November 11, 2015

Pick Up Your Q with Alan Higgs

You may know Alan Higgs from his role in The Marriage of Figaro as Antonio, or his dual role in La bohème as Alcindoro and Benoit. This season, he will sing the iconic role of the Pirate King in Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic operetta, The Pirates of Penzance. As part of the Studio Tour, Higgs will perform in front of hundreds of students in schools across Atlanta and the greater metropolitan area. We caught up with Alan to learn more about […]
November 12, 2015

Pick Up Your Q: GLMMR

The last time we spoke with David Adam Moore (Light and Sound: David Adam Moore has Something to Say) and Vita Tzykun (Pick Up your Q: Costume Designer Vita Tzykun), the minds behind GLMMR were working tirelessly on previous productions with us. We’re lucky to have them back again for Soldier Songs, where they’ve designed stunning and carefully crafted projections and imagery for this gripping, contemporary opera.  The Atlanta Opera: You’re back in Atlanta! Any new finds since you were last […]
February 5, 2016

Pick Up Your Q: Bass Kevin Burdette

      Bass Kevin Burdette is currently appearing as Stobrod/Blindman in Cold Mountain at Opera Philadelphia, but he’ll be with us soon to start rehearsing his role as The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, opening March 5th. We sat down with the “Robin Williams of opera” to pick his brain about preparing for the role, Gilbert and Sullivan’s influence, and his thoughts on Queen Victoria.                                  […]
March 7, 2016

Production Notes: The Pirates of Penzance (by Nicholas Beard)

All photos by Jeff Roffman We’re forever fascinated by pirates. It’s a child’s fantasy to battle pirates – think Peter Pan vs. Captain Hook – but it’s also an adult metaphor elastic enough for a range of social commentary. By our romanticized view, pirates live off their wits, live a hedonist life. They have escaped the conventions of a society which, as every free-spirit knows, stifles creativity. As escapist fiction, literature (Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” from 1719) and opera (Bellini’s “Il […]
March 14, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Curt Olds as Major-General Stanley

Bass Curt Olds is a world-renown singer and performer. He’s covered many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan’s greatest works, most recently in our mounting of The Pirates of Penzance. We went backstage with Curt to watch his transformation into the Major-General and to learn more about his process, pre-performance rituals and tips for getting into character. I always hate the process of putting on heavy wigs and makeup for a production, but I love the look afterwards. The adhesive, spirit gum or […]
April 8, 2016

Pick up Your Q: Costume Designer/Coordinator Joanna Schmink

Atlanta Opera Costume Coordinator Joanna Schmink spends most of her time in the costume shop sourcing, curating, altering, and piecing together costumes from other designers and productions.  For Romeo and Juliet, she designed and created everything from scratch for this spectacular grand opera with an equally grand cast. We talked to her about the joys and challenges of the job. The Atlanta Opera: Who or what influenced you to get into costume design? Joanna Schmink: Growing up, my parents involved […]
May 5, 2016

#Notachamberopera (Or Painting A Story On The Largest Canvas Possible)

By Tomer Zvulun  One of the most fascinating aspects of opera is the variations of musical styles within the art form itself. From Baroque to modern music, the art form runs the gamut of flavors, each of them uniquely defined by a different language, period, composers style, orchestra size, color, etc. As an Artistic Director, choosing the operas for a season is a little bit like selecting the perfect ice cream combination.  How do you choose the perfect mix? Do […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 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 […]