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Guleghina sits down with OPERA NEWS's editor in chief
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Kevin Spacey's Richard III arrives at BAM this season
© Manuel Harlan 2012
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© Michael Tammaro 2012

1. On October 21, MARIA GULEGHINA joined OPERA NEWS editor in chief F. Paul Driscoll for a live interview as part of the magazine's lecture series "The Singers' Studio: Candid and Casual Conversations." The event, which was held in the Metropolitan Opera Guild's Opera Learning Center in the Samuel B. and David Rose Building at Lincoln Center, inaugurated the series' second season, which continues next month with Stephanie Blythe (Feb. 21). To view video highlights from the interview or to purchase tickets for other events in the series, visit www.operanews.com.

FRÉDÉRIC CHASLIN, chief conductor of Santa Fe Opera, has been named music director of Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, effective September 2012.  

2. KEVIN SPACEY takes the title role in the New York premiere of Sam Mendes's production of Richard III this month at Brooklyn Academy of Music, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this season. The show, running from January 10 to March 4, leads off the company's winter/spring lineup, which includes a revival of the Mark Morris Dance Group's 2000 production of Virgil Thomson's opera Four Saints in Three Acts (Mar. 1–3); Lev Dodin's staging of Three Sisters (Apr. 18–28); and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker (May 3–June 17). To purchase tickets, call (718) 636-4100, or visit www.bam.org.

Pittsburgh Opera general director CHRISTOPHER HAHN has extended his contract through June 30, 2016.  

3. On October 14, DAVID ROBERTSON, music director of the St. Louis Symphony, was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic's Ministry of Culture. The American conductor, who leads performances of Billy Budd at the Met in May, was presented with the award and medal at a reception in St. Louis's Powell Hall.  

DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY, who recently signed a recording contract with Ondine, releases his first disc with the label, Rachmaninov Romances, on January 31. Also in January, the Siberian baritone headlines galas at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Jan. 7) and Phoenix Opera (Jan. 10). RENÉE FLEMING joins him in Chicago for a program of arias and duets from Simon Boccanegra, Eugene Onegin and other works. 

4. After six years and a $700-million renovation, Moscow's historic BOLSHOI THEATRE reopened on October 28 with an invitation-only gala, hosted by president Dmitry Medvedev and prime minister Vladimir Putin and broadcast live by Opera in Cinema, featuring Natalie Dessay, Angela Gheorghiu, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Violeta Urmana in an all-Russian program. The restoration, which reverses years of damage and neglect during the Soviet era, includes improved acoustics as well as a return to the house's original seating plan and opulent, pre-Soviet design schemes. The theater's public premiere followed on November 2, with a fully staged performance of Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila.

5. Soprano TONY ARNOLD heads the cast for the world premiere of John Austin's Heloise and Abelard, which plays at Harvard University's Memorial Church on January 29 under conductor Edward Elwyn Jones. In May, Arnold joins the International Contemporary Ensemble for another new piece, A Shot in the Dark, by Georges Aperghis, which appears on a program of the composer's work at Columbia University's Miller Theatre in New York.

Baritone ZACHARY NELSON took home top honors and a $10,000 prize at this year's Opera Index competition, which was held in New York in October. spacer 

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