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Opera Stories

18 stories found. Showing page 1 of 1.

Opera made to look easy: The rise, fall and proud return of a Detroit diva

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 3/31/2010

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Kimwana Doner is sitting in a lounge atop the Detroit Opera House, and her posture is perfect. She's talking eloquently of a whore and a stalker. The city's northern skyline is splayed out below, juxtaposing the park where the Tigers play and the barren expanse just beyond it.  "Take Flora,&qu...[MORE]

Bats in the bel canto: Sumi Jo comes magnificently unglued in Lucia di Lammermoor.

By George Bulanda

Published: 11/4/1998

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Opera often inhabits a deliciously deranged world. There are few more dramatically urgent and musically elevating scenes than when the heroine loses her marbles -- usually to the tune of flowery musical passage work. Celebrated mad scenes can be found...[MORE]

‘A fun, demented girl’

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 6/7/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Marquita Lister is a young soprano. She refuses to say how young (early 30s is a good guess), yet she has already made herself recognizable to Michigan Opera Theatre audiences — as Aida in 1997 and as the murderous, passionate Tosca in an incandescent performance in 2000. She's also tak...[MORE]

Vintage vixen: A Salome to lose your head over

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 6/7/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

In the couple of decades since the triumphantly villainous film Heathers, the machinations of teenage girls — specifically, princesses with raging hormones and lousy parents — have become a cliché. But back in 1894, when Oscar Wilde wrote the one-act play Salome, it was not comm...[MORE]

An ABC of opera: Verdi’s masterpiece rises at the fully restored Detroit Opera House

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 4/26/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

After stepping out of Michigan Opera Theatre's winning, million-dollar production of Aida last Saturday night, it's difficult to remember those first couple of seasons in the Detroit Opera House. When restoration began a decade ago on what was to be the first permanent home for Michigan Opera ...[MORE]

House music

By Eddie B. Allen Jr.

Published: 9/22/2004

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

The Detroit Opera House offers not only a lush and gilded interior, but local and international talent providing world-class opera as well as ballet. Highlights for the 2004-2005 season at the Opera House, home of the Michigan Opera Theatre, include the Italian season opener Rigoletto Oct. 23-3...[MORE]

It ain’t Tommy, but …: Yes, there is a real live rock opera in Detroit

By Anita Schmaltz

Published: 5/19/2004

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Manny and the Mirror is a homegrown rock opera, a psychedelic psychological trip into the closets of the mind fortified by a sound track that runs the gamut from acoustic folk to rocking seedy cabaret. The piece of musical theater captures the universal appeal of storytelling and the art of sound....[MORE]

Dead can sing: Jazz opera turns spotlight on union struggle and a suspicious death.

By W. Kim Heron

Published: 3/3/2004

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

To the best of our knowledge, you are now reading the first music-event preview ever to involve contacting the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office. Or any medical examiner, for that manner. Composer Steve Jones’ Forgotten: The Murder at the Ford Rouge Plant may or may not become a hit, thoug...[MORE]

Once more with feeling: Amahl and the Night Visitors launches Motor City Lyric Opera.

By Christina Kallery

Published: 12/18/2002

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Light from the stained-glass windows gleams bright gold against the dark sky. I climb the steps of the old stone Metropolitan Methodist Church and tug open the big door. From an upper room somewhere, the sound of singing descends — beautiful, ethereal and strangely warming after my trek through th...[MORE]

Oceanic reveries: MOT's Peter Grimes swells with pure musical drama.

By George Bulanda

Published: 6/7/2000

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Few operas generate such lively and analytical discussion as Benjamin Britten’s 1945 work Peter Grimes. This is no moth-eaten, conventional operatic tale about a lovesick tenor and a fragile soprano. Ostensibly, the story centers on a lone-wolf fisherman, Peter Grimes, who’s accused of abusing, an...[MORE]

S/he loves me (not): Strauss' wistfully comic opera ponders mortality and bends gender.

By George Bulanda

Published: 4/19/2000

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Richard Strauss’ 1911 opera Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) is a delicate balancing act on several levels, juggling sadness and comedy, resignation and hope, reality and illusion. Michigan Opera Theatre’s production occasionally upsets the bittersweet balance, erring too heavily on the ...[MORE]

Voices si, acting no: Rossini's Barber doesn't quite cut it at MOT.

By George Bulanda

Published: 10/6/1999

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Though it’s well sung, in the main, and the pace travels at a merry gait, Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville has virtually no dramatic propulsion. You just don’t get the sense that the characters are motivated. They plot and scheme, but they seem merely to be go...[MORE]

Colorful stages: Metro Detroit's theater scene is bursting with fall goodness.

By Kristin Palm

Published: 9/8/1999

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Well-loved classics and bold new works are ripening in time for the fall theater season. The Theatre Company at the University of Detroit Mercy covers both categories with its first two productions, opening its season with Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in celebration of the play’s 50th anniv...[MORE]

A geisha's life: As captured by MOT, Butterfly is a passionate specimen.

By George Bulanda

Published: 4/21/1999

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

It’s more than a little misguided to interpret Cio-cio-san – aka Butterfly – in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, as a vulnerable naïf with emotions of china-cup fragility. True, she’s only 15 and enters into a relationship with moonstruck awe. But here’s a character who knows something of the ways of t...[MORE]

Opera monstro

By George Tysh

Published: 3/21/2001

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Moving opera into the realm of the hyper-technological is vidGod, a new work premiering this week (Thu., March 22-Sat., March 24) at the University of Michigan. With staging and book by U-M art professor Michael Rodemer and music by U-M music professor Stephen Rush, the production promises to overtu...[MORE]

Carbonated love: MOT's Donizetti potion both sparkles & fades.

By George Bulanda

Published: 5/13/1998

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Donizetti's bantamweight opera The Elixir of Love is all bubbles and froth &emdash; puddle-deep in substance but teeming with an ocean of high spirits and lilting melodies. Well, that's the way it should come across, but the carbonation meter at the Detroit O...[MORE]

Soprano showcase: Ruth Ann Swenson takes Manon to thrilling heights.

By George Bulanda

Published: 4/22/1998

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

It was a night of firsts last Saturday at the Detroit Opera House, yet nothing about the evening suggested inexperience. It was Michigan Opera Theatre's premiere of Jules Massenet's Manon, and although soprano Ruth Ann Swenson is a seasoned MOT veteran, she wa...[MORE]

Charming, but not magic: A menacing Queen of the Night and the lush designs of Maurice Sendak are this opera's joys.

By George Bulanda

Published: 10/22/1997

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Good is supposed to win out over evil in Mozart's fairy-tale opera The Magic Flute, but the wicked Queen of the Night triumphs as the finest voice in Michigan Opera Theatre's production at the Detroit Opera House. The performance is a mixed bag, but let's dispense with the good news first. S...[MORE]

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