March 4, 2019

The Sting of Regret

By Noel Morris Eugene Onegin still surprises audiences for what it’s not: there’s no melodrama; it’s not exotic. It’s not a spectacle, nor is it action-packed. “How glad I am to be free of Egyptian princesses, pharaohs, poisonings, and stilted effects of all kinds,” the composer quipped. For Tchaikovsky, this was an opportunity to “convey through music everyday, simple, universally human emotions, far removed from anything tragic or theatrical.” By 1877, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was among the most celebrated composers […]
January 10, 2019

Chorus Spotlight: Christopher S. Connelly

The Atlanta Opera: What is your vocal part, and how long have you sung with the Atlanta Opera Chorus? Christopher S. Connelly: I am a baritone. I have sung for 22 years, this is my 47th production. AO: Where did you grow up and how did you get into music? CSC: I grew up outside of Philadelphia. Our parish priest was from Ireland, and he would give me a dime every time I sang an Irish folk song for him. […]
December 17, 2018

A walk with humanity

By Noel Morris On Nov. 5, 1977, Patrick and Eddie Sonnier shot two teenagers in the head, three times each. Eddie was sentenced to life in prison; his older brother, Patrick, died in the electric chair. In 1982, in the months leading to his execution, Patrick began exchanging letters with Sister Helen Prejean of the Sisters of St. Joseph Medaille. She became his spiritual adviser and walked with him to his execution in what proved to be a transformative experience […]
September 7, 2018

Addict. Alcoholic. Jazz genius.

May 23, 2018

Chorus Spotlight: Lynnette Anderson

  The Atlanta Opera: How long have you sung with The Atlanta Opera Chorus? Lynnette Anderson: I’ve sung in The Atlanta Opera Chorus as a mezzo-soprano/alto since 1985, been in more than 80 productions, and have been featured in small ensembles in some productions. AO: Where did you grow up and how did you get into music? Lynnette: I grew up near Wheeling, W. Va., about an hour from Pittsburgh. I can’t remember a time when I was not singing. […]
March 29, 2018

Pick Up Your Q: Tom Key

Veteran Atlanta actor Tom Key was last seen at The Atlanta Opera as Pasha Selim in The Abduction from the Seraglio. As the Artistic Director of Theatrical Outfit, he helped to pave the way for a multidisciplinary collaboration on Out of Darkness: Two Remain, which fuses opera with theatre and dance, and will be performed at the 200-seat Balzer Theater at Herren’s/Theatrical Outfit in Downtown Atlanta. In Out of Darkness: Two Remain, Tom is Gad Beck, a gay German Jew who is […]
January 3, 2018

Chorus Spotlight: Mitch Gindlesperger

For the next installment of our Spotlight series, we chatted with Georgia native Mitch Gindlesperger, who has sung with The Atlanta Opera Chorus for 19 years (with an 11 year hiatus) as a bass. He was last seen on the mainstage as a German soldier in Silent Night (2016). Roles: Antonio, Le Nozze di Figaro Wolf/Woodsman, Little Red Riding Hood Second Solider, Salome Majordomo, La Rondine Armed Man, Magic Flute Old Gypsy, Il Trovotore Herald, Otello Herald, Rigoletto (twice) Second […]
November 3, 2017

Pick Up Your Q: Olivia Vote

Mezzo-soprano Olivia Vote makes her Atlanta Opera debut as Mary in a new production of The Flying Dutchman. We chatted with her about Mary’s thoughts on Senta’s love interest, her process for each role, and what she watches during her down time.    Where did you grow up and when did you start singing? I grew up in St. Mary’s, MD where both of my parents worked at St. Mary’s College. My dad is a professor of voice and a […]
October 5, 2017

Orchestra Spotlight: Richard Brady

Richard Brady Bass Trombone Richard Brady has played bass trombone in The Atlanta Opera Orchestra for 32 years, and principal trombone for two seasons. He answered a few quickfire questions in our new Spotlight series for orchestra and chorus. The Atlanta Opera: What is your favorite Atlanta Opera production you’ve played? Richard Brady: Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss AO: What do you do when you’re not playing or practicing the trombone? RB: This has changed as I have gotten older. Before: […]
September 6, 2017

Pick Up Your Q: Jennifer Larmore

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore will join us in September to sing one of her “bucket list” roles, Anna, in Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. We chatted with her about growing up in Atlanta, women and the opera industry, and her recent book, Una Voce.    You’re an Atlanta native! Where did you go to school and when did you start singing? I grew up in Southeast Atlanta where I attended H.O. Burgess Elementary school, then we moved to Marietta when I […]
August 1, 2017

Envy. Gluttony. Greed. Lust. Pride. Sloth. Wrath.

Atlanta classical radio producer and writer Noel Morris explains the history and context of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s The Seven Deadly Sins, which opens Sept 28 at Le Maison Rouge at Paris on Ponce.    By Noel Morris Kurt Weill was a refugee when he wrote the score to The Seven Deadly Sins. On March 22, 1933, he had dropped everything and crossed into France with his mistress and a small suitcase. A month earlier, on Feb. 18, crowds […]
July 6, 2017

Pick Up Your Q: Rolando Salazar

Music Administrator Rolando Salazar began working at The Atlanta Opera in 2015, and since then, he has worn many hats. Since the departure of longtime Chorus Master Walter Huff, Salazar has stepped in to lead The Atlanta Opera Chorus in the meantime, and recently facilitated the general auditions in June. We chatted with him about the huge task of casting chorus members, audition prep, and what makes a cohesive opera chorus.   Tell us a little about yourself: where did […]