OperaWatch

by F. PAUL DRISCOLL

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Juilliard board chair Bruce Kovner, left, and Juilliard president Joseph W. Polisi, right, with degree recipients Perahia, Reeves, Hytner, Farrell and Sellars
© Rosalie O’Connor 2015
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Rapace, set to star in Callas biopic
© George Pimentel/WireImage 2015
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Audi, due for a move to Park Avenue
© Erwin Olaf 2015

1. The honorary degree recipients at THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL’s 110th Commencement Ceremony, on May 22, were ballerina Suzanne Farrell, director Nicholas Hytner, pianist Murray Perahia, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves and director Peter Sellars. Hytner, the former director of Great Britain’s National Theatre, gave the commencement address.

2. The Juilliard School has released Juilliard Open Studios, a subscription-based app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that provides behind-the-scenes looks at Juilliard’s educational process. The app is free to download and will launch with seven episodes. Each user can access one episode for free; the complete, growing library of content can be accessed with a monthly subscription. For more information, visit digital.juilliard.edu/about.

3. Swedish actress NOOMI RAPACE has been announced as the star of a new film about Maria Callas, to be directed by Niki Caro. Rapace’s previous credits include the Swedish film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Prometheus.

4. Stage director and intendant PIERRE AUDI has been appointed artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory, beginning in October 2015. Audi will continue to direct the Dutch National Opera, a role he has held since 1988. Audi is also the founding director of London’s Almeida Theatre (1979–89) and former artistic director of the Holland Festival (2004–14). Born in Beirut and educated at Oxford University, Audi has received numerous awards for his work, including the Leslie Boosey Award for his contribution to British Musical Life; the Holland Theater Critics Prize for his direction of Shakespeare plays and Monteverdi operas; The Netherlands State Prize for the Arts; and the Johannes Vermeer Award. Audi was knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion in 2000 and was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2006 in France. Audi, who has directed opera and theater internationally, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2010, with the company premiere of Attila.

5. Cincinnati Opera has announced the appointment of CHRISTOPHER ALLEN as the company’s John L. Magro Resident Conductor. Currently an associate conductor at Los Angeles Opera, Allen conducted Cincinnati Opera’s world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star in June.

6. RENÉE FLEMING received an honorary doctor of music degree from Harvard University on May 28. Fleming also sang “America the Beautiful” at the commencement ceremony.

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Dallas Opera honoree Scherbachenko as Iolanta
© Marty Sohl 2015

7. EKATERINA SCHERBACHENKO has been named winner of Dallas Opera’s “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” Award. The Russian soprano made her first Dallas Opera appearance in the title role of Iolanta in April. Voting for the award was conducted online and was open only to season subscribers to Dallas Opera.

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C&V artistic director Osgood, second from left, with C&V music directors Charity Wicks, Kelly Horsted and Mila Henry
© Matt Gray/AOP 2015

8. AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS (AOP) and the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, Florida, have formed a partnership to sponsor a six-week residency to be called OPERA GENESIS FELLOWSHIPS. The program will allow for a composer and a librettist from AOP’s Composer & the Voice (C&V) training program to be invited to continue the development of a contemporary American opera at the Hermitage’s Gulf Coast campus. Launched in 2002 by AOP artistic director STEVEN OSGOOD, the C&Vprogram has fostered the work of forty-four composers and librettists.

9. Soprano DESIRÉE RANCATORE has been awarded the 2015 PAVAROTTI D’ORO PRIZE, given annually in the Italian city of Correggio since 2007. Previous winners of the prize include Mirella Freni, Leo Nucci and José Carreras. The Pavarotti Prize ceremony will take place on October 4, 2015, at the Benefico Omaggio–Luciano Pavarotti Charity Opera Concert at the Teatro Comunale Bonifacio Asioli in Correggio. The concert will feature Rancatore and Nucci as well as two promising newcomers, tenor Jenish Ysmanov and mezzo-soprano Cinzia Chiarini.

10. CELSO ALBELO will make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in January 2016, as Leicester in Maria Stuarda. This month the Spanish tenor sings the Duke of Mantua for Macerata Opera; in October, he will take on Riccardo Percy in Vienna’s Anna Bolena.

11. DEBORAH VOIGT starts off August in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she will offer the local premiere of her one-woman show Voigt Lessons at The Art House (Aug. 2). The soprano then travels to Cooperstown, NY, for a public master class at the Glimmerglass Festival (Aug. 7). spacer 

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Current Issue: August 2015 — VOL. 80, NO. 2