The Atlanta Opera Blog

April 17, 2019

Love: The Ecstasy and The Burden

by Noel Morris Last year, there were 867 performances of La traviata worldwide. It was by far the most performed opera. And with ravishing music amplifying a powerful, character-driven story, it’s no surprise. A hundred years ago, audiences most likely viewed Violetta Valéry as a disreputable woman who was curiously and uncomfortably compelling. For them, La traviata was a tale of redemption. Today, people admire Violetta. She has fortitude and an astonishingly benevolent spirit in the face of a nauseatingly […]
April 2, 2019

Chorus Spotlight: Christopher Hawkins

The Atlanta Opera: What is your vocal part, and how long have you sung with The Atlanta Opera Chorus? Chris Hawkins: I am a bass, and this year marks 30 years in The Atlanta Opera Chorus! I have participated in 85 productions with the chorus with this La traviata being the 76th mainstage production. TAO: Where did you grow up and how did you get into music? CH: I am a rare breed: I’m an Atlanta native and I’ve lived […]
March 27, 2019

A town. A slum. Fatal passion. And love.

By Noel Morris Maria de Buenos Aires is a show about a forgotten music, a forgotten dance, and a forgotten people. Cast in the gauzy hues of surrealistic poetry, the show explores the social conditions that gave rise to the tango. Not unlike hip-hop in our own country, the tango was a product of communities in distress. Initially dismissed as vulgar and immoral (dancing in an embrace was considered indecent), the tango followed an unlikely journey, traveling from the slums […]
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. […]
April 3, 2018

Welcome to Out of Darkness: Two Remain | An Opera in Two Acts

“The words of a survivor are like stars in the sky. They illuminate only a tiny piece of the past… No matter what is spoken of the night, there will always be more darkness than light.” These lyrics from Out of Darkness: Two Remain speak to the vast resonance of the Third Reich’s atrocities that wiped out millions of people. Significant political and ethnic groups were persecuted because of their race, religion or sexual orientation. They were subjected to horrific […]
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 […]