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Tucker Gala gals Graham and Fleming, at work with Frizza on the Lakmé duet
© Dario Acosta 2014
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Soprano Opolais
© Beth Bergman 2014
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Professor Gunn
© Taylor Castle 2014

1. On November 17, at the RICHARD TUCKER MUSIC FOUNDATION GALA, an all-star cast of singers paid tribute to the centennial of the great American tenor. Among the artists on hand were RENÉE FLEMING and SUSAN GRAHAM, Stephanie Blythe, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Greer Grimsley, Angela Meade, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez and Matthew Polenzani, as well as 2013 Richard Tucker Award winner Isabel Leonard. The gala, which featured members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Frizza, was televised on January 10.

2. KRISTINE OPOLAIS, who sings Vitellia this month in a new staging of La Clemenza di Tito at Bayerische Staatsoper, returns to the Met in April 2014 for her first company performances of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly. The soprano travels to London in June, when she takes on the title role in Jonathan Kent's new Covent Garden staging of Manon Lescaut.

3. NATHAN GUNN has been named general director of Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, a new program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign designed to offer comprehensive training for the singing actor. The program, which will embrace musicals as well as opera, will combine the strengths of the School of Music with the departments of theater and dance at Illinois. Other Lyric Theatre faculty members will include voice professor Jerold Siena as artistic administrator and accompanying professor Julie Jordan Gunn as director of Lyric Theatre studies.

4. JACK O'BRIEN will direct a one-night-only concert performance of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, April 3, at 7:30 P.M. The concert will benefit the artistic and music education programs of Carnegie Hall. Rob Fisher will conduct the Orchestra of St. Luke's. For tickets, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or visit www.carnegiehall.org/guysanddolls.

This month, The Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School will present an evening of opera conducted by JAMES LEVINE. The semi-staged concert program, directed by Edward Berkeley, will feature Act I of Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Stravinsky's rarely-performed one-act comedy Mavra; Act I, scene 1 of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini; and Act I, part 2 of L'Elisir d'Amore. Performances will be on February 11 and 14 at 8 P.M. and February 16 at 2 P.M. in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Tickets will be available beginning January 16 through CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, or online at www.juilliard.edu/metjuilliard.

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Gala event: Daly and Arroyo
© Sarah Merians 2014

5. On November 5, actress TYNE DALY was honored at the ninth annual gala of the MARTINA ARROYO FOUNDATION. Daly, who played Maria Callas in the 2011 revival of Terrence McNally's Master Class, begins previews this month for Mothers and Sons, a new McNally play that is set to open at Broadway's Golden Theater on March 24.

6. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OPERA HOUSES OF THE WORLD (Abrams), a new book by photographer Guillaume de Laubier, gathers hundreds of de Laubier photos of more than twenty-five of the opera world's most beloved theaters. The text is by journalist Antoine Pecqueur, and the foreword is by Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine. spacer

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