance is more important than voice, I cannot be quiet, and will NOT be quiet, nor still in knowing that THIS great Minnie ought to be singing tonight. For any who heard her Laggiu nel Soledad at her 25th anniversary recital in November of 2009…and me, who has the distinct pleasure of hearing this voice more often, recently, than most…her inflection, emotion, quality of tone and gargantuan high C would have sent Puccini soaring, and yet she routes on her colleagues and wishes for the best possible presentation for them. A true elegant Diva…folllowing the examples of her mentors. I honor him today and I honor her voice as the only true and authentic voice alive today that belongs to the Girl of the Golden West.

Listen to Millo’s performance of “Laggiu nel Soledad” from the 25th Anniversary 2009

Millo’s Love Letter to the Golden West

Marcello Giordani Foundation Gala Event Brims with the Stars of Tradition and Italianità

On May 7th, 2010 Metropolitan Opera star Marcello Giordani will host a fundraising dinner and concert at which time he will launch the Marcello Giordani Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to assist and support promising young opera singers. The foundation, founded by Mr. Giordani, was created to encourage and enable young talented singers from around the world to pursue and achieve their career goals and transition onto the professional opera stage. The concert and dinner will take place on May 7th, 2010, at the New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, starting at 6 pm.

Tenor and Founder, Marcello Giordani

Under the guidance of Marcello Giordani, the Foundation will establish, organize and sponsor master classes, seminars, and summer programs in the U.S. and abroad, as well as provide encouragement, training opportunities, career assistance and financial support, including scholarships and awards to promising and talented young singers. Many of them will be the great singers of tomorrow, and it is with them that the future of opera resides. It is the goal of the Foundation to contribute actively to their success.

The event will begin with a concert featuring Marcello Giordani and handpicked young talented singers from Europe and the United States: Daniela Pedi, soprano (Italy), Heather Gallagher, mezzo soprano (Miami), Dario Russo, bass (Italy), Steven LaBrie, baritone (Philadelphia), Robyn Lamp, soprano (Miami), and Sabina Kim (New York). At the piano will be Maestro Elda Laro, musical coach at the Teatro Massimo Bellini – Catania.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Magda Olivero

At the end of the concert, Mr. Giordani will present The Marcello Giordani Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary soprano Magda Olivero in her centennial year, connected with us from her home in Milano. Madame Olivero’s career and artistic accomplishments will be presented by Metropolitan Opera Star Aprile Millo.

Grand Diva, Aprile Millo

After the award ceremony, Mr. Giordani will introduce the staff and honorary board members of the Foundation who will take part in a question and answer session with journalists and members of the audience.

The evening will conclude with a fundraising gala dinner.