The Atlanta Opera Blog

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, […]
September 17, 2016

Tom Goes to the Opera: The week of “wow”

As an actor, Theatrical Outfit Artistic Director Tom Key has appeared in over 100 productions from off-Broadway to Los Angeles. He also co-authored the hit off-Broadway musical, Cotton Patch Gospel, with the late Harry Chapin. Suffice to say, it seems like he’s done and seen it all…except opera! Every week, Tom will share his inner monologue as he experiences the process of rehearsing and performing in an opera for the first time, as Pasha Selim in The Abduction from the […]
September 13, 2016

Pick Up Your Q: Soprano Sarah Coburn

Before heading to Atlanta to perform in The Abduction from the Seraglio, soprano Sarah Coburn took some time out of her busy singing schedule to chat with us about her life as a singer and learning the difficult role of Konstanze. THE ATLANTA OPERA: Did you grow up in a musical family? SARAH COBURN: Yes, my mother’s side of the family is very musical. My grandmother was a jazz singer and my aunt is a fabulous pianist. My sisters have […]
June 14, 2016

Pick Up Your Q: High School Opera Institute Student (And all-around awesome kid) Khamary Grant

Khamary Grant is probably more put together than most adults. The young actor and singer is working hard at the Atlanta Opera’s High School Opera Institute, a one week intensive for rising 10th-12th graders at Emory University. Find out how he became interested in opera, and what he’s got planned for an exciting summer. What grade are you in and where do you got to school? I’m a rising senior, and I go to Veritas Classical School. It’s part home […]