Page 8 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
P. 8

Modern Opera:
Unusual Themes in Varied Musical Styles
During recent seasons, tales of prisoners and their innocence or guilt have made serious inroads among the operatic repertoire. Terrence McNally and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which premiered in 2000, has already been seen across the country.
This past season, Long Beach Opera in collaboration with the California Repertory Company at California State University–Long Beach presented Philip Glass’ 2000 work based on a story by Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony. It came to the stage with the addition of material from local
South African Baritone Singing in Europe Gives Back
While working at English National Opera, Njabulo Thabiso Madlala has contact with some of the most in uential benefactors interested in the arts. Although he now lives far from South Africa, he has a deep love for his native land. That is why he is working to empower young opera singers living there.
He remembers his discovery of opera. One day, his grandmother
college students who were returning to society after prison.
Also at Long Beach Opera this past season, the world premiere of Richard Wesley and Anthony Davis’ opera The Central Park Five explored a rush to unjust convictions. This summer, Cincinnati Opera presents the world premiere of David Cote and Scott Davenport Richards’ jazz, pop, and rap opera, Blind Injustice. No doubt there will
be more such operas to come complete with excursions into a variety of musical styles.
came back from work with some tapes that had been thrown out. “One of them had Pavarotti singing an aria with many high notes,” Madlala recalls. “I had never heard anything like it . . . . When no one was home, I would put the tapes on and sing along and copy what
I heard. . . . I felt free and could momentarily escape to another world. I could dream. I used to imagine the people applauding and see myself in front of them.”
Eventually, teachers and other benefactors made it possible for him to attend the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Now, he has
a program that auditions young singers in South Africa and sends successful candidates to school on scholarship in the United Kingdom.
Fort Worth Opera Announces Selections for
New Works Series
The Oregon company has announced that current General Director Christopher Mattaliano will now assume the role of artistic consultant beginning with the 2019–20 season. Sue Dixon will serve as interim
general director.
Currently, she is
the director of
external affairs
for the company.
says, “I was
fortunate to become Portland Opera’s general director in 2003, and the past 16 years have been among the most satisfying and meaningful years of my life. Completing the framework for a new strategic plan that will build Portland Opera’s future created the right time for me to step aside.”
Opera Staged at Original Site: ‘Aida’ in Egypt
Ethiopian Princess Aida might not like the Egyptian Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, but Amneris should feel totally at home and revel in the glories of Luxor. On October 26 and 28, 2019, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture will present the Verdi opera in a staging by German director Michael Sturm led by Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv.
The orchestra will also come from Ukraine. Although the principals
are not well known worldwide, the performances are being marketed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Christopher Mattaliano
Njabulo Thabiso Madlala
8 Classical Singer | September/October 2019

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