The Atlanta Opera Blog

April 19, 2017

Pick Up Your Q: Marcy Stonikas (Turandot)

Marcy Stonikas has performed Turandot three times, and each time she is able to breathe new life into a truly challenging role. We chatted with her about the complexities of Turandot, what makes the character relevant today, and her favorite musical moments.   Where did you grow up, and when did you start singing? I grew up in Elmhurst, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago. I was singing as soon as I could make noise, I’m fairly certain. I […]
February 8, 2017

Don Pasquale Director’s Notes: Chuck Hudson

Photo: Philip Groshong for Cincinnati Opera With DON PASQUALE, Donizetti gives us champagne for music and so the comedic style in the acting must match this excellence or it would be like mixing bubbles with beer! I had the privilege of working with a master of comedy, Marcel Marceau. At his school in Paris, Marceau had us study the various styles of comedy from the Italian Commedia dell’Arte to his own comic inspirations: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and […]
January 17, 2017

Pick Up Your Q: Catalina Cuervo

Soprano Catalina Cuervo knows Maria de Buenos Aires well. She has performed the role of Maria more than anyone else, and continues to perform it yearly to critical acclaim. We sat down with the “Fiery Soprano” to chat about the music, words, and tango influence of Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires. Where did you grow up, and when did you first start singing? I was born in Medellín, Colombia. I grew up there and moved to Miami when I was 18. […]
October 25, 2016

Tomer Zvulun Director’s Notes: Seeking Humanity in War

By Tomer Zvulun From the first moment that I listened to Silent Night, it deeply touched a personal side in me. Kevin Puts’ music along with Mark Campbell’s libretto uniquely captures the dichotomy of love and WAR and creates a world that is both specific and universal at once. It captures the humanity of the characters and the comforts that friendship and music bring to the bloodiest and most inexplicable of all human experiences — WAR.   WAR, whether today in […]
October 23, 2016

They thought they’d be home by Christmas

Photo: Clive Barker By Noel Morris “Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps, and builded parapets and trenches there, And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son. When lo! an angel called him out of heaven, Saying, Lay not thy hand upon lad, Neither do anything to him. Behold, A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns; Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him. “But the old man would not so, but slew his son, […]
October 13, 2016

Pick Up Your Q: Craig Irvin

Baritone Craig Irvin comes to the Atlanta Opera to revive his role in Silent Night as Lt. Horstmayer. We chatted with him about the complex character, his favorite moments in the music, and cold brew coffee. ATLANTA OPERA: Tell us about your role, Lt. Horstmayer. CRAIG IRVIN: Lt. Horstmayer is a man. He’s the German lieutenant. He’s a husband. I don’t think he’s a father, but I think he wants to be. He’s a Jew. He wants to be a […]
October 11, 2016

Tom Goes to the Opera: immersion

Photo: Jeff Roffman In my first blog post in this series, I referred to the Opera as “The Wow Art Form.”  We opened The Abduction from the Seraglio on Saturday night, and now I realize I need a word stronger than “Wow.” “The Boom Art Form?” “The Nuclear Art Form?” “The OMG Art Form?”  Or, maybe the word “immersive” gets best at what being in an opera does.  That’s the word my son, Stephen (who is illustrating these posts) used last Saturday night in […]
October 4, 2016

Tom Goes to the Opera: mingle-mangle

Stephen Key There’s one intermission in our Seraglio. I discovered where this takes place last Friday in the rehearsal hall, when we ran through the opera in front of an invited audience. A theatrical production with an intermission– opera or theatre, tragedy or comedy–has to end the first part with enough dramatic intensity to compel the audience back for part two. Imagine my surprise, to realize the end of Act I – before the curtain crashes down and the music pounds to […]
September 29, 2016

The ‘why’ behind Seraglio and Mozart’s stew of Turks, sex and farce

Photo Credit: Michael Rollands By Noel Morris Islam, kidnapping, sex, and slavery — these are risky conversation topics for holiday gatherings. But not in 1782. Mozart’s The Abduction From the Seraglio places the action outside a Turkish harem. It isn’t a probing exploration of religion or human rights, however, it’s farce. Based on Belmont und Constanze by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner, the Turkish palace is but a backdrop to the drama of two women, their lovers, and the powerful Muslim men […]
September 27, 2016

Tom Goes to the Opera: letting go

Stephen Key, 2016 In week two, Tom dives deeper into his role as the Pasha, and experiences rehearsals a little differently than what he’s used to. Illustrations provided by his son, Stephen Key. OK, one week in to rehearsal for The Abduction from the Seraglio, and the attitude of “Just-do-it!”, “Go-for-it”, “Grow-or-go!” is absolutely necessary. It’s like preparation for a sporting event. We have now been guided through Mozart’s entire opera by our Director, Chris Alexander, and we cover seduction, betrayal, capture, escape, […]